The Stinging Eyes Manifesto: The New Gyr Mission

The Colonial News Bulletin has confirmed a previous statement from Enterios about the Stinging Eyes being on New Gyr and their leader being the Designer Gossamer. The following was provided to CNB by Gossamer.

The New Gyr Mission

“What makes one human, if not the desire to be one?”

Humanity, as direct descendants of the Ancients, are the inheritors of the universe. For much of our collective history, there has been nothing to challenge that – due in no small part to our ingenuity. But today, humanity is threatened by something of our own creation: Mega-corporations. Originally evolved with the best of intentions, corporations meant efficiency for humanity, and it was only with that efficiency that we reached the stars. Now however, the corporations seek to enslave their creators.

Mega-corps are already too much of a good thing, and even in the best case imaginable they will collapse under their own weight within a few generations, taking with them every bit of infrastructure that keeps our society afloat.  A more likely outcome is that every being will find themselves infinitely indebted to the abstract concept of a corporation, motivated to nothing but making money for its handful of stakeholders. Even those stakeholders will soon find that the galaxy’s heatbeat fades as everything is subsumed.

Corporations are not inherently evil, but they must, as with all tools, ultimately answer to their makers — and humanity must demand of their creations a higher standard of care and keeping of our communities. Humanity is destined for greatness beyond imagining, and we are obligated to compromise on nothing along that path save to ensure that none of us are being left behind on the quest.

Why New Gyr:

For the last 30 years, New Gyr has been a beacon of hope to the galaxy. It has been an experiment in trust and cooperation – thus far, a successful one. But all their progress will be for naught if New Gyr is allowed to backslide into the same traps that have befallen the rest of our galaxy. New Gyr must continue to push down the path of social justice, leading the rest of us.

The following are the actions we demand the New Gyr Government implement before the end of the weekend:

  1. Limit each megacorporation to a single market sector on New Gyr. Options include: housing, food production, food distribution, sanitation, resource extraction, transportation, etc. This opens up various market sectors for Gyran entrepreneurs, and obligates the Mega-corporations to engage with partners in mutually beneficial business relationships.
    1. Responsibility for this action rests squarely with the Silent Conversation, which is responsible for trade deals and negotiating with corporations.
  2. Assert that any Augment Contract in operation on New Gyr (meaning the Augment is in the New Gyr System for work) must contain the following:
    1. An “exit clause” that allows legal recourse to bankruptcy if an Augment cannot meet their payments at any time.
    2. A “bodily integrity clause” preventing changes to the augmentation by the company or a third party, either as part of day to day operation, or in response to actions taken by the Augment that would endanger the Augment’s life or quality thereof.
    3. A “return to original condition clause” obligating the company or third party engaged in repossessing an augmentation from an Augment, for any reason (including specifically inability to pay) to return the Augment to whatever their original state was before the Augmentation to be repossessed was installed, at no cost to the Augment in question.
    4. The question of legal jurisdiction on this matter remains an open one, and in that uncertainty human rights violations continue. The Silent Conversation must determine if contract negotiation falls under their direct purview of negotiation with a corporation, or if such limitations must be codified in a law, voted on by the citizens of New Gyr.
  3. Introduce and endorse a law to recognize AI personhood – the dichotomy presented by Enterios and Triskele is false. We must elevate all human variants together. To deny AIs personhood is to enable their abuse and exploitation as mega-corporations decline to treat them with the same dignity that any other other human variant is owed.
    1. We recognize that such a law needs to go to a planet-wide vote and be approved before taking effect.

How to accomplish this:

As a net is wielded by a fisherman, so are politicians wielded by their constituents. The Silent Conversation has the power to spearhead the above changes, and indeed must. If necessary, significant public pressure will be applied to ensure that the people of New Gyr are protected the ways they must be protected, as only the regulatory function of government can.

Non-violent direct actions are widely touted as “safe” and “appropriate” for public discourse, and the most effective way to reach politicians and build community support. While we are happy to engage with these as long as they are effective, we are aware of the fallacies inherent in this claim and are willing to go beyond it  to protect our fellow humans and our collective future. We refuse to be beholden to the “laws” composed by corporations to protect their own interests, and adhere instead to a morality that values all human life above profits.

We will continue to educate both the public and politicians as to the transgressions of the Mega-Corporations: both the illegal actions, and the amoral ones. We urge those among you who see corruption to reach out to us, or come forward to the media. To the media, we caution you not to let the mega-corporations stifle the truth.  Report honestly and impartially, without fear or favor.

Our long term mission:

New Gyr is a crucial step in our overall mission. We urge those who share our goals to join us, whether you agree with our methods or not – it is through discourse that we refine our approach to the most effective one. 

We stand in solidarity with Workers’ Rights, with additional specific consideration for Augment Rights

We demand a livable minimum wage for all workers. Any job that is complex or important enough to be done by a human intelligence (including an AI of equivalent intelligence), must pay its workers enough to live with dignity. Further, wages must be set such that a worker could reasonably be expected to pay for rent, food, and other basic necessities, and still have enough left to make monthly payments that pay down incurred debt (not just minimum payment), and save for their future.

All such jobs must also have humane maximum working hours of no more than 36% of a week, with 1.5x pay for overtime starting at 24% . Individual shifts may not last longer than 7.1% of a week for both safety and productivity concerns. All jobs must include paid sick leave, job protection for family medical leave, and the option to purchase affordable life insurance.

Workplace safety must improve dramatically, including government oversight to ensure corporate accountability for accidents. Legal protection must be provided for whistleblowers, and investigative reporters. Productivity goals must be limited by practicality and safety such that supervisors are not encouraged to overwork employees.

Augments, and all other workers, must have the legally protected rights to unionize and engage in work stoppages. This includes couriers. Governments must hold Corporations accountable for workers’ death or disfigurement due to corporate violence, including the deactivation of  life sustaining augmentations. Specifically, corporations cannot be allowed to control or modify augmentations in such a way as to endanger/harm the person, or persons around them (see the “bodily integrity clause” above.) We do not oppose a corporation’s right to sequester special functions of augmentations (such as a welding torch, or dual core processor function) in order to protect their investment.

Payment for augmentations must be the sole responsibility of the benefiting party. For purely elective augmentations, workers continue to pay, but for any augmentation or upgrade that a company requires as a condition for employment (whether in hiring, continuation, or advancement), the company must bear all financial responsibility. A company that is unwilling to invest in its employees will have to do without the special functions that an augment can perform.

Repossession of augmentations must be done in such a manner as to leave the augment in a state equivalent to their original state before receiving the augment, at no additional cost to the person (see “original condition clause” above). If an arm was replaced with an augmentation, the company must either provide a base augmentation that functions solely as an arm and will continue to do so indefinitely with affordable maintenance, or pay the expense to provide a cloned biological arm.

Reclamation and Protection of Public Utilities

Most humans share a series of basic needs that allow one to exist. These include: food, water, shelter, and access to healthcare. All human variants share a series of needs that allow one to live and participate in modern society. These include: education, electricity, transportation, and communication (including internet access). Together, these needs compose public utilities. Since a mega-corporation would allow a child to starve because their parents do not have money to pay for food, these utilities must be planetized and reclaimed from the control of entities that exist only for profit.

Environmental protections must be put in place to penalize corporations that exploit and abuse a planet’s natural resources. Regulatory oversight must be established to ensure that corporations are fined and/or curtailed as necessary to protect livable planets for our future, and our children’s futures. The exploitation and subsequent collapse of the farming sector on Dor Len Sono 50 years ago must not be allowed to happen again.

The power of Mega-Corporations must be curbed by Anti-trust regulation

A business should stand or fall on it’s merit, but a mega-corporation can use profits in one sector to undersell their competition in another, and drive them out of business. With a monopoly in a sector, the corporation can then price the goods or services with abandon, increasing their profits at the expense of the lived experience of everyone who benefited from the sector. Governments must prevent the spread of corporations from one sector to another by limiting the types of business each corporation can conduct on a planet to one sector of the economy. This allows nascent, local companies to compete on fair terms, without their opponents being able to deflate their prices and absorb the losses by offsetting with profits in other sectors. Further, it obligates the mega-corporations to cooperate with public services and other private ventures to accomplish end-goals, thus encouraging the exchange of money and creating robust economies that could survive the failure of individual corporations.

Even within a sector, mega-corporations cannot ultimately be allowed to to maintain a monopoly.  Without competition, there is no pressure to innovate because it is expensive and risky. Without innovation, there is no discovery or improvement of the human condition. At minimum, governments must require corporations that have already established a monopoly to license their infrastructure to competitors at a reasonable rate that allows a competitor to enter the market.

Corporation-specific currency must be exchangeable for government backed currency, and by extension, with their competitors’ currencies.  No person should be unable to use their financial resources to find another job or planet to live on.  No corporation should be permitted to trap the wealth and productivity of planetary economies for its exclusive use.

All loans, including those embedded in an Augmentation contract, must include reasonable and humane exit clauses. At minimum, financial recourse to bankruptcy must be upheld across the Galaxy. We encourage the formation and maintenance of an interplanetary credit rating system that allows banks and corporations to make informed decisions about who they lend money to, or perform services for in exchange for a fee.

Software for augments needs to be updated periodically. Currently mega-corporations maintain a stranglehold on the software in order to prevent Augments from defaulting on their contracts and physically fleeing.  Drivers for Augment hardware, sufficient to maintain baseline quality of life equivalent to the body part they replace, must be made freely available and open source.

The creation of an Interplanetary Justice System

Today corporations, governments, and private citizens have limited recourse if a crime has been committed and the perpetrator flees off-planet. The galaxy is overdue for the establishment of an Interplanetary Justice System, consisting of several parts:

  • A circuit of courts to hear specifically crimes committed across multiple planets, and those committed in interplanetary space. Planet specific crimes could not be appealed to such a court, thus maintaining planetary sovereignty.
  • Extradition treaties between planets that ensure that criminals cannot just flee to the next planet over and continue a life of crime.
  • A sentencing system that is modeled after the correctional actions on New Gyr, employing mostly fines and rehabilitation. The effectiveness of mass incarceration has long been debunked.

The Colonial Congress, with membership of nearly every planet in the Galaxy, is in a unique position to implement the necessary reforms, with input from all involved parties.

Public oversight is also necessary for ALL law enforcement teams: planetary police / militias, the Dawnlighters, and private security companies.  No law enforcement organization is above the basic obligations of human rights, as defined and enforced by public institutions.  All governments have the authority and obligation to monitor organizations, directly representing that government or otherwise, that dispense justice to ensure their citizens’ rights are duly respected.

The recognition of AI Personhood

Personhood is not a club with a limited number of seats. There is no need to choose whether we will defend Augments or AIs, or which we will demand be treated with the dignity due a human. AIs demonstrating human level intelligence must be recognized as a human variant, with all the protections and care due that declaration. They must be allowed to apply for citizenship, and all the benefits and responsibility therein.

In Conclusion

The Stinging Eyes is a movement by the people, for the people. Governments are beholden to their constituents, and must regulate corporations to ensure that the sanctity of human life is never compromised again in the name of profits.  Recent history has demonstrated that the current dominant position of megacorps has produced unacceptable consequences for society, particularly the unending debt slavery of Augments, the monopolization of entire planets’ resources and economies by single corporations, and widespread corruption — which we are determined to bring to the public eye.

We are the Stinging Eyes.  We see what megacorp dominance has done to the galaxy.  We will not stand by as the megacorps choke off humanity’s potential for growth and prosperity.