Section 1.2.
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Lunar Sovereignty

We haven't worried too much about the future politics of the moon colony because that would be rather like picking the kitchen curtains before we've built the house. However, the subject keeps coming up, so here goes...

Frankly, treating the lunar settlement as an independent state is the only way it will work. We might expect to see many independent states on the moon as the lunar community develops.

Citizens of many countries are already participating in this project to some extent: Australia, Canada, Ireland, England, France, Denmark, Mexico, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States. (The list of local contacts and Artemis Society chapters should be the most up-to-date map of the influence of Artemis Society International.)

The only sovereign claim the U.S. could make is that most of the commercial firms involved are U.S. corporations, but not all -- don't forget that from the very beginning Manticore Productions leaped in with both feet to sponsor Artemis Canada; and today most of the commercial artwork of the Artemis Project is development in New Zealand. We will expand to a world-wide market long before we launch the first spacecraft, so you can bet we will have corporate participants in all those countries and many others.

Among the viable options for how we accomplish the project is to launch spacecraft whose structure was built in Italy, electronics in Japan, cameras in Germany, and rockets and other systems in the United States, on a booster from Russia lifting up out of Brazil or Australia.

The Lunar Resources Company is incorporated in Texas, which by treaty is one of the United States; but Lunar Resources is only the project integrator. If for some reason the state or federal government were to do things that inhibit our corporation from participating in the project (and I don't see any reason why they'd want to), people in other states and other countries will leap in to fill the void.

With the program spread out all over the globe, how could any terrestrial nation claim sovereignty over the lunar community?

Nations can tax businesses within their territorial boundaries and to some extent regulate the behavior of their citizens no matter where those people are with threats of punishment when then get home. But picture this: a few years from now I sit down to lunch at the Luna City Hotel's bistro with Eric-Axel Zimmer and Kurt Gunter. What country can claim ownership of that territory? The U.S., because I was born in Kansas? But Kurt is from Australia, and three countries can take credit for Eric -- U.S., Canada, and Belgium! Okay, so we go for countries of residence, in which France grabs a piece of the table, too; Eric lives in Paris. Just about the time we think we've got it figured out, Vik Olliver and Dale Amon come in to join the debate, so now we have to sort out claims by England, Ireland, and New Zealand. You can see where I'm going with this.

Now, Ecuador might claim ownership of the moon (since it passes over their territorial boundaries) and because of that claim forbid the sale of any lunar resources, but all they'd accomplish is to deny their citizens the bounty of extraterrestrial resources. Earth nations will no doubt pass all sorts of resolutions and claims regarding sovereignity over the moon, but unless they are willing and able to establish a presence their and defend their claim, these events will do little more than providing employment for laywers.

In the immortal words of Rev. William Ralph Ing:

"It is useless for sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism while wolves remain of a different opinion."


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