#101 December 1996
Section 18.104.22.168.101.of the Artemis Data Book
There will be requirements for services such as education, administration, entertainment, child care, medical care, maintenance, and communication -- this list can go on! Services will consume, as the society matures, an ever- increasing portion of the material, emotional, and personal resources of the settlers and settlement, and in doing so reduce the resources available for production. These social and economic factors will be driving factors in the "profitability" of the settlement.
Since the taxpayer / investor will probably pay the initial cost of construction, development, stocking, and transportation, there must be some perceived return on investment. This situation can be alleviated by the wise use of intelligence, initiative, and resources. There is also the "loss" of talented individuals from the parent societies. Though few in number, the losses will be highly visible. As with the "brain drain" from the United Kingdom in the 60s and 70s, there will most likely be considerable political and social debate.
Positive supportive human interaction will be very important for the survival and growth of the settlement. There will be birth, illness, and death. There will be individual and collective grief, and times of mourning for lost family, friends, or co-workers. And there will be joy. These will be the circumstances when the social fabric of the settlement will be maximally stressed.
The success or failure in these stressful circumstances will determine the success or failure of the settlement. Work and play must be to a great extent personally rewarding and emotionally satisfying to the individual, since good mental health, or the lack of it, will impact settlement survival and growth. It is necessary to maintain an environment where spontaneity flourishes. The settlement is neither a utopia nor a dystopia. It will be a human society with all of its unique human characteristics.
The next logical step in the evolution of the settlement will be the realignment of the settlers' allegiance from their birth nation to the settlement. This will not be appreciated by many. Thus the settlement will be the genesis of the sovereign nation-state. Here is where old issues such as Colonialism and the "Moon treaty" will finally be discarded.
The Moon Treaty has frequently been used to excuse the perceived lack of action by government, industry, and individuals concerning space development. This treaty can be compared to the Pope's division of the Western Hemisphere into Spanish and Portuguese areas of influence [the Treaty of Demarcation or Treaty of Tordesillas, 1494] Similarly with the taxation and mercantilism of the British with its American colony. To those who draft and support such concepts, there is a perceived lack of reality -- or these folks have a hidden agenda. The Moon Treaty concept seems to be based on some socialist concept of equality and fairness that is great in principle but short on applicability. That every nation and individual should benefit is philosophically sound. But the proposed concept fails to recognize human behavior, is oblivious to how humans actually operate [and are motivated], and ignores lines of communication and transportation.
What type of government will be functional in the settlement? The assumption is made that the settlement will ultimately become a politically independent, sovereign nation-state even though it may have initially been funded by various entities.
There are many forms of government that have not worked. So what are the options? Human nature being what it is, a minimal form of government that will have the ability to convince the individual to conform to a minimum set of standards is a requirement. However, the most effective disciplinary tool is the social atmosphere within the settlement. Excessive force at one extreme and chaos at the other are not acceptable options.
The individual must be part of the governing process. Human dignity must be maintained. The settlement is a social, political, and economic entity. Thus, any governmental decision will have ramifications that will be felt in these three areas -- moderation will be important. Decisions cannot be made in a vacuum. (No pun intended!) There will be emergencies when decisions will have to be made with incomplete knowledge and minimal opportunity for contemplation. Thus, those who do serve must be carefully selected, elected, or chosen -- their competency is paramount!
However, there is a danger of a too-democratic society, where the ignorant has as much to say as the knowledgeable, and that the criticisms of both are [held] equally significant. Law and the application of law cannot be capricious or arbitrary. In the environment of the settlement, "things can happen" to those who abuse or take gross advantage of others. The community will not have excess resources to expend on those who could be classified as "antisocial."
Settlements will be established that, among many things, will house those who perform the work of extracting and processing raw materials. In addition, the settlement will support and house those performing research and development. Please note that the location of the settlement, or of the material, is not assumed. The raw materials, to be transportable, will be processed in situ. Thus there is value added before the materials are fabricated into structures, fuel, water, or possibly transported to other settlements, to Earth or near Earth.
The settlers, inhabitants, or workers -- call them what you will -- cannot be treated as indentured servants. There is adequate evidence that this concept is unhealthy, unwise, immoral, and in the long term unprofitable.
Patents, copyrights, and intellectual property issues will need to be addressed. (Given the confusion associated with the Internet on Earth, this issue will be very interesting, if not nearly intractable!)
The settlement will eventually become independent. This process may take 10 years, or it may take 100; but it will happen. Thus, the settlement will be the genesis of the sovereign nationstate. Incorporated within the concept fo the nationstate is sovereignty; that is, the ability to control from within and prevent external control of its destiny. This implies that the citizens of the new sovereign nation-state will take measures to defend themselves from aggression. This is generally a fundamental pillar of the legal establishment of the sovereign nation-state. To expect anything else in light of seven thousand years of documented human history would be foolish.
Human history is replete with claims made in the "Name of the People." Some of the more recent are "The People's Republic of China" and the "German Democratic Republic." The "Moon Treaty" is in the same vein. A more reasonable process would be the gain to the "Peoples of Earth" by the growth and expansion of industry with the associated employment and tax base. The most valuable product may be a new point of view with respect to our expansion into the universe. Recognize that the results will not and cannot be equally distributed. What is required is real people producing real goods and services for real people. This is a capitalistic concept that disturbs many. If the desire is for "equality" and "fairness" in benefit, we are looking for the impossible, and it will be found in broken dreams, anger, unfulfilled expectations, and revolt.
Given these realities, it is time to recognize the real world. Extra-Earth resources will, sooner or later, be used for the benefit of those who access them. There does not seem to be a way in the long term to force any other conclusion. A consideration that is usually unrecognized is that the moon, planet, asteroid, or location in space is of intrinsic value itself because of location, not necessarily the material resources that can be extracted and exploited. independent settlements will use these resources for their [own] expansion and benefit.
The settlement will be an economic entity. The settlement will have a portion of its folk involved with food production, manufacturing, and information processing. These activities will be necessary for the growth of the settlement. The settlers will be "paid" somehow. There may not be money as we presently know it, but there may be an electronic bank where funds, or their equivalents, can be deposited.
Taxation and intellectual property issues will become major drivers in the move to independence. The settlement's political representatives will probably be at least 250,000 miles (400,000 kilometers) away. The building of schools and roads on Earth do not relate to the needs of the settlers, especially if they will not be returning to Earth.
What form of "taxation" will be implemented in a politically independent nation-state is another issue. There will be few goods and services on which to spend money. There will still be a great cost to move material objects out of one gravity well into another. Earthly trappings of wealth and power are frequently displayed by the possession of things. The same might be displayed in the settlement, such as a painting or a genuine French Provincial chair.
This new society, like the Kibbutz, by its economic nature, provides food and shelter to its members; this is a common cost coming from the community effort. As the community or the sovereign nation-state grows, this will most likely change. The settlers will view the universe in a very different perspective. Issues of money and possessions could be manifested in a manner totally unexpected.
Some suggested economic opportunities [for the settlement] are: anti-matter production, production of spacecraft hulls by organic growth,[ 4 ] and optical and radio astronomy.
An acknowledgement must be made that we as humans probably will not soon lose our humanity, though there may be some near-term physiological and psychological changes by our migration into the universe at large. I could be wrong! This is an area that will benefit from much discussion.
Humans will eventually explore and settle where the environment is manageable. The available resources will be exploited for their use. In accomplishing this task of human growth, I submit that our humanity will be reinforced. We will discover that problems will not miraculously go away; we will not escape those things that are problems today. We will buy time in some areas. However, the human problems we recognize today will still be with us in some form tomorrow. The human challenge then is to grow, mature, thrive, and overcome adversity.
What will be the greatest product of this social experiment? I submit that the spawning of self-reproducing, healthy, dynamic, evolving sovereign nation-states, and ultimately [whole new] worlds, will be this product. Ultimately, in doing this, we will come to a better understanding of ourselves and ensure our survival as a species.
Human settlements will be established off Earth. The exact locations and purposes cannot be known. Trade will consist of raw and processed materials, intellectual property and information, and things that cannot be imagined at this time. The settlements will develop their own unique cultures, some of which may not resemble any society now recognized on Earth. These settlements will become independent in the sense that the existing sovereign nation-states are independent. The settlements, ultimately worlds, will form an extended human family with all of the nuances associated with the human family today.
*John Camp: Mr. Camp is an electrical engineer employed at WrightLaboratory's Avionics Directorate, Wright-Patterson AFB, in the Simulation Technology Branch. He is heavily involved in amateur radio and has participated in organization and planning of the Dayton Hamvention, the largest amateur radio convention in the world. John was a founding member of Dayton, Ohio's first NSS chapter. He lives in Enon, Ohio, with his wife Linda.
Contents of this issue of Moon Miners' Manifesto