From the Rust Belt to the Asteroid Belt: In Defense of Jeff Bezos and the Vision of the High Frontier

Jan 16, 2022 | Articles, Issue 1139

by Jeff Fullerton
[email protected]

Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

My thoughts on another article attacking commercial space flight:

Jeff Bezos‘ ‘O‘Neill colony‘ dreams ignore the plight of millions living on Earth now The world is in crisis and workers everywhere, including at Amazon, are hurting. Where is Bezos’ pledge to help with our current problems?, by Paris Marx, host of the “Tech Won‘t Save Us” podcast

Makes a good follow up to a previous article defending the recent flight of actor William Shatner as a space tourist on a rocket launched by the Blue Origins company founded by entrepreneur Jeff Bezos

Better headline-“Know Nothings Ignore the potential of cheep electricity from solar power satellites to alleviate the plight of billions living on Earth in the near future”. “And save us all from a future of stasis and rationing (and crushing ecofacist totalitarianism)—or catastrophic wars fought over dwindling resources”.

The article makes a comparison to the dystopian SF movie “Elysium” where the rich and famous have forsaken the poverty and social breakdown of Earth to live in an exclusive orbital space habitat from which makes no sense. The only way to build space colonies economically is to source the material off planet from low gravity moons and asteroids. And once it is possible to do that there would be no point in ruling the planet from orbit. If you are going to abandon Earth—it’s way more practical to just abandon it and move to a safe distance out in the solar system and let it go to hell. I have a feeling that if it gets as bad as it is in Elysium—some of us deplorable libertarians and our conservative fellow travelers who remain behind down on Earth will carve out our own islands of prosperity in the midst of that dystopian hellscape. That’s why we cling to our guns!

Seriously—Jeff Bezos admits it’s going to take a while to build the road to space. But within a decade we could have the capacity to crank out both space colonies and power satellites. And it’s the latter that will likely be given priority and the wealth created from that will bankroll the construction of colonies while the growing energy needs of people on Earth are being met. Both O’Neill and Bezos and most everyone else in the High Frontier movement have proposed using space to make life on Earth better. However with the Know Nothings; that just goes in one ear and out the other because they are hopelessly fixated on the politics of scarcity and a future of stasis and rationing.

It’s like a religious orthodoxy to them. A Sarah Hoyt quote I picked up on in a recent edition of the journal describes these people so well: they don’t believe in creation, which is part of their devotion to redistribution.

The Left’s ideological tunnel vision Is actually dedicated to achievement of a vision of a Final Society based on stasis and rationing. The two things that Jeff Bezos cites as the alternative to the vision of the High Frontier that offers dynamism and growth. Which the know nothings fervently oppose.

Their objections are a joke. Totally ignores Solar Power Satellites which can bring cheep electric power even to remote villages in the poorest nations on earth.

Not only totally ignores but also they have systematically sabotaged our ability to provide sustainable and affordable energy by way of fear mongering propaganda that blew off SPS when the idea was first suggested back in the 1970s as “inappropriate technology” much like they killed the nuclear power industry. Which is a reasonably safe and until options like space based solar collectors or fusion power can be made available. Indeed it’s something we really need to do right now to meet the growing demand without wrecking our economy along with whole ecosystems. Which the GND will do.

The problem with these people who scream about poverty and injustice is that they have no vision or viable solutions. Just shut stuff down with NIMBYism and lawsuits or by capturing control of public offices and institutions. But they have no real solutions that work. Only disruptions and more hardship. Especially for the people living at the edge they profess to care so much about. Like Sarah said—they don’t believe in creation of new and better things. They believe only in redistribution of what currently exists and go out on a limb to stop anyone from doing anything different or new. Unchecked their obstructionism will be the death of many.

I hope Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk do get off Earth. We need for some of our best and brightest people to escape beyond the reaches of the protestors and the bureaucrats so they can be free of government interference and social inertia to work on the solutions that were rejected down here on and make those work for Earth.

Otherwise there will be no where else to go and no hope of outside help from a free people like America was for Europe during the time of Hitler and the Soviet threat of the Cold War.

I know that’s a big reason those who oppose space colonization are against it. Right now they think they have the dominion of life on Earth locked up under their heel and are terrified at the thought of people with the means getting away from them and setting up a new civilization in competition with their plans for world domination.

The High Frontier is much more humane. If you are open minded you can see that plainly if you listen to Jeff Bezos speaking about it. And also in the words of Gerard K. O’Neill. Stasis and rationing are cruel and inhumane. That’s even easier to see in the words and deeds of those who oppose space colonization. I certainly don’t want to be stuck on a planet ruled by the likes of those who want rationing and stasis.

As the Russian space visionary Konstantin Tsilikovsky said “Earth is the cradle of humanity but one cannot live in the cradle forever”.

I want to leave the cradle not die in it!

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