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< Back to question Would a Mars colony need a fixed government? Show more Show less

Advanced Space capabilities are in all likelihood coming rather soon, with SpaceX’s next generation rockets at the forefront. However, exploration of how a colony will fit into the global stage has only been explored by fiction authors thus-far and not decision - makers.

Mars does not need a fixed government Show more Show less

A colony on Mars would be too small to have a government.
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Anarchy

People on Mars could live their lives just as well, if not better, without a large, formal government ruling over them. Rather, Martian society should encourage common stewardship and a rejection of capitalist principles.
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Proponents


Context

Anarchism is a philosophical school of thought that rejects the control of one group or person over another, including capitalism, racism, homophobia, government, and other systems of dominance in society.[1] Some anarchists view the possibility of having anarchism on Earth as slim, and as no one has settled Mars so far, it may offer a chance for a fresh start without government intervention or any of the controlling systems present on Earth.

The Argument

Mars should be an anarchy because this would allow its citizens to better take care of the planet and each other. A government based on Earth would be too out of touch to truly understand the needs of Mars settlers. Also, a single central governmental organization would not be sufficient to rule the entirety of a planet as large as Mars while also addressing the intricacies of the problems that each colony--and each individual--faces. Anarchism would allow communities and individuals to govern themselves, which would remove the problem of overbearing governing bodies that make laws to which not everyone consents. Establishing anarchism on Mars would also prevent the planet from suffering under the same burdens of capitalism that Earth has. Common stewardship of food, air, and water would prevent mismanagement and ensure equal allocation of these precious resources. Anarchism would also allow for things like healthcare to be free of the cruelties and exploitation of capitalism. Initially, living on Mars would be difficult, which increases the importance of these things being managed cooperatively. This would not be possible under company or government rule, as both of these are too easily subject to corruption.

Counter arguments

The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 poses two main problems for true anarchism on Mars. The first is that all activities would have to fall under international law, and the second is that all Mars settlements--even the ones that govern themselves--would still have to be authorized and supervised by a governmental organization on Earth.[2] The necessity of law and the supervision of government make it impossible for a true anarchy to exist on Mars since anarchism traditionally does not have either of these things.

Premises

[P1] Mars should be an anarchy, because this system would be better for the planet and its inhabitants.

Rejecting the premises


Further Reading

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson On Robinson's Red Mars as well as his vision for life on Mars: https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/our-greatest-political-novelist

References

  1. https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/strangers-in-a-tangled-wilderness-life-without-law#toc19
  2. https://www.disarmament.un.org/treaties/t/outer_space/text

This page was last edited on Thursday, 2 Jul 2020 at 12:09 UTC