Author Topic: Will the Moon be carved-up?  (Read 486 times)

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Will the Moon be carved-up?
« on: January 06, 2014, 02:00:05 AM »
by Boris Pavlischev

Experts forecast that the Moon will become sort of the seventh continent of Earth by the middle of the 21st century. People will reclaim the polar regions and build residential areas there. In this context it may happen that many countries' interests will clash on the Moon.

Part of the scientific community draws a parallel between the Arctic shelf and the Moon, believing that competitive struggle is likely to start in both places. Many countries will be eager to get hold of the polar regions of the Moon that are the best places to live in. The largest amount of ice has been discovered around the poles. Ice is a source of oxygen for astronauts, drinking water and hydrogen that is a rocket fuel.

In addition, the Moon is rich in natural resources, including rare metals that can be mined around the residential areas. At present, it would be extremely expensive to extract metals from the moon soil and deliver them to Earth. But later, when their resources on Earth peter out, lunar resources will come in handy. These are the arguments of those who see no alternative to competition.

Most probably, the distribution of the poles and resources will be done in a civilized way, Vladislav Shevchenko, head of the Department of Lunar and Planetary Studies of the Sternberg Astronomical Institute at Moscow State University believes.

"I would not like this to be interpreted as a struggle. When there was a Moon race between the USSR and the US, Americans did not complete their Apollo program. They left the USSR behind and lost interest. I talked to American colleagues and they said the exploration should certainly have been continued, maybe together with the Soviet Union if we had managed to come to an agreement. This means that in the future as well cooperation is better than a race."

According to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, the Moon is the province of all mankind. One could stake a claim there but this would carry no legal weight. Planting flags on the Moon by astronauts or interplanetary stations is purely symbolic, so it is not quite correct to draw parallels between the Moon and the Arctic. The Moon is first of all a gold-mine of scientific information and it should be jointly explored, Deputy Director of the Space Research Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences Vyacheslav Rodin is convinced.

"International cooperation will certainly rule supreme while there are no economic interests, while it is not clear where commercial profits lie. Scientists can't help communicating with each other and sharing ideas. You can rest assured that Earth has a joint team for exploring the Moon."

As for businessmen, experts admit that they could be allowed to explore lunar resources. There is enough space for everyone at the Moon poles. However, chances are that we will have to adopt international legal standards to regulate commercial activity on the Moon.

As for the Outer Space Treaty, there is no need to update it. It was ratified by most members of the international community. At the same time, some countries did not sign the document or acceded without signing or ratifying it, like China or North Korea. It is difficult to forecast if those countries will behave aggressively on the Moon

http://www.moondaily.com/reports/Will_the_Moon_be_carved_up_999.html

Offline Oceander

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Re: Will the Moon be carved-up?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2014, 09:15:48 AM »
Quote
As for businessmen, experts admit that they could be allowed to explore lunar resources. There is enough space for everyone at the Moon poles. However, chances are that we will have to adopt international legal standards to regulate commercial activity on the Moon.

/snicker

It will ultimately be private business interests that will make effective use of the Moon's resources and that will decide who gets what.  Government control will be short-term only.

As for resources on the Moon:  not only are there resources to extract, but the Moon is also a useful place to refine and do industrial manufacture as there is no environment to speak of that might be polluted.

Offline EC

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Re: Will the Moon be carved-up?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2014, 07:12:09 PM »
The Moon is a harsh mistress.

Ultimately, it will be independent.
Anyone who tells you you can't buy happiness has never been in a book store or an animal shelter.

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Re: Will the Moon be carved-up?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014, 08:19:54 PM »
/snicker

It will ultimately be private business interests that will make effective use of the Moon's resources and that will decide who gets what.  Government control will be short-term only.

As for resources on the Moon:  not only are there resources to extract, but the Moon is also a useful place to refine and do industrial manufacture as there is no environment to speak of that might be polluted.

 :beer:

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Re: Will the Moon be carved-up?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2014, 08:20:13 PM »
The Moon is a harsh mistress.

Ultimately, it will be independent.

 :beer:

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Re: Will the Moon be carved-up?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2014, 10:15:17 PM »
The Moon is a harsh mistress.

Ultimately, it will be independent.

It has to be.  In many respects the Moon will be to Earth as the New World was to Europe back in the day: a hostile place where the living is subsistence-level and the frame of reference wholly outside the ken of almost everyone who stayed in Europe.  The New World was a harsh mistress, too.

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Re: Will the Moon be carved-up?
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2014, 10:18:44 PM »
It has to be.  In many respects the Moon will be to Earth as the New World was to Europe back in the day: a hostile place where the living is subsistence-level and the frame of reference wholly outside the ken of almost everyone who stayed in Europe.  The New World was a harsh mistress, too.

Good Point.

Offline EC

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Re: Will the Moon be carved-up?
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2014, 10:23:55 PM »
It is as it should be.

The new world was literally that - a new world. The moon is even more so. I think of it sometimes - the challenges that would face lunar colonies. In some respects you would be looking at a modified communist system. Everyone works together or everyone dies. Just the nature of the environment and not wildly dissimilar from the original colonies in North America. You'd also have the capitalist system on steroids.

It promises to be an interesting journey.
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Offline DCPatriot

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Re: Will the Moon be carved-up?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2014, 10:25:44 PM »
I thought the alien ships lining the craters made it clear to the astronauts that they should NOT come back.     :whistle:
"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

"If you want to change the world, go home and love your family".    ...Mother Teresa

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Re: Will the Moon be carved-up?
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2014, 12:49:17 AM »
It is as it should be.

The new world was literally that - a new world. The moon is even more so. I think of it sometimes - the challenges that would face lunar colonies. In some respects you would be looking at a modified communist system. Everyone works together or everyone dies. Just the nature of the environment and not wildly dissimilar from the original colonies in North America. You'd also have the capitalist system on steroids.

It promises to be an interesting journey.

I would not use the word "communism" because it carries too many overtones of its twin brother, fascism.  "We must all hang together, or we shall surely hang separately" is a much better euphemism for it, and it captures the sense of liberty-loving cohesiveness and cameraderie that "communism" does not.  Communism necessarily implies a dictator deciding who gets what and who dies; the patriots in 1776 faced dire choices - they either worked together as one, or they all died separately - but they didn't require an overlord, a master, a tyrant, telling them what to do.

The Moon, if it works at all, will work with something more like what made the American Colonies tick and less like what made the Soviet Union tick.

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Re: Will the Moon be carved-up?
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2014, 01:00:51 AM »
How about small town New England? People working their own lands, but banding together for town hall meetings - half business and half social - and community projects?

I can see that working well on what is really a new frontier. It worked well for the expansion west in the USA. Why not the expansion up?

In a way, you might call it communism - or communalism. The understanding that, to steal a Clinton quote, "It takes a village."
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 01:03:00 AM by EC »
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Re: Will the Moon be carved-up?
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2014, 10:31:22 AM »
How about small town New England? People working their own lands, but banding together for town hall meetings - half business and half social - and community projects?

I can see that working well on what is really a new frontier. It worked well for the expansion west in the USA. Why not the expansion up?

In a way, you might call it communism - or communalism. The understanding that, to steal a Clinton quote, "It takes a village."

Words have meaning, and communism carries a meaning that is wholly antithetical to "it takes a village," to small town New England, and people banding together for town hall meetings.  The only mistress on the American frontier was the location and circumstances they found themselves in; they had no overseer or overlord, or faceless committee dictating to each one what his or her lot was.  The word "communism" implies the latter and, as a matter of history, the politics and philosophy of communism always result in dictatorship.

In fact, if nothing else, the teleology that is part and parcel of communism requires not just a dictatorship, but also the savage, involuntary, sacrifice of the individual in the here and now in pursuit of the teleological promised land.  That is the essential perversion of communism that results in the "dictatorship of the proletariat" savaging the real proletariat in ways that no "greedy capitalist" could ever have imagined.

It's analogous to the meaning - I should say meanings - the word "liberal" has.  In classical political philosophy it means one thing - essentially Adam Smith's economics and the night-watchman state; in American political culture it means a squishy leftist, someone who doesn't quite have the courage of his/her convictions and so isn't willing to be as blunt or aggressive as the self-identified socialists or - here we go - self-identified communists.  The term is more or less synonymous with the term "progressive" as it has been used in American political culture.  Elsewhere, however, the word "liberal" has a much different meaning, one that is closer to the original meaning the term had in classical political philosophy; this is something that makes it difficult to "translate" politics from one country to another - one makes gross errors unless one understands the different meanings words have when used in different political cultures.  The Australian Liberal Party is a good example for me - if I take the naive view, then as an American I would assume that they have very left-leaning politics; however, if I first look to their actual policies and compare those to the policies as they are classified in American politics, I find that they are more akin to the American republicans than they are to American liberals (I won't compare them to American conservatives because a significant number of the policies conservatives in America pursue do not have equivalents in the Australian party).

The word "communalism" I personally despise because it sounds like the speaker is trying vainly to hide the fact that he/she is really a communist - see above - but doesn't have the guts to come out and say as much.  However, as that's my personal feeling, it can't really be generalized.

It seems to me that the key commonality that runs through the examples you've given is the voluntary nature of the arrangements; that is closer to a nationalist sort of relationship - where each member recognizes an innate affiliation with the rest of "us" and is willing to voluntarily make sacrifices for the good of "us."  Obviously, in practice societies of that sort can suffer from the same sorts of ills that communism entails.  However, under a voluntary society those ills are a matter of accident, of the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time, whereas under communism those ills are a necessary consequence of the basic axioms of communism.

In short, rejecting communism does not mean rejecting the sort of cohesive "us" society that worked the frontiers or that made up the New England small towns; it merely means rejecting the tyranny and involuntary sacrifice the goals and ends of communism require.


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