Author Topic: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars  (Read 13988 times)

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #80 on: 12/29/2017 05:54 PM »
However, the Nordic countries (just about the closest analogue to the Martian environment) are uniformly social democracies, mixed economies, i.e. Capitalist economic core with large socialist safety nets. There's a high degree of cooperation, not the caricature of libertarian individualism nor the strict, authoritarian communism or fascism of Soviet Union, the Axis Powers, or even the wartime Allied powers.

Iceland as a model may work fairly well. Key is building a common culture, I think, ala Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy.

Agreed the Nordic countries are probably the idea model to copy.

One problem with a benevolent dictatorship is they often don't stay benevolent.
« Last Edit: 12/29/2017 06:13 PM by Patchouli »

Offline envy887

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #81 on: 12/29/2017 06:02 PM »
Everything it takes to survive beyond a few minutes will have to be, at least initially, imported from Earth. Returning to Earth is at the colonial agency's discretion, as is everything else. The colonial agency will have absolute life-or-death power over every person on Mars. Even a unanimous vote could be completely overturned in a matter of minutes (all ventilation, power and water shut off until populace changes its mind, for example).
This point is going to end up being behind everything. No matter what social organisation goes on if it can be undone at a moments notice by an individual then it is not going to last.

The American founders spent a lot of effort trying to make the political system intrinsically democratic. You can't be despotic without first being voted to be so. If Martians want to make their system intrinsically democratic they will have to include the physical environment too. It must be made impossible for an individual to destroy the colony. The design, construction, software must all be aware of the extra goal of only allowing the wishes of the majority.

This will mean inefficiency and overhead in construction and function. But that is what a democracy(and capitalism) is: inefficient in service to a goal.

So the talk of benevolent dictatorship and having a crew mentality is going to be unavoidable because in the beginning that will be what the technology embodies. Democracy starts in the design phase or it won't be available. I'm thinking it will be centuries before our moral and technical abilities are up to the task. But democracy has been a long march and so will this.

You also don't want one person going insane and killing everyone, so decentralization, redundancy, and systemic independence are absolute musts. That means even if everything is owned by one entity it cannot be designed to be centrally disabled, even by that entity.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #82 on: 12/29/2017 06:25 PM »
You do want to avoid a situation like in total recall where they shut off air to part of the colony.
« Last Edit: 12/29/2017 06:28 PM by Patchouli »

Offline AncientU

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #83 on: 12/29/2017 06:29 PM »
Everything it takes to survive beyond a few minutes will have to be, at least initially, imported from Earth. Returning to Earth is at the colonial agency's discretion, as is everything else. The colonial agency will have absolute life-or-death power over every person on Mars. Even a unanimous vote could be completely overturned in a matter of minutes (all ventilation, power and water shut off until populace changes its mind, for example).
This point is going to end up being behind everything. No matter what social organisation goes on if it can be undone at a moments notice by an individual then it is not going to last.

The American founders spent a lot of effort trying to make the political system intrinsically democratic. You can't be despotic without first being voted to be so. If Martians want to make their system intrinsically democratic they will have to include the physical environment too. It must be made impossible for an individual to destroy the colony. The design, construction, software must all be aware of the extra goal of only allowing the wishes of the majority.

This will mean inefficiency and overhead in construction and function. But that is what a democracy(and capitalism) is: inefficient in service to a goal.

So the talk of benevolent dictatorship and having a crew mentality is going to be unavoidable because in the beginning that will be what the technology embodies. Democracy starts in the design phase or it won't be available. I'm thinking it will be centuries before our moral and technical abilities are up to the task. But democracy has been a long march and so will this.

Re: The colonial agency -- no one will have a 'kill switch' off-planet.  On planet, the initial settlements will manage their own systems including those vital ECLSS provided by that group.  It will largely be up to the folks that have boots on the ground to make or break the success of keeping those systems running and themselves alive.

Re: Benevolent dictatorship and nascent democracy -- central control via a 'command structure' will be needed to get a foothold on Mars (or the Moon).  Once basic infrastructure is established -- ECLSS plus habitation facilities, etc. over the first few synods -- the number of complexities and choices that the population will encounter will grow much faster than the population itself.  At that point, either The colonial agency will make every decision or there will be a mechanism like direct democracy to engage the very individuals who have the largest vested interest (their own well being).  IMO, The colonial agency will be wise to take a step back and let the population decide most matters.  This will happen in the first decade of Mars habitation... and the issue of when, if ever, human nature is up to the task will be tested in a much more unforgiving environment.  This is the value of going to Mars to stay.
« Last Edit: 12/29/2017 06:33 PM by AncientU »
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Offline Lar

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #84 on: 12/29/2017 09:38 PM »
You do want to avoid a situation like in total recall where they shut off air to part of the colony.

Or a situation where the mods turn off posting because posters want to talk about the relative merits of various systems of government on earth.

Oh wait, that just happened.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY