Author Topic: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars  (Read 13942 times)

Offline nacnud

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #20 on: 12/25/2017 04:19 PM »
Mars will not be served well by governance influenced by democracy in anything other than very tightly controlled circumstances.  At heart, democracy is nothing other than mob rule.

Better may sure that the mob is highly educated with the issues at hand and political lies are severely punished.

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #21 on: 12/25/2017 04:22 PM »
Hi guys, I have extremely vigorous opinions about democracy in general, (I am for it) but everyone should ask themselves if there is a SpaceX/Mars/Elon specific element to their posts.

Also. MERRY CHRISTMAS. It is 6am Tuesday 26th here in NZ and I really should get some sleep. :)

Offline Bynaus

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #22 on: 12/25/2017 04:32 PM »
I live in Switzerland, which is the one country in the world probably coming closest to a Direct Democracy. I can assure you that its not actually that much work, and no, we aren't all super-geniuses and the country is still functional (though it is a tad more conservative than its fully representative neighbors).

We vote on issues up to four times a year (if there are enough brought up), and re-elect the parliment every four years. Only issues which get 100k votes, or bills passed by the parliment which are subsequently opposed by 50k votes are brought up for a vote (tital population is now about 8.5M). Although some weird issues have been passed, and some important legislation was shut down by the population, things work fairly well overall. Participation however is way down, typically 25-50%.

But I like the idea of "entrusting" someone of your choice with your vote, while retaining the option of voting differently if necessary. You could perhaps also entrust one person with your, say, foreign policy vote, and another with your vote on worker rights. Or you could opt out and not vote at all. It would be election by reputation, and the persons representing the most votes could have regular meetings to exchange viewpoints. The actual votes can the be scheduled to occur a couple of times per year so you have time to study the issues and dwcide if you want to vote or just go with what the person you entrusted with your vote thinks.
More of my thoughts: www.final-frontier.ch (in German)

Offline RonM

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #23 on: 12/25/2017 05:01 PM »
As the old saying goes, let's not get the cart before the horse.

Without changes in international law, the Outer Space Treaty will apply. Since SpaceX operates in the United States, any Mars base or settlement created by SpaceX will be subject to US federal law. So, individuals at a SpaceX-based settlement will not be able to do whatever they wish.

Interesting thing about the US government, local issues are up to the states. How does that apply to a Mars settlement? Since it can't be run as a territory (not under the OST), I guess there would be a lot of leeway for the locals as long as they don't do anything considered unconstitutional. That's a plus.

A minus would be who gets to vote. Under US law, that would be restricted to US citizens, a situation unfair to Mars residents from other countries. One way to avoid that would be to consider the settlement like a homeowners association with SpaceX as the management company. As anyone who has dealt with a HOA knows, that would be a terrible idea.

Looks like there needs to be some changes to international law before a Mars settlement can have the type of government they want.


Online Nibb31

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #24 on: 12/25/2017 05:07 PM »
What makes people believe that one of several Mars colonies would have their own independent political system? If independence is some sort of declared goal, then why would any state support the colonization effort?

Offline Oli

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #25 on: 12/25/2017 05:26 PM »

I always like to quote Rousseau in this context :):

Quote from: Jean-Jacques Rousseau
As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall. When it is necessary to march out to war, they pay troops and stay at home: when it is necessary to meet in council, they name deputies and stay at home. By reason of idleness and money, they end by having soldiers to enslave their country and representatives to sell it.

Quote from: Jean-Jacques Rousseau
The moment a people allows itself to be represented, it is no longer free.

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #26 on: 12/25/2017 05:49 PM »
A minus would be who gets to vote. Under US law, that would be restricted to US citizens, a situation unfair to Mars residents from other countries. One way to avoid that would be to consider the settlement like a homeowners association with SpaceX as the management company. As anyone who has dealt with a HOA knows, that would be a terrible idea.

Looks like there needs to be some changes to international law before a Mars settlement can have the type of government they want.
Couldn't this be just like rules within a corporation that only apply to the execution of that corporation? These people may still have a vote in US elections, but that could be independent of any internal corporate structure.

I know zilch about HOA, so if that creates an impediment to the above it would be interesting to hear about.

Offline AncientU

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #27 on: 12/25/2017 05:59 PM »
As the old saying goes, let's not get the cart before the horse.

Without changes in international law, the Outer Space Treaty will apply. Since SpaceX operates in the United States, any Mars base or settlement created by SpaceX will be subject to US federal law. So, individuals at a SpaceX-based settlement will not be able to do whatever they wish.

Interesting thing about the US government, local issues are up to the states. How does that apply to a Mars settlement? Since it can't be run as a territory (not under the OST), I guess there would be a lot of leeway for the locals as long as they don't do anything considered unconstitutional. That's a plus.

A minus would be who gets to vote. Under US law, that would be restricted to US citizens, a situation unfair to Mars residents from other countries. One way to avoid that would be to consider the settlement like a homeowners association with SpaceX as the management company. As anyone who has dealt with a HOA knows, that would be a terrible idea.

Looks like there needs to be some changes to international law before a Mars settlement can have the type of government they want.

Spoken like a true Earthman...

First of all, The Outer Space Treaty is a primitive attempt of those on this planet to 'claim' OUTER SPACE as if in their pitiful small minds and curiously expanded egos they could claim The Universe.  Pitiful in their hubris, pitiful in their impotence.  Without enforcement, the Treaty is a sham.

Whomever heads out and risks their blood and treasure will be entitled to whatever chunk of OUTER SPACE they can reach.  China, for example will just laugh if someone waves the Outer Space Treaty when they go claim a chunk of whatever...
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline RonM

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #28 on: 12/25/2017 06:03 PM »
A minus would be who gets to vote. Under US law, that would be restricted to US citizens, a situation unfair to Mars residents from other countries. One way to avoid that would be to consider the settlement like a homeowners association with SpaceX as the management company. As anyone who has dealt with a HOA knows, that would be a terrible idea.

Looks like there needs to be some changes to international law before a Mars settlement can have the type of government they want.
Couldn't this be just like rules within a corporation that only apply to the execution of that corporation? These people may still have a vote in US elections, but that could be independent of any internal corporate structure.

I know zilch about HOA, so if that creates an impediment to the above it would be interesting to hear about.

The corporate idea is interesting. Each settler could be given shares in the corporation, allowing for voting.

HOAs usually elect officers once a year, with homeowners getting to vote. Sounds like a good idea, but many times results in control freak neighbors getting power. I guess it's too small of a group to choose from. Another issue deals with people signing the agreement and then totally ignoring it. Enforcement requires lawsuits and HOAs may not want to go that far, rendering them ineffective.

With more regulation of corporations, at least in the US, that would be a better model.

Offline RonM

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #29 on: 12/25/2017 06:10 PM »
As the old saying goes, let's not get the cart before the horse.

Without changes in international law, the Outer Space Treaty will apply. Since SpaceX operates in the United States, any Mars base or settlement created by SpaceX will be subject to US federal law. So, individuals at a SpaceX-based settlement will not be able to do whatever they wish.

Interesting thing about the US government, local issues are up to the states. How does that apply to a Mars settlement? Since it can't be run as a territory (not under the OST), I guess there would be a lot of leeway for the locals as long as they don't do anything considered unconstitutional. That's a plus.

A minus would be who gets to vote. Under US law, that would be restricted to US citizens, a situation unfair to Mars residents from other countries. One way to avoid that would be to consider the settlement like a homeowners association with SpaceX as the management company. As anyone who has dealt with a HOA knows, that would be a terrible idea.

Looks like there needs to be some changes to international law before a Mars settlement can have the type of government they want.

Spoken like a true Earthman...

First of all, The Outer Space Treaty is a primitive attempt of those on this planet to 'claim' OUTER SPACE as if in their pitiful small minds and curiously expanded egos they could claim The Universe.  Pitiful in their hubris, pitiful in their impotence.  Without enforcement, the Treaty is a sham.

Whomever heads out and risks their blood and treasure will be entitled to whatever chunk of OUTER SPACE they can reach.  China, for example will just laugh if someone waves the Outer Space Treaty when they go claim a chunk of whatever...

I thought this thread was about near future reality, not science fiction.

Sure, what would anyone do if a government started claiming territory in space? However, SpaceX is a US corporation. If they decided to do whatever they wanted on Mars in violation of US or international law, they can be taken care of on this end.

Once Mars settlements are totally independent from resupply from Earth, then they can contemplate political independence.

Offline AncientU

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #30 on: 12/25/2017 06:11 PM »
Tough environments, where life is precarious, require at least technocratic ruling, perhaps even military ruling.

Direct democracy does not work because it assumes an average level of intelligence that does not exist. Elon has been spending too much time with a lot of smart people, he should come down, talk to average Joe and understand that most people are not smart enough for direct democracy to work.

In the beginning of settlement on the Moon or Mars (or an asteroid, whatever), the hierarchical 'command' structure will be necessary -- but as a benign dictatorship which seems to be the most effective form of government (until it ceases to be benign which usually happens).  Direct democracy can take root even in this environment because there will be lots of things about which the residents living there will feel entitled to have their say.  At first, these might be minor, quality of life issues, but that can evolve into full governance.

At a population of a few hundred, and surely by the time a population of a few thousand is established, self-governance, probably by direct democracy, will play a significant role.  Rule from Earth will be much more impractical -- and the 'rulers' vastly more out of touch -- than Washington DC trying to run cities anywhere in the US.
« Last Edit: 12/25/2017 06:14 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Hauerg

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #31 on: 12/25/2017 06:14 PM »
Direct democracy on every issue is impractical.  Every person cannot read every single bill and vote on it.  ....

What's the difference?
The taxreform bill was read by how many who voted?????

Offline spacenut

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #32 on: 12/25/2017 06:23 PM »
Pure democracy, as practiced by ancient Athenians, can lead to "mob rule".  That is why we have a trial by jury, and innocent until proven guilty, in America.  They once had lynch mobs in various places.  Some practical law must be in place, at least what I mentioned.  There may be a murder on Mars, for whatever reason.  There may be more than one way of obtaining oxygen, water, etc.  There has to be some voting and democracy.  Pure democracy is impractical with large groups of people. 

Online Zed_Noir

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #33 on: 12/25/2017 06:25 PM »
 ;D
Elon's actual title on Mars will be the "Warlord of Barsoom". Once things get sidetracked by the chaos of direct democracy in action.
 ;D


The Outer Space Treaty stop being applicable for Mars when Barsoom is setup with their own Space Navy of BFWs (Big F*!# Warships).
 ;)

Offline AncientU

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #34 on: 12/25/2017 06:48 PM »
...
I thought this thread was about near future reality, not science fiction.
...

If Dr. Wernher von Braun could discuss the government of a Mars colony a dozen years before human spaceflight became a reality, I think we can safely discuss it today in terms that aren't science fiction. 

In that vein, the Outer Space Treaty is a toothless anomaly that will be brushed aside.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline docmordrid

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #35 on: 12/25/2017 06:59 PM »
I live in Switzerland, which is the one country in the world probably coming closest to a Direct Democracy.
>
We vote on issues up to four times a year (if there are enough brought up), and re-elect the parliment every four years. Only issues which get 100k votes, or bills passed by the parliment which are subsequently opposed by 50k votes are brought up for a vote (tital population is now about 8.5M).
>

Here in Michigan we have a typical republic; a bicameral legislature and strong Governor with elected administrators such as the Attorney General, Secretary of State,  etc., but the wrinkle is that we have the ability to generate legislation and amend our state constitution by petition and direct vote.

If the legislature and governor do something the people find profoundly stupid, or they aren't enacting a law  the people want, all takes is a petition drive and it can be brought up to a vote in the next election. We can also recall elected officials for cause.

This is not a bad compromise.
« Last Edit: 12/25/2017 07:06 PM by docmordrid »
DM

Offline IRobot

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #36 on: 12/25/2017 07:22 PM »
But I like the idea of "entrusting" someone of your choice with your vote, while retaining the option of voting differently if necessary. You could perhaps also entrust one person with your, say, foreign policy vote, and another with your vote on worker rights. Or you could opt out and not vote at all. It would be election by reputation, and the persons representing the most votes could have regular meetings to exchange viewpoints. The actual votes can the be scheduled to occur a couple of times per year so you have time to study the issues and dwcide if you want to vote or just go with what the person you entrusted with your vote thinks.
That is a loophole, if vote is not secret, or worst, can be entrusted, it means the voting will be controlled by patriarchs/matriarchs/boss.

Offline AC in NC

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #37 on: 12/25/2017 07:27 PM »
A few quick points that I'd like to lay out in case they might spark some interesting discussion:

I think we have a built-in bias toward democracy being the answer because in some form or the other that's basically the only systems we've ever known and there are certain narratives that have become truth about alternatives that we might mentally project.  That being said and without having given it too much thought, a couple non-traditional ideas spring to mind that might have a place in the governance model of Mars.

1)  Adopting something (in part) like the governance model of internet standards whereby a group is charged with giving great and careful consideration to the manifold interrelated issues that are too challenging to be articulated into votable issues.

2)  Adopting a preference toward Consensus Based Descision Making rather than traditional voting.  In essence, a policy change is not adopted unless there is a consensus (lots of ways to define that ... but the salient point being not a 50% winner takes all vote) that the issue is ripe and that the change is for the better.

Offline alang

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #38 on: 12/25/2017 10:18 PM »
Engineers should stick to Engineering.
Politics is for those who like people and understand that all surprises cannot be engineered out but should be embraced as inevitable and to some extent be welcomed.

Offline rakaydos

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Re: Elon Musk: Direct Democracy on Mars
« Reply #39 on: 12/25/2017 10:27 PM »
But I like the idea of "entrusting" someone of your choice with your vote, while retaining the option of voting differently if necessary. You could perhaps also entrust one person with your, say, foreign policy vote, and another with your vote on worker rights. Or you could opt out and not vote at all. It would be election by reputation, and the persons representing the most votes could have regular meetings to exchange viewpoints. The actual votes can the be scheduled to occur a couple of times per year so you have time to study the issues and dwcide if you want to vote or just go with what the person you entrusted with your vote thinks.
That is a loophole, if vote is not secret, or worst, can be entrusted, it means the voting will be controlled by patriarchs/matriarchs/boss.
Who says you're entrusting your whole vote to the same person?
If I support Bernie on healthcare and women's rights but the NRA rep on gun control, that's a more nuanced position than "Straight ticket vote" even though it's still representative.