I have been a proponent of space travel. Like Elon Musk, I am a a firm believer that we as the human race should expand to the stars. We are developing the technology. It won’t be long before we have the means to legitimately start developing intrastellar colonies.
I have believed this and still do for the same reason that I believe the United States is unique among the nations on Earth. It affords us the bold opportunity to experiment with new means and systems of government and production. Space is the chance to expand our freedoms and liberty as we see these same things shrinking here among all the nations of the Earth.
As it turns out though Mr. Musk and his proposed Mars colony will not be the first nation formed off planet. This brings us to the Asgardia project. I was reading some futurism news the other day and came across this very interesting proposal. The people running this project have proposed a new nation in low Earth orbit, eventually to expand to a space station or a series of space stations. As of right now, they are gathering donations for their first satellite which will carry essential data of its citizens.
This deeply intrigued me so I began investigating their official site. I soon discovered that they are currently in the process of trying to ratify a constitution. I took the time to read through this proposal and immediately became quite disappointed. You see it becomes immediately apparent that the constitution as proposed is based entirely in Progressive theory.
To their credit they do have proposals for a fairly sound government structure. But they seem entirely unconcerned with the practical matters of running a nation. Instead it is filled with proposals scoring ideological brownie points with left wing activists. There also seems to be no built in mechanism for amendment. This is also problematic.
Furthermore there are very practical issues of citizenship and taxation. You can apply and identify as a citizen of Asgardia. You will however remain taxed as a citizen of whatever earthly nation you currently reside in. The Asgardia constitution also gives it’s legislature taxation power over its citizens though. How will they extract this taxation? And who on Earth, literally, wants to pay taxes of any kind for being citizens of two distinct nations? One of which doesn’t even formally exist as anything other than a website and it’s members.
They claim to have or at least be developing their own “crypto-currency”, the solar. Will they then have a central bank? How will state employees be paid? Will they also have to establish their own stock exchange?
That’s even with out addressing the issues of citienship. How will you track your own people? Through the website? Are you hosting meet ups? They say they will be issuing “passports” to their citizens once they have the means, but what does that even mean? They have no physical place to travel to and unless they become recognized, a long shot, then legally speaking they are still just citizens of wherever they already are.
To be fair to the project, these are all the sorts of things that they can work out once they have a founding document. I do also wish them the very best. I want them to succeed because I want other projects like this to be able to succeed in the future. I even actually believe that these sorts of digital-to-real free association formed nations could well be the future of the human nation state, especially as we see the rise in “sorting” efficiency along side technological advances.
For this project though I can not in good conscience sign on. They have too much chosen to focus on the good-feels nature of their project and not enough on how to practically protect those progressive values both legally and if they can implement, then physically. So best of luck to the Social Justice Warriors of space, just please remember to acquire some real warriors sooner or later. You’re going to need them and so much more.