We Don’t Have the Right Politics for Space Travel: We’ll have to change that before settling Mars

To move into Space, we need Capitalism as the driver of our politics

I am by far not an Elon Musk fanboy.  I like a lot about Elon Musk and the great work he does with Tesla and SpaceX.  But I’m not crazy at all about his talk about universal incomes and climate change.  I view a lot of what he says as a guy throwing up ideas, much the way he runs his companies, and if someone can shoot holes in his thoughts, he welcomes that chance.  He sees it as making things better.  I could talk and argue with Elon Musk all day and year, and I would have fun doing it.  And I think he would too.  But I found an extraordinary moment from him recently on Part III of the exclusive Everyday Astronaut interview where Elon walked them around the Starbase facility ahead of a Superheavy launch attempt. I’ll put those interviews up here for you to watch, but I found them remarkable.  Space X is how most companies should be run. It reminded me of the eventual aim of my recent book, The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business, which is to learn not to be afraid of those who intend to impose fear on you.  To learn not to fall in love with rigid rules and to reunite yourself to risk because that’s how the human race advances.  During Part III, Elon paused and referred to just that very concept.  But he knows he can’t say such things.  He has all kinds of people who follow him, liberals, conservatives, people who have no idea what they are.  He currently has to work with the Biden administration if he wants to send ships into space.  He must also work with other countries, like China, because we are all tangled together in unhealthy ways.  So, I get why he couldn’t say what he wanted to say.  But I am under no such restriction. 

I don’t typically think of the “degrowth movement” as an accurate word. Still, the way Mark Levin talked about it in his recent book, American Marxism, seems more appropriate when talking about the sciences than just saying “socialism” or “communism.” Many young people think of these things not as a recent threat but as an ancient menace that expired well before their time.  But they understand growth, and for this topic, it’s certainly the correct way to term what the political left has been doing.  Elon Musk has played around with left-leaning ideas, such as the universal income, electric infrastructure ran by solar, and even smoking pot on a podcast to show how cool and hip he was.  Those are all things that have made me ignore what Elon Musk has been doing.  That is until he does something magnificent like developing the Falcon rockets for reusable landings and building the Starships in Texas.  Slowly over time, I’ve watched Elon as he has tried to do “growth” things in a world run increasingly by “degrowth” personalities; he has been getting frustrated.  For instance, he moved to Texas, leaving California behind after the ridiculous Covid policies shut down the state economically.  And recently, when environmentalists threw protests toward his desire to build a Starship factory at the Starport facility because of water concerns, he sounded more like a Trump supporter than a centralist libertarian. 

Musk is trying to do all pro-growth in a world being drug into a no-growth period by the participants of the Vico Cycle, which I explain in detail in my Gunfighter’s Guide to Business.  These cycles are not new to the human race, they have occurred many times in the past, and we end up constantly re-inventing ourselves.  And that is what Elon Musk sees he is up against, and he let it out a bit during that Part III interview.  That was the primary reason I wrote my book, to help people not repeat the past, but to punch through into this new space age not with restriction and fear, which the communists of the world want, but with unrestricted adventure fueled by the power of capitalism.  When it comes down to the various philosophies, we cannot all have different ideas about the direction of the human race.  We either want to grow or retreat into the huts of history and return to yelling at lightning bolts and attributing gods to their origins to make sense out of a storm.  Or, we want to fly about those mysteries into the worlds beyond and fulfill our quests for adventure, both large and small, on a vast playing field of unlimited possibilities.  The two views of the world will not live together forever.  The inflection point is upon us.

And that’s when Elon Musk realized that everything done at SpaceX would disappear in an instant without him.  It is he alone that is doing all these outstanding achievements.  Sure, he has lots of brilliant employees who do the heavy lifting, but he provides the vision, and without vision, nothing happens.  If human beings are going to be a space-oriented society, then a new type of government will have to be embraced.  The one we have now, which fought hard to keep Donald Trump from being president and wanted to get rid of him when he was, will not allow the efforts of Elon Musk either to carry humans into space.  We have to solve one problem at the philosophical level if we are ever to put 1 million people onto Mars like Elon Musk wants to do.  We have to have a growing economy with an increasing workforce to accommodate it all.  To have hundreds of thousands of people on the moon, Mars, and wherever else in the next couple of decades, Elon can do the math that was in his words during the interview.  The illogical politics of our current moment, driven by communism and Marxism, are just wrong for the adventure of space. 

Going even further, we have never solved these problems even in our science fiction, except perhaps in Star Wars.  People need to be free, adventurous, experimental, and free to fail for space to work.  A micromanaging government will always be in the way of what Elon Musk wants to do.  He can only smoke joints so much, enough to keep the parasites off his heels.  He can only spout off so much greenie weenie appeasement to keep the environmental protestors from standing in the way of a new Starship manufacturing plant in the middle of the desert.  And that is the point of my book, not to crawl back into the Old West and sleep in hot unairconditioned cabins using the restroom outside.  And getting water with a bucket every time you wanted a drink.  Modern conveniences are good to have.  But what we may not want to leave behind is the courage and adventure of discovery and wealth building.  I would say that those are far more essential things than climate preservation or the appeasement of soft-natured Marxists looking for a big daddy government to care for them the way their parents failed.  Once we solve those problems, we can then move to space.  Elon Musk has figured out how millions of people are excited about it and follow his every move.  They don’t know that the politics they wish to ignore are just the very thing that will keep their feet on the ground and their starships from flying.  We must solve the politics before we can solve the space. 

Rich Hoffman

The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business
Click to buy The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business

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