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Published:July 24th, 2010 23:25 EST
Who Will Govern Mars, and How?

Who Will Govern Mars, and How?

By HB Paksoy





Whomever paid for the Mars trip (and related preparations) will get to determine who

will govern Mars, and how? Or, will that be the case? For example, on what principles

of governance? Is it going to be a democracy (whatever that may have meant), dictatorship

of spacesuits, or inmates of the bubble abodes? Besides, will the payment be

entirely in monetary terms? Who paid for the Glorious Revolution (1688)? American

Revolution (1776)? French Revolution (1789)? Russian Revolution (which one?)? And a

number of similarly momentous ones, some much older that those listed above?


Keywords: Governance, democracy, dictatorship, Mars, revolution, public, taxes, public

cost, governed, identity, infrastructure, technology, public finance, public-private

partnership, rebellion, critical thinking, coffee




Quien quiera que pague por el viaje a Marte (y su preparación) ¿llegará a determinar

quién y cómo gobernará Marte? ¿Será ése el caso? Por ejemplo, ¿sobre qué principios

de gobierno? ¿Va a ser una democracia (con independencia de lo que pueda

significar), una dictadura de los trajes espaciales, o una prisión de hogares-burbuja?

Además, ¿se realizará su pago completamente en términos monetarios? ¿Quién pagó

por la Revolución Gloriosa (1688)? ¿la Revolución Americana (1776)? ¿la Revolución

francesa (1789)? ¿la Revolución Rusa (¿cuál de ellas...?)? Y una serie de momentos

igualmente trascendentales, algunos mucho más antiguos que los aquí indicados?


Palabras clave: Gobernanza, democracia, dictadura, Marte, revolución, público,

impuestos, coste público, gobierno, identidad, infraestructura, tecnología, financiación

pública, concierto público-privado, rebelión, pensamiento crítico, café


JEL: N40, H29



H.B. Paksoy taught at the Ohio State University, Franklin University, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the Central Connecticut State University. Over the past two decades, some sixty of his research papers have appeared in over forty-five periodic journals and scholarly collections on all inhabited continents. Dr. Paksoy also published (as author or editor) over ten books.

Entelequia. Revista Interdisciplinar, nº 9, primavera 2009

HB Paksoy / 99


We are immediately inundated with questions, when we consider Mars as a proposed extension of Earth:


1. What will be the identity of the Mars colonists when third parties arrive; will

they be identified with the political-economic terminology and personality

(U.S.A. or The People`s Republic of China or The Russian Federation, Japan,

India), or Earthly ethnicity (white-black-brown, et al)?

Is the latter condition not already being perpetuated now under the magical

term globalism? " Especially since, only the terminology is new " cosmopolitanism "

has always been around. Secretary of State John Hay, in 1899, espoused

for China, the Open skies doctrine. That was, essentially another restatement

of the same objective, just like the Internationalism wave of the

1950s, and multinationalism of the 60s and 70s. All of which may be said to

hark back to the Roman Empire.


2. What will be the primary objective of the Martian identity on the colonies?

Will the residents be representing the nation states whence they came

(therefore, working for the taxpayers who sent them to Mars), or will they be

looking after the interests of private agencies or corporations?


3. Is it possible to consider Mars without a distinct identity, independent of the

myriad of identities brought to the planet`s surface from earth? If not, is it

possible to create a mosaic identity, or will it be one started with a clean



4. Who will benefit from the natural wealth of Mars? Those who paid for the

cost of reaching Mars, or the entire humanity?

In one way or another, the entire humanity cumulatively participated in creating

the capital that paid for the expenses. Corporations sold goods worldwide

to accumulate their profits, multinational agencies benefited from global

talent et al.


5. Will the Martian "ownership` be modeled after the Antarctic treaties? That is,

Mars (and all other future colonies) be treated as the property of all humanity

and held in trust for the purpose?

Who will enforce the treaties, if that will be the governance method selected

for Mars? With what? Whose police or army, if there are transgressions to

the capitulations of the agreements? United Nations?


Will there be any overseeing agencies to whose authority one may appeal if

the force used is thinly veiled under legal precepts? Such as the International

Court of Justice, The Hague?


6. What

will be the role of private groups, companies on Mars? Will those

private entities operate as owners, or contractors? If as contractors, will

they carry state powers, say like The British East India Company?

7. Especially initially, it will be very expensive per person to be living on the

surface given the geologic and biologic imperatives requiring correction to

human tolerable levels. So, when a Martian colonist commits a crime, will

that person be incarcerated on Mars or will that person be exiled to Earth

where it will be much less costly to complete a jail sentence?


8. Similarly, cost of rearing a new generation from birth will also be costly. Will

this be allowed, or will there be an importation of adults only. Will this be in

the form of the medieval Mamluks? In the case of the former, will this regulation

not be tantamount to issuing birthing and parenthood licenses? In the

case of the latter, perhaps there might be a return to the indentured professional?


9. What will be the relations of Earthlings to the Martian colonies? Not to be

taken lightly. To acquire goods and resources from Mars, some legal document

will have be designed, if Mars (like Antarctica) is being held in trust for

all humanity. By what authority the Martian side will sign the contract? If the

Martian side does not perform the conditions stipulated, which authority will

be tasked to enforce remedy?


10.Who, by the way, will provide the police system, personnel, equipment in

Mars? What type of court system will be needed for local transgressions of

law not involving international treaties?


11.Will the relations between Mars and Earthly polities conducted on the bases

of equal treatment, from state to state? Will both entities be entitled to keep

embassies on each others` soil? Or, will private third parties, such as corporations

be deputized to perform those duties?


12.In case the deputies (selected from private entities) fail to carry-out specified

duties, who will arbitrate? For example, if the East India company "

British, French, Dutch, et al entered into a transaction outside India, directly

with another foreign entity, who enforced or guaranteed the performance?

After all, East India company was not an accredited country, even if the

company possessed armed forces; army, navy and tax collection apparatus

with full administrative cadres, including courts.


13.On earth, "colonization` meant sending a group of individuals to deal with

extant populations in order to extract maximum benefit for the interest of

the mother (sending) country. In the case of Mars, the expected Green Martian

Man did not yet materialize. Therefore, the expectation is dealings only

between the different ethnicities and nationalities who will be sent from the

Earth. That may prove to be much more difficult task than the earth colonization

projects. Simple reason: in the earth projects, the colonizers had, in

many cases, technological advantage. That may not be the case on Mars.


14.The question: we already have plenty of issues on earth, should we not

solve them before we are concerned with mars? " can be posed. There is a

two part response:


A) We are selecting Mars as our stage to discuss earthly matters. The purpose

is to look at the mechanics of those issues without the national, and

personal colorings, to understand how they work.


B) Weather "we` are ready or not, somebody will land on Mars, and "we` will

be confronted with the issues, regardless. The matter appears to have been

settled: Mars is the target planet for colonization. "


15.The best solution is not to have the problem in the first place. That is: if the

intention was to keep the existing borders, relations and develop in cooperation

into the future, related mechanisms must be established ahead of time.
We must, therefore, reach-out to the earthly neighbors in order to become

acquainted what will be greeting us on Mars, whether we like it or not.

Or else, the extant polarities are promising to shift significantly.


16.The suggestion is not to peer into the crystal ball; That would be too easy.

Instead, to prepare for certain alliance shifts.


May I see your Identification? "


It is a friendly enough request by the private security guard. After all, he was

hired for the purpose. These are the facilities of a private company, producing

devices for export to space stations and to Earth. Never mind the fact that most of

the cost of constructing the facility were drawn from public funds, furnished by

taxpayers. I do not have an identification card. But I ask: Were you not informed

of my pending arrival? " The security guard is silent in his self contained environmental



Congratulations! The spaceship launched by the United States and Allies, arrived

on Mars and disgorged the personnel tasked with the duty of colonizing the

planet with earthlings. Mind you, there was an international incident along the

way; the order in which the flags of the Allies were to be displayed on the spaceships

was the issue. And those allies with national symbols also included private

companies, not simply political entities with defined borders.


This is possibly the most momentous occasion since the Vikings landed on Vinland

(who may not have left a flag or banner on the ground). Now, the immediate

issue is not technology, but governance. Why, what about the monumental technological

accomplishment that brought humans to Mars? All that is now Immaterial.

If humans have reached a clean slate, such as Mars, they are bound to bring

their emotional and intellectual baggage with them.


One of the primary items in that inventory pertains principles of governance.

That is an endowment we humans have been handed since primordial times. Such

emotions and practical applications are distilled in the following:


46. I was observing a group of early grade school pupils. In their play-time

they were engaging in creating the rules of their activities. One suggested

that he was the most senior. Another countered that he had been a pupil

longest. A third began taking a threatening posture toward the first two. The

point of contention was to determine who was going to order the rest of the

children about. This formula will persist for the future. " 1


Naturally, every type of governance requires financing, even if the guiding doctrine

of most administrations is to quietly sweep the issue under a distant rock. At

this point, the group that has arrived on Mars is not concerned with finance. Or,

are they? Who financed the research and development of the trip and related vessels

and equipment? We might remind ourselves that with an anecdote:


Nasreddin2 was going to the market. When the neighborhood children discovered

that, all ringed around him. Every last one asked Nasreddin to bring back

something specific. Just before Nasreddin undertook his voyage, one child approached

him, handing a coin. He asked that Nasreddin bring back a whistle.


In due time, Nasreddin returned from the market, with the same group of children

surrounding him, awaiting to receive what they had ordered from Nasreddin.

Nasreddin produced a whistle, blew it, and handed it to the child who asked for

and paid for it. Nasreddin loudly announced: He who pays for the whistle, owns

it. "


Naturally, whomever paid for the Mars trip (and related preparations) will get to

determine who will govern Mars, and how? Or, will that be the case? For example,

on what principles of governance? Is it going to be a democracy (whatever that

may have meant), dictatorship of spacesuits, or inmates of the bubble abodes?


Besides, will the payment be entirely in monetary terms? Who paid for the Glorious

Revolution (1688)? American Revolution (1776)? French Revolution (1789)?

Russian Revolution (which one?)? And a number of similarly momentous ones,

some much older that those listed above?


Governance and public finance are inseparable siblings. It is not possible to

keep the two apart for long. And, as every thinking person knows, public finance

equals taxes. There have, of course, been occasions where a private entity may

have paid for the public. In that case, the end result can hardly be fully public.


There have also been instances where the public monies have been spent, for

public good. Yet, a private entity may have collected the glory. The latest example

of this phenomenon involves football stadiums in public universities. The football

stadium might be named after a private entity as if that private entity has paid for

all relevant costs. In some instances, what the private entity donated equals to approximately

ten percent of the total; the rest being augmented from the public

taxes, but the edifice is know by the name of the private person or organization.

Naturally, there is likely to be a "partnership,` and there are many example across

the United States: The custodians of the public purse are swayed only after a

private entity pledges, at a distant future, to make their contributions. One can

think of the football stadium examples.


So, how can the Mars partnership be structured and governed? One can easily

see public servants of the United States and a collection of allies stepping out of

the spacecraft that brought them to the inhospitable environment. What is their

first action?


Let us step back a moment, and consider the related development of mechanisms.



Governance of some sort is a precondition to collect taxes. There has never

been a polity that could survive without public revenue, " so necessary to pay for

common expenditures for the sustainment of a society.


Taxes have always been in existence, for the convenience of the taxing authority.

The basic justification is that taxes pay for the security of the polity, if not,

provided some is left over, for public works. That, of course, implies that the public

servants charged with the duty of overseeing the governance are carrying out

their duties. Any time there is a misuse in the taxation (the king or the president

needing a new palace, for example), the entire picture becomes skewed, to say

the least.


Thus, Governance is never simply a matter of the "leadership` giving instructions

or handing down decrees. The purpose of Governance is to provide the security

and comforts to the Governed. The Governed would prefer to know what tomorrow

or next decade will bring. The Governed also would fancy ever higher

levels of creature luxuries. These factors broaden the discussion into all relevant

areas of human interest. Without food and other basics, the Governed cannot exist

or maintain life on Earth. Lacking a population to Govern, regardless of the nature,

philosophy or application of the governance system, all is non-existing.


A series of governance systems insist (either via their written doctrines, or by

human supporters with vested interests) that they are the most humane, etc. Yet

the humans must effect the application of any governance system, regardless of

the claims made by anyone. It is possible to apply a coat of paint to a wall, in a

cursory or excellent manner, so it is with the application of governance. The application

and the resultant Governance System may wear hobnailed boots or glass



Technology will continually develop. It always has. It is in the nature of humans

to exert efforts to compete, and, technology is yet another field of competition. Except,

the winner in technology will also be in a position to win in every other endeavor

for which there is a contest. Occupation of lands is perhaps the most favorite.



At times, previously developed technology is lost for reasons we do not necessarily

understand. Yet, what was lost at one time is recovered or re-invented later.


Many a time, it is assumed that technology changes governance. This is not so.

Technology always provides tools toward any number of objectives. It is the human

brain that creates not only technology but also the uses.


Principles of governance


The principles of governance may be represented as follows:


1. Cooperation among the population for mutual governance versus one person


2. Permanent

Rule by a self defined (and accomplished) group, versus governance

by a randomly rotating leadership, with or without elections;

3. Hereditary Rule by a dynastic line or lines versus externally appointed ruler-

ship of any stripe;


Any and all of these basic identities will exhibit variants. These variations are

not progressive or chronological. That is to say, one perceived evolution will not

lead to another, set of steps. Instead, the entire process is dynamic, moving back

and forth with the ebb and flow of the human nature dominating the polity involved.


Governance and Rebellion to the same is natural. Elders will instinctively look

after the younger generation, for the survival of the species. It is only the sharing

of scarce resources that will bring out the best and the worst in the governing

strata and those who they govern. This bifurcation deepens if the governing strata

happens to own the resources or has acquired control of them in any fashion.

Again, the designation or label of the governance system is immaterial at this

juncture. It is not the words that determine the character of the process, but the



The actions first require thinking. Not a random thought, but an ordered variety.


Allow me to suggest an approach:


One of the ordered varieties is Critical Thinking (and allied outcomes). This

mode requires collecting all available data and audit each data set against all others.


Instead of attempting to start with a definition of Critical Thinking could we have

some applied cases, and reverse engineer the working definition? Or, perhaps, by

the time we find the applications, there will no longer be a need for a frozen, static

and hampering set of words. After all, Critical Thinking requires a great deal of

flexibility under constantly changing conditions and sets of information available to

anyone on the scene.


Since each involved person is bringing a different disciplinary specialty to this

gathering, the examples are likely to reflect different approaches to solving the

problem of "how do we successfully teach/arrive at, critical thinking in order to

educate participants to obtain maximum rational results with minimum error? "


Momentarily, we can take a panoramic look at what we need to accomplish.


We must live in a society. And this society is increasingly multinational, practically

multi-everything. So the issue, I would suggest, is one of governance:


What type of world are we going to live in?


Are we going to allow somebody else, who we did not elect, to dictate us the

terms of life, make choices for us? Mind you the claims of taking charge because

there is a critical emergency " requires an investigation of the said critical emergency

to determine the causes thereof.


Or, are we going to make those choices for ourselves, with the help of communal



What allows us the balance between the extremes?


Those choices will also determine where we live, how we live, what we can and

cannot do.


One of the difficulties of stressing the importance of these questions is that, the

data, or even the issues, are not always "visible` to everyone.


Example: During the early part of the 20th century, every citizen living in Chicago

area was taxed involuntarily; even unknowingly. And the beneficiary organizations

did not use that tax revenue for the public benefit. How? Simple:


A series of extra-legal organizations started charging "protection money` from

the basic necessity providers to the population. The green grocer had to pay twoor-

three pennies a head of lettuce; butcher was assessed another per-item

amount, and so on. Those who declined to pay the said tax, saw their businesses

utterly, physically destroyed. Of course, those "cost of doing business` items were

passed on to the consumer by the green grocer and the butcher. The collected

amounts ended in the pockets of the collecting organization`s boss. And those

amounts were not spent for the good of the people who paid them.


Is this method of secret taxation still continuing? And, not only in Chicago, and

not only confined to foodstufs?


How do we know this and what do we do with the information? The requisite research

skills must necessarily accompany the Critical Thinking methodology.


This type of examples can be expanded. But we must not lose sight of the task

at hand.


Perhaps a methodology course may be employed to teach Critical Thinking.

That may form the bases of following a methodology of thought processes. After

all, rationality versus emotional thinking need to be separated. Wishes cannot become

reality on the bases of wishing alone. Reiterations help. Or, is any of the

above need to be abandoned, for a full surrender?


But, how do the people on the street " can be educated in this manner? By

sending everyone back to school? Design and make available on-line courses? Do

everyone have access to online mode of communication?


At the moment, most Students I can recall over the years (I personally grappled

with this very issue in several universities over the past three decades; both public

and private) do not fully understand the meaning of "critical` in the first instance.

Would "Rational Thinking` help obtain more effective results? Especially when a

Student earnestly responded to the question with the statement:


I think I will get a cup of coffee; that is critical thinking; I critically need coffee. "


This is at a time when a good portion of people on the street " are living in virtual

fantasy worlds. They buy imaginary islands, earn make-believe fortunes, live

the life of a galactically wealthy person in the universe. Then, something funny

happens. The virtual and actual start clashing. The monthly bills still need to be

paid in hard currency, as opposed to the currency accumulated in the fantasy



A society needs, inter alia, goals in order to survive.3 Those goals can be

provided in the form of virtual fantasies, before the so influenced individuals start

taking their cues from those fantasies to provide the reality. Therefore, we need

not prevent fantasies. Do we endeavor to direct the fantasies? " Surely not. Would

that not be thought control?


Governance on Mars, as long as the colonizers are from Earth, will evolve according

to what Earthlings have done since the dawn of history. Colonies have

been formed on Earth, much like those to be formed on Mars and beyond. The experience

has been quite expensive and painful. Each and every possible type of

governance mode has been devised, applied and discarded at one time. Adding

new technology into the mix, for example, in the course of reviving fascism, does

not constitute a new mode of governance; only makes the suffering of the masses



Over time, even the discarded ones (for example, dictatorship of one person or

committee) have been resuscitated by eager minorities wishing to jump their

places in History, until re-buried by the painful efforts of the masses, at horrendous



Have not those masses themselves were misdirected at one time? As, for example,

in the French Revolution? Quite likely. But all that was out in the open, in

full gaze. And that helps to draw the lessons for humanity not to repeat the errors.



Entelequia. Revista Interdisciplinar, nº 9, primavera 2009 HB Paksoy / 107


It should include author/s name/s and the text Article originally published in Entelequia. Revista Interdisciplinar.




1. H.B. Paksoy, IDENTITIES: How Governed, Who Pays? (Malaga: Entelequia, 2006) Ed.

Chapter 13: Observations.


2 H.B. Paksoy, Elements of Humor in Central Asia: The Example of the Journal Molla Nasreddin in Azerbaijan " Essays on Central Asia (Lawrence: Carrie, 1999); see also, H.B. Paksoy, Ed. Introduction " The Bald Boy Keloglan and the Most Beautiful Girl in the World. (Lubbock: ATON, 2003). All are available on the web.


3 HB Paksoy, Toplum Olarak Varilmak Istenen Sonuc Nedir? " Dusuncelerin Kokenleri (Florence: European University Institute/Carrie, 2006)