July 24th, 2010 23:25 EST
Who Will Govern Mars, and How?
GOBIERNO EN MARTE
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 preparaciÃ³n) Â¿llegarÃ¡ a determinar
quiÃ©n y cÃ³mo gobernarÃ¡ Marte? Â¿SerÃ¡ Ã©se el caso? Por ejemplo, Â¿sobre quÃ© principios
de gobierno? Â¿Va a ser una democracia (con independencia de lo que pueda
significar), una dictadura de los trajes espaciales, o una prisiÃ³n de hogares-burbuja?
AdemÃ¡s, Â¿se realizarÃ¡ su pago completamente en tÃ©rminos monetarios? Â¿QuiÃ©n pagÃ³
por la RevoluciÃ³n Gloriosa (1688)? Â¿la RevoluciÃ³n Americana (1776)? Â¿la RevoluciÃ³n
francesa (1789)? Â¿la RevoluciÃ³n Rusa (Â¿cuÃ¡l de ellas...?)? Y una serie de momentos
igualmente trascendentales, algunos mucho mÃ¡s antiguos que los aquÃ indicados?
Palabras clave: Gobernanza, democracia, dictadura, Marte, revoluciÃ³n, pÃºblico,
impuestos, coste pÃºblico, gobierno, identidad, infraestructura, tecnologÃa, financiaciÃ³n
pÃºblica, concierto pÃºblico-privado, rebeliÃ³n, pensamiento crÃtico, cafÃ©
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, nÂº 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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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, nÂº 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. http://www.eumed.net/entelequia/pdf/b002.pdf
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)