The hypothetical Mars government would have to be very different from the one we have on Earth, but what would be the best system?
Since we have reason, humans have organized ourselves in some way. At times we have given all power to one person, at others we have elected representatives, and at others we have let a supposed divine figure do the work of electing our leader.
Is thanks to these various forms of government we have gotten to where we are, and if that is a good or bad thing, leave it up to the reader. Always remain the alternative of anarchy, but until now we have not had enough examples to judge its suitability in an environment like Martian.
Why the democracy we have is not good for Mars
So that’s the question: when we get to Mars and establish a colony there, what system of government should it have? There are many considerations to take into account, we cannot simply adapt the same system of government that the country that has established the colony has. Nor can the colony always wait for the government on Earth to make a decision., especially considering the distance they are at.
For example, representative democracy may be the dominant one among Western countries, but it probably won’t do much good in a colony, where the limited number of people makes the need to elect a representative only complicates matters.
Also, In a hostile environment like Mars, representative democracy may be too slow a system of government; If you think that all the current bureaucracy is bad, imagine when you have to make decisions like the management of basic resources, such as oxygen.
Are dictatorships then better prepared for life on Mars? We might think that the fact of assigning a single person, or groups of people, the responsibility to make decisions can give better results, especially in situations where concrete and rapid measures are required.
However, totalitarianism has its own range of problems, and many of them are the same as they have on Earth, including the fact that it effectively creates a class system that divide those who have power and those who do not,with injustice roaming at ease. It would not take many years for the coups and chaos to reign, ending the project.
What seems certain is that the first decades of presence on Mars will be governed by a military system, since the first astronauts to reach the red planet will be soldiers, belonging to the various military branches of the participating countries. It stands to reason, therefore, that these first citizens of Mars use the military rank to make decisions.
If there is one person who has thought a lot about this problem, it is Elon Musk. After all, his ultimate goal is to get to Mars with his company SpaceX, and as a good futurologist, he will have to take into account aspects such as the governance of those sites.
Elon Musk’s idea for a government of Mars
At the Code Conference organized yesterday, Musk spoke of how it intends to send people to Mars as early as 2024But more interesting still, he spoke of the future of these colonies.
According to Musk, the ideal system of government for Mars will be a direct democracy; that is, it would not consist of electing political representatives as in representative democracy, but that everyone would vote directly on the issues to be decided.
However, it will not be a pure direct democracy, in the sense that we would not be interested in creating laws every day; That would only add bureaucracy.
So Musk proposes a system in which it is easier to remove existing laws than to create new ones. For example, it takes 60% of the votes to implement a new law, but only 40% to eliminate it. In addition, the new laws would have a trial period, after which they would have to pass a vote again. In this way, possible changes in public opinion are taken into account.
Another advantage is that in this way minorities can unite to remove laws that harm them. All this supposes that colonies would have legislation not unlike Earth at the beginning, until little by little it was adapting to the new planet.
Direct democracy has the advantage that it does not need intermediaries, and that fully represents the will of the people; Musk adds that the potential for corruption is less In this system, and if there is something that the citizen is bothered with at present, it is with political corruption.
However, direct democracy has its negative points, such as the need to constantly ask citizens about all kinds of problems. If we already have trouble going to the polls every four years, would we be willing to go every day?
The technology may have advanced enough to allow direct democracy. Maybe don’t be long to vote for our political representative from our smartphone, and from there to direct democracy there is a step. Musk may be right and that is the best system of government for the future. Or a new one may be born, born of different needs on a different planet. Be that as it may, the future holds many possibilities.