New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and MarsNews.com

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Announcement: We've recently made changes to our user database and have removed inactive and spam users. If you can not login, please re-register.

#101 2017-03-16 21:10:11

Scott Beach
Member
Registered: 2017-02-21
Posts: 132

Re: Mapping a way forward

RobertDyck wrote:

You proposed allowing a colony to set itself up as a county to start with, and then create subdivisions for cities.

I am proposing that a "Mars Settlement Permit" allow the permit holders to establish a settlement (144 square miles).  Some or all of the settlers might establish contiguous dwellings or some of the settlers might live in dwellings that are a few miles away from any such groupings but are still inside of the settlement's boundary (a rectangle 12 miles wide by 12 miles long).  If a grouping becomes large enough to support the establishment of municipal services then the people of the settlement might enact a law that allows the establishment of municipal corporations (including cities). 

I have used the term "colony" to refer to what the Hutterites do because the Hutterites use the word colony.  And I have said before that a settlement that contains Hutterite colonies would probably not organize a city in their settlement because they do not live that way.  The average Hutterite colony contains just 60 to 160 people.

A city might adopt a law (a city ordinance) that allows the filing of maps that show the boundaries of groups of parcels of land.  These kinds of maps are often referred to as "subdivision maps".  Maybe you use these terms with different meanings in Canada so we are talking past one another.  We will have to be careful to define our terms.

And I wish that you would refer to your proposal as something other than "corporate government" because in the US we understand the fusion of government and corporate power to mean fascism, and I do not think that you intend to be advocating fascism, do you?


"It is possible to build a rational and humane culture completely free from the threat of supernatural restraints."  Arthur C. Clarke, The Songs of Distant Earth

Offline

#102 2017-03-16 21:27:53

Scott Beach
Member
Registered: 2017-02-21
Posts: 132

Re: Mapping a way forward

SpaceNut wrote:

Even a small city needs to get to a certain areage density of population before they even need such services and below that the community manages these as voluteer....

In the little town where I was born (1,200 people) we had an all volunteer fire department until about 1960.

A creek ran through the center of town.  Some people had two-story houses and the second-story indoor bathrooms were cantilevered out over the creek so that feces and urine could drop straight down into the creek.

When executing criminals, they did not bother to build a scaffold with a trap door.  There was a hanging tree right in the middle of town and the stump of that tree may still be seen in the basement of a saloon on Main Street.


"It is possible to build a rational and humane culture completely free from the threat of supernatural restraints."  Arthur C. Clarke, The Songs of Distant Earth

Offline

#103 2017-03-16 22:51:50

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,813
Website

Re: Mapping a way forward

Scott Beach wrote:

Is an "independent homestead" a husband and wife and two children living in pressurized structures 20 miles from the nearest settlement/village/town/city?  Do they have title to the land that they are living on?  Is the land title recorded somewhere?  Do they have a mortgage?  Are they registered to vote somewhere?  Do they have police protection?  Fire protection?  Electrical service?  Telephone service?  Water service?  Sewer connections?  I do not understand what the legal foundation is for an "independent homestead".  Please clarify that.

My farm was originally part of a congressional land grant to a railroad company.  My great grandfather bought the land from the railroad company.  There was a parcel of land just to the north of my farm that was acquired under the Homestead Act.  Are you proposing the enactment of a "Martian Homestead Act"?

Yes, they would have title of the land. Yes, the land title would be recorded by the Mars national government. Yes, they can vote in national elections. Yes, national police would have jurisdiction to protect them.

No, a homestead in the "outback" would have to provide their own fire protection. No, they would have to produce their own electricity. I envision Mars having a high-end internet service, with VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). Streaming video and video-on-demand rather than cable TV or satellite TV. Water: again no, a homestead will have to provide its own. Sewer: again no, part of water recycling.

Under my proposal, an "independent homestead" has extreme autonomy. Only national laws apply, and those are minimal.

Offline

#104 2017-03-17 00:20:38

Scott Beach
Member
Registered: 2017-02-21
Posts: 132

Re: Mapping a way forward

RobertDyck wrote:

Yes, the land title would be recorded by the Mars national government.

I had considered advocating the amendment of the Outer Space Treaty and asking the U.N. General Assembly to ratify a Constitution of Mars that would provide for a Government of Mars that could enact land ownership laws.  However, I do not see that as practical now because the O.S.T. is so intimately connected with the non-armament principle and most of the participants in this forum are strongly in favor of a Martian government acquiring all manner of military weapons, including nuclear bombs. 

The U.N. is just not going to accept a nuclear weapons race in outer space. That is why I proposed the alternative of having a terrestrial sovereign that is not a party to the O.S.T. claim a small portion of Mars and then authorize the issuance of Mars Settlement Permits.  That would be very easy to administer because all land title records would be maintained by the settlement's government.  But asking the terrestrial sovereign to maintain land title records for thousands of family homesteads would probably doom the proposal unless the homesteaders were willing to pay the full cost of maintaining the Earth-based land title office.

As a practical matter, I do not think that the technology exists yet to make independent homesteads possible.  And even if the technology did exist the expense of purchasing and maintaining that technology would be far beyond the earning capacity of a Martian settler. 

When I was operating my farm I spent almost a quarter of my time repairing and maintaining my 4x4, bulldozer, chain saws, log splitter, electric generator, winch, welding, and other equipment.  I often had to do that kind of work during snow storms, when my hands were so cold that I could not feel what I was doing.  I cannot imagine having to do that kind of work while wearing a pressurized suit and oxygen supply.  I regularly broke the rule that you do not operate heavy equipment while you are alone.  On the day that my dozer went down the hill end-over-end, I was extremely lucky that I was not killed.

Please do not underestimate the difficulty of homesteading land, whether that land is on Earth or on Mars.


"It is possible to build a rational and humane culture completely free from the threat of supernatural restraints."  Arthur C. Clarke, The Songs of Distant Earth

Offline

#105 2017-03-17 02:07:08

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,813
Website

Re: Mapping a way forward

I do not underestimate. But a lot of people want to do it. They want complete independence. A major market will be life support equipment for homesteads. Expect the capital city will not only manufacture equipment to maintain the colonial transport, but also manufacture life support equipment for homesteads. There is more than one way to provide life support, and I've argued that at least the first Mars base would use them all. One backs up the others. With mix-and-match components. But a homestead could use a grey water sewage processing system, or a composting toilet. Either converts sewage into fertilizer. A composting toilet breaks down urine and feces, evaporating moisture. On Mars, that evaporated moisture could be condensed via dehumidifier to form water for plants in a greenhouse. Water transpired through leaves of plants would condense on cold windows and walls to drip into collection troughs. That water is potable (drinkable). And NASA experiments have shown any greenhouse large enough to produce food will produce about 3 times as much oxygen as humans need. So a homestead will likely require continuous collection of CO2 from Mars atmosphere. And that's for a subsistence homestead, producing just enough food for those who live there. If the farm produces surplus for sale to settlements, it will produce even more oxygen. So life support could be simpler than you think. The greatest input could be fertilizer. I've described equipment to produce nitrogen fertilizer from Mars atmosphere, but potash may be critical. This is one of the many reasons I advocate building on the dried up ocean basin.

A homestead would still require a chemical/mechanical life support system. I'm saying that would be based on the system on ISS right now. But add a direct CO2 electrolysis device to make it more efficient, more tightly closed recycling. And that adds more backups. The water electrolysis device could be used to generate oxygen from water, which could be harvested as ice from the ground. And the CO2 electrolysis device could generate oxygen from CO2 harvested from Mars atmosphere. That's what I mean by mix-and-match components. But as long as the greenhouses operate, this chemical/mechanical system would be idle. So no wear. Even the regenerable CO2 sorbent used to scrub CO2 from cabin air would not be used as long as plants in the greenhouse do that job.

Toilets are an interesting design issue. I have argued that Mars has no trees, so therefor no toilet paper. A Japanese invention called a Washlet is a flush toilet with a built-in bidet. You wash your behind with water; some have a point-of-use water heater so it's warm water, not cold. And some have an air dryer like a hand dryer in a public washroom. So no toilet paper, and no towels. A grey water sewage processing system sized for one farmhouse would not be able to fish-out toilet paper, so you would need a washlet. A composting toilet is a lot simpler, and a lot smaller than a grey water sewage processing system. However, it normally uses toilet paper. A compositing toilet doesn't use water, doesn't "flush". There's a vent to remove evaporated moisture, and a tray to remove compost. When the compost is ready to be removed, it can be used as fertilizer in a garden. As I explained, the vent would have to be carefully sealed, connected to a dehumidifier, and that water used to water plants in the greenhouse. So this raises the conflict: a composting toilet is simpler, fewer things to go wrong, smaller and less expensive than a grey water system. However, composting toilet designs currently in use require toilet paper. Mars has no trees, so what do you do about toilet paper?

I found this web page with video: Composting Toilet FAQ and Debunking Myths

Last edited by RobertDyck (2017-03-17 22:29:56)

Offline

#106 2017-03-17 08:30:57

JohnX
Member
From: Thunder Bay
Registered: 2017-03-10
Posts: 76
Website

Re: Mapping a way forward

Scott Beach wrote:

I think that it would be fine if your church sponsored the formation of a Mars Society Chapter and obtained a settlement permit.  However, if a settlement tries to force people into believing in particular supernatural beings and engaging in particular religious practices then that would be wrong.

Forcing people into a belief or practice? I think some tried that way back, but I don't think people can be forced into real belief. I'm truly sorry if you've encountered such attempts. The best way, if you have something you are convinced is good and right, and that other people could benefit from, is to try to persuade people, and to live a life that commends your belief. Perhaps like those Hutterites.

That's relevant for settling Mars, I hope. Nobody can improve other peoples' behaviour much by passing laws and having police & judiciary - that's just to restrain criminality. Best way is to show that 'our way' works, and to explain why.


-- Because it's there! --

Offline

#107 2017-03-17 09:44:29

Scott Beach
Member
Registered: 2017-02-21
Posts: 132

Re: Mapping a way forward

RobertDyck wrote:

Mars has no trees, so what do you do about toilet paper?

Hemp and cotton fibers can be used to make paper.  Bank notes usually have a substantial portion of cotton in them.

During a lecture in an anthropology class a professor told us about people who belonged to an African tribe.  Their diet consisted of a mixture of cow's blood and cow's milk.  Those people never produced feces.  They had normal lifespans and good health.


"It is possible to build a rational and humane culture completely free from the threat of supernatural restraints."  Arthur C. Clarke, The Songs of Distant Earth

Offline

#108 2017-03-17 10:49:39

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Mapping a way forward

RobertDyck wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Why not go with something that works rather than something that fails?

I saw a debate by some Canadian politicians. One individual claimed every time the United States has attempted to export its system to other countries, it has failed. Canada has successfully exported its system to many countries, they succeeded. Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration.

The United States has a number of firewalls than can be used to resist a dictator taking over, but it requires vigilance on the part of the people and the Representatives they elect. Maybe the people of Latin America are content to be led around like sheep. Another problem is they are poor and susceptible to demagogues that promise to redistribute from the rich to the poor, and also eliminate a number or rivals to their power by eliminating the rich and cementing themselves into power. Poor people when motivated by jealousy of the upper classes often support dictators like Maximillian Robespierre and Napoleon.

IanM wrote:

The Latin American countries upon independence from Spain were heavily influenced by the US and copied that system.

But Canada came up with a modification of the British parliamentary system. That system was adopted by all remaining colonies of the British empire, allowing them to become independent countries. So pretty much the entire British Commonwealth copied Canada's system. It works very well.

However, if you read the long posts earlier in this discussion thread, we tried to take the best of both American and Canadian systems, and scrap the bad parts.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

So you want a secretary running a whole planet?
...
You want to model the Mars government after the ineffective UN with its ineffective Secretary-General, wo unlike the secretary in the picture, can't even take dictation or fetch some coffee.

Don't be an ass. Or do you not know how America works? The American federal government has "secretaries" where British Commonwealth countries have ministers. Canada has a foreign minister, the American equivalent is "secretary of state". Canada has a finance minister, America has a "secretary of the treasury". "Attorney General" is the only American cabinet position not called "secretary".

Offline

#109 2017-03-17 18:17:00

IanM
Moderator
From: Chicago
Registered: 2015-12-14
Posts: 276

Re: Mapping a way forward

Let's assume the Terran Corporation subsidizes the Martian National Government for the first few decades, prior to self-sufficiency, and that such a subsidy would include all employees. I guess a certain "salary" for the following officials, in USD/Earth year, would be in order (the actual salaries would probably be decided by the Legislature from the money, but this is an estimate at large).

President of Mars: $125k/year plus perks such as an Executive Mansion in the Capital City with maintenance worth $25k/year
Other Cabinet Members: $90k/year for 5 cabinet members excluding the President* = $450k/year total
Legislature: $80k/year for 15 legislators = $1.2M/year total
Federal Tribunal (sole national court): $80k/year for 3 justices = $240k/year total
Minor government worker: $60k/year for 100 workers = $6M/year total
*The only Cabinet positions I see needing to be filled would be a Surveyor General, Secretary of Defense and the Interior, Postmaster General, Treasurer, and Attorney General

Using these numbers, which admittedly are rather ex culo and likely not the most realistic, gives a total cost of $8,040,000 a year for 124 employees. While this seems expensive, the US House of Representatives alone has 435 members and it apparently costs American taxpayers $1.4 billion alone to maintain the Presidential Household.


The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. -Paraphrased from Tsiolkovsky

Offline

#110 2017-03-17 18:18:39

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 5,119

Re: Mapping a way forward

The OS Treaty doesn't preclude a land licensing system designed to ensure safe settlement. Call it licensing but it will be efffective title. In terms of the OST best let sleeping dogs lie.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#111 2017-03-17 20:06:34

Scott Beach
Member
Registered: 2017-02-21
Posts: 132

Re: Mapping a way forward

Recording of Mars Homestead Claims

If a Mars Society chapter obtained a “Mars Settlement Permit” from the Mars Secretariat the chapter might then organize an expedition to place an “Initial Point” monument somewhere within the portion of Mars that has been claimed by the sovereign government that authorized the issuance of the Mars Settlement Permit.  Alternatively, the chapter might publish a notice that it has, by resolution, fixed the location of its settlement’s Initial Point at a particular latitude and longitude.  (Latitude and longitude coordinates for Mars may be obtained from the “Mars” section of the “Google Earth” map system.)

Below is an illustration which shows how to construct a small platform designed to protect an Initial Point monument from being inadvertently damaged.

markers.jpg

If the sovereign allows individuals to establish “homesteads” in the portion of Mars claimed by the sovereign then the sovereign might also authorize the holders of any Mars Settlement Permit to establish and maintain a “Mars Homesteads Registry”. 

A “Homestead Claim” might consist of an individual’s claim to be the owner of an area that is up to one-half mile across (from east to west) and one-half mile long (from north to south) and that is outside of any settlement but is inside of the portion of Mars claimed by the sovereign.  A settlement that maintains a Mars Homesteads Registry may fix the fees for filing and maintaining homestead claims.  The rules of a settlement’s Mars Homesteads Registry might provide that a Homestead Claim shall expire if the annual maintenance fee is not paid for three consecutive years.  (Please note that Mars Society, Inc. has to file an annual report with the Colorado Secretary of State and the failure to file an annual report could result in the dissolution of the Society.)


"It is possible to build a rational and humane culture completely free from the threat of supernatural restraints."  Arthur C. Clarke, The Songs of Distant Earth

Offline

#112 2017-03-17 21:28:02

Scott Beach
Member
Registered: 2017-02-21
Posts: 132

Re: Mapping a way forward

JohnX wrote:

The  “Mars Society Chapters” would be on Earth, right? They are like small colonies in formation?

Yes, the chapter would be on Earth.  After obtaining a Mars Settlement Permit, a chapter might adopt a resolution that fixes the location of the "Initial Point" of the settlement's survey system.  At some later time, the Initial Point could be marked with a bronze survey monument.  The monument might read, "Kepler Settlement, Initial Point".

See a model bronze survey marker at http://www.berntsen.com/Surveying/Concr … wAod65sAIQ

I suppose that a terrestrial Mars Society Chapter could eventually relocate itself to Mars but I do not expect such relocations to happen in the next 10 years.


"It is possible to build a rational and humane culture completely free from the threat of supernatural restraints."  Arthur C. Clarke, The Songs of Distant Earth

Offline

#113 2017-03-17 22:09:29

Scott Beach
Member
Registered: 2017-02-21
Posts: 132

Re: Mapping a way forward

IanM wrote:

Let's assume the Terran Corporation subsidizes the Martian National Government for the first few decades...

Ian: your proposal that a “Terran Corporation subsidizes the Martian National Government for the first few decades” inspired me to propose a much less expensive system for the colonization of Mars.  That system has the following components.

First, a sovereign or a group of sovereigns claim territorial sovereignty over Mars or a defined portion of Mars. 

Second, the sovereign(s) establish a Mars Secretariat and appoint a Director of the Mars Secretariat.

Third, they authorize the Director to issue Mars Settlement Permits to Mars Society chapters and to such other organizations as the Director may determine.

Each settlement permit allows the holders thereof to establish a settlement on Mars in accordance with the conditions stated in the permit.  The permit holders fix the location of the “Initial Point” of their settlement survey system by resolution or by placing an initial point monument on Mars.  The settlement may adopt laws that govern the settlement’s territory (144 square miles; the equivalent of 4 townships). 

Fourth, the permit authorizes the settlement to establish and maintain a “Mars Homesteads Registry” and to register the homestead claims of persons who claim ownership of lands outside of the settlement’s boundaries.  See “Recording of Mars Homestead Claims”, above.

Fifth, several chapters join together to establish a prototype Martian settlement.  The prototype will be a training center for people who are planning to emigrate to Mars.  These people will learn how to operate and repair all of the critical infrastructure that will be needed to keep Martian settlers happy and healthy.


"It is possible to build a rational and humane culture completely free from the threat of supernatural restraints."  Arthur C. Clarke, The Songs of Distant Earth

Offline

#114 2017-03-17 23:28:38

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Mapping a way forward

There is another angle to the Space Treaty. The Planet Mars is not a signatory, if the United States wanted to be clever, it could set up a colony on Mars, make it an independent country, and then join that country, changing its name to "The United States of Mars" This new country would then have some extraplanetary territory on the planet Earth. Since "The United States of Mars" is not a signatory of the Outer Space Treaty, no laws are broken!

Last edited by Tom Kalbfus (2017-03-17 23:29:00)

Offline

#115 2017-03-18 01:17:41

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,813
Website

Re: Mapping a way forward

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

There is another angle to the Space Treaty. The Planet Mars is not a signatory, if the United States wanted to be clever, it could set up a colony on Mars, make it an independent country, and then join that country, changing its name to "The United States of Mars" This new country would then have some extraplanetary territory on the planet Earth. Since "The United States of Mars" is not a signatory of the Outer Space Treaty, no laws are broken!

You come up with some of the most bizarre ideas, Tom. If the United States really wanted Mars, it could just withdraw from the Outer Space Treaty. No need to reform itself. Considering the contempt Trump has for actions of past presidents, he would have no trouble doing so. If he doesn't get himself impeached first. If the United States does break up. Can you say "#Calexit"?

Getting serious, a Terran corporation could declare sovereignty over Mars. We already debated a few ideas of how that would be structured. The corporation would have to be registered with a country that didn't sign the Outer Space Treaty. We don't need Andorra or Malta to establish a land title office for Mars, or even try to declare sovereignty over Mars. The corporation could set up an independent government of Mars. The corporation would just have to pay taxes to the flag of convenience: Andorra or Malta. I'm sure they would appreciate tax from a multi-billion dollar corporation.

Offline

#116 2017-03-18 02:03:19

Scott Beach
Member
Registered: 2017-02-21
Posts: 132

Re: Mapping a way forward

RobertDyck wrote:

We don't need Andorra or Malta to establish a land title office for Mars, or even try to declare sovereignty over Mars. The corporation could set up an independent government of Mars. The corporation would just have to pay taxes to the flag of convenience: Andorra or Malta.

Robert: The State Bar of California is defined by California law as a “public corporation” and that law vests specific powers in the corporation.  The California Legislature enacted that law as a means of implementing a provision of the California Constitution.

The State of Florida formed a nonprofit corporation named Scripps Florida Funding Corporation.  The directors of that corporation are appointed by Florida state officials, including the Florida Governor and members of the Florida Legislature.

The Regents of the University of California is a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation.  The Regents is also a public corporation in the sense that it can enact regulations and hire police who have the authority to use deadly force.

Comunidad de los Horcones (the behaviorally engineered community in Mexico) is a cooperative corporation.  It was organized under the laws of the State of Sonora, Republic of Mexico.  A cooperative corporation is a cross between a nonprofit, democratically controlled membership corporation and a business corporation.

What kind of corporation will your Martian development corporation be: public or nonprofit or public/nonprofit hybrid or cooperative or business?


"It is possible to build a rational and humane culture completely free from the threat of supernatural restraints."  Arthur C. Clarke, The Songs of Distant Earth

Offline

#117 2017-03-18 06:33:11

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Mapping a way forward

RobertDyck wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote:

There is another angle to the Space Treaty. The Planet Mars is not a signatory, if the United States wanted to be clever, it could set up a colony on Mars, make it an independent country, and then join that country, changing its name to "The United States of Mars" This new country would then have some extraplanetary territory on the planet Earth. Since "The United States of Mars" is not a signatory of the Outer Space Treaty, no laws are broken!

You come up with some of the most bizarre ideas, Tom. If the United States really wanted Mars, it could just withdraw from the Outer Space Treaty. No need to reform itself. Considering the contempt Trump has for actions of past presidents, he would have no trouble doing so. If he doesn't get himself impeached first. If the United States does break up. Can you say "#Calexit"?

Getting serious, a Terran corporation could declare sovereignty over Mars. We already debated a few ideas of how that would be structured. The corporation would have to be registered with a country that didn't sign the Outer Space Treaty. We don't need Andorra or Malta to establish a land title office for Mars, or even try to declare sovereignty over Mars. The corporation could set up an independent government of Mars. The corporation would just have to pay taxes to the flag of convenience: Andorra or Malta. I'm sure they would appreciate tax from a multi-billion dollar corporation.

that would undermine competition if only one Corporation declared sovereignty over Mars, why should it be this corporation and not some other corporation? I one-time owned an S-Corporation, why shouldn't it be my corporation that owns Mars, who is to decide this, and whoever does, isn't that crony capitalism? Capitalism works best where there is competition, and rules under which capitalism competes, if a corporation decides the rules, that is like the referee playing the game, and it is a conflict of interest.

Offline

#118 2017-03-18 09:44:17

Scott Beach
Member
Registered: 2017-02-21
Posts: 132

Re: Mapping a way forward

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

why should it be this corporation and not some other corporation?

A better question is: Will the corporation’s directors be democratically elected by Martian settlers or will the directors be appointed by oligarchs? 

Will the corporation be a cooperative corporation (one member, one vote) or a plutocratic corporation (the directors elect themselves to power year after year and become fabulously wealthy by exploiting Martian settlers)?


"It is possible to build a rational and humane culture completely free from the threat of supernatural restraints."  Arthur C. Clarke, The Songs of Distant Earth

Offline

#119 2017-03-18 11:21:09

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,813
Website

Re: Mapping a way forward

Scott Beach wrote:

What kind of corporation will your Martian development corporation be: public or nonprofit or public/nonprofit hybrid or cooperative or business?

What I suggested is the corporation is a commercial, for-profit corporation; a business. There have been several for-profit business corporations that have been granted exceptional powers. I do not believe a corporation within Canada or the US should be grant authority to have a private police force of any sort, certainly not authority to use lethal force. Yet, you describe the police hired by the University of California have exactly that. The CN Railroad in Canada are a corporate police force with lethal weapons. In the past are examples much more applicable. The Hudson's Bay Company was granted sovereignty over a vast chunk of the interior of North America. That corporation not only had authority to hire police and use lethal force, they grated territory. They harvested furs, sold them in Europe for coats, hats, etc. Europe had an extreme obsession with hats. Absolutely everyone in Europe had to have a hat made of felt from beaver fur. The land granted to The Hudson's Bay Company was called Rupert's Land, it was the drainage basin of Hudson's Bay. The commercial business corporation called The Hudson's Bay Company built forts, which were bases
220px-Ruperts_land.svg.png

Some employees of the corporation trapped furs direct, they also traded with natives, and a very small number of homesteaders built farms. Other individuals chose to live a semi-nomadic life, trapping animals for fur and selling them to company. The forts they built were trading posts. Individuals could sell furs to the company, and buy supplies like flour, other dried foods, tools, weapons, ammunition, etc. Each fort was different, some had a palisade of logs surrounding the fort, others had stone and mortar walls. Each had a garrison of soldiers hired by the corporation. The primary job of the soldiers was to protect the fort from anyone who would raid/sack the fort. The garrison would act as what police force they had, and the governor had authority to adjudicate criminal cases. Remember this was a time when kings ruled Europe, so a local governor who had both administration and judicial authority was consistent with their government.

I hadn't consciously chosen to model it on that company. I had intended it to be a "company town". There are many modern examples of company towns. In my proposal, the capital city on Mars would be a company town, but everything else would be independent settlements/towns.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

that would undermine competition if only one Corporation declared sovereignty over Mars

I suggest the government of Mars be a separate entity from the commercial corporation, but established by it, reporting to its board of directors, and subsidized by the corporation. The reason is the corporation invested billions of dollars to establish a colony on Mars. This is an incentive for a corporation to do so. Only the corporation that invests those $billions would have the right. If any other corporation complains, then just point out they had the opportunity to colonize Mars, but chose not to do so. tongue

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

is a conflict of interest.

Like Donald Trump and Mar-a-Lago? Don't respond about that here, do so in the politics thread.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2017-03-18 22:00:06)

Offline

#120 2017-03-18 12:28:32

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Mapping a way forward

Scott Beach wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote:

why should it be this corporation and not some other corporation?

A better question is: Will the corporation’s directors be democratically elected by Martian settlers or will the directors be appointed by oligarchs? 

Will the corporation be a cooperative corporation (one member, one vote) or a plutocratic corporation (the directors elect themselves to power year after year and become fabulously wealthy by exploiting Martian settlers)?

The general rule for a corporation is one vote per preferred share, if it is democratically elected, it is not a corporation. I do not thin corporations are meant to be governments. A corporation should not be expected to live under the rules it creates. Having a corporate government is a conflict of interest. Corporations are legal entities. A corporation that is a monopoly is a distortion, it is a science fiction trope where the corporation is typically portrayed as the bad guy. Have you seen the Alien series.
aliens-movie_00279148.jpg
Besides this alien, who was the bad guy in the movie? It was the corporation that wanted to bring the alien back alive for weapons development.

Offline

#121 2017-03-18 13:43:00

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,813
Website

Re: Mapping a way forward

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Having a corporate government is a conflict of interest.

You could bather on and on. If you aren't willing to do the work, stay out of the way. The American government chose to do nothing in space in the 1950s. The Soviet Union seriously developed space technology, and ballistic missiles, starting in 1951. All news announcements were suppressed, the American government ensured the American people did not hear about progress of the Soviet space effort. So in 1957 the Soviet Union chose to put a radio transmitter on the first ever satellite, and ensured it transmitted in the ham radio band. So private individuals could track the satellite and verify. The American government couldn't supress any more. The American people thought America was the technology leader, demanded to know why some other country was dominant in space. The American government had to scramble to catch up, to cover their ass with voters. But they only went far enough to spoil Soviet leadership. Once America had asserted dominance in space, they quit. The Soviets seriously considered trumping America's achievement on the Moon by going directly to Mars. But quickly found Mars was too difficult. They didn't have life support, so chose to develop space stations instead. This would develop technology to survive in space for a journey long enough to go to Mars and back. They launched Salyut 1, the world's first space station. America quickly followed with Skylab, trying to ensure they didn't fall behind again. NASA wanted a shuttle, but President Nixon severly slashed funding. The only reason any sort of shuttle was permitted was the promise it would reduce cost. But it didn't. Now we have nothing. There was VentureStar/X-33, but it was cancelled. There was the NERVA engine, which was mothballed with Apollo. There was Constellation; cancelled. Now there's SLS and Orion, but no destination and cost as well as development time are so extreme that it appears inevitable they'll be cancelled too. So it looks like the US government has no intention of going to Mars. Ever.

The other issue is why would the US want to? Almost every US citizen talks about Mars declaring independence the same way the US declared independence from Britain. If you know ahead of time they'll do that, then why invest billions on the venture? Why would the US government want to?

A commercial corporation can do it, but only if they can make a profit. Cost to develop the Airbus A380 was $25 billion. So there is private money available, but the catch is reasonable assurance that investment can be recovered plus profit. The point of corporate government is to give them a way to do that. Primary revenue will be from Mars settlers, so the corporation has to keep Mars attractive. They can't get oppressive.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Besides this alien, who was the bad guy in the movie? It was the corporation that wanted to bring the alien back alive for weapons development.

You're citing fiction? Really? That's a movie, intended to scare. It's not reality. At all.

Offline

#122 2017-03-18 14:37:23

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Mapping a way forward

Governments weren't designed to build rockets and corporations weren't meant to govern planets, each has a role to play. Government is lousy at picking winners and losers, the shuttle was a loser because the government that ordered it didn't care about profits, the contractors that built and serviced the shuttle with cost plus contracts were profitable enough, cost over runs were very profitable, because they just passed those on to the government, the shuttle was flying for 30 years earning those contractors profits with each launch, they didn't own the shuttle, the costs of the shuttle didn't belong to them, only their government guaranteed profits. I wouldn't knock NASA though, the Soviets got their first man in space, but they never had a successful probe to Mars, they did succeed in landing one on Venus, there were no Russian or Soviet probes to the Outer Planets, only NASA did that! There was a European probe to Titan, but it hitched a ride with NASA. NASA has done stuff that no nation has ever done in space, it is pretty much the only Space Superpower right not, China is catching up, but it is not there yet! NASA developed a lot of space technologies with its cost plus contracts, those technologies are still out there, a treasure trove waiting to be exploited for profit, NASA doesn't know how to do this! We have 60 years of technological development by NASA, that is not nothing! As for Mars, the United States might want to expand its borders again some day, why wouldn't it, and all those nations that don't want to put up the money to develop space, they will miss out on a lot of things. I think a Federal Republic is a logical government type for Mars, if Europe wants a share, they will have to put up the money to start a colony. The government will be decided by whoever gets sent to Mars, if NASA spends to most money, then the people over their will be Americans, and will probably not go with a European style Parliament government. Ethiopia and Iran won't get a say.

Offline

#123 2017-03-18 15:01:13

Scott Beach
Member
Registered: 2017-02-21
Posts: 132

Re: Mapping a way forward

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

...if it is democratically elected, it is not a corporation.

You seem to be unaware that many states have laws that allow the formation of democratically controlled cooperative corporations.  I was a member of a food coop when I lived in Sacramento County, California.  The State of California has laws that apply specifically to cooperative corporations.  The California Codes are all online so you can look up those laws if you want to inform yourself.

A coop summary is provided in the Rochdale Principles; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rochdale_ … er_control


"It is possible to build a rational and humane culture completely free from the threat of supernatural restraints."  Arthur C. Clarke, The Songs of Distant Earth

Offline

#124 2017-03-18 15:45:44

Scott Beach
Member
Registered: 2017-02-21
Posts: 132

Re: Mapping a way forward

RobertDyck wrote:

I do not believe a corporation within Canada or the US should be grant authority to have a private police force of any sort, certainly not authority to use lethal force. Yet, you describe the police hired by the University of California have exactly that.

The University of California is defined as a "public trust" so a campus of the University is public property.  The Regents (who are appointed by state officials) can enact regulations that are effective on University property.  The U.C. police can enforce federal, state, and local laws and U.C. regulations on U.C. property.  I am not sure about this but I think that in the case of a "hot pursuit" they can chase a suspected felon from a U.C. campus onto surrounding city or county property and make an arrest there.  If the suspect resisted arrest and drew a knife then the campus police could probably lawfully shoot and kill the suspect.

You might remember that a few years ago a U.C. police officer pepper-sprayed a group of students who were peacefully protesting on U.C. property.  That incident created an uproar across the U.S.A. 

There have been a number of cases which decided that a corporation cannot hold people in a state vassalage (forcing them to live in company housing and shop only at "the company store").  So I very much doubt that the United States would approve of a for-profit corporation establishing a government of Mars and then forcing settlers to obey a government that is merely an agent of the for-profit corporation.

In the United States, publicly regulated utilities may have the power of eminent domain to acquire right of ways for pipelines and other infrastructure but the exercise of that power is subject to judicial review.


"It is possible to build a rational and humane culture completely free from the threat of supernatural restraints."  Arthur C. Clarke, The Songs of Distant Earth

Offline

#125 2017-03-18 17:13:28

Scott Beach
Member
Registered: 2017-02-21
Posts: 132

Re: Mapping a way forward

A terrestrial sovereign might allow a for-profit corporation to establish a spaceport within the portion of Mars claimed by the sovereign.  The spaceport corporation could employ people who live in nearby settlements.  Some employees might be security guards who have the power to make arrests on spaceport property.  The sovereign requires the "Spaceport Corporation" to maintain living quarters for a Territorial Marshall and his staff, together with several jail cells where suspects can be held pending a hearing before a judge who can order the deportation of the suspect back to Earth.

A settlement or a number of settlements acting together might establish a “Regional Transit System” that provides bus service to the spaceport and to each settlement.

Each settlement might maintain a “Homesteads Registry” that contains the homestead claims filed by nearby homesteaders.

Imagine five or six settlements arrayed around a spaceport, with each settlement being 10 to 20 miles from the spaceport.  This settlement pattern and transportation system seems workable to me.  And it does not require a corporation to establish a global government of Mars.


"It is possible to build a rational and humane culture completely free from the threat of supernatural restraints."  Arthur C. Clarke, The Songs of Distant Earth

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB