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article imageOp-Ed: Corporate bases on the Moon? Naïve, and chaotic

By Paul Wallis     Sep 17, 2018 in World
Sydney - How do you feel about corporate-built, corporate operated settlements on the Moon? This very two dimensional idea is now rattling around as a great new option, with the usual lack of responsible thought and practical considerations.
According to, corporations are ready to build on the Moon, with or without government support. Whoopee, you say, now we can be underpaid and support rich corporate maniacs in space, too? Not quite yet.
The theory is that corporations will find business reasons to build on the Moon, with good commercial bases for operations. No indication of actual viable economic has been touted, except a few mentions of materials available on the Moon in large quantities. This idea follows the basic Adam Smith-like model of advancement and development being based on the monetary rewards, but there are no hard proposals yet.
Other issues include:
1. Laws and jurisdictions: Under the Outer Space Treaty, jurisdictions apply according to who’s doing what, and where. So you could have literally dozens of jurisdictions in space. It’s about as efficient as it sounds. Enforcement would be virtually impossible, and incredibly slow, at best. Corporations do not have the power to enforce laws, nor the competencies to manage crime or anything else. Nor have they indicated any interest at all in doing so. (The article has some useful inks to the actual legal situation as it now is, and various conflicts which are already emerging.)
2. The theory of a “cislunar economy” (the redundant and useless word “cislunar” means in the region of the Moon, how fascinating) is currently based on mining, etc. The idea is that people go and mine things and ship them back to Earth for a hefty profit. Any mention of possible toxicities of extraterrestrial materials, the reality of miserably small payloads back and forth, and the “tyranny of rockets” (read hopelessly inadequate logistics) is largely lacking.
3. It is naïve beyond belief to think that simply arriving on the Moon and setting up shop is all that will happen. Given the political realities (contradiction in terms if ever there was) on Earth, politics, jurisdiction and economics are likely to be very complex indeed. The fact that China will probably be on the Moon long before anyone else, for example, complicates any multinational lunar settlement program. Who gets what? Who’s going to dispute what? Do we get a Cold War on the Moon, too? Can a few halfwit corporations compete with China, or anyone else on that scale? Of course not.
4. The Western-centric idea of corporate settlements is also seriously compromised by dilapidated Western space programs. Add the vacuous, “change the channel” mindsets of governments who don’t want to spend that much money, and you’ve got a non-starter.
5. The risk of disastrous speculative investment is extremely high. Let’s get this straight – “Investing on the Moon” is NOT going to be like investment on Earth. It can’t be. The likely rush of exploitation, disputes, and speculative investment can only be a total cluster at best. Exactly how far are you prepared to trust a corporation with trillions of dollars where the law can’t reach it? You can’t “just add idealism” to a sewer and expect it to stop being a sewer.
6. The blatant disregard of corporations for even basic legal principles, let alone any sort of compliance, on Earth, is hardly reassuring. During the colonial days, the “ex juris” principle applied, meaning literally “outside the law”. That is not acceptable in any form. Most of these corporate vermin should be in jail now, if only for aesthetic and mental hygiene reasons, for the global catastrophes they cause on an almost daily basis. They should have no say at all in the future they’ve already managed to turn in to a horror story for most of the world’s population.
7. The corporate sector is a serial offender and collective lawbreaker on Earth. The entire sector belongs in a straitjacket, based on its usual behaviour alone. It’s incompetent, it’s totally corrupt, it breaks laws like people eat corn flakes, and it accepts no responsibility for anything or anyone. It’s the cause of the toxic environment in which the world is soaking, and things aren’t improving. (Apparently being poisoned by corporations is OK, but enforcing laws isn’t.) In space, without any legal jurisdiction in place and enforceable, it can only become a serial offender there, too.
The Scatterbrain Mindset
One of the greatest problems of space exploration isn’t technological. It’s the disorganised, totally scatterbrained, approach to all issues of the so-called modern societies. That’s nowhere near good enough for going in to space. Space is dangerous. This environment requires things to be done properly and done well. Systematic, methodical, exploration, research and development can do a much better job than whimsical space missions and vague theories of economic development by corporate two year old brains.
Now consider this - Even the idea of a systematic, genuinely beneficial, and human, not corporate or national, exploration of space isn’t even being considered. The clear benefits to humanity of space exploration and development are currently at the mediocre, meaningless public relations level, meaning lower tier dunghill status. The great ideal, as usual, is profit for someone else.
There’s more to space exploration and colonization that some damn cost centre and a few jingles about how great it all is. People will live and die in space. Millions, possibly billions, over time. The gigantic infrastructures required for proper human space exploration, colonization and development are in the Occasional Mention category. None of the practical issues are being addressed. To “settle” anywhere in space, never mind conduct business on any level, requires more than a sort of tourist brochure about Great Investment Opportunities For You And Your Gerbil Brain.
Hard facts? Where?
A screengrab shows China s first moon rover  Yutu  or Jade Rabbit  separating from Chang e-3 moon la...
A screengrab shows China's first moon rover, Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, separating from Chang'e-3 moon lander early Dec. 15, 2013. The six-wheeled rover separated from the lander early on Sunday, several hours after the Chang'e-3 probe soft-landed on the lunar surface
Via Xinhua
If we’ve learned nothing else from the Fake Generation, we’ve learned that talk is far too cheap, and the price of reality is way too high. This half-ass approach to space is totally unbelievable on any level. The capacity to deliver the basics hasn’t yet proven that it exists. The support systems don’t exist. Where’s the hard money funding coming from? Pension funds? 401Ks? Raffles?
The likely result of this disingenuous babble, if put in to practice, will be trash from here to Mars and probably beyond, with a history of excuses for failures. Another trail of chicken-brained mistakes, frauds, and crimes which haven’t even been invented yet is likely to follow the trash.
In practice, it’s not corporations or governments which pay for whatever latest fad hits the fan in space or anywhere else. It’s the public, which pays for everything with their lives, their money, and their miserable existences. Let’s see some proven, deliverable values for humanity before this Idiot Brat Circus takes off to anywhere but hell.
The whole idea of space colonization is a matter of trust. There’s no reason to trust corporations, governments and people in space when those same entities prove their total criminality and untrustworthiness on an hourly basis on Earth.
A working legal choke chain is required for this Frisbee approach to space development. Try this - You want to go in to space? OK, you’re fully liable for everything and everyone, no exceptions. All liabilities devolve on Earth. You are deemed to be a party to everything that happens in space. You can be prosecuted on Earth, a lot faster than in space, and there are no jurisdiction grey areas here. Might make them think, although it’s hard to believe people who rarely think at all would do much thinking.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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