Purely libertarian .. in Space

This post at Spaceflight Now about the possibility of the IIS space station going unmanned in November sparked this side commentary on The Other McCain delving into the deterioration of America’s commitment to win the science and technology race, and the federal task of providing for the national security.

The offshoot post by Chris Smith ( aka Smitty , aka @smitty_one_each ) is a short and sweet case for why the current state of the space program is a failure of Progressive politics and he may well be right on that point. What I found noteworthy ( and note, I did here), was the introduction of a supposition about “purely libertarian” opinion on the validity of the space program.

Smitty was kind enough to make a small change in his post after our exchange on twitter, but I did ask him if he would mind an answer of sorts to his query on libertarian views.

I have no idea if his use of the small “l” in libertarian was intentional, which begs the question about the term “purely libertarian”, but I will just assume he literally meant libertarian ( not Libertarian) and go from there. I re-read the post several times, and was really confounded at a reason for bringing in libertarians at all. Why not moderates or independents? The comments below the post answered my question. Most GOP variety conservatives don’t have any idea what the answer would be. They certainly don’t know WHY the libertarian answer is what it is. Most can’t see past the “provide for the national defense” any more than the Left can see past the “provide for the general welfare”. (please send hate mail directly to me and save my editor a lot of heartache, please.)

You see, a purely libertarian viewpoint on the space program would be relatively straightforward: Turn the space program into a REAL race for the top and let it be funded by private businesses. Let the funds come from investors and the jobs go to the massive range of employees possessing the hugely encompassing range of skills needed to launch a viable ( and profitable) program of exploration into space. National security? Well, currently the federal government has managed to launch a forty year long , ghastly expensive serious of failures to produce. Now, there is no doubt that space exploration is a worthy expenditure. I will even concede that there are likely legitimate national defense concerns with our ability to position ourselves as the forerunner in space exploration and technology development. Which begs just one last question from me: Since when is the federal government the leader in ANY race to efficient, productive, and profitable expansion of anything, except itself?

Please follow Smitty on twitter. Despite my response to this particular statement, I have found him to be insightful, dedicated, and an excellent source of information and wit!

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0 thoughts on “Purely libertarian .. in Space

  1. Max

    “Turn the space program into a REAL race for the top and let it be funded by private businesses.”

    Yes, agree with this 100%. Because when this happens, private enterprise will dismiss the EXPENSIVE futility of sending a human to uninhabitable places like “Mars” to do what artificial intelligence can do at a much more affordable costs.

    If the ultimate goal of man is to populate other planets, it will take hundreds, if not thousands of technology-years to get there. “Project Genesis” will require robot inhabitation well before the first human footprint arrives.

  2. Tennwriter

    I generally agree with a more libertarian approach to space, as a social conservative.
    As a social conservative, I generally agree with any chance to take a cheap shot or expensive shot at libertarians.

    Why?

    Because experience has proven that if you’re nice to libertarians, they attack you. Hit them first, and they have good manners.
    Strange.
    I wish it were not so, but I cannot change libertarians, only they can change themselves.

    1. GaltsGirl

      Really? I generally find that if you leave libertarians alone, which is what they want, they are pretty nice. Try it.

      1. Tennwriter

        I have tried it. I’m walking along, doing my little political bit, not trying to be offensive to any body but liberals, and even not most of them…..SMACK. Some Libertarian is screeching about how if the socons would just shut up…

        I’ve tried to be nice to libertarians, and they bite my hand, and start demanding ridiculous things. Its not enough that I might agree ninety percent, oh no, I have to agree entirely and confess my sins.

        There is one libertarian site where they put up a list of ideas, and I agreed with 93% of them. But still I was a statist nanny-stater, and probably a theocrat.

        Now on a personal level, yeah, Libertarians are fairly decent, which is what your reply seems to be about.