Leaving America for Freedom, Earth for Mars


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Leaving America for Freedom, Earth for Mars

By Edward Hudgins

A record number of Americans are renouncing their U.S. citizenship in order to avoid confiscatory taxes.

And 100,000 individuals have signed up with Mars One, a company seeking volunteers for a one-way trip to be permanent settlers on the Red Planet.

Both of these facts indicate that the best in the human spirit is still alive.

Pioneering prosperity

America is a country built by immigrants, but immigrants did not come here to build this country. Rather, they wanted—and still want today—to better their own lives and pursue their own dreams.

They wanted to prosper through their own productive efforts and were tired of rapacious overlords limiting their economic liberty and looting the fruits of their labor. They wanted to explore and to tame frontiers. They wanted to create new societies that reflected their values. And they welcomed the challenge of acting as the entrepreneurs of their own lives.

Hunting down producers

Today over six million Americans work overseas; after all, we are in a global economy with opportunities crossing national boundaries.

But the United States is the only major nation to tax its citizens no matter where they live. On top of that, as part of its envy-driven war on producers, the Obama regime’s 2010 Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act puts new, onerous regulations and taxes on overseas Americans, strong-arming foreign institutions into cooperating with U.S. tax collectors bent on squeezing every dollar—Euro, yuan, yen—possible out of these producers.

Tired of rapacious overlords limiting their economic liberty and looting the fruits of their labor, more than a thousand Americans renounced their U.S. citizenship in the second quarter of 2013 alone.

These now-non-Americans are true patriots of liberty, standing up for the right to prosper through their own productive efforts and depriving the beast on the Potomac of victims.

Rising on red hills

The wonderful, universal spirit that gave birth to America is also manifest in Dutch entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp’s Mars One plan to send humans to colonize the Red Planet in the next decade. Mars One will select 40 astronauts this year out of the 100,000 who applied, with the aim of launching four of them in September 2022.

Cynics might scoff about sci-fi geeks who can’t find their way out of their parents’ basements much less to another planet. But those desiring to leave Earth want to explore and to tame a frontier planet. They want to create new societies that reflect their values. And they welcome the challenge of acting as the entrepreneurs of their own lives.

The many entrepreneurs planning space missions have the intelligence, drive, and even the money to make such missions possible. SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who already has launched rockets to the International Space Station, says he plans to die on Mars. And what more fulfilling end of a life than to look at a city on the red hills of that planet that he and others like him have built.

That pioneer spirit is reflected in the lyrics of one of America’s most inspiring songs:

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.

Let’s hope that spirit will again triumph on this planet as well!
--------
Hudgins is director of advocacy and a senior scholar at The Atlas Society.

For further information:

*Edward Hudgins, “From Apollo 11 to Martian Missions.” July 18, 2013.
*Edward Hudgins, “Atlas Shrugging in Late 2012.” December 14, 2012.
*Edward Hudgins, “Taxed to Shrug.” April 17, 2012.
*Edward Hudgins, “Atlas Chased.” August 6, 2004.
*Edward Hudgins, “The Spiritual Significance of Mars.” August 12, 2003.

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Thank you for your contribution to Objectivist Living, Ed.

I wrote on another thread, “Many of our own founding fathers thought that government was “a necessary evil.” George H. Smith on page 131 in “The System of Liberty” writes, “As we have seen, Jefferson explicitly ties the right of revolution to the violation of inalienable rights.” I agree with that principle. Today, I would vote for changes in our Constitution to better secure individual rights. And ironically, considering my opposition to Rational Anarchism, I wish there were a way to accommodate the Rational Anarchists who want no government.”

Leaving a country is morally different from “Shrugging,” which also entails rebellion since those shrugging are not just dropping out; they are also avoiding the most onerous laws of the land. Ragnar and other inhabitants of Ayn Rand’s Atlantis were willing to take up arms against their government.

The state and county level of the Republican Party and the new Tea Party were very successful in recent elections so that is a reason for optimism. The Republicans have 15 senate seats up for reelection in 2014 but the Democrat’s have 20 seats up for grabs. I also expect Rand Paul and Ayn Rand to have a political and philosophical impact in 2016. I won't be leaving the good ol' USA.

Peter

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Mars is a shit hole and we do not have anywhere enough of the technology to terraform it. We are much better off learning to inhabit the Moon

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Antarctica or the bottom of the ocean would be a good first step if anyone is being serious about living off planet. I mean, communities, self sufficient and productive, creating products or harvesting natural resources and selling them. If we can't do that on this planet, planning to inhabit other planets is a joke. With that said, I do believe the future history of mankind is to inhabit other planets. I imagine billions of people living in the Oort cloud in a million years. We won't be serious until we can put cities on the bottom of the ocean. Wouldn't that be technologically easy and cheaper compared to a city on the moon? A lot closer too.

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The Americans who choose to live as expatriates are "true patriots of Liberty" for renouncing their citizenship to avoid taxes?

I think I have heard that the original Patriots stayed home and fought the unjust taxes. TAS semantics is a wonderful thing.

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Antarctica or the bottom of the ocean would be a good first step if anyone is being serious about living off planet. I mean, communities, self sufficient and productive, creating products or harvesting natural resources and selling them. If we can't do that on this planet, planning to inhabit other planets is a joke. With that said, I do believe the future history of mankind is to inhabit other planets. I imagine billions of people living in the Oort cloud in a million years. We won't be serious until we can put cities on the bottom of the ocean. Wouldn't that be technologically easy and cheaper compared to a city on the moon? A lot closer too.

The polar regions have an atmosphere, the vey same one you and I breath. Until climate controlled habitats can be built the folks in Antarctica will have to import their necessaries. Antarctica is rough, but it is earth environment and fit for humans to live there. They have the same gravity as folks in the warmer parts and water is not problem. All they need is the means of melting ice. Compared to Mars Antarctica is fat city.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Antarctica or the bottom of the ocean would be a good first step if anyone is being serious about living off planet. I mean, communities, self sufficient and productive, creating products or harvesting natural resources and selling them. If we can't do that on this planet, planning to inhabit other planets is a joke. With that said, I do believe the future history of mankind is to inhabit other planets. I imagine billions of people living in the Oort cloud in a million years. We won't be serious until we can put cities on the bottom of the ocean. Wouldn't that be technologically easy and cheaper compared to a city on the moon? A lot closer too.

The polar regions have an atmosphere, the vey same one you and I breath. Until climate controlled habitats can be built the folks in Antarctica will have to import their necessaries. Antarctica is rough, but it is earth environment and fit for humans to live there. They have the same gravity as folks in the warmer parts and water is not problem. All they need is the means of melting ice. Compared to Mars

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Antarctica or the bottom of the ocean would be a good first step if anyone is being serious about living off planet. I mean, communities, self sufficient and productive, creating products or harvesting natural resources and selling them. If we can't do that on this planet, planning to inhabit other planets is a joke. With that said, I do believe the future history of mankind is to inhabit other planets. I imagine billions of people living in the Oort cloud in a million years. We won't be serious until we can put cities on the bottom of the ocean. Wouldn't that be technologically easy and cheaper compared to a city on the moon? A lot closer too.

The polar regions have an atmosphere, the vey same one you and I breath. Until climate controlled habitats can be built the folks in Antarctica will have to import their necessaries. Antarctica is rough, but it is earth environment and fit for humans to live there. They have the same gravity as folks in the warmer parts and water is not problem. All they need is the means of melting ice. Compared to Mars Antarctica is fat city.

That's exactly my point. If we can't make self sustaining communities in Antarctica (or the ocean bottom) what makes anyone think we're ready to do so on the moon? Antarctica is a continent full of known natural resources, a fraction of the distance and with an atmosphere (as you point out). Should be cake. Do that first, learn some stuff about the type of person it takes to function in a closed environment removed from the rest of mankind, then go for the moon.

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Neil Armstrong will be remembered far longer than anyone else in the 20th century.

Albert Einstein will be remembered for centuries in much the way Newton is.

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I had momentarily forgotten exactly what |Armstrong was famous for. \Einstein rang a bell, but the remembrance will be in the hands of those in the future whose cultural benchmarks we cannot know. Armstrong was the figurehead and metaphor of a huge collective achievement. Einstein was more of an individualist. Will these things matter to our great-grandchildren?

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Antarctica or the bottom of the ocean would be a good first step if anyone is being serious about living off planet. I mean, communities, self sufficient and productive, creating products or harvesting natural resources and selling them. If we can't do that on this planet, planning to inhabit other planets is a joke. With that said, I do believe the future history of mankind is to inhabit other planets. I imagine billions of people living in the Oort cloud in a million years. We won't be serious until we can put cities on the bottom of the ocean. Wouldn't that be technologically easy and cheaper compared to a city on the moon? A lot closer too.

The bottom of the ocean is as hostile as the airless surface of any dead planet or a gas giant such as Jupiter

The Antarctic is nowhere as hostile as the Moon or Mars. First of all Antarctica has an atmosphere, the same one you are currently breathing in. Second, gravity is normal in Antarctica. Third, there is water, lots of it. Making Antarctica livable is nowhere near as difficult as would it is to settle on Mars. Anyone going to Mars long term has taken a suicide mission. He is not coming back. In order to colonize Mars we would need an entirely new space propulsion technology. Coast and burn at is best means a minimum of one year's transit when Earth and Mars is in conjunction.

There is nothing on Mar, that is know, that will sustain an economy long term. Mars has some water, but the conditions on the planet are wretched. It is exposed to solar radiation because the Martian atmosphere has been mostly blasted away by solar radiation. Mars has no magnetic field. So any habitats would have to be underground. What makes Mars an unworkable project is that getting stuff to Mars takes so long. Communication with Earth is unmanageable. Mars, at conjunction is 20 light minutes so way conversation would have gaps ocf 40 minutes. When Mars is on the opposite side of the Sun from earth communication is impossible.

Clearly, if a group of Bold Pioneers is determined to set up shop, Antarctica is the much better choice.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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You know nothing about Neil Armstrong the man. His character and individual traits are most remarkable.

Einstein was a very great man, I revered him as a youth. But he was not an individualist in the philosophical or political sense.

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You know nothing about Neil Armstrong the man. His character and individual traits are most remarkable.

Einstein was a very great man, I revered him as a youth. But he was not an individualist in the philosophical or political sense.

True. He was twenty time smarter than you are anyone else you.

The next time you use your GPS think of that.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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You know nothing about Neil Armstrong the man. His character and individual traits are most remarkable.

Einstein was a very great man, I revered him as a youth. But he was not an individualist in the philosophical or political sense.

True. He was twenty time smarter than you are anyone else you.

The next time you use your GPS think of that.

Also Einstein and Leo Szillard enabled the U.S. to win the Pacific War with many fewer casualties than it might have been otherwise.

Einstein, at Szillards prompting wrote a letter to FDR to convince FDR that the U.S. needed to develop a nuclear weapon.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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The biggest problem with Antarctica is the Antarctic Treaty, which bars pretty much every activity needed to build and sustain human communities. Antarctica is governed by a government consortium and private settlements to exploit local resources are prohibited. Otherwise it would hold interest.

Living on Mars or even the Moon would not pose the problems of living on the bottom of the ocean.

Seasteading is a very interesting concept. See http://www.seasteading.org/ Patri Freidman, Milton’s grandson, heads up the operation. But it still has a way to go in terms of funding.

The Mars Society just concluded its 16th annual conference. At least three talks were on radiation issues among others and there is a rich archive of materials going back a decade and a half on every aspect of Martian exploration and settlement. (You can view talks that were live streamed on the website http://www.marssociety.org/ .

I was expecting Baal to be the last speaker, to refute all of the accumulated reasoning, thought, and wisdom concerning the challenges of settling Mars. But I’m sad to see that his intellectual contribution to the debate was “Mars is a shit hole.” Sigh!

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A quick object lesson about Objectivist ethics.

First, self-sacrifice, for example, allowing one’s self to be robbed by a rapacious government, is not a virtue.

Second, shrugging, that is, depriving a rapacious government of victims, is.

Each individual must decide when and under what conditions they will say “Enough!” The Obama administration claims that Americans working overseas avoid paying tens of billions of dollars in taxes. Good! They are patriots for depriving the beast of food as well as making a point about the evils of a looting government.

Of course, there are others who are patriots for staying in America, even at the cost of being looted, in order to fight the beast head-on. Patriotism comes in many forms.

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