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Democracy or Space?

Posted by: campbelp2002 - Sun Apr 22, 2007 2:14 am
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Democracy or Space? 

Would you give up democratic freedom to achieve routine, ecconomical space flight?
Poll ended at Sat May 12, 2007 2:14 am
Yes 38%  38%  [ 3 ]
No 63%  63%  [ 5 ]
Total votes : 8

Democracy or Space? 
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Post Democracy or Space?   Posted on: Sun Apr 22, 2007 2:14 am
As time goes on I am getting more and more concerned at an underlying tone I sense in the space community. When people are expressing the despair we all feel about the lack of rapid progress toward our favorite space goal, they sometimes say, or imply, that we need some kind of dictator to force the society to devote more resources to space flight. It is also often expressed as the desire to have a Soviet type command economy that is very interested in space flight. So, I ask you all this question, “which is more important, democratic freedom or space flight?â€


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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:29 am
Democratic freedom, else it won't be much a life for many anyway... If I can go to space, I want it with liberty and joy... not for some sort of dictator forcing us to do things against our will. In that case, living on earth with democracy is a better life to me.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:21 am
Imo the democratic system we have today is not working. Or the people in the government doesnt want it to work. It's silly to see people getting a minister-post in a field they have zero knowledge about. And only whining about how little money they get bullshitting the normal people.

Anyway, a dictatorship isn't per say bad. The only reason it is bad that every dictator we've seen (except perhaps for Hugo Chavez imo) didn't really care for their own people or any other.

A democratic system is probably best for freedom, but imo it hase some serious flaws in it, but it's the best we have at the moment and i doubt it will change anytime soon.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 22, 2007 3:13 pm
Stefan Sigwarth wrote:
Anyway, a dictatorship isn't per say bad.
Yes it is, because power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Any dictator will ultimately become corrupt.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 22, 2007 3:26 pm
campbelp2002 wrote:
Stefan Sigwarth wrote:
Anyway, a dictatorship isn't per say bad.
Yes it is, because power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Any dictator will ultimately become corrupt.

That's because a man itself cannot handle power. Has nothing to do with dictatorship itself. It's man that's the problem, not the position he is in imho. There are selfless people still out there.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 22, 2007 5:51 pm
Stefan Sigwarth wrote:
It's man that's the problem, not the position he is in imho. There are selfless people still out there.
All selfless people are people, and as you say, it is the people that are the problem. The most benevolent, selfless person becomes a corrupt monster when given absolute power. Of course there is the closely related problem that some people might consider a certain dictator the most selfless, benevolent person in the world while you or I would consider them a horrid tyrant. The dictator is only good when you agree 100% with everything they do, and of course you yourself are the only person in the world that you agree with 100%. Wanting a dictator is the same as wanting the whole world to agree with you, or more to the point, wanting to force the whole world to agree with you, and that is a fundamentally wrong thing to do. And the troubling thing I see on space talk forms is the desire to force all the people in the world who do not support space flight to do so. I see no moral difference between that and wanting to force the whole world to convert to Islam or force the whole world to be comunists.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 22, 2007 8:34 pm
Mmm good points. Haven't looked at in that perspective. I hear ya.


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Post All this is predicated on   Posted on: Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:02 pm
us remaining the same spieces we are. I don't mean that to be flippent, but suppose we engineer something like a hive mind - then the whole ball game of governence changes. Alternatively, the potential of actually controling where people go woudl most likely prove impossible.

I realize campbelp2002 is posing this theroetically, but I dont' think we can ignore the issue of improve human beings as opposed to improving human governances.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:14 am
I totally agree that we will genetically engineer ourselves into another spcies by the time we actually spread out into the galaxy. (And what a horrible prospect it is! Maybe we will get lucky and genetic progress will halt, like space progress seems to have. Oh well, I'll be dead by then anyway.) So maybe we should limit this poll to the next 100 years. Would you give up 100 years of democracy for a Soviet style dictatorship that made space progress as fast as they did in the 1960s for 100 straight years? I wouldn't.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:33 am
I would, as long as I was in charge :lol: Otherwise, democracy for me.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:57 am
Space and Democracy or the political system must be kept apart urgently.

1. The people living in a country allways have different and even contrary values. Which values might be right and which values might be wrong allways is a personal subjective decision - objectivity is impossible regarding values. Values don't follow from Physics or Natural Sciences or any other sience and are a matter of Ethics. This means that some people - based on the values - can end up in the conclusion that space isn't worth no efforts, no funds etc. And since this can't be decided objectively each measure to dictate them another conclusion is arbitrary - arbitraryness is against humanity against freedom, against a life worth to be lived and so on.

2. Since each human and each group of humans is far from being perfect and far from knowing all it never can be ruled out that space can be achieved privately and voluntary. So it never can be said or decided that governments are required to get into space.

3. There are more tasks and problems in all countries and on this world than to get into space only and because of this it would be irreponsible if governments would concentrate on space.

4. Most of the tasks on this world only can be done privately - governments do not know about the most of them, government don't have the manpower required in total to do them, governments lack the speed of cdecision required to handle the tasks as sudden and quickly as required to avoid damages, deaths, scarcities and the like.

5. Democratic parliaments and democratic governments allways can stimulate, moderate, integrate - this is sufficient to enable humanity to get into space at cheap prices. This means "Ordnungspolitik" - which is democratic, free, libertarian, stimulating, moderating and integrating.

6. There never were a political system that activated as much manpower, skills, Know How etc. as real democracies - all these are required to get into space. In so far the choice is NOT "space or democracy" but "democracy + space or no democracy + no space".



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


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Post    Posted on: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:52 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
"democracy + space or no democracy + no space".
That is exactly the reason I started this poll. Because too many people are saying it is the opposite choice:
"democracy + no space" or "no democracy + space".
And, hypothetically, if that were the choice, I would choose "democracy + no space".


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Post Re: Democracy or Space?   Posted on: Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:16 am
If Democracy is good and Communism is evil why is America in debt to Communist China? Isn't it hypocritical of the democracy flag waving America to be in debt to a Communist country? Democracy loving America begs for Communist China for help them out financially and China obliges. Doesn't that make Communism good? At the same time, America declares that Communist countries are a threat, are a haven for terrorists and is a system that must be stopped. Doesn't that make Democracy evil?


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Post Re: Democracy or Space?   Posted on: Fri Nov 20, 2009 2:14 pm
"democracy + no space" is a false dichotomy

Democracy need to excite the people.
All we need is to inspire the people to recover the exploration spirit of other ages.
Space is only one of the frontiers. Perhaps to move the people to participate on other could revive this.
For example, promoting undersea turism and research places. Travelling to little habitated places on this planet.
Promoting undergraound explorations.
All that raises the exploration spirit, raises the interest on space.
Schools are the best place to make this. Children grow their motivations then. If children spend their time on consumism like buy new phones, computers ond videogames, then they will lose their interest on exploration.
Exploration requires to encorage patience.
People must learn that it is something special on exploration. Exploration is to open a door to the unknown. It is to grow. It is leaving a legacy to those who come.

When the people share this vision, them democracy will bring us the greatest exploration age to have known.


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Post Re: Democracy or Space?   Posted on: Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:37 pm
@Spaniard: I totally agree that it would be a good thing if "the people" were excited about space exploration again (if they ever were - I guess maybe in '69). The only thing I thought I should mention is the hobbies or interests you sort of put in a juxtapose position to interest in space exploration - specifically, computers and video games. I'm a HUGE gamer. I have been ever since my older brother got some games for Christmas when I was about 5. I'm also a computer geek... I built my home PC, and I'm a programmer by trade. These things haven't detracted in the slightest from my interest in space. I was probably around 7 or so when I first read about black holes, and I've found them extremely fascinating ever since. I've enjoyed how over the years I've been able to grasp things about them that I couldn't in the past - like the fact that they don't really "suck things in", they just have some amount of mass and deform spacetime with gravity. One of my favorite topics now is exoplanets, the possibility of discovering extra terrestrial life, and FTL (I know FTL is more of a fantasy, but I so want to set foot on an exoplanet :) ).

My point is that other hobbies or interests aren't necessarily bad for the children's interest in space exploration. I think all we need is to get kids interested in science in general. If you're interested in science, my bet is that interest in space will follow pretty naturally.


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