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Manifesto, by L. Neil Smith now downloadable as an audiobook!
Number 952, December 10, 2017

It’s Time For a City On the Moon!

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Earth seen from Moon

It’s Time For a City On the Moon
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

So what should we do with our new prosperity?

Donald J. Trump, whatever you think (or more likely, feel) about him, has pointed us in the general direction that a free society always needed to go. There are still a number of feeble-minded stragglers—like the entire Democrat Party, shabby, threadbare, retreaded Marxists that they are—who don’t get it that corporations don’t pay taxes at all, and never will. Their customers do; that’s you and me. Thanks a bundle, Chuck and Nancy, you bitches. So the next tax reform effort had damn well better reduce corporate taxes to zero.

I’m bloody sick and tired of paying twice, aren’t you?

But I’ve digressed before I’ve even gotten started. A city on the Moon, and why not? It’s time to go! We’ve been there (and back, regrettably) several times already. This time, as our economy heals from decades of soft-headed collectivism, we’re going there to stay. All of the major scientific and technical problems have been solved. There are “lava tubes” up there where we can build whole cities, safe from killer radiation and deadly micrometeorites. But we had damn well better hurry, because the Chinese and the Japanese are planning to go, too, as are the Russians, and I would be shocked right down to my socks if the Indians and the Iranians and the North Koreans don’t have blueprints on the table this very minute. Anyway, you want the U.N. to make the rules about property and individual rights there? You want Kim Jung Un to be the (Little Fat) Man in the Moon?

In his wonderful, life-changing novel that he called The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, the late, great science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein (he also wrote Stranger in a Strange Land and The Puppet Masters) demonstrated the vital importance to national security (or just good old-fashioned peace, freedom, and prosperity) of an established American presence on the Moon. In that book, he had a culture of lovable convicts and exiles declare their independence by electrically launching boxcar-sized boulders at Earth, creating purely kinetic impacts that rivaled nuclear explosions in power. I’m not usually one to go looking for international trouble, but for the sake of our health and safety, if nothing else, consider: if those who conceive themselves to be America’s enemies have a monopoly on Lunar colonies, it could be a disaster. Just sing Randy Newman’s “Let’s Drop The Big One Now” to yourself under your breath and substitute Los Angeles and Chicago for London and Paris.

There are other, pleasanter reasons for building a city on the Moon. Let’s be very clear: it isn’t any kind of shortcut to anywhere. It costs more, in fuel, materials, and money to “stop over” at the Moon than to go straight on to the Asteroids (where we should be going anyway) or to Mars (that splendid old sand-trap). But a launch or more a day (with the infrastructure to support it), to send Grandma some cookies at the Bradbury Lunar retirement home, or Cousin Benny his stamp collection in the H.G, Wells suburbs couldn’t do the economy any harm.

And there are other values to be gained. Optical telescopes that will make the Hubble, or even Palomar look like children’s’ spy-glasses. Radio telescopes that can peer right down into the very bowels of Creation. Sources of exotic fuels for longer trips elsewhere, maybe even the stars. Building materials for wonderful space palaces—orbiting Taj Mahals that don’t look like random collections of junk. A new place for human beings and their offspring to live and grow. Broad city streets where even cripples like me can take long strides. Huge caverns of air where, as Heinlein predicted, people with plastic wings can fly. Most of all the ability for those of us who (perhaps foolishly) remain down here, to look up at the night sky and say, “Hey, we’re up there, too!”

And we could all see the lights of the City on the Moon.

Let’s call it Heinlein City, okay?


L. Neil Smith

Publisher and Senior Columnist L. Neil Smith is the author of over thirty books, mostly science fiction novels, L. Neil Smith has been a libertarian activist since 1962. His many books and those of other pro-gun libertarians may be found (and ordered) at L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE “Free Radical Book Store” The preceding essays were originally prepared for and appeared in L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE. Use them to fight the continuing war against tyranny.

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