“Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime”

— Reinhold Niebuhr

Why a Space Party? To explore! To move past the basic human struggle against disease, poverty, scarcity, debt, war, and oppression; to spread out across the universe, and uncover its secrets. Because we poor mortals can be so short-sighted when we are threatened and cornered, but when we are safe and have space to dedicate ourselves to meaningful pursuits and healthy communities, we can do great things–things that are truly worth doing.

The Space Party is about lifting our eyes up to something greater than our Earthly concerns, in the hope that by reaching for great heights, we will more easily tackle and move past our struggles with the most basic necessities of life. Space exploration fosters peaceful cooperation between countries–even those at odds in other arenas–and collaborations between technology companies, and it incentivizes parallel development of interlocking technologies (like a fuel source and an engine).

For example, putting a sustainable colony on Mars will require that we invent and hone technologies for some combination of water extraction, recycling, and conservation, which will in turn make easier work for the nearly one billion people who struggle with access to clean water. That will aid in the very tangible, life-or-death goal of ensuring that every one of Earth’s people has access to clean water.

Similarly, sending a craft to another star would require that we tame new energy sources (like fusion, or something better), and come up with propulsion systems that would revolutionize space travel within the solar system (such as efforts to mine near-Earth asteroids). Attaining faster-than-light travel would open up the galaxy, and the science to get there just might require that we answer fundamental questions of the nature of space and time.

By now you might be thinking, “Well of course I think space is great, why do you think I’m here? I love Star Trek / Star Wars / Battlestar Galactica / Doctor Who / NASA / JPL / APOD / NDT. But I care about other things a lot too!” That’s great, so do I. And you should bring your other beliefs with you when you’re talking to other citizens and other Space Partiers. At least we can bet that if you get into an argument with someone, you probably both believe in science and sharing knowledge, favor increased spending on public space programs, appreciate education, innovation, and the dignity of all sentient life. 

That’s a pretty good basis for a common understanding of the world — enough to have a productive conversation, we can hope, and a lot more than you can expect on cable TV or in the nation’s opinion pages. It’s enough that we can hope to learn something from those exchanges and come away feeling some mutual appreciation and respect.

It is my sincere hope that we will entertain a vast range of political ideologies, from the apolitical, to libertarians, anarchists, socialists, free-marketeers. I also hope that the only time we really get angry at one another is when arguing about sci-fi, or the best text editor, or how many dimensions the universe has. Despite whatever political differences we may have, we’re not corporate stooges or patsies for the establishment, we agree on mostly the same version of reality, and we all agree on space.

Filed November 16th, 2013 under Uncategorized

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