Most of the critiques if Elon Musk’s vision of a colony on Mars focuses on it technical or financial feasibility. Robert Zubrin, the author of “The Case for Mars” and the leading advocate for Mars exploration, posted an alternate architecture on his Facebook page. However, Linda Billings, a self-described “Space policy analyst” posted a full-throated assault on the very idea of sending humans to the Red Planet on her blog.

The attack has led to outrage on the Internet, with NASA Watch lamenting, “But I thought this whole "but people are starving in [fill in the blank]" or "why spend money in space when we should spend it on Earth" mindset was a thing of the 1960 and 1970s.”

Billings slams the “libertarian narrative of progress and freedom” that informs Musk’s vision for spreading humankind of Mars. But at the heart of her critique is the notion that the idea of founding a city on Mars is elitist.

In her view, since third world people such as “poverty-stricken Bangladeshis or Congolese, how many permanently displaced Syrian refugees” would not likely be able to make a new life on Mars, then no one should be allowed to. Humans should not be allowed to exploit or colonize space. Period. Full stop.

Billings’ viewpoint would seem to be radical and even extreme. But she does represent a significant number of people, of the sort who supported Bernie Sanders, who find the idea of free market capitalism and expanding a frontier in space positively icky.

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Her opposition is not informed by objective reality or any kind of cost/benefit analysis. She says “no!” to Mars colonies based on visceral emotion, informed no doubt by too much exposure to far left college education.

A Mars colony, especially if accompanied by the economic development of space resources such as lunar and asteroid mining, would be a boon to all humankind, just as the settlement of the Americans reinvigorated European civilization.

As a bonus, no Native Martians exist to displace and oppress by Earth settlers.

The politics surrounding expanding humanity beyond Earth is still in its infancy, with only a few space enthusiasts aware that it even exists. However, if Musk makes any progress toward fulfilling his dream of colonizing Mars one should anticipate the opposition from the far left, as expressed by Billings, to manifest with all of the social justice insanity that has accompanied other controversy.

Ironically Billings is providing a compelling argument for Mars colonies as a means for the rest of us to get away from people like her.

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