Elon Musk and his Martian adventure

One of Musk’s rockets landing (on Earth)
One of Musk’s rockets landing (on Earth). | Photo: businessinsider.com

By Chris Fry

I am accumulating resources to help make life multiplanetary & extend the light of consciousness to the stars.

These are the words of billionaire owner Elon Musk, second richest guy in America behind Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, spoken to a U.S. Senate hearing on March 21 2021. He was responding to reformist Bernie Sander’s comment that:

[Amazon owner Jeff] Bezos and Musk now own more wealth than the bottom 40%. Meanwhile, we’re looking at more hunger in America than at any time in decades.

Musk owns the Tesla company, maker of luxury electric cars. He also owns SpaceX, a space launch company that receives huge government contracts worth billions of dollars. He also owns the Boring Company, an infrastructure and construction company.

Musk has made his workers to labor during the pandemic, forcing the California and local governments to back down from enforcing COVID-19 regulations. A November 20, 2020 Business Insider article noted that:

In the months preceding his diagnosis [for COVID], Musk insisted that the virus was not very deadly, that young people weren’t vulnerable, and that doctors were misattributing deaths to COVID-19 instead of other causes. He sent employees back to work at his California Tesla factory in defiance of local shelter-in-place orders, which he described as “fascist” and “forcible imprisoning.” He also predicted the US would be reporting “close to zero new cases” by the end of April [2020]. And he vouched for an approach that would allow mass infection before vaccines become available.

On March 26, 2021, Musk was found guilty of “union busting” by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in the face of a UAW organizing drive at Tesla. He was found guilty of “tweeting” threats to Tesla workers if they decided to join the union, which is a violation of labor law. Musk was ordered to offer back the job with back pay of Richard Ortiz, fired for union organizing. UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, Director of the UAW Organizing Department issued a statement after the ruling:

While we celebrate the justice in today’s ruling, it nevertheless highlights the substantial flaws in US labor law. Here is a company that clearly broke the law and yet it is three years down the road before these workers achieved a modicum of justice.

Musk plans to nuke Mars

Elon Musk has been quite explicit about his plans for placing a colony of 1 million people on Mars by 2050. He is busy making promises that he and his fellow capitalist parasites have been unable to keep here on planet Earth:

“Needs to be such that anyone can go if they want, with loans available for those who don’t have money,” Musk wrote.

Not enough to convince you to leave Earth behind?

“There will be a lot of jobs on Mars!” he added.

To get a million people to Mars, Musk says that he would need to build a fleet of 1,000 giant reusable “Starship” spacecraft, each capable of carrying 100 tons of material and 100 people. It must be noted that so far three of Musk’s prototype Starships have exploded shortly after launch.

Musk’s rockets may permit this human labor force to escape Earth’s gravity, but it will not allow them to escape capitalism’s insatiable craving for profits or the class struggle that would ensue on the Red Planet.  Musk ally Robert Zubrin states:

“Just as the labor shortage prevalent in colonial and 19th century America drove the creation of Yankee Ingenuity’s flood of inventions, so the conditions of extreme labor shortage…will tend to drive Martian ingenuity.”

In a recent interview with CNN Business, Zubrin stood by those ideas, arguing American colonization has worked. Zubrin again harkens back to the colonization of North America as an example of how would-be Mars colonists might fund their trip, either by liquidating their Earthly possessions to fund the trip or by “indentured servitude.”

“If you say, okay, you want to go to Mars, you’re going to want to offer something,” Zubrin said. “If you look at Colonial America, a middle-class person could travel to America by liquidating their farm. But the proceeds would give them a one-way ticket. But if you are working, what you could do is sell your labor for seven years.”

Zubrin, who has worked with conservative think tanks but says he is not politically affiliated, also acknowledged that colonization can go hand-in-hand with exploitation:

“If somebody says, ‘But won’t there be exploitation there?’ Well sure, that’s what people do to each other all the time.”

(Musk has not expounded on his thoughts about colonialism, and he donates to both US political parties.)

To be clear: The story of American colonialism also included chattel slavery and the brutalization and erasure of many native populations.

“There aren’t native Martians,” Zubrin said.

To make the Red Planet more habitable for his colony, Musk plans to transport and then explode 10,000 hydrogen bombs above Mars’s polar ice caps. Supposedly that would create an atmosphere on the planet, although this notion is met by more than skepticism by the scientific community. How much radiation would be released here if even one of Musk’s bomb-laden rockets blew up during the launch (see picture above)?

Musk estimates the cost of this mad scheme to be up to $10 trillion. Most economic experts say the cost would be many times that number, paid for by our working class, not by these billionaire slugs.

Capitalism is at a galactic dead end

Elon Musk bases his Mars venture on the premise that the Earth is becoming more and more uninhabitable, so humans (and especially the vultures on Wall Street) must have an “escape route”.

Musk fails to mention that it is capitalism and imperialism that are steadily poisoning the planet’s air, land and water. Rather than spend their vast hoard of gold acquired off the backs of billions of the world’s workers and poor to stop climate change and eliminate poverty, Musk and his ilk relish the power that their vast holdings give them to maintain their racist and misogynistic grip on our society and its vast wealth, no matter what this costs the bulk of humanity.

The workers and oppressed do not need to leave our planet to create a healthy and happy environ. We can do that right here! All we have to do is free this planet from the tiny handful of the billionaire class and use social ownership and planning over the vast forces of production. No one needs to fear the air we breathe or the water we drink or  the climate we exist in. No one needs to go hungry. No one needs to go without a roof over their heads, while the rich wallow in their yachts and mansions. The solution is not Musk’s Martian boondoggle, but instead a revolutionary overturn of this rotten capitalist system.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Thousands face layoffs in imperialism’s “Crown Jewel” high tech sector – Fighting Words

Leave a Reply