Re: SPACE: Lunar Warfare

James Rogers (
Thu, 16 Jan 1997 21:33:45 -0800

At 07:10 PM 1/16/97 -0800, The Low Willow wrote:
>The only gov't-of-Earth that can be said to exist, the UN, has a treaty
>stating the Moon is not for commercial development. And sometimes
>individual nations get picky about people trying to secede from them.
>Probably especially if it's for tax reasons. And some nations don't
>always listen to PR.

Nonetheless, any significant moon occupation would bring up sovereignty
issues. A private multi-national corporation would not have any particular
obligation to a country, and for any serious development *someone* will have
to take control. The UN can't govern it, because the UN is not capable of
behaving as a sovereign government in its current form. Not to mention they
couldn't find their way out of a paper bag, let alone run a country. It
would be difficult for any country to press rights when 1) they have no
presence on the moon, and 2) they don't have any historical claim to that
particular piece of real estate.

>} Whatever the scenario, one of the important points is that any corporate
>} group that seriously develops the moon, once it is assured of resource
>} that they would be incredibly irresponsible to their stockholders to NOT
>Ah, would these stockholders still be on Earth? If so, I hope I don't
>have to expand on the flaws in this scenario. Even if not, the colony
>might not be independent of further immigration, which Earth could cut
>} benfits from, their ability to multiply greater rates of capital growth

Economics would probably be the driving factor in all this. If the lunar
colony can produce critical materials and technologies (such as advanced,
cheap alloys) at lunar pennies on the earth dollar, then there will be
little the earth can do to stop *everyone* from trading with the lunar
colony. It would simply be to profitable to not trade with the lunar
colony. As has happened historically, economics will drive government
policy and world action.

>Without an influx of skilled people, perhaps not.
>Again, I'm not saying there aren't scenarios where a young colony can't
>break away. In some scenarios they might be let go without pain. I
>just don't see that the gravity well is a super-ace that lets Luna off
>under any conditions.
>Another variation: Luna declares independence. Earth protests formally
>and harasses any ground connection but otherwise does not attack. Earth
>then heavily invests in getting a government presence in space, which
>can compete directly with Mikeycorp or turn against you later, "bringing
>the deviants back into the fold." An attempt to maintain your monopoly
>in space before the gov't grows strong there then justifies a
>destructive attack against you.

Any government attempts at trying to catch up and eventually take over would
have to be done at the early stages of lunar development, and would be
extremely expensive for the government in any event. A well developed Luna
would be almost impossible to recover. Toothpaste out of the tube...

-James Rogers