ISS – View out of the Cupola

There are always two sides to a coin, and today I had to reflect on these two side in regards my my anarchistic conviction.

It is easy and righteous to be an anarchist, and to help as little as possible for all those things most of us abhor. War, extortion, corruption, etc. But there are a few things that I like that these guys are doing, like helping to get pictures like this…

Tracy's View out of the Cupola on the ISS

This is just one sample of the pictures taken by astronaut Douglas H. Wheelock during  his stay at the International Space Station just about 200 miles straight up. I can’t help considering other people who do not appreciate this venture out into space, just as I don’t appreciate beating up the Irakies or toppling a South American Dictator.

One of the most heard arguments against anarchy (in the sense of a society without a ruling government – not the definition of ‘chaos in the streets’) is “but somebody will have to build and maintain the roads!” On first glance that seems to be a valid argument, but thinking a bit further there are possibilities that don’t make it look so good. For one, a private builder who builds an area with houses he wants to sell, will make sure that there is a road that lets people get to these houses. Would make the houses probably a bit more expensive but considering that the buyer does not pay any taxes to a usually very inefficient government, the house with the street factored in would probably come cheaper than the house plus the taxes.

But what about highways and freeways? In part of the US we already have toll roads and they seem to be working just fine, and again the saving in taxes factored in, traveling might actually become cheaper. But lets assume that it would actually be more expensive to travel longer distances along toll roads – maybe other means of transportation would have been invented if they would be now more competitive without any government strong-arming the use of the road and car system. Maybe there would be already flying cars that don’t require expensive road building – or we would actually have the rolling roads of the early Heinlein – would THAT be cool!

Back to the space pictures. It might have take us a bit longer to reach the moon, but there is a good chance that we would have a flourishing space industry if there would have been no monopolistic government involved. A good chance that I might be able to afford a trip to Bigelow’s Space Hotel in one of Burt Rutan’s SpaceShip 4’s.

There would have been less people contributing to the cost of developing these space technologies, because right now each and every tax-paying citizen is a contributor. But if only the people who wanted it would be contributing, which is far less, it still could be more, as – first – an inefficient middle man is cut out of the loop, and – second – the people who do contribute really want it, and how much energy does does real intention add to the equation?

But despite all these ifs and whens I can still enjoy the great images from the ISS that were created with all our contributions – willing and unwilling – even forced. Here again the link to astronaut Wheelock’s images.