I guess I’m in a minority – possibly of one – among Leftists in supporting and admiring our despised capitalists’ ambitions to spend their ill-gotten gains on space rockets; when, as so many are pointing out, the same amount of money could do a lot of good in combatting famine or homelessness or climate change or one of the other horrors afflicting or threatening us here on earth. But surely there should be enough lucre in rich people’s coffers for both? And there must be other items of expenditure by rich bastards – like big houses and expensive yachts and donations to the Conservative Party – that are far less worthy than are trips to Mars, or even to the edge of space? And – most importantly – someone has to get going with developing the means for us – the human race – to find a home on another planet, for when our planet dies. As it will, of course, by plunging into the sun eventually, or by us humans killing it off far sooner than that. Possibly very soon, if present climatic conditions are anything to go by.
Ideally it should be governments, and coalitions of governments, that should be doing this, as they are to an extent – especially America and China – right now. But will they do it quickly enough? It’s hard to imagine this, especially when they’re in the hands of democracies – or “democracies” – with other priorities, and pestered by the ‘charity begins at home’ brigade most of the time. I hugely disapprove of Musk and Branson for how they accumulated their riches. And I’m sure you can read a lot of cod ‘psychology’ into the penis shapes that their ambitions are taking on. But at least they’re investing their fortunes in humanity’s future; which is more than can be said for most plutocrats.
Personally I’m not greatly worried about humanity’s demise. But I would find it infinitely depressing if I thought that its cultural achievements would not survive for ever. If Musk or Branson could help save Mozart for eternity (Mozart standing in here for other great works of art, of course) all would be forgiven, in my book; even their tax avoidance, destruction of small businesses, exploitation of labour and designs on the NHS. I long to know that my descendants, aeons in the future, could still hear Mozart played on a terraformed Mars. And then in Alpha Centauri; and beyond. If we need capitalist bastards to do this for us, then so be it. It might even be thought to justify capitalism.
Sorry for the long pause, by the way. Eight week old puppies take a lot of looking after. And they don’t seem to have any respect for writing.