L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 241, October 5, 2003
Feast or Famine
If It Could Have Been Otherwise...
Exclusive to TLE
- The first man landed on the moon; public interest in space rose even higher.
- Ayn Rand wrote "Apollo 11", linking objectivist philosophy with space development.
- Star Trek series ended by TV network; fans protested with massive letters campaign. Star Trek resumed.
- Gerard O'Neill proposed his "High Frontier" plan for orbital space settlements. "L-5" societies began proliferating across the country, organizing and promoting the construction of the first 10,000-people-sized O'Neill-type habitat. Funds from investors and homesteaders fueled the numerous space settlement companies and consortiums.
- Objectivist study groups & publications continued to grow in number and diversity, coalescing in scores of think-tanks, institutes, schools, and foundations. Ayn Rand's book sales accelerated as she aroused more and more people to the romance and adventure of space development and to the rationale and the means to its realization: the philosophy of objectivism. Her last novel, Atlantis Aloft, outselling her previous ones, was about Galt's Gulch rising like a phoenix out of the ruins of America, up into space in a starship designed by John Galt & Co.
- Government authorities and their supporters were losing their power as more people gained understanding and commitment to the morality of reason and rights; Various "Galt's Gulch" societies were formed some in secret, some publicized, some physically located, some virtually so many preparing for re-location to space.
- As the first pioneers began working and living in space building the infrastructure, factories, farms, habitats, etc. on Earth, the fascist and socialist regimes began collapsing due to their ineffectiveness in either convincing or coercing people to support them. Freedom was not only in the air but also more and more in the blood.
- By the end of the decade, enough people were in space for long enough duration such that many were having babies and raising them as the first fully free human generation. One family took on the name "Farnham's Freehold".
- The first self-sustaining orbital cities began emerging as autonomous communities, declaring their independence from the jurisdiction of any government on Earth while the last of the collectivist regimes down there became more brutal (and psychotic) in their desperate attempts to maintain the last of their power.
- Increasing numbers of deserters, refugees, and emigrants were leaving Earth for the freedom and higher quality of living in space, and for the opportunities there that they perceived as being limitless. Earth, at the best of times, was becoming a place "just to visit".
- The new culture of space is becoming more rich, vibrant, and dynamic. The sights of the next generation of explorers and homesteaders are extending to orbits even further out in the solar system, and beyond.
- Many of these astronautical pioneers still remember the genius and valor of Ayn Rand, and are preparing for a celebration on February 2, 2005 the centennial of her birthday with the launching of: Starship Ayn Rand.
...IF ONLY IT WERE SO.
COULD IT STILL BECOME SO?
One event I mentioned in the Alternate History was the celebration of the Centennial of Rand's Birthday on February 2, 2005. That's less than only two years away. While it's unlikely that a Starship Ayn Rand would be launched by then, I do hope numerous other achievements like music, novels, plays, paintings, film, monuments will be dedicated to her on that day. (I have commissioned a composer to write and produce a full musical work called "A Concerto of Deliverance", starshipaurora.com/concertoofdeliverance.html which I'm sure will be completed by then.
I'm calling it, for now, the Centennial: AR100 - Grand Rand Day.