I have nothing against manned spaceflight. I’ve always seen the exploration of space as essential for humanity: devout Trekkie that I am, I hold that, if we are ever to grow as a civilisation, we must take those steps into the final frontier. However, I must say, I’m not sure I like the way our american friends are currently going about it. Research and exploration must surely be done for their own sake, not in order to brag to the world about how great you country is, while you completely ignore it’s huge and growing social problems.
Yet that is exactly what the USA is doing. Yesterday it restarted it’s space program to great pomp and ceremony, at the very moment that the biggest wave of civil unrest in years is starting to unfold. Such civil unrest will obviously have many causes, but one of the prime factors is surely the social inequality brought about through the lack of investment in basic state infrastructure we see there. The perverse kind of capitalism we see championed in America will inevitably lead to inequality and unfairness, where those who have exploit and ignore those who have not to the point where they can’t take it any more. That’s what we are now seeing in the states, at the very moment when the egotistical halfwit they currently call their president brags about launching rockets into space. Not only that but, since this was the first privately funded space mission, he uses it as evidence that american capitalism works, as if to tell the world to ignore the starving, suffering, dying people, look at his mate Elon’s rocket instead.
America is not the great nation it thinks it is, and you only need to peek behind the veneer it presents to the world through the endless sitcoms, TV programs and films to look at the way poor people, members of minorities or people who can’t afford health insurance to see that. As I once wrote here, I now very much doubt that I could live as independently there as I do here in the UK. America has lost my respect, and the longer it puts on this arrogant pretence of greatness while leaving those who need help to rot, it will not regain it.