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"A SPECTRE Is Haunting Europa"

 Dr. Paul Shackley

Notes towards a future history:

(i) A technology that enables people to live and work throughout the Solar System, generating energy from the materials available, while recognising that the System is electromagnetically and gravitationally a single environment, not merely a number of bodies with empty spaces between them. Colonies on the outer satellites.

(ii) Stories showing the exploitation of the System over several decades with political opposition symbolised by a stylised spectral figure occasionally drawn on walls or machinery. Capitalist conglomerates with names like "Solar Empire" and private space navies. 

(iii) Philosophical debate between scientific materialists and Sol-worshippers. New art forms in low gravity environments. Speculative literature about an alternative history in which, although space was probed, humanity itself remained Earth-bound in the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries.

(iv) Large-scale industrial production, economic slumps and military conflicts. Continued co-existence of wealth and poverty although it is technologically possible to produce abundance for all.

(v)  A novel describing a successful workers' revolution in the industrial centres of Earth, Callisto, Titan, Rhea and Europa. Socialist Parties in these centres uniting Bolshevik revolutionaries and "karma yogis" against the exploitation of humanity and the destruction of the Solar environment. Sympathetic characters on both sides of the conflict. Scientists who try to maintain their research while ignoring political controversies as much as possible. Revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries who respect science and do not try to annex asteroids occupied only by astronomers, physicists etc. Others unleashing unnecessary destruction.

(vi) Flight of capitalists in self-sustaining mobile environments towards the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud. The capitalists and their followers believe that the successful revolutionaries will fight among themselves and that this conflict will be resolved by the imposition of a dictatorship and an end to all freedom in the Inner System.

(vii) Further works showing an emancipated society in the Inner System and the continued struggles and achievements of free enterprisers in the space between Sol and Proxima Centauri. Space is big enough for diverse civilisations that no longer interact. Humanity becomes more than one species.    

 

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Email address: paulshackley@gmail.com