Elon Musk: A New Life Awaits You in the Off-World Colonies—for a Price

SpaceX founder Elon Musk at a Crew Dragon event at the company’s Hawthorne, California headquarters in October 2019.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk at a Crew Dragon event at the company’s Hawthorne, California headquarters in October 2019.
Photo: Philip Pacheco/AFP (Getty Images)

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who has previously conceded that many of the people whom he desires to send to Mars must be prepared to risk death in the process, has sweetened the deal with the hint of some indentured servitude.

On Thursday evening, Musk answered some questions on Twitter regarding his prototype Starship spacecraft—a vehicle which he claims will, one day, ferry colonists to Mars as part of a species-saving colonization effort. And, well, the answers are a doozy. Musk claims that megatons of freight-to-orbit would be necessary each year—which is probably true!—and he set an ambitious timeline of producing 100 Starships per year to reach a total of 1,000 over the next decade. That fleet would be capable of transporting an average of 100 megatons of a year or around 100,000 people “per Earth-Mars orbital sync,” referring to the lowest distance between Earth and Mars, which happens every 26 months or so.

That would place SpaceX on track towards its goal of having a million people on Mars by the year 2050, assuming this is not all inane gibberish with very little to no chance of actually happening, and that Musk’s math checks out, which we can’t be bothered to do.


Oh, and anyone who wishes to go along for the ride will have to pay for it, despite the fact that Mars would arguably be SpaceX’s job site.

Can’t afford it? Take out a loan and pay it off by working for SpaceX when you’re there, which is definitely not at all like indentured servitude because... Mars? Because it happens on Mars. That appears to be the logic. Mars!


Mars is also the reason why Musk can be a billionaire and “actually a socialist” at the same time.


Just sit back, relax, and remember: A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies. The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure. Brought to you by SpaceX (tm).

"... An upperclassman who had been researching terrorist groups online." - Washington Post

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“We’re creating a process of indentured servitude on Mars, and establishing a libertarian caste system based entirely off of debt!”

That’s what he’s saying here. You think the folks on Mars are going to be easily free of their debts under that kind of a system? You think the debtors are going to have the same rights? Do you even think, for a single second, that they wouldn’t be happy to deport you back to Earth if you fail to meet their expectations?

This is why I keep screaming, at the top of my lungs, don’t privatize space.

We already saw what happens when you privatize expansion during the Age of Imperialism - it didn’t end well for a lot of people. Hundreds of millions, in fact.

Read up on indentured servitude in British Colonies during the colonial era and tell me if you think Musk and Bezos at the helm sounds even remotely sane or humanitarian.