Sunday, April 20, 2014

Libra: The 21st Century Space Colony

Today on Far Future Horizons we present one of the first television motion pictures to depict life in a Space Colony as envisioned by the Gerard K. O'Neill - Libra: The 21st Century Space Colony.

The first motion picture to actually present life aboard an orbital space settlement was Earth II, a pilot film, which first aired on November 28, 1971. Unfortunately, the pilot was never fully developed for television.

Libra is a film which depicts a very hopeful vision of the human future which is deeply rooted in the work of space visionary Gerard K. O'Neill and outlined in his ground breaking book “The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space”.

Libra Space Colony based on O'Neill Bernal Sphere

With great eloquence, O’Neill showed my generation of the 1970s, reeling from the political aftermath of Watergate, the Arab oil embargo, the dire predictions of the Club of Rome, and the soaring gasoline prices that there were no limits to growth or the future prosperity of the human species.

O’Neil’s vision provided my generation a clear and hopeful message - there are no limits to growth but only limits to human imagination and nerve. Human inventiveness and ingenuity can help us surmount any problem or obstacle in our path.

Interior View of a Bernal Sphere Colony

To quote Matt Novak from the Paleo-future blog site:

There’s nothing hotter right now than starting your own libertarian-minded community from scratch. Or at least threatening to do so.

Glenn Beck imagines building a community/theme park somewhere in the United States called Independence Park which would celebrate entrepreneurship and sustainable living. Others envision Idaho as the perfect spot to build a fortress-like libertarian utopia called The Citadel, where “Marxists, Socialists, Liberals, and Establishment Republicans” need not apply. Still others — like PayPal founder Peter Thiel – are drawn to the idea of floating cities in the ocean, a libertarian dream of the future called seasteading.

But all of these dreams pale in comparison to the grand utopian vision of a 1978 film called Libra. Produced and distributed by a free-market group based in San Diego called World Research, Inc., the 40-minute film is set in the year 2003 and gives viewers a look at two vastly different worlds. On Earth, a world government has formed and everything is micromanaged to death, killing private enterprise. But in space, there’s true hope for freedom.

The film explains that way back in 1978 a space colony community was formed using $50 billion of private funds. Back then, government regulations were just loose enough to allow them to form. But here in the year 2003, government regulators are trying to figure out a way to bring them back under their oppressive thumb through taxes and tariffs on the goods they ship back to Earth.

The video starts with a rather ominous voice-over as the camera pushes in on a picture of the earth:

Let’s face it. Your world is falling apart. Politicians engaging nations in wars against the will of the people. Increasing worldwide poverty and starvation. Inflation, high unemployment, staggering crime rates. Skyrocketing costs of nationalized health care. Overpopulation. Inability to meet your energy needs. Bankrupt cities, bankrupt states, bankrupt nations and morally bankrupt people.

We then see that this is New York City in the year 2003.

So then without further ado we present for your viewing pleasure Libra: The 21st Century (Libertarian) Space Colony.

Libra: The 21st Century (Libertarian) Space Colony

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