Space colonization and segregation

Before we begin, I want to make a strong statement: the Lagrangian Republican Association is absolutely opposed to all kinds of racial discrimination, and in the society we want to create in outer space, race will never be an issue.

One of the last novels the great science fiction author Isaac Asimov wrote was Nemesis. In this novel Earth has a population of 8 billion people, whilst there hundreds of space habitats with each hundreds or thousands of inhabitants. Further on Earth people of different races are forced to live and work together, but in space people of different races live in their own colonies: black people in black colonies, white people in white colonies. Asimov explains this as a process of self-selection, immigrants from Earth choose for the colony of their own race. The result is a voluntary apartheid in space, or as it was said in the USA: separate but equal.

It’s however the question how realistic this scenario actually is. Although racial prejudices are wide-spread among all races, hardcore racism is in almost every society a minority opinion. In most cases unfamiliarity with people of different races, is the cause of such prejudices and often if one meets a person of different race, people will learn those are just people as themselves.

This is not to deny that racial tensions do exist in many countries. But in many societies race is just one factor among others such as social-economic conditions, inequality, which are causing tension between different groups. Or such tensions are promoted as part of a political agenda, to distract people, especially the lower class, from the real issues. Additionally racism is increasingly condemned by large numbers of people. Certainly there is still much progress to be made here.

In the first space settlements multiracial societies will be the norm, primarily because during the early stages of space colonization there will be only a few space habitats. It’s questionable whether in a society where people of different races have lived peacefully together for a long period, many people will have a strong desire to leave the colony only to live with people of their own race.

Die hard racists are a small group in any society, but they exist. And despite their small number, they can cause much damage. A person à la Anders Breivik can kill dozens of other people. Therefore it would be a good idea if extreme racists could be removed from society entirely. If we could restrain black/white supremacists into their own settlements, we could save society a lot of trouble.

Some people will have moral objections against the idea of allowing racial supremacists to separate themselves from mainstream society. However we should consider the following points: first, no one will be forced to leave mainstream society and it are the racist who will leave. Secondly, no one’s rights will be violated: black supremacists will have the same right to segregate themselves as white and other supremacists. Meanwhile we can enforce equal rights and opportunities in mainstream colonies.

One might argue that other kinds of extremists will segregate themselves from mainstream society. But again most extremist groups are small, and by allowing them to leave we are doing ourselves a great favour. Extremists are a destructive force in any society, and therefore they have to be constrained.

But if such groups will use violence against mainstream colonies? Of course, this arrangement will be conditional: if they leave us alone, we will leave them alone. If they should violate this pact, then we will take any action we deem necessary to protect our liberties.

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