Rand Simberg nails it:
“And one of the reasons that we need to get into space as soon as possible is not (as I naively thought over thirty years ago, when I first got interested in this) because we are running out of earthly resources, but because we need a new frontier into which to expand human freedom, lest that, the most vital resource, be lost on humanity’s birth world.”
We need to go out into space not just for resources and science, which are both important, but most importantly so that we can keep liberty alive. Because looking around today on Planet Earth, while I have hope for the future, it’s not doing so well. I earnestly believe, though, that if we establish a colony on Mars (and do it properly), the situation of living on another planet will naturally lead to a libertarian (or left-libertarian) society. You’ll have to pull your own weight, as there really won’t be any welfare to rely on. And you’ll have to let people live their own lives to a great extent, because you A) won’t have that policing bureaucracy to do it and B) most people who go to live far away are going to do so because the folks back home are too prying.
Anyways, I’ve always thought that a Martian colony would be pretty libertarian by necessity. Maybe I’m wrong.
Read Simberg here: http://www.transterrestrial.com/?p=45312