Endangered Species

From a comment on today’s topic at Mangan’s, here is James Bowery, Chairman of the Coalition for Science and Commerce, testifying before the House Subcommittee on Space July 31, 1991:

In short, the lack of a frontier is leading us away from the progressive values of the Age of Enlightenment, upon which our country was founded, and back to the stagnant feudalistic values of the middle ages… We forget the rule of law and submit to the rule of bureaucracy, both corporate and governmental; for in a world without frontiers, the future belongs to the bureaucrat, not the pioneer.

The topic: Does our failure to return to the Moon show that as a nation we have lost our vigor and virility? It certainly seems to me that we have.

Bowery’s words focus the question sharply: what is our New Frontier? What becomes of a nation and people like ours when we have no continent to tame, no civilization to build?

Read Bowery’s remarks in full here, and the thread at Mangan’s here.

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One Comment

  1. Chris G says

    That’s a great quote, and the paragraph right before it is even better, imho.

    “Without a frontier, for the past two decades, Americans have operated under the inevitable conclusion that land, raw materials and wealth itself are fundamentally limited and therefore to be hoarded and controlled — rather than created. Out of this post-Apollo mentality, a deeply rooted cynicism has led young people into careers as lawyers and financial manipulators rather than farmers, inventors and engineers. It has led to an environmental movement which loathes humanity’s natural capacity to transform hostile environments with technology. It has led to cartels, wars over energy and a devastatingly expensive arms race. It has led businesses and investors to remain averse to high risk technology development even as they issue billions in high risk debt vehicles for corporate take-overs. It has led to a preference for real estate speculation over job creating investments, making it nearly impossible for most of those born in the mid-to-late baby boom of the 1950s to establish stable careers, homesteads and equity for retirement, even with two incomes.”

    ————-
    Still, the 90’s turned out to be one heckuva decade for humanity & technology!

    Posted June 25, 2010 at 10:34 am | Permalink