– By Gitabushi
It is a common refrain among conservatives and science fiction fans that we need a new frontier. I’m not above advocating what is already popular, but I think I can add some depth to the argument.
Science fiction fans want a new frontier because we were attracted to speculative fiction for the exploration of new ideas, new societies, and new worlds. The Earth’s surface has been extensively explored. I would never claim we understand everything about the Earth, but there are few places that haven’t been thoroughly explored, categorized, and claimed. But consider colonizing the moon! Or terra-forming and settling Mars! Or learning to live safely and profitably underneath the ocean’s surface!
For the Science Fiction fan, exploration, claiming, and settling new frontiers is a no-brainer: it’s what we do. We do it because it’s there. No other reason is needed.
For the conservative, however, and particularly for the libertarian, the idea of a new frontier is attractive because of the lure of liberty and freedom. When man sets foot in new territory, civilized society, with all its laws and restrictions and control, can exert only a weak influence at best. The Statists are constantly seeking to extend their control over ever-more-minute details of the everyday lives of citizenry: surveillance, taxes, restrictions, more taxes, nudges, property taxes, Sanitized by the Government for Your Protection, stealth taxes, corruption, etc. Civilization is wonderful, but where civilization goes, Statism follows, and the infringements on liberty are incessant and pervasive.
I think there are additional reasons we need a new frontier, and we need it badly, and we need it as soon as possible.
I mentioned previously that where civilization goes, Statism follows. But it is more than that. Systems and structure grow organically. Interests and assets become entrenched. The Left is decrying the collection of wealth in the hands of the few, and always complaining how difficult it is for the unskilled and poorly educated to earn a living wage.
This is exactly why we need a new frontier.
Think for a moment, if you will, of the individuals who have an IQ of 80-90. Just saying “that person has an IQ of 90” sounds like you are calling them stupid, doesn’t it? How can someone with an IQ of 90 succeed in a world that is increasingly information- and knowledge-based? And a person with an IQ of 80 is even more constrained by their limited intelligence.
But those with an IQ of 90 are just as numerous as individuals with an IQ of 110.
Sure, in the United States, it is still possible to work hard with diligent attention to detail and succeed. Even more so if you can acquire a strong grasp of human nature and cultivate good judgment of character.
But those opportunities are dwindling.
The Elite protect their own. With greater wealth, they are able to give their children more experiences. With greater status, they are able to give their children more opportunities. That doesn’t guarantee any success, of course, any more than the lack of wealthy experiences and opportunities damns a child to failure. A child’s future success still depends mostly on the child themselves, as they learn and grow and seek knowledge and ability. Parents can teach their values, schools can teach information, but it is always up to the individual to accept, grasp, mull, and apply the values and information into knowledge, life skills, and success.
However, I think no one has much heart to argue that the paths for lower-IQ individuals who start with a lower economic class base are fewer than just a few decades ago, and will continue to disappear in the future.
A new frontier multiplies those paths and opportunities.
First, wealth flows to those who risk and work hard. Leaving civilization is a risk. Leaving, you risk death itself, but also encounters with the lawless that are beyond the reach of civilized law. Being a pioneer means investing yourself into risk, and the returns from exploring new frontiers are correspondingly rich. You can actually *own* your territory without property taxes. With zero or minimal taxation, you can actually *own* the fruits of your labor.
Second, frontiers require labor. Intelligence is absolutely required, as well…but a strong back and willing hands go farther in a frontier. Remember, your earnings are not based on the value you provide (although the value you provide to your employer caps your earnings), but are based on how much it would take to replace you with someone equally skilled. Earnings for trades and other manual labor stagnate and sag in a civilized, established, knowledge-based economy because there are so many other people that can replace you. There’s always someone else willing to work for just a little bit less, and the learning curve for the job isn’t that high.
But in a frontier, the risks reduce the ranks of those willing. Labor is always at a premium in a frontier.
Opening a new frontier should appeal to all people, regardless of political affiliation, ideology, or societal view. If you want new worlds to explore, you want a new frontier. If you crave liberty, you want a new frontier. And if you care about the poor, the poorly-educated, the less-intelligent, the ones who did not do well in the genetic lottery, the downtrodden, those left behind, etc., then you should be clamoring the loudest for a new frontier, because it is the best way to provide new opportunity and new wealth to those currently experiencing extensive obstacles in our stratified, calcifying society.