Chapter 21 -- From Earth to Mars

As the Grand Moral Strategy continued to unfold, significant improvements were made in the human condition. The gradual acceleration of the World Development Plan brought more prosperity to many of the developing countries. In most of the countries previous declines were halted and reversed. Many countries -- favored by natural resources, geographic locations or the energy of their people -- made very substantial progress. Only a few of the countries, where autocratic regimes were too firmly entrenched, remained on the sick list. It was time to think about a more full level of global political and economic integration.

Political integration was not yet possible. Even with all the economic progress there were too many disparities between the richer and the poorer countries. With the abolition of war and militarism it also became less urgent to have political integration, since the dangers of war and violence have receded. However, economic coordination was becoming a necessity. Several major trading blocs evolved. North America consisted of the United States, Canada and Mexico. The Pacific trade bloc included Japan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea and others. The European Economic Community unified most of Western Europe. Some of the peace confederations were evolving into significant economic units, such as the Confederation of Abraham, the Danubian Confederation, the Soviet Republics, the Indian subcontinent and Latin America.

The next major task of the World Development Plan was to integrate these regional blocs into a single global market. A combination of subtle political pressures and development aid continued to move these supra-national units toward greater global integration. Where problems emerged -- such as not gaining sufficient benefits from integration -- it was always possible to provide compensation under the Principle of Mutual Advantage. Global integration also was facilitated by the emerging human consciousness. The abolishing of war supplied a common foreign policy goal. The pervasive global television network encouraged mutual tolerance of cultures. Much tourism and travel took place among the citizens of the countries. Cordial contacts were also established among businessmen, government officials, scientists and others. Increasingly more and more countries found it both useful and necessary to harmonize national strategies and policies with other nations and economic blocs. Gradually, a global mindset of a common human race and culture was displacing the obsolescent tribal loyalties.

Increasing prosperity and democracy brought about the lessening of tensions. It now became very important not to lose what was gained. Planning and management on a global scale led to a proper analysis of threats and opportunities. This was then followed by constructive action on every level needed.

Of course the problems of humanity still remained in many places. But enough progress was made for everyone to realize where the future had to lead. The future had to evolve in the direction of a true system of global governance, for the single global tribe of Homo sapiens. At all cost the mismanagement of the past, which caused so much human suffering, had to be avoided.

Paul and the Department of Peace turned their attention to the one project that was most capable of continuing the unification of humanity. As part of the now obsolete arms race considerable investments were made in the use of space for military purposes. President John F. Kennedy's hoped to develop the economic potential of space to solve many of the problems of the Earth. But his successors distorted his dream into an extension of the arms race beyond the surface of the planet. Many satellites were placed into orbit for military surveillance purposes. Plans were made to position nuclear weapons into orbit or into space stations. As the ultimate folly, billions of dollars were wasted on research for the Star Wars program -- developing a defense shield against a nuclear attack on the United States.

As part of the World Development Plan a totally new approach was taken. It was recognized that outer space was the collective possession of all of humanity, not to be abused for destructive purposes or for national advantage. Great opportunities were foreseen in using space for peaceful purposes. Accordingly, national space programs were combined with the related efforts of large corporations, under the coordinating efforts of the World Space Agency.

The surveillance of the vestiges of weapons and militarism still continued. The information collected helped the World Constabulary Force and other military forces to verify disarmament activities, and keep in check the remnants of militarism. All other research funding and space development resources were directed to develop outer space for economic purposes. Commercial, industrial, medical and scientific ventures were to be encouraged. Most of the existing commercial space applications were already enlarged as part of extending the world telecommunications network for educational and technology transfer purposes. Additional emphasis was now placed on navigation systems for ships and airplanes, direct broadcasting and a vastly enlarged communications capability for increasing industrial productivity and efficiency. It was now feasible to develop electronic libraries, remote learning in class-rooms and self-instruction devices. Satellite monitoring assisted in natural resource development, environmental preservation, agricultural crop monitoring and many other areas.

In addition of these practical applications of space there was also a necessity to demonstrate in highly visible project that all of humanity was cooperating in space. One of these projects was the setting up of a permanent space station for scientific research purposes. There was already considerable research done both by the United States and the Soviet Union in this field. Limited cooperation existed even during the Cold War, when space stations and vehicles were fitted with compatible docking equipment. The separate efforts were now totally combined. The other major industrialized nations were invited to participate, both the share the costs and the benefits of the space stations. Many potentially useful industrial applications could be explored in such areas as low-gravity manufacture of metals, plastics and other materials; pure drugs, the production of crystals and alloys that could not be made on Earth, and so on. The assembly of the space station became one of the many conversion projects of the aerospace industries that no longer were needed for the development of armaments. It took only two years to assemble the space station once the decision was made to proceed.

The second project was the sending of a manned mission to Mars. Soviet space planners had the announced goal of putting the first cosmonaut to Mars before the end of the century. As part of their joint efforts to de-arm the planet, the United States and the Soviet Union combined their space exploration efforts. Once again the other rich industrial nations were invited to share the costs and the glory of exploring the Solar System. The "can-do" attitude that succeeded in putting the first man on the Moon permeated the Mars Landing Program. The resources of the huge aerospace industry were converted to this purpose. Assembled in the new space station, the joint Mars Landing Mission indeed left for Mars before the end of the century. The fantasy of science fiction writers became a reality, as humanity decided to obey the biblical injunction of "nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

Beyond Mars beckoned the Solar System, and beyond that the entire Universe to explore. Paul was glad that he was able to contribute to another of the limitless possibilities of a unified humanity.


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