After the discussion of rights and obligations for individuals and private organizations it is time to focus on nations. Nations and their competition among each other are part of the problem. On the other hand, the terraistic goals can be reached faster and better with the cooperation of the nations. Therefore, some special features are required for their membership in the association.
Should states have voting rights?
Nations sometimes have many citizens, but even in the best democratic form they usually represent the interests of just over half the population. In autocratic forms, depending on the leadership, only very few citizens and elites may be represented. There are quite some other differences as compared to private organization. For one thing, it is usually possible to decide for or against certain employers and to change them. Secondly, the representation of interests by companies is usually oriented towards the purpose of the company in terms of content. In contrast to most countries, most commercial enterprises will not interfere in religious, ethical, educational, family and similar issues. As always, exceptions confirm the rule. In the case of nations, however, this rule is to some degree reversed. In this respect, it is obvious that, unlike in other organizations, voting rights should not be based on the number of citizens. To the contrary voting rights should be reduced to the legal minimum. Instead, member states should have information rights and an advisory vote in the association. This increases transparency and thus also reduces concerns about the association’s activities.
How much should nations pay?
One would not relate the membership fees to the population size. This would have the advantage of keeping the entry threshold low, especially for states that are rich in population but financially poor. To further its goals and become even more effective, the association has an interest to have them on board. So instead of a membership fee, it would be the requirement to grant the association an advisory voice and a right to information in national committees in return for membership. All in all, this would create a learning cycle that would hopefully maintain or create understanding for each other.
Can states form collective actions?
The member states could then agree on collective actions in working groups similar to the companies. The mediation and arbitration offices of the association would be accessible for their enforcement. Each new national member would have to accept the already agreed upon contents of collective actions. This would also create an incentive for early membership and a desirable dynamic. In terms of the association’s goal, in addition to peacekeeping, which will probably not be easy at this point, fair access to resources, participation in space programs and the setting of minimum ethical standards for national legislation are crucial. Also, there may be preferential agreements with the association regarding its training projects. Conversely, support from nation states in effectively promoting the colonization of space will be welcome. Through membership, nation states also gain privileged access to the network of companies and organizations that are members of the terraistic association and have access to new planet-securing technologies and public relations bodies. This results in opportunities for cross cooperation, which in turn makes membership in the association more attractive for all parties involved.
We are coming to end for the one year cycle discussing Terrasim. Time for a shift of perspective.