Un-Diplomatic Podcast
Silicon Valley’s Galactic Colony Fetish, w/ Alina Utrata

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Silicon Valley’s Galactic Colony Fetish, w/ Alina Utrata


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In 1927, Morris Cohen explained:

a property right is a relation not between an owner and a thing, but between the owner and other individuals in reference to things...dominion over things is also imperium over our fellow human beings.

That understanding of property—as a political imposition—raises profound questions about how we treat the outer-space commons and whether governments should be subsidizing billionaires as they plunder the stars.

In that vein, how do the space-colony visions of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos meaningfully differ? What does a company like Space-X have in common with the old imperial company-states, like the British East India Company? And why are billionaire bros obsessed with “political exit” projects like seasteading and galactic escapism?

We tackle all that and more with Alina Utrata, a scholar whose new article in American Political Science Review called, “Engineering Territory: Space and Colonies in Silicon Valleyis a banger.


Morris Cohen, Property and Sovereignty

Robert Nichols, Theft is Property

Alina’s Podcast

Alina’s Newsletter

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