kestrel

kestrel
2022-01-17 08:27:19 (UTC)

Prompt 147: Colonialism By Any Other Name...

147. If you could add another state to the union, what place in the world would you want to add and why? Would you consider living there? Why or why not?
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Sure, sure... Let's indulge colonialism just once more. This time, with feeling!

The United States has no business attempting to annex any more of the planet. No state government does, really. But, as I am typically wont to do with questionable prompts like this one: go big, or go home.

There are two possible scenarios in which the USA may want to colonize or annex another territory in an effort to establish a new state of the union:
1. Extra-terrestrial settlement.
2. Territory annexation on the planet Earth.

SCENARIO 1: EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL SETTLEMENT
Between the two, this seems more likely, believe it or not. I'll go into more detail about the main reasons why in the second scenario, but in general there may be a way for the USA to plunder another planet. I'd imagine that realistically, the Moon is the most likely target for this sort of thing. I still think the logistical issues with settling on Mars are a bit too demanding. Provided that it can happen at all, here's how and why.

So NASA (not one of those corporate spaceflight tourism agencies) lands sustainable colony pods on the Moon. Almost immediately, the planet is mined and plundered for natural resources: iron, rare earth elements, aluminum, silicon, and even frozen water. Solar panels are manufactured, vehicles and structures are fabricated, and eventually, plants are grown in lunar greenhouses.

The goal of these lunar facilities is for one thing: mineral independence from China. Eventually there will be lunar missile silos aimed back at Earth, and the USA would use them to enforce its national defense. Probably missiles would be the only thing brought back from the Moon to Earth, as it's too expensive to make shuttling of iron or the Rare Earth Elements (for example) back to the USA. More than likely however, the USA will want to defend its lunar outposts from other governments eager to plunder the Moon's "natural resources." Which leads me to scenario 2...

2. TERRITORY ANNEXATION ON THE PLANET EARTH
Any situation in which an established country takes over another somewhere on Earth will likely be seen as a Good Thing by nobody. "The optics are a PR nightmare." However, as overpopulation and climate change squeeze more and more arable land and living space, Canada seems a likely candidate for this sort of thing, regardless. Mexico would be considered since it's in the neighbourhood but the temperatures there will likely trend too high to make it or Central American countries an attractive option. The islands of the Caribbean are also too hot, shrinking, overcrowded, and beholden to terrible weather half the year.

Canada is a good bet. It's already a satrap slave of the United States, so most USians would take it's annexation for granted. It's right next door, and pretty much cut-off from the rest of the world, when compared to its proximity to the USA. There's a lot of unsettled/uncivilized land ripe for plunder by our corporate overlords. The indigenous population will be ignored or wiped out by the powers that be, just like they are already in the United States. There's a lot of oil and timber in Canada: two "natural resources" that the USA holds dear. I also suspect that Canada - were it to defend itself - would be more of a conventional (read: unimaginative) opponent that the USA could actually defeat in a protracted war.

One thing the USA must ensure is to not encroach on China's sphere of influence. So South Korea isn't an option, Taiwan isn't an option, more Pacific islands are not an option. A land mass in North America, however, is far enough from China (with the exception of the North Pole, perhaps) and close enough to the United States to make it strategically worthwhile.

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Would I consider living in either of these "new states?" I see nothing in it for me, in either case. I already no longer want to live in the USA. Canada being annexed takes away one possible escape route, and living on the Moon as some corporate wage slave - literally cut-off from the planet - is likely the worst possible scenario I could ever imagine for the second half of my life.


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