To start a discussion on human rights, related to the expansion of human activities in space, we propose the following manifesto -- by Jerome Clayton Glenn & George S. Robinson (1978) with some help from Thomas Jefferson (to whom their book is dedicated). M.C.B.
The Unanimous Declaration of the Communities of Space Migrants
Recognizing the distinction between thought processes occurring in space and those responding to the influences of inhabiting Earth's surface;
Believing that the habitation of space should be characterized by the full expression of the limitless varieties of humman-related cultures;
Believing that an accurate understanding of the biological foundations of value-forming processes in a space environment will contribute substantially to lessening the fruitless competition and violent conflicts among Earth civilizations;
Desiring to elevate the evolution of Homo sapiens to its next logical stage;
Be it therefore DECLARED:
WHEN IN THE COURSE OF HUMAN EVOLUTION it becomes necessary for progeny to dissolve the political and biological bonds which have connected them with their progenitors, and to assume among the powers of the solar system and galaxy the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and their Creator entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of Earthkind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to their separation into Spacekind. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that Earthkind and Spacekind are created equal to their own respective environments, that once having been raised above their biological origins to a recognizable level of sentience and sapience they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and that among these rights are survival, freedom of thought and expression, and the evolution of individual and community knowledge. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among sentient beings deriving their reasonable and responsive powers from the consent of the governed and by protective inference from those life forms without the capacity to communicate interspecies. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive or these ends, it is the right of the governed to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new set of values and political framework, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its duties and authority in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect both their physical safety and sense of well-being through cultural evolution. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that political, economic, and ideological traditions long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience has shown that Earthkind, and now Spacekind, are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing or radically restructuring the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses, usurpations, and insensitivity to the needs of future generations evolving in a unique life support environment, pursuing invariably the policies of colonial dependency and biological parochialism, it is their right, their obligation, to destroy such usurpations, insensitivity, and unresponsive institutions, and to provide new value standards that will ensure their security from abuses by progenitor cultures and governments of Earthkind. Such has been the sufferance of space community migrants who are now evolved to Spacekind, and who now of necessity are constrained to alter the existing foundations of relationships among Earthkind and Spacekind.
The history of governments and private enterprise in space development industries is a continuing history of injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the maintenance of an absolute tyranny over space communities and Spacekind. To prove this, a list of grievances is unnecessary. A candid world need only remind itself of the historical patterns of Earthkind when nations have pursued economic, ideological, and religious expansion into the less technologically developed continents and societies of Earth. The plea of this Declaration is to break the cyclic violence, warfare, and destruction of civilizations which follow with certainty from the establishment of colonies. We have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated neglect. We have warned the governments and appropriate controlling interests of Earthkind from time to time of their determined insistence to extend their total jurisdiction over space communities and Spacekind functioning in an Earth-alien environment. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement in space, and those of our predecessors. These warnings and reminders, too, have met with the deafness of prevailing justice and a failure to recognize the responsibilities of consanguinity in succeeding generations of Earthkind. We must, therefore, denounce the causes and acquiesce in the necessity of our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Galactic intelligence, Enemies in war; in Peace, Friends.
We, therefore, the representatives of space migrants, space communities, and Spacekind descendants of Earthkind, appealing to the Creator for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of Spacekind settled and living in space communities, solemnly publish and declare that these communities and their inhabitants are free and independent; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the governments and organizations of Earth; and that all political and ideological subservience of Spacekind to Earthkind is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent communities of Spacekind they have full power to protect themselves, establish peaceful relations, contract commercial and defensive alliances, and to do all other acts and things which independent communities in space, as well as on Earth, may do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection offered through the Creative Intent, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our Sacred Honor.