The prospective colonization of Mars is perhaps one of the biggest achievements of humankind. It is the stuff of science fiction fans dreams. But will the colonization of Mars be any different than the past colonizations here on Earth? Until proven otherwise, there are no indigenous lifeforms on Mars, so we will not be destroying anyone’s way of life. But if our treatment of each other has been an indication, it is the lives of human beings we should be concerned about.
The primary colonies will be trained, and hopefully prepared for any situation they may encounter. They will need and depend on each other. However, as more colonies are built, and by different nations, can the subsequent colonists maintain a level of order and civilization? Or will they revert to the Earth ways of discrimination, caste systems, war, and forced labor?
Traveling to Mars for now, is a one way trip. Once you’re there you’re not coming back. Children will inevitably be born there; new generations who have not seen the horrors that we have made. Perhaps Mars is a chance for human beings to finally do right by all people. But the saying, “once it is forgotten you are doomed to repeat it,” comes to mind.
Assuming the colonists land safely, and survive the harsh environment, it really will be a world made by them. Mars will become what they make it. Let’s hope that the mistakes we have made in our past will not be forgotten. Let our mistakes stand for the new colonists and their subsequent generations to see, so they can travel down a better path, and make a better past for their future.