When I consider the unique state the United States found itself in after WW2, as the sole possessor of nuclear weapons, I am reminded of the derivative yet compelling Jordan Peterson quote: “A harmless man is not a good man. A good man is a very dangerous man who has that under voluntary control.”
While being deeply critical of even century-old American policies, granting any number of possible and damning conspiracies, an objective viewer should grant that America’s choice to not systematically dismantle existing militaries and exterminate all potential for non-American militaristic growth around the globe was the most moral act of history. The act is equal to Hannibal freeing his elephants, to the British Navy being decommissioned to serve as pleasure ships.
Years later, with Pandora’s nuclear box wide open, we live in a world where morality did not lead to the greatest outcome (in a game theory way of thinking) for the United States; rather, nuclear weaponry rotating through our world has and will remain a constant threat to our existence. The good news is we are still alive. However, we could soon be facing another such moment, when a technological leap elects a single nation to choose the fate of our world.
China has dedicated fortunes and ample attention to catching up with other spacefaring countries. According to the executive summary of the 2019 Report to Congress of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, China has a “military-civil fusion strategy” to turn space into “a critical U.S. military and economic vulnerability.” While scoffing at space travel has become fashionable in many quarters, make no mistake about the importance of avoiding a future where any other nation has a monopoly on space. We’d quickly learn the world is very different when people are looking down on you.