Abstract

Commercial NewSpace industries are increasingly significant players in outer space. The temptation is to see NewSpace as merely the next step in neoliberal capitalism’s search for new profits and markets. However, finance capitalism’s emphasis on short-term investor “exit strategies” is actually hostile to both the cosmological vision and entrepreneurial practice of NewSpacers, who seek a different “exit strategy”: to escape Earth’s gravity and establish space settlements which they see as essential to long-term human survival and evolution. At the same time, critical theorists are hostile to, or ignore, the idea of space as a site for human sociality. I argue that the context of outer space—and what it promises—challenges a progressive perspective on human futures to take seriously the cosmological visions of powerful social actors whose goals naturalize capitalist relations, even as these goals are re-imagined in reference to powerful cultural and economic historical tropes.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1518
Print ISSN
0003-5491
Pages
pp. 1045-1067
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-31
Open Access
No
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