Exiling the super-rich from Earth is an efficient path to space settlement, because each one of them will use his wealth to build his own habitat. None of them will want to share, and all of them will have their own ideas of how things ought to be. 100 multi-billionaires, 100 habitats, 100 opportunities to see what works and what doesn't.




I believe it was John Varley - in his Gaea Trilogy - who described humanity as slowly leaving the Earth behind in multiple artificial arks.

He decribed the results as mixed - at best (particularly for arks created by religious movements).

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Brigham Young was shockingly successful at getting people to leave, not only well-established communities in the Eastern USA, but Europe, to go to the howling wilderness of the Great Salt Lake.

Whatever makes a Prophet as distinct from a common-or-garden lunatic or confidence man, he had it. As with the undeniable possession by Mao of the Mandate of Heaven, how he came by it is kind of a scary question which I don't care to examine right now!

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