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African lawfare to take control of space

Modern academia: Marching with Lenin!
Modern African academia, proudly marching with Lenin!

It appears that a growing cadre of African lawyers are working within international organizations such as the UN and the International Astronautical Union (IAU) to use the Outer Space Treaty as a wedge to take control of space, wresting it from the hands of private commerical companies.

I make this assessment based upon a long article about this new lawfare published today in Wired, describing the training and political goals of a number of young African layers in the field of international space law.

[S]ome players in the global south are gearing up for the orbital future not just by scrambling to launch satellites, but by building up skills in outer space law—the evolving area of international jurisprudence that introduced the “province of all mankind” concept in the first place.

Though the Outer Space Treaty is still the cornerstone of space law, other international agreements have built up around it over the years—and more still are desperately needed to regulate today’s realities in space. “This is an area of rulemaking where they’re just setting up the rules for the future, so you need to have a perspective now,” explains Timiebi Aganaba, a British-Canadian-Nigerian professor at Arizona State University who has been instrumental in driving African interest in space law. “If the system gets built without you—if you come in later—people will start quoting laws to you.”

In 2011, Aganaba helped organize the first teams of African law students to enter something called the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition. The global tournament, named after an architect of the Outer Space Treaty, uses fictional court cases to train young lawyers how to think through the plausible conflicts that could soon arise beyond the atmosphere—and it is far and away the most important professional conduit into the field of space law. Students who make it to the final round of the competition argue their cases before actual judges from the International Court of Justice—the world’s highest forum for legal disputes between countries. And since 2011, teams from Africa have become a force in the competition. In 2018, South Africa’s University of Pretoria won the international championship.

If Aganaba’s name rings a bell to my readers, it is no surprise. Only last week I reported on a conference she moderated at Arizona State University (ASU), advocating more regulatory control over the space industry, with many of those regulations harnessed to impose racial quotas favoring minorities under the guise of critical race theory.

Today’s article shows how she is organizing upper-class African youth to work with her for these regulatory goals. Instead of teaching these young Africans engineering so that they can build their own satellites and rockets and fairly earn a share of the marketplace, they instead being taught to use lawfare to force others to give them that share, even if they actually do nothing to earn it.

The article specifically targets Elon Musk and SpaceX, making both to be evil villians oppressing the poor nations of the world by its success.

According to a growing contingent of advocates, academics, and officials around the world, this narrow dominance of orbit [by SpaceX] resembles something all too familiar: a colonial land grab. According to some scholars, it may even amount to a violation of the Outer Space Treaty itself.

Be warned. This is the future being proposed by this bankrupt Marxist intellectual class. Freedom is bad, private property is bad, and above all, the capitalist western nations coming from Europe that base their societies on these ideals are bad. All must be stopped, before they oppress everyone else with freedom and property rights and the pursuit of happiness.

This is the future these new academics envision, a world of Venazuelas and East Germanys and North Koreas and Soviet Unions.

As I say, be warned.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


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