“What are people FOR?” -Wendell Berry
“There’s probably a website called 'Watch-dot-Mark-dot-Watley-dot-Die-dot-com’”- The Martian, Andy Weir.
Any NASCAR fan can tell you that the real money will be in the Spectacle of the thing, whether it’s the bright colors, the drunk fans or the crashes.
Nobody puts forth the question of what we can do for Mars itself as human beings because we might have to question what we are doing for Earth. That might lead to similar silly questions about colonization and “supporting American interests” around the world.
What are we doing for Syrian/Iraqi/Venezuelan farms? What are urban systems doing for the future of surrounding land and waters? What is money actually being used for after it is created? What are people with resources doing to sustain those resources?
The question of Mars governance brings us to questions of human behavior that illustrate the failure of humans as an asymbiotic species exploiting a planet without ever going anywhere. We dream of Mars because there is no life to worry about caring for except investor’s bank accounts. Governance will be established as it has always been: by privilege of egoistic anthropocentric ignorance and selfishness.
Is there gold on Mars?
The Earth doesn’t need it, and we can’t afford things that Earth doesn’t need.