In psychological practices, Rorschach Tests have, for the most part, become an outdated means of analyzing the human psyche. True as this may be, there are still Psychiatrists that utilize this method largely due to its capacity to detect certain patterns within the individual, shedding tremendous insights into what the person in question fears most. While this may seem otherwise irrelevant in study of various elements pertaining to the colonization of Mars as is intrinsically found in the literature of Red Mirror, the fact remains that the same is true in regard to literature in and of itself, as it speaks of the psychological condition of the people that wrote it. This is exemplified in the early stages of this scientific branch, and more specifically, in terms of Freudian Psychology, in which the earliest diagnosis were estimated as the byproduct of what people wrote. Something that ostensibly rings true in today’s day in age, as theories that it is English teachers that are best suited to detect an individual in Psychological distress as a result of their writing, further bolsters this argument. Bearing these notions in mind in their relationship to the literature of Mars, and more specifically in association with the colonization of the red planet, it is interesting to note that a distinctive pattern emerges in these works; one that is subtle, and yet so transparently clear – – one that in it’s more rudimentary essence, seems to point to a fear based aspect of the human condition. On a surface level, the literature of Mars, such as in the case of Martian Time-Slip, Moving Mars, and Red Mars, explore the major concerns of Earth, such as overpopulation, the allocation of raw resources and pecuniary emulation, economic concerns and the gap between the poor and the wealthy, governmental corruption, climate instability, societal and cultural differences, and the global conquest for powers, as well as a plethora of other motivational variables, as a type of catalyst to justify the necessity for the overarching theme of colonization, which is based on an otherwise historical, and yet outdated blueprint or model. This of course illustrated in the many parallelisms and analogies found in the literature of Mars that reference the frontier, or, in the case of Red Mars, the many comparisons that are made likening the movements occurring on the planet to what lead to the American Revolution, and other historical figures that shaped the course of history. However, what is most interesting, is that all of these themes, archetypes, and issues of global interest, conveyed in the literature of Mars, and especially in the context of its interconnectivity with colonization, seems to act as a type of mask so to speak, or a sort of thinly-veiled curtain, obscuring what seems our greatest insecurity, or fear, which is essentially the self, and our unquestionably destructive, and even self-destructive nature. That is to say that when we look at the blotted images of a Rorschach, or in the case of Red Mars, the hallways of mirrors progressing into infinity, we are afraid because we see only ourselves. With it, implying that, at the most fundamental level, that people colonize as an attempt to flee this sheer destructive force, but, like a person running from the past, or from themselves, only serve to bring the problem with them. On a rudimentary, an in-depth psychoanalytic examination of the literature of Mars in relationship to the overarching theme of colonization reveals a reoccurring pattern which highlights a sort of fear of the self, in terms of the more destructive components demonstrated in human nature.
“Steiner said, ‘They’re going to close down Camp B-G. Good,” the owner of the Red Fox said. We don’t need those freaks here on Mars; it’s bad advertising. I agree, Steiner said, at least to a certain extent. It’s like those babies with seal flippers back in the ‘60’s, from them using that German drug. They should have destroyed all of them; there’s plenty of healthy normal children born, why spare those others? If you had a kid with extra arms or no arms, deformed in some way, you wouldn’t want it kept alive, would you (Dick 49)?” In short, this brief narrative illustrates the brilliance in which P.K. Dick navigates the social concerns, constructs, and beliefs of Earth as they are placed on the Martian frontier. To summarize, the individuals in care at Camp B-G represent the anomalous percentage of the populace whose development has otherwise been impeded or retarded in some physical or mental manifestation.. What these characters are essentially discussing is that of a proposal which argues a sort of eradication of these individuals in question to which Steiner questions the morality of, and which in his general conclusion leads to his immediate suicide, which with it raises other issues pertaining to mental health. True as this may be, what is of particular interest as Dick expands on these sentiments throughout his book, is that he utilizes individuals with Schizophrenia and Autism as the protagonists in his narration. This is particularly fascinating when considering that vast majority of the characters in the book seemed concerned with highlighting what characteristics of the human race should best represent the people of Mars, leaving the aspects they don’t like such as mental illness, as a type of intrinsically Earth-bound problem, lost somewhere in the past. That being said, it also acts to demonstrate the issues of xenophobia or hate for the other, ethnocentricity, and other such notions that are so innately characteristic of colonization. Within this deep-seated fear, or sense of superiority, the reader receives its first glimpse of the fear of the self, within the fear or hatred of the other, as well as in the appearance for people to fear what they do not understand. It is also worthwhile to note when considering it has unquestionable Darwinian implications inherent within this issue. More specifically, it is particularly fascinating that despite all of our efforts to suppress these tendencies; to alienate them, drug them, isolate these genes, prevent them, etc. etc. that it stills continues to express itself in the human genome, and as of recently, almost at an exponential rate, as is best exemplified in the current increase that is found within the Autistic demographic. Could it be that what we notice in the case of individuals is a rather appropriate response to an otherwise chaotic world? Humans by nature exert a need to survive in any scenario, by which we adapt to our environment, longing to fit in, mirroring the behaviors of those around us. As such, in a chaotic world, that is ever changing, and constantly in flux, isn’t a similar behavioral response something that can almost be expected? This sort of disposition in the human condition to attempt to speed up the process of natural selection, or to act as an agent of it by endeavoring to remove the aspects they deem unfit is present in almost every instance of the literature of Mars. One such exemplification can be found in the case of the introduction to Red Mars, in which the first hundred to populate Mars undergo an extensive year-long process on Antartica, in which they are examined, and studied thoroughly with much scrutinization, much like a microorganism under a microscope in order to determine which of them was most fit for the expedition. A process that we later learn does not yield the most accurate representations, as the characters admit that they lied to get where they were at, as is illustrated in the passages, “So they lived in Antarctica for over a year together, familiarizing themselves with each others…So they went on being brilliant and accomplished enough to stand out, but normal enough to get along…But that was part of the test…And then they left Antarctica, and the team was chosen,’ as well as that in, “Sax said, ‘The test made you lie. What not you? Arkady demanded. Didn’t you lie too? Well, no, Sax said blinking as though the concept never occurred to him before. I told the truth to every question. They laughed harder than ever before (Robinson21-29, 62-63). There are also Philosophical implications of this as is evident in the case of Johns thought process in relation to the self as he notes to himself, “How hidden the true self is, he thought, under the phenomenological mask. In reality, they were all actors all the time, playing those video parts, and there was no chance of contact with true selves inside others, not anymore; over the long years their parts had hardened into shells and the selves inside atrophied, or wandered off and gotten lost. And now they were all hollow,” as was as in the references made to the works of individuals like Nietzsche and others of the likes. Just as it is noticeable in the demonstrations of Hiroki creating for a generation of children made up of the genome of the first hundred, as well as is characteristic in their act of creating a sort of suicidal tendency in the genes that they don’t want expressed in their scientific endeavors. While the inherent fear of the self is irrevocably demonstrated in these exemplifications of oppressing the parts of the self that we most dislike, it is most distinguishable in the numerous depictions of the type destructive or catastrophic forces that we are capable of.
In the history of the universe, or what some to believe to be the multi-verse, the narrative of humankind is but a blink-of-the-eye. In that time span, the atrocities committed under the guise of the inquisition of is a theme that is as old as time itself. We see it in Greco-Roman literature, Beowulf, Hamlet, and over and over again. Just as Prospero acts to personify the essence of colonialism, with his servants and natives to the island, Ariel and Caliban, acting to represent the indigenous people of the time, at least in relation to colonization. Thus, when we project ourselves onto Mars, or anywhere else in the ethers that matter, in the proposed colonization, so to do we cast out our history, hopes, fears, inspirations, anxieties, accomplishments; a type of DNA blueprint if you will. Thusly, as we conduct an in-depth examination of the various theoretical situations presented in the literature of Mars, that is appears that on a seemingly unconscious, or subconscious level, that the authors of these works are illustrating a type of anxiety, or at least attempting to awake us to the fact, and in thus doing, preventing us from repeating our own history. We see the destructive nature of the human species in countless demonstration within Red Mars, Moving Mars, and Martian Time-Slip. Arguably the best exemplification of this comes from the conclusion of Moving Mars. As with most powers in asymmetrical relations of power, especially those associated with colonization, people on Earth and the Moon, as the majority of the triple, felt threatened by Mar’s attempts at independence for itself. Consequently, upon the discovery made by Charles and the Olympians, more specifically notions surrounding tweaking that enabled large masses to be transported across vast spatiotemporal distances, was considered by all others as a type of hostile threat. Upon said perceived threat, the attacked a political conference for would be President, assaulted a convey which almost killed said President, and showed signs of implementing a type of questionable guerrilla—warfare that neared genocide, referring to the locust treatment of course; all the while giving them the only option of surrender. In like fashion, as violence begets violence, Charles and his team had to move the entirety of Phobos to exert their power, and get them to retreat, if only temporarily, and through this we see the type of destructive forces that are present in colonization as a group of individuals try to acquire a sense of sovereignty in an never-ending power struggle, and one that also occurs on an individual level as well. Similarly, we see this pattern reiterated throughout the narrative of the pioneering of Mars.
It is only in the open pages of Red Mars that we see this sort of antagonistic characteristic found within human nature, as the town is attacked, and John Boone is found having been assaulted in a field. Throughout the book, this fact is amplified as we learn of the type of Machiavellian approach that Frank Chalmers takes to ensure that John was the first man on Mars, all in manipulative strategic endeavors that ultimately lead to his taking of John’s very life; someone that he considered to be his friend, all for the sake of obtaining power. In a similar fashion to Moving Mars, it presented itself in the numerous instances of sabotage conducting in the various settlements, and the numerous attempts that were made on the narrators life, which in turn lead to other similar ramifications, such as how UNOMA placed a dead man in John’s bed in an attempt to frame him. Likewise, this inclination of sorts appeared in the way that towards the novel’s conclusion, rebellions rang out, the settlements and tents were assaulted, and even the elevator, in an attempt to usurp their attempts at sovereignty. But it also occurred in ways that did not necessarily impact anyone on an individual level. This destructive nature was also illustrated in the progression that was made in regards to terraforming Mars, and all the efforts that were made in regard to making a more Earth-like atmosphere. Similarly, it presented itself in which the rebels utilized the water supplies and the planet’s landscape in an effort to flood the civilizations on a grand scale. In this way, when considering the notions in the background that lead up to this sense of agitation, it appears that in the projection of colonization of Mars, that with all notions of emigration, social upheaval, socioeconomic and sociopolitical, notions aside, that we carry with us this destructive force to have a negative, and otherwise detrimental impact on the land that we inhabit. Just as we have polluted the airs, created for climate change, and manipulate the atmosphere, so too does it seem is the case as we predict what our future looks as we look to the stars for viable solutions.
In my different philosophies, the outer world has been thought to be a kind of reflection of the inner self. Thus, as we thrust ourselves into unfamiliar terrain in a Martian landscape or frontier, it seems that the complexities in understanding the universe are paralleled in the complexity of understanding our own psyche. As we do so, it is hard not to notice what could be described as a type of unconscious state in the collective identity, or even perhaps beyond that, a kind of collective insanity. This of course illustrated in the violence, warfare, genocide, suffering, and the likes. As we study the literature of Mars in its relationship to the colonization of the planet, it seems that we utilize the age-old mythological construct of destruction as a means of creation in an attempt to justify our seemingly self-destructive behavior. We see this tendency in the human condition in various different contexts on a day to day basis. For instance, it is estimated that the extinction of bees would result in a near worldwide extinction within fifty years given its valuable place in the microcosm or ecosystem that creates the oxygen that we breathe. Conversely, it is also estimated that if the human species went extinct that the world would actually flourish in our absence. This pattern of illustrating this human characteristic of the human condition is present in almost every instance of the literature of Mars, and as we consider it, the image of the Earth seemingly blowing up in the distance from the perspective of Mars rings out in the backs of our mind, as was depicted in The Martian Chronicles, and it is in this moment, that we understand with a chilling clarity what Bradbury meant in his statement that he was writing to prevent the future, a scene that further sends chills down one’s spend as we recall such scene of an Earth void of the human species that continues to go on without us. In many ways, despite all of our technological advances, we are our own biggest enemy. One need only look at the parallelism that is offered in how the nuclear powers that Einstein created were for all intended purposes utilized for creative means, specifically that of the conservation of energy, but it was utilized as an instrument of death, as well as a means to assert one’s national power, just as can be seen in the comparison of Charles having to utilize his discovery for a type of military tactic. It is also evident that we are responsible for more deaths than any other species, and the list goes on and on. So as we consider in largely hypothetical terms as to what we can consider in a prediction of a future on Mars, it seems that the pedagogy includes basing the situation on our previous experiences in this regard, played out here on Earth. However, one can not help but note that this is not only an outdated representation but a flawed one that failed at that. If, we, in fact, do not heed the words of individuals like Bradbury and make radical changes in the ideologies pertaining to this matter, that in a transference of our people onto Mars, that we are destined to repeat the errs of our past, and so the prediction or forecast is bleak, in that we create our own doom by ruining another atmosphere and otherwise destroying another planet, at the very least making it very near uninhabitable, all of which, of course, brings us right back to the question of whether or not it is better to allocate our resources into attending to our own planet’s needs, as opposed to looking to the stars for an almost impossible solution. Just as in similar fashion, it makes us question how we can possibly maintain a sense of sustainability or livelihood in an alien territory, when we simply can not do the same here for our own home.