Skip to main content

Elon Musk thinks the best government for Mars is a direct democracy

Elon Musk thinks the best government for Mars is a direct democracy


He doesn't think that democracy back on Earth is having its finest moment

Share this story

Elon Musk has been pretty focused on setting up a colony on Mars, so naturally he has a few ideas as to the type of government the Red Planet should have. Speaking at ReCode's Code Conference on Wednesday night, the SpaceX CEO said he envisions a direct democracy for Martian colonies, as a way to avoid corruption.

"The potential for corruption is substantially diminished."

"Most likely the form of government on Mars would be a direct democracy, not representative," said Musk. "So it would be people voting directly on issues. And I think that's probably better, because the potential for corruption is substantially diminished in a direct versus a representative democracy."

Musk also suggested that on Mars it should be harder to create laws than it is to get rid of ones that aren't working well. "I think I would recommend some adjustment for the inertia of laws would be wise. It should probably be easier to remove a law than create one," said Musk. "I think that's probably good, because laws have infinite life unless they're taken away."

As an example, Musk envisioned a scenario in which a bill would need 60 percent of the vote to become a law, but it could be removed at any time with more than 40 percent of the vote. He also argued that all laws should have a built-in sunset provision — a clause that basically establishes an expiration date for the law unless it's approved again. "If it's not good enough to be voted back in, maybe it shouldn't be there," said Musk.

Perhaps Musk has been thinking a lot about how a government would run on Mars, because he's not too happy about the current state of politics in America. When asked about the ongoing election, Musk said he is trying to "stay out of this situation" as he doesn't see it as the "finest moment in our democracy." But he said he's at least comforted knowing that whoever is elected can't do too much harm in office. "I'm glad the framers of the constitution saw fit to ensure that president was someone who was captain of a large ship with a small rudder," said Musk.