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Werner Herzog compares Elon Musk’s Mars colonisation mission to fascism

‘The thought alone is an obscenity’

If you haven’t already heard, Elon Musk plans to save humanity by shuttling a million people to the red planet on SpaceX’s Starship rocket and starting a colony on Mars. While the billionaire’s endeavour has yet to be met with any serious objections (HBO is actually working on a show about SpaceX), there’s one man who isn’t too happy: Werner Herzog.

Speaking to Inverse, the filmmaker said that building cities on Mars would be “a mistake”. “I think Elon Musk stylises himself as some sort of a technological visionary,” he said. “Because he has to sell his electric cars. Wonderful that he does that. He has to sell his reusable rockets. Wonderful that he’s doing it.”

But, he added, “I disagree with him when he postulates and preaches about colonising Mars.” Humans should “not be like the locusts,” Herzog said, but instead should “look to keep our planet inhabitable”.

Herzog then compared Musk’s plan to colonise Mars to the “gigantic” utopias of communism and fascism in the 20th century. “Thank God, both these gigantic utopias were brought to an end,” he said. "Our century very quickly will bring to an end technological utopia like colonising Mars. We will end this utopia very, very quickly within this century.”

Still, the filmmaker insists that he would “love to go (to Mars) with a camera with scientists”, which, upon reflection, wouldn’t be the craziest thing he’s ever done.