If There Really Is A Galactic Federation, Earth Should Try To Corner The Ground-Car Market

Illustration for article titled If There Really Is A Galactic Federation, Earth Should Try To Corner The Ground-Car Market
Illustration: Jason Torchinsky, plus various elements

I’m not sure if you’ve heard already, but according to Israel’s former space security chief, Earth has been in contact with a “Galactic Federation,” and while the United States government is aware, the aliens in the Galactic Federation have requested that it not be revealed they exist and are in contact with us, because “humanity is not ready yet.” Well, space-cat is kind of out of the bag now, which is why I think it’s time for humanity to join this Federation and promptly corner the ground-car market. I think we can, and I’ll explain.


So, the first thing I think we need to realize about this Galactic Federation is that they feel they’re much more advanced and evolved than we are, since Haim Eshed, the 87-year-old retired Israeli general and professor stated that the aliens felt humanity need to “...evolve and reach a stage where we will... understand what space and spaceships are.”

I mean, sure, we’re kind of a pack of primitive bastards who still fight over resources and pollute and allow reality television like the Real Housewives series to exist, but we do generally understand what space and spaceships are.

These aliens have very likely developed incredibly advanced technologies that allow for interstellar spaceflight and likely all manner of planetary transportation options that have long ago eclipsed the primitive wheeled transports we Earthlings use all the time.

But that doesn’t mean archaic wheeled transportation has no use! There will always be some sort of niche use-cases where fusion-powered hoverpods are just not right for a given application, and it’s in that niche that I expect Earth to thrive.

Consider this: if this Federation is in contact with us, they must be in the habit of making contact with civilizations that are not nearly as advanced as themselves. If they have strict rules about sharing their advanced technology, as they are very likely to have, and they’re still willing to admit less-advanced civilizations into their community, then they must have member worlds with less-advanced technological bases that could still make good use of wheeled ground vehicles.

These advanced aliens probably haven’t bothered to build a decent ground-car for maybe millennia; they’re likely out of practice. And they may have new less-advanced member worlds that, while showing promise, just aren’t ready to be trusted with their advanced anti-gravity tech or matter/antimatter reactors or whatever. We’re probably in that category.


So what about letting us Dumb Races trade with one another? What if there’s a planet out there with a land-based civilization that just hasn’t really managed to develop decent ground transportation yet? We could unload so many unsold Fiat 500Ls, Chevy Sonics, and VW Passats on these planets, and they’d probably love them!

Okay, sure, it’s very likely we’d have to do some significant adaptations for beings with wildly different morphologies than humans have (I mean, squids and us came from the same damn planet) but I bet we could figure that out.


And, sure, electric cars are probably more likely to work on another planet, since electricity is a fundamental force in the universe another civilization may have figured out how to harness, but you know what? What if some civilization is out there with some kind of analog to decayed-organic-matter-into-oil deposits that they never figured out how to utilize?

Illustration for article titled If There Really Is A Galactic Federation, Earth Should Try To Corner The Ground-Car Market
Graphic: Jason Torchinsky

Think about how amazing combustion cars could be for them? And what if that species got a mild, euphoric high from carbon monoxide? We could sell them so many cars.


I’ve long maintained that cars are possibly the ideal thing to show to an alien to really showcase the whole of human civilization in one, easy object. The truth is humans are really, really good at building wheeled land transportation devices, and we can really crank these babies out.

I’m confident that, with this Galactic Federation acting as intermediaries, translators, and cultural attachés (they’ll get a cut, of course), we can introduce a huge number of new civilizations to the wonder of fast, comfortable, stylish, exciting, and practical Earth cars.


Plus, none of these new worlds are likely to have robust used car markets! Cha-ching, people!

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!: https://rb.gy/udnqhh)



There’s a good (and obscure) book called

First Contract by Greg Costikyan.

The basic idea is that a Space Federation came and solved Earth’s problems. Except unemployment. Every company went bankrupt, everyone lost their job. Earth had no products that were worth anything to anyone.

It’s been a long time since I read it, but ultimately, things turn around when the Earth finds a way to make a crappy product cheaper than anyone else in the universe could and finds a way to sell it in quantity to the galactic equivalent of Walmart.

I would assume this is what would the “reality” of a galactic empire would mean. Anything we make is helplessly outclassed in price and quality by what the theoretical space aliens can make.