Rousseau once said that "Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains." Mars is the opportunity to break these chains, and regain what freedom we may.
Mars is our destiny. That is, outward. The possibilities for new expressions of freedom and humanity, and economic systems, lie in building new civilizations. On earth there is a gigantic infrastructure of economic powers that RESIST change. The best ideas are not readily implemented, or are practically immpossible to implement.
America became, in some sense, what it was BECAUSE we had a frontier early in its career.. That frontier, and the spirit it developed among its settlers gave America its sense of independance, innovation and a GREAT sense of self empowerment.
To the point, a paucity of western infrastructure westward of this expanding America better empowered the formation of a culture radically different than its predecessors. Not wholly, of course, as old money still existed.
But now, America has few or no frontiers within its borders. America's infrastructure has become stiff in every corner. We at Slashdot know this. Microsoft's infrastucture is outstanding. Oil industries pull our strings. We cannot fundamentally change what America is, how it conducts its economics, without a fight. The root is dug in and will not give up its space as long as it lives.
Mars has no infrastructure and therefore new social, economic, and political ideas implemented by colonists there are more apt to emerge into their natural designs undistorted by the effects of competing institutions.
Like the original colonists of America, cultural artifacts, physical and ideational, brought over to the frontier will be freely reinterpreted without undue outside influence. However, the opportunity of social self-determination on Mars is unparalleled by any in history, for none has had at its disposal the vast library of knowlege and technology available today. The coupling of knowledge and self-reliance will allow the best ideas to flourish. The culture of the second and third Martian generations has the potential of being truer to the ideals of social justice, equality, and :) free software. :) than has ever existed before.
martianfrontier.com is an undeveloped site.