If anyone still thinks science is an objective exercise exempt from political struggle, the debate over the status of Pluto and some other orbiting rocks should put it to rest. Only a hegemonic power drunk with its own illusion of importance would claim the authority to name and categorize autonomous, foreign planets with its self-serving schema of subordination and hierarchy. When have we seen a more naked display of Terraism than this assumption of rights over other worlds, peacably zooming around their own orbits, unless it’s our brazen disposal of used hardware under the most imperialist extraterritorial principles. Do we observe Martian parking and right of way rules, and pay fines? Do we have permits and file environmental impact reports when we drop junk on this or that planet…or even “stuff falling from the sky on you” impact reports? Do we get court orders to snoop on interplanetary or intergalactic electromagnetic signals? We do not, such is the arrogance bred by living on the only planet we haven’t given a used name, and the others are insulting to boot: Mercury? toxic. Venus? lascivious. Mars? playground bully…and so on.
Astronomy isn’t an inconsequential sideshow to the struggle for liberation and equal rights, it’s the furthest extension of the imperial hegemonic impulse. Let Ceres decide! Power to the orbiting masses, down to the least asteroid! No deplanetization without representation!