36 votes

Whoa! Who here knows who Robert A. Heinlein is?

R.A. Heinlein, [on] 20th-century democracies:

"Those noble experiments failed because the people had been led to believe that they could simply vote for whatever they wanted and get it, without toil, without sweat, without tears."

-I love this guy!

http://www.goodreads.com/...

I always hated how bad Starship Troopers was, especially the acting and stupid catchphrases, "you kill bugs good". But I've watched the movie literally 25 times and I think I've discovered why. There are great little nuggets of hardcore truth interspersed in there, along with Denise Richards boobies. Amen, what a combo.

Also, this:

"Ah, yes, the 'unalienable rights.' Each year someone quotes that magnificent poetry. Life? What 'right' to life has a man who is drowning in the Pacific? The ocean will not hearken to his cries. What 'right' to life has a man who must die if he is to save his children? If he chooses to save his own life, does he do so as a matter of 'right'? If two men are starving and cannibalism is the only alternative to death, which man's right is 'unalienable'? And is it 'right'?

As to liberty, the heroes who signed that great document pledged themselves to buy liberty with their lives. Liberty is always unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it is always vanquished. Of all the so-called 'natural human rights' that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost."

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"They sucked his brains out"

Government education program...

He is a scifi genius. His

He is a scifi genius. His books and short stories are amazing.

Starship Troopers the movie is a joke comparred to the book.

"Heil Heinlein!" He was the Sudeten German leader in the 30s

"Heil Heinlein!" He was the Sudeten German leader in the 30s. Or was that KONRAD Heinlein?

"Cowards & idiots can come along for the ride but they gotta sit in the back seat!"

The Green Hills of Earth

"We pray for one last landing/ On the globe that gave us birth/ Let us rest our eyes on the fleecy skies/ And the cool, green hills of Earth."

Robert Heinlein

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Green_Hills_of_Earth

Read just about every SF book in the Josephine County Public Library
back in the late 60's - so of course lots of Heinlein.

I'd say it was John Brunner that rocked my worldview even more than
Heinlein, though: Stand on Zanzibar, The Sheep Look Up, Shockwave Rider...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Brunner_(novelist)

Music for this thread


http://youtu.be/DKftiJS30Cs


http://youtu.be/SW9O77Eocmo

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
James Madison

I like science fiction..so I

I like science fiction..so I hate the guy...he is a bad scifi writer and the founder of scientology. I cant speak as to his bona fides as a libertarian but his writing was bad to begin with and got worse as time went on.

I think you have Heinlein confused with L. Ron Hubbard

Hubbard is the founder of Scientology, not Heinlein.

[F]orce can only settle questions of power, not of right. - Clyde N. Wilson

tasmlab's picture

"I always hated how bad Starship Troopers was"

Fool! The movie is masterful! One of my favorites. It's a thing of beauty and some credit must go to VerHoven as well.

I really enjoyed (groked) Hienlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land". It's famous. HIghly recommended. Not particularly 'libertarian' by any means, but certainly cerebral.

Currently consuming: Gatto: "Underground history of education..", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

Word

Easily one of the most classic sci-fi films, its in my top 10.

The book bears little resemblance to the movie.

I thought the movie was OK on a first view, but its suckiness grew with each subsequent watch.
The book is better.

[F]orce can only settle questions of power, not of right. - Clyde N. Wilson

tasmlab's picture

Haven't read the book

I enjoyed the movie (thought it was fun, liked he vibe), and/but I'm sure the book was a far different and far superior, and I wouldn't be surprised if I enjoyed the movie less if I had read the book.

(Full surrender)

Currently consuming: Gatto: "Underground history of education..", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

I know who he was.

He was a science fiction writer. Also a genius of libertarianism.

He died in 1988.

He's dead! Deal with it NWO slave bwahahaha!!!

Just kidding. Love me some Heinlein.

Peace :)

9-11 was a panda job.

Libertarianism and Science Fiction

Good article:
http://mises.org/daily/5018/Libertarianism-and-Science-Ficti...

And another site listing libertarian sf
http://www.nuketown.com/features/libertariansf

And yet another good libertarian sci fi site:
http://prometheus-unbound.org

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”
― Albert Camus

This link has a ton of great

This link has a ton of great Heinlein quotes: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/r/robert_a_heinlei...

I think growing up reading sci-fi from the golden age of science fiction turned me into a libertarian before I was even aware of politics.

The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. - Heinlein

Another DP thread on liberty-oriented fiction

With a LOT of libertarian science fiction was posted a couple years back.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...

Just found this after a bit of searching

surprising how many sci fi authors are Libertarians.....

http://www.nolanchart.com/article4700-essential-science-fict...

If not us than who?

I read a short story once,

I read a short story once, called "Them". I can find it nowhere, but I think Heinlein wrote it. Anyone know? Regardless, if you can somehow find it, it just might blow you away, too. I have never forgotten it, and have forgotten tons of other stuff..

Think I've got it.

The title is "They" and it appeared in a short story collection called 6 X H, which I believe contains the same stories as The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag. I don't recall "They" myself . . . from that collection the only one I remember well is "All You Zombies" a brilliant time travel story which pretty much proves (reductio ad absurdum) that time travel is impossible.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...

Ty for your response..no

Ty for your response..no wonder I (so far) could not find it..I will try to see if it is the one. You should re read it if you can..amazing story--especially for around here..

My previous alter ego...

.."Professor Bernardo de la Paz" was swiped directly from the character of the same name in "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" (the greatest novel in the history of the universe). I fancy myself as wise and as funny as the Prof himself. (Pretentious much? Pedantic certainly!)

My first son was given the name Robert Isaac, for Heinlein and Asimov, of course. For my third son we had intended to blend the names of two of Heinlein's characters: Adam Selene (from the aforementioned Harsh Mistress) and Hamilton Felix (from "Beyond This Horizon"). Since she was born without that defective chromosome linked with male pattern dirt blindness we kept the Selene, scratched the Felix, and feminized the Adam.

Welcome to the Worlds of RAH! There is much to recommend, and even the least of The Dean's works are superior to most everything else.

With Ayn Rand, Mark Twain, C.S.Lewis, Oscar Wilde, Poul Anderson, and Steve Ditko, Heinlein stands as one of the greatest and most influential libertarian writers in the English language (notwithstanding Rand's stated distaste for the libertarian label).

dynamite anthrax supreme court white house tea party jihad
======================================
West of 89
a novel of another america
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/161155#longdescr

"Male pattern dirt blindness."

Well done, sir. I'm mostly enjoying YOUR book too, Gene. I'm about 85% through it now. Should finish up in a day or two.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...

Well shucks, then.

I'm delighted you're mostly enjoying it, and would appreciate any comments you care to offer in re the parts that fell short of "mostly". Or any other comments other than unqualified praise or condemnation. In any event, thanks for picking it up!

dynamite anthrax supreme court white house tea party jihad
======================================
West of 89
a novel of another america
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/161155#longdescr

Hi, Gene. Here's my review of West of 89

You said you’d like to hear my comments on your book West of 89, so here goes.

There’s good news and bad news. First the good news: Things I particularly liked:

1. You handle narrative and dialogue well – professional quality work.
2. I liked the overall libertarian sensibility you brought to the book, and would look forward to reading more of your stuff.
3. It kept me reading – you didn’t let narrative tension lapse at all. Very well done.
4. I particularly liked the Donnie Fleming character: you let him GROW. Everybody else in the book was pretty much unchanging in terms of character, but Donnie discovered “something worth doing,” which, as Heinlein wrote, is the secret of happiness. (“Happiness lies in being privileged to work hard for long hours at whatever you think is worth doing”) It redeemed him, and it was good to see.
5. I liked your use of the gold vs. fiat money issue. Also your portrayal of a restitution-based justice system – those might stir your readers’ brain cells in a worthwhile direction.

I’m afraid there’s a lot of bad news, too.
1. The overall concept of your alternate history really isn’t very interesting. So our continent is infested by a bunch of smaller governments, rather than three large ones? This is interesting – why? You don’t go into enough detail about the nature of the different governments for the reader to know if one is really better than the others – or better than our present ones. Schinkler is obviously Evil Incarnate – but that doesn’t automatically make the governments he attacks “the good guys.” Reminds me of the reason I DON”T watch professional sports: I need a REASON to root for one team over another, and geography doesn’t do the trick for me.
2. There’s no theme. Racism and assault and slavery are bad things? Is this news to anyone? I kept hoping that you would come out with a pitch for the PRINCIPLES that men ought to strive for, instead of government-as-usual, but no luck.
3. With the exception of Donnie Fleming, your characters are one-dimensional. Some are likeable, some are hateful, but none of them develop. They don’t learn, they don’t discover any new truths about themselves or their world – and, most disappointingly, neither will the reader of your book.
4. Your villains are cartoons of villainy, not real people. “No man is a villain in his own eyes.” (Heinlein) You should keep that in mind, and try to figure out what makes REAL evil people tick. I’d suggest two reading assignments to help you with that. First, read David Friedman’s essay “Love Is Not Enough,” from his book The Machinery of Freedom. It’s free to read online here (starting down on Page 12)
The second is Larken Rose’s book, The Most Dangerous Superstition.

Friedman’s insight is that there are ONLY three ways to get stuff from other people: love, trade and force. Think about it. People have a gazillion different moral systems, but they have only THREE basic ethical choices, when it comes to dealing with other people. Do some thinking about what allows some people to believe that naked, unprovoked coercion can be a righteous way to treat others.

Larken Rose’s book explores the reasons that governments can wreak such enormous evil in the world – why people go along with monsters like Hitler and Schinkler. Hint: It is NOT because people are resentful, envious monsters looking for a way to victimize their neighbors.

5. Nitpicky stuff:
* I’ve never seen “okay” spelled “okeh” before – yes, I found it in a dictionary as a legitimate variant spelling, but it’s very rarely used, and it annoyed me.
* You’re creating an alternate America – why refer to Schinkler as “Herr” and why, at one point, does a character sneeringly refer to him as “Schicklgruber”? (Yes, I know that was Hitler’s father’s original name) But you make no mention of Hitler himself in your story! Why would “Schicklgruber” be used as an insult? Why use the Germanic “Herr” when referring to American Schickler?? In your alternate world, Germany is not even mentioned. Why do you want to imply that all racism is somehow Germanic?
*Anything you put at the beginning of your book is a “prologue”, not an “epilogue”. Doesn’t matter that the events take place after the balance of your story. When I reached your second and third epilogues, you had me scratching my head and turning pages, trying to find the first one.
*Why is the title “West of 89" ? West of a year? What does THAT mean?
*At one point somewhere in the middle of the book, you have this jarring little cosmological essay with no relationship to anything else in the story, before or after. I’d cut that out, myself.

All in all, the book was not a terrible first effort, and I'd gladly read another . . .

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...

Oh Great and Wise dabooda

Please accept my most earnest thanks for the precious gift of your irreplaceable time. Not only the time you expended in actually reading the monstrosity, of course but, more benefit to me, actually articulating what you found in it. I am multiply in your debt, particularly since you are not asking for your money back. I wisely did not guarantee the work.

There seems to be no limit to the amount of stroking that my ego can soak up, so I found your first burst of praise to rush by much too quickly. Nevertheless, I thank you for the kindnesses. While I will make no futile effort to redeem my novel, believing that things must fail on their own merits, I am happy to offer a little post hoc illumination, since much of your insightful, dispassionate, and over-all objective review did include a number of question marks.

The book is not intended to be a touchy feely personal growth coming of age piece, though I realize that SOME of that can serve a story, and too little leaves it a little lacking. That type of stuff is clearly not my strength, and I don’t blanch at your pointing it out. The intent, and I hope I wasn’t too far from the mark, was to be an adventure story with comic elements, with a little mental stimulus and a few historical and cultural tropes thrown in for fun.

Donnie is one of my favorites, too. I started out hating the little weasel, but he kind of took on a life of his own. Fact is, neither Donnie nor Lena were intended for particular greatness in the story, but once I had -- not created -- channeled?-- Once I had fleshed them out they pretty much took over. With most characters I find I have to make a deliberate effort to distinguish them. Because I am lazy, I tend to model my protagonists after me. Harry is me. Clark is me. Sugar is me. Heywood and Brian and Lem are all me. Less so, Lem, of course, as I don’t share his faith, and more so Clark, though still a theist, but we do share a strong female chauvinism. Mostly I’m Harry and Sugar, albeit at different stages of my life, and of course, I never had to escape from an Islamo-Christian-Commie-Death-Cult.

Alternate history not interesting? Everybody‘s right about what he likes. I found it to be a useful device to re-render a blank canvas of the North American continent with many of the same forces contesting it again, and used it as an opportunity to explore different structures of governments. I tried to spice it up with references to separatist and fusion movements throughout history, as well as a few thinly veiled references to people we might think we already know. (Do you think “Rusty Sharpe” or “Fightin’ Fidel” might recognize themselves?) Maybe too ambitious? I went into greater detail in earlier drafts. You think it‘s didactic now? It was positively turgid earlier. You got off easy, even though you may have felt a little adrift at times. Even as it was I think I was a bit heavy handed in pounding my drum vis a‘ vis hard money, human bondage, and bigotry. No defense but, “I‘m still learning?” And faster with your generous guidance.

If there is a “theme“ to the story, I guess it is that history is preposterous and life is precarious. I had hoped that de Tocqueville would have set that tone up front.

Okeh? English orthography has not been formalized for very long and in its brief lifetime has undergone some mutations. I wanted to pepper the text with constant reminders of the “alien-ness“ of my particular California Confederacy. Again, earlier drafts were lousy with variant spellings, but as one alpha reader pointed out, “Whenever I read about someone using his sabre to cut a grey fibre in the theatre my brain skips.” So again, you got off easy. I’m sorry you tripped over okeh. When I “invented” that spelling I didn’t know that it was already an “acceptable” alternative, I just thought it made internal sense. I still do, and you don’t, and we get to disagree, and so far you, at least, have not been disagreeable about it.

In an effort not to club the reader over the head, I may have ended up being too vague, As far as never mentioning Hitler, however, Adam does relate to his guests that his grandfather, after having served his Kaiser, was exiled to German held (formerly British) Guyana (Gaijana). The elder Schickler was hounded out of Europe by “Slavs and Jews”, and then out of Dixie by the christo-commie-muslim revolutionaries. Harry was never casting cultural slurs at Teuts per se, he simply alluded to Schickler’s personal and family history. It may be schoolyard juvenilia to refer to someone inaccurately, either to mispronounce his name, or to hark back to an earlier variant, but if I’m an arrested adolescent, then perhaps Harry can’t help it either. Nevertheless, I thank you for the observation, and I’ll give it a little more thought. While many of my characters are vile and racist and misogynistic, I hope that I am not, nor thought to be.

West of 89? Why not? The dimensional dissonance flags the counterfactual historical aspect of that particular branch of spec-fic., and I thought The Coefficient of Restitution might fallute a little too highly. Other contenders were Hamurabe’s Farm, Death Camp California, and Black Adam.

Cosmological essay. I think you refer to my (poetically pretentious?) recapitulation of the recent geologic history of the Cascadian (Republic of Idaho in Westworld and eastern Oregon and Washington in our world) high desert. I was trying to set up the science behind Harry’s final solution to California’s Aryan problem. I may have overplayed it. You clearly thought so, but I found it rather satisfying. Again, de gustibus non disputandum, ne-c’est pas?

You coaxed me in with kindness, gave me the hearty slapping around I so richly deserved, and then eased me back out with your assurance that on balance you found my effort to be worthy of your time. I couldn’t be more tickled unless I started selling LOTS more copies.

Once again, thank you for your valuable time. I will cherish your good wishes and ponder your pronouncements.

Your comrade for liberty,
Gene Greigh (aka Professor Bernardo de la Paz)

dynamite anthrax supreme court white house tea party jihad
======================================
West of 89
a novel of another america
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/161155#longdescr

You're welcome

One more shot at helpful suggestions, if I may?

1. I'd have liked to see more dialogue between Sugar and Heywood. I thought their interaction was very interesting, and I was disappointed that you didn't continue with it. In any case, more repartee is needed. You have wit, and that should be showcased more. Sugar could be even MORE of a smartass, to good effect, I think. Ever read Robert Parker's Spenser novels? Consider emulating Spenser's "attitude."

2. Schickler at present is a cartoon of Hitler, and that's trite. How about making him a pleasant-spoken Southerner whose father fled the Massa-cure? (very nice, that). That would go a long way toward explaining Schickler's violent racism, too. A villain who doesn't look and sound like a villain is a more effective villain, ya think? Lieutenant Rearden, for example, is a more interesting -- and ultimately chilling -- character than Adam or Adele -- a pleasant, gentlemanly mass murderer. By the way, if you named him after Rand's Hank Rearden, consider yourself b!tch-slapped. If you want to pay homage to St. Ayn, how about "Ferris?"

Noli illegitimi carborundum, tovarisch.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...

No No, not HANK Rearden

I didn't even notice until I was well under way. Fred's family name, like most were, was taken off the map. I don't specifically remember now, but I recollect that Rearden is a little town in either (our) western Washington or (our) Idaho, or maybe even (our) northern Utah. And of course I do salute Ayn Rand all over the book as well, begininning with the acknowledgements, of course, and appearing in both dialogue and narrative as "Alyx Blum", a nod both to "St" Ayn (and how she would bristle at such a mystical appellation, even more so than being accused of rank "libertarianism" I'll bet), as well as to the "golden age" comic book and pulp author Alex Blum (albeit subconciously -- again, I thought I had invented the name, just as George Harrison thought he had written My Sweet Lord).

Funny that you zeroed in on Hank Rearden, but skipped over Howard Roark. Or maybe you judged that Heywood was just too obviously deliberate to mention?

And that probably puts this discussion to bed. Again, thanks for your time, observations, and good wishes.
Work hard, rest easy, laugh often, and love endlessly.
Gene (aka Prof de la Paz, Lethargy Lad, General Cashier, Chef Laurent, and Mister Lawrence)

dynamite anthrax supreme court white house tea party jihad
======================================
West of 89
a novel of another america
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/161155#longdescr

1st one is great... 2nd and

1st one is great... 2nd and 3rd not so great. The movies anyway.. I should read the book lol seen the first movie a million times

Was it Heinlein who wrote

a short story where space travelers landed on an inhabited planet who's people refused to acknowledge them, they merely went on their way saying MYOB whenever any of the invaders tried to communicate with them. Most Libertarian story I've ever read.

If not us than who?

Nope, not Heinlein.

Eric Frank Russell wrote it -- The Great Explosion is the title. Wonderful story, longtime favorite of mine. And it's not libertarian; it's anarchist, straight up.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...

Check out the link I posted above.

It has a bunch of fine references including this story. I found it after posting the first.

If not us than who?