[OT] Heinlein Politics

Mon, 21 Dec 1998 19:35:01 -0800

At 20:59 12/20/98 -0800, you wrote:
>> ...there are a lot of ...(imho) dumbasses who
>> have posted reviews for Starship Troopers that think Heinlein is a fascist.
>> I'm getting unbelievably off-topic, so I'll just stop :)
>Well, he wasn't a fascist, but he was politically extremely conservative
>of a midwestern upbringing in the early part of the century, and being a
>military officer.)

Sorry about this, folks, but I *CANNOT* let this one go by!

Calling Heinlein a conservative is like calling Thomas Jefferson a Royalist.

Heinlein was a Socialist in the 1930s, but then so were a lot of
high-minded, idealistic and socially-conscious Americans back then. He had
favorable leanings toward Communism until he actually took a trip to the
Soviet Union. After that, he was an outspoken critic of any system that
took away any personal liberty, and most especially Communism, which he
categorized as a scam run by totalitarian thugs.

Heinlein is "conservative" in only one regard: his unwavering belief in the
importance of "traditional" values -- honesty, integrity, personal honor,
responsibility, self-denial, sacrifice, and the protection of children
above all else. He wrote that human civilization stands on three legs --
language, history and mathematics -- and that anyone deficient in knowledge
of any of those three could not rightfully claim to be educated. He
believed that moral bankruptcy, symptomized by lack of courtesy, would be
our undoing.

If I were to categorize Heinlein politically, I'd call him a Libertarian,
of a particularly Jeffersonian bent. "They govern best who govern least!"
Little or no government and above all no bureaucracy.

Heinlein was many things, but "conservative" wasn't one of them.


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