Thu, 27 Jan 2000 22:11:26 -0800
At 22:44 1/27/2000 -0500, you wrote:
>In a message dated 1/26/00 11:06:46 PM Eastern Standard Time, Z@Gundam.Com
><< There's a war because humanity has finally met creatures just as smart
> tough as they are, but with a world view that is totally at odds with
> ours. The Klendathu are a hive-mind with no concept of individuality -- a
> reflection of the "ideal" communism, which Heinlein considered a threat to
> individual freedom, the one thing he felt worth defending with blood. This
> books was written in 1950, remember. >>
>There's a bit of debate about this. In the beginning, Heinlein tended to
>toward being communist, and he even (Correct me if I'm wrong on this,
>PLEASE), came out and said it somewhere in either a. The Past Through
>Tomorrow, or b. Grumbles from the Grave. But after he visited Russia, he
>it wasn't for him.
Correct on both points, although I think he makes the case against the
Soviet Union (NOT Russia -- he thought highly enough of the Russian people
to feature them prominently and positively at a time when it was popular to
bash them) more forcefully in Tramp Royale.
In the years subsequent to the Revolution and prior to the Cold War, almost
any "forward thinking" or "liberal" person dabbled in socialism and the
One-World credo. It wasn't until Stalin refused to give up the conquered
German and Slav states that people began to recoil. Heinlein decided to go
and see for himself and returned to roundly condemn the totalitarian
state. What made him change his mind, even though he was given a guided
tour and every consideration? It was the internal passports and everything
they implied, combined with his own military training and what he
observed. There's a vast difference between a defensive build-up and an
offensive one and Heinlein came away convinced that the Soviets had the
same agenda as the Nazis they'd just help defeat.
Heinlein changed his opinions many times over the years and that's
reflected in what he chose to write about and how he chose to write
it. What's consistent is his belief than people are intrinsically good,
but that there is such a thing as evil and good people need to deal with it
without becoming evil in the process.
In addition to communism, Heinlein also became disenchanted with the legal
system and organized religion, both of which he lambasted with a vengeance.
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