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Heinlein Reader's Discussion Group

Thursday 11-08-2001 09:00 P.M. EST

Governments in Heinlein

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Here Begin The A.F.H. postings


Since arrangements for a guest visit are still pending, this next chat, Thursday, November 8, from 9 PM to midnight, EST, and Saturday, November 10, from 5 to 8 PM, has to be announced rather briefly -- only four days left.

Dave Wright suggested the topic:

" ... look at all of the various forms of

government presented in Heinlein's works. Parliamentary Monarchy in Double

Star, Absentee dictatorship combined with anarchy in The Moon is a Harsh

Mistress, Imperial Council in Starman Jones. Various 'democratic'

governments as in SIASL, Starship Troopers, benevolent dictatorships as in

TEFL and so on and so forth. Do you think that we could do anything with

that? Seems to me that he showed a lot of different alternatives."
Not to mention totalitarian religious oligarchies in "If This Goes On …," an isolationist pre-McKinley "Christian" democracy in _Job: A Comedy of Justice_, and others. Me, I like the other government in _Job_, the one run by Jerry Farnsworth, because there's little doubt about who's in charge and where it's going.

In any event, a leadoff post is what was needed; and Dave being a little busy asked someone to do it. There it is: right there above.

-- 

David M. Silver

http://www.heinleinsociety.org

http://www.readinggroupsonline.com/groups/heinlein.htm

  "The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"

  --Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29, (1907-88)

    Lt.(jg) USN R'td

What I wonder is; did Heinlein pick the sorts of government to fit the plot or the other way round? Did he decide he wanted to explore the implications of different governmental styles and how they would impact on the characters? Or was it simply a case of making it different from the US norm to be interesting and thought provoking?

We could also look at what happens when people start from scratch; the pure democracy planet in TEFL, the style of government the students had in Tunnel, the three very different sorts inside Coventry and that of the Covenant itself. I suppose all they have in common is that there _is_ a government....until we get to Cat and the society that isn't even as well organised as an anarchy. Was Heinlein implying that less is more for a truly civilised society? Or was the, to me, awful state of affairs on Tertius, a warning?

Jane

--

http://www.heinleinsociety.org


Jane:

>I suppose all they have in common is that there _is_ a government....until we get

>to Cat and the society that isn't even as well organised as an anarchy. Was

>Heinlein implying that less is more for a truly civilised society? Or was the, to

>me, awful state of affairs on Tertius, a warning?

Why do you say "awful state of affairs," Jane?

Straight question, not a critique of any sort.

-- 

David M. Silver

http://www.heinleinsociety.org

http://www.readinggroupsonline.com/groups/heinlein.htm

  "The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"

  --Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29, (1907-88)

    Lt.(jg) USN R'td

"David M. Silver" wrote:

>Jane:

>

>>I suppose all they have in common is that there _is_ a government....until we get

>>to Cat and the society that isn't even as well organised as an anarchy. Was

>>Heinlein implying that less is more for a truly civilised society? Or was the, to

>>me, awful state of affairs on Tertius, a warning?

>

>Why do you say "awful state of affairs," Jane?

>

>Straight question, not a critique of any sort.

>--

>

Oh, just that queue jumper death that we've discussed before here. I think it came over as a frontier society - without any Shane's.

Jane


--

http://www.heinleinsociety.org


>>Why do you say "awful state of affairs," Jane?

>>

<snip>>

>Oh, just that queue jumper death that we've discussed before here.

Wasn't the queue jumper execution (to which not everybody reacted as badly as you did, Jane) on the Luna of the centennial of the Lunar revolution? Not Tertius, as I recall.

Bill


BPRAL22169 wrote:

>>> Why do you say "awful state of affairs," Jane?

>>>

><snip>>

>>Oh, just that queue jumper death that we've discussed before here.

>

>Wasn't the queue jumper execution (to which not everybody reacted as badly as

>you did, Jane) on the Luna of the centennial of the Lunar revolution?  Not

>Tertius, as I recall.

>

>Bill

No, it was on Tertius when Gwen is shopping for shoes for Richard, now he has two feet again.

And I don't care what anyone else thought; I was giving my take on it.....again

<g>

Jane

--

http://www.heinleinsociety.org


In article <3BE80D10.22D34295@home.com>, Jane Davitt writes...
> 

>What I wonder is; did Heinlein pick the sorts of government to fit the plot or the

>other way round? Did he decide he wanted to explore the implications of different

>governmental styles and how they would impact on the characters? Or was it simply

>a case of making it different from the US norm to be interesting and thought

>provoking?

I think the correct answer to your first two questions is, it depends. Sometimes the nature of the government plays an important role in the plot, as in "If This Goes On-" or TMiaHM. Sometimes is it an important or even key element of the theme, but not essential to the plot, as in /Starship Troopers/. And other times it is thrown in for flavor, as with the "balancing" penal code in one of the worlds in TNotB.

But in all cases it is thought provoking.

...

>I suppose all they have in common is that there _is_ a government....until we get

>to Cat and the society that isn't even as well organised as an anarchy.

Now, now. "Anarchy is not Chaos." Nor is anarchy hell, though both Hell's have a fair amount of order. ;-)

-- 

Gordon Sollars

gsollars@pobox.com

Gordon Sollars notes:
>Jane Davitt writes...

>> 

>>What I wonder is; did Heinlein pick the sorts of government to fit the plot or the

>>other way round? Did he decide he wanted to explore the implications of different

>>governmental styles and how they would impact on the characters? Or was it simply

>>a case of making it different from the US norm to be interesting and thought provoking?

>

>I think the correct answer to your first two questions is, it depends. 

>

I agree with Gordon.

>Sometimes the nature of the government plays an important role in the 

>plot, as in "If This Goes On-" or TMiaHM. 

An example that's integral, and germane to a situation that may be facing us today, is the absentee colonial exploitation in "Logic of Empire," perhaps _Red Planet_ and _Between Planets_, where, if not a prison colony, then certainly a plantation economy was created, ignoring all else but 'trade.' It's clear that the trade in "Logic" is agricultural, not too clear what it is in either of the juveniles noted above; and, of course, in _TMIAHM_, the exploitation is again agricultural.

What if the trade was petrochemicals? Arthur Clarke wrote one in which Titan, iirc, was being mined and exploited for rocket fuels. I don't remember a native population that was exploited or ignored to produce it, as perhaps one might argue the French exploited the working classes of Vietnam for rubber, or perhaps North America and Europe and a few other industrial countries are exploiting the Middle East for oil; but one wonders how RAH might have set up a "Logic of Empire" in that situation.

Would he have had the rebelling masses 'throw rocks' at Earth to force the chartered colonial exploiters and governments of Earth controlled by them to reward them with independence?

>Sometimes is it an important

>or even key element of the theme, but not essential to the plot, as in 

>/Starship Troopers/. And other times it is thrown in for flavor, as with

>

>the "balancing" penal code in one of the worlds in TNotB.

>

>But in all cases it is thought provoking.

>...

>> I suppose all they have in common is that there _is_ a government....until

>we get

>> to Cat and the society that isn't even as well organised as an anarchy.

>

>Now, now.  "Anarchy is not Chaos."  Nor is anarchy hell, though both 

>Hell's have a fair amount of order.  ;-)

Provided you have Jerry Farnsworth in charge of one Hell; but in 'pure' anarchy, if there can exist such a thing, what requires that any amount of order be present, Gordon? And do you think a 'pure' anarchy appears in any RAH work, even as a thought experiment?

-- 

David M. Silver

http://www.heinleinsociety.org

http://www.readinggroupsonline.com/groups/heinlein.htm

  "The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"

  --Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29, (1907-88)

    Lt.(jg) USN R'td

In article <20011108193107.12066.00004105@mb-mv.aol.com>, David M. Silver writes...
>Gordon Sollars notes:

...

>>I think the correct answer to your first two questions is, it depends. 

>> 

>I agree with Gordon.

Well, I'm glad we can get this far. ;-)
...

>What if the trade was petrochemicals? Arthur Clarke wrote one in which Titan,

>iirc, was being mined and exploited for rocket fuels. I don't remember a native

>population that was exploited or ignored to produce it, as perhaps one might

>argue the French exploited the working classes of Vietnam for rubber, or

>perhaps North America and Europe and a few other industrial countries are

>exploiting the Middle East for oil; but one wonders how RAH might have set up a

>"Logic of Empire" in that situation.

I'm not sure I follow this. The government of Saudi Arabia nationalized the oil fields there. What sort of "exploiting" of these fields by North Americans and Europeans do you have in mind? Or are you thinking of a "what if" in which the nationalization did not occur?

How about this for debate: The inability - or as some would argue, the unwillingness - of the U.S. to defend those oil fields from nationalization is consistent with Mr. Heinlein's fictional examples of the failure of absentee ownership leading to revolution.

...

>>Now, now.  "Anarchy is not Chaos."  Nor is anarchy hell, though both 

>>Hell's have a fair amount of order.  ;-)

> 

>Provided you have Jerry Farnsworth in charge of one Hell;

Well, the only other time Hell appears is "Magic, Inc.", isn't it? (Or am I forgetting something?) And the Hell in Magic has its "customs" which we are told are inviolable, even though physical "laws" are not.
>but in 'pure'

>anarchy, if there can exist such a thing, what requires that any amount of

>order be present, Gordon?

I should be clear that I by "anarchy" I mean a "propertarian" anarchy, such as that described by David Friedman or Murray Rothbard. I think that there are good reasons from evolutionary biology to argue that any anarchy will have some, and perhaps a great deal of, order. But, of course, if "anarchy" is used not to describe the absence of government, but instead to /name/ a condition of disorder, then we just have a semantic problem. But, I'm happy to use anyone's definitions.

>And do you think a 'pure' anarchy appears in any RAH

>work, even as a thought experiment? 

> A rather "pure" anarchy, in my terms, is the Loonie society of TMiaHM. It is true that it is embedded in a larger social structure with a government, but this has little effect on the day-to-day lives of the Loonies, so much so that Prof and Mike have to work hard to rouse them to revolution. Mannie tells us that there is no government, but there are well-established rules, and a formal way to adjudicate disputes over these rules (as we learn when Mannie "goes judge"), even if the formal method is not always used. (It is not always used in non-anarchic societies, either. ;-) )

-- 

Gordon Sollars

gsollars@pobox.com

Go To Postings

Here Begins The Discussion Log

You have just entered room "Heinlein Readers Group chat."

AGplusone has entered the room.

AGplusone: 'lo, David

DavidWrightSr: hi

AGplusone: I'm going to turn on the news and watch ... how's it going?

DavidWrightSr: Hard to type. am holding an angry chihuahua while we have a guest. Be back shortly.

AGplusone: I'd tell you the joke about evolution and chihuahua ... but I think you already know it.

DavidWrightSr: I'm back. put him outside.

AGplusone: good place ... nice little dogs but a bit highstrung

DavidWrightSr: especially with strangers or people he hasn't seen in a long time. what was that about evolution?

AGplusone: typical newsgroup argument: one side arguing evolution and natural selection, other side against ... said, how can you say that Chihuahau evolved from wolf, if that were true you'd be claiming that if we let them run free after time

AGplusone: they'd become wolves again. answer was: no, cat food.

DavidWrightSr: LOL

DavidWrightSr: I had ours fixed. Doc said it would calm him down. I couldn't tell any difference myself

AGplusone: only a cat owner would repeat that ...

DavidWrightSr: Our cat is 21 1/2 years old. took her to the vets the other day and they had to show everyone there. She was one of their first customers.

AGplusone: fixing doesn't necesarily calm anything down. My tom is still territorial as can be. Had a fight in the back alley with another last night.

AGplusone: wow! very old cat.

DavidWrightSr: She was getting all lumpy in the hair and we couldn't seem to clean it. Vet gave us new type of brush and cleaned her real good. Now she is all silky again

AGplusone: great

DavidWrightSr: Not a lot of posting on the subject. I started writing out some stuff yesterday, but didn't get it all done. so didn't post it.

AGplusone: never hurts to post it late ... we can take it up Saturday

AGplusone: I'm really thinking about doing away with the Nav Bar on the website entirely

AGplusone: Simply put links at top and bottom of the pages

DavidWrightSr: Sorry, I was away. I'

DavidWrightSr: I've got to let my wife check her messages so I'll be away again for a few minutes

AGplusone: 'kay

Paradis401 has entered the room.

ddavitt has entered the room.

ddavitt: Hi all

AGplusone: G'evening, Denis, Jane ... :-)

AGplusone: DW is afk for a bit

Paradis401: Hi David, Jane

ddavitt: Well, we've had a stressful time

AGplusone: and Ginny is in the arms of Morpheus, asked me to give everyone her regards and regrets

ddavitt: Ma collapsed last night and had to be rushed to the emergency vet

AGplusone: Oh, horrible!

ddavitt: Macallan

ddavitt: He is home now; Doug, our vet thinks it is kidney stones

AGplusone: Dave and I were just talking about our cats.

ddavitt: He was panting and nearly had a heart failure

ddavitt: Ended up on oxygen

AGplusone: Can they use any technique to dissolve the stones?

ddavitt: Puzzled the vets no end till they got the urine analysis back

ddavitt: Yes; he is on medication and special food

AGplusone: hope then!

ddavitt: They think the pain caused the seizures

ddavitt: Well, it's good to have him home; touch and go last night

AGplusone: Just like humans. Just glad stones don't run in my family.

ddavitt: I can imagine

ddavitt: How are both your cats then?

AGplusone: Dave report his: 21 -1/2 years old seems fine. Just got back from the vet. Mine got into a fight with another Tom last night. He won, but anyone who tells you gelding a tom calms them down is a little off.

ddavitt: I know when my two fight they seem pretty male:-)

AGplusone: Yes.

AGplusone: Territorial as can be.

DavidWrightSr: Hi. I'm back. As I said, same thing goes for chihuahuas

ddavitt: Well, I enjoyed the musical ep of Buffy:-)

ddavitt: Got a telesales person in the middle

AGplusone: Really, was that this week?

DavidWrightSr: durn. I missed it. I am not a buffy fan, but I wanted to see that one.

ddavitt: Soon as she called me Mrs Davitt I snapped, Excuse me? We're BUSY! and slammed down the phone. I still feel guilty

ddavitt: But why do they call so late?

ddavitt: It was great

AGplusone: Whatever for ... they want to catch you at home.

ddavitt: It shows again tomorrow night but will be cut

AGplusone: I must look then

ddavitt: As it ran 8 mins over and they can't let that happen again

DavidWrightSr: Don't feel guilty about that. It's what they deserve

ddavitt: You will be missing some good songs from the gossip.

AGplusone: So, did you like my humor about the lovely photo of your beautiful daughter?

ddavitt: You pressed reply all and it went to all my family and friends:-)

ddavitt: Mum was a tad puzzled...

ddavitt: But I explained

AGplusone: :-) and you had to explain 'me' to everyone, eh?

ddavitt: David says it looked all blotchy cos I didn't scan at high resolution

ddavitt: She isn't really like that

AGplusone: It looked beautiful.

ddavitt: Heh

ddavitt: It was a nice one this year

ddavitt: Must get a group family one done

ddavitt: Sorry daveW; did you want to kick off the chat?

AGplusone: If you send it to me, I promise I won't reply "all."

ddavitt: I certainly will.

ddavitt: Wish Stepehn could get the pic page up and running

AGplusone: me too

AGplusone: but he's studying

AGplusone: or becoming a teenager ... take your pick

ddavitt: Yes; that is important too.

AGplusone: maybe he discovered girls

ddavitt: Can anyone else do one? That page has lots of people on it who don't post now anyway

DavidWrightSr: There is probably a lot more to say on the subject of govts, but I can't think of anything off the bat. My mind and body are a little tired. Been wrestling with Windoze XP.

AGplusone: wanna learn how to make webpages, Jane ...

ddavitt: Too complex for my tiny brain

AGplusone: I tried to be a little provocative with my last post ...

ddavitt: I think it's a great subject

AGplusone: I do too

DavidWrightSr: I haven't read it yet. just copied it and posted it into the log preparation page.

ddavitt: I just speed read it. Anarchy isn't chaos? Pretty close tho

ddavitt: Is the idea that we self govern?

ddavitt: Scary thought...

ddavitt: Eleanor would never eat anything but happy meals

AGplusone: Suppose the exploitation was not grain, but oil, and suppose the Authority was a totalitarn government already in place; and suppose the reason they were throwing 'rocks' at earth was to cause its gvmts to overthrow the government

ddavitt: watch TV 24/7 and never go to bed

DavidWrightSr: That does sound a bit familiar :-)

AGplusone: of Lunies who were royalty ... would we have the Taliban?

ddavitt: Possible.

AGplusone: And would 'rock throwing' then be justified? Would RAH so consider it?

ddavitt: Hard to come up with a new system; can realte almost any fictional one to a rl govt

ddavitt: I find it difficult to second guess Heinlein sometimes

ddavitt: He doesn't jump the way you'd think

ddavitt: Not a predictable person on some issues

AGplusone: I don't really wonder how he'd jump today; but it's fun to map out the problem ...

AGplusone: "Pearl Harbor" is a pearl harbor, notwithstanding, but ...

DavidWrightSr: The reason I thought of the topic was realizing how many different govts he had demonstrated through his works.

ddavitt: There certainly were

AGplusone: What justified 'throwing rocks' at Earth's civilians in Moon that differs from the screwball rationization of the Taliban that we'll reward them for running planes into our buildings?

DavidWrightSr: from anarchy to absolute despotism and all sorts of varieties between.

ddavitt: Common theme of starvation too

AGplusone: Or is the analogy I've drawn up flawed?

ddavitt: But do the taliban think they will be rewarded? Was that their motivation?

DavidWrightSr: There seems to be something funny with the logic, but I can't put my finger on it yet.

AGplusone: That's what they purport is their reason?

ddavitt: Yet we cheer for the Loonies

AGplusone: An irrational reason?

ddavitt: They didn't intend to kill innocents either; they gave warnings

AGplusone: When John Paul Jones raided England, he didn't intentionally kill innocent civilians.

DavidWrightSr: One difference between the Loonies and the oil producing states is that they, at least the leaders, *don't* want to stop selling us oil. They would starve it they did

ddavitt: The deaths were the fault of the Earh people with picnic baskets

AGplusone: But knowing human nature ... wasn't that inevitable?

ddavitt: Throwing rocks was the equivalant of jumping up and down and waving, here we are!

DavidWrightSr: Improved the breed.

AGplusone: also some where killed when the CD rockets knocked the rocks off course ... that was predictable as well.

AGplusone: were

ddavitt: Earth was indifferent to them; had to make them sit up and take notice

ddavitt: Plus, Earth exiled them; they owed it no favours

AGplusone: US (and Britain) is indifferent to the Middle East, except insofar as it supplies us oil.

ddavitt: It's different...can't put my finger on it but it is

AGplusone: So maybe Heinlein's story is flawed in analogy to the American Revolution?

AGplusone: Unless you consider what happened to the Tories ...

ddavitt: It was not a revolution for the same reasons

ddavitt: Americans were fighting for independence but they fought as equals

AGplusone: Well, perhaps, but Taliban pays lip service to 'freedom' from the oppression of the Sheiks, etc.

ddavitt: Loonies and taliban are the same in that they are not official rulers

AGplusone: Altho it's more than merely arguable that they simply wish to impose their own religious oppression.

ddavitt: Which is why neither can go thru the usual diplomatic channels

AGplusone: Well, isn't it weird that Taliban doesn't govern the states that produce oil?

AGplusone: It's as if the Loonies were throwing rocks to force Earth to free Venus!

ddavitt: Of all H's govt types, are there any that people feel drawn to, in preference to our own?

ddavitt: I don't know enough about it to comment...I don't follow news all that much

Paradis401: I very much like Bernardo's ideas on government.

AGplusone: I rather like his meritocracies ...

ddavitt: I don't like Eleanor watching it and by the time she's in bed, I'm too tired to stay up and catch the later news

AGplusone: Which ones, Denis?

ddavitt: Nevia was nice...if you're Jocko

Paradis401: All of them.

AGplusone: Texas is nice if you're Jerry Farnsworth.

ddavitt: Meritoracies based on intellect or wealth?

AGplusone: mostly duty

ddavitt: Spelling..but you know what i mean

ddavitt: Am i defining it wrongly?

AGplusone: intellect and wealth are too arbitrary

ddavitt: What is one?

ddavitt: I thought it was rule by merit..is that not so?

AGplusone: I like the troopers meritocracy

Paradis401: Me too.

ddavitt: Wealth and lineage have governed rulership for centuries

AGplusone: it doesn't come to the rich, the bright, the warm bodies, you earn it

AGplusone: by service

ddavitt: Being able to amass wealth is one thing but being born to certain parensts? Hmm

DavidWrightSr: BTW Jane. I heard that there is a big movement in UK to do away with House of Lords as legislators of any sort

Paradis401: Well that's what happens in the US, we have our own form of royals.

ddavitt: That's just luck..unless you believe that nobility is something you get in your blood and it can't be earned or taught

ddavitt: Yes, has been for a while

AGplusone: the difference is: only they can run successfully for office, so far

ddavitt: I think they've tried to make it elective instead of inherited

AGplusone: but now, to be elected, $ talks

ddavitt: Not sure of the current position. The two tier system of checks and balances is useful sometimes

ddavitt: But it can tie stuff up; as you find with your senate and congress I suppose

AGplusone: deliberately intended

ddavitt: Filibusters and all that

ddavitt: Good from a libertarian POV if there are less laws

ddavitt: But no so good if they're laws that are needed ( define needed, jane...)

AGplusone: rarely have a true emergency

DavidWrightSr: I liked idea of one body which did nothing but do away with laws.

ddavitt: Yes!

Paradis401: YES!

ddavitt: Lots on the statute books that are a waste of space

AGplusone: I think Bernardo is an 'old fraud' and was simply proposing ideas to be disposed of ...

ddavitt: I beleive you can still be arrested in UK for wearing perfume on a Sunday; archaic one

Paradis401: No you don't - David

ddavitt: useful for the police ; anyone can be guilty of something if they really want ot arrest you

DavidWrightSr: No way. Bernardo was a great man. Up there with the best of them O:-)

ddavitt: Need to spring clean.

AGplusone: Bernardo = bear; de la Paz = of Peace. Beware the Peace of the Bear.

ddavitt: Examine a law a centurty after it's passed and do away with it if no longer relevant

ddavitt: Ooh, nice one :-)

DavidWrightSr: I'd recommend 10-20 years. Century far too long

ddavitt: Well, has to be a while or there would be chaos

AGplusone: He's the ivory tower revolutionary, good only to dispose of the status quo ... little to offer except theory afterwards, and first to be put against a wall.

ddavitt: Plenty of ancient ones to be getting on with

ddavitt: By the time all the ones about pasturing sheep in the churchyard go, there will be lots of newer ones to get rid of

AGplusone: <---- this is me, being provocative.

Paradis401: Obviously!

DavidWrightSr: I noticed :-D

ddavitt: And you can be a lawyer after a weeks training <------that's me doing it

ddavitt: :-)

ddavitt: Prof was a dangerous man; Mike may have assassinated him

AGplusone: I felt that happened.

AGplusone: just as Mike assassinated himself

DavidWrightSr: Hey you guys. You can't gang up on my hero.

ddavitt: Sorry!

Paradis401: Did Mike really self-assass himself?

AGplusone: I hoped to entice Gordon Sellars in with my last post ....

ddavitt: But would you live in the society he wanted?

DavidWrightSr: His function was to try to get people to think for themselves. Just like RAH himself. Succeeded only in small steps

ddavitt: I think so..like Aivas does in the Pern books

AGplusone: very possibly, Denis. Time to pretend to be dead so they babies can grow up themselves.

Paradis401: Ok, I'll buy that.

DavidWrightSr: I do agree about Mike.

ddavitt: Like Giles in Buffy; he is leaving so that Buffy can grow up

DavidWrightSr: BRB Folks

ddavitt: Cut the cord...

ddavitt: Can't have people relying on computers, now can we?

AGplusone: reason I tried to entice Gordon was: I wanted to ask him to find, in RAH, any true anarchist or true libertarian government.

ddavitt: Tertius?

AGplusone: Really, Jane?

AGplusone: howso?

ddavitt: Well, show me a rule or a ruler

AGplusone: Isn't it a benign dictatorship, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lazarus Long, who chooses to stay out of things, until or unless it's time to make an important, critical to survival, decision.

ddavitt: gwen says it's not as organised as anarchy; make of that what you will

AGplusone: Like: it's time to move on again

AGplusone: to Quartorius

ddavitt: Don't think he owns the planet but I'm sure he heavily influences the way it isn't run

AGplusone: He's the "Senior" and can always take back the gavel

ddavitt: He's a big bossy boots

AGplusone: So my thesis is: it's an artificial anarchy

Paradis401: Bart the Bear?

AGplusone: and Big Senior Is Watching!

ddavitt: Jumping around cos I'm tired and will have to go soon

ddavitt: I like the twist in coventry

ddavitt: Where the "good" govt of the covenant turns out, on closer look, to be pretty awful

ddavitt: Not as bad as the Prophet but not really that much better than the three in Coventry

AGplusone: uh-huh ... and ...

ddavitt: Out of the frying pan into the twist your brain if you don't conform

AGplusone: Happy Valley ...

ddavitt: But the first time I read it I swallowed the, "it's good here, bad in there" line

AGplusone: works as a patriachial society until people show up ...

AGplusone: then what?

ddavitt: I don't think I got the point of a lot of H books the first time round..maybe I still don't

AGplusone: so did I

ddavitt: happy Valley was a family; different dynamics

ddavitt: How about Tunnel?

ddavitt: Purity of purpose

AGplusone: first thing they do, to survive, is create a constitution

ddavitt: Coupled with knowledge of how a govt works; they did OK

ddavitt: After Grant's committes got dissolved

AGplusone: much better than Goldings' children

ddavitt: They did what had to be done, sensibly. Rare, very rare

ddavitt: poor piggy!

AGplusone: poor couch shell

ddavitt: I hated that book...did it as school and it was darn scary

ddavitt: Iwas only about 12

ddavitt: Looked at my classmates with new eyes, I can tell you

AGplusone: I was too old when I read it first.

AGplusone: Couldn't believe twelve-year-olds were that silly

ddavitt: High Wind in jamaica?

ddavitt: When the boy dies and noone notices?

AGplusone: but then, now that I'm older, I'll concede it's possible

AGplusone: ... for twenty-one year olds to be that dumb.

AGplusone: The 'little un' that disappears in Golding does the same thing. I always thought the choir ate him

ddavitt: Rod's lot never sank that low..but they were older and better prepared

AGplusone: And Goldings' point was: how can we be sure we're preparing them (if you don't believe his point was we can't be prepared).

AGplusone: that all governments except tolitarians forms are artificial

AGplusone: and melt away under sufficient pressure

ddavitt: I have been awake since 6 and lauren was up from 3 to 4 am so i am dead on my feet ( 10 pm here) I think I have to say goodnight. I'll try and make saturday but

Davis flies down to san Jose at 1.00 so have to see how busy I am

ddavitt: Is there a directors meet on Sunday david?

AGplusone: okay, Jane ... go sleep

AGplusone: no. meeting isn't til Thanksgiving weekend

Paradis401: Bye Jane. Be Good!

ddavitt: I feel as if I could use the keyboard as a pillow

ddavitt: OK, night all, sorry to rush off.

ddavitt has left the room.

AGplusone: not bad ... a good hour ...

Paradis401: All? Just you and me David.

AGplusone: problem is scheduling on four days notice

DavidWrightSr: I'm here

AGplusone: but, this has been pretty good ...

Paradis401: Yes.

DavidWrightSr: Sorry, haven't been able to contribute much. Been running under the gun here at home and at work and church.

AGplusone: what about Heinlein's view of government, basically? Do you think that possibly he agreed at bottom with Golding

AGplusone: but felt that education was the guard against that

AGplusone: 'holding back the night'

DavidWrightSr: I think he was big on 'larning' of all sorts.

Paradis401: I think Robert did mention Lord of the Flies somewhere in one of his books.

AGplusone: I'd like to find that.

Paradis401: If'n I do, I'll email you.

AGplusone: I know he mentioned some authors as among those he disfavored ...

AGplusone: possibly in one of his lectures ...

AGplusone: but I don't recall Golding in there.

AGplusone: I keep wanting to say James Joyce

Paradis401: Did he really mention authors he didn't like - except maybe as a general comment?

AGplusone: Let me check ... I think I have it

Paradis401: He had a principle about never talking about other authors - at least by name.

AGplusone: "A very large part of what is accepted as “serious” literature today represents nothing more than a cultural lag on the part of many authors, "

AGplusone: editors and critics–a retreat to the womb in the face of a world too complicated and too frightening for their immature spirits.

AGplusone: A sick literature. What do we find so often today? Autobiographical novels centered around neurotics, even around sex maniacs,

Paradis401: Ok. That's general. He only mentioned other authors by name if he had something good to say about them.

AGplusone: I'm trying to get the entire quote which goes on ... it's too long to put in one buffer'

AGplusone: Can James Joyce and Henry Miller and their literary sons and grandsons interpret the seething new world of atomic power and antibiotics and interplanetary travel? I say not.

AGplusone: having skipped some there ....

AGplusone: In my opinion a very large portion of what is now being offered the public as serious, contemporary-scene fiction

AGplusone: is stuff that should not be printed, but told only privately–on a psychiatrist’s couch.

AGplusone: The world, the human race, is now faced with very real and pressing problems.

Paradis401: I seem to remember and agree with all of that.

AGplusone: They will not be solved by introverted neurotics intent on telling, in a tedious hundred thousand words

AGplusone: , they hate their fathers and love their mothers.

AGplusone: In any case, I, for one, am heartily sick of stories about frustrates, jerks, homosexuals and comuters who are unhappy with their wives– for goodness sake!

AGplusone: Let them find other wives, other jobs–and shut up!

AGplusone: that's from "The SF Novel -- It's faults and virtues"

Paradis401: It would have been nice if he had named some of them. But he never would.

AGplusone: Well, he mentions Joyce, and others, that I've cut out in close association with that passage.

AGplusone: In any case, is it not odd that the ash-can school of realism, as exemplified by Henry Miller, Jean-Paul Sartre, James Joyce, Françoise Sagan and Alberto Moravia, should be held up to us as “high art”

Paradis401: Yes, but the comments about Joyce are general.. not all that pejorative.

AGplusone: Part of what I cut out

AGplusone: Can James Joyce and Henry Miller and their literary sons and grandsons interpret the seething new world of atomic power and antibiotics and interplanetary travel? I say not!

DavidWrightSr: Well, as a young teen-ager, I always felt that Heinlein wrote 'literature', but didn't, (and still don't) know what that means.

Paradis401: Neither do I.

AGplusone: He went on and said: True, some of this sick literature does shine some light into dark corners of the human soul.

AGplusone: Even a sordid, narrow novel such as James Jones’ From Here to Eternity can sometimes manage that. But is this enough?

AGplusone: At best such a novel shows only one frame of a complex and rapidly moving picture.“I am a stranger and afraid in a world I never made.”

AGplusone: So I'd read the passages I've just quoted, closely associated, as critical of all those authors mentioned, not merely of James Jones

Paradis401: I guess we can more or less forgive him since they were all dead anyway.

AGplusone: . . . but wadda I know.

Paradis401: Even in his correspondence he was kind to people like Alice Dahlg....

AGplusone: He notes several authors in that essay with approval.

Paradis401: I will go back and read it.

AGplusone: I think he basically was a kind man.

Paradis401: Yes indeed. Always.

AGplusone: But he had strong feelings about some kinds of 'literature' including the Freudian schools ... which include as their darling, writers such as Golding

Paradis401: Robert had strong feelings about a lot of things but the always emphasized the Positive side of things in people.

AGplusone: All the sexual undertones in Lord of Flies ... killing the pig.

AGplusone: In most writings, true ...

AGplusone: but he could parody some things, e.g., that assessment in the 'Freudian style' he wrote Dahlgliesh

Paradis401: Yes, and that was very funny.

AGplusone: after she played games with Willis's method of procreation.

AGplusone: but perhaps not to her

DavidWrightSr: and what's his name, 'Van Rheinschmitt'?

Paradis401: Who dat?

AGplusone: in Lifeline, there's an academic

AGplusone: his name is a parody on the Chancellor of USC, von Kleinschmidt

Paradis401: Oh. OK. But Alice was a really stupid bitch.

AGplusone: who was Chancellor and a publicity hog when RAH lived out here.

AGplusone: "America's most handsome University President"

Paradis401: One of those eh?

AGplusone: exactly

Paradis401: Ive always been leery of the pretty boys like Kennedy and Clinton.

AGplusone: Harry Truman (don't forget to include Dub-yah as a pretty boy)

AGplusone: is the one to admire.

Paradis401: Wo is Dub-Yah? Bush.?

AGplusone: da one and only

Paradis401: He ain't purty. Hell he's uglier than a cactus.

AGplusone: well, some might differ

Paradis401: His mom.

AGplusone: I always thought Clinton was too far faced

AGplusone: fat faced

AGplusone: fraternity boy look

Paradis401: Monika didn't think so. But she didn't focus on his face much.

AGplusone: Monica's taste was all "in her mouth"

Paradis401: Ouch!

DavidWrightSr: Does this get 'edited'? :-)

AGplusone: if you wish ...

DavidWrightSr: Up to you.

AGplusone: I yam what I yam

Paradis401: I don't know. Whya should it. Make Ginny laugh.

AGplusone: can't hurt any more than the joke I told about chihuahuas at the beginning

Paradis401: Right.

AGplusone: Let's think of a topic for next meeting ...

AGplusone: your turn Denis!

Paradis401: What about pretty boys in Heinlein's work?

AGplusone: Why not?

AGplusone: You wanna do the lead off?

AGplusone: I'm waiting to find out who they are.

Paradis401: No... you would do better. Like MVS

AGplusone: MVS a 'pretty boy' as in the muscles he 'grewed'?

Paradis401: Yes. I sometimes think he modeled Mike after Sturgeon.

AGplusone: Or do you 'spose Bork Vanning was a pretty boy.

Paradis401: No.

AGplusone: Really ... then I think you should do it. I know nothing whatever about Sturgeon.

Paradis401: Author of "GodBody"

AGplusone: who else

AGplusone: Yes, I know that.

Paradis401: I'm thinking but aging rapidly. Galahad in TEFL

AGplusone: But I've never read it, or anything else by Sturgeon ... {I keep telling everyone I stopped reading SF for thirty years}

AGplusone: yes ...

AGplusone: and the applicant going out as Oscar goes in ...

Paradis401: I wonder why Robert wrote the forword for Godbody. Oscar fits too.

Paradis401: Foreword

AGplusone: who Oscar suspects is a hermorphidite ... (sp?)

DavidWrightSr: And 'Larry Smith' was too pretty I believe his father said

AGplusone: Yes!

AGplusone: and Max Jones

AGplusone: who the lady removes some hair and tatoos wrinkles on

Paradis401: There you go... you're cookin guys. give the ladies something to talk about..

AGplusone: I vote Denis leads-off ...

Paradis401: I'm not a good leading man for this sort of thing.

AGplusone: sure you are ...

AGplusone: just do what I do ... prattle

AGplusone: 'tis easier than you think

Paradis401: No. I'm a scientific writer. Different sort of thing.

AGplusone: LOL ... I doubt that

Paradis401: Really?

AGplusone: If I lead off will you jump in and raise some points I have no competency whatever to talk about, like Sturgeon?

Paradis401: Sure.

AGplusone: Okay, it's going to be a twist on the 'unreal' portraits of men that all the fem-libers raise about the wimmen. Raise a hackle or two, maybe.

AGplusone: Galahed, indeed!

AGplusone: Galahad

Paradis401: It should hit the spot. What spot that may be.

AGplusone: <---- this is men, leaving that one alone ... my height was taste tonight.

AGplusone: me

AGplusone: Dave, anything to suggest?

Paradis401: Ok. Hope we have a better attendance for the next one.

DavidWrightSr: Nothing here.

AGplusone: 'kay ... we'll start it ahead, I suggest, and if Connie says I have to come on that date, we'll defer it

AGplusone: we can always postpone

DavidWrightSr: Have you heard anything from her?

AGplusone: not a word

Paradis401: Sawright with me.

AGplusone: 'kay then, have log?

AGplusone: Have Log --Will Travel, the story of Babe the Blue Ox

DavidWrightSr: Got it

Paradis401: Goodnight gentlemen. It was fun. You may be seated.

AGplusone: G'nite from New York, David

DavidWrightSr: Night David, Denis

Paradis401: Night all.

Paradis401 has left the room.

DavidWrightSr: Log officially closed at 10:41


Final End Of Discussion Log

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