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Libertarians on Heinlein 
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Heinlein Nexus

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:05 am
Posts: 375
Post Re: Libertarians on Heinlein
I am struck by the way in which we fashion images of the past based on a few chosen symbols/sounds/texts. Part of this is necessary, because we have a hard time controlling information without some kind of schema, but the sixties does seem skewed towards the whole "everybody was a hippie" -- which is not to say it was not a decade of enormously difficult problems, which it was, and tremendous successes and failures, which it was as well. I did grow up behind the Orange Curtain, where Republicans dominated, but even so, I did see hippie culture poking through.

I have upon occasion listened to a radio program on the local public radio jazz station, called "In the Swinging Years" -- and I cannot believe how much crap we have completely forgotten, as bands like Duke Ellington and Count Basie and Glenn Miller have come to dominate the memory. I was repeatedly dumbfounded by no-name bands which ruled the charts, and made me actually want to gag. Undercuts the whole argument that swing music was the last time art and commerce were the same thing in American culture.

In any case, this is where revisionist histories live -- which can go in the wrong direction, because they wipe out tones that need to remain there (another way in which the hunt for tenure distorts our intellectual life in this country).

Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:07 am
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Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:18 pm
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Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Libertarians on Heinlein
I have always believed that TEFL is in part a commentary on Vietnam, using another war (WWI) that the protaganist *knows with historical certainty* is a huge tragedy and waste that will only lead to an even bigger war not much later.

Yet Woodsie volunteers and goes off to war and gets his ass shot off anyway. Not because he was drafted; not even because his society demands it of him in more indirect ways; and damned sure not to produce a useful result for mankind. . . .but rather just to preserve the good opinion of a few people who matter deeply to him.

I imagine that was a horribly unsatsifactory position to take for axe-grinders on either side of the Vietnam debate, so I found it an interesting one for RAH to take there.

If you look at Starship Troopers, Glory Road, Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Time Enough for Love, I personally find it hard to find the Heinlein stereotype that usually gets flogged in this area.

Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:46 am
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Heinlein Nexus

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:05 am
Posts: 375
Post Re: Libertarians on Heinlein
I think at more than one point in the correspondence, he says Vietnam was a mistake, except insofar that having made the commitment, we were morally bound to honor it.

Goes to comments in the Eisenhower book I put into the review section :)

He was also not comfortable with having his name on the pro-Vietnam supporters page that the SF hawks published in the sixties, but allowed it to go forward for much the same reasons.

Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:46 am
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Post Re: Libertarians on Heinlein
Many libertarians grew up reading Heinlein "juveniles" and other early works antedating controversies around Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land. Heinlein as libertarian thus seemed matter-of-course to these people. I doubt one could speak of a "movement" consensus on Heinlein, any more than on science fiction itself, on Rand or Rothbard, or Austrian-school versus Chicago-school economics, or pacifism versus national security.

_________________ - recurrent inspiration

Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:49 am
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:59 am
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Post Re: Libertarians on Heinlein
any idea what new utopia proejcts(was going to have a bussnis plan and build hosue on the sea) based on his moon is a harsh place and time enhug for love ) did have anything to do wiht his ideas ?

was or is the project guilt of fraud ? for refreance

sorry for my bad engthils :(

Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:42 am

Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:53 am
Posts: 555
Post Re: Libertarians on Heinlein
JamesGifford wrote:
Only of slight relevance, but a good place to drop one of my favorite stats about the Vietnam War:

Number of Vietnam-era veterans: 8 million.
Number of Vietnam-era draftees: 2 million.

Whatever else there is to be said, the notion that Vietnam was all press-gang troops isn't even a little bit true.

Number of people who now claim to be Vietnam vets:16 million.

Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:16 pm
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