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Libertarians on Heinlein 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:40 pm
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Post Libertarians on Heinlein
The Ludwig von Mises Institute is placing a great deal of libertarian literature online:
Go and search for Heinlein.

A 1969 review of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (see p. 3) indicates that he was not, at least at that time, fully accepted by the movement as it stood then as one of their own, because of his support for fully prosecuting the Vietnam War.

Later mentions of Heinlein in various libertarian magazines indicate he was accepted by other writers as a libertarian.


Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:57 am
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Post Re: Libertarians on Heinlein
When did he turn against the draft?


Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:37 pm
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Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:52 pm
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Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:56 am
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Post Re: Libertarians on Heinlein
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.

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In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Sat Jul 17, 2010 1:25 pm
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Post Re: Libertarians on Heinlein


Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:55 am
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Post Re: Libertarians on Heinlein
I'm sure there are many ways to interpret it. I've also seen the argument that many "volunteers" were forced in one way or the other (as an alternative for jail time over minor infractions, etc.)

I have no particular horse in the race but it annoys me to see the sloppy retconned position that Vietnam was a war fought entirely by unwilling draftees. I do not find it at all surprising that somewhere well over half were volunteers who signed up for the usual reasons, whether passively because it was expected (although less an absolute requirement as it had been a few years earlier) or actively because they believed it was their duty.

It needs to be remembered that the vague collective memory of "the Sixties" represented a truly minority position that became accepted and popular only long after the fact. Check, for example, the Billboard top 10 or 100 through the early 1970s... you will find very few entries of what's considered the signature music of the era among much more staid old standards.

So in retrospect Heinlein's position seems Reaganesquely Rock Ribbed, but it was closer to the mainstream - and the notion, dead since Nixon, that it was a duty to support our country's obligations - than the narrow recollected view of what was then a fringe movement.

It doesn't matter who was right in the end. If you're going to evaluate someone's actions, you have to do it in context.

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In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:18 am
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Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:26 am
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Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:39 pm
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