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RAH and McCarthyism? 
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Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:57 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Post RAH and McCarthyism?
To those who know more than I,

I am interested in what RAH thought about the Red Scare of about 1947-1953 and in particular the hearings on Un-American activities led by Senator McCarthy.

I have already done a search in the forums for 'communism' and 'McCarthy' and come up with a few interesting tidbits, but is there anything more direct and specific in his writings and papers?



Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:07 pm

Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:52 pm
Posts: 136
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Post Re: RAH and McCarthyism?
I don't know about Heinlein's attitudes per se, but in his "adult" fiction of the era, he's pretty explicit about the Commies: In the shorter version of The Puppet Masters (published from the early 1950s through the late 1980s) its narrator says, as an aside in chapter 21, that if the Soviets weren't under the influence of the biologically communistic enemy, they might as well be: "I wondered why the titans had not attacked Russia first; the place seemed tailor-made for them. On second thought, I wondered if they had. On third thought, I wondered what difference it would make."

In the longer version originally submitted to Doubleday, which has superseded the earlier shorter edition since 1990 or so, Heinlein is so overeager to make the comparison and/or underscore the metaphor that he nearly cripples the opening of the novel, with a second paragraph that begins as follows (and whose absence markedly improves the shorter version): "With the Soviets it seems certain that they did not invent anything. They simply took the communist power-for-power’s-sake and extended it without any 'rotten liberal sentimentality' as the commissars put it."

What Heinlein thought of McCarthy's tactics is another matter, of course - perhaps someone here knows something?

Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:44 pm

Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:57 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Post Re: RAH and McCarthyism?

I was pretty firm that RAH was against communism and Learning Curve confirmed that. I have also reread the relevant passages in Tramp.

The cognitive dissonance that I am having is two-fold:

First, in the beginning of TEFL Lazarus and Ira pretty much dismiss democracy as workable, which seems counter to RAH's opinions. Personally, after the last couple of decades my personal opinions lean more toward Lazarus.

Secondly, in an article I recently read (the title escapes me at the moment) about 'Gulf' and General Semantics, RAH seems to contradict himself about Korzybski between his speeches and letters. This could be a simple case of speaking to his audience and tailoring his comments appropriately, but it leaves grey area as to what his actual beliefs were. I wonder if his writings in Tramp Royale are of a similar vein.

---edited for spelling.

Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:41 pm
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