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peprice

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

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dsayers    1055

I feel so modernly uneducated. With no context as to what medium you were referring to, I went to go see if it was available on Netflix :woot:

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domehouse    1

If you like SciFi, a little like Atlas Shrugged in space.

 

Libertarian theme.

 

 

I loved the theme, but when he added a soppy romance in the middle, I put it down.

 

The idea of earth domination being questioned as being wrong is awesome.

 

what are we guna do throw rocks at them ? lol

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Reading Heinlein is like being trapped between a science fiction story and a trashy romance novel.

 

Not that I've ever read a trashy romance novel, but I've read Heinlein, and I'm not sure how you could get much more trashy. :P

 

(I generally like his books, but sometimes it's like geez man, can you cut it out with the sex scenes and get on with the story?)

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TheRobin    195

I was quite underwhelmed when I read this book, aside from a bit of anarchist ideas going around and some questioning of the current government situation there was not that much in it. 

 

Except for Mike ofc :)

 

My theory would be that this along with Stranger in a Strange Land were bestsellers more because of the culturally unocrrupted childlike (yet semi-omnipotent and practically invincible) charcters, who incidentally both are named "Mike". But yeah, just a vague theory ofc. :)

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LovePrevails    247

i ve never finished it but a lot of good moments in the part I did read

 

Heilein says some clever things

 

although he left a really bad taste in my mouth with his pro-military Starship Troopers in the scene where he strongly advocates corporal punishment of children through the mouth of a supposed philosophy-teacher who does not teach critical thinking, reason, evidence, or empiricism, he teaches Heinlein's subjective moral views as facts. The opposite of a philosophy teacher then.

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@LovePrevails

 

Understandable that you would object to his stance on corporal punishment, but considered in the context of the lesson he was teaching in that particular book, it makes a lot more sense. We can talk all day about the limited utility of violence, the moral superiority of voluntary interaction, and the efficacy of consensus, but the story of Starship Troopers is as he sums it up through the mouth of the teacher character, Dubois:

 

"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst."

 

Starship Troopers is a work of art, with this sentence comprising the heart of it. As an artist, Heinlein works not only with the explicit statement, though, but with what is implied through it. Violence has been the tool used to settle a great many memorable disputes, which is natural given how thoroughly hardwired it is into the more animalistic part of us. What is the result? Even with such amazing knowledge and technology as we and our ancestors have acquired, we remain mired in a set of illusions that continue to inform much of our behavior.

 

Consider, for instance, the story of Starship Troopers; a corrupt, fascistic government rules humanity's interstellar civilization, sending foot soldiers to fight the "arachnids", the height of martial folly. Heinlein was no fool, he was well read in rocket and nuclear science, and would have known that the better way of fighting an interplanetary and interstellar conflict is to use torchships and unmanned missile-buses to eliminate the threat. If you have the opportunity, I'd recommend sifting through RHO Project's "Atomic Rockets" section, which credits Heinlein specifically with inspiring the owner to provide a resource to writers wishing to turn the clock of Science Fiction back to the days when authors more or less understood the science they wished to use as a touchstone.

 

So with Starship Troopers as Heinlein's subtle horror story, we are presented with the opportunity to turn fresh eyes on "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress"; the characters of "Starship Troopers" struggle to learn the hard way of having failed to overcome violence with their own strategies, becoming mired in it. The characters of "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" are in a better position, with the would-be revolutionaries taking advantage of existing technologies (as well as their limitations) to foment a revolution on their own terms. Heinlein was a criticalist (among other things), so the world, the protagonists, their actions, and the resulting consequences are all imperfect. Nevertheless, the characters do pretty well for themselves by figuring out what they want, taking a risk, and getting it...and they accomplish it largely through the application of soft power.

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