Talk:Robert A. Heinlein

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Not sure where it would fit (influences, maybe?), but a lot of Heinlein's work is popular among Libertarians. Especially stuff like Farnam's Freehold. --Kels 17:06, 13 February 2008 (EST)

His writings and themes certainly support the libertarian viewpoint... though its his works influenced on others rather than influences on his work. Give a read. Very amusing (and sometimes scary how accurate it is). Some of my favorites regarding libertarians (and a few others tossed in):

  • I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
  • It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.
  • Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.
  • Theology is never any help; it is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn't there. Theologians can persuade themselves of anything.
  • When a place gets crowded enough to require ID's, social collapse is not far away. It is time to go elsewhere. The best thing about space travel is that it made it possible to go elsewhere.
  • Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
  • One can judge from experiment, or one can blindly accept authority. To the scientific mind, experimental proof is all important and theory is merely a convenience in description, to be junked when it no longer fits. To the academic mind, authority is everything and facts are junked when they do not fit theory laid down by authority.
  • An armed society is a polite society.
  • Every law that was ever written opened up a new way to graft.
  • I would say that my position is not too far from that of Ayn Rand's; that I would like to see government reduced to no more than internal police and courts, external armed forces - with the other matters handled otherwise. I'm sick of the way the government sticks its nose into everything, now.

--Shagie 17:47, 13 February 2008 (EST)


I note that most of this section focuses on his later "adult" work, rather than the "juveniles" which made up the bulk of his early career, things like "Have Space Suit Will Travel" and "Farmer in the Sky", both of which were excellent but didn't really promote a lot of Libertarian stuff. So perhaps there's room for mention of E.E. "Doc" Smith, whose style inspired a great deal of Heinlein's earlier adventure work. --Kels 09:03, 7 September 2008 (EDT)

I think this is more a function of who has added material up to this point, and which Heinlein books they have read; I for one have not read any of his early "juveniles". Definitely add something about them if you think it belongs. Secret Squirrel 09:28, 7 September 2008 (EDT)

A conjecture about the Heinleins and swinging[edit]

People have speculated for about 50 years now that Robert Heinlein employed his own experiences in "free love" when he wrote his later novels, starting with Stranger In a Strange Land.

I have read that swinging began in American military communities during the Second World War as married couples borrowed each other's spouses, apparently because (1) wartime tends to erode the usual inhibitions on sex, (2) the men would go on long deployments away from home and leave lonely wives, and (3) the men knew they experienced a high mortality rate and wanted to live more intensely in their free time by sharing their fellow warriors' women. Then the practice moved into the American suburbs as these people went back into civilian life, even though the living conditions had become a lot safer. Robert Heinlein & his wife Virginia both had military backgrounds and knew a lot of service people from the Second World War, and they moved to the military town of Colorado Springs in the 1950's.

Did they choose that town in part because they knew a lot of swinging couples there? Advancedatheist (talk) 02:39, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

[citation needed] ħumanUser talk:Human 02:47, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

An IP[edit]

I love Heinlein's books, but later in life the guy got straight up crazy. Like advocating for the death of poor people as a biological necessity, "Social Darwinism" stuff. Considering the site, his views are treated far too lightly IMO. Interestingly, in his early life he helped with Upton Sinclair's candidacy, and advocated for a form of socialism in economics. I do not know where to put this comment.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

ST influence on the Marines[edit]

"the method of attack used by the Mobile Infantry in the book is similar to (and maybe even inspired by) the method of attack used by the US Marine Corps since the 80s."

This appears to be backwards. How can the MI's method of attack be influenced by the USMC in the 80's when Starship Troopers was published in 1959? — Unsigned, by: Ecafsub / talk / contribs

Moon is a Harsh Mistress[edit]

Wasn't this like, pretty damning of Libertarianism? The "good guys" had ubiquitous surveillance of everyone, rigidly hierarchical cell structure, carried out false flag attacks, embezzled money from corporations, killed thousands of civilians, etc. etc. Guess I should read it again. Hmmph (talk) 03:13, 1 November 2014 (UTC)