Robert Heinlein and Upton Sinclair


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Post January 30, 2011, 01:14:08 AM

Robert Heinlein and Upton Sinclair

I was reading about Upton Sinclair and learned that as a young man, Robert Heinlein was heavily involved with Sinclair's political campaign in California. Upton Sinclair was a well known socialist activist and today Heinlein is usually characterized as a militarist and an authoritarian.

Long ago, Heinlein's juvenile novels were favorites of mine and I have long been aware of the conservativism and rugged individualism which seems to run through most of his books. I find it interesting to speculate how he navigated the political terrain from socialism to where he seemed to wind up on the right.
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Post January 30, 2011, 10:19:51 AM

But not the Tea Party Right

As noted, Heinlein (particularly in his "juvenile" novels) believed in rugged individualism and the ascendancy of the exceptional man (or woman). He would be horrified by the Tea Party and the Bush - Palin - ... glorification of the mediocre and the ignorant. Heinlein's ideal person was a polymath -- someone who could, yes, kill and dress an animal, but also someone who could design and build a machine or a building, plot orbits with an ephemeris and a sliderule, survive in a big city, the wilderness, cyberspace or outer space.

Heinlein's later novels (from "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" and "Stranger in a Strange Land" on) got weirder and more Libertarian than what passes for "Right Wing" these days...
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Post January 30, 2011, 02:56:43 PM

Polymath vs the rest

Your quote:"
He would be horrified by the Tea Party and the Bush - Palin - ... glorification of the mediocre and the ignorant. "

But they are so easily swayed and motivated. They are also the expendable cannon fodder, a source of human capital from which they can tap into.

Think about the term many of the leadership uses for the masses, as in "their flock".

"This way to the abatoir folks."

On another point, I equate socialism with more of a noble purpose for example schools, hospitals, and similar state run organizations. However, like the political situation today where the ideal of republican style government based upon an educated electorate has been corrupted, the word 'socialism' had too much baggage attached to it and is unutterable in political society.

Socialism This in no way takes away from strengths and necessity the polymath and the rugged individual in our society.

That issue was addressed by Vonnegut in From Time to Timbuktu

RT

And Robert, this has nothing to do with my skills as a grammarian or lack thereof.
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Post February 03, 2011, 08:41:12 AM

Actually, Heinlein is my favourite Sci-Fi writer( and probably is considered as one of the pillars of Sci-Fi genre in general...) but for sure books by him as "Stranger in a Strange Land" make us clearly understand that he can't simply be characterized as a militarist and an authoritarian, as in the book mentioned above( which became a beloved book from the Left wing internationally), for example, he points towards another direction, indeed, there is a deep criticism of common way of life and of war, too...

So, in a way, he simply was able to write very well from the point of view of a war- expert and, on the other hand, from the point of view of a critic of some bad modern politics/way of life or common hypocrisy, or so I think...


For Robert_Moriyama:

As noted, Heinlein (particularly in his "juvenile" novels) believed in rugged individualism and the ascendancy of the exceptional man (or woman). He would be horrified by the( modern...) Tea Party ...


I agree, for sure...eh,eh :D But better not to speak about politics, you may have your problems with some of your leaders.,.but we have in Italy much bigger problems with our premiers...especially in these days...eh,eh... :lol: :lol: :lol: :roll:
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Post February 03, 2011, 09:22:46 PM

If you haven't yet, read this:

http://www.amazon.com/Us-Living-Comedy- ... 074325998X

Be sure to read the introduction; it tells about the politics. But Heinlein's core political philosophies are right up front -- and some are flat-out strange.
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