Peder D4

Discussion of politics and other odious things

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Starship Troopers

Over at the Great Books blog, I recently read through the Iliad, Homer's account of the Trojan war.  One of the themes that intrigued me was how every man was encouraged to fight, even if it meant death.  After all, everyone is mortal and death will come at some time.  Don't run or you'll only get a spear in your back.
This idea makes complete sense in the very rough time period of ancient Greece where villages and towns could be attacked at any time.  Every man needed to be ready to fight and fight fiercely.  Today, at least in the United States, we're much luckier.  We need some warriors, but not the whole able population.
Still, the theme stuck in my head and I decided to reread Robert Heinlein's great book 'Starship Troopers', where he talks about why we must have fighting men and what the relationship is between the soldier and the civic body. 
Well, actually, there were a few different things. 
  • 1) The point I mentioned above, about the importance of rough and ready men, willing to fight and die if need be.  But also:
  • 2) I recently ran across some of the usual nonsense about how 'Starship Troopers' is a fascist book and how Heinlein is a fascist because of it.  
  • 3) I've also been thinking a lot lately about debt and the future of the United States.  Heinlein has some pointed things to say about duty and I wanted to reread and rethink some of that too.  
 Well, when I get things stuck in my head, I sometimes toss and turn at night until they come out in some kind of written form.  This seems the best place for it.  I thought about parking some of it at the Great Books blog, but I don't want to force it in over the stuff that's on the list.  (Which means, I'll look for some excuse to do so later!)
Anyway, look for some posts to follow on these themes.



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