Robert A. Heinlein: A Writer as Big as America
As some of you know, I’m an American by choice. I left kin and country, culture and connections to throw in my lot with the freedom gang.
How did this come to happen? How could a girl raised in Portugal, of patriotic (fanatic, really) parents, get to the point where she felt expatriate, a stranger in a strange land?
Well, a lot of it had to do with what I read. When I tell people I was raised on Robert A. Heinlein books, I wasn’t joking. And there was something in those books that just made me American, before I even realized it was happening.
(This, by the way, is why I have zero sympathy with the invaders at our border, singing the anthems of their nations and reviling us and our flag, even as they seek to come in. Yes, our immigration system needs fixing. A lot of what needs fixing are the tweaks that the left made over the decades, like lotteries from sh*t—er… underprivileged countries, treating the U.S. as some sort of charity that must take in the neediest and not those who want to become Americans. But the watchwords for immigration should always be "fit in or … er… fly off. Anything else is an invasion. People who invade illegally, flaunting our laws and calling us oppressive need to be sent home. The alternative is to let them destroy us and all we are. I understand firing them from cannons in the general direction of home is inhumane. But we can picture it. Meanwhile stop “detaining” them. Just send them back. As a bonus, add in Occasional Cortex, she who reviles us from within.)
I started my reading scoffing at the constant griping at taxes – I mean, you hold your land at the sufferance of the state and you’re a loyal subject, no? – and by 20 I was seriously questioning why someone was entitled to the work of another’s labor.
How did this happen? Regardless of what the left thinks, Robert A. Heinlein never preached. Was his work message fiction? Well… kind of, sort of. If you squint and shake the magic eightball, and read somewhere his precepts for writing, you’ll find one of his (like his last in list) objectives was to make the reader think.
And think I did. As I wound my way through The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress and Red Planet, I thought about the American Revolution, which led to reading the founding documents, and eventually the Federalist Papers and biographies of the founding fathers. (This year, while in Portugal on family stuff, I found I still had those on the shelves. In English, as a bonus.)
The other stuff made me think too. Puppet Masters, with its mind-controlling aliens, was eerily reminiscent of Cold War Europe, and those glossy Soviet Life magazines might as well have been dispatches from the masquerade, with the aliens obscuring the fact that no one was free. (Unfortunately there is no seven-day fever for Marxism, and we’re still in the long, at some point bloody course of getting back from it.)
Or there was Starman Jones, which so clearly illustrated the bindings that ossified systems could fall into. (And is really reminiscent of Europe in so many ways.)
When I came to the U.S as an exchange student, it just all coalesced, but Heinlein had planted it long before.
Not by preaching, but by asking, by questioning, by poking, by engaging in thought experiments. Recently I keep coming back to Revolt in 2100. The thought-tyranny that almost got us (if you don’t think so, talk to recent graduates of our public schools) is not – as Heinlein thought, or perhaps just posited – a religious one, or at least not traditionally religious. But Marxist principles are as unyielding and grip as hard as any religion. They have in fact become a religion without the concept of redemption, but judgmental and inflexible.
And I keep thinking: When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. – Robert A. Heinlein
No, Heinlein didn’t preach. What he did was be an American. Be an American so intensely that it was impossible for his work not to transmit it. The internal logic of the stories themselves led you to believe and think like an American.
I think that’s why the left hates him so much. At least that’s the only reason I can imagine that a writer who went out of his way to have minorities and women in starring roles in his books can be considered “racist, sexist, homophobic.” (Well that, and the fact that the left has heads full of rocks.)
In these days when the Betsy Ross flag is being transmogrified by leftist hate and intolerance into a “White Supremacy Symbol” (I ordered one for my yard, by the way) it’s impossible not to realize that what the left is trying to do is cut us off from our own history, our own symbols, and that which makes us uniquely American.
I’ll note here in passing that in the Darkship Thieves books I had the okay gesture be a USAian (a religion based on our founding documents) greeting. I did that because the okay gesture – this is obvious if you watch WWII movies – was a uniquely American gesture. While I know it started with a 4chan joke, I think the left piled on “okay” being a “White supremacist” gesture for the same reason I chose it: because it was uniquely American.
They really, really hate us. Mostly because their future of neo-feudalism and kleptocratic rule by the “best people” cannot possibly endure the challenge of our Americaness. And so they’ve set to destroy us, and not to let us read, think or even question anything outside the narrow confines they wish to herd us into.
This Fourth of July, remember that at best herd animals get sheared.
Me? I’m going to have a slice of some farting cow and read me some Heinlein – a writer as big as America.
Remember, when you despair at the left’s control over the propaganda machine of mass media and the indoctrination machine of public education: I was a little girl in Europe, surrounded by Marxism on all sides, raised in the idea that you needed a “leader” to “rule.”
Into that Robert A. Heinlein reached the light of freedom, and made me one of the freedom gang, an American, that wholly new thing in human history.
Read Heinlein, but more importantly be Heinlein. Be so American in everything you say, you do, you are, that you can’t help but bring people over to the stars and stripes side.
No, we shouldn’t have the entire world move here. Don’t worry. They won’t. Some people are immune to liberty. And if they want to be serfs, let them be serfs elsewhere. But having more people, here and abroad who breathe and live the cause of individual freedom and individual rights and who think, without regard to what they “should” not read or think will only be good for mankind.
Go forth and be American. The world needs you.