Heinlein on Kirtsaeng


11 Responses to “Heinlein on Kirtsaeng

  1. tyger11 says:

    I always find it amusing when people think Heinlein was some Libertarian icon. He had a lot of conflicting opinions on things, and conflating him with his characters just made it worse.

    • Boundegar says:

      Are you kidding?  All of his characters speak with exactly the same voice, and it’s identical to his own.  He’s a little less preachy than Ayn Rand, but not a lot.

      The quote above is also sweetly naive.  As if our elected officials could not be bought, and stood firmly upon the rule of law.

      • EH says:

        Your second paragraph sounds like a description of the is/ought problem by way of decrying one of its legs.

      • Rindan says:

        Heinlein was born before World War I, an adult during World War II, and lived to see the rise communism and the Cold War at its absolute worst. A little libertarianism mixed with what was otherwise hippy ass liberalism during such a time doesn’t make him a proto Tea Party nut.

        I think people forget that command economies used to exist. Soviet Block countries were not just slightly more leftist than the French. These were not countries run by a bunch of leftist who just wanted higher taxes to run a pleasent welfare state. Those countries had command economies where all economic and industrial decisions were controlled through a central bureaucracy, and the political apparatus for this fantastically bad bureaucracy was one that ground people into dust.

        When a person from that era gets a little preachy about the virtues of liberalism and fear of collectivism, it isn’t like a bunch of Tea Party nuts freaking out over someone who is as boringly moderate Obama. They are freaking out over the real deal, and they are entitled to it without people from a the future where those horrors are all but dead tossing them into the same camp as modern day right wing tea baggers running around with copies of Atlas Shrugged… which by the way is also hilarious as Rand despised Christians.

        • Boundegar says:

          FWIW, I wasn’t comparing his politics to Rand.  Just his prose style.

          • Ryan Lenethen says:

            Yes I was surprised by the quote. As the only thing I really disliked was that many of his protagonists were the “Rugged Individual Industrialist, who went from rags to riches by being a hard working, smart, no nonsense individual, who couldn’t abide the waste of the government, etc…”. Yeah I get it already.

            Then again, he as mentioned by the earlier poster, he was born into a different age then so might have a different outlook than those who grew up later. Though I am pretty sure the term “Robber Baron” was coined much earlier.

            Which ironically in the US were Railroad Companies… Take that Ayn Rand!

      • oldtaku says:

        BAM! Kneejerk.

        Even if you start frothing at the mouth at Heinlein in general, and oh I have my issues with stuff like Farnham’s Freehold, that is still a good statement if you are able to divorce it from the person who said it.

  2. That_Anonymous_Coward says:

    Now if only they’d apply this to the **AA cartels…

  3. Bloo says:

    I don’t know how we got into this Heinlein/Rand/Libertarian discussion.  The important point to that quote, in my opinion, is the point the judge is making that no commercial/capital enterprise is guaranteed a profit – and they have no legal standing to demand one.  Lately, our corporations want to have a mix of capitalism and socialism:  they want unregulated free capitalism on the profit site, and socialized expenses on the loss side.

    • Bearpaw01 says:

      This is particularly true of the heavyweights of the financial sector, who combine legalized bribery with thinly-veiled threats to the economic system. Which would be bad enough even if they were competent. When you pay for “protection” and your place gets torched anyway, it’s pretty damned annoying.

  4. Kimmo says:

    There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back.


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