Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 789, September 21, 2014

2 to the chest,& 1 to the head,
puts the terrorist down and dead

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Re: "Was Heinlein a Fascist?" by John C. Wright

A. The best generic defense of Heinlein's writing's against all gratuitously and deliberately ignorant criticism and critics is Spider Robinson's "Rah, Rah, RAH".

B. Heinlein himself admitted that Starship Troopers was intended to, among other things, show respect for the Joe, the Tommy, the "poor bloody infantry" and others who put their personal bodies between their loved ones and wars desolation. Those Americans who continue to share the belief that demonstrating respect for these guys is fascistic need to learn Arabic and the habit of facing Mecca five times daily (the profession of faith is "La illah ila la' Allah, Muhammad Rasul Allah" if you choose to convert. The honest convert to Islam and pusillanimous need to learn this.). American soldiers have chosen to be tree food. If our misleaders have abused these guys' allegiance, we still have a lot more freedom because of the GI than we would have without him.

C. The night before I read this article I was discussing Rodger Young with a friend. My thesis was that military discipline was necessary to unit cohesiveness which led to the sense of loyalty to ones mates that led to such self sacrifice. The context was conditions in the US military in the late Seventies, early Eighties. While I never had the privilege of serving, I have lived in a base town all my life and saw what was going on.

Robert Heinlein spent much of his career trying to explain how individualism could put a man or woman in a position to sacrifice him(her)self for others or a group (spouse, child, stranger, family, military unit, nation). To many individualism and/or self sacrifice are fascist ideas. The concept of self respect that leads to individualists engaging in generosity up to and including laying down their lives for others is fascistic and in fact unimaginable. Saves them a fortune in razor blades, make up, and mirrors.

Of course, only grown ups would get this. And the people who call RAH a fascist for praising patriotism (his admitted goal in Starship Troopers. ) aren't grown ups. They are spoiled children, people who live of of the work of others and condemn the others for the dirt under their nails.

A.X. Perez

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It has probably been close to a month, since TLE published my article, "Introducing Libertarianism to the Mainstream", where I discussed the idea of making movies to get our message across. I have received several responses to my article. One was a rather condescending response from Albert Perez who told me that I should tell that to J. Neil Schulman who was been having trouble finding a distributor for his film Alongside Night. I am well aware of Neil's troubles, which has also been a source of my frustration since I so badly want to see the movie in my home town. Despite Neil's troubles, he is still advocating the use of movies to get our message across. My article was actually a reinforcement of what Neil has been advocating, which is something that I had thought that I made clear in that same article.

There also seems to be a misconception about my stance on trying to get through to academia. I am not at all against trying to reach those in academia. I just believe that we should be putting more effort into creating something that is going to reach a wider range of people. Yes, I do believe that we should continue our efforts in academia. I think we should be attacking statists on all fronts. I just believe that the Culture Wars is where we should be placing the full blunt of our attacks.

Also, I want to point out a mistake that I made in that same article. There was a section of the article where I advised aspiring libertarian movie makers to not make their movies too preachy or overly political. I used Robert Redford's The Company You Keep as an example of this. I hadn't seen the movie, but I had heard from conservative talking points that it was a glamorization of The Weather Underground. It was J. Neil Schulman who brought it to my attention that The Weather Underground only served as the background of what he thought was a well crafted thriller. My mistake was that I chose to listen to talking heads instead of seeing the movie for myself. I was somewhat afraid to see the movie after the painful experience I had sitting through Noah. Like The Company You Keep, the movie was heavily bashed by conservative commentators. They said that all the Judeo-Christian elements of Noah's Ark were replaced by a radical environmentalist message. They were being kind. I wasted three hours of my life that I will never get back. On top of that it felt like my childhood was being raped, since it was my favorite Bible story that had been read to me as a kid.

Still, I shouldn't have trashed Redford's film without having seen it. I still have yet to see it, but I guess I will look for it once I make another Redbox run. I do trust the recommendation of a fellow libertarian then a conservative commentator who probably hadn't seen the movie himself.

Sean Gangol

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