Skip to comments.All I Ever Really Needed To Know About Citizenship, I Learned From Starship Troopers
Posted on 04/09/2010 6:49:45 PM PDT by Publius772000
Ask most people about Starship Troopers, and, if they recognize the name at all, theyll link it to the over-hyped 1997 film directed by Paul Verhoeven. This is unfortunate, as the film did no justice to the Heinlein text. My first acquaintance with the book came in 2003 when I found a 1959 copy in a flea market in Indian Springs, GA for the tidy sum of $5.
Id never read the book before buying that copy, but I consumed it in a day. The writing was aimed at a young adult audience, but its themes resonate today, regardless of age.
The book, like the film, focuses on the exploits of Juan Johnnie Rico, a young high school graduate who decides to gain his citizenship through Federal Service. Heinleins post-20th century world is governed by a military republic where citizenship is attained through some form of service, primarily in the armed forces. Rico finds himself funneled into the Mobile Infantry, where he is trained to be a cap (capsule) trooper. During his training, the Earth enters a war against the bugs and the skinnies, two alien races. The book chronicles Ricos journey from his entrance into Federal Service through his rigorous training and his time in officers school. Unlike the film, much of the book is set in Ricos various classes throughout his training, most notably his courses on History and Moral Philosophy, which discussed the reasons behind conflict in general and the organization of the government in Ricos time.
Heinleins book, which won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1960, was both praised and criticized by the science fiction community. Some argued that Heinlein, who was a 1929 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was recruiting for the military...
(Excerpt) Read more at theconstitutionalalamo.com ...
Considering your post, I highly doubt you’ve read the book.
Because then I’d be all for forcing “federal service” to the state in order to get citizenship?
Movie was okay, if a bit too campy. Sequel sucked royally.
Having been a "government slave" for many years, I'm disappointed in your apparent sarcasm. There is nothing like the thoughtful consideration that our military gives to military ethics, to the meaning of the Constitution, and to the other concepts that I had to master (ignoring the technical side of my job) to teach an appreciation for freedom and for our history.
To those who have grown up in a society of entitlement and the progressive ideal of nearly universal franchise, it can be tough to wrap your arms around the concept of service-based citizenship. In Heinlein’s book, you had freedom of speech, religion, assembly, etc. without service. However, if you wanted to vote or hold office (translation = legislate and change society), you had to be willing to put your life on the line. This inherently brings value to the vote and makes one have respect for that power. How different is that attitude compared to what we have in 2010, when groups like ACORN, or whatever its groups will call themselves now, are registering homeless people and political parties are offering them drives to the polling places and free donuts in exchange for their vote? The franchise has been cheapened, and the election of a group of Marxists has been the result. In my opinion, Heinlein was prescient.
I view ANY forced servitude to the state as slavery.
So when High Schoolers are forced to join Obama’s new Domestic Army as a way to get college loans, they will learn about the wonders and omniscience of the mighty One!
Yes. The book was very good. The movie was was absolutely stupid.
Depends upon where you live... Recently in Chile, Haiti, and Mexico the rocks have been moving too fast!
“You read the same book 20 times?”
Well in my defense I’ve had the book for 20 years.
Re-read the book. The service was not forced. It was a precondition of voting or holding office, not of any other rights of a citizen.
As for the real world, I oppose the draft in this country, not that I care about the whiner babies who would doubtless get doctor's notes that they have ingrown toenails or some other trivial problems and can't serve, but because I care about the military. Our armed services deserve the best, which is volunteers. I volunteered, and I am both proud and glad that I did.
You will most likely be interested in his “Juveniles”. His juvvies books are not at all taking the reader for an idiot. The only differences are that there are no sex scenes, and the main characters tend to be teenagers. For instance, take “The Puppet Masters” (another Heinlein book butchered by the movie adaptation). There are very few changes between the original edition, marketed as a Juvenile, and the modern one. Mostly, one sex scene was removed, another toned down.
So read “Have Spacesuit, Will Travel”, “Citizen of the Galaxy”, and “The Puppet Masters” — the adult version has the main character wake up next to a woman, whereas the original has him alone.
Now for the “adult” books.
Read “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” and any Heinlein short story collection your can get, especially “The Man who sold the Moon”. “Farnham’s Freehold”, “Friday” and “Glory Roads” are great classics you'll love.
As for “Time Enough for Love”, I'd suggest to keep it for after you have read these other tomes. The reason is that Heinlein wrote his later books at a time when he was sick and wanted to explore completely different themes — immortality, sexuality and human consciousness among others. Far away from the potent themes of his earlier books. He was running out of time and wanted to get them out, and sometimes they lack a good polish.
“They are all from the pre-Stranger period, which I vastly prefer.”
Me too, the stuff after is disappointing.
Hmmm, are you firm on that?
The Door into Summer, 1957
Stranger in a Strange Land,1961
Farnham’s Freehold, 1964
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, 1966
As I recall from the book (it’s been thirty or so years), the term ‘citizenship’ being used here really stands for ‘the franchise.’
Did not the inhabitants of the country who chose not to serve nevertheless enjoy all the other rights and protections of citizenship, the one exception being the franchise?
The director never read the book. Movie = bad, book = MUST READ.
What I don't know, I have never shared.
Then those who don’t serve should not be paying taxes either.
Denise Richards,Blake Lindsley, Brenda Strong, and Dina Meyer were pretty hot in that movie.
>>I think he wrote a short story about a gun shop. A great moral story on the right to bear arms.
I think you are thinking of The Weapons Shops of Isher, by A.E. Van Vogt.
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