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 ...
Then you might be interested in this article.
There are a lot of posters in it that think the idea of unpaid internships to be wonderful.
The other fitting quip: “Starship Troopers 90210”
Denise should’ve been in that shower scene. We wuz robbed !
No vote, no taxes
I realize this argument has been going on for a few hours now, but we keep coming back to the same point. Obviously, we are not necessarily advocating a system like that in Heinlein’s book. What we are all desiring is that our electorate be more conscious and responsible. Why do you think the progressives are always attempting to push us closer and closer to a democracy and away from a Republic?
But, since we are discussing this particular text, and you seem to have such an aversion to this theme of citizenship through service, let me again remind you of the basic premise. People were not civilians unless they chose to be. Citizenship could be attained. The right to vote could be attained. If you disliked paying taxes without having a say in it, you would have the right to gain your franchise. The law, in the book, stated that if you couldn’t make the grade for the military but insisted on doing your part, they would assign you to some sort of menial or clerical work, and you’d still attain your franchise. The point is you had a choice. What you continue to label as slavery or despotism is neither. As one of the other posters said, even hardened soldiers had the option of quitting, even seconds before a drop into combat. There was no force used, no coercion. No soldier wanted a man next to him that didn’t want to be there.
So, if you lived in that system and wanted to have a say in the taxes you pay, you would sign up and forever hold valuable the franchise you held when you finished your service. If not, you would live, work, and pay taxes for the workings of the government, all the while knowing that it was your choice to remain a civilian.
In 2010 America, I’d love to refuse to pay my taxes as well, especially since a person who pays none (and yet likely gets a “refund”) has as much say as I do. So how much more worthwhile is your vote in our reality, seeing as how nearly half the population pays nothing and yet can dictate who will set tax policies on you?
Citizenship could be attained from who?
The Right to vote can be attained from who?
That is a very powerful central government it sounds like. The power to bestow who is a citizen and who is not, who an vote and who can not.
If the choice was that or libertarianism, I’d go with the weird libertarians.
If I have no say in the government then I should not pay taxes to that government.
I’d rather have NO government at all.
Let me put it this way, how high would the tax rate be if only government employees could vote?
It sounded like a good idea at the time.
We had all seen how the system back on Earth was screwed up where those who paid no taxes were outvoting those who did.
We thought we would fix that on our new colony. After some furious debate the new Constitution was made the law of the land. It stated that citizenship was gained through federal service.
It seemed simple at the time.
Somehow as soon as it was enacted all government employees were deemed to be doing their Federal Service. Government employees have a vested interest in a larger, more expensive, more powerful government. It was the first inkling I had that we had been had.
I spent three years in a frozen wasteland, in crowded wasteland setting fire to icy water tanks so we could flush the toilets to get my right to vote. Tens of thousands of us did, I saw men learn to follow orders and see the government as their masters. I didnt like that.
As soon as my duties were completed I returned to Home City to find that the government had created dozens of new projects, even art projects that counted as federal service. They had figured out a way that pretty much everyone had the right to vote no matter how little effort they put in. All of these programs emphasized fealty to the state.
It was the State Party that dominated the television and radio broadcasts, apparently many of the channels available were operated through some Federal Service program.
Government expands. That is what it does with the littlest bits of power.
Somehow the government had grown to enormous proportions, those in these various federal service programs and employed by the state almost outnumbered the rest of us.
Sadly the state also operated most of the schools and media outlets. Their propaganda encouraged many who should have been with us to vote for them.
So the State Party won the elections on the platform of expanding government and expanding Federal Service. The Liberty Party leaders looked dismayed as if they hadnt known for years that they had been had. The Liberty Party shook up its leadership as the new government raised taxes on those without the right to vote. They said the Constitutional limit on taxation did not apply to those people, or private business, or private property.
Somehow we ended up with something worse than we had fled from.
Loved this book. My favorite is “Time Enough for Love” and I find myself often thinking of one or another of Lazarus Long’s maxims for a happy life as I go about my day.
Government employees didn’t vote. You were not given your franchise until you were finished with service. Soldiers weren’t allowed to vote while in service because they would, obviously, vote down any proposition that sent them into harm’s way. How high will our tax rate go now that those who don’t pay it vote?
I prefer the title “Paul Verhoeven’s bug hunt movie for which ultra cautious lawyers told him he should option the title of Heinlein’s 1959 novel”, myself
See that's where you're wrong. Only retired government employees can vote. While you are working for the government you have less say in your working conditionas that a civilian does.
Gotcha. I’ll have to read more. Thanks!
Congratulations! I’d like to know you.
And of course...
...no taxes, no vote.
There was no forced servitude to the state. Are you sure you read this book?
Do you attend science fiction conventions? This year I'll be at MARCON and at CONTEXT (both in Columbus, OH); at NASFIC (Raleigh, NC); and at ARCHON (St. Louis).
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