Skip to comments.#OccupyWallStreet Demands Almost Word for Word from 1938 Science Fiction Novel (Vanity)
Posted on 10/04/2011 5:06:20 PM PDT by mnehring
Today, the Occupy Wall Street protestors decided to finally list their demands. Mixed in with some generic references to items like restoring Glass-Steagall which has been called for by many on the left, are a series of unachievable and cryptic utopian demands. From forgiving all debt and eliminating the debt and credit system in general, to making wars pay as you go and granting every person a minimum living monetary allocation so they can choose not to work, the demands seem to be a mishmash of societal changing goals.
If one steps back and looks at the big picture of these demands, one can see a completely different society and culture being created than we live in. One that, in the minds of naïve college students, would almost be a heavenly ideal. But where do these ideas come from?
Interestingly enough, this vision of society and the goals to achieve it can be found almost word for word in Robert Heinleins recently discovered 1938 work, For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs.
In this novel, Heinlein sends his hero into the future after a car accident. Although the science fiction aspect of this future is interesting, what is shocking is the very detailed commentary on how this utopia was achieved. Libertarians have celebrated this novel for the personal liberty that it describes, however, the economic system can only be described as a new-socialist ideal often promoted by socialists of the era like Upton Sinclair. The utopia described in Heinleins novel is a conflicted mix of socialistic and libertarian fantasies . There is centrally-managed banking and money, which allows the government to issue a dividend , amounting to a living wage, to every citizen. Physical violence against another person condemns one to psychological rehabilitation, or voluntary internal exile to Coventry. Love, sex, marriage, and child-raising all are quite loose and free, and the nudity taboo is gone.
Stepping back, one can see an almost word for word mirror of the written demands of the Occupy Wall Street movement. In addition to the aforementioned living wage dividend, mirrors can be found in the pay as you go military action rule, the elimination of banks and credit structures, the elimination of health insurance putting it under a blanket centralized government agency, and so on. If one reads the novel, it is clear this isnt just a theme that they are mirroring, but an almost plagiarized list of goals.
Of course, Heinlein later countered For Us, the Living with another view of this utopia in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress where one can see the result of this utopia is actually slavery- something the Occupy Wall Street movement either doesnt have the willingness or desire to explore. It may also be that For Us, the Living wasnt released to production until 2003 after being re-discovered, thus placing it as a more contemporary novel among the generation who are conducting these protests.
There is one more, very disturbing aspect to the goals that this movement is trying to achieve. Very often, we discuss the
Cloward-Piven strategy in terms of how they want to tear down the system to rebuild it, but we dont explore the specifics of what they want it rebuilt into. Cloward and Piven wrote that the ultimate objective of this strategy [would be] to wipe out poverty by establishing a guaranteed annual income... Again, almost exactly the major demand of the Occupy Wall Street group.
This is very different from how we normally view the Socialist goals in which we think of a welfare state. In the utopia that both Heinlein describes as well as the goal of Cloward and Piven, welfare is eliminated and replaced by this universal dividend in which all members of society are granted an equal share of society. One chooses to produce if one wants to and they could potentially reap the reward- or, they could just as soon choose to tune in, turn on, and drop out as Leary once said.
Where this is more dangerous than what we normally see as Socialism or Communism is this is masked as liberty. The youth are being led to believe that this utopia will grant them the freedom to do what they wish, when they wish, and not be shackled by corporations (see Corporate Zombies) or responsibilities. This is why you often see, mixed in with socialist and union banners at these events, posters praising libertarian views and thinkers.
What we see is the culmination leftist movements coming together after decades of nurturing through pop-culture and fertilized in the libertine virtues that has become a more vocal political movement.
At any other time, this could be the first chapter in a science-fiction novel- and it was.
Ping, you may find some things worth a read in the second half.
In fact I sense late night TV jokes by the dozen being written this very minute.
>> wipe out poverty by establishing a guaranteed annual income
heh heh... guaranteed income => no motivation to produce => no income at all. Eventually. And you can take that to the bank.
It’s like perpetual motion: a cool fantasy, but any reasonably educated, mature individual recognizes instinctively that it’s impossible to achieve.
As Obama plagiarizes 1984...
Can’t wait for 2012: The Odyssey...
It is stripping away of capitalism under the guise of restoring freedom. It is almost Orwellian, Freedom=Slavery.
I’m with you. The increasingly rabid behavior is the result of their sensing failure. The increasingly rabid behavior will be what finally does them in.
free food, free housing, free healthcare, total equality
That’s either PRISON or SLAVERY, take your pick
In this viewpoint, they aren't asking for a minimum wage but a guaranteed dividend or guaranteed. The third point would still be the income is granted, no matter if they produce or not.. BUT what that results in is a lack of production, and thus the need to artificially control the necessary means of production- you end up with a slave class again.
Let's put it another way- they want every citizen in the country to be granted a $20K a year check as part of their rights as citizens of this country. They could live off this and never work, or, if they so choose and have an interest, they could work. This would result in a production gap in all low skill jobs. Of course, the production gap, in say, trash collectors, would mean the government stepping in to help. Why not make all those people in 'rehabilitation' do this as part of their rehab. Suddenly you have a slave system being created out of those who the government thinks need 'fixing'. (just following this future as outlined in Heinlein's novels).
I should have known you could take my 20 paragraphs or rambling and condense them into two clear sentences. :->
Of course, Heinlein later countered For Us, the Living with another view of this utopia in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress where one can see the result of this utopia is actually slavery
Heinlein also countered these hippy thoughts in Starship Troopers, where only those who had served in the military were citizens with the right to vote.
“Mixed in with some generic references to items like restoring Glass-Steagall which has been called for by many on the left, are a series of unachievable and cryptic utopian demands.”
That it not just a leftist thing. Any real conservative wants that too. Glass Steagall was taken down so that the banks with savings accounts could risk it all in speculative wall street schemes. If it had still been in place then there would have been zero justification for bailing out any banks. The practices that led up to the fall could not have involved any banks except wall street investment banks which could not have held any normal savings accounts or Mortgages at all. In fact None of this probably would have happened at all.
Glass Steagall was put in place by a congress who was a lot smarter, and really interested in preventing a repeat of the great depression. It worked exactly as it was designed until it was eliminated. It was eliminated due to CEO of GS Henry Paulson repeated efforts to do so. And it was at that point that all the fraudulent games that led up to the crash of 2007 and the coming end of the American financial system began right at the end of the last century.
I do not support the Current Wall street protests because they have very little right and what they do have right is for all the wrong reasons. They are communists who wish to destroy our entire system. They are just as greedy as those whom they attack. And they are too brainwashed to see it.
Someone had to do it! :p
There is Heinlein ping list somewhere, I haven’t seen it in forever though.
What seems like dozens of disjointed novels can be looked at as a series of cause and effect histories built on the previous novel. For Us the Living can be a stand-alone utopian novel but one needs to look at later novels to see what that leads to.... and so on...
I wonder if Heinlein didn't originally have For Us the Living published when he wrote it because it too idealized this mythic utopia he later showed led to slavery?
It did a hell of a job between 1933 and 1945!
Heinlein flick on the SyFy channel now.
I recall reading a sci-fi story in an old circa-1933/34 issue of “Amazing Stories” whose protagonist was a scientist who created giant bugs to ravage the countries of the world in some kind of notion to ‘stop wars.’ Thousands upon thousands of innocent civilians perished all around the world from the rampaging bugs, but the scientist (and ostensibly the author) exuded a mindset that it was all completely moral and justified. I found the story and attitude quite obnoxious and distasteful.
Among these are:
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.
All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.
America's own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for all our citizens.
For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.
“I should have known you could take my 20 paragraphs or rambling and condense them into two clear sentences.”
yes he did...LOL
Thanks for that link. I hadn’t seen that before.
their list of demands reminds me of something i read in the 1970s or 80s where someone wrote that if you ever stage a mutiny on a ship, ask for some good things like a pinball machine.
We are headed for an AMERICATHON to be followed by centuries of IDIOCRACY.
You ought to send this to Glenn Beck on GBTV.
Heinlein flick on the SyFy channel now.If you're referring to "Starship Troopers", the movie is an absolute abortion.
If you want to know anything about Heinlein, his writing and philosophy, read the book and avoid the movie.
Interestingly enough, this vision of society and the goals to achieve it can be found almost word for word in Robert Heinlein's recently discovered 1938 work, 'For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs'.
As a kid, I read many of Heinlein’s ‘coming of age’ sci-fi novels, “Between Planets,” “Tunnel in the Sky,” “Have Spacefuit, Will Travel.” It was only recently that I read, “For Us the Living,” which I found interesting, but weird. Of course, Heinlein also advocated free love, plural marriage, and other off-center positions, including incest, in his many and viaried novels.
BTW, I agree with the posters who said the movie “Starship Troopers” was awful when compared to the novel.
These punks have nothing right. I don't agree with any of their demands. And I don't agree with this flawed notion that bankers are "greedy" and we need more government regulation. We have too much regulation as it is.
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