Lion of the Blogosphere

Universal suffrage, STEM, and Heinlein

From the book Have Spacesuit, Will Travel (Heinlein’s last juvenile novel):

Dad says that anyone who can’t use a slide rule is a cultural illiterate and should not be allowed to vote.

1. While government by military veterans was unique to Starship Troopers, a more common theme in Heinlein’s novels was opposition to universal suffrage and a belief that we’d have better government if voting were restricted to the more capable.

I have no doubt that Heinlein would support voter ID laws. He would reason that anyone who doesn’t have a photo ID in the year 2016 (a requirement to have a job as well as for a whole bunch of other very basic activities) doesn’t have enough “skin in the game” to be allowed to vote.

2. Heinlein had a much higher esteem for STEM-type learning than he did for the liberal arts, and this is seen in a large number of his novels.

In the comments on conservative blogs, I see the same high esteem for STEM and disdain for other types of learning. This is one of the reasons why I think that Heinlein’s influence on libertarian-conservative types is a lot stronger than people realize.

3. Once again, I can’t resist pointing out that in 1958 Heinlein envisioned space suits and manned interplanetary travel, but he had no idea that slide rules had less than twenty years before they’d be obsolete.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 22, 2016 at 8:02 pm

Posted in Books

61 Responses

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  1. The only way to sort out this dastardly excessive freedom is Otis-Videla 2032.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    December 22, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    • I like this comment.

      What is their position on the Euromaidan? Being anti-Maidan would likely secure my vote.

      Black_Rose

      December 23, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    • What is their position on the Euromaidan? Being anti-Maidan would likely secure my vote.

      The Otis-Videla position is that both pro and anti-Maidan supporters must be exterminated.

      Subtle enough for you?

      The Undiscovered Jew

      December 23, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    • “While government by military veterans was unique to Starship Troopers,”

      Heinlein got pretty worked up over people who assumed veteran=military veteran. He meant a veteran of every form of common service. A veteran can be a veteran Librarian.

      Robert

      December 25, 2016 at 3:41 am

  2. I think slide rules disappeared around 1970. One year every engineering student carried a slide rule at all times. Next year all engineering students had TI electronic calculators. I was a science student. I had a slide rule too and later a calculator. My slide rule was an old wooden one that had belonged to my father. I think I still have it somewhere.

    mikeca

    December 22, 2016 at 8:35 pm

  3. It’s not unusual for people to esteem their own fields. You see that with many fields regardless of politics. Why should it be any less for STEM? It doesn’t mean that was influenced by Heinlein. It just means that having a STEM background himself, he shared the same tendency as others with STEM backgrounds.

    ***
    Regarding voter ID.

    destructure

    December 22, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    • Uh oh better tell Otis that voter ID laws won’t actually suppress democratic turn out, at least according to some random video on youtube.

      It’s not a good sign when you have less of a grip on reality than Otis.

      magnavox

      December 23, 2016 at 2:58 am

      • Liberals have never showed us an actual U.S. citizen legal voter who doesn’t have a photo ID.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 23, 2016 at 9:40 am

      • The video was shot in NYC. Go to rural AL and ask the same questions. The smarter blacks migrated North. Any bets on whether Rachel Jeantel has ID?

        Curle

        December 24, 2016 at 11:33 am

      • I am sure that she has one.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 24, 2016 at 12:12 pm

  4. If we had STEM guys in government it would last 10 minutes before the psychopaths and para schiz guys got the engineering/compsci guys to legalise open borders and deregulate everything except school bullying.

    The Philosopher

    December 22, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    • Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

      The Philosopher

      December 22, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    • A STEM “guy” is running Germany and we see how that is going vis-a-vis immigration.

      RBrandywine

      December 23, 2016 at 10:02 am

      • There was another woman with a STEM degree who was prime minister — Margaret Thatcher. Probably the greatest European leader of the last 50 years. There wasn’t very much immigration on her watch.

        destructure

        December 23, 2016 at 3:02 pm

  5. Remember “No Taxation Without Representation” .

    So are people who cannot vote still required to pay taxes?

    mikeca

    December 22, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    • It would largely be a moot point since the poor are the the people being targeted for disenfranchisement.

      magnavox

      December 23, 2016 at 2:55 am

    • “Representation” doesn’t mean everybody gets a vote. It means you get representation, i.e. somebody to represent you. Your senator represents you even if you didn’t vote for him. Everyone voting on something is a democracy. The U.S.A. is supposed to be a representative republic.

      Robert the Wise

      December 23, 2016 at 7:14 am

  6. We did go to the Moon with slide rules though

    Eric Ruttencutter

    December 22, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    • According to a new Hollywood film (Hidden Figures), the only reason our rockets got off the ground was that there were a bunch of black women doing the really hard calculations while all the white men sat around scratching their balls. We don’t just have FakeNews, we have FakeHistory.

      JimboHarambe

      December 22, 2016 at 9:49 pm

      • The employment of women to do computations by hand started at Langley as early as 1935. Women with college degrees in mathematics were willing to take these relatively low paid jobs while men with similar backgrounds were hired as engineers at much hire salaries.

        During World War II the demand for human computers rapidly grew and Langley hired as many 3200 women to work as human computers. In 1943 the segregated West Area Computers unit was created exclusively for African American women. This allowed Langley to also hire African American women with college degrees as human computers without violating segregation laws and practices. The West Area unit had a segregated cafeteria and bathrooms. Starting in the early 1950s Langley began to integrated some of the African American women from the West Area unit into other groups and the the West Area unit was disbanded in 1958.

        In the 1940s and 50s these women did computations by hand. When main frame computers first became available, some of the women were kept on to do the computations using those early computers.

        When I was at CalTech in the 1970s there was still one woman working there with the title “computer”. She was old and only did computations running computer programs, not by hand, but she had done computations by hand when she started.

        Human computers is a job that very few people today even know existed and the vast majority of human computers were women.

        mikeca

        December 23, 2016 at 2:04 am

  7. Take a look at a photo of NASA Mission Control during the 1960s:

    How many of those guys studied Latin, Greek, Shakespeare, Milton, Donne, Dante, Dickens, Plato, Aristotle, etc . . .. I’m guessing most, if not all, of them. The liberal arts serve a high purpose. They let us dream to the stars. I wonder if we can still do that.

    Del Gue

    December 22, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    • I’m not sure whether you’re being sarcastic or not. I know Oppenheimer had very wide interests, which included studying the Bhagavad-Gita in Sanskrit. Of course it was those wide interests that caused him to befriend so many communists in order to find interesting people to talk to.

      magnavox

      December 23, 2016 at 3:00 am

      • No sarcasm.

        Del Gue

        December 23, 2016 at 11:15 am

  8. The most important way to restrict suffrage is to not give it to women.

    That is out of the bag.

    No one ever addresses this point, either.

    jjbees

    December 22, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    • The best thing to do would be to restrict suffrage by paying people to renounce their citizenship. The fact is Republicans suck and people that think that groups that vote for the democrats somehow inherently undermine democracy are just idiots.

      Trump is maybe the first Republican worth voting for and even with him there’s a very good chance his administration will end in disaster.

      magnavox

      December 23, 2016 at 3:11 am

      • “Trump is maybe the first Republican worth voting for and even with him there’s a very good chance his administration will end in disaster.”

        You are TruCon/Paleocon/Cuckservative/Progressive scum. Trump’s Presidency is obviously going to be a great success. Congress is already signaling that they are going to role over for his cabinet appointments and will sign off on his infrastructure bill. He probably won’t get any of his other legislation passed except for maybe national E-Verify but he really doesn’t need anything else.

        And yes, blacks, latinos, muslims, Jews, Indians and Asians do undermine American democracy by reflexively voting for whichever party is the most anti white. We should do everything we can to reduce voting by anti white groups, particularly blacks and latinos.

        Also, like I’ve said before, statewide votes should also be done by mini electoral colleges to weaken the power of the cities which are by their very nature filled with cucks.

        Otis the Sweaty

        December 23, 2016 at 10:26 am

      • Jews don’t vote for the anti-white party because they are Jewish. The most Jewish Jews (the guys who pray all the time and keep the Sabbath) vote Republican.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 23, 2016 at 10:56 am

      • They vote for the anti white party regardless of why they do it. You could say that they vote for the anti white party because they are highly educated and disproportionately live in affluent urban areas but then you’d have to say the same for assimilated American Asians.

        Otis the Sweaty

        December 23, 2016 at 11:31 am

      • Jews are white, Asians aren’t white.

        The only people who think Jews aren’t white are Stormfront types.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 23, 2016 at 11:33 am

      • The infrastructure bill at this point is gonna be trucon scum. Along with the 5% tariff that his transition team the thinks is too extreme. And when Trump shows he wasn’t kidding when he constantly told us that he loved legal immigration and Hispanics anyone with sense is gonna wonder why they supported him over Clinton.

        The fact is that White men have a lot of stupid and destructive political tendencies as well as evidenced by the Republican party. People vote for complete shills for big businesses and the super wealthy for are slightly less anti white, antichristian, and anti male than the Democrats and think they’re this countries saviors.

        Magnavox

        December 23, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      • “The infrastructure bill at this point is gonna be trucon scum. Along with the 5% tariff that his transition team the thinks is too extreme”

        The infrastructure bill is Japanese style crony capitalism. It is just what the doctor ordered. The tariff isn’t going to happen.

        “And when Trump shows he wasn’t kidding when he constantly told us that he loved legal immigration and Hispanics anyone with sense is gonna wonder why they supported him over Clinton.”

        Unless you are suggesting that Trump is going to *increase* legal immigration, your statement makes no sense whatsoever. Trump has already released a comprehensive plan for the destruction of the immigrant community. He is certainly going reduce H1B’s and Islamic immigration. He isn’t going to do much else about legal immigration but he has never claimed that he would either.

        You don’t hire Bannon, Miller, Sessions and (soon) Kobach unless you are serious about destroying the immigrant community. There is a reason that the smart lefties at Vox are so worried after being somewhat optimistic a couple of weeks ago.

        Otis the Sweaty

        December 23, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      • The infrastructure bill is Japanese style crony capitalism.

        On the off chance you have some actual basis for saying that I would like a link.

        magnavox

        December 23, 2016 at 10:43 pm

      • “The only people who think Jews aren’t white are the Stormfront guys.”

        And the Jewish Forward, apparently. http://forward.com/opinion/356271/for-sephardic-and-mizrahi-jews-whiteness-was-a-fragile-identity-long-before/

        Curle

        December 24, 2016 at 11:43 am

      • You are talking about Jews of middle-eastern ancestry, thus proving my point that Judaism is a religion not a race, and you have white Jews from Europe, and somewhat less white Jews from the Middle East, and even black Jews from Africa.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 24, 2016 at 12:14 pm

      • You are talking about Jews of middle-eastern ancestry, thus proving my point that Judaism is a religion not a race, and you have white Jews from Europe, and somewhat less white Jews from the Middle East, and even black Jews from Africa.

        I don’t know why you’re approving comments from liars such as Curle. Every negative comment about Jews from those like him almost always involves some sort deception or obfuscation which has been debunked multiple times.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        December 24, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    • “The most important way to restrict suffrage is to not give it to women.”

      Here’s a list of some far-sighted men:

      “Several MPs played an active role in the National League for Opposing Women’s Suffrage including John Massie, Rudolph Lehmann and Alexander MacCallum Scott. Asquith, as Chancellor of the Exchequer and then Prime Minister, could not become a member of the National League but he was undoubtedly supportive of its aims telling a deputation of anti-suffragists in Downing Street in 1910 that they were ‘preaching to the converted’. In addition to Lord Cromer and Lord Curzon, successive presidents of the National League who feared that women’s suffrage threatened the Empire,” http://richardjohnbr.blogspot.com/2012/12/opposition-to-womens-suffrage.html

      Curle

      December 24, 2016 at 12:51 pm

  9. Is there any group of people other than STEM whites who could even conceive of libertarianism?

    We will never return to the moon because of multiculturalism, aka white genocide.

    For some unknown reason, whites simultaneously everywhere on the planet have decided to commit civilizational suicide. This is the biggest story that no one writes about…what is the root cause of the big white death wish?

    jjbees

    December 22, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    • It’s a consequence of democracy, prosperity and urbanization. Those turn people into flaming liberals, especially the upper classes. An explanation would take several paragraphs.

      destructure

      December 22, 2016 at 11:50 pm

      • That ignores Japan and Israel. Israel is still expanding, displacing its enemies and taking their land, for gods sake.

        magnavox

        December 23, 2016 at 3:07 am

      • If you weren’t such a moron you’d realize why Japan and Israel are exceptions. It’s not that difficult.

        destructure

        December 23, 2016 at 2:57 pm

      • You said It’s a consequence of democracy, prosperity and urbanization.

        magnavox

        December 23, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      • it’s a result of intentional distraction by the masters of mankind from inequality at the level of an entire society to inequalities of groups of people within the society. the republicrats hate blacks and homos more than anyone, but they can use identity politics to distract the herd.

        the peasants of medieval europe and the farmers of early 20th c america were far more left wing on economic matters than corporate dems.

        since the 70s all american politics has moved far right on economic matters and farther left on social matters. it’s a pity the herd is so easily distracted and divided.

        Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!

        December 23, 2016 at 8:25 pm

      • You said It’s a consequence of democracy, prosperity and urbanization.

        Just because democracy, prosperity and urbanization push people left doesn’t mean there aren’t other factors pushing people right. Like I said, it’s just not that damned difficult.

        destructure

        December 23, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    • 1) No, because no other group of people on the planet is that autistic / lacking in self-awareness
      2) Sad but true
      3) It’s a bit of a chicken and egg issue, but I think Walker Percy expressed it best when he said that WWI, in which Western man used our newfound industrial technology to slaughter each other in staggering numbers with staggering efficiency, was both the logical consequence of worshipping Science, Technology, Social Progress and Commerce instead of God; and it was also the moment when “the big white death wish” (which made me lol, shades of Tom Wolfe’s great white defendant) the death wish took hold and hasn’t let up since because, as Percy said, “we’ve been sleep-walking since Verdun.”

      Jack Bolling

      December 22, 2016 at 11:57 pm

      • “Is there any group of people other than STEM whites who could even conceive of libertarianism?…1) No, because no other group of people on the planet is that autistic / lacking in self-awareness…”

        Only someone lacking in awareness would come up with that remark.

        Robert

        December 25, 2016 at 3:47 am

  10. Right-wingers, including Heinlein, esteem STEM because the STEM disciplines are relatively apolitical, objective subjects, and so haven’t been dominated nearly as much by leftists and leftist propagandizing at universities.

    snorlax

    December 23, 2016 at 1:50 am

  11. I have to think that conservatives/libertarians would have reached much the same conclusions without Heinlein. He might have kickstarted the nerdish interest in libertarianism, but I think many young nerds are looking for something similar and will find it somewhere.

    The entire STEM argument is a natural consequence of left-wing control of universities. It’s the argument my father (who always hated sci-fi/fantasy) made to me many years ago regarding college majors: the more grounded a subject is in physical reality, the less that fantastic liberal thinking can dominate the entire field, and the less discrimination you’ll face for being a white male who produces results.

    If conservatives controlled universities and the humanities emphasized traditional values while STEM departments were filled with weird nerds obsessed with things like transhumanism, you’d hear much less pro-STEM talk from conservatives.

    Wency

    December 23, 2016 at 6:57 am

  12. Actually anyone who believes America is a democracy is too dumb to understand our government to make an informed vote at all. The Founding Fathers hated democracy. For good reason. No democracy has ever survived the stupidity of the mob. The original arrangement was ingenious in its simplicity. Only White Male Landowners were allowed to vote. That system worked. These guys were smart and educated. They paid taxes and had skin in the game. This rancid farce where bums vote for free shit is what burned down Rome and destroyed the Most Powerful Empire in the World. Bread and Circuses, or Free shit. Call it what you will. Whenever the unproductive and shiftless can outvote the productive, they invariably empty the treasury in a frenzy of looting to fill their endless appetites for gluttony and vice. The productive give up, since their hard work isn’t just not rewarded but punished and made a mockery of. Soon the Armies are little better than mercenaries and the only loyal citizens are lunatics and whores engaging in nothing but Vice. Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is the Definitive Text on the Failure of Democracy.

    Joshua Sinistar

    December 23, 2016 at 9:31 am

    • If only property owners could vote we’d be governed by a bunch of Jeb Bush types. Suffrage should be limited to net taxpayers and suburban and rural votes should be disproportionately weighted to give said areas an advantage over the more heavily populated urban regions.

      Otis the Sweaty

      December 23, 2016 at 11:34 am

      • “Suffrage should be limited to net taxpayers”

        For better or for worse, that would keep senior citizens on social security from dominating the vote. But that’s an age group from which came Trump’s strongest support.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 23, 2016 at 11:37 am

      • You could limit it to lifetime net taxpayers, which would keep most of the oldies.

        snorlax

        December 23, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      • Why don’t we just try to get rid of the most societqlly destructive Dem voters by paying people to renounce their citizenship and preventing the poor from having children.

        Magnavox

        December 23, 2016 at 1:14 pm

      • Heinlein has already shown us the way: Military/Federal service in exchange for the franchise.

        Mike Street Station

        December 24, 2016 at 7:59 am

      • Mandatory birth control for welfare would work. You could even put it in coca cola for them. They’d love it. One coke a day keeps your EBT cards paid.

        chris

        December 26, 2016 at 6:45 am

    • Let’s just hope for your sake you’re trolling because the Roman republic never had anything close to universal suffrage and the empire didn’t even pretend to be a democracy.

      You can always tell when someone doesn’t understand politics at all when they think that welfare recipients are the ones getting rich off the government and not the people getting subsidies, contracts, favorable regulation, and insider information.

      Magnavox

      December 23, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      • People don’t object to universal suffrage because they think welfare recipients are getting rich off the government. Yes, that’s irritating. But they object because welfare recipients vote for the welfare party which then pushes destructive policies.

        destructure

        December 23, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      • And the rich vote for their interests in ways that also damage the country. Your point?

        It’s selfish and harmful to the country for people to try to get cheap, quality healthcare like every other rich country has. But for the medical industry to fight to keep the current regulation that essentially amounts to a $2,000,000,000,000 (2 trillion) annual subsidy is just disinterested and principled? (And for the love of hod don’t give me a bunch of retarded AEI talking points about removing interstate restrictions in interstate health insurance).

        You’re a perfect example of what I was talking about.

        magnavox

        December 23, 2016 at 5:43 pm

  13. “Heinlein had a much higher esteem for STEM-type learning than he did for the liberal arts, and this is seen in a large number of his novels.”

    I read a number of Michael Crichton novels when I was a kid/teen, and he had a similar bias with his characters: Scientists and engineers would be honest, courageous geniuses and heroes, in contrast to lawyers and bureaucrats that would be sniveling, arrogant leaches getting ahead with family connections. His novel “Airframe” played up that dichotomy the most. A counterexample is the computer nerd in the first Jurassic Park movie that is a corrupt, dishonest slob who gets whats coming to him.

    McFly

    December 23, 2016 at 10:27 am

    • That’s because its also true. Engineers/Scientists/Comp Scis are honest and can’t, and I mean this neurologically, can’t lie.

      The Philosopher

      December 23, 2016 at 11:04 am

  14. That’s always the thing about science fiction isn’t it? I recently watched _Blade Runner_ for the first time. In the near future, we’re going to have flying cars, the colonization of outer space, vast ziggurat-like corporate buildings, and almost-human androids… but we’ll still have newspapers and pay phones (but _video_ pay phones!). We’ll have vast lit-up billboards – with animation about as graceful as your average neon sign.

    Gilbert Ratchet

    December 23, 2016 at 11:58 am

    • …and genetically engineered monsters like the xenomorph to hunt humans.

      H.R Geiger is one sick man. He purportedly took all kinds of drugs so he could hallucinate, culminating into Alien in 1979, just right after the debut of Star Wars in 1977.

      JS

      December 23, 2016 at 2:16 pm


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