JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2008/07/no-they-dont.html (8 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1215918128-594191  raven at Sun, 13 Jul 2008 03:02:08 +0000

Too bad, really. When the sifting begins it will have little regard for "rights".
Self reliance and personal responsibility trump whining every time when crisis rears it's head.

jsid-1215937148-594197  Mastiff at Sun, 13 Jul 2008 08:19:08 +0000

Question for you, Kevin. How does Heinlein's observation about "duty" versus "rights" square with your own thinking on the subject?

I suspect that framing the political expectations of civic interaction as rights, as opposed to duties, is inferior in that it gives no basis for handling conflicts between them. Whereas duties are (or can be) arranged in a hierarchy, with greater duties taking precedence over lesser ones when they conflict.

Additionally, a right is something you expect from others. A duty is something you owe others. (That may be a duty not to murder them in their sleep… this does not necessarily imply redistribution.) This is a stronger form, but at this hour of the morning, I'm forgetting why I thought so :-(

jsid-1215970129-594203  Kresh at Sun, 13 Jul 2008 17:28:49 +0000

I'm not sure "proud" is exactly the word he would have used, but I assume the word he would use would have been lost in all the sobbing. It is sad enough to make one cry, if one's heart hasn't been already hardened by decades of watching the stupidity wave come rolling in.

Why do I get the feeling that we're not anywhere near high tide?

jsid-1215999115-594209  mike at Mon, 14 Jul 2008 01:31:55 +0000

...a society where children are told endlessly about their rights, and nothing about their duties

Reminds me of a book I read recently. The Road to Bamascus by John Ringo and Linda Evans. Radical utopia-ists take over the planetary government, combine nazism and communism into a socialsts dream, and the economy and the standard of living go down the crapper. And it's all blamed on the evil clinger farmers. It's a pretty good book.

jsid-1216003861-594213  Unix-Jedi at Mon, 14 Jul 2008 02:51:01 +0000

To add to mike's post (and correct him slightly to "Damascus":


Baen Free Library. Kickass.

It's also a book that raised my blood pressure - be forewarned.

(I'll also recommend to grab a copy from Webscriptions - it's a kickass service.)

jsid-1216054751-594236  Mike at Mon, 14 Jul 2008 16:59:11 +0000

errr..I knew that, my fingers just got momentarily confused :)

jsid-1216068457-594245  Saladman at Mon, 14 Jul 2008 20:47:37 +0000

Troopers really was a prophetic book in some ways. Gangs of children gone feral because they were never disciplined, "appreciation of television" as an academic class, and now powered exoskeletons are being prototyped.

Mastiff, you answered your own question better than I could have. My own opinion is that Starship Troopers is a blend of utopianism and dystopianism, a challenge to think rather than a straight-up endorsement. On the surface it posits the very opposite of the moral of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (although both deal with personal responsibility).

Trivia note: Heinlein wrote Starship Troopers in a few weeks in a self described "white-hot rage" after President Truman suspended US nuclear testing for a Russian promise to do the same, which they promptly broke. Its impressive to me that he produced a book with broad implications out of a specific concern, but I don't take every word as gospel.

jsid-1216070672-594247  Yosemite Sam at Mon, 14 Jul 2008 21:24:32 +0000

"I'm not sure "proud" is exactly the word he would have used, but I assume the word he would use would have been lost in all the sobbing."

No, Heinlein wouldn't have been sobbing. He wouldn't be surprised in the least at the situation we all have arrived at and proabably would have expected it to be much worse by now. Remember that he posited that America would be run by a theocracy by now. Heinlein believed that history was circular and that we would have to go through the bad times before the good.

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