In the latest in our ‘in 10 Great Quotes’ series we examine Robert Heinlein.
Robert Heinlein On the Absurdity of Censorship;
The whole principle is wrong; it’s like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can’t eat steak.
A tad extreme but Robert Heinlein on Gun Control;
An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.
Robert Heinlein on the fact that only tyranny can come of prohibition and information control;
When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, - not anything - you can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.
Robert Heinlein evidently agrees with Ayn Rand here;
The greatest productive force is human selfishness.
And here too they agree;
Gratitude: An imaginary emotion that rewards an imaginary behavior, altruism. Both imaginaries are false faces for selfishness, which is a real and honest emotion.
Essentially Public Choice theory in practice here;
Most people can’t think, most of the remainder won’t think, the small fraction who do think mostly can’t do it very well. The extremely tiny fraction who think regularly, accurately, creatively, and without self-delusion- in the long run these are the only people who count…
Violence has solved more issues in history than has any other factor, just because we don’t like it doesn’t mean this isn’t the case;
Those who cling to the untrue doctrine that violence never settles anything would be advised to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Nations and peoples who forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.
If something is confusing or strange, odds are its down to government, though, perhaps, not in this case;
The universe never did make sense. I suspect that it was built on a government contract.
Robert Heinlein on the morality of choice and free will;
I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Heinlein on the abuse of power by religions, be they spiritual, political or philosophical;
It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics.
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