Heinlein/Race

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Chris Dollin

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Nov 5, 1993, 11:33:34 AM11/5/93
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In article ... jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

[Re: the UK and ``libertarianism'']

The abolishment of the National Health system must have sneaked past
me as I missed that one.

Not so much ``abolished'' as ``starving to death''.
--

Regards, | "I can disappear without trace; just say the word,
Kers. | I'll be gone from this place." - Renaissance, "Electric Avenue".

Chris Croughton

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Nov 6, 1993, 9:46:53 AM11/6/93
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In article <drysda02.752537764@ursa>
drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes:

>The last part I agree with. I have no way of knowing if non-Americans
>feel his books are meaningful.

I and quite a lot of othe British fans do find them meaningful. I have
no idea how the proportions compare, but his books seem to be prominent
in bookstores (not just SF specialists), which implies that many more
people buy them than the ones who are involved in 'fandom'...

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Joseph Askew

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Nov 7, 1993, 6:10:49 PM11/7/93
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In article <drysda02.752453599@ursa> drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes:
>jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

>>>Explained in the book, if you notice - the USA is a dominant nation on
>>>Earth, and they want to get the popular support.

>1) The US is a dominant nation (in the book) only in the sense that it is
>one of the 'big' countries. China, The USSR (or it's equivalent) and a
>lot of other people are also 'dominant'.

Alright I'll accept that. RAH does list it first but I don't suppose
that means much. Anyway back to my original point - Independence Day
is fixed to make it the Four of July. Why?

>>Nothing from our history there.

>Have you studied your history?

Yep. Want to try me? Draw a comparison, I'll tell you where you're wrong.

>>A prevalent theme no doubt, as is assimilation and the end of
>>all other culture but American. White American at that.

>1) What is 'American culture'? There is none. It is only the mixture of
>every other culture on Earth. So is Luna. That's why you see a similarity.

This is just so untrue I hardly know where to start. The US has a unique
and distinct culture. Not one I care for much but it does have one. Nor
is it a mixture of every other culture.

>2) Read the book again and pay special attention to the references to the
>Chinese and Hindus in Hong Kong Luna. They outnumber the so-called "white
>americans" by quite a hefty margin.

There are references to Chinese in HongKong Luna. They play a minor
role I will admit. Still the Revolutuion is lead by people from what
I assume to be the American moonbase (that is, HKL is clearly Chinese,
Churchill is I assume English, NovyLeningrad is Russian, who owned theirs?)
No major charcters are Chinese. Hindus make a few passing references but
no NonEuropeans make an impact that their number might suggest. Still the
bottom line is that they do NOT outnumber the White Americans or at least
it is not claimed they do - on Luna. If you have a reference then I will
look it up.

>>It would have probably been worse when he was writing. When the
>>book was set the Professor would have grown up on the same Gringo
>>bashing that is commonplace in Latin American Intellectual life.

>My parent's grew up in the 40's and 50's, yet they somehow overcame the
>racist attitudes of those days, too. I can only assume that a man
>intelligent enough to out-think an entire planet (nearly two!) would be
>able to overcome such idiocy, too.

Dislike of the US and its government are not prejudices in that
sense. Indeed it is probably very hard to be a Latin American
intellectual without disliking the US. That is not an unreasonable
attitude but the logical consequence of their history and position.
If you don't want people to take against you you shouldn't steal
their land, overthrow their governments and invade from time to time.
It is hardly idiocy.

Joseph Askew

--
Joseph Askew, Gauche and Proud In the autumn stillness, see the Pleiades,
jas...@spam.maths.adelaide.edu Remote in thorny deserts, feel the grief.
Disclaimer? Sue, see if I care North of our tents, the sky must end somwhere,
Actually, I rather like Brenda Beyond the pale, the River murmurs on.

Joseph Askew

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Nov 7, 1993, 6:27:08 PM11/7/93
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In article <drysda02.752288983@ursa> drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes:

>>Nearly all of RAH's books require the main character to be
>>a white American. They can only make sense if that is assumed
>>at any rate. Can anyone imagine a RAH book with the hero as an
>>Islamic Fundamentalist for instance?

>As a matter of fact, Brother 'Stinky' Mahmoud from SiaSL is Islamic. You
>may argue that he is not a 'hero' but he is one of the 'first-called.'

You might notice that (a) I have mentioned SiaSL before as an exception
(b) he is not a fundamentalist (though I can't bring myself to reread it
so I might be remembering incorrectly) and the fact that he is called
"Stinky" ought to tell you something.

>>This is slightly off centre. The "secret internal directorate"
>>reflects his silly adolescent attitudes to revolution and does
>>not apply to the government system. Yes he says that the masses
>>have to be manipulated by leaders, hardly an attitude alien to
>>Washinton or Jefferson. I can easily see them sharing exactly
>>the same opinion. That was, after all, why they made America a
>>Republic.

>Well, of course. Prof. says that he modeled the 'constitution' on the one
>written by Jefferson. However, he also says that that constitution (J's)
>didn't get implemented as he wanted.

It did not get implemented as they BOTH wanted. So one of the main
characters - supposedly a Latin American - gets *all* his political
attitudes from a dead Anglo. Not a word about Bolivar or Peron or
anyone else from outside the US. Notice that the Professor did not
even update the language of the Declaration of Independence. Well,
at least the horrid "inalienable" bit anyway.

>BTW, how can you equate the opinions of Jefferson with the opinions of
>Americans in general? Jefferson was British. America didn't even exist
>at that time.

Jefferson was born in Virginia, he went to University in Virginia,
he passed through England all of once that I can think of (on his
way to France) so exactly how can you say he was British? Jefferson
represents a rather large subset of America opinion then and now. He
represents essentially a null set of nonAmericans.

>>Actually no. He does not say that *government* should step in and
>>save the Moon - he puts his faith in technology developing an answer
>>in time. There is no mentionm or even hint of government subisdy for
>>importing sewage to the moon only that if given the task engineers
>>can do anything. A Free Market solution.

>Not even close. The technology already existed for them to transport
>cheaply to Luna. The gov'ts of the world had to be convinced that that
>was the only way it was going to work.

You mean he insisted that the Government get out of the way of
private industry in developing the catapult? An entirely common
libertarian attitude. His faith is in technology developing not
in government. They did not have the catapult because of the Lunar
Authority not because the governments of the Earth had to be convinced.

>Also, notice at the end of the
>book Prof. lets Mannie in on the secret that sewage importation (is that a
>word?) was not the plan all along. The real plan was for Luna to be
>independent. See the Hawaii/laundry analogy near the end somewhere.

It was only not the plan because the Prof saw Lunar manufacturing.
They would not be farmers for ever he said.

>>>>The system they
>>>>wanted to set up is a virtual copy of the US

>You are supporting my point here. The current US is the only US!
>Jefferson's vision for America never came to fruition.

The current US is not the only US. Jefferson was President twice.
Make that comparison. Or alternatively name another country even
remotely like the system planned for the Moon.

>>I think not. However NO Hispanic could possbily comment on a
>>government system without at least a nod in the direction of
>>the South American experience. The Professor does not do so.

>I can. Prof says many times that he was fighting against 'city hall' when
>he was transported.

"City Hall"??? An Americanism confined to the US. It is not current
here or in England. And the experience of all the Latin Americans I
know is that government has to work for them. They want a MORE active
government not a less. Land Reform for instance. Again zero real
Hispanic content.

>Why would any 'groundhog' think to
>attach more importance to their own country's form of gov't than that of
>the world? Especially someone like Prof?

Attitudes are formed by history. I would have thought that any Latin
American would have had his political attitudes coloured by Civil war,
Coups, Military dictatorship, human rights violations, the total power
of the Catholic Church in the past, government corruption and the big
neighbour to the North. Nowhere does any of this make the slightest
hint of an appearance in tMiaHM. If the Professor was making plans for
restraining the military that might be something but he wasn't.

>>Again not the attitude likely to be found anywhere else.

>Point being?

He's an American who RAH decided to make a Hispanic for whatever
personal reasons RAH had at that time.

>>Again a comment from *your* experience. What has happened in, say,
>>New Zealand clearly plays no part in this.

>How about Canada? Britain? France? Japan? Pretty much every major
>gov't on Earth?

New Zealand has passed major changes in government structure (just
yesterday in fact) and have changed the Reserve Bank system, the
industrial relations system, the welfare system, education and
defense. Perhaps the biggest change they have had since Independence.
Maybe more. All by an elected Parliament. The claim that such systems
always lead to paralysis is wrong.

>Who would have overthrown the Warden in the first place? And how?

Libertarians don't mind a bit of violence. I do not know how.

>Without Mycroft's help the revolution would have failed completely. And
>only 3 people ever knew about Mike. This qualifies as a secret gov't of
>some kind in my book.

And so?

Joseph Askew

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Nov 7, 1993, 6:46:40 PM11/7/93
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In article <1993Nov4.0...@oracle.us.oracle.com> mfri...@us.oracle.com (Michael Friedman) writes:
>In article <2b6p0h$n...@spam.maths.adelaide.edu.au> jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

>>>How many books to you read where the fact that a
>>>character is a white American is a major plot point?

>>Nearly all of RAH's books require the main character to be
>>a white American. They can only make sense if that is assumed
>>at any rate. Can anyone imagine a RAH book with the hero as an
>>Islamic Fundamentalist for instance?

>Joe, this is the same kind of bigoted attitude that you showed in your
>original post (and yes, I do mean bigoted.)

I know I am going to regret asking but bigoted how?

>Let me point something
>out to you. White American and Islamic Fundamentalist are not
>mutually exclusive. There are a fair number of people who are White
>American Islamic Fundamentalists.

There are *some* perhaps but very few. Could you name six? To be
an IF requires attitudes it is very hard to reconcile with most
American cultural norms.

>Now, it so happens that we know
>that none of Heinlein's main characters are Islamic Fundamentalists
>(though please do not forget Stinky Mahalamud(sp?) in Stranger in a
>Strange Land) because none of his main characters have to take a time
>out 5 times a day to pray. So what is that supposed to prove?

It is worse than that because almost none of them epxress an opinion
that is not found in Middle America or hold a position that is not
in the mainstream American lexicon. Ironically perhaps his views on
Freedom and liberty come closest but they are firmly within American
traditions.

>In
>most of Heinlein's books the main character is a white American, but
>no big deal is made out of it.

Fine.

>You just kind of peripherally notice
>it or even just assume it by default. In a couple of his books - most
>notably Starship Troopers, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and Podkayne
>of Mars the main character is not a white American, but no big deal is
>made out of it.

Again fine. Except I claim that these characters *are* White Americans
only he decided to change their colour for some reason unknowable at
the moment. The problem you seem to be having with my point is that I
claim it is not enough to say a perosn is Philippino for him to be so.
So RAH claimed Rico was a Philippino, if he didn't tell you how could
you tell?

>Would it really be more authentic if
>Podkayne spent most of her time railing about the injustices done to
>Maoris by white settlers 200 years beofre her birth on a totally
>different planet?

No but a few comments about the present situation would be in
character. You think that Maoris do not hold strong opinions
about the injustices of the past and present? You think that
the fact of past and present prejudice does not colour (if you
will forgive the expression) their present attitudes? If you
don't I could probably introduce you to a few.

>>And I just claim he does not. Sometimes he choose to make them
>>non-Whites but essentially they are not. In no real sense does
>>he write about nonWhites.

>Right. So? The same would apply if we eliminated all references to
>race from I Will Fear No Evil, in which most of the characters were
>white Americans. Does that mean that Heinlein doesn't write about
>white Americans after all? I don't think that your test is valid.

My test is the blind taste test. Where you wear a blindfold and
try and pick the Classic Coke. If you remove all references to
race and colour from I Will Fear No Evil and then had to guess,
on first reading, about the origins of the characters do you
think that you would have any problems in guessing White American?

>>Actually no. He does not say that *government* should step in and
>>save the Moon - he puts his faith in technology developing an answer
>>in time.

>Excuse me again. He makes it very clear that without the revolution -
>the revolution that was carried out by that secret directorate - and
>without the deliberately unreasonable stance that the Loonies take in
>their negotiations with Earth - a stance controlled by that secret
>directorate - that there isn't a hope in hell of having technology
>provide a solution in time.

They had the technology, they had it for a long time. What they
also had was a short sighted blinkered Authority which would or
could not see their best interests. It was freedom FROM government
that was the essential condition for the catapult.

>>There is no mentionm or even hint of government subisdy for
>>importing sewage to the moon only that if given the task engineers
>>can do anything. A Free Market solution.

>Wrong again. It's made very clear that the Loonies are going to
>refuse to ship organics to Earth unless they get organics back ton for
>ton.

Is it? It is made clear they *want* organics ton for ton.

>It is also made clear that the wheat farmers are quite willing
>to ship wheat to earth without getting organics back in exchange. It
>is clear that the Loony Government is stepping in and saying "Thou
>shalt not ship organics downhill unless they send an equal amount back
>uphill."

Is it? Where might that be?

>I will agree that there is no mention of government subsidies for
>importing sewage to the moon, but given the policy described above, I
>hardly see why one would be needed.

Because if it was not cost effective someone would have had to pay.

>No, but he also doesn't comment on the US experience (except for his
>reference to the Declaration of Independence, but that's been copied
>so often that it's almost a tradition).

Copied by who else? Only by Americans as far as I remember. From Locke.
By Jefferson. Still the Professors entire world view is based on the
ideas and philosophies of Jefferson et al. The whoel book is a comment
on the US experience.

>So are you claiming that an
>authentic Hispanic has to give "at least a nod in the direction of
>the South American experience" but that an authentic American doesn't
>have to give at least a nod in the direction of the US experience?

An authentic American could not help but give a nod in the direction
of the US experience. It is part of what makes us what we are. RAH
gives a little more than a nod though.

>Do
>you really think that the copying of the US Declaration of
>Independence is that ever so important nod that would not have been
>there if de la Paz was authentically Hispanic?

I think a Hispanic would not have copied the Declaration of
Independence, no. He might have written a new one based on it
but only an American would carry such idolisation so far as to
copy it in its entirety.

>Do you disagree with my point in the paragraph above?

Yes

>Do you admit that Heinlein makes it clear that a truly Libertarian
>Luna would have been crushed by the FN?

No.

>In that case, how can TMIAHM be promoting Libertarianism?

How can you see it otherwise?

David Rysdam

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Nov 7, 1993, 9:48:42 PM11/7/93
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jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

>In article <drysda02.752453599@ursa> drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes:
>>jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

>>>>Explained in the book, if you notice - the USA is a dominant nation on
>>>>Earth, and they want to get the popular support.

>>1) The US is a dominant nation (in the book) only in the sense that it is
>>one of the 'big' countries. China, The USSR (or it's equivalent) and a
>>lot of other people are also 'dominant'.

>Alright I'll accept that. RAH does list it first but I don't suppose
>that means much. Anyway back to my original point - Independence Day
>is fixed to make it the Four of July. Why?

I'm not sure. You probably have a point on this one...

>>>Nothing from our history there.

>>Have you studied your history?

>Yep. Want to try me? Draw a comparison, I'll tell you where you're wrong.

Penal colony.

>>>A prevalent theme no doubt, as is assimilation and the end of
>>>all other culture but American. White American at that.

>>1) What is 'American culture'? There is none. It is only the mixture of
>>every other culture on Earth. So is Luna. That's why you see a similarity.

>This is just so untrue I hardly know where to start. The US has a unique
>and distinct culture. Not one I care for much but it does have one. Nor
>is it a mixture of every other culture.

Ok, so I went a little overboard on that claim. But it is true that
America is fairly unique (if that is not an oxymoron) in the fact that it
has many 'representatives' from nearly every other culture on earth.

>>2) Read the book again and pay special attention to the references to the
>>Chinese and Hindus in Hong Kong Luna. They outnumber the so-called "white
>>americans" by quite a hefty margin.

>There are references to Chinese in HongKong Luna. They play a minor
>role I will admit. Still the Revolutuion is lead by people from what
>I assume to be the American moonbase (that is, HKL is clearly Chinese,
>Churchill is I assume English, NovyLeningrad is Russian, who owned theirs?)
>No major charcters are Chinese. Hindus make a few passing references but
>no NonEuropeans make an impact that their number might suggest. Still the
>bottom line is that they do NOT outnumber the White Americans or at least
>it is not claimed they do - on Luna. If you have a reference then I will
>look it up.

Manuel O'Kelly Davis. He is non-white and not even from Earth. There is
little about him that is American (solely). True there are no Chinese
'major characters' but is at least one Chinese highly influential
character. The guy who hocked all he had in order to partially finance
the revolution.

>>My parent's grew up in the 40's and 50's, yet they somehow overcame the
>>racist attitudes of those days, too. I can only assume that a man
>>intelligent enough to out-think an entire planet (nearly two!) would be
>>able to overcome such idiocy, too.

>Dislike of the US and its government are not prejudices in that
>sense. Indeed it is probably very hard to be a Latin American
>intellectual without disliking the US. That is not an unreasonable
>attitude but the logical consequence of their history and position.
>If you don't want people to take against you you shouldn't steal
>their land, overthrow their governments and invade from time to time.
>It is hardly idiocy.

Aha! But Prof didn't experience that gov't overthrowing-land stealing
business. He lived in a time when the FN ruled the planet. Hating the US
then, would be like me hating Brits because of the Stamp Tax.

David Rysdam

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Nov 7, 1993, 10:06:28 PM11/7/93
to
jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

>In article <drysda02.752288983@ursa> drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes:

>>>Nearly all of RAH's books require the main character to be
>>>a white American. They can only make sense if that is assumed
>>>at any rate. Can anyone imagine a RAH book with the hero as an
>>>Islamic Fundamentalist for instance?

>>As a matter of fact, Brother 'Stinky' Mahmoud from SiaSL is Islamic. You
>>may argue that he is not a 'hero' but he is one of the 'first-called.'

>You might notice that (a) I have mentioned SiaSL before as an exception
>(b) he is not a fundamentalist (though I can't bring myself to reread it
>so I might be remembering incorrectly) and the fact that he is called
>"Stinky" ought to tell you something.

He is not fundamentalist but sure is serious about it. What should
'Stinky' tell me?

>>>This is slightly off centre. The "secret internal directorate"
>>>reflects his silly adolescent attitudes to revolution and does
>>>not apply to the government system. Yes he says that the masses
>>>have to be manipulated by leaders, hardly an attitude alien to
>>>Washinton or Jefferson. I can easily see them sharing exactly
>>>the same opinion. That was, after all, why they made America a
>>>Republic.

>>Well, of course. Prof. says that he modeled the 'constitution' on the one
>>written by Jefferson. However, he also says that that constitution (J's)
>>didn't get implemented as he wanted.

>It did not get implemented as they BOTH wanted. So one of the main
>characters - supposedly a Latin American - gets *all* his political
>attitudes from a dead Anglo. Not a word about Bolivar or Peron or
>anyone else from outside the US. Notice that the Professor did not
>even update the language of the Declaration of Independence. Well,
>at least the horrid "inalienable" bit anyway.

No, Prof did not get his political attitude from a 'dead Anglo'. He had a
political alignment (Rational Anarchy). He wanted to implement this
alignment into the government he was setting up. He (being educated) had
read "Jefferson's" D of I. He realized that America had _got_it_wrong_.
He attempted to push through his own interpretation of this document
because it said what he wanted to say, and he hoped no one would realize
what it really _did_ say until it was too late.

>>BTW, how can you equate the opinions of Jefferson with the opinions of
>>Americans in general? Jefferson was British. America didn't even exist
>>at that time.

>Jefferson was born in Virginia, he went to University in Virginia,
>he passed through England all of once that I can think of (on his
>way to France) so exactly how can you say he was British? Jefferson
>represents a rather large subset of America opinion then and now. He
>represents essentially a null set of nonAmericans.

Because he was born in a British colony. If you can claim that Prof's
being born in a Hispanic country gives him a full-fledged and immutable
opinion of the US then I can claim that Jefferson being born in a
(essentially) British country (at the time) gives him the same thing.

>>>Actually no. He does not say that *government* should step in and
>>>save the Moon - he puts his faith in technology developing an answer
>>>in time. There is no mentionm or even hint of government subisdy for
>>>importing sewage to the moon only that if given the task engineers
>>>can do anything. A Free Market solution.

>>Not even close. The technology already existed for them to transport
>>cheaply to Luna. The gov'ts of the world had to be convinced that that
>>was the only way it was going to work.

>You mean he insisted that the Government get out of the way of
>private industry in developing the catapult? An entirely common
>libertarian attitude. His faith is in technology developing not
>in government. They did not have the catapult because of the Lunar
>Authority not because the governments of the Earth had to be convinced.

Wrong again. He had no concern whatsoever about private industry.
Correct me if I'm wrong here (and I'm not expecting a correction :-) but
Luna was free in the end and Lunar Authority was never defeated. They won
because China (not the US, btw) decided it would be in their interest to
support Luna. They were quickly followed by a flurry of other gov'ts.

>>Also, notice at the end of the
>>book Prof. lets Mannie in on the secret that sewage importation (is that a
>>word?) was not the plan all along. The real plan was for Luna to be
>>independent. See the Hawaii/laundry analogy near the end somewhere.

>It was only not the plan because the Prof saw Lunar manufacturing.
>They would not be farmers for ever he said.

I forget what the point was here, but, FYI, Prof say Luna as a free port
(something else quite unAmerican).

>>>>>The system they
>>>>>wanted to set up is a virtual copy of the US

>>You are supporting my point here. The current US is the only US!
>>Jefferson's vision for America never came to fruition.

>The current US is not the only US. Jefferson was President twice.
>Make that comparison. Or alternatively name another country even
>remotely like the system planned for the Moon.

Nixon was almost president twice, too. That doesn't mean that I'm a
criminal. Why do I need to name another country with Luna's gov't? It
needn't be like _any_ gov't.

>>>I think not. However NO Hispanic could possbily comment on a
>>>government system without at least a nod in the direction of
>>>the South American experience. The Professor does not do so.

>>I can. Prof says many times that he was fighting against 'city hall' when
>>he was transported.

>"City Hall"??? An Americanism confined to the US. It is not current
>here or in England. And the experience of all the Latin Americans I
>know is that government has to work for them. They want a MORE active
>government not a less. Land Reform for instance. Again zero real
>Hispanic content.

1) Hispanic people (or any people for that matter) do not come from a
xerox copy machine. Just because a man is raised in a country and is
politically active doesn't mean he agrees with anybody else on the issues.
Note the presence of neo-nazis in America (and around the world).
2) 'Fighting against city hall', is an American expression. But what
other succinct way is there of saying the same thing in an acceptable way?
After all, _I_ say things like "Adios, amigo" but I am not 'essentially'
Hispanic.

>>Why would any 'groundhog' think to
>>attach more importance to their own country's form of gov't than that of
>>the world? Especially someone like Prof?

>Attitudes are formed by history. I would have thought that any Latin
>American would have had his political attitudes coloured by Civil war,
>Coups, Military dictatorship, human rights violations, the total power
>of the Catholic Church in the past, government corruption and the big
>neighbour to the North. Nowhere does any of this make the slightest
>hint of an appearance in tMiaHM. If the Professor was making plans for
>restraining the military that might be something but he wasn't.

None of that stuff appears because the novel is about the Moon, not about
Central or South America. Furthermore, Prof. _is_ making plans to
'restrain the military'. He doesn't even create one!

>>>Again not the attitude likely to be found anywhere else.

>>Point being?

>He's an American who RAH decided to make a Hispanic for whatever
>personal reasons RAH had at that time.

Quite the racist attitude. By that argument, I could claim that _you_ are
essentially a White American.

>>>Again a comment from *your* experience. What has happened in, say,
>>>New Zealand clearly plays no part in this.

>>How about Canada? Britain? France? Japan? Pretty much every major
>>gov't on Earth?

>New Zealand has passed major changes in government structure (just
>yesterday in fact) and have changed the Reserve Bank system, the
>industrial relations system, the welfare system, education and
>defense. Perhaps the biggest change they have had since Independence.
>Maybe more. All by an elected Parliament. The claim that such systems
>always lead to paralysis is wrong.

I didn't claim that they always do. What I am claiming is that the
Parlimant structure is a common one, and not solely attributable to America.

>>Who would have overthrown the Warden in the first place? And how?

>>Without Mycroft's help the revolution would have failed completely. And


>>only 3 people ever knew about Mike. This qualifies as a secret gov't of
>>some kind in my book.

>And so?

Again, I don't remember the point this was making, either, since the
preceding stuff has been erased.

>Joseph Askew


A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion,
butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance
accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders,
give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem,
pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently,
die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
(drys...@calvin.edu can do 18 of these 21, how about you?)

Michael Friedman

unread,
Nov 7, 1993, 10:23:40 PM11/7/93
to
In article <2bjv9p$m...@spam.maths.adelaide.edu.au> jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:
>In article <drysda02.752453599@ursa> drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes:
>>jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

>>>>Explained in the book, if you notice - the USA is a dominant nation on
>>>>Earth, and they want to get the popular support.

>>1) The US is a dominant nation (in the book) only in the sense that it is
>>one of the 'big' countries. China, The USSR (or it's equivalent) and a
>>lot of other people are also 'dominant'.

Actually, this isn't true. The US is clearly one of the most
important countries, and there is even a possibility (albeit low) that
the right sequence of events in the Loony rebellion could prompt them
to tell the FN to go to hell.

>Alright I'll accept that. RAH does list it first but I don't suppose
>that means much. Anyway back to my original point - Independence Day
>is fixed to make it the Four of July. Why?

Read the book. Heinlein says why explicitly - to influence US public
opinion.

>>>Nothing from our history there.

>>Have you studied your history?

>Yep. Want to try me? Draw a comparison, I'll tell you where you're wrong.

Penal colony?

>>>A prevalent theme no doubt, as is assimilation and the end of
>>>all other culture but American. White American at that.

>>1) What is 'American culture'? There is none. It is only the mixture of
>>every other culture on Earth. So is Luna. That's why you see a similarity.

>This is just so untrue I hardly know where to start. The US has a unique
>and distinct culture. Not one I care for much but it does have one. Nor
>is it a mixture of every other culture.

I don't think you know the US nearly as well as you think you do.
Could you please describe this culture for us?

>>2) Read the book again and pay special attention to the references to the
>>Chinese and Hindus in Hong Kong Luna. They outnumber the so-called "white
>>americans" by quite a hefty margin.

>There are references to Chinese in HongKong Luna. They play a minor
>role I will admit. Still the Revolutuion is lead by people from what
>I assume to be the American moonbase (that is, HKL is clearly Chinese,
>Churchill is I assume English, NovyLeningrad is Russian, who owned
>theirs?)

Wrong again. Luna City pretty clearly isn't owned by any nation. If
anyone owns it, it's the FN.

>No major charcters are Chinese. Hindus make a few passing references but
>no NonEuropeans make an impact that their number might suggest.

Please make up your mind. First you claim that everyone in charge is
an American. Then you claim that none of them are non-Europeans.
Make up your mind!!

Also, how do you classify Manny? His skin is clearly pretty dark.
Professor Bernardo de La Paz is also pretty clearly South American,
not European.

>Still the
>bottom line is that they do NOT outnumber the White Americans or at least
>it is not claimed they do - on Luna. If you have a reference then I will
>look it up.

Can you please tell us where you get the idea that white Americans
outnumber everyone else? The book makes it very clear that every
country on Earth has been using Luna as a dumping ground for people
they don't want. It seems pretty bizarre to assume that the majority
are from the US without evidence.


>Dislike of the US and its government are not prejudices in that
>sense. Indeed it is probably very hard to be a Latin American
>intellectual without disliking the US. That is not an unreasonable
>attitude but the logical consequence of their history and position.
>If you don't want people to take against you you shouldn't steal
>their land, overthrow their governments and invade from time to time.
>It is hardly idiocy.

Joseph, I don't think you know Latin America as well as you think you
do, either. Let me point out that, although there are exceptions, the
US has not invaded or overthrown governments in most of Latin America.



Joseph Askew

unread,
Nov 7, 1993, 11:15:01 PM11/7/93
to
In article <drysda02.752726922@ursa> drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes:
>jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

>>>>Nothing from our history there.

>>>Have you studied your history?

>>Yep. Want to try me? Draw a comparison, I'll tell you where you're wrong.

>Penal colony.

Ahh but wrong sort and wrong governmental system. It is true that
convicts in tMiaHM had to work at least for a time but we weren't
quite such a dumping ground for riff raff. Unlike the US was in
the old days. There are no control mechanisms so exactly how they
could make all those convicts work I don't know - I guess many of
them were just let go once they go there. Not like it used to be
for us! No convicts were leased out, there were no special sites
for "discipline" a la Port Arthur, Norfolk Island. I think the
penal part has more in common with American history as a criminal
dump site than with ours.

>>There are references to Chinese in HongKong Luna. They play a minor
>>role I will admit. Still the Revolutuion is lead by people from what
>>I assume to be the American moonbase (that is, HKL is clearly Chinese,
>>Churchill is I assume English, NovyLeningrad is Russian, who owned theirs?)
>>No major charcters are Chinese. Hindus make a few passing references but
>>no NonEuropeans make an impact that their number might suggest. Still the
>>bottom line is that they do NOT outnumber the White Americans or at least
>>it is not claimed they do - on Luna. If you have a reference then I will
>>look it up.

>Manuel O'Kelly Davis. He is non-white and not even from Earth.

Yep I deserved that. Silly me. Still he is only part nonWhite
and we don't even know which part. Besides he likes baseball.
Must be an American.

>There is
>little about him that is American (solely).

No? In his attitude to almost everything? Are you quite
sure about this one? He is not exactly Japanese is he?
Nor even English, he ain't a Bengali either. Exactly
what do you think he was?

>True there are no Chinese
>'major characters' but is at least one Chinese highly influential
>character. The guy who hocked all he had in order to partially finance
>the revolution.

Some guy in the background we never meet. It would have been more
interesting to have the Chinese support the existing order as they
almost certainly would. They have long memories of civil wars and
rebellions, some even support governments that openly discriminate
against them (cf Malaysia, Indonesia)

>Aha! But Prof didn't experience that gov't overthrowing-land stealing
>business. He lived in a time when the FN ruled the planet. Hating the US
>then, would be like me hating Brits because of the Stamp Tax.

That depends how many Americans were killed by the Stamp Act (and
the US has a long long history of involvement in Latin America
and still retains vast amounts of what used to be Latin American.)
Do you think the Russians would have forgiven the Germans by then?
Or the Irish the English?

Joseph Askew

unread,
Nov 7, 1993, 11:36:51 PM11/7/93
to
In article <drysda02.752727988@ursa> drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes:
>jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:
>>In article <drysda02.752288983@ursa> drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes:

>>>As a matter of fact, Brother 'Stinky' Mahmoud from SiaSL is Islamic. You
>>>may argue that he is not a 'hero' but he is one of the 'first-called.'

>>You might notice that (a) I have mentioned SiaSL before as an exception
>>(b) he is not a fundamentalist (though I can't bring myself to reread it
>>so I might be remembering incorrectly) and the fact that he is called
>>"Stinky" ought to tell you something.

>He is not fundamentalist but sure is serious about it. What should
>'Stinky' tell me?

Met many Iranians called "Stinky" lately? Many Pakistanis perhaps?
Surely this is an American nickname?

>>It did not get implemented as they BOTH wanted. So one of the main
>>characters - supposedly a Latin American - gets *all* his political
>>attitudes from a dead Anglo. Not a word about Bolivar or Peron or
>>anyone else from outside the US. Notice that the Professor did not
>>even update the language of the Declaration of Independence. Well,
>>at least the horrid "inalienable" bit anyway.

>No, Prof did not get his political attitude from a 'dead Anglo'. He had a
>political alignment (Rational Anarchy).

Who does he say the first Rational Anarchist was?

>He wanted to implement this
>alignment into the government he was setting up.

True.

>He (being educated) had
>read "Jefferson's" D of I.

Bzzzt. I like to consider myself educated. Like to ask
me if I've read the DofI? I might have read Locke from
whom it was cribbed but then I am probably overeducated.

>He attempted to push through his own interpretation of this document
>because it said what he wanted to say, and he hoped no one would realize
>what it really _did_ say until it was too late.

Exactly what he said happened to TJ.

>>Jefferson was born in Virginia, he went to University in Virginia,
>>he passed through England all of once that I can think of (on his
>>way to France) so exactly how can you say he was British? Jefferson
>>represents a rather large subset of America opinion then and now. He
>>represents essentially a null set of nonAmericans.

>Because he was born in a British colony.

It's nice to know I'm British.

>>You mean he insisted that the Government get out of the way of
>>private industry in developing the catapult? An entirely common
>>libertarian attitude. His faith is in technology developing not
>>in government. They did not have the catapult because of the Lunar
>>Authority not because the governments of the Earth had to be convinced.

>Wrong again. He had no concern whatsoever about private industry.

Except of course they were the ones who built the catapult.

>Correct me if I'm wrong here (and I'm not expecting a correction :-) but
>Luna was free in the end and Lunar Authority was never defeated. They won
>because China (not the US, btw) decided it would be in their interest to
>support Luna. They were quickly followed by a flurry of other gov'ts.

Luna was free because the Authority was defeated. China did recognise
their Independence hence dealing a blow to the FN's plans. Veto powers
and all that.

>>It was only not the plan because the Prof saw Lunar manufacturing.
>>They would not be farmers for ever he said.

>I forget what the point was here, but, FYI, Prof say Luna as a free port
>(something else quite unAmerican).

Is it? Surely straight out of Libertarian economic thinking. And
what was that bit about entangling alliances? Surely he's quoting
Washington now?

>>"City Hall"??? An Americanism confined to the US. It is not current
>>here or in England. And the experience of all the Latin Americans I
>>know is that government has to work for them. They want a MORE active
>>government not a less. Land Reform for instance. Again zero real
>>Hispanic content.

>1) Hispanic people (or any people for that matter) do not come from a
>xerox copy machine.

This is true. However they do have a common history more or less
which forms common(ish) attitudes to various issues. At least that
history provides a unique framework within which political debate
is largely confined. Quoting Jfferson Davis will not work in Africa
nor in most of the US but in certain parts of the US quoting Davis
might win you an argument "Jefferson Davis said...". Try quoting
what the Third Iman said about alcohol in the US and in Iran. Then
you will see the impact of history on politics.

>Just because a man is raised in a country and is
>politically active doesn't mean he agrees with anybody else on the issues.

This is also true. But on what basis besides RAH word do you assume
the Professor *was* raised in this particular country?

>2) 'Fighting against city hall', is an American expression. But what
>other succinct way is there of saying the same thing in an acceptable way?

In this country you have to think of an alternative as it would
take people a minute to think of what you mean. Of course on the
Moon, when Latinos speak to Lunatics.....

>>Attitudes are formed by history. I would have thought that any Latin
>>American would have had his political attitudes coloured by Civil war,
>>Coups, Military dictatorship, human rights violations, the total power
>>of the Catholic Church in the past, government corruption and the big
>>neighbour to the North. Nowhere does any of this make the slightest
>>hint of an appearance in tMiaHM. If the Professor was making plans for
>>restraining the military that might be something but he wasn't.

>None of that stuff appears because the novel is about the Moon, not about
>Central or South America. Furthermore, Prof. _is_ making plans to
>'restrain the military'. He doesn't even create one!

Ahh but stuff about Virginian politics in the late eighteenth
century does. How is that more relevant? He does sort of create
a military. He puts MO'KD in charge for a while. All these issues
are universal questions of political relevance. Only in the US and
a few other lucky countries are these irrelevant. Do you really
think a Latino would not even think about a Coup? Or corruption?
Or suspension of the Constitution? Military dictatorship? Not a
mention once? At all?

>>>>Again not the attitude likely to be found anywhere else.

>>>Point being?

>>He's an American who RAH decided to make a Hispanic for whatever
>>personal reasons RAH had at that time.

>Quite the racist attitude.

Really? How so?

>By that argument, I could claim that _you_ are
>essentially a White American.

No doubt you could. However if we discussed *any* issue
for long you would quickly realise I am not. Try baseball.

Joseph Askew

unread,
Nov 7, 1993, 11:53:15 PM11/7/93
to
In article <1993Nov8.0...@oracle.us.oracle.com> mfri...@us.oracle.com (Michael Friedman) writes:
>In article <2bjv9p$m...@spam.maths.adelaide.edu.au> jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

>>Alright I'll accept that. RAH does list it first but I don't suppose
>>that means much. Anyway back to my original point - Independence Day
>>is fixed to make it the Four of July. Why?

>Read the book. Heinlein says why explicitly - to influence US public
>opinion.

No he does not. He says, later, it did, but not that it was the
reason behind the choice of date. Do you have a reference otherwise?

>>>>Nothing from our history there.

>>>Have you studied your history?

>>Yep. Want to try me? Draw a comparison, I'll tell you where you're wrong.

>Penal colony?

Nothing like the Moon. This I believe was drawn from US history
not ours. We had a very different system.

>>This is just so untrue I hardly know where to start. The US has a unique
>>and distinct culture. Not one I care for much but it does have one. Nor
>>is it a mixture of every other culture.

>I don't think you know the US nearly as well as you think you do.
>Could you please describe this culture for us?

Not very well I couldn't. I shall not try. I would claim that
libertarianism is uniquely American both as a political ideology
and on a lower scale as a attitude to government but that would
be asking for trouble. The US *does* have a culture - that is why
the French want films exempted from GATT and I trust them to know
culture when they see it :-)

>>>2) Read the book again and pay special attention to the references to the
>>>Chinese and Hindus in Hong Kong Luna. They outnumber the so-called "white
>>>americans" by quite a hefty margin.

>>There are references to Chinese in HongKong Luna. They play a minor
>>role I will admit. Still the Revolutuion is lead by people from what
>>I assume to be the American moonbase (that is, HKL is clearly Chinese,
>>Churchill is I assume English, NovyLeningrad is Russian, who owned
>>theirs?)

>Wrong again. Luna City pretty clearly isn't owned by any nation. If
>anyone owns it, it's the FN.

O.K. Poor choice of words. However all the cities were fairly
clearly founded by one nation or the other. Luna City was the
one that the US founded (by inference at least)

>>No major charcters are Chinese. Hindus make a few passing references but
>>no NonEuropeans make an impact that their number might suggest.

>Please make up your mind. First you claim that everyone in charge is
>an American. Then you claim that none of them are non-Europeans.

Welcome to the wonderful world of racial euphemism.

>Also, how do you classify Manny? His skin is clearly pretty dark.

Is it? Says who? His classification is exactly the problem. For
his own reasons RAH decided to give him a mixed racial background.
Why I can't say - perhaps he wanted to make a racial harmony point.
However if you ignore the bits that tell you his background I think
you could not infer it. Indeed the assumptino would be that he was
a White American Middle Class male.

>Professor Bernardo de La Paz is also pretty clearly South American,
>not European.

Is he? How so? His manners are exactly European in an old fashioned
sort of way.

>>Still the
>>bottom line is that they do NOT outnumber the White Americans or at least
>>it is not claimed they do - on Luna. If you have a reference then I will
>>look it up.

>Can you please tell us where you get the idea that white Americans
>outnumber everyone else?

Actually I don't get that idea myself. It was the opposite of the
claim of the previous poster. He claimed they did. From the book
I fail to see how you can get that impression.

>It seems pretty bizarre to assume that the majority
>are from the US without evidence.

Let's list all the people mentioned then shall we?

>Joseph, I don't think you know Latin America as well as you think you
>do, either. Let me point out that, although there are exceptions, the
>US has not invaded or overthrown governments in most of Latin America.

Well lets see Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua (occupied it
for 20 odd years), Panama, Colombia, Haiti, Cuba, Dominican Republic,
I'll ignore Chile because I suppose you only helped them to do it
themselves, Argentinia no, Brazil no, Costa Rica not that I know
of but I would be suprised if you didn't (I'll count that as a no),
Venezuela? I think so but I cannot remember when - no again. El
Salvador yep occupied in the twenties I believe. That's ten by my
count. How many have I missed? Some of these are multiple or long
term occupations too. I call that most. How about you? (I can't
think of Ecuador or Peru or Bolivia or Paraguay or Uraguay at the
moment but I'll find out if anyone is interested)

Sigurd Meldal

unread,
Nov 8, 1993, 4:45:08 AM11/8/93
to
In response to somebody else's comment that:

> >Aha! But Prof didn't experience that gov't overthrowing-land stealing
> >business. He lived in a time when the FN ruled the planet. Hating the US
> >then, would be like me hating Brits because of the Stamp Tax.

in article <2bkh45$b...@spam.maths.adelaide.edu.au>,
jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) wrote



> That depends how many Americans were killed by the Stamp Act (and
> the US has a long long history of involvement in Latin America
> and still retains vast amounts of what used to be Latin American.)
> Do you think the Russians would have forgiven the Germans by then?
> Or the Irish the English?

Isn't history fun: The British have a long history of meddling in US
politics and economy, and
(fear of) their political influence was one of the major factors in
precipitating the US Civil War. They are
owners of vast parts of the US economy, and still (or until very recently)
the foreign nation with
the largest investment in the US.

How many US'ians rant and rave about the British presence (or even give
them a nod)?

Sigurd
(Can you tell the color of my hair from the contents of my writing?)

___________________________________________________________________________
Department of Informatics, University of Bergen, HiB, N-5020 Bergen, Norway
Email: sig...@ii.uib.no Ph.:+47 5 54 41 76 Fax.: +47 5 54 41 99

David Rysdam

unread,
Nov 8, 1993, 2:26:47 PM11/8/93
to
jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

>In article <drysda02.752726922@ursa> drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes:
>>jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

>>>>>Nothing from our history there.

>>>>Have you studied your history?

>>>Yep. Want to try me? Draw a comparison, I'll tell you where you're wrong.

>>Penal colony.

>Ahh but wrong sort and wrong governmental system. It is true that
>convicts in tMiaHM had to work at least for a time but we weren't
>quite such a dumping ground for riff raff. Unlike the US was in
>the old days. There are no control mechanisms so exactly how they
>could make all those convicts work I don't know - I guess many of
>them were just let go once they go there. Not like it used to be
>for us! No convicts were leased out, there were no special sites
>for "discipline" a la Port Arthur, Norfolk Island. I think the
>penal part has more in common with American history as a criminal
>dump site than with ours.

Is Luna A Dumping Ground?: Yes, but the "riff-raff" dies within months if
not days.
Control Mechanism: Work or die of starvation.
Discipline Sites: No farther than the nearest airlock.
The Penal Parts, American History and Australia Connection:
A) The early Americans were not wanted in their own country, true. But
they came to the US of _their_own_free_will_. Early Australians did not.
B) For the convicts involved (if any in the case of the US) it would be
much, much easier to get to England from the US than from Australia. It
would about as difficult to get from Au to En as from Luna to Earth.

>>>There are references to Chinese in HongKong Luna. They play a minor
>>>role I will admit. Still the Revolutuion is lead by people from what
>>>I assume to be the American moonbase (that is, HKL is clearly Chinese,
>>>Churchill is I assume English, NovyLeningrad is Russian, who owned theirs?)
>>>No major charcters are Chinese. Hindus make a few passing references but
>>>no NonEuropeans make an impact that their number might suggest. Still the
>>>bottom line is that they do NOT outnumber the White Americans or at least
>>>it is not claimed they do - on Luna. If you have a reference then I will
>>>look it up.

>>Manuel O'Kelly Davis. He is non-white and not even from Earth.

>Yep I deserved that. Silly me. Still he is only part nonWhite
>and we don't even know which part. Besides he likes baseball.
>Must be an American.

I hope you are joking. The Japanese love baseball just as much (if not
more) than Americans. Besides, I am an American: Do I love baseball?
No.
Also, what does part nonWhite mean? The question is not "to what extent
are the character white" the question is "are their any nonwhite
characters" By your own admition Mannie is.

>>There is
>>little about him that is American (solely).

>No? In his attitude to almost everything? Are you quite
>sure about this one? He is not exactly Japanese is he?
>Nor even English, he ain't a Bengali either. Exactly
>what do you think he was?

Loonie.

>>True there are no Chinese
>>'major characters' but is at least one Chinese highly influential
>>character. The guy who hocked all he had in order to partially finance
>>the revolution.

>Some guy in the background we never meet. It would have been more
>interesting to have the Chinese support the existing order as they
>almost certainly would. They have long memories of civil wars and
>rebellions, some even support governments that openly discriminate
>against them (cf Malaysia, Indonesia)

Of course, I forgot. Culture = Race. If a man's eyes have epicanthic
folds he must have a long memory of civil wars and rebellions.

>>Aha! But Prof didn't experience that gov't overthrowing-land stealing
>>business. He lived in a time when the FN ruled the planet. Hating the US
>>then, would be like me hating Brits because of the Stamp Tax.

>That depends how many Americans were killed by the Stamp Act (and
>the US has a long long history of involvement in Latin America
>and still retains vast amounts of what used to be Latin American.)
>Do you think the Russians would have forgiven the Germans by then?
>Or the Irish the English?

Hate = Number of People Killed / Length of Time Since?

David Rysdam

unread,
Nov 8, 1993, 2:41:19 PM11/8/93
to
jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

>In article <drysda02.752727988@ursa> drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes:
>>jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:
>>>In article <drysda02.752288983@ursa> drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes:

>>He is not fundamentalist but sure is serious about it. What should
>>'Stinky' tell me?

>Met many Iranians called "Stinky" lately? Many Pakistanis perhaps?
>Surely this is an American nickname?

Yes, it is. But I could call you "Stinky" and you would still not be
American, so what is your point?

>>No, Prof did not get his political attitude from a 'dead Anglo'. He had a
>>political alignment (Rational Anarchy).

>Who does he say the first Rational Anarchist was?

Who was the first Christian? Am I a Hebrew?

>>He wanted to implement this
>>alignment into the government he was setting up.

>True.

>>He (being educated) had
>>read "Jefferson's" D of I.

>Bzzzt. I like to consider myself educated. Like to ask
>me if I've read the DofI? I might have read Locke from
>whom it was cribbed but then I am probably overeducated.

Then stop considering yourself fully educated on this subject. How can
you discuss Jefferson without having read him?

>>He attempted to push through his own interpretation of this document
>>because it said what he wanted to say, and he hoped no one would realize
>>what it really _did_ say until it was too late.

>Exactly what he said happened to TJ.

So?

>>>Jefferson was born in Virginia, he went to University in Virginia,
>>>he passed through England all of once that I can think of (on his
>>>way to France) so exactly how can you say he was British? Jefferson
>>>represents a rather large subset of America opinion then and now. He
>>>represents essentially a null set of nonAmericans.

>>Because he was born in a British colony.

>It's nice to know I'm British.

You erased the rest of that paragraph for the convenience of your
argument. That is not polite or intelligent. Please stop it. Also,
respond to what you erased or give up your argument as a lost cause.
Note: This is not the first time you have done this. I have mentioned
Friday repeatedly but have never heard from you on this subject.

>>>You mean he insisted that the Government get out of the way of
>>>private industry in developing the catapult? An entirely common
>>>libertarian attitude. His faith is in technology developing not
>>>in government. They did not have the catapult because of the Lunar
>>>Authority not because the governments of the Earth had to be convinced.

>>Wrong again. He had no concern whatsoever about private industry.

>Except of course they were the ones who built the catapult.

Which was intended only to throw rocks. No trade going on there.

>>Correct me if I'm wrong here (and I'm not expecting a correction :-) but
>>Luna was free in the end and Lunar Authority was never defeated. They won
>>because China (not the US, btw) decided it would be in their interest to
>>support Luna. They were quickly followed by a flurry of other gov'ts.

>Luna was free because the Authority was defeated. China did recognise
>their Independence hence dealing a blow to the FN's plans. Veto powers
>and all that.

The FN never got a chance to decide the matter. Read the book more
closely and you will learn that the first group that Mannie and Prof
talked to were the "tame dogs" of Authority, not of the FN. The FN had to
be convinced that it was in their best interest to step in on what they
originally saw as in-fighting in Authority. (note that Authority was a
business that the gov't was interfering with--again not Libertarian.)

>>>It was only not the plan because the Prof saw Lunar manufacturing.
>>>They would not be farmers for ever he said.

>>I forget what the point was here, but, FYI, Prof say Luna as a free port
>>(something else quite unAmerican).

>Is it? Surely straight out of Libertarian economic thinking. And
>what was that bit about entangling alliances? Surely he's quoting
>Washington now?

Libertarian = American?

>>>"City Hall"??? An Americanism confined to the US. It is not current
>>>here or in England. And the experience of all the Latin Americans I
>>>know is that government has to work for them. They want a MORE active
>>>government not a less. Land Reform for instance. Again zero real
>>>Hispanic content.

>>1) Hispanic people (or any people for that matter) do not come from a
>>xerox copy machine.

>This is true. However they do have a common history more or less
>which forms common(ish) attitudes to various issues. At least that
>history provides a unique framework within which political debate
>is largely confined. Quoting Jfferson Davis will not work in Africa
>nor in most of the US but in certain parts of the US quoting Davis
>might win you an argument "Jefferson Davis said...". Try quoting
>what the Third Iman said about alcohol in the US and in Iran. Then
>you will see the impact of history on politics.

You aren't talking about impact, though. You are talking about some kind
of indoctrination.

>>Just because a man is raised in a country and is
>>politically active doesn't mean he agrees with anybody else on the issues.

>This is also true. But on what basis besides RAH word do you assume
>the Professor *was* raised in this particular country?

You do realize that any "basis" I come up with will still be RAH's word,
don't you?

>>2) 'Fighting against city hall', is an American expression. But what
>>other succinct way is there of saying the same thing in an acceptable way?

>In this country you have to think of an alternative as it would
>take people a minute to think of what you mean. Of course on the
>Moon, when Latinos speak to Lunatics.....

And when that dialogue is written in English by an American, for the
consumption of Americans.....

>>>Attitudes are formed by history. I would have thought that any Latin
>>>American would have had his political attitudes coloured by Civil war,
>>>Coups, Military dictatorship, human rights violations, the total power
>>>of the Catholic Church in the past, government corruption and the big
>>>neighbour to the North. Nowhere does any of this make the slightest
>>>hint of an appearance in tMiaHM. If the Professor was making plans for
>>>restraining the military that might be something but he wasn't.

>>None of that stuff appears because the novel is about the Moon, not about
>>Central or South America. Furthermore, Prof. _is_ making plans to
>>'restrain the military'. He doesn't even create one!

>Ahh but stuff about Virginian politics in the late eighteenth
>century does.

So? Is Prof. so closeminded that he sees no good in the works of the past
in another context?

>How is that more relevant? He does sort of create
>a military. He puts MO'KD in charge for a while. All these issues
>are universal questions of political relevance. Only in the US and
>a few other lucky countries are these irrelevant. Do you really
>think a Latino would not even think about a Coup? Or corruption?
>Or suspension of the Constitution? Military dictatorship? Not a
>mention once? At all?

Fighting in a war and having a military are two vastly different things.
There is no Lunar military. Therefore, no coup, no dictatorship.
Corruption yes, but how do you guard against it? Suspension of the
Constitution? There is no logical way that some thing _in_ the
constitution will keep any one from suspending it.

>>>>>Again not the attitude likely to be found anywhere else.

>>>>Point being?

>>>He's an American who RAH decided to make a Hispanic for whatever
>>>personal reasons RAH had at that time.

>>Quite the racist attitude.

>Really? How so?

'Make Hispanic?'

>>By that argument, I could claim that _you_ are
>>essentially a White American.

>No doubt you could. However if we discussed *any* issue
>for long you would quickly realise I am not. Try baseball.

Try the same with me. I dislike baseball and don't even know the first
thing about how it is organized. Besides we _have_ been discussing this
issue for long and you do sound (except for occational references to your
home country) like an American. No odd word choices. Few odd spellings.
No attitudes that I have not seen here. Etc.

David Rysdam

unread,
Nov 8, 1993, 3:02:31 PM11/8/93
to
jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:


>>I don't think you know the US nearly as well as you think you do.
>>Could you please describe this culture for us?

>Not very well I couldn't. I shall not try. I would claim that
>libertarianism is uniquely American both as a political ideology
>and on a lower scale as a attitude to government but that would
>be asking for trouble. The US *does* have a culture - that is why
>the French want films exempted from GATT and I trust them to know
>culture when they see it :-)

Joe's Contradiction #37

Statement 1) I do not and will not describe American culture.
Statement 2) American culture is....
Statement 3(from other sources) Everyone in RAH's books is from this
culture of which I know nothing.

I don't think that is going to fly.

Bob Goudreau

unread,
Nov 8, 1993, 3:16:08 PM11/8/93
to
In article <2bjv9p$m...@spam.maths.adelaide.edu.au> jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:
>In article <drysda02.752453599@ursa> drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes:
>
>>1) The US is a dominant nation (in the book) only in the sense that it is
>>one of the 'big' countries. China, The USSR (or it's equivalent) and a
>>lot of other people are also 'dominant'.
>
>Alright I'll accept that. RAH does list it first but I don't suppose
>that means much. Anyway back to my original point - Independence Day
>is fixed to make it the Four of July. Why?

The answer is above: the US is one of the big influential countries,
(and apparently the one whose government is most sensitive to public
opinion), so the Prof wants to influence US public opinion in order to
gain recognition for the Luna republic. Why would this be unusual or
surprising? This sort of publicity stunt occurs in modern geopolitics
too; witness the intentional parallels between the "Goddess of
Democracy" statue and the Statue of Liberty by the Tianenmen students
several years ago, or the publicity campaign waged by Slovenia and
Croatia towards the German public, which eventually achieved its goal
of getting Germany to pressure the rest of the EC into recognizing the
independence of those two countries.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Bob Goudreau Data General Corporation
goud...@dg-rtp.dg.com 62 Alexander Drive
+1 919 248 6231 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA

Charles Fisher

unread,
Nov 8, 1993, 3:50:34 PM11/8/93
to
drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes:

>jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

>>In article <drysda02.752726922@ursa> drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes:
>>>jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

>>>>>>Nothing from our history there.

>>>>>Have you studied your history?

>>>>Yep. Want to try me? Draw a comparison, I'll tell you where you're wrong.

>>>Penal colony.

>>Ahh but wrong sort and wrong governmental system. It is true that
>>convicts in tMiaHM had to work at least for a time but we weren't
>>quite such a dumping ground for riff raff. Unlike the US was in
>>the old days. There are no control mechanisms so exactly how they
>>could make all those convicts work I don't know - I guess many of
>>them were just let go once they go there. Not like it used to be

No. Specific mention in the book that prisoners were kept seperate, and
not released until their sentences were up. While the de-facto sentence
was transportation to Luna, criminals were given specific terms to serve;
the "only" thing that kept them in Luna afterwards was that they couldn't
return to Earth without suffering a quick and unpleasant death.

>>for us! No convicts were leased out, there were no special sites
>>for "discipline" a la Port Arthur, Norfolk Island. I think the
>>penal part has more in common with American history as a criminal
>>dump site than with ours.

>Is Luna A Dumping Ground?: Yes, but the "riff-raff" dies within months if
>not days.
>Control Mechanism: Work or die of starvation.
>Discipline Sites: No farther than the nearest airlock.
>The Penal Parts, American History and Australia Connection:
>A) The early Americans were not wanted in their own country, true. But
>they came to the US of _their_own_free_will_. Early Australians did not.

Some of the colonies were used as penal colonies. Most notably Georgia, which
was established as one.

>B) For the convicts involved (if any in the case of the US) it would be
>much, much easier to get to England from the US than from Australia. It
>would about as difficult to get from Au to En as from Luna to Earth.

... rest of post deleted...
--
Chuck Fisher ch...@aix3090b.uky.edu
This space reserved for future pithy comment

Don Harlow

unread,
Nov 8, 1993, 4:25:25 PM11/8/93
to
drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes in a recent posting (reference <drysda02.752786807@ursa>):
>
>[On the moon as a penal colony in tMiaHM]

>The Penal Parts, American History and Australia Connection:
>A) The early Americans were not wanted in their own country, true. But
>they came to the US of _their_own_free_will_. Early Australians did not.
>

Parts of the Colonies were, in fact, penal colonies -- e.g. Georgia. One
of the reasons for the opening of Australia at the end of the 1780's was
the fact that the 13 Colonies in North America were no longer available
as a dumping ground for convicts.
--

Don Harlow do...@netcom.com
Esperanto League (Info only) (800)828-5944 or el...@netcom.com
Turnig^as la Rado de la Tempo,
kaj postlasas multajn vojkadavretojn. (Lau^ Robert Jordan)

Joseph Askew

unread,
Nov 8, 1993, 5:34:46 PM11/8/93
to
In article <sigurd-08...@apeskrekk.ii.uib.no> sig...@ii.uib.no (Sigurd Meldal) writes:

>Isn't history fun: The British have a long history of meddling in US
>politics and economy, and
>(fear of) their political influence was one of the major factors in
>precipitating the US Civil War. They are
>owners of vast parts of the US economy, and still (or until very recently)
>the foreign nation with
>the largest investment in the US.

Now you are just being silly. Stop it. Or else you may have
to provide a scrap of evidence of some of these claims.

>How many US'ians rant and rave about the British presence (or even give
>them a nod)?

Quite a few rant about Northern Ireland.

>Sigurd
>(Can you tell the color of my hair from the contents of my writing?)

No but I can make a good guess as to your politics and favourite
author. :-)

Michael Friedman

unread,
Nov 8, 1993, 4:58:45 PM11/8/93
to
In article <2bk08c$n...@spam.maths.adelaide.edu.au> jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:
>In article <drysda02.752288983@ursa> drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes:

>>>Nearly all of RAH's books require the main character to be
>>>a white American. They can only make sense if that is assumed
>>>at any rate. Can anyone imagine a RAH book with the hero as an
>>>Islamic Fundamentalist for instance?

>>As a matter of fact, Brother 'Stinky' Mahmoud from SiaSL is Islamic. You
>>may argue that he is not a 'hero' but he is one of the 'first-called.'

>You might notice that (a) I have mentioned SiaSL before as an exception
>(b) he is not a fundamentalist (though I can't bring myself to reread it
>so I might be remembering incorrectly)

I'm not sure if he is a fundamentalist, but he is pretty serious about
his religion.

>and the fact that he is called
>"Stinky" ought to tell you something.

What? Are you suggesting that "Stinky" is derogatory?

>>>This is slightly off centre. The "secret internal directorate"
>>>reflects his silly adolescent attitudes to revolution and does
>>>not apply to the government system. Yes he says that the masses
>>>have to be manipulated by leaders, hardly an attitude alien to
>>>Washinton or Jefferson. I can easily see them sharing exactly
>>>the same opinion. That was, after all, why they made America a
>>>Republic.

>>Well, of course. Prof. says that he modeled the 'constitution' on the one
>>written by Jefferson. However, he also says that that constitution (J's)
>>didn't get implemented as he wanted.

>It did not get implemented as they BOTH wanted. So one of the main
>characters - supposedly a Latin American - gets *all* his political
>attitudes from a dead Anglo.

I think this is an appalling misreading of the book. Prof gets his
political attitudes from himself. He recognizes that Jefferson had
some similar attitudes and that the Constitution that Jefferson wrote
could be used to produce a nation that Prof would like.

>Not a word about Bolivar or Peron or anyone else from outside the US.

Why should there be? Bolivar was a revolutionary and a Latin American
nationalist. The revolutionary bit was done better by Lenin, Mao,
Giap, and Che Guevera. The Latin American nationalist part is
irrelevant to Luna. Similar arguments apply to Peron. Peron ruled
with a cult of personality. Peronism without Peron, or at least his
memory, is kind of pointless.

>Notice that the Professor did not
>even update the language of the Declaration of Independence. Well,
>at least the horrid "inalienable" bit anyway.

Of course not. He was laying on the symbolism as thick as he could.

>>BTW, how can you equate the opinions of Jefferson with the opinions of
>>Americans in general? Jefferson was British. America didn't even exist
>>at that time.

>Jefferson was born in Virginia, he went to University in Virginia,
>he passed through England all of once that I can think of (on his
>way to France) so exactly how can you say he was British? Jefferson
>represents a rather large subset of America opinion then and now. He
>represents essentially a null set of nonAmericans.

Excuse me, but Jefferson represented a small minority of Americans
then and virtually none now. What of Jefferson's positions do you
think are held by a large subset of Americans?

>>>Actually no. He does not say that *government* should step in and
>>>save the Moon - he puts his faith in technology developing an answer
>>>in time. There is no mentionm or even hint of government subisdy for
>>>importing sewage to the moon only that if given the task engineers
>>>can do anything. A Free Market solution.

>>Not even close. The technology already existed for them to transport
>>cheaply to Luna. The gov'ts of the world had to be convinced that that
>>was the only way it was going to work.

>You mean he insisted that the Government get out of the way of
>private industry in developing the catapult? An entirely common
>libertarian attitude.

Yup. Except he pitched the catapult to countries and it was pretty
clear that it was the countries he needed to convince.

>His faith is in technology developing not
>in government. They did not have the catapult because of the Lunar
>Authority not because the governments of the Earth had to be convinced.

Wrong. They did not have the catapult because it was not needed by
anyone who was willing to pay for it. In fact, the absence of the
catapult was a classic free market failure.

Daniel Blum

unread,
Nov 8, 1993, 7:02:52 PM11/8/93
to

> Well lets see Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua (occupied it
> for 20 odd years), Panama, Colombia, Haiti, Cuba, Dominican Republic,
> I'll ignore Chile because I suppose you only helped them to do it
> themselves, Argentinia no, Brazil no, Costa Rica not that I know
> of but I would be suprised if you didn't (I'll count that as a no),
> Venezuela? I think so but I cannot remember when - no again. El
> Salvador yep occupied in the twenties I believe. That's ten by my
> count. How many have I missed? Some of these are multiple or long
> term occupations too. I call that most. How about you? (I can't
> think of Ecuador or Peru or Bolivia or Paraguay or Uraguay at the
> moment but I'll find out if anyone is interested)

> Joseph Askew


Well, the Prof is from Peru, as I recall (wasn't he arrested in Lima?), so why
should we expect anti-American opinions from him? They ARE different
countries down there, you know, with different political atmospheres.
Maybe Peru has a Shining Path-descended government in this future and the
dissidents get their inspiration from capitalist philosophy... although I'll
grant that we're not shown anything like that (did Sendero exist when this
book was written?).

Re earlier remarks which I can't find now... no, I wouldn't expect the Irish
to forgive the English anytime soon, because of an ongoing Situation there.
If we assume that in the future of TMiaHM the US has kept its nose clean
with regard to Latin America for at least a few decades (not an impossibility),
then I don't have any problem assuming that ani-Americanism would die down
as a major force there. If the French and English can keep their mutual
enmity down to a dull roar, anyone can...
--
_______________________________________________________________________
Dan Blum to...@genesis.mcs.com
"I wouldn't have believed it myself if I hadn't just made it up."
_______________________________________________________________________

Joseph Askew

unread,
Nov 8, 1993, 7:09:08 PM11/8/93
to
In article <drysda02.752786807@ursa> drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes:
>jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

>>>>>>Nothing from our history there.

>>>Penal colony.

>>Ahh but wrong sort and wrong governmental system.

>Is Luna A Dumping Ground?: Yes, but the "riff-raff" dies within months if
>not days.

In our history convicts worked in chain gnags or were leased out
to free or freed settlers. Only in America were they essentially
let go as, it would appear, they mostly were in tMiaHM. Also of
course we had a large military presence.

>Control Mechanism: Work or die of starvation.

But no chain gang. No Port Arthur.

>Discipline Sites: No farther than the nearest airlock.

Official murders? Where were they mentioned?

>The Penal Parts, American History and Australia Connection:
>A) The early Americans were not wanted in their own country, true. But
>they came to the US of _their_own_free_will_. Early Australians did not.

*Some* Americans came of their own free will (and if this was a.p.l I
would argue how free those decisions were) but many were convicts sent
to America and told to go away.

>>Yep I deserved that. Silly me. Still he is only part nonWhite
>>and we don't even know which part. Besides he likes baseball.
>>Must be an American.

>I hope you are joking.

Yes.

>Also, what does part nonWhite mean? The question is not "to what extent
>are the character white" the question is "are their any nonwhite
>characters" By your own admition Mannie is.

Not exactly. RAH decided to call him non-White for some reason
I do not know. Whether or not it is justifiable to call him so
is another question.

>>No? In his attitude to almost everything? Are you quite
>>sure about this one? He is not exactly Japanese is he?
>>Nor even English, he ain't a Bengali either. Exactly
>>what do you think he was?

>Loonie.

Oh neat comeback.

>>Some guy in the background we never meet. It would have been more
>>interesting to have the Chinese support the existing order as they
>>almost certainly would. They have long memories of civil wars and
>>rebellions, some even support governments that openly discriminate
>>against them (cf Malaysia, Indonesia)

>Of course, I forgot. Culture = Race. If a man's eyes have epicanthic
>folds he must have a long memory of civil wars and rebellions.

Now you are being silly. People are Chinese by culture not by race.

>>That depends how many Americans were killed by the Stamp Act (and
>>the US has a long long history of involvement in Latin America
>>and still retains vast amounts of what used to be Latin American.)
>>Do you think the Russians would have forgiven the Germans by then?
>>Or the Irish the English?

>Hate = Number of People Killed / Length of Time Since?

As a good first approximation yes. History seems to bear me out.

Joseph Askew

unread,
Nov 8, 1993, 7:27:33 PM11/8/93
to
In article <drysda02.752787679@ursa> drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes:
>jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

>>>He is not fundamentalist but sure is serious about it. What should
>>>'Stinky' tell me?

>>Met many Iranians called "Stinky" lately? Many Pakistanis perhaps?
>>Surely this is an American nickname?

>Yes, it is. But I could call you "Stinky" and you would still not be
>American, so what is your point?

No I would not be. My friends, however, would not call me Stinky
for precisely that reason. It is an Americanism. It is not something
that you would find many nonAmericans calling themselves.

>>>No, Prof did not get his political attitude from a 'dead Anglo'. He had a
>>>political alignment (Rational Anarchy).

>>Who does he say the first Rational Anarchist was?

>Who was the first Christian? Am I a Hebrew?

Are you a Christian? did you then get your attitude from a Dead Jew?

>>>He (being educated) had
>>>read "Jefferson's" D of I.

>>Bzzzt. I like to consider myself educated. Like to ask
>>me if I've read the DofI? I might have read Locke from
>>whom it was cribbed but then I am probably overeducated.

>Then stop considering yourself fully educated on this subject. How can
>you discuss Jefferson without having read him?

Because I have read other things he has written and best of all I
have read those philosophers he plagarised from.

>>>Because he was born in a British colony.

>>It's nice to know I'm British.

>You erased the rest of that paragraph for the convenience of your
>argument. That is not polite or intelligent.

Perhaps not. It still does not change the fact that he was not
British but a Virginian. He did not consider himself British
(Or do you have a quotation where he does?) nor did the British
(and I have a couple from Samuel Johnson)

>>>Wrong again. He had no concern whatsoever about private industry.

>>Except of course they were the ones who built the catapult.

>Which was intended only to throw rocks. No trade going on there.

The ones of the Earth.

>>Luna was free because the Authority was defeated. China did recognise
>>their Independence hence dealing a blow to the FN's plans. Veto powers
>>and all that.

>The FN never got a chance to decide the matter.

And so? This means they weren't defeated?

>Read the book more
>closely and you will learn that the first group that Mannie and Prof
>talked to were the "tame dogs" of Authority, not of the FN. The FN had to
>be convinced that it was in their best interest to step in on what they
>originally saw as in-fighting in Authority. (note that Authority was a
>business that the gov't was interfering with--again not Libertarian.)

The Authority was not a business but an arm of the FN. The Authority
was a government organisation chartered by the FN and under its control.

>>>I forget what the point was here, but, FYI, Prof say Luna as a free port
>>>(something else quite unAmerican).

>>Is it? Surely straight out of Libertarian economic thinking. And
>>what was that bit about entangling alliances? Surely he's quoting
>>Washington now?

>Libertarian = American?

I have been over this before.

>>This is true. However they do have a common history more or less
>>which forms common(ish) attitudes to various issues. At least that
>>history provides a unique framework within which political debate
>>is largely confined. Quoting Jfferson Davis will not work in Africa
>>nor in most of the US but in certain parts of the US quoting Davis
>>might win you an argument "Jefferson Davis said...". Try quoting
>>what the Third Iman said about alcohol in the US and in Iran. Then
>>you will see the impact of history on politics.

>You aren't talking about impact, though. You are talking about some kind
>of indoctrination.

That's what growing up is all about. You are taught things. Attitudes
too. Quoting Jefferson Davis is a good example. Only a Southerner of
a particular sort would sensibly do so.

>>This is also true. But on what basis besides RAH word do you assume
>>the Professor *was* raised in this particular country?

>You do realize that any "basis" I come up with will still be RAH's word,
>don't you?

No. Wyoh was a female character. We agree on that I assume. If you
remove all the explicit references to her gender you can still tell
that she is a woman. It is a integral part of the story, though maybe
not a major part. If you removed all the "Sen~or"s and "Amigo"s and
changed the name slightly any reasonable person, if asked to guess,
would assume the Professor was a MidWestern Maths teacher as I bet
the person the character is based on was.

>And when that dialogue is written in English by an American, for the
>consumption of Americans.....

Hack author.

>>Ahh but stuff about Virginian politics in the late eighteenth
>>century does.

>So? Is Prof. so closeminded that he sees no good in the works of the past
>in another context?

Don't you think it a little odd that a supposedly Latino thinks that
the works and writings of a dead Virginian are more important than
his own history? So much so that his own history is totally excluded?

>Fighting in a war and having a military are two vastly different things.

They had a military of sorts. Whether the Prof intended it to be
permanent I can't say. He died before he could do anything. Odd
that he does not once mention even the possibility.

>There is no Lunar military. Therefore, no coup, no dictatorship.

Yes there was.

>Corruption yes, but how do you guard against it?

I do not know I am not a Latino.

>Suspension of the
>Constitution? There is no logical way that some thing _in_ the
>constitution will keep any one from suspending it.

Ahh but the fact that the Constitution could at any time be
suspended and likely to be so colours anyones attitudes to
the things. Why would the Prof even bother to include any
provisions in a Constitution which he had good reason to
suppose would not last out the decade? Why would the Prof be
discussing Constitutions at all?

>>>>He's an American who RAH decided to make a Hispanic for whatever
>>>>personal reasons RAH had at that time.

>>>Quite the racist attitude.

>>Really? How so?

>'Make Hispanic?'

O.K. You want to be picky (over what I have no idea) He *called*
him an Hispanic. More like a Black and White Minstrel.

>Try the same with me. I dislike baseball and don't even know the first
>thing about how it is organized. Besides we _have_ been discussing this
>issue for long and you do sound (except for occational references to your
>home country) like an American. No odd word choices. Few odd spellings.
>No attitudes that I have not seen here. Etc.

This is partly because we have been discussing a very restricted
subject - one author and essentially one book - and partly because
we are not talking face to face but mostly because we are both more
or less the same anyway. We are both male Anglos with a very long
common heritage. Despite that even you have noticed a few odd word
choices, odd spellings and references to my home country (none there
for the Professor unless he is Argentinian. Some bomb throwing I
guess but which country did he come from?) We are talking about a
very different person. No common language, no common religion (unless
you are a Catholic I suppose and even then the traditions are different),
no common history since the end of the Roman Empire. Yet he sounds just
like an elderly old fashioned American.

Joseph Askew

unread,
Nov 8, 1993, 7:34:03 PM11/8/93
to
In article <1993Nov8.2...@dg-rtp.dg.com> goud...@batman.rtp.dg.com (Bob Goudreau) writes:
>In article <2bjv9p$m...@spam.maths.adelaide.edu.au> jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

>>Anyway back to my original point - Independence Day
>>is fixed to make it the Four of July. Why?

>The answer is above: the US is one of the big influential countries,
>(and apparently the one whose government is most sensitive to public
>opinion), so the Prof wants to influence US public opinion in order to
>gain recognition for the Luna republic. Why would this be unusual or
>surprising?

RAH does not say so that I know of. Care to cite a page? He does say
afterward that it was a propaganda bonus but that is different. Why
is it unusual? It involves direct falsification of a nations history.
Not the sort of thing people take lying down.

>This sort of publicity stunt occurs in modern geopolitics
>too; witness the intentional parallels between the "Goddess of
>Democracy" statue and the Statue of Liberty by the Tianenmen students
>several years ago,

If I might be permitted a minor spelling point it's Tian1 (Heaven)
An1 (Peace) Men2 (Gate). That is different for various reasons, the
best being that was pure propaganda and the US is the *only* power
left. In RAH book this is not the case. There is a big difference
between faking dates and passing off a piece of foam as a statue.

James Nicoll + Jasmine

unread,
Nov 9, 1993, 10:33:26 AM11/9/93
to
In article <2bjv9p$m...@spam.maths.adelaide.edu.au> jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:
>
>>1) The US is a dominant nation (in the book) only in the sense that it is
>>one of the 'big' countries. China, The USSR (or it's equivalent) and a
>>lot of other people are also 'dominant'.
>
>Alright I'll accept that. RAH does list it first but I don't suppose
>that means much. Anyway back to my original point - Independence Day
>is fixed to make it the Four of July. Why?

If memory serves, they also managed in some way to make May 5th a
significant date while they were visiting nations where that's a date
with heavy associations. I think they idea was to create a connection
in the minds of the Terran nationals between Luna's independence and
that of whichever nation they found themselves in.

Rene Levesque, who was leader of the pro-separation Parti
Quebecois in Canada, used to try to compare Quebec leaving Canada
to the 13 Colonies revolting when drumming up support in the USA
[The USAmericans tended to think instead of the CSA splitting away
in the 1960s]. Despite using that tactic, I think one can say a
Rene Levesque was not a USAmerican.

James Nicoll
--
If mail bounces, try jdni...@engrg.uwo.ca
"What the hell do you mean by trying to kill yourself in the middle of a
performance? Before a performance, perhaps: after a performance, possibly. But
what [...] possessed you to do it while you still have an entrance to make?

Jay Gooby

unread,
Nov 9, 1993, 11:22:59 AM11/9/93
to

I'd like some help and recomendations please!

If anyone has read any novels/short stories which feature forests and
have a pagan element or atmosphere in them, then I'd love to hear
about them!

Books I've read so far are;

The Devil in a Forest
Mythago Wood
Lavondys
The Bone Forest

and two more I can't remember the name of right now! (useful huh?)

I *think* they were by Charles DeLint.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated!
--
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Disclaimer: You know it.
"Hey! Wait a minute, aren't you..." |
| Email: j...@dsbc.icl.co.uk

Pam Korda

unread,
Nov 9, 1993, 12:08:18 PM11/9/93
to
my spooler won't post the FAQ in its current size, so i have to chop
it up into bits. once i get that done, you can all get your Nov. FAQ.
ok? just calm down and go do something constructive.

now i know how all those bookstore people felt when we were all
bugging them about tFoH.

--pam, exasperated FAQueen.

==============================================================================
Pam Korda |"Nobody ever accused the Invid of
ko...@midway.uchicago.edu | being logical, only thorough."
ko...@tmn.com | --Robotech
==============================================================================
The University of Chicago regards me as a Tuition-Paying Unit, and would
be shocked to discover that I had any opinions whatsoever.

James Nicoll + Jasmine

unread,
Nov 9, 1993, 12:18:00 PM11/9/93
to
In article <1993Nov9.1...@julian.uwo.ca> jdni...@engrg.uwo.ca (James Nicoll + Jasmine) writes:
>
> Rene Levesque, who was leader of the pro-separation Parti
>Quebecois in Canada, used to try to compare Quebec leaving Canada
>to the 13 Colonies revolting when drumming up support in the USA
>[The USAmericans tended to think instead of the CSA splitting away
>in the 1960s]. Despite using that tactic, I think one can say a
^^^^^^ That should be *1860s*, of course.

David Rysdam

unread,
Nov 9, 1993, 12:25:45 PM11/9/93
to
do...@netcom.com (Don Harlow) writes:

>drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes in a recent posting (reference <drysda02.752786807@ursa>):
>>
>>[On the moon as a penal colony in tMiaHM]

>>The Penal Parts, American History and Australia Connection:
>>A) The early Americans were not wanted in their own country, true. But
>>they came to the US of _their_own_free_will_. Early Australians did not.
>>
>Parts of the Colonies were, in fact, penal colonies -- e.g. Georgia. One
>of the reasons for the opening of Australia at the end of the 1780's was
>the fact that the 13 Colonies in North America were no longer available
>as a dumping ground for convicts.
>--

Oh yeah. I forgot about that. But the point that there is a parallel
between Luna and Australia still stands.


Hugh G. Stocks

unread,
Nov 9, 1993, 12:47:41 PM11/9/93
to
In article <CG8G6...@dsbc.icl.co.uk> j...@dsbc.icl.co.uk (Jay Gooby) writes:
>
>I'd like some help and recomendations please!

The best "forest" book I can remember is _Midworld_ by Alan Dean
Foster. Also one of his best novels on any subject.

--
Hugh Stocks, AA6MQ ****** hst...@bcf.usc.edu
KUSC-FM, Los Angeles, CA 90007 ** (RADIO ONLY: aa6mq@wb6wfh.#soca.ca)
(213) 743-0001 ****[This space intentionally left undisclaimed]
When evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve.

David Rysdam

unread,
Nov 9, 1993, 12:38:25 PM11/9/93
to
jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

>In article <drysda02.752786807@ursa> drys...@ursa.calvin.edu (David Rysdam) writes:
>>jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

>>Is Luna A Dumping Ground?: Yes, but the "riff-raff" dies within months if
>>not days.

>In our history convicts worked in chain gnags or were leased out
>to free or freed settlers. Only in America were they essentially
>let go as, it would appear, they mostly were in tMiaHM. Also of
>course we had a large military presence.

Also, of course, letting somebody go in America (where there is plenty of
food, water and oxygen) is much different than letting them go on the Moon
(where none of these things exist unless you pay for the). TANSTAAFL.

>>Control Mechanism: Work or die of starvation.

>But no chain gang. No Port Arthur.

Define chain gang in such a way as to exclude my example.

>>Discipline Sites: No farther than the nearest airlock.

>Official murders? Where were they mentioned?

Are you asking if there were official murders on the Moon? Read the
"Judge Brody" section of the book.

>>The Penal Parts, American History and Australia Connection:
>>A) The early Americans were not wanted in their own country, true. But
>>they came to the US of _their_own_free_will_. Early Australians did not.

>*Some* Americans came of their own free will (and if this was a.p.l I
>would argue how free those decisions were) but many were convicts sent
>to America and told to go away.

>>>Yep I deserved that. Silly me. Still he is only part nonWhite
>>>and we don't even know which part. Besides he likes baseball.
>>>Must be an American.

>>I hope you are joking.

>Yes.

>>Also, what does part nonWhite mean? The question is not "to what extent
>>are the character white" the question is "are their any nonwhite
>>characters" By your own admition Mannie is.

>Not exactly. RAH decided to call him non-White for some reason
>I do not know. Whether or not it is justifiable to call him so
>is another question.

If someone's skin is not white then that person is not white. Simple
logic. If a person's skin is not white they may be of _any_ culture.
Again, simple logic (with one hidden assumption: A culture is something
you grow up in.) RAH never names the culture from which Mannie came. He
does name the skin color (or at least says it is not white.) Using the
above premises we can conclude the following: Mannie is not white.
Mannie's culture is unknown.

>>>No? In his attitude to almost everything? Are you quite
>>>sure about this one? He is not exactly Japanese is he?
>>>Nor even English, he ain't a Bengali either. Exactly
>>>what do you think he was?

>>Loonie.

>Oh neat comeback.

The truth often is. Again, given that fact that culture is something you
grow up in, we see that Mannie _cannot_ be from any other culture.

>>>Some guy in the background we never meet. It would have been more
>>>interesting to have the Chinese support the existing order as they
>>>almost certainly would. They have long memories of civil wars and
>>>rebellions, some even support governments that openly discriminate
>>>against them (cf Malaysia, Indonesia)

>>Of course, I forgot. Culture = Race. If a man's eyes have epicanthic
>>folds he must have a long memory of civil wars and rebellions.

>Now you are being silly. People are Chinese by culture not by race.

Why are you supposing that this man is Chinese by culture?

>>>That depends how many Americans were killed by the Stamp Act (and
>>>the US has a long long history of involvement in Latin America
>>>and still retains vast amounts of what used to be Latin American.)
>>>Do you think the Russians would have forgiven the Germans by then?
>>>Or the Irish the English?

>>Hate = Number of People Killed / Length of Time Since?

>As a good first approximation yes. History seems to bear me out.

All right, then let's start filling in some of these variables. Number of
people killed in Peru by Americans = ? (you fill in the number). Length
of time since = ? (remember to add at least 50 years--this is set in the
2040's or somewhere around there). Note: I don't really intend to try to
calculate hate as a mathematical function. I am just trying to show how
innaccurate this view can be.


David Rysdam

unread,
Nov 9, 1993, 12:56:41 PM11/9/93
to
jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

>No I would not be. My friends, however, would not call me Stinky
>for precisely that reason. It is an Americanism. It is not something
>that you would find many nonAmericans calling themselves.

'His friends' (or all the ones we see) _are_ Americans.

>>Who was the first Christian? Am I a Hebrew?

>Are you a Christian? did you then get your attitude from a Dead Jew?

Let's assume I am. No, I didn't. I got it from my parents and peers.

>>Then stop considering yourself fully educated on this subject. How can
>>you discuss Jefferson without having read him?

>Because I have read other things he has written and best of all I
>have read those philosophers he plagarised from.

If the D of I is plagarised from other works, than what is to say the Prof
didn't get his ideas from those works? You could say "Because he mentions
Jefferson specifically" but he never says he got the ideas from J. Just
that J held them. Possibly J. was the only man who held this entire
collection of ideas. Or possibly RAH felt that J. was someone the readers
could relate to more easily than, say, Locke.


>Perhaps not. It still does not change the fact that he was not
>British but a Virginian. He did not consider himself British
>(Or do you have a quotation where he does?) nor did the British
>(and I have a couple from Samuel Johnson)

Ok. From now on I declare myself Australian. I'm sure I can get one of
your fellow countrymen to agree with me. Am I Australian by culture, now?
No, I suspect it is not that easy. I think that I am still culturally
American.

>>>>Wrong again. He had no concern whatsoever about private industry.

>>>Except of course they were the ones who built the catapult.

>>Which was intended only to throw rocks. No trade going on there.

>The ones of the Earth.

Ok. The ones of Earth. Mannie and Prof are shown (in the book)
specifically talking to only about 4 people about the wonders that the
catapult would bring. The most extensive by far, was the Chinese
gentleman--who was in the gov't. The only businessmen they talked to were
being persuaded that there was money to be made on the Moon and thus were
to vote with Luna.

>>Read the book more
>>closely and you will learn that the first group that Mannie and Prof
>>talked to were the "tame dogs" of Authority, not of the FN. The FN had to
>>be convinced that it was in their best interest to step in on what they
>>originally saw as in-fighting in Authority. (note that Authority was a
>>business that the gov't was interfering with--again not Libertarian.)

>The Authority was not a business but an arm of the FN. The Authority
>was a government organisation chartered by the FN and under its control.

Authority was a business. This is extremely clear. To what extent they
were under the control of the FN is a little hazy. From references to
their relationship (eg. Authority existed before FN did) it would appear
that Authority wields more control than the FN.

>>>This is true. However they do have a common history more or less
>>>which forms common(ish) attitudes to various issues. At least that
>>>history provides a unique framework within which political debate
>>>is largely confined. Quoting Jfferson Davis will not work in Africa
>>>nor in most of the US but in certain parts of the US quoting Davis
>>>might win you an argument "Jefferson Davis said...". Try quoting
>>>what the Third Iman said about alcohol in the US and in Iran. Then
>>>you will see the impact of history on politics.

>>You aren't talking about impact, though. You are talking about some kind
>>of indoctrination.

>That's what growing up is all about. You are taught things. Attitudes
>too. Quoting Jefferson Davis is a good example. Only a Southerner of
>a particular sort would sensibly do so.

When and where did Jefferson (Thomas, that is) grow up? What culture was
he exposed to?

>>>This is also true. But on what basis besides RAH word do you assume
>>>the Professor *was* raised in this particular country?

>>You do realize that any "basis" I come up with will still be RAH's word,
>>don't you?

>No. Wyoh was a female character. We agree on that I assume. If you
>remove all the explicit references to her gender you can still tell
>that she is a woman. It is a integral part of the story, though maybe
>not a major part. If you removed all the "Sen~or"s and "Amigo"s and
>changed the name slightly any reasonable person, if asked to guess,
>would assume the Professor was a MidWestern Maths teacher as I bet
>the person the character is based on was.

How can I tell she is a woman? I'm looking for specific examples, here.

>>And when that dialogue is written in English by an American, for the
>>consumption of Americans.....

>Hack author.

?

>>>Ahh but stuff about Virginian politics in the late eighteenth
>>>century does.

>>So? Is Prof. so closeminded that he sees no good in the works of the past
>>in another context?

>Don't you think it a little odd that a supposedly Latino thinks that
>the works and writings of a dead Virginian are more important than
>his own history? So much so that his own history is totally excluded?

But you said before that this dead Virginian got his ideas from somebody
else, didn't you?

>>Fighting in a war and having a military are two vastly different things.

>They had a military of sorts. Whether the Prof intended it to be
>permanent I can't say. He died before he could do anything. Odd
>that he does not once mention even the possibility.

Inasmuch as there are no taxes on Luna, they would have a hard time
supporting a standing army.

>>Corruption yes, but how do you guard against it?

>I do not know I am not a Latino.

Only Latinos know how to guard against corruption. Or are you saying that
you don't know how _Prof_ would have handled it? Either way, my point was
that guarding against corruption is well nigh unto impossible.

>>Suspension of the
>>Constitution? There is no logical way that some thing _in_ the
>>constitution will keep any one from suspending it.

>Ahh but the fact that the Constitution could at any time be
>suspended and likely to be so colours anyones attitudes to
>the things. Why would the Prof even bother to include any
>provisions in a Constitution which he had good reason to
>suppose would not last out the decade? Why would the Prof be
>discussing Constitutions at all?

Why wouldn't he expect it to last out the decade? He can see America from
where he is, and he knows it worked (fairly well, anyway) here.

>>>>>He's an American who RAH decided to make a Hispanic for whatever
>>>>>personal reasons RAH had at that time.

>>>>Quite the racist attitude.

>>>Really? How so?

>>'Make Hispanic?'

>O.K. You want to be picky (over what I have no idea) He *called*
>him an Hispanic. More like a Black and White Minstrel.

He created a character. He claimed that this character is Hispanic.
Therefore this character, however much his acts conflict with what you
consider Hispanic, is Hispanic.

>>Try the same with me. I dislike baseball and don't even know the first
>>thing about how it is organized. Besides we _have_ been discussing this
>>issue for long and you do sound (except for occational references to your
>>home country) like an American. No odd word choices. Few odd spellings.
>>No attitudes that I have not seen here. Etc.

>This is partly because we have been discussing a very restricted
>subject - one author and essentially one book

tMiaHM is about two restricted subjects.

Dan'l DanehyOakes

unread,
Nov 9, 1993, 1:44:06 PM11/9/93
to
In article <CG76D...@cbnewsm.cb.att.com> l...@cbnewsm.cb.att.com (Lee Derbenwick) writes:


>In 1893, a totally assimilated Polish American would have seemed very
>unlikely, about as unlikely as your "totally assimilated African".
>So what? That was then, this is now, and certain prejudices of a
>century ago have pretty much faded. Are you so certain that today's
>prejudices won't fade in the future? I think Heinlein believed (or
>wanted us to believe) that they would fade.

I would take this one step further: I think that, through his carefully-planted
and often hard-to-notice "revelations" of character's non-white "status" late in
several of his books (minimum set: STARSHIP TROOPERS, THE MOON IS. . ., and THE
CAT WHO. . .), Heinlein was attempting to directly influence and *encourage*
this "fading."

The intent which I would impute to Heinlein for this strategy is as follows:

SF readers, in huge predominance at least through the early '70s and to a lesser
extent even today, are white males. By giving these readers a strongly-
identifiable-with character, and then revealing that the character was "not-
white," Heinlein -- I suggest -- hoped to "break down" the resistance of white
readers to identification with non-whites in the real world.

Whether or not this strategy had any effect; whether it *could* have any effect;
whether in fact it annoyed some readers; all this is subject to debate. That it
had a profound effect on at least one *non*-white reader, Samuel R. Delany, is a
matter of public record.

All of the above, of course, is subject to disclaimers about the ultimate
unknowability of auctorial intent; as I said, I *impute* this intent to RAH,
without claiming that it was definitely so.


>And if the prejudices fade, so will lots of the attitudes of
>resentment that you keep harping on as the main ways to recognize a
>person's heritage.

Unfortunately, the Poles you mention, the Irish, the Jews, and so on, are
easier to "assimilate" than blacks. [Long disquisiton on the desirability
or lack thereof of "assimilation" is here noted but not entered because I
don't want to bore everyone.] Blacks, unlike Poles, Irish, and Jews, don't
*look* like white americans after they lose their accents. [Equally long
disquisiton on why American blacks seem to have a recognizable accent --
actually there are a number of different ones -- also omitted as not
particularly relevant.]

Now for the digression *not* to be omitted -- why is it that Asian-americans
don't seem to have this problem?

One answer is "they do." There are Asian ghettoes -- e.g., Chinatowns --
in which third-generation native-born citizens *still* speak broken English
at best. But these are not as economically depressed as black ghettoes, and
not as riddled with crime. White middle-class Americans aren't afraid to walk
through their local Chinatown at night. So "they do" simply won't wash as an
answer.

The only answer I can give is -- I don't know. Clearly color is *not* an
absolute barrier; there are at this point many "assimilated" blacks working at
all levels of government and business.

But the *average* remains way low. And the barrier, while not absolute, is
still a very clear reality. The way up involves accepting (or appearing to
accept) the values -- and the speech manners! -- of the plurality (*not*
a majority, and it never will be again) of whites.

If we are to value diversity -- and I suppose we are -- then this is not a good
answer. But it seems to be a true one, at least for now.


--Dan'l, who somehow
manages to be proud
of his white heritage

Rebecca Leann Smit Crowley

unread,
Nov 9, 1993, 2:00:36 PM11/9/93
to
Jay Gooby (j...@dsbc.icl.co.uk) wrote:
: Mythago Wood
: Lavondys
: The Bone Forest

Those three are by Robert Holdstock. Don't know about _Devil in
a Forest_.

I suppose I could take this opportunity to chime in with another
recommendation for _Deed of Paksennarion_ books by Elizabeth
Moon -- they have a nifty pseudo-druidic group and they get
(some of?) their power (sort of) from the taig.

But I've been doing this a lot lately, so I should quit now.

--
Rebecca Crowley standard disclaimers apply rcro...@zso.dec.com
It doesn't matter. You can't tell. People are probably lying to you.

Bob Goudreau

unread,
Nov 9, 1993, 1:56:26 PM11/9/93
to
In article <2bmhi6$g...@spam.maths.adelaide.edu.au> jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:
>In article <sigurd-08...@apeskrekk.ii.uib.no> sig...@ii.uib.no (Sigurd Meldal) writes:
>
>>Isn't history fun: The British have a long history of meddling in US
>>politics and economy, and
>>(fear of) their political influence was one of the major factors in
>>precipitating the US Civil War. They are
>>owners of vast parts of the US economy, and still (or until very recently)
>>the foreign nation with
>>the largest investment in the US.
>
>Now you are just being silly. Stop it. Or else you may have
>to provide a scrap of evidence of some of these claims.

Silly? I think not. All of his claims are true:

1) "The British have a long history of meddling in US politics and
economy...". Naturally. Even after independence, the British
Empire continued to be the dominant trading partner of the new
country. During the War of 1812, there was a strong pro-British,
anti-war sentiment in New England due to the extensive trading ties
that region had with Britain; some New England states even groused
about seceding from the Union. See below for a discussion of this
influence during the Civil War era. And all through the 19th and
early 20th centuries, Britain provided a large chunk of the capital
used to develop the US into a major industrial power, with
concomitant political interest and influence.

2) "... (fear of) their political influence was one of the major
factors in precipitating the US Civil War". The issue of tariffs
and foreign trade (chiefly with Britain) was indeed one of the
major motivations for secession by southern states. (Another big
one was the issue of the extension of slavery into the territories,
of course.) The CSA assiduously courted Britain for most of the
war; the thought was that "King Cotton" (the region's chief crop)
was so important to Britain's economy (remember all those textile
mills?) that Britain would recognize and aid the Confederacy.
Ultimately, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation (in which the Union
first advanced the abolition of slavery, not just preservation of
the Union, as a goal of the war) helped turn the tide of British
opinion against the Confederacy.

3) "They are owners of vast parts of the US economy, and still (or


until very recently) the foreign nation with the largest investment

in the US." Yup. I believe they're still number 1, in fact --
Japan recently reached second place, but I don't think it has yet
passed the UK.

I think you owe Mr. Meldal an apology.

Bob Goudreau

unread,
Nov 9, 1993, 2:24:27 PM11/9/93
to
In article <2bmohr$l...@spam.maths.adelaide.edu.au> jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:
>In article <1993Nov8.2...@dg-rtp.dg.com> goud...@batman.rtp.dg.com (Bob Goudreau) writes:
>
>>>Anyway back to my original point - Independence Day
>>>is fixed to make it the Four of July. Why?
>
>>The answer is above: the US is one of the big influential countries,
>>(and apparently the one whose government is most sensitive to public
>>opinion), so the Prof wants to influence US public opinion in order to
>>gain recognition for the Luna republic. Why would this be unusual or
>>surprising?
>
>RAH does not say so that I know of. Care to cite a page? He does say
>afterward that it was a propaganda bonus but that is different.

Huh? You ask why he deliberately engineered events to take place on
the magic date, and you admit that he later disclosed his ulterior
motives (the propaganda benefits) for doing so. Sounds to me like he
was out to influence US opinion the whole time (who else would July 4th
propaganda have any effect on?). Or are you saying that the date was a
mere coincidence?


> Why is it unusual? It involves direct falsification of a nations
> history. Not the sort of thing people take lying down.

I'm not sure what direct falsification of history you're talking about
here. Please elaborate.


>>This sort of publicity stunt occurs in modern geopolitics
>>too; witness the intentional parallels between the "Goddess of
>>Democracy" statue and the Statue of Liberty by the Tianenmen students
>>several years ago,
>
>If I might be permitted a minor spelling point it's Tian1 (Heaven)
>An1 (Peace) Men2 (Gate).

Yeah, and the possessive of "nation" is "nation's", not "nations".

> That is different for various reasons, the
>best being that was pure propaganda and the US is the *only* power
>left. In RAH book this is not the case.

Now wait, you yourself stated above that it was a "propaganda bonus"
for Luna. And I hardly agree with you that the US is the "only power
left" in today's world -- only *superpower* maybe, though some dispute
even that, and see the US as merely the stongest pole in a multi-polar
world where other poles are catching up. That latter description
sounds a lot like the situation in the book.

Michael Friedman

unread,
Nov 9, 1993, 6:50:58 PM11/9/93
to
In article <2bk1d0$n...@spam.maths.adelaide.edu.au> jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:
>In article <1993Nov4.0...@oracle.us.oracle.com> mfri...@us.oracle.com (Michael Friedman) writes:
>>In article <2b6p0h$n...@spam.maths.adelaide.edu.au> jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:

>>>>How many books to you read where the fact that a
>>>>character is a white American is a major plot point?

>>>Nearly all of RAH's books require the main character to be
>>>a white American. They can only make sense if that is assumed
>>>at any rate. Can anyone imagine a RAH book with the hero as an
>>>Islamic Fundamentalist for instance?

>>Joe, this is the same kind of bigoted attitude that you showed in your
>>original post (and yes, I do mean bigoted.)

>I know I am going to regret asking but bigoted how?

Bigoted because you assume that White American and fundamentalist
Moslem or mutually exclusive.

>>Let me point something
>>out to you. White American and Islamic Fundamentalist are not
>>mutually exclusive. There are a fair number of people who are White
>>American Islamic Fundamentalists.

>There are *some* perhaps but very few. Could you name six? To be
>an IF requires attitudes it is very hard to reconcile with most
>American cultural norms.

Nope. I only know one. I'm not sure what that proves - I also only
know one Puerto Rican, but I think you would have a hard time proving
that there aren't plenty of Puerto Rican Americans.

Anyway, could you please tell us what American cultural norms are hard
to reconcile with being a fundamentalist Moslem? Just out of
curiosity, how do the dozens of Chinese, Japanese, and
Indian-Americans that I know meet these norms?

>>Now, it so happens that we know
>>that none of Heinlein's main characters are Islamic Fundamentalists
>>(though please do not forget Stinky Mahalamud(sp?) in Stranger in a
>>Strange Land) because none of his main characters have to take a time
>>out 5 times a day to pray. So what is that supposed to prove?

>It is worse than that because almost none of them epxress an opinion
>that is not found in Middle America or hold a position that is not
>in the mainstream American lexicon.

I see. So, in Middle America and the mainstream American lexicon we
can find ample support for miscegnation, incest, various forms of
polygamy being superior to monogamy, excution for being rude to women,
TANSTAAFL, beating cops to death, bombing Middle-America, free love,
heretical churches like the Fosterites, and pan-Deism? Could you
please give me directions to this part of Middle America?

>>In
>>most of Heinlein's books the main character is a white American, but
>>no big deal is made out of it.

>Fine.

>>You just kind of peripherally notice
>>it or even just assume it by default. In a couple of his books - most
>>notably Starship Troopers, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and Podkayne
>>of Mars the main character is not a white American, but no big deal is
>>made out of it.

>Again fine. Except I claim that these characters *are* White Americans
>only he decided to change their colour for some reason unknowable at
>the moment.

Can you explain why you think these people are White Americans? I
mean, apparently, if Podkayne spent half her time fulminating about
how badly Maoris were treated you would consider her to be an
authentic Maori. OK. Now, what does she do that makes her White
American? You seem to be assuming that if someone doesn't have
characteristics that mark him/her as being a member of some particular
minority that the default assumption is that they are a White American.

>The problem you seem to be having with my point is that I
>claim it is not enough to say a perosn is Philippino for him to be so.
>So RAH claimed Rico was a Philippino, if he didn't tell you how could
>you tell?

Shrug. You probably couldn't. How would you expect to be able to
tell? There was a girl called Cheryl Casquejo in my suite in college.
She was Filipino. I don't think I could have told if it wasn't for
the fact that she was a little bit dark to be Chinese, she had a
Spanish name, and she told me she was Filipino when I asked.

>>Would it really be more authentic if
>>Podkayne spent most of her time railing about the injustices done to
>>Maoris by white settlers 200 years beofre her birth on a totally
>>different planet?

>No but a few comments about the present situation would be in
>character. You think that Maoris do not hold strong opinions
>about the injustices of the past and present? You think that
>the fact of past and present prejudice does not colour (if you
>will forgive the expression) their present attitudes? If you
>don't I could probably introduce you to a few.

I would not be at all surprised if Maoris who live in New Zealand have
strong feelings about the past. Podkayne, of course, is not a New
Zealander. In much the same way, I rarely think about the Holocaust,
and the only times I refer to it are when I tell people that I'm
damned if I'll give up my right to own a gun and when I tell people
who claim that the mistreatment of blacks here somehow means that I
owe them something just how silly I think their attitudes are. It's
just not a major issue in my life - it happened 25 years before I was
born on a totally different continent, none of my close relatives were
involved, and those branches of my family that were involved were
wiped out so totally that we don't have anyone who personally
remembers it and lived through it. I see no reason why a Maori a few
hundred years in the future who lives on a different planet should not
feel similarly.

>>>And I just claim he does not. Sometimes he choose to make them
>>>non-Whites but essentially they are not. In no real sense does
>>>he write about nonWhites.

>>Right. So? The same would apply if we eliminated all references to
>>race from I Will Fear No Evil, in which most of the characters were
>>white Americans. Does that mean that Heinlein doesn't write about
>>white Americans after all? I don't think that your test is valid.

>My test is the blind taste test. Where you wear a blindfold and
>try and pick the Classic Coke. If you remove all references to
>race and colour from I Will Fear No Evil and then had to guess,
>on first reading, about the origins of the characters do you
>think that you would have any problems in guessing White American?

Well, it would depend on whether I could use the rule "Most authors
write about White Americans, so if you don't have any clues about what
race someone is, guessing White American is your best bet."

>>>Actually no. He does not say that *government* should step in and

>>>save the Moon - he puts his faith in technology developing an answer
>>>in time.

>>Excuse me again. He makes it very clear that without the revolution -
>>the revolution that was carried out by that secret directorate - and
>>without the deliberately unreasonable stance that the Loonies take in
>>their negotiations with Earth - a stance controlled by that secret
>>directorate - that there isn't a hope in hell of having technology
>>provide a solution in time.

>They had the technology, they had it for a long time. What they
>also had was a short sighted blinkered Authority which would or
>could not see their best interests. It was freedom FROM government
>that was the essential condition for the catapult.

Excuse me again, but it is never suggested that a catapult is in
Authority's best interest. After all, it isn't any skin of their
backs if a bunch of convicts starve, and an Earth catapult is going to
be EXPENSIVE.

>>>There is no mentionm or even hint of government subisdy for
>>>importing sewage to the moon only that if given the task engineers
>>>can do anything. A Free Market solution.

>>Wrong again. It's made very clear that the Loonies are going to
>>refuse to ship organics to Earth unless they get organics back ton for
>>ton.

>Is it? It is made clear they *want* organics ton for ton.

More than that, it is made clear that they won't ship organics to
Earth unless they get them back ton for ton. That was the whole
reason for the revolution.

>>It is also made clear that the wheat farmers are quite willing
>>to ship wheat to earth without getting organics back in exchange. It
>>is clear that the Loony Government is stepping in and saying "Thou
>>shalt not ship organics downhill unless they send an equal amount back
>>uphill."

>Is it? Where might that be?

Joseph, get out your copy of the book. It's right there where they
discuss strategy. It's also brought up when they discuss the climax
where the Lunar catapult gets destroyed - they deliberately allowed it
to be destroyed so that there wouldn't be pressure to ship food before
the Earth catapult was ready.

>>I will agree that there is no mention of government subsidies for
>>importing sewage to the moon, but given the policy described above, I
>>hardly see why one would be needed.

>Because if it was not cost effective someone would have had to pay.

Joseph, think about it. If part of the price of food deliveries to
Earth is an organics delivery to Luna then there are two
possibilities...

1. The food is worth enough to Earth that they will pay this price.
In that case, no subsidy is needed.

2. The food is not worth enough to Earth that they will pay this
price. In that case, Earth is obviously not going to subsidise the
return shipments, and Luna obviously doesn't have the money.

Either way, subsidies are a non-issue.

>>No, but he also doesn't comment on the US experience (except for his
>>reference to the Declaration of Independence, but that's been copied
>>so often that it's almost a tradition).

>Copied by who else? Only by Americans as far as I remember. From Locke.
>By Jefferson. Still the Professors entire world view is based on the
>ideas and philosophies of Jefferson et al. The whoel book is a comment
>on the US experience.

Actually, if you take a look, I think that you will find that a lot of
countries cribbed from the D of I. For example, the French took the
beginning of the US D of I and changed "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit
of Happiness" to "Liberty, Equality, and Brotherhood."

>>So are you claiming that an
>>authentic Hispanic has to give "at least a nod in the direction of
>>the South American experience" but that an authentic American doesn't
>>have to give at least a nod in the direction of the US experience?

>An authentic American could not help but give a nod in the direction
>of the US experience. It is part of what makes us what we are. RAH
>gives a little more than a nod though.

Nonsense. The only "nod" that he gives to the American experience is
the use of the Declaration of Independence. Of course, by your rules,
the Chinese students in Tianneman Square were Americans because they
built that Goddess of Democracy statue.

>>Do
>>you really think that the copying of the US Declaration of
>>Independence is that ever so important nod that would not have been
>>there if de la Paz was authentically Hispanic?

>I think a Hispanic would not have copied the Declaration of
>Independence, no. He might have written a new one based on it
>but only an American would carry such idolisation so far as to
>copy it in its entirety.

What about someone who wanted to capture American public opinion?

>>Do you admit that Heinlein makes it clear that a truly Libertarian
>>Luna would have been crushed by the FN?

>No.

OK. Please explain you position. In particular, note the bit where
Mike tells the revolutionary cabal that without him they don't have a
chance in Hell. Obviously, Mike is part of the cabal.

>>In that case, how can TMIAHM be promoting Libertarianism?

>How can you see it otherwise?

I can see it otherwise because Heinlein sets up a situation where a
true Libertaria would go down in flames.

Are you claimng that the Loonies could have one without the secret
government? If they could not have won without the secret government,
then how can a book that points out that Libertaria would fail be
interpreted as supporting Libertarianism?


Lee Derbenwick

unread,
Nov 9, 1993, 7:02:34 PM11/9/93
to
In article <1993Nov9.1...@pbhyc.PacBell.COM>,
djd...@pbhyc.PacBell.COM (Dan'l DanehyOakes) writes:
[ "> >" == I wrote: ]
[ in response to my comments about fading prejudices: ]

> Unfortunately, the Poles you mention, the Irish, the Jews, and so on, are
> easier to "assimilate" than blacks. [Long disquisiton on the desirability
> or lack thereof of "assimilation" is here noted but not entered because I
> don't want to bore everyone.] Blacks, unlike Poles, Irish, and Jews, don't
> *look* like white americans after they lose their accents.

I think this will just make it take longer...

But drat! My original post had a long paragraph on why I didn't like
the term _assimilation_ but was using it because it was in the post I
quoted. But that made my post long enough that even I didn't want to
read it, so I edited that paragraph out. :-(

Short-form: Assimilation implies that one group is absorbed into
another. I prefer to think of a merger (maybe a stew-pot rather
than melting-pot analogy), in which useful, interesting, or simply
esthetic aspects of all the cultures involved are kept and can build
on each other. Say, where kinte (sp?) cloth and plaid could both be
part of my heritage (given that I don't qualify to wear either, by
their original rules). Perhaps this is only a token form of
diversity; I don't know. It seems to be the form that has led to
the current American culture, and I think it could do better if it
were more inclusive. Anybody have a word to use for this, given
that it shouldn't have _assimilation_'s connotation?

And I agree with Dan'l that it looks like Heinlein could have been
making a deliberate attempt to encourage the fading of certain
prejudices, but Dan'l went considerably further out on the "intent"
limb than I dared. :-)

Lee Derbenwick, l...@cbnewsm.att.com | I'm sure I parked my opinions
AT&T Bell Labs, Holmdel, NJ, USA | somewhere around here.

Mark Rosenfelder

unread,
Nov 9, 1993, 7:35:03 PM11/9/93
to
In article <CG1LB...@cbnewsm.cb.att.com>,
Lee Derbenwick <l...@cbnewsm.cb.att.com> wrote:
>In article <markg.752450739@ichips>, ma...@ichips.intel.com (Mark Gonzales) writes:
>> In article <CFzKC...@spss.com> mark...@spss.com (Mark Rosenfelder) writes:
>> >... and only an American could be
>> >so hypercritical of the power of government, and so sanguine about
>> >the power of big business.
>>
>> And only an American who has no knowledge of pre-WWII US history.
>
>Well, libertarians have pointed out that the Robber Baron capitalists
>had the government solidly behind them, providing enforcement. So
>the US experience with unfettered capitalism was actually government-
>sponsored capitalism rather than a free market.

Exactly. The government is like an operating system-- essential and
active, but at its best when it's not too intrusive.

The government was providing more than "enforcement", by the way.
It granted land to settlers, established agricultural colleges,
provided a court system, etc. Check out Hernando de Soto's _The Other
Path_ for a portrait of how badly things work when the government
*doesn't* provide (say) legal recognition, enforcement of contracts,
and other "operating system functions".

>In stories
>involving libertarian utopias, all the people seem to be _nice_,
>and totally uninterested in power over others, which makes running
>a society much simpler.

Sure. Nice people could make about any governmental structure work.

Mark Rosenfelder

unread,
Nov 9, 1993, 7:49:33 PM11/9/93
to
In article <2bjv9p$m...@spam.maths.adelaide.edu.au>,
Joseph Askew <jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au> wrote:
>Dislike of the US and its government are not prejudices in that
>sense. Indeed it is probably very hard to be a Latin American
>intellectual without disliking the US. That is not an unreasonable
>attitude but the logical consequence of their history and position.
>If you don't want people to take against you you shouldn't steal
>their land, overthrow their governments and invade from time to time.
>It is hardly idiocy.

On the whole I agree with your point-- that Prof. de la Paz doesn't
think or act like a Latin American-- but I think the paragraph above
is a bit simplistic. Go read soc.culture.latin-america for awhile
and you'll meet some Latin Americans who, far from disliking the US,
actively idolize it.

Besides, what's a "Latin American intellectual"? An Argentine who's
descended from Italians and looks chiefly to Europe for culture?
A Brazilian of Japanese descent who studied in Pittsburgh?
A Peruvian who attended the heavily Marxist Universidad de San Marcos?
A Chilean at a Catholic university? A Mexican, intimately familiar
with the attractions and excesses of the US? A Puerto Rican born
in New York?

Among all these people you'll find quite a range of attitudes toward
the US, from indifference to hatred to emulation to infuriated fascination.
I think very few, however, would have an opinion as simple as pure
"dislike of the US and its government". "Dislike of the government
but appreciation for the country and its people" would be more like it.
Or better yet, "dislike for certain actions of its government and
businesses".

Mark Rosenfelder

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Nov 9, 1993, 8:20:27 PM11/9/93
to
In article <1993Nov9.1...@pbhyc.pacbell.com>,

Dan'l DanehyOakes <djd...@PacBell.COM> wrote:
>I would take this one step further: I think that, through his carefully-planted
>and often hard-to-notice "revelations" of character's non-white "status" late in
>several of his books (minimum set: STARSHIP TROOPERS, THE MOON IS. . ., and THE
>CAT WHO. . .), Heinlein was attempting to directly influence and *encourage*
>this "fading."

I'd agree. The questions about the "whiteness" of his characters should be
placed in context; no one was much of a multiculturalist in the time Heinlein
was writing, and saying that race one day wouldn't matter was a very progressive
position at the time.

>Unfortunately, the Poles you mention, the Irish, the Jews, and so on, are
>easier to "assimilate" than blacks. [Long disquisiton on the desirability
>or lack thereof of "assimilation" is here noted but not entered because I
>don't want to bore everyone.] Blacks, unlike Poles, Irish, and Jews, don't
>*look* like white americans after they lose their accents.

I think you've got this backwards. It's not so much that what people see
causes people's prejudices; it's that people's prejudices determine what they see.

A hundred years ago most people probably would have said that Jews *don't*
look like "white americans" after they lose their accents.

As for blacks-- I don't know that we'd even have a monolithic category "blacks"
(or "whites") if there were no race prejudice, any more than we have a
_physical_ category "Jews" today. Are Giancarlo Esposito, Prince, Sinbad, and
Colin Powell "black"? Only if you insist on creating dichotomous categories
and assigning mixed-blood people to one category or the other.

And of course if race prejudice continues to disappear, not only will the
question of how to classify part-black part-white people be increasingly
irrelevant, but more and more such people will exist (as has happened in
Brazil, where interracial marriage has long been accepted).

>The only answer I can give is -- I don't know. Clearly color is *not* an
>absolute barrier; there are at this point many "assimilated" blacks working at
>all levels of government and business.

This should at least be a suggestion that we are dealing less and less with
racism, and more and more with classism.

>But the *average* remains way low. And the barrier, while not absolute, is
>still a very clear reality. The way up involves accepting (or appearing to
>accept) the values -- and the speech manners! -- of the plurality (*not*
>a majority, and it never will be again) of whites.

You don't think the culture (and values and speech manners) of this country
were exclusively built by *whites*, do you? [Long disquisition loaded and
ready, cap'n.]

David Zink

unread,
Nov 9, 1993, 8:55:05 PM11/9/93
to

So read ``Anarchaos'', by Donald Westlake, or TRITON by Samuel Delany.

First is a purely Libertarian world, second is a free society where
people have the freedom to have as much or as little government as they
choose--if govs are like operating systems, Triton has a basic-layer
minimal gov, like a micro-kernal operating system, and the more typical
governmental functions are optional on a person by person basis.

-- David

Erich Schneider

unread,
Nov 9, 1993, 8:56:05 PM11/9/93
to
The "Lyonesse" trilogy by Jack Vance: _Lyonesse_ (actually _Suldrun's
Garden_), _The Green Pearl_, and _Madouc_.

--
Erich Schneider er...@bush.cs.tamu.edu

"Even the AI hated [my book]?"
"The AI _loved_ it. That's when we knew for sure that _people_ were going
to hate it."
-Dan Simmons, _Hyperion_

Roy Navarre

unread,
Nov 9, 1993, 10:24:22 PM11/9/93
to
Excellent FAQ but skimpy on why Ish is still alive. That thread has
been developed extensively over the years.

I see no mention of Fain as an avatar of the Dark Lord! Two of our more
brilliant posters came up with this revelatory insight! :) How can we have
a full page on how Rand parts his hair and nothing on Fain as the DO?

Roy :)


--

David Zink

unread,
Nov 9, 1993, 9:51:01 PM11/9/93
to
In article <1993Nov9.2...@oracle.us.oracle.com> mfri...@us.oracle.com (Michael Friedman) writes:
>In article <2bk1d0$n...@spam.maths.adelaide.edu.au> jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:
>>In article <1993Nov4.0...@oracle.us.oracle.com> mfri...@us.oracle.com (Michael Friedman) writes:
>>>In article <2b6p0h$n...@spam.maths.adelaide.edu.au> jas...@maths.adelaide.edu.au (Joseph Askew) writes:
>>So RAH claimed Rico was a Philippino, if he didn't tell you how could
>>you tell?

Talk to a second generation Filpino-American over the phone sometime.
How can you tell they're F-A? I used to have a Polish-American
room-mate, and when he answered the phone, people thought he was black,
because he was from Dearborn.

You're just a simplistic twit who thinks that racial characteristics are
so overwhelming in their formative power that they dominate the
nature-nurture equation. Grow up! Get a sampling of work by James
Tiptree and Samuel Delany, and have them read by people who know
neither. Can they tell which author is White, and which Black? Which
Male and which Female? They've sure fooled enough people before.

Or are you an essentialist, who thinks all Maoris are alike, and
therefore distinguishable from any other group?

As someone recently pointed out, most South Americans have good reason
to take a dim view of the United States, and yet, the more educated they
are, the more likely they are to rationalize it down to `some' actions
of `some' factions of the government of the US and `some' US businesses
(as if our democratic elections and free press excuse the populace from
all blame, rather than making them completely responsible). And
Podkayne's family is certainly an intellectual one; the type most likely
to have present-day opportunities to distract them from ancient wrongs.
Of my three most recent girlfriends, they and I have had ancestors on
opposite sides of dozens of pogroms during the last 120 years. Somehow
we don't waste a lot of time worrying about it. Those were our
*ancestors*! Our arguments are always about things a little closer to
home.

>>My test is the blind taste test. Where you wear a blindfold and
>>try and pick the Classic Coke. If you remove all references to
>>race and colour from I Will Fear No Evil and then had to guess,
>>on first reading, about the origins of the characters do you
>>think that you would have any problems in guessing White American?

At various moments during the past few hundred years, you would have had
no problem distinguishing a Russian Jew from a Spanish Jew from a German
Jew from an Irishman from an Engishman from a Scotsman from a Welshman
from a German from a Frenchman. Yet their descendants are so thoroughly
blended here that most people can't begin to distinguish them.

How many people in this country are so prejudiced that they will insist
on getting in a subway car with a half-dozen rowdy white ghetto kids
instead of one with a half dozen black college professors? (Showing off
the prejudices I have about the behavior of college professors versus
rowdy ghetto kids.) Even that notoriously bigoted black college
professor Jeffries is unlikely to stoop to unprovoked violence. Or at
least have a more rigorous definition of provocation.

Heinlein's firm belief was that once access to economic opportunity
and assimilation allowed minorities to catch up, the old prejudices
would fade. Just like the old prejudices against `mics' and `wops' have
faded once you get away from Hell's Kitchen and Bensonhurst.

And assimilation doesn't mean becoming like a white American. That's
not the way it really works. Look at mathematics--almost completely
dominated by Arabic influence (a few centuries ago) but did they reject
it because it was not European? Of course not. Business culture is
dominated by what works. Behaviors fall into three rough categories:
what works, what fails, and what doesn't matter. While on the one hand,
wild experiments in what doesn't matter are usually discouraged by
social pressure, on the other hand, persistance usually results in an
expansion in what is considered acceptable. As long as you can prove it
still works that way, they will let you do it. There are plenty of
white americans who are not experienced in Business culture--the general
run of blue-collar workers, for example--and their children usually have
a harder time getting ahead in the business world than do the children
of black professionals.

White americans born far from the business culture need to assimilate in
order to become Vice Presidents at major banks.

-- Just a few mad ramblings . . .