Heinlein's Vision, Perfected Liberalism? Re: Starship Troopers - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Modern liberalism. Civil rights and liberties, State responsibility to the people (welfare).
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#14962427
SolarCross wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVpYvV0O7uI



Did Heinlein perfect liberalism in his Starship Troopers? Is this the way our modern liberal democracies can be improved by the simple measure of making suffrage an earned meritocratic right rather than an unearned birth right?

Heinlein was essentially a libertarian rather than a fascist. Citizenship being an earned right rather than an inherited privilege was, it seems to me, his way of solving the problem of organising the collective military defence of a libertarian society.
#14962434
SolarCross wrote:Did Heinlein perfect liberalism in his Starship Troopers? Is this the way our modern liberal democracies can be improved by the simple measure of making suffrage an earned meritocratic right rather than an unearned birth right?


I watched the Sargon video immediately after watching Starship Troopers with the wife a couple of weeks ago.

Great analysis on his part and he makes a compelling case.

As far as minarchist republican governments in a capitalist society, his argument is one of the best solutions to many of its problems.

However, military service does not guarantee important factors in preserving freedom, rights, and fiscal responsibility. It eliminates a certain "type" of person from ruling which would undoubtedly be an improvement, but it does not go far enough.

In my opinion, the best "possible" reform would be to somehow tie a person's personal liability to their voting on policy, especially in the legislature.

The founders in the U.S. believed this to a degree, and kept in place the idea that only land-owners should be able to vote or hold office. The reasoning was that people who have an actual vested interest in the nation (owning it and paying taxes) were qualified to vote.

Its easy to vote for raising taxes if you don't have to pay them after all; which is why the Left is consumed by a disproportionate number of welfare dependents, apartment-dwelling urbanites, landless college kids, or the super-wealthy elitists.

However, the tendency of states is to grow power and cosolidate wealth, so the land restrictions soon disappeared in the U.S. and the state's lust for spending began to increase with every new demographic added to its voter based or "victim's club."

I see no easy solution to this problem, if any.

But in sum, I do believe that if one's own credit score were tied to how you vote on the government's credit, such persons would drastically change their voting habits; likewise, if one's house were a leveraged liability against a vote to increase the national debt, I doubt they would be so quick to do so.

However, such a notion is essentially requiring a private ownership of national governance, at which point we must ask, how is this any different (or any better) than anarcho-capitalism, or at worst, minarchist monarchy?

I think the ST model of tying service/responsibility to certain civic rights is good idea, and would be the best solution and type of reform we could have RIGHT NOW, but its not the best imaginable one in my opinion. Actual financial liability is.
#14962449
Victoribus Spolia wrote:
Its easy to vote for raising taxes if you don't have to pay them after all



It's easy to pay taxes when you don't have to pay your employees a decent wage. If the rich want to broaden the tax base their gonna have to share some of that pie with the rest of us.
#14962454
Sivad wrote:It's easy to pay taxes when you don't have to pay your employees a decent wage. If the rich want to broaden the tax base their gonna have to share some of that pie with the rest of us.


I don’t think that is what he was referring to. Indianapolis schools passed a referendum easily in the last election. Over 40% are renters. They lose nothing by voting yes. If only 10% of homeowners vote yes then the other 40% are stuck with the bill.
#14962457
Sivad wrote:It's easy to pay taxes when you don't have to pay your employees a decent wage. If the rich want to broaden the tax base their gonna have to share some of that pie with the rest of us.


So I see you've crossed the rubicon into socialism.

What a bunch of meaningless drivel.
Last edited by Victoribus Spolia on 12 Nov 2018 19:53, edited 1 time in total.
#14962460
One Degree wrote:I don’t think that is what he was referring to. Indianapolis schools passed a referendum easily in the last election. Over 40% are renters. They lose nothing by voting yes. If only 10% of homeowners vote yes then the other 40% are stuck with the bill.

Are you kidding, rent is a fucked up form of tax in itself. These landlord fuckers exploit the shit out of their tenants and then pretend like it's the renters that are the parasites.
#14962467
Sivad wrote:Are you kidding, rent is a fucked up form of tax in itself. These landlord fuckers exploit the shit out of their tenants and then pretend like it's the renters that are the parasites.


You don’t see anything wrong with renters determining how much homeowners must pay for their schools? With the figures I gave, 80% of the people actually paying the bill were outvoted. That is insanity. Extortion.
#14962473
One Degree wrote:You don’t see anything wrong with renters determining how much homeowners must pay for their schools?



Not when the renters are paying off the mortgages on the homes.

With the figures I gave, 80% of the people actually paying the bill were outvoted. That is insanity. Extortion.


No, the renters are paying the bills and the landlords are keeping the assets.
#14962478
Sivad wrote:These landlord fuckers exploit the shit out of their tenants and then pretend like it's the renters that are the parasites.


I own a 42 acre track of farmland, If I build a bunch of tiny houses on that land and advertise for people to rent them, and then they voluntarily choose to come and rent them from me via a signed contract. That is a mutual and voluntary agreement. That does not make me an oppressor and them oppressed, unless they are just fucking retarded because they clearly wanted to be oppressed by me in agreeing to rent such by a contract.
#14962490
Sivad wrote:Not when the renters are paying off the mortgages on the homes.



No, the renters are paying the bills and the landlords are keeping the assets.


Nonsense. Few homeowners are landlords.
#14962509
Victoribus Spolia wrote:I own a 42 acre track of farmland, If I build a bunch of tiny houses on that land and advertise for people to rent them, and then they voluntarily choose to come and rent them from me via a signed contract. That is a mutual and voluntary agreement. That does not make me an oppressor and them oppressed, unless they are just fucking retarded because they clearly wanted to be oppressed by me in agreeing to rent such by a contract.


Bullshit, you're taking advantage of people who don't have any good options. If I come across some poor bastard dying of thirst in the desert and I sell him water and transportation for one of his kidneys and 20 years indentured servitude that ain't free contract, it's exploitation. Unequal bargaining power is just one of the many ways that markets fail.
#14962512
Sivad wrote:you're taking advantage of people who don't have any good options.


How do you know? What if they are rich and want to have a cheap country getaway?

Sivad wrote:If I come across some poor bastard dying of thirst in the desert and I sell him water and transportation for one of his kidneys and 20 years indentured servitude that ain't free contract, it's exploitation.


How is that the same? What if you are voluntarily jogging in the desert and choose my water stand over someone right next to me whose prices were higher and you paid me with money you have RIGHT NOW. Would that still be oppression?

That sounds silly.

The argument has to cover all possible examples, and it clearly doesn't. Not everyone who chooses to rent does so because they have no choice in a manner equivalent to selling themselves into slavery (that might even be a questionable example).

Many rent because they don't want the hassle of fixing their own place and being responsible for its maintenance, this is becoming increasingly common in point of fact.

Sivad wrote:Unequal bargaining power is just one of the many ways that markets fail.


Nonsense.

I like price gouging, it prevents shortages. :lol:
#14962580
SolarCross wrote:Honestly I think a discussion on the morality of normal everyday economics is off-topic for this thread because neither normal liberalism nor Heinlien's liberalism sees any fault in it really. Heinlien's modification addresses flaws in liberalism which have nothing to do with conventional capitalism.


Except actual liberalism is meant to "safeguard" the rights and liberties that make capitalism possible (according to actual liberals).

To be fair to @Sivad, his point was against my critique of Heinlein.

I argued that Heinlein's ideas were good, but not as good as people having a vested interest or economic liability tied to their civic power.

Sivad critiqued my critique by arguing that my suggestion was unjust as it enfranchised oppressors (since tax payers oppress the "renting" class).

Hence, I don't necessarily think we are completely off topic.

After all, you can't argue for a form of meritocracy as the basis for civic power if the claim that such is unjust is not first addressed when presented.

Thats what I was doing after all.
#14962593
@Victoribus Spolia

Ok fair enough, I just don't want this thread getting bogged down with the usual repetition of leftist talking points.

I would like to address your point made earlier that you believe that economic liability (property owners should rule) is superior to mortal liability (heinlein's soldiers should rule) for civic responsibility. Historically they are usually intertwined because the military class usually also form the higher propertied class or otherwise are obliged to military service due to their propertied status so it is not so obvious which precedes which military service or propertied status in the mainstay of history. Clearly in Heinlein's vision civic responsibility is cleanly dependent solely on mortal liability and I do think that would be a superior translation than a cleanly economic one because one's own life is the most valuable property anyone can own whatever one's financial circumstances and all economic liabilities are firstly dependent on being alive to have them anyway... thus mortal liability actually encompasses economic liability anyway.

Moreover the highest purpose of government is collective defence not collective prosperity, which is another prop to the assertion that the soldier is the proper ruler rather than the economic worker or owner.
#14962607
SolarCross wrote:Historically they are usually intertwined because the military class usually also form the higher propertied class or otherwise are obliged to military service due to their propertied status so it is not so obvious which precedes which military service or propertied status in the mainstay of history.


This is true.

SolarCross wrote:Clearly in Heinlein's vision civic responsibility is cleanly dependent solely on mortal liability and I do think that would be a superior translation than a cleanly economic one because one's own life is the most valuable property anyone can own whatever their financial circumstances and all economic liabilities are firstly dependent on being alive to have them anyway...


Though it is true that one values their own life above that of their possessive property, I don't see how this would translate to superior governance in a way that would prevent the kind of degradation we've seen in modern democracies.

Let me put it this way.

If we required one to serve in the military prior to being able to vote or run for office, would this have prevented such representatives from voting in a welfare state, a fiat-currency, and bloated-spending, etc ?

I don't see how such would necessarily be connected.

Indeed, What about being a veteran implies you won't vote in a progressive tax and paper money?

The opposite is true with landedness or liability. There is a praxeological connection (regarding human nature) between the two.

If you could lose your house on debts the U.S. government fails to pay, you are predictably less likely to support such even in the cause of "helping the poor," because in such a case you have something to lose IN YOUR VOTE. Likewise, if you pay taxes as your #1 highest expense already, you are far less likely to vote for more of the same. In the case of Heilein's society, once you serve, you've earned your citizenship and right to vote, HOW you vote now cannot be predicted so easily, because after citizenship we don't know how such individuals live as to dictate how they would vote. A veteran-turned-citizen who is a renter is likely to vote differently on fiscal policy than a veteran-turned-citizen who owns three homes, even though both served in the military as to earn that same citizenship and right to civic power.

Which is my point.

I see a predictible and rational connection between economic interests and fiscally responsible governance. I don't see the connection between prior military service and fiscally responsible governance in the same way. How am I wrong on this?

Would veterans tend to be more fiscally responsible than our current politicians because of their background in disciplined training? Quite possibly, but the connection is more speculative and not nearly as rationally-based as in the case one who has actual personal liabilities in state policy.

SolarCross wrote:Moreover the highest purpose of government is collective defence not collective prosperity, which is another prop to the assertion that the soldier is the proper ruler rather than the economic worker or owner.


I don't necessarily disagree with this, but its sort of besides the point. The question really is, would Heinlein's view be superior to our own? Yes. Would it be better than economic liability in the preventing of the sort of decline we have seen in the west? No, I don't see how.
#14962659
Victoribus Spolia wrote:Though it is true that one values their own life above that of their possessive property, I don't see how this would translate to superior governance in a way that would prevent the kind of degradation we've seen in modern democracies.

Let me put it this way.

If we required one to serve in the military prior to being able to vote or run for office, would this have prevented such representatives from voting in a welfare state, a fiat-currency, and bloated-spending, etc ?

I don't see how such would necessarily be connected.

A soldier class would not favour welfare for non-soldiers.

A soldier class would not favour a fiat currency unless it allowed for an expansion of war making resources in times of need.

A soldier class would favour as much spending as is necessary to see the cause of security at least sufficiently provisioned.

BUT a merchant class of pure property owners would ALSO be in favour of:

1. welfare but only for pure property owners and to hell with the soldiery
2. fiat currency but only if it allowed pure property owners to skim off of other classes. (arguably the federal reserve is proof of this!)
3. bloated spending provided that pure property owners are the primary beneficiary...

No one put in a ruling position is incapable of using that ruling position for selfish purposes but at least the soldier in shouldering a mortal liability and engaged in the true purpose of governance which is collective defence has the best excuse for making those selfish purposes:

- A soldier should have welfare for he has bent his specialism for non-economic purposes (warfare) so that more peaceful trades can enjoy the security which allows for prosperity. Civilians do owe him that.

- A soldier should have the financial resources which support his martial exercises, if it is not done honestly by raising taxes then it is just as well be done dishonestly through currency debasement.

- the one case for bloated spending which is justifiable is in the pursuit of success in war for if a war is lost much more will be lost than is lost in over spending. Again the soldier alone is excusable for over spending.

Victoribus Spolia wrote:Indeed, What about being a veteran implies you won't vote in a progressive tax and paper money?

The opposite is true with landedness or liability. There is a praxeological connection (regarding human nature) between the two.

I have dealt with paper money above so I will answer you here only on progressive tax. The marxists have given progressive tax a bad name but that is because they desire a heavy progressive tax for the purpose robbing all of humankind of their property and thus their autonomy and dignity. Note however the fault here is in the "heavy" not the "progressive". A light progressive tax is scarcely different to light flat tax except it sacrifices a little simplicity (the virtue of a flat tax) for a less onerous burden on the taxed because the richer are hurt less by a flat tithing than the poor for a given raised total revenue.

FYI the first progressive tax was imposed by British PM william pit the younger in order to raise funds for a war with France, it was only a few % and there was no ideological reason for it at all, it was purely for the purpose of raising revenue efficiently and without aggravating those least able to pay. There is nothing inherently bad in a progressive tax, the marxists make it bad by desiring to weaponise it in their aim in destroying humanity.

Victoribus Spolia wrote:If you could lose your house on debts the U.S. government fails to pay, you are predictably less likely to support such even in the cause of "helping the poor," because in such a case you have something to lose IN YOUR VOTE. Likewise, if you pay taxes as your #1 highest expense already, you are far less likely to vote for more of the same. In the case of Heilein's society, once you serve, you've earned your citizenship and right to vote, HOW you vote now cannot be predicted so easily, because after citizenship we don't know how such individuals live as to dictate how they would vote. A veteran-turned-citizen who is a renter is likely to vote differently on fiscal policy than a veteran-turned-citizen who owns three homes, even though both served in the military as to earn that same citizenship and right to civic power.

Which is my point.

I see a predictible and rational connection between economic interests and fiscally responsible governance. I don't see the connection between prior military service and fiscally responsible governance in the same way. How am I wrong on this?

Would veterans tend to be more fiscally responsible than our current politicians because of their background in disciplined training? Quite possibly, but the connection is more speculative and not nearly as rationally-based as in the case one who has actual personal liabilities in state policy.

I don't necessarily disagree with this, but its sort of besides the point. The question really is, would Heinlein's view be superior to our own? Yes. Would it be better than economic liability in the preventing of the sort of decline we have seen in the west? No, I don't see how.


A soldier is no more likely to poor economic foresight than a civilian and a smart soldier would prefer not to ruin the economy as much as a civilian because economic power precedes military power. His own prowess as a soldier is enhanced by healthy civilian power on which ultimately supplies him with all he needs to do his task of collective security.

You can hardly argue that pure civilians are wiser than military men in economic governance while deriding our current liberal democracies which are exactly civilian governance (in which civilian property owners are disproportionately influential.. Buffet, Soros, federal reserve etc) where military opinion is of little influence.
#14962724
I thought the book was boring, there's little political philosophy in it.

Besides, tying citizenship to military service is hardly a revolutionary concept. It existed in ancient city states as well as modern nation states. Lots of countries still have conscription. From a military point of view it doesn't necessarily make sense anymore though.

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