Comments: Martinis and Heinlein

Great quote. I think "Starship Troopers" had a bigger influence on me than any other work of fiction I read as a youth. I still read it at least once a year.

Posted by Jack Grey at March 2, 2005 01:14 PM

That is one of my favorite Heinlein quotes. I love to pull it out when the pacifists start on a rampage. Normally when I'm done with that quote their only response is a disgruntled mumble of "yeah, well it shouldn't be that way". I've been on something of a Heinlein tear myself lately, Jubal Harshaw, Prof De La Paz and Mannie Davis.

Jack, as much as I love ST (and I must admit it was a primary catalyst for my joining the military many years ago) I have to say "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" is the better book and much more influential on my thinking. Followed closely by "Stranger in a Strange Land", then ST and then "Time Enough for Love".

Posted by Eric at March 3, 2005 01:44 AM

"...conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate [the doctrine that 'violence never solves anything']. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon."

There seems to be some unintentional irony in the Heinlein quotation. He has Bonaparte pleading the case for pacifism while Hitler acts as impartial moderator. Logically someone like Ghandi or Martin King should argue the effectiveness of soft power, but of course Indian independence and the passage of the voting rights act undermine the point Heinlein wished to make.

Napoleon and Hitler were among the staunchest champions of naked force the world has seen during these last few blood-soaked centuries, to their everlasting regret. All their example shows is that those who rush to plead their case before the bar of violence run the risk that justice will hand down the harshest of verdicts.

Tommy Hall

Posted by T J Hall at March 5, 2005 11:23 AM
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