Reading The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (2007-05-24/06-17)

Thing that got me was not her list of things she hated, since she was obviously crazy as a Cyborg, but fact that always somebody agreed with her prohibitions. Must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws— always for other fellow. A murky part of us, something we had before we came down out of trees, and failed to shuck when we stood up. Because not one of those people said: "Please pass this so that I won't be able to do something I know I should stop." Nyet, tovarishchee, was always something they hated to see neighbors doing. Stop them "for their own good"—not because speaker claimed to be harmed by it.
--Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

I recall a time I looked through everything in the school library by Robert A. Heinlein. Although this blog only holds one such book review, I love speculative fiction--especially science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism. Nevertheless, I only really recall reading Stranger in a Strange Land and The Number of the Beast. I don't remember reading The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, even though I tend to remember social science fiction I read (e.g., Animal Farm, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, The Left Hand of Darkness, Nineteen Eight-Four).

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress was published in 1967--the year of the Summer of Love--and mentions themes common in the hippie counterculture movement of the 1960s. Its society excites me and inspires my imagination. It appeals to my civil libertarian leanings. I want freedom from conventional careers, freedom to travel, freedom from relationship restrictions, etc.; and I believe in responsibility and the importance of individuals. Luna in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is among the societies in speculative fiction that seem desirable and viable to me. However, I don't know how our current societies would evolve into them.

1 comment:

Ryan Nolan Kolomona said...

You are the type to be excited by different societal constraints, though certainly not no societal constraints:)