Friday, March 2, 2012

Libertarianism Is No Stranger to Science Fiction

The Republican presidential hopefuls have been in the news for quite some time now (minus the lesser known ones: Fred Karger, Andy Martin and Jimmy McMillan), and the media coverage certainly has been hectic.
Photo of Ron Paul's from Wikipedia.
Image from Wikipedia.

The newest media craze is Super Tuesday on March 6, and one of the states -- Virginia -- only has two of the hopefuls on its ballot: former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney and Congressman Ron Paul (sorry Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich). Of them, Paul is considered by many in the media as an outcast. Although he is a Republican (he has been elected as such 12 times), he differs from them on issues such as his nonintervention stance (not isolationisim as many people claim).

So what does this have to do with science fiction? Well, he also is a libertarian, and libertarianism is no stranger to science fiction. The genre is full of libertarian views such as H.G. Wells' Men Like Gods, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four; Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged; Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (plus much of what he writes); and Larry Niven's, Jerry Pournelle's and Michael Flynn's Fallen Angels, among many others.

Have you read any of them? The stories are usually about an individual seeking liberty from a suppressed society. Although societies in the stories often are taken to the extreme for readership appeal, the libertarian philosophy is prevalent among science fiction stories, and you may not have even known it.

So what do you think about libertarian science fiction? Do you like it, hate it or don't care as long as you're entertained?
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