Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Current Crisis as Science Fiction: Robert Heinlein Thirty Years Ago

By Barry Rubin

Robert Heinlein is one of the great American science fiction writers; writers supposed to predict the future. Here are some lines from his novel Friday, published in 1982. The head of an intelligence agency asks his prize analyst, ”What are the marks of a sick culture?”

Friday (his prize analyst): “It is a bad sign when the people of a country stop identifying themselves with the country and start identifying with a group. A racial group. Or a religion. Or a language. Anything, as long as it isn’t the whole population….

“High taxation is important and so is inflation of the currency and the ratio of the productive to those on the public payroll. But that’s old hat; everybody knows that a country is on the skids when its income and outgo get out of balance and stay that way….”

Yeah, everybody knows that….

This article is also on PajamasMedia:

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