The Corner

Heinlein On Politics

Yeah, I know, it’s yesterday’s topic, but just allow me one more Heinlein post, Kathryn, please.

Heinlein actually wrote a nonfiction book about politics, based on his own experiences of political activism, which were more extensive than I’d realized. Here is the book.

An excerpt is given on that web page. I reproduce it below. Notice the cute Heinleinian twist at the very end. You then have to go back and read the excerpt again, noting the emphases. That’s pure Heinlein–he knew how to make you think. Great loss to the teaching profession. When Heinlein is on form, you are putty in his hands.

“Robert Heinlein, on the utility of coopting special interest *groups*:

“Church groups are frequently a cause of corruption and confusion in politics. Don’t expect any real help from them.

“Women, as a group [remember, this is 1946], are less politically enlightened and less politically honest than men. Test them before you trust them.

“Elderly people, as a group, are politically selfish and socially irresponsible. Avoid organized groups of the old folks.

“Reliable volunteer political workers are found most frequently among young people. However, the very best political volunteers are found in the three groups mentioned above.”

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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