Thursday, December 5, 2013


Robert Heinlein: Photo by Dd-b


I have to tip my hat to Z as inspiration for this piece, Z posted an article over at GeeeeeZ! by Dana Milbank titled "Save America; Restore the Draft.

I thought the article had some interesting points (click the link to read it) that warranted further discussion in a slightly different context.  

Robert Heinlein

Starship Troopers is a coming-of-age story about duty, citizenship, and the role of the military in a free society. John J Miller
"A society in which suffrage is earned by demonstrated willingness to place society's interests before one's own, at least for a short time and often under onerous circumstances, in government service"

Heinlein said that it was his intention in the novel that service could include positions outside strictly military functions and such as teachers, police officers, and other government positions. This is presented in the novel as an outgrowth of the failure of unearned suffrage government and as a very successful arrangement. In addition, the franchise was only awarded after leaving the assigned service, thus those serving their terms—in the military, or any other service—were excluded from exercising any franchise. Career military were completely disenfranchised until retirement.  ~Expanded Universe, The New Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein 1980

Unearned Suffrage

Is there merit in the concept of earned suffrage? Some points to think about:

Would you say that the majority vote out of self-interest or sub-group interest as opposed to national interest? Or do you think that we are more noble than that?

Should someone that doesn't pay taxes, get to vote for a tax increase for those that do? If so, why? 

Which brings to mind the quote:

"Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner."

Is it possible to be free, to live in a free society, in a representative democracy without franchise if franchise is equally available to all through action on their own part? Or is the right to vote an essential freedom?

Do you think that those earning suffrage would in the exercise of their right to vote oppress those that haven't earned it?

"Man is not a rational animal,
he is a rationalizing animal."
Robert Heinlein

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