Heinlein on Voting

"If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for ... but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong."

-From Time Enough for Love

 And just for balance since I know that this is an unpopular sentiment around here, here are some far more interesting Heinlein quotes:

 The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, withou a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.

I don't trust a man who talks about ethics when he is picking my pocket. But if he is acting in his own self-interest and says so, I have usually been able to work out some way to do business with him.

"Progress doesn't come from early risers - progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things."

"Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny."

"Be wary of strong spirits. It can make you shoot at tax collectors ... and miss."

-From the Notebooks of Lazarus Long

But does Man have any "right" to spread through the universe? Man is what he is, a wild animal with the will to survive, and (so far) the ability, against all competition. Unless one accepts that, anything one says about morals, war, politics, you name it, is nonsense. Correct morals arise from knowing what man is, not what do-gooders and well-meaning old Aunt Nellies would like him to be. The Universe will let us know - later - whether or not Man has any "right" to expand through it.

Of course, the Marxian definition of value is ridiculous. All the work one cares to add willl not turn a mud pie into an apple tart; it remains a mud pie, value zero. By corollary, unskillful work can easily subtract value; an untalented cook can turn wholesome dough and fresh green apples, valuable already, into an inedible mess, value zero. Conversely, a great chef can fashion of those same materials a confection of greater value than a commonplace apple tart, with no more effort than an ordinary cook uses to prepare an ordinary sweet. These kitchen illustrations demolish the Marxian theory of value - the fallacy from which the entire magnificent fraud of communism derives - and to illustrate the truth of the common-sense defintion as measured in terms of use.

"Value" has no meaning other than in relationship to living beings. The value of a thing is always relative to a particular person, is completely personal and different in quantity for each living human—"market value" is a fiction, merely a rough guess at the average of personal values, all of which must be quantitatively different or trade would be impossible. [...] This very personal relationship, "value", has two factors for a human being: first, what he can do with a thing, its use to him… and second, what he must do to get it, its cost to him. There is an old song which asserts that "the best things in life are free". Not true! Utterly false! This was the tragic fallacy which brought on the decadence and collapse of the democracies of the twentieth century; those noble experiments failed because the people had been led to believe that they could simply vote for whatever they wanted… and get it, without toil, without sweat, without tears."

-From Starship Troopers

Starship troopers also has quite a few character tirades against natural rights. It is actually a really good book in spite of that fact. ;)

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It is every person's right

It is every person's right to vote. I think it is a right and an obligation. As part of a nation, city, or even just a community, people's opinions are also their voices as to how they want things to be. One who does not vote means s/he has o right to voice out his/her concerns.

Time Enough for Love, page 272

"Ernie, where is the money?

"What money duke?"


"'What money??!' Why these account books show that you've taken in thousands and thousands of dollars. Your own trading post shows a balance of nearly a million. And I know you've been collecting mortgage payments on three or four dozen farms -- and haven't loaned hardly anything for a year or more. That's been one of the major complaints, Ernie, why the selectmen just had to act -- all that money going into the bank and none coming out. Money scarce everywhere. So where's the money, man?"


"I burned it" Gibbons answered cheerfully.



"Certainly. It was piling up and getting too bulky. I didn't dare keep it outside the safe even though we don't have much theft here -- if somebody stole it, it could ruin me. So far the past three years, as money came into the bank, I've been burning it. To keep it safe"


"Good God!"

"What's the trouble, Duke. It's just wastepaper"

"'Wastepaper? It's money "


"What is 'money' Duke? Got any on you? Say a ten-dollar bill?" Warwick, still looking shocked, dug out one. "Read it, Duke " Gibbons urged. "Never mind the fancy engraving and the pretty paper that can't be made here as yet -- read what it says "


"It says it's ten dollars "

"So it does. But the important part is where it says the bank will accept that note at face value in payment of debts to the bank " Gibbons took out of his sporran a thousand dollar banknote, set fire to it while Warwick watched in horrible fascination. Gibbons rubbed the char off his fingers.


"Wastepaper, Duke as long as it's in my possession. But if I let it get into circulation, it becomes my IOU that I must honor. Half a moment while I record that serial number; I keep track of what I burn so that I know how much is still in circulation. Quite a lot, but I can tell you to the dollar. Are you going to honor my IOU's? And what about debts owed to the bank? Who gets paid? You? Or me?


Warwick look baffled. "Ernie, I just don't know. Hell, man, I'm a mechanic by trade. But you heard what they said at the meeting "


"Yeah, I heard. People always expect a government to work miracles -- even people who are fairly bright other ways. Let's lock up this junk and go over to the Waldorf and have a beer and discuss it "

To vote is an obligation and

To vote is an obligation and a right of every person to judge, whether the candidate has the right to appoint to sit on his position. I think the future of one nation depends on voter’s hand. So be very careful on voting and think the candidate who is really worth for the position.

If voting is an obligation

If voting is an obligation how does one come to receive that liability? What if I believe not only that no candidate is worth the position but also that no one can possibly worth the position?

We should always exercise

We should always exercise our right to vote even if most of the candidates do not really deserve to be elected. At least we can choose the lesser evil among them.

unstated assumptions

You implicitely make two assumptions

- That we can indeed weight in on the result of the election

- That there is no benefit in non-voting, i.e. that voting is a free option.

It's not. By voting you're perpetuating the democratic myth (see point one) which is responsible for far more evil than you can possibly avoid by picking the best candidate.


Well, I weigh in for one

Well, I weigh in for one reason only: to opine, once again, that Time Enough For Love is a terrible book.

Time Enough For Love

Oh, migawd! Its a fantastic book and I've worn out two copies of it. It contains the wisdom of the ages.

There's a Latin saying:

De gustibus non est disputandum, which translates literally as: "There's no accounting for taste, especially taste as bad as yours."