Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tolerable Socialism?!

I have found a socialist world, fictional though it is, that I could live in comfortably. I just finished reading For Us, the Living: A Comedy of Customs by Robert A. Heinlein. It is his last, and first, novel. If that seems confusing, you should get the book and read the introduction by Spider Robinson.

In Heinlein's fictional world, the government pays everyone a living allowance (of its fiat money), just for being born. Beyond that it pretty much leaves you completely alone, unless you commit some terrible act, such as being jealous (the only crime covered in the book). Even then the punishment is restricted to correcting, through education, the mistaken concepts that lead to such violations.

I never thought I would find any socialist world acceptable, and I seriously doubt that any government could keep its nose out of everyone's business like this fictional one does, being driven by accumulation of power and control as they all are. This makes for an interesting read and thought experiment anyway.