I’m not a science fiction writer but I am a fan, and have been since a few months before I turned 12. So I’ve been familiar with the genre and the writers for a quite a while, and so have decided that science fiction writers should be in charge of the government. I’m not kidding about that, either.
I hold nearly all politicians in contempt and suspect most of them are intelligent psychopaths (dumb psychopaths end up in prison). There are some exceptions, of course. Ron Paul is one of them. But most politicians are self-aggrandizing liars, murderers and thieves. Oh, I forgot – they’re also drunks and sexual perverts.
Is there anything lower than a politician? A serial killer? A child molester? The damage they’ve done is a drop in the ocean compared to the millennia of wreckage left by politicians.
Government has killed more people in history than everything else put together. I’ve read estimates that in the 20th Century anywhere from 177 million to 200 million people were killed by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – another name for the State.
All governments are based on force and fraud, without exception. Force and fraud, the two things that sent most people straight to Hell in Dante’s Inferno.
Why should science fiction writers rule? Because they are far more intelligent, sensitive, imaginative and empathic than politicians or the average joe. Most of them have libertarian sympathies, which is a prerequisite for good rulers.
Libertarianism – or classical liberalism – believes in the smallest necessary government (except for the anarchist libertarians, who are leftist fools). If the purpose of government is to, as John Locke wrote, protect “life, liberty and property” then what automatically springs up is political liberty and the free market. And that maximizes the well-being of everyone.
Politicians always try to expand government, and for that matter, so does much of the Herd. The Herd, unfortunately, isn’t merely dim-witted. It has no brains at all.
This Blob-like growth of government is why it always collapses. It gets too big and destroys or absorbs everything in its path, like the Borg. There in fact hasn’t been a government that hasn’t collapsed.
The first science fiction novel I remember reading is Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Fighting Man of Mars. It’s not exactly a libertarian novel but the Bad Guys are the power-mad rulers who want to conquer the planet and the Good Guys want freedom for everyone. I can’t tell you the effect this novel, with its swordfights and “radium pistols” and flying ships, had on my 11-year-old sensibilities.
There were other stories. Eric Frank Russell’s …and Then There Were None, a very funny story about a society that keeps its freedom by figuring out a fool-proof way to avoid being conquered: they just ignore their wannabe-be conquerors. In fact, they end up absorbing those who want to conquer them, just the way early America absorbed the Hessian mercenaries who wouldn’t go back to the Statist hell they came from.
There was A.E van Vogt’s The Weapon Shops of Isher, with its famous line: “The Right to Buy Weapons is the Right to be Free.” I still remember the frustration I felt that there were no Weapon Shop pistols, which threw up an impenetrable energy field about the owner and would not fire unless he was attacked. Imagine what that did for crime. Most especially, the crimes committed by the Empire, which, not surprisingly, hated and feared the Weapon Shops.
There are many others. James Hogan. Jerry Pournelle. L. Neil Smith. Neal Stephenson. I’m sure there are others I’ve never read, maybe even heard about.
When people are imaginative they have the ability to empathize with other people, to put themselves in their shoes. That’s why Stephen King is so popular: he can put himself in all of his character’s shoes.
I doubt a literal-minded person could easily sympathize with others, especially the more different those others are. I am reminded of something I read: the stupid don’t learn from their mistakes; the more intelligent do; and the smartest of all learn from other people’s mistakes. And you’ll certainly have a very difficult time learning from others unless you have some imaginative empathy.
Imagination, when united with reason, is my definition of creativity. And creativity is what advances all societies. And no society can go anywhere unless it has small government.
And who else besides science fiction writers are imaginative, reasonable and libertarian?
The world has given other types of government its chance. Kings, constitutional monarchies, republics. They’ve all degraded. It’s time to try something different. Just don’t ask me what kind of government we should have, because I don’t know. I just know who should be in authority.
It’s too bad those damn Weapon Shop pistols don’t exist. We wouldn’t need anyone to rule.
Posted by Bob Wallace, who should be Benign Dictator.