Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers

Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers

Rico: Portrait of a Fascist

Whether he meant to or not, Heinlein outlined one of the most prescient and accurate models of a society which has been entirely engulfed by the military industrial complex. He also extrapolated brilliantly a great deal of the western fascist mechanisms which were circulating around the end of WW2 (and define the founding of the entire western world since the colonial genocide), which can already be applied more or less seamlessly in contemporary politics and economics (and applied at the time it was written as well, that's where he got the ideas of course).

As a result of his honesty in accounting his own real life experiences with the military and his indoctrination process, which includes a thorough early propaganda process in school and society, made up of closed ended lectures which equate highly authoritarian, centralized statist rhetoric with "mathematical proofs", he couldn't have provided a better anti-utopian satire. How people can be and are made to become instruments of their own coercion, is almost flawlessly exemplified here.

Through the use of a first person narrative, we see only the isolated process, we see the small picture which all of us grasp, and which we are always encouraged to focus on. We do not see much of the larger political infrastructure, we do not come to understand in any meaningful way how their economy functions, and we are never allowed a clear path to reckon with their actual controlling elements and ruling elite. This is the lived experience of fascism, and of any highly authority based political structure. This point of view allows for a very challenging and intellectually demanding experience, as you are constantly made to engage with the heinousness of the fascist society, directly and helplessly on the receiving end of it. There are never breaks with wider swaths of social or cultural survey, only the existential symptoms of the common, misinformed and misguided individual.

I hope I...

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