Sunday, January 12, 2014

Book Review: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Robert A. Heinlein

Recently, I finished the Libertarian Science Fiction Novel - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" by Robert A Heinlein (1966).

I was given a copy when I attended a Chicago AFF Event.

The book was a tough read at times, partly because of the content, and partly because of my complete absence of reading books the last couple of years.  I have read blogs and magazines almost everyday, but the 'chore' of reading a book cover-to-cover scared me.  It took me over 3 months to finish, but the book's core message inspired me to finish.

Here is a quick summary: Luna is a colony controlled by Terra.   Luna residents create a strategy to revolt.  Terra strikes first, but Luna wins out.

The book had one great quote that I want to capture in this post:
You have put your finger on the dilemma of all government - and the reason I am an anarchist.  The power to tax, once conceded, has not limits; it contains until it destroys.  I was not joking when I told them to dig into their own pouches.  It may not be possible to do away with government - sometimes I think that government is so inescapable disease of human beings.  But it may be possible to keep it small and starved and inoffensive - and can you think of a better way than by requiring the governors themselves to pay the costs for their antisocial hobby?
 I find it fascinating that this book was written in 1966, and in 2014, I feel exactly the same way.  When I advocate for the elimination of entire departments in Governments, its because if you leave a pulse, it will find a tax or fee to keep it alive and eventually grow again.  I have convinced some ardent Liberals that there is no value in sending money to Washington for the Federal Department of Education, to have them create tests and standards to implement at state level, is asinine.  How does a bureaucrat know whats best for Oregon, Iowa, and Florida?

For a full chapter synopsis, please click here.