Author Topic: The Power of Fiction  (Read 1442 times)

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Offline fporretto

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The Power of Fiction
« on: March 04, 2011, 05:11:45 PM »
Survey after survey indicates that fictional depictions and treatments have more influence on Americans' attitudes toward freedom than factual or expository treatments. The books most often mentioned in connection with a "conversion" toward a conservative / libertarian outlook are Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and the novels of Robert A. Heinlein.

I write fiction, and have tried mightily to make it polemically effective. Not in the philosophical Randian fashion, but more in Heinlein's tradition of the Competent Individualist. What books have you encountered that have struck you as powerfully persuasive toward those ends?

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Fran Porretto
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Online IronDioPriest

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Re: The Power of Fiction
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2011, 05:21:46 PM »
Welcome Fran. You were registered at the old forum too, no? Glad to have you here.

As an enthusiast for the fantasy genre, I am very partial to Terry Goodkind's "Sword of Truth" series. It begins in typical fashion for the genre (young man gets his world rocked, sets out on a forced adventure only to discover his lost heritage and legacy, etc), but as the lengthy series unfolds, Goodkind uses the story and characters as a platform to espouse very anti-collectivist ideology. Embedded in the dialogue are some very pointed diatribes against collectivism and totalitarianism. It is a well-written, grittier take on fantasy, and a good piece of work, aside from ideology. Most satisfying.

ETA: There is an EXTREMELY sh*tty syndicated television series based loosely on these characters called "Legend of the Seeker". DO NOT seek it out. It is NOT representative of the novels.
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Online Pandora

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Re: The Power of Fiction
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2011, 05:37:14 PM »
F. Paul Wilson's "Repairman Jack" series is the closest I've come to what you describe, Fran, if my memory serves correctly; it's been a while.
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Re: The Power of Fiction
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2011, 05:52:31 PM »
Sadly I can't remember the last time I read for pure pleasure. Technical stuff, history, politics, and correspondence seems to be all I have time for.

*sigh*

Offline fporretto

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Re: The Power of Fiction
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2011, 07:41:28 AM »
Repairman Jack: Yes! I've enjoyed those books quite a lot myself. Apropos of F. Paul Wilson, he also wrote a trio of short novels called The LaNague Chronicles that are solidly pro-freedom tales.

A few years ago, Jerry Pournelle compiled an anthology titled The Survival of Freedom struck me as quite effective also, though I don't think it garnered much of a readership.
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Re: The Power of Fiction
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2011, 11:55:02 AM »
Repairman Jack: Yes! I've enjoyed those books quite a lot myself. Apropos of F. Paul Wilson, he also wrote a trio of short novels called The LaNague Chronicles that are solidly pro-freedom tales.

A few years ago, Jerry Pournelle compiled an anthology titled The Survival of Freedom struck me as quite effective also, though I don't think it garnered much of a readership.


I've not been aware of The LaNague Chronicles; now I know to look for them, thanks.

John Ringo wrote "The Last Centurion", which was most excellent; I'm not impressed with the only other book by him I've read, though.
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Offline Glock32

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Re: The Power of Fiction
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2011, 01:11:14 PM »
Aldous Huxely's Brave New World, specifically the character "John the Savage" who was raised outside of the collective global state.

I also found Logan's Run an illustration of how totalitarianism can disguise itself with a seductive veneer of hedonism and mindless indulgence of the senses. It is, to me, the crux of the difference in notions of freedom between conservatives/libertarians and liberals. The conservative interprets freedom as that condition of being in command of one's own fate, whereas the liberal interprets freedom as the condition of being provided for, whether those provisions are for material sustenance or other forms of indulgence. One is a mature, adult sense of freedom. The other is a juvenile/adolescent sense of freedom. This transition from overgrown adolescence into adulthood was symbolized in the movie by the two protagonists' escape from their collective world to the wilderness of the surface, where the rays of the natural sun burn out the "life clock" embedded in their palms.
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Offline Sectionhand

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Re: The Power of Fiction
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2011, 06:37:13 AM »
Anton Myrer's  "Once An Eagle" published in 1968 became my "Leadership Manual" prior to entering college and R.O.T.C. ( in 1969 ). Finally , by the late 1980s the U.S. Army recognized it's value and made it required reading at The War College and the Command and General Staff School . It is also part of the curriculum at West Point . Better late than never , I guess .

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Re: The Power of Fiction
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2011, 10:07:56 AM »
Aldous Huxely's Brave New World, specifically the character "John the Savage" who was raised outside of the collective global state.

I also found Logan's Run an illustration of how totalitarianism can disguise itself with a seductive veneer of hedonism and mindless indulgence of the senses. It is, to me, the crux of the difference in notions of freedom between conservatives/libertarians and liberals. The conservative interprets freedom as that condition of being in command of one's own fate, whereas the liberal interprets freedom as the condition of being provided for, whether those provisions are for material sustenance or other forms of indulgence. One is a mature, adult sense of freedom. The other is a juvenile/adolescent sense of freedom. This transition from overgrown adolescence into adulthood was symbolized in the movie by the two protagonists' escape from their collective world to the wilderness of the surface, where the rays of the natural sun burn out the "life clock" embedded in their palms.


 IIRC they had to die off by 30. I always saw that as the age where on grows up and starts to see things as the can be rather than as they are. Once you you mature you start to see the nonsense for what it is and have to die off before you grow up. Perfect control for leadership dead before you start to see what reality is.

 Hence the "get them while they're young" plan of the left.
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