Truth Is Stranger Than Science Fiction

I’m reading Robert A. Heinlein’s 1966 masterpiece, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.  The premise here is very clever: the historical outlines of the American Revolution have been transplanted to 2076, where a rag-tag group of outsiders colonizing the moon throws off the overbearing bureaucracy that has burdened them from Earth.  In this scene, the Russian-speaking narrator observes an informal new congress debating what the new government should look like, with some suggesting laws just as onerously regulatory as what they’ve gotten rid of:

Must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please.  Rules, laws–always for other fellow.  A murky part of us, something we had before we came down out of trees, and failed to shuck when we stood up.  Because not one of those people said: “Please pass this so that I won’t be able to do something I know I should stop.”  Nyet, tovarischee, was always something they hated to see neighbors doing.  Stop them “for their own good”–not because speaker claimed to be harmed by it. 

 Did you know that in New York it is now illegal for resturants to cook with trans fats?

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One comment on “Truth Is Stranger Than Science Fiction

  1. Did you know that until very recently, there were many States, where it was a crime to engage in a homosexual relationship? Actually, even married couples were forbidden to do certain things behind closed doors and curtains in their bedrooms?

    That in many States it’s actually still legal to beat your wife (within certain requirements not likely to be fulfilled by the average wife-beater)?

    I mean, it’s one thing to forbid restaurants from using something we know will harm people (but they can’t see it in their food), and another forbidding something that is done within the homes of the people, with no harm done to any innocent party. I don’t mean I condone just any old thing, but to illegalize?

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