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Friday, August 10, 2007

Keep your laws off my starship. . .

Lois Tilton over at Deep Genre doesn't like Libertarian SF, at least some Libertarian meme she sees as infecting some SF. In a nutshell her main complaint seems to be with the idea that space would be more "free" (meaning absence of regulation) when she sees the scarcity of resources (such as air) resulting in a much more regulated environment.

Well, this is a classic "yes but." The "but" here is the fact that Libertarianism respects much more small-scale governmental systems, and the classic Libertarian scenario has each starship/habitat/whatever being sovereign unto itself and the crew of said starship/habitat/whatever being present by choice, and voluntarily subject to the rules/laws/regulations therein. And often those rules can be a lot more draconian than a typical State's laws, and subject to harsher penalties. They just cover a much smaller jurisdiction, population, and subset of human behavior.

I don't even see L. Neil Smith at his most didactic devolving into the ├╝ber-individualism that Tilton seems to dislike. I can't help feeling that she's upset with a caricature of a mindset that she doesn't happen to like in the first place.

It's not that I don't want no rules on my starship. I just want the rules set by the people on the starship, and not by a committee of career bureaucrats who never stepped out of a gravity well.

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