Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday Sci-Fi rambling

Several science-fiction writers have remarked on the fact that the writers and fans believe, or would like to believe, that human behavior is or could be ruled by reason instead or emotion. That is also a necessary premise, but not exactly accurate, for most libertarians.

For someone being outside of the middle-school mainstream probably resulted in some clashes with "authority" and could naturally lead to a healthy skepticism of the ruling class on the political playground as well as in ‘real’ life. This sort of description fits both the nerd that is often connected to Sci-Fi and the libertarian.

And so is there a correlation between loving Science fiction and libertarianism? Are most libertarians also nerds?

I’ve been studying such discussion online and my view is pretty clear. Almost everyone I’ve ever known that loves The X-files, Firefly and Star Trek have a very clear opinion on individuality versus collectivism. They may not always be hardcore libertarians, but their political persuasion is certainly always far from socialism.

Of course there are exceptions, but to me it seems like that most libertarians have a liking towards technology, inventions, fantastic tales and futurism.

I would also like to point out that even though the perception of a story, movie, book or TV-show is in eye of the beholder, I cannot help seeing clear libertarian traits in all sci-fi adventures. Those that don’t agree I usually find is seeing libertarianism as that evil capitalist thought media and our master’s tries to tell us it is, not the actual ideology.

My favorite Sci-Fi show is Firefly. Although not as entertaining as Stargate SG1 or as ‘out there’ as Star Trek, I find this show particularly interesting both from an enjoyable and a libertarian perspective.

Although the show comes with certain faults such as claiming the pyramids was built by slaves or that “The Earth that was” cannot sustain too many humans, the show, to me, seem very realistic. Probably the most realistic Sci-Fi show to date.

Only that space battles and things that goes on out there are soundless is a fresh, and factual, approach I would like to see in more of these sorts of tales. There are no sounds in space which always annoys me when, for example, looking at Star Trek battles and every laser makes a loud and clear noise.

The show was created by writer and director Joss Whedon, who is a pure genius, although not very libertarian, at least not officially. Rather an American liberal and certainly against conservative ideals (yeah, I know, who isn’t?). And it follows the adventures of the renegade crew of Serenity, a "Firefly-class" spaceship.

According to Whedon's vision, "nothing will change in the future: technology will advance, but we will still have the same political, moral, and ethical problems as today”. I certainly can agree with that statement. Also the crew are ruffians often working outside the law (that is as unjust as today) and they battle against a government out of control trying to impose people a “controlled” environment and even taking it so far as to using chemicals to subdue any aggressive and non-compliance behavior.

People seemingly wants to be left alone and only wants the government to step in to enforce the laws, but since many laws and government intrusions takes it too far the story sort of starts with a civil war, very similar to that of the US civil war that also was about control and state independence, not slavery as the popular belief says. And many moons and groups of people rather lives in 'lawlessness' than have the government come by to control them.

The show also ignores aliens and too outrageous technological advancements, which I also find very refreshing and more true to facts.

When the captain of the ship Serenity, Malcolm (Mal) Reynolds, tells his first mate Zoe that with the ship, "[We] never have to be under the heel of nobody ever again. No matter how long the arm of the Alliance might get, we’ll just get a little further." you just feel the heartbeat of libertarianism pounding away.

I mean, just listen to this:

The series’ central theme seems to concern the ineptitude of strong central government and its tendency to oppress and stifle rather than free or secure. As Mal says, "That’s what governments are for, [to] get in a man’s way."

Operating under the precepts of free trade, Mal is a principled smuggler ; while the government places barriers on trade, Mal believes the smuggling he does is honest work. As he tells a prospective client who is apprehensive about dealing with supposedly dishonest smugglers, "Seems to me there’s nothing dishonest about getting goods to people that need ’em." That philosophy extends to mud, medical supplies, and in one delightful episode, cattle.

To top it all off we have Whedon’s trademark witty and thoughtfully chosen scripts and the language is almost as fantastic, and slightly more grown-up, than that of Buffy.

So to my fellow nerds and libertarians out there, see this show. And for you that have lefties point of view should also see it as one of many tales that pretty accurately tells us about government versus individual thinking and shows what libertarianism is for many of us that actually believe in that idea.

Finally I need to say to all of you out there that once space flight becomes a reality, let’s bring all libertarians together and fly far, far away from all the wars, inflation, unemployment and poverty the rest of this planet’s inhabitants continue to spit out.

1 comment:

  1. Great show, too bad it got cancelled after only one season... Fan base was/is quite large thou