“Starship Troopers” – Robert Anson Heinlein (quotes and a few thoughts)
“Starship Troopers” – Robert Anson Heinlein (quotes and a few thoughts)

“Starship Troopers” – Robert Anson Heinlein (quotes and a few thoughts)

I read this classic science fiction novel as the suggestion of a friend. While the story itself was somewhat lacking, I truly enjoyed many of the themes presented: reason, war, violence, economics, value and liberty to name a few. Here are a few quotes that speak for themselves:

  • Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.
  • One can lead a child to knowledge but one cannot make him think.
  • Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more. All the wealthy, unhappy people you’ve ever met take sleeping pills; Mobile Infantrymen don’t need them. Give a cap trooper a bunk and time to each out in it and he’s as happy as a worm in an apple – asleep.
  • I may have given the impression that boot camp was made harder than necessary. That is correct. It was made as hard as possible and on purpose.
  • The purpose of war is to support your government’s decisions by force. The purpose is never to kill the enemy to be killing him… but to make him do what you want him to do.
  • ‘Market value’ is a fiction, merely a rough guess at the average of personal values, all of which must be quantitatively different or trade would be impossible.
  • Nothing of value is free. Even the breath of life is purchased at birth only through gasping effort and pain.
  • If you boys and girls had to sweat for your toys the way a newly born baby has to struggle to live you would be happier… and much richer. As it is, with some of you, I pity the poverty of your wealth.
  • The best things in life are beyond money; their price is agony and sweat and devotion… and the price demanded for the most precious of all things in life is life itself – ultimate cost for perfect value.
  • As to liberty, the heroes who signed the great document pledged themselves to buy liberty with their lives. Liberty is never unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or is always vanishes.
  • Marriage is a young man’s disaster and an old man’s comfort.
  • Living standards are as high as productivity permits.
  • To permit irresponsible authority is to sow disaster; to hold a man responsible for anything he does not control is to behave with blind idiocy.
  • Math is hard work and it occupies your mind – and it doesn’t hurt to learn all you can of it, no matter what rank you are; everything of importance is founded on mathematics.