A Veiled Reference to Epicurus in Robert Heinlein?

  • I'm trying to shore up my Science Fiction deficiencies with audiobook time, partially for the sake of my long-suffering friends. I absolutely love Dune, but hadn't gotten much farther in my 30 years. So I recently finished the first Foundation book by Isaac Asimov, which I enjoyed immensely. Rather than finish the series (knowing what I know about sequels in general), I moved on to Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein. I came across an exchange that caught my eye ear; a young man trying to convince his father of his desire to join the novel's interstellar military force. The father's response:


    In the first place this family has stayed out of politics and cultivated its own garden for over a hundred years—I see no reason for you to break that fine record.

    I haven't finished the book, but I'll be looking for other clues. There are similarities to the past, and some differences (after all, Epicurus' two year military service was mandatory. The protagonist's two year service in the novel is voluntary.)

  • Yes the combination of "staying out of politics" and "cultivating one's own garden" would seem almost unmistakeable. I read that book too many years ago to remember the details, and now that I have seen the movies I have a hard time distinguishing between the two.

    BTW the movie ST3 - Marauder has some pretty major anti-religious messaging.

  • Winds of Dune also depicts the evils of denial of emotion in the Bene Gesserit sisterhood, and how the moral faculty requires that we consult the emotions. I also see echoes of Plato's Republic in how women are made to bear children only to have them snatched from their hands and raised by the state (a theme we also find in Handmaid's Tale)


    "Please always remember my doctrines!" - Epicurus' last words