The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress – FLNWO #33

by | Mar 14, 2016 | Film, Literature & The New World Order | 4 comments

This month on Film, Literature and the New World Order David Friedman joins us to discuss Robert Heinlein’s science fiction classic, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. We discuss the power of Heinlein’s example of an anarchistic society and examine that society’s devolution into democracy. We also talk about whether books like this have value as metaphor or even blueprint for an anarchist transformation of society.

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Last month’s episode and comments: The Big Short

Next month: Three Days of the Condor


  1. James,

    There is an alternate angle (view point) that one can take of the this work.

    Their are two actually. The first can be view from a man by the name of Ronald Hadley Stark. He was a key supplier and considered by most as an intelligence asset within the world of the Psychedelic movement. You can do an internet search on his name and see relationships to his name and this book. Better to read the book ‘ACID: A New Secret History of LSD’ to get the full context. Ron Stark mentioned ‘The Moon is a Harsh Mistress’ as his blueprint for the kind of revolution he was waging. Strange but most people that knew him considered him a strong conservative (again think CIA type) yet he was supplying large quantities of LSD during the 70s. So what kind of revolution was Ron Stark was waging?

    In retrospect I would propose Stark’s kind was a counter-revolution against what was called at that time by the power elite (reactionaries) as the ‘a problem of too much democracy’. (Think 60s antiwar youth movement) Keep in mind one of the main themes of this book is the revolutionary cell structure it describes.

    So on the the one hand you have Robert Heinlien’s ‘Starship Troopers’ as the only novel on the required reading list at the Army War College and Annapolis for the study of small force tactics and his ‘The Moon is a Harsh Mistress’ praised by what all evidence appears to be a major intelligence operator that supplied the majority of LSD in the late 60s to 70s. (Curiously to think also of the high value the hippie movement of the day gave to his ‘Stranger in a Strange land’.)

    Another interesting tidbit in TIAHM is the continual mention of the saying: “There is no such thing as a free lunch”. How many times have we heard this saying since then? Yet I believe it was first mentioned in ‘The Moon is a Harsh Mistress’. Now in order to understand just what this really means and how revolutionary (in a counter way) the saying is one needs to have a economic historical context to know that the whole rational of the original ‘free’ market economists was to free the market from aristocratic parasites who where getting a free lunch. That is what drove the markets and industrial expansion prior to the dawn of austerity – the attempt to give greater incentive to people adding value vs parasites sucking value out of the economy. By convincing people that ‘there was no such thing as a free lunch’ those that actually got and still get the free lunch could escape scrutiny and regulation – a true counter-revolution. This is the meaning of ‘neo-liberal’ (aka financial parasitism).

    I would say and I think both Ron Stark and Robert Heinlien would agree with me ‘The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is not an anarchist book at all’ – it is just the contrary.


  2. Insightful and creative music video. In the future when posting you might want to leave a reference to the topic of your link. Thank you for sharing and I’m glad I watched.

  3. Film, Literature (etc.) all around this screen, and even on it before this episode begins, but as soon as it begins and throughout, we get Literarture. If that isn’t anarchism I don’t know what is . . .

  4. James,
    Recently I saw Tom woods interview with Keith Preston. Like Tom, I am a Rothbardian. Nevertheless, I am fascinated by all the other modes of anarchism.. I believe an interview with Keith would be illuminating.

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