Sci-Fi Philosophy

Talking about George Lucas in the previous post led me to think about Leigh Brackett again. I know I mentioned earlier that she wrote The Empire Strikes Back. She also wrote an old and apparently out of print trilogy set on the planet of Skaith.

An interesting part of the Skaith novels is one of the primary drivers of the plot. The overlords of the planet Skaith are tasked to provide for all citizens some modicum of basic care. What has developed over time is a class of citizens that do nothing and live of the efforts of the productive class. As the wastrel class grows, the productive class shrinks and the overseers are driven to harsher and harsher control of the remaining productive citizens. It all comes to a head with the arrival of spacefaring voyagers, who arrive offering the productive citizens a way off the planet. Mayhem ensues and Eric John Stark kicks all manner of ass while defeating the evil socialist overlords.

I bring this up because yesterday’s Thomas Sowell column brings up this exact concept:
When you say that Americans have a "right" to have their "basic needs" met, you are saying that when some people refuse to supply themselves with food and shelter, other Americans should be forced to supply it for them.
Hmm. Funny how these eternal truths keep popping up, isn’t it? The ugly corollary to a positive right is that someone must provide it. If no one desires to provide it, someone must be forced by the coercive mechanisms of the state. That doesn't strike me as a morally sound approach.


Post a Comment

<< Home