Prometheus

Newsletter of the Libertarian Futurist Society

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Volume 3, Number 2, Spring, 1985

If...then...

I have read with interest the last several issues of Prometheus, and I’ve been especially intrigued with the efforts at establishing a literary Hall of Fame of great works of libertarian science fiction. I would like to call attention to an author —who deserves consideration but who has not yet received it. If "libertarian" means "concern for human liberty"... If economics is a science... And if fiction means "not true"... Then I hope libertarian futurists will consider an author whose work I have been reading as a candidate for the Prometheus Hall of Fame. The author praises capitalism as the first socio-economic system "to show what man’s activity can bring about." It has "accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals" and it has "created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. The author is no mere apologist for capitalists however. His libertarian radicalism is best demonstrated in another of his works, where he observes that throughout history, "the purely repressive character of the State power stands out in bolder and bolder relief." As people see the essential character of the State ever more clearly; they find themselves directly opposed to the form in which, hitherto, the individuals, of which society consists, have given themselves collective expression, that is the State. In order, therefore, to assert themselves as individuals, they must overthrow the State." Upon complete victory, society will no longer require government. The author in question was extraordinarily prolific, so it is difficult to decide which of his works of science fiction is the best candidate for the Prometheus Hall of Fame. More or less at random, therefore I would urge libertarians to start with The German Ideology, continue with The Civil War in France, and finally read The Communist Manifesto, all by Karl Marx (sometimes with the help of a co-author). One of these works should surely deserve a Hall of Fame award.

Betty Lou Johnson
Upper Sandusky, Ohio

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