The state flag of New Hampshire.
Saturday, June 26, 2010

Live Free or Die

The state motto of New Hampshire is “Live Free or Die.” That is also the title of John Ringo’s latest book. Since I’ve been talking about John Locke and the founding documents of the U. S. it seemed appropriate to include Ringo’s book, which deals with the liberation of the U. S. from alien (Horvath) overlords.

It should be no secret that Ringo is a conservative author who likes George Bush and detests Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama. In The Last Centurion he gave a nasty, but I think true, portrayal of what a Clinton presidency would be like. In Live Free or Die, while he does not name him, he makes it pretty clear that Obama is president and that he dislikes him. He describes the Obama like president as “Communist, terrorist-loving, danger-to-the-republic with delusions of grandeur.” That’s being pretty kind for Ringo.

The thesis of the book is that a group of aliens have placed a gate near the earth, at L2, a distance of under a million miles from earth. This gate allows travel between other star systems. Trade and war are both possible through the gate. One species, the Glatun, are traders, but are not terribly interested in most earth products. Another race, the Horvath, is interested in confiscating heavy metals, such as platinum, gold, and so on. It offers protection, provided we give them the metals. Earth and its weak governments, including the U. S. as led by the Obama style president, caves in. One man discovers that the Glatun have an affinity for maple syrup. This eventually leads to a war. Now I know that you’re thinking this is ridiculous. However, wars have been fought over things such as ears (The War of Jenkin’s Ear), over opium, and over taxes on tea.

Ringo doesn’t directly articulate it, but this goes back to what I’ve already said in the earlier posts on Locke and on the founding documents, that property is a means to the end of happiness. Destroying or confiscating property inhibits the creation of happiness. Happiness being understood as something other than mere pleasure.

The moral case for property rests on it as an enabler of that “pursuit of happiness” mentioned in the Declaration.

Ringo’s character acquires property not as an end in itself. Even though he acquires vast wealth by virtue of a monopoly on the maple syrup trade with the Glatun, his wealth is used for political purposes, the liberation of the earth from Horvath domination.

As always with Ringo there are megadeaths galore. This may be one of the few times that he doesn’t destroy Fredericksburg, VA. He’s done it in the Posleen series, and I think he did it in the Prince Roger series. Washington, D.C., New York, San Francisco, Cairo, and Mexico City all come in for a licking though.

Alison sent me a copy of Thomas Hardy’s A Pair of Blue Eyes. I’ll be dealing with that next, then moving on to Moliere and The Misanthrope.