An early Robert A. Heinlein novella with the above title described an American theocracy that was eventually brought down in a violent revolution. I have no idea whether the young Heinlein was subject to influences that might have predisposed him to believe that such a future was probable. However, the Afterword to his collection Revolt in 2100, in which that novella appeared, suggests that he did think it plausible at least.
No, that future didn’t arrive. Instead, the United States has turned in the opposite direction: secular and hedonistic. But Heinlein wasn’t the only writer to explore the idea of an American theocracy. Michael Flynn, whose work has often been compared with Heinlein’s, sketched such a future in his The Nanotech Chronicles. If he was guided by presentiments like Heinlein’s, he gave no indication of it.
As usual, I’m sort of skirting my point here, so I’ll put it right out in the open:
The previous 250 words are prefatory. I see a trend in motion. It’s beginning to look to me like an avalanche. And I don’t like what it portends. But I’ll allow that I could be wrong; it’s the absolute requirement of intellectual honesty. In fact, I want to be wrong. So in reading what follows, please, Gentle Reader, do your best to:
- Refrain from an emotional response;
- Focus on the available data;
- If you don’t see it, tell me so and why.
More @ Liberty's Torch