- Mar 4, 2014
I'll raise you one.Sargon does a good analysis of the movie. I think it wanted to be anti-nationalism but the source material was not.
The thing with the Sargon analysis is that I can see where he's coming from. There's various works of fiction that I've maintained don't work as allagory, but Verhoven's intent for the film has been outright stated, and it's pretty clear in the film that at the very least, something is off with the Federation. Even the very first time I saw it, and viewed it as nothing but an action movie, I was left to ask why troopers were handing rifles and bullets to kids, or why a murderer was caught, sentenced, and executed all on the same day (and why it was recommended viewing). And while it's debatable as to whether the film should be analyzed by itself or not, the majority of film universe material since then has gone with the Federation being a morally bankrupt force.
The only Heinlein work I've read is actually Starship Troopers itself, but as mixed as my views on the book are, I don't know if I'd put its storytelling as a plus.I place Heinlein at the forefront of this stuff. But also he's a hell of a writer technically and knows how to tell a story.
Primarily, it's an ideas book.
Isn't that established in the book itself though? When Rico gets tested, it's established that there's non-military ways to gain citizenship. I forget the wording, but it's mentioned how a moron could become a citizen by counting the hairs on a caterpillar because it's sufficiently challenging, and shows sufficient dedication.Verhoeven cuts through and sees that such a military society would be... kind of fascist. He's probably right. And so he turns it, at least in part, into a satire. One might note Heinlein himself also seems to have recognised maybe an issue, as after the book's publication he semi-backtracked on the militarism by claiming civil service was also sufficient for enfranchisement with military veterans only a small minority: but this seems inconsistent with the book's contents.
The citizen/civilian divide remains, but there's no reproductive licence system.I never did read the book. Did it have the "civilian/citizen" divide where the primary route to citizenship (and being allowed to procreate) was the military, like the movie?
It's in the shower scene, when the trainees are discussing their motivations for enlisting. One of the female troopers wants to have children, and it's easier (but not required) to be allowed to have children if you're a citizen.I don't recall reproductive control from the movie (and isn't Johnny Rico the son of a non-citizen?). If it so in the film I don't remember that from the book, so it might be a novelty for the film.
I think there's some truth to that, but the Federation in the books doesn't require an enemy to function per se. That said, the Arachnids in the books are a stand-in for communism. This isn't projection, it's a comparison made in the work itself.The main theme of the society is its militarism. It takes a rather depressing view that survival depends on kicking the crap out of any potential opponents. The human state is therefore aggressive, domineering and bullying to violently suppress neighbouring alien races. One gets a sense this was Heinlein's view of the world, and many have found it very unpalatable. But it's not quite fascist, either.