Discussion:
Edgar Rice Burroughs and Controversy (Those Who Walk Away from Castrum Mare)
(too old to reply)
Quadibloc
2019-08-04 08:21:12 UTC
Permalink
Some of Edgar Rice Burroughs' earliest Tarzan novels have been criticized for
racial stereotypes.

Considering when they were written, this seems a bit unfair to me.

However, I do know that one of the _later_ Tarzan novels contained something
that I did view as morally objectionable. However, I don't recall there being
any controversy about it, the way that Heinlein's Farnham's Freehold or Starship
Troopers have led to controversy.

One reason for that may be that Edgar Rice Burroughs, being taken less seriously
as an author than Heinlein, is also taken less seriously as a threat of
corrupting peoples' values.

Another could be that the later Tarzan books went downhill in quality, and so
they're not read as often.

Memory didn't serve me well enough to identify the specific book, but Google
did.

It turns out the book was Tarzan the Untamed.

Oops, no, it wasn't - this thing by Burroughs was from a later novel, and just mentioned in passing in a discussion of the book Tarzan the Untamed.

That was a fairly early Tarzan book, not buried in the end of the series. There
was one other thing about it that might be found objectionable today: it was
first published just after World War I, and presented an extreme and stereotyped
portrayal of its German villains.

The other book that I'm thinking of, however...

Including Google Books in my search finally turned up my answer: Tarzan and the Lost Empire.

This book featured what was to be a very common motif in many of the later
Tarzan novels: Tarzan encounters not one, but two, lost cities deep in the
African jungle, and there is some contrast between the two cities that plays an
important role in the story.

In _this_ book the contrast is this: both cities took a severe approach in their
criminal justice system to dealing with crime. However, one of those cities (Castrum Mare) is nearly crime-free, while the other one (Castrum Sanguinarius)
is crime-ridden.

Why?

Well, in the first city, when a crime is committed, not only is the criminal
executed, but so is his family. In the other one, only the criminal is executed.

I suppose I'm biased. It's not as if, in 1919, Burroughs had the cautionary
example of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to inform his sensibilities
away from this particular manifestation of Social Darwinism.

But, in any case, it disturbed even the stunted vestiges of moral principles
that I have. I guess you can't count on Burroughs to walk away from Omelas.

John Savard
Quadibloc
2019-08-04 08:25:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
I suppose I'm biased. It's not as if, in 1919, Burroughs had the cautionary
example of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to inform his sensibilities
away from this particular manifestation of Social Darwinism.
Or even in 1929, when Tarzan and the Lost Empire, instead of 1919, when Tarzan the
Untamed, was first published.

John Savard
Quadibloc
2019-08-04 08:34:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Including Google Books in my search finally turned up my answer: Tarzan and the Lost Empire.
This one was the 12th book in the Tarzan series by the numbering used by
Ballantine Books.

John Savard
Quadibloc
2019-08-04 09:42:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
But, in any case, it disturbed even the stunted vestiges of moral principles
that I have. I guess you can't count on Burroughs to walk away from Omelas.
The question here, though, might be: why?

It was indeed clear that in "Tarzan and the Lost Empire", the system in Castrum
Mare was being portrayed sympathetically, rather than as something fundamentally wrong despite its apparent good results.

The basic argument for it, I guess, goes something like this: it's arrogant and
foolish for Man to think that he is somehow exempt from the laws that apply to,
say, the breeding of dogs. That proposition I would agree with - the laws of
genetics do apply with full force to humans.

Nor would I just say "strawman argument", and conclude from the lack of any
real-life counterpart to Castum Mare that, since the experiment was not done, we
have no grounds to conclude that sort of thing had any chance of working. While
that may be true, the question at issue is a moral one, not a practical one.

And being an unprincipled pragmatist, why wouldn't I agree with Burroughs?

I find the error elsewhere.

Reducing crime is desirable. That, however, does not mean that it is an *end in
itself*.

We seek to reduce crime because... it makes people feel safer. Would people feel
safe if they knew they could be marked for death, through no fault of their own,
if one of their immediate family members committed a crime?

Also, there is the matter of the definition of the word "crime". Isn't the
direct intentional killing of an innocent person murder? Oh, but it was done at
the decree of the Emperor, and so it was perfectly legal.

Well, in that case, the definition doesn't really correspond to the kind of
crime that we want to reduce: the misdeeds of tyrants are among the human evils
that should be reduced, and eliminated if possible, along with other acts that
hurt innocent people. Acts that merely violate the edicts of those in power were
_not_ what it was desired to reduce.

A low crime rate is desirable. Many societies, however, have achieved quite low,
and hence tolerable, crime rates without executing the families of miscreants.
Thus, sticking by the "moralistic" rule that human beings aren't beasts which we
are permitted to subject to a selective breeding program is appropriate.

Where I'm ready to bend the moral rules is when the defense of *necessity*
applies. Morality is unsustainable when it conflicts with survival. But in
general, a moral and just social order is a great advantage to survival, and is
therefore not to be lightly tossed aside in the vain pursuit of a mere luxury.

John Savard
J. Clarke
2019-08-04 13:40:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Quadibloc
But, in any case, it disturbed even the stunted vestiges of moral principles
that I have. I guess you can't count on Burroughs to walk away from Omelas.
The question here, though, might be: why?
It was indeed clear that in "Tarzan and the Lost Empire", the system in Castrum
Mare was being portrayed sympathetically, rather than as something fundamentally wrong despite its apparent good results.
The basic argument for it, I guess, goes something like this: it's arrogant and
foolish for Man to think that he is somehow exempt from the laws that apply to,
say, the breeding of dogs. That proposition I would agree with - the laws of
genetics do apply with full force to humans.
Nor would I just say "strawman argument", and conclude from the lack of any
real-life counterpart to Castum Mare that, since the experiment was not done, we
have no grounds to conclude that sort of thing had any chance of working. While
that may be true, the question at issue is a moral one, not a practical one.
And being an unprincipled pragmatist, why wouldn't I agree with Burroughs?
I find the error elsewhere.
Reducing crime is desirable. That, however, does not mean that it is an *end in
itself*.
We seek to reduce crime because... it makes people feel safer. Would people feel
safe if they knew they could be marked for death, through no fault of their own,
if one of their immediate family members committed a crime?
It would provide a significant incentive for early intervention.
Post by Quadibloc
Also, there is the matter of the definition of the word "crime". Isn't the
direct intentional killing of an innocent person murder? Oh, but it was done at
the decree of the Emperor, and so it was perfectly legal.
Illegal killing is murder. A lot of people have trouble with the
notion that "murder" is something that is defined by a statute.
Post by Quadibloc
Well, in that case, the definition doesn't really correspond to the kind of
crime that we want to reduce: the misdeeds of tyrants are among the human evils
that should be reduced, and eliminated if possible, along with other acts that
hurt innocent people. Acts that merely violate the edicts of those in power were
_not_ what it was desired to reduce.
So did this society have some way of controlling tyrants? Or did
Burroughs address that another day?
Post by Quadibloc
A low crime rate is desirable. Many societies, however, have achieved quite low,
and hence tolerable, crime rates without executing the families of miscreants.
Thus, sticking by the "moralistic" rule that human beings aren't beasts which we
are permitted to subject to a selective breeding program is appropriate.
Define "low crime rate". They have achieved acceptable crime rates,
which are not necessarily low.
Post by Quadibloc
Where I'm ready to bend the moral rules is when the defense of *necessity*
applies. Morality is unsustainable when it conflicts with survival. But in
general, a moral and just social order is a great advantage to survival, and is
therefore not to be lightly tossed aside in the vain pursuit of a mere luxury.
So create as complete a model as you can of such a society and throw
it out for criticism.
Quadibloc
2019-08-04 20:47:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Illegal killing is murder. A lot of people have trouble with the
notion that "murder" is something that is defined by a statute.
Murder was a word in the English language before it became used as a legal term,
so it isn't a technical legal term made up to fill a need, the way, say,
"manslaughter" is.

So it's perfectly correct to say that Hitler murdered 6 million Jews in the
concentration camps, despite the fact that the laws of Nazi Germany authorized
the operation of those camps.

So, to be clear about things: I do have trouble with that notion, and the
trouble I have is this: talking about what the law says is mostly a business for
lawyers. In ordinary conversation, people are more likely to need to talk about
what is right and what is wrong.

And very definitely I find it to be a highly incorrect and dangerous notion that
right and wrong are something that can be redefined by governments, or by fads
and fashions, or by any human agency whatsoever. You might as well say people
could take a vote on the value of pi.

John Savard
Robert Carnegie
2019-08-04 20:59:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Post by J. Clarke
Illegal killing is murder. A lot of people have trouble with the
notion that "murder" is something that is defined by a statute.
Murder was a word in the English language before it became used as a legal term,
so it isn't a technical legal term made up to fill a need, the way, say,
"manslaughter" is.
So it's perfectly correct to say that Hitler murdered 6 million Jews in the
concentration camps, despite the fact that the laws of Nazi Germany authorized
the operation of those camps.
Be clear. It's a round figure, and it includes people
who were killed in other places. On the other hand,
it doesn't include people in concentration camps
who weren't Jewish, and of course it doesn't include
victims who survived the camps.

I wouldn't make a fuss but you are claiming to be
perfectly correct.
Post by Quadibloc
So, to be clear about things: I do have trouble with that notion, and the
trouble I have is this: talking about what the law says is mostly a business for
lawyers. In ordinary conversation, people are more likely to need to talk about
what is right and what is wrong.
And very definitely I find it to be a highly incorrect and dangerous notion that
right and wrong are something that can be redefined by governments, or by fads
and fashions, or by any human agency whatsoever. You might as well say people
could take a vote on the value of pi.
John Savard
J. Clarke
2019-08-04 22:27:39 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 4 Aug 2019 13:59:40 -0700 (PDT), Robert Carnegie
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by Quadibloc
Post by J. Clarke
Illegal killing is murder. A lot of people have trouble with the
notion that "murder" is something that is defined by a statute.
Murder was a word in the English language before it became used as a legal term,
so it isn't a technical legal term made up to fill a need, the way, say,
"manslaughter" is.
So it's perfectly correct to say that Hitler murdered 6 million Jews in the
concentration camps, despite the fact that the laws of Nazi Germany authorized
the operation of those camps.
Be clear. It's a round figure, and it includes people
who were killed in other places. On the other hand,
it doesn't include people in concentration camps
who weren't Jewish, and of course it doesn't include
victims who survived the camps.
I wouldn't make a fuss but you are claiming to be
perfectly correct.
If the Germans had won it wouldn't have been murder. It is murder
because the victors declared it to be so.
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by Quadibloc
So, to be clear about things: I do have trouble with that notion, and the
trouble I have is this: talking about what the law says is mostly a business for
lawyers. In ordinary conversation, people are more likely to need to talk about
what is right and what is wrong.
And very definitely I find it to be a highly incorrect and dangerous notion that
right and wrong are something that can be redefined by governments, or by fads
and fashions, or by any human agency whatsoever. You might as well say people
could take a vote on the value of pi.
John Savard
Quadibloc
2019-08-04 22:42:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
If the Germans had won it wouldn't have been murder. It is murder
because the victors declared it to be so.
No. That is positively absurd. It was deliberate and intentional killing which was
also wrong and unjust. That is the meaning of the word "murder".

Murder is also against the law, like stealing is.

John Savard
J. Clarke
2019-08-05 00:32:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Post by J. Clarke
If the Germans had won it wouldn't have been murder. It is murder
because the victors declared it to be so.
No. That is positively absurd. It was deliberate and intentional killing which was
also wrong and unjust. That is the meaning of the word "murder".
Murder is also against the law, like stealing is.
You don't seem to grasp that the victor defines the history.
Kevrob
2019-08-05 01:12:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Quadibloc
Post by J. Clarke
If the Germans had won it wouldn't have been murder. It is murder
because the victors declared it to be so.
No. That is positively absurd. It was deliberate and intentional killing which was
also wrong and unjust. That is the meaning of the word "murder".
Murder is also against the law, like stealing is.
You don't seem to grasp that the victor defines the history.
That's not always so.

Southern sympathizers after the US Civil War were influential
historians, and there was a "propaganda campaign of Confederate
sympathizers that began in the final decade of the 19th century
as they actively sought to gain control of the representations
of the war in classroom textbooks."

https://time.com/5013943/john-kelly-civil-war-textbooks/

see also the review of

"The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture" @

https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=10891

Then there a the "we were stabbed in the back" narrative
of post-WWI Germany. That was horribly influential.

There's what Partisan A writes, what Partisan B writes,
and "what really happened." The last is perhaps fundamentally
unknowable, but best approximations can be made, if historians
are allowed to write them, free of censorship. Unfortunately,
many a historian is grinding an axe these days.

Kevin R
{Not a professional historian.
I only have the B.A. in the subject.)
Moriarty
2019-08-05 01:19:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Quadibloc
Post by J. Clarke
If the Germans had won it wouldn't have been murder. It is murder
because the victors declared it to be so.
No. That is positively absurd. It was deliberate and intentional killing which was
also wrong and unjust. That is the meaning of the word "murder".
Murder is also against the law, like stealing is.
You don't seem to grasp that the victor defines the history.
That's not always so.
Southern sympathizers after the US Civil War were influential
historians, and there was a "propaganda campaign of Confederate
sympathizers that began in the final decade of the 19th century
as they actively sought to gain control of the representations
of the war in classroom textbooks."
https://time.com/5013943/john-kelly-civil-war-textbooks/
see also the review of
https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=10891
Then there a the "we were stabbed in the back" narrative
of post-WWI Germany. That was horribly influential.
There's what Partisan A writes, what Partisan B writes,
and "what really happened." The last is perhaps fundamentally
unknowable, but best approximations can be made, if historians
are allowed to write them, free of censorship. Unfortunately,
many a historian is grinding an axe these days.
These days, historians are the quintessence of objectivity compared to some of the outright propagandists of yesteryear. Yes, Seutonius and Procopius, I'm looking at you.

-Moriarty
Kevrob
2019-08-05 03:04:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Moriarty
Post by Kevrob
There's what Partisan A writes, what Partisan B writes,
and "what really happened." The last is perhaps fundamentally
unknowable, but best approximations can be made, if historians
are allowed to write them, free of censorship. Unfortunately,
many a historian is grinding an axe these days.
These days, historians are the quintessence of objectivity compared to
some of the outright propagandists of yesteryear. Yes, Seutonius
and Procopius, I'm looking at you.
Even Plutarch had an agenda: teaching morality.

In regards to journalism, the "objective" press, such as it
is, or was, was a phenomenon born in the early 20th century
in the USA, and arguably on life support. It's not much better
for history. The newspapers and electronic media are disciplined,
if at all, by sales and ratings, and advertising earnings.
Historians have to deal with peer review before publication.
One would hope those committees, and the ones examining doctoral
candidates, leave their axes and grindstones at home when
judging new work. I have my doubts about that. Sometimes
outright fraud doesn't even get discovered on that process.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arming_America

--
Kevin R
a.a #2310
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2019-08-05 04:11:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Kevrob
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Quadibloc
Post by J. Clarke
If the Germans had won it wouldn't have been murder. It is murder
because the victors declared it to be so.
No. That is positively absurd. It was deliberate and intentional
killing which was
Post by Kevrob
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Quadibloc
also wrong and unjust. That is the meaning of the word "murder".
Murder is also against the law, like stealing is.
You don't seem to grasp that the victor defines the history.
That's not always so.
Southern sympathizers after the US Civil War were influential
historians, and there was a "propaganda campaign of Confederate
sympathizers that began in the final decade of the 19th century
as they actively sought to gain control of the representations
of the war in classroom textbooks."
https://time.com/5013943/john-kelly-civil-war-textbooks/
see also the review of
https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=10891
Then there a the "we were stabbed in the back" narrative
of post-WWI Germany. That was horribly influential.
There's what Partisan A writes, what Partisan B writes,
and "what really happened." The last is perhaps fundamentally
unknowable, but best approximations can be made, if historians
are allowed to write them, free of censorship. Unfortunately,
many a historian is grinding an axe these days.
These days, historians are the quintessence of objectivity compared to
some of the outright propagandists of yesteryear. Yes, Seutonius and
Procopius, I'm looking at you.
-Moriarty
I read an interesting introduction to one of Xenophon's books. In
the past modern historians thought he was kind of stodgy and often
misunderstood the root causes of events but that what he reported
was generally accurate. Then they found fragments of another history
of the same events and found that Xenophon completely left a very
important personage out of his history and the events of which he
was a part apparently simply because he (Xenophon) disapproved of
him..
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
William Hyde
2019-08-05 20:55:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Moriarty
Post by Kevrob
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Quadibloc
Post by J. Clarke
If the Germans had won it wouldn't have been murder. It is murder
because the victors declared it to be so.
No. That is positively absurd. It was deliberate and intentional killing which was
also wrong and unjust. That is the meaning of the word "murder".
Murder is also against the law, like stealing is.
You don't seem to grasp that the victor defines the history.
That's not always so.
Southern sympathizers after the US Civil War were influential
historians, and there was a "propaganda campaign of Confederate
sympathizers that began in the final decade of the 19th century
as they actively sought to gain control of the representations
of the war in classroom textbooks."
https://time.com/5013943/john-kelly-civil-war-textbooks/
see also the review of
https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=10891
Then there a the "we were stabbed in the back" narrative
of post-WWI Germany. That was horribly influential.
There's what Partisan A writes, what Partisan B writes,
and "what really happened." The last is perhaps fundamentally
unknowable, but best approximations can be made, if historians
are allowed to write them, free of censorship. Unfortunately,
many a historian is grinding an axe these days.
These days, historians are the quintessence of objectivity compared to some of the outright propagandists of yesteryear. Yes, Seutonius and Procopius, I'm looking at you.
The Anglo-Saxon chronicle was written by monks, who described all battles as victories for the Anglo-Saxons - except then the monarch in question was in dispute with the church, in which case only defeats were mentioned. Or victories were described as defeats.

This is not unique, as the biblical chroniclers had the same attitude - hence their descriptions of Ahab and his son.


William Hyde
Quadibloc
2019-08-05 03:41:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Southern sympathizers after the US Civil War were influential
historians,
At some point in this discussion, but for other reasons, I was going to refer to
this, by noting... history may not always be written by the victors, but it
certainly is always written by the survivors.

John Savard
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2019-08-05 04:13:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Kevrob
Southern sympathizers after the US Civil War were influential
historians,
At some point in this discussion, but for other reasons, I was going to refer to
this, by noting... history may not always be written by the victors, but it
certainly is always written by the survivors.
John Savard
Hmm.

Anne Frank comes to mind.
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
Kevrob
2019-08-05 12:08:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Kevrob
Southern sympathizers after the US Civil War were influential
historians,
At some point in this discussion, but for other reasons, I was going to refer to
this, by noting... history may not always be written by the victors, but it
certainly is always written by the survivors.
John Savard
Hmm.
Anne Frank comes to mind.
Diaries aren't "history," they are, at best, "primary sources."
Now, the editing of those diaries....

Kevin R
David Johnston
2019-08-05 18:13:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Quadibloc
Post by J. Clarke
If the Germans had won it wouldn't have been murder. It is murder
because the victors declared it to be so.
No. That is positively absurd. It was deliberate and intentional killing which was
also wrong and unjust. That is the meaning of the word "murder".
Murder is also against the law, like stealing is.
You don't seem to grasp that the victor defines the history.
I've got a hundred years of post American Civil War history that says
otherwise.
Quadibloc
2019-08-05 18:50:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Johnston
I've got a hundred years of post American Civil War history that says
otherwise.
Of course, what J. Clarke is arguing implies that if the South _had_ won the
Civil War, then slavery would be right and just - and everyone would see that,
and the only people who opposed it would in fact be morally perverse.

This is not something that the Lost Cause disproves. Its disproof would seem to
be more obvious, and to come from another quarter.

John Savard
J. Clarke
2019-08-05 22:59:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Post by David Johnston
I've got a hundred years of post American Civil War history that says
otherwise.
Of course, what J. Clarke is arguing implies that if the South _had_ won the
Civil War, then slavery would be right and just - and everyone would see that,
and the only people who opposed it would in fact be morally perverse.
This is not something that the Lost Cause disproves. Its disproof would seem to
be more obvious, and to come from another quarter.
That is, perhaps, how it would be percieved, but perhaps not. Came
upon an interesting bit of Civil War trivia the other day--Jefferson
Davis' brother ran his plantation as a commune with the slaves having
a vote. After the Civil War it continued to operate in that manner
until the Mississippi River took exception to it and flooded it out.
Post by Quadibloc
John Savard
David Johnston
2019-08-07 00:30:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Post by David Johnston
I've got a hundred years of post American Civil War history that says
otherwise.
Of course, what J. Clarke is arguing implies that if the South _had_ won the
Civil War, then slavery would be right and just -
Not really. Because slavery isn't defined as "Work that Quadibloc
doesn't approve of".
Peter Trei
2019-08-05 01:47:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Post by J. Clarke
If the Germans had won it wouldn't have been murder. It is murder
because the victors declared it to be so.
No. That is positively absurd. It was deliberate and intentional killing which was
also wrong and unjust. That is the meaning of the word "murder".
So, every soldier who killed someone on the other side is a murderer?

pt
Juho Julkunen
2019-08-05 02:19:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Quadibloc
Post by J. Clarke
If the Germans had won it wouldn't have been murder. It is murder
because the victors declared it to be so.
No. That is positively absurd. It was deliberate and intentional killing which was
also wrong and unjust. That is the meaning of the word "murder".
So, every soldier who killed someone on the other side is a murderer?
"Deliberate, intentional, wrong, and unjust" has enough degrees of
freedom that I'm sure one can reach any desired verdict on a case by
case basis.
--
Juho Julkunen
Quadibloc
2019-08-05 03:40:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Quadibloc
No. That is positively absurd. It was deliberate and intentional killing which was
also wrong and unjust. That is the meaning of the word "murder".
So, every soldier who killed someone on the other side is a murderer?
Perhaps I should have addes something about personal initiative to the
definition.

John Savard
David Johnston
2019-08-05 18:14:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Quadibloc
No. That is positively absurd. It was deliberate and intentional killing which was
also wrong and unjust. That is the meaning of the word "murder".
So, every soldier who killed someone on the other side is a murderer?
Perhaps I should have addes something about personal initiative to the
definition.
John Savard
Is meat murder?
Kevrob
2019-08-05 18:36:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Johnston
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Quadibloc
No. That is positively absurd. It was deliberate and intentional killing which was
also wrong and unjust. That is the meaning of the word "murder".
So, every soldier who killed someone on the other side is a murderer?
Perhaps I should have addes something about personal initiative to the
definition.
John Savard
Is meat murder?
Are animals raised for food, or game animals, "legal persons?"

If and when we declare them that, it will be. In the meantime,
the Smiths to the contrary, I have turkey legs to grill, in my fridge.

Kevin R
David Johnston
2019-08-05 19:00:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by David Johnston
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Quadibloc
No. That is positively absurd. It was deliberate and intentional killing which was
also wrong and unjust. That is the meaning of the word "murder".
So, every soldier who killed someone on the other side is a murderer?
Perhaps I should have addes something about personal initiative to the
definition.
John Savard
Is meat murder?
Are animals raised for food, or game animals, "legal persons?"
But his argument is that the law should not be considered to define
murder.
Kevrob
2019-08-05 19:33:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Johnston
Post by Kevrob
Post by David Johnston
Is meat murder?
Are animals raised for food, or game animals, "legal persons?"
But his argument is that the law should not be considered to define
murder.
One could, colloquially, refer to someone "murdering my dog."

Of course, when the authorities do it....

https://reason.com/tag/puppycide/

My opinion is that using "murder" to denote illegal killing of
people (legal persons) and "killing" to mean the larger set of
fatal events, is a useful feature of modern English. It is
all about context, though. After I roast them, I expect I'll
be ready to "murder" a turkey leg, or two. I ought to stop at one,
though.

Kevin R
Thomas Koenig
2019-08-10 16:51:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevrob
Post by David Johnston
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Quadibloc
No. That is positively absurd. It was deliberate and intentional killing which was
also wrong and unjust. That is the meaning of the word "murder".
So, every soldier who killed someone on the other side is a murderer?
Perhaps I should have addes something about personal initiative to the
definition.
John Savard
Is meat murder?
Are animals raised for food, or game animals, "legal persons?"
ObSF: The food animal from The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2019-08-10 16:56:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Kevrob
Post by David Johnston
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Quadibloc
No. That is positively absurd. It was deliberate and intentional
killing which was
Post by Kevrob
Post by David Johnston
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Quadibloc
also wrong and unjust. That is the meaning of the word "murder".
So, every soldier who killed someone on the other side is a murderer?
Perhaps I should have addes something about personal initiative to the
definition.
John Savard
Is meat murder?
Are animals raised for food, or game animals, "legal persons?"
ObSF: The food animal from The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
Don't forget Al Capp's Shmoos..
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
David DeLaney
2019-08-07 12:33:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Johnston
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Peter Trei
So, every soldier who killed someone on the other side is a murderer?
Perhaps I should have addes something about personal initiative to the
definition.
Is meat murder?
Is murder meat? And/or drink?

Dave, do bats eat cats?
--
\/David DeLaney posting thru EarthLink - "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
my gatekeeper archives are no longer accessible :( / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
Quadibloc
2019-08-07 20:05:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by David DeLaney
Post by David Johnston
Is meat murder?
Is murder meat? And/or drink?
All right, we can rephrase that, to avoid a confusion of categories. Does meat
require murder for its production?

John Savard
Gary R. Schmidt
2019-08-08 03:17:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Post by David DeLaney
Post by David Johnston
Is meat murder?
Is murder meat? And/or drink?
All right, we can rephrase that, to avoid a confusion of categories. Does meat
require murder for its production?
That all depends on exactly *what* meat we are talking about...

Cheers,
Gary B-)
--
When men talk to their friends, they insult each other.
They don't really mean it.
When women talk to their friends, they compliment each other.
They don't mean it either.
J. Clarke
2019-08-08 03:32:16 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 8 Aug 2019 13:17:47 +1000, "Gary R. Schmidt"
Post by Gary R. Schmidt
Post by Quadibloc
Post by David DeLaney
Post by David Johnston
Is meat murder?
Is murder meat? And/or drink?
All right, we can rephrase that, to avoid a confusion of categories. Does meat
require murder for its production?
That all depends on exactly *what* meat we are talking about...
When you get right down to it, meat doesn't even require death for its
production. An ideal production line would have meat growing
continuously and pieces removed as needed.

Read a story the other day in which in a far future society a woman
trims a tumor off of a pig for lunch, the pig looks forward to the
trimming.
Scott Lurndal
2019-08-08 15:19:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
On Thu, 8 Aug 2019 13:17:47 +1000, "Gary R. Schmidt"
Post by Gary R. Schmidt
Post by Quadibloc
Post by David DeLaney
Post by David Johnston
Is meat murder?
Is murder meat? And/or drink?
All right, we can rephrase that, to avoid a confusion of categories. Does meat
require murder for its production?
That all depends on exactly *what* meat we are talking about...
When you get right down to it, meat doesn't even require death for its
production. An ideal production line would have meat growing
continuously and pieces removed as needed.
Wasn't there a hen like that in _Methusalah's Children_?
Default User
2019-08-08 18:25:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by J. Clarke
When you get right down to it, meat doesn't even require death for its
production. An ideal production line would have meat growing
continuously and pieces removed as needed.
Wasn't there a hen like that in _Methusalah's Children_?
There was in Pohl and Kornbluth's The Space Merchants, "Chicken Little".


Brian
Jay E. Morris
2019-08-09 13:19:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by J. Clarke
On Thu, 8 Aug 2019 13:17:47 +1000, "Gary R. Schmidt"
Post by Gary R. Schmidt
Post by Quadibloc
Post by David DeLaney
Post by David Johnston
Is meat murder?
Is murder meat? And/or drink?
All right, we can rephrase that, to avoid a confusion of categories. Does meat
require murder for its production?
That all depends on exactly *what* meat we are talking about...
When you get right down to it, meat doesn't even require death for its
production. An ideal production line would have meat growing
continuously and pieces removed as needed.
Wasn't there a hen like that in _Methusalah's Children_?
Mrs. 'Awkins, couple centuries old.
Robert Carnegie
2019-08-05 20:28:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Quadibloc
No. That is positively absurd. It was deliberate and intentional killing which was
also wrong and unjust. That is the meaning of the word "murder".
So, every soldier who killed someone on the other side is a murderer?
Perhaps I should have added something about personal
initiative to the definition.
Don't introduce a "just obeying orders" defence.

Killing enemy armed forces in war is justified as
necessary because if you don't, then they're liable to
kill you or kill others on your side. Killing civilians
is out unless they are fighting you on similar terms.

In case we weren't making enough trouble for the group,
some jurisdictions treat loss of an unborn foetus as
murder or equivalent. Britain, for instance - well,
Northern Ireland. A /very/ Christian country.
Quadibloc
2019-08-05 21:41:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Carnegie
Don't introduce a "just obeying orders" defence.
No, but the Geneva Convention does recognize that it isn't reasonable to treat
soldiers who aren't committing war crimes as criminal killers when they're
engaging in warfare normally.

From my moralistic view, if this was neglected, I'd tend to view the soldiers on
the aggressor side as cop-killers - so the soldiers on the good side would not
be murderers then either, as they would be engaging in law enforcement, not
crime. Rather than reversing my argument, and accepting that moral reality can
be changed by international treaties, my position here is that there is a valid
moral reality applicable to the situation that this facet of the law is
recognizing.

Following orders doesn't excuse anything, but that may not mean it excuses
nothing.

John Savard
Alan Baker
2019-08-05 20:32:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Quadibloc
Post by J. Clarke
If the Germans had won it wouldn't have been murder. It is murder
because the victors declared it to be so.
No. That is positively absurd. It was deliberate and intentional killing which was
also wrong and unjust. That is the meaning of the word "murder".
So, every soldier who killed someone on the other side is a murderer?
pt
Every aggressor nation's soldiers, yes.

Self-defence is not murder.
Robert Carnegie
2019-08-05 21:52:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alan Baker
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Quadibloc
Post by J. Clarke
If the Germans had won it wouldn't have been murder. It is murder
because the victors declared it to be so.
No. That is positively absurd. It was deliberate and intentional killing which was
also wrong and unjust. That is the meaning of the word "murder".
So, every soldier who killed someone on the other side is a murderer?
pt
Every aggressor nation's soldiers, yes.
Self-defence is not murder.
What if more than one side is an aggressor? Or if neither
is? Or if one country is an aggressor but its soldiers
are just fighting a war as far as they know?
Alan Baker
2019-08-05 22:46:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by Alan Baker
Post by Peter Trei
Post by Quadibloc
Post by J. Clarke
If the Germans had won it wouldn't have been murder. It is murder
because the victors declared it to be so.
No. That is positively absurd. It was deliberate and intentional killing which was
also wrong and unjust. That is the meaning of the word "murder".
So, every soldier who killed someone on the other side is a murderer?
pt
Every aggressor nation's soldiers, yes.
Self-defence is not murder.
What if more than one side is an aggressor?
Give an example.
Post by Robert Carnegie
Or if neither
is?
Give an example.
Post by Robert Carnegie
Or if one country is an aggressor but its soldiers
are just fighting a war as far as they know?
Sorry, but that doesn't matter.

I'm allowed to defend myself. Even if you (or someone) were to convince
a third-party to attack me, I'm still allowed to defend myself.
Alan Baker
2019-08-05 20:30:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
On Sun, 4 Aug 2019 13:59:40 -0700 (PDT), Robert Carnegie
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by Quadibloc
Post by J. Clarke
Illegal killing is murder. A lot of people have trouble with the
notion that "murder" is something that is defined by a statute.
Murder was a word in the English language before it became used as a legal term,
so it isn't a technical legal term made up to fill a need, the way, say,
"manslaughter" is.
So it's perfectly correct to say that Hitler murdered 6 million Jews in the
concentration camps, despite the fact that the laws of Nazi Germany authorized
the operation of those camps.
Be clear. It's a round figure, and it includes people
who were killed in other places. On the other hand,
it doesn't include people in concentration camps
who weren't Jewish, and of course it doesn't include
victims who survived the camps.
I wouldn't make a fuss but you are claiming to be
perfectly correct.
If the Germans had won it wouldn't have been murder. It is murder
because the victors declared it to be so.
It would still have been murder.
Will in New Haven
2019-08-09 14:48:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Post by J. Clarke
Illegal killing is murder. A lot of people have trouble with the
notion that "murder" is something that is defined by a statute.
Murder was a word in the English language before it became used as a legal term,
so it isn't a technical legal term made up to fill a need, the way, say,
"manslaughter" is.
"Murder" was used by the Saxons in ways very close to what we do in modern English. They had a different word for killing.
The same is true for Hebrew. The commandment is "don't murder," not "thou shalt not kill." There are good arguments against war and capital punishment and vegetarianism (and there are arguments against killing in self-defense, but fuck them) but the commandment isn't among them.
--
Will in Deerfield Beach
https://sites.google.com/site/grreference/
Thomas Koenig
2019-08-10 15:58:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
So it's perfectly correct to say that Hitler murdered 6 million Jews in the
concentration camps,
Certainly true.
Post by Quadibloc
despite the fact that the laws of Nazi Germany authorized
the operation of those camps.
I don't think they did, it was just that the laws which existed
at the time, forbidding such killing, were completely unenforcable
against the people in power at the time. Had Germany not ceased to
exist as a state in 1945, I am fairly sure that people responsible
could have been tried even under German law of the time.

The same point applies in trials because of the people shot at
the inner-German border before German reunification. East German
border guards were convicted because killing somebody who was
trying to cross the border was _unawful under East German law_
at the time, even though it was ordered by their superiors.
Titus G
2019-08-11 02:44:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by Quadibloc
So it's perfectly correct to say that Hitler murdered 6 million Jews in the
concentration camps,
Certainly true.
Certainly nonsense.
Wikipedia puts the figure at about 3 million.
Some scholars say 3 hundred thousand.
The total number of Jews who died during WW2 includes those that died of
old age, those that died of poverty in the Polish ghettos, those who
served in the Russian and other armies, the Ashkenazi Zionist Jews who
died fighting alongside Hitler until 1942 and of other causes rather
than directly murdered by Hitler such as thousands of Ukrainian Jews
including children massacred by Ukrainian police and soldiers.
Fourbricks In An Otherwise Empty Skull repeats the most extreme Zionist
propaganda without thought or question.
Dimensional Traveler
2019-08-11 03:42:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Titus G
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by Quadibloc
So it's perfectly correct to say that Hitler murdered 6 million Jews in the
concentration camps,
Certainly true.
Certainly nonsense.
Wikipedia puts the figure at about 3 million.
Some scholars say 3 hundred thousand.
Bullshit. There is evidence and records of three hundred thousand being
killed at _individual camps_.
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
J. Clarke
2019-08-11 04:16:02 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 10 Aug 2019 20:42:56 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Titus G
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by Quadibloc
So it's perfectly correct to say that Hitler murdered 6 million Jews in the
concentration camps,
Certainly true.
Certainly nonsense.
Wikipedia puts the figure at about 3 million.
Some scholars say 3 hundred thousand.
Bullshit. There is evidence and records of three hundred thousand being
killed at _individual camps_.
He's being very selective in his reading of Wikipedia. The 3 million
figure comes from only 8 of something like 45,000 camps that the
Germans operated. Wiki has separate articles on concentration camps,
where execution was not the primary function, and extermination camps,
where it was, for example. Its entry on the Holocaust states 6
million Jews and 11 million "other victims of Nazi persecution".

It is a mystery to me why people want to deny that the Holocaust ever
happened.
Quadibloc
2019-08-11 05:32:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
It is a mystery to me why people want to deny that the Holocaust ever
happened.
I should think that the reason why is obvious.

The Holocaust, for one thing, created sympathy for the remnants of the Jewish
people. So if you are opposed to that, for whatever reason, claiming the
Holocaust was faked, if you could get away with it, would be a useful tactic.

For another thing, it had an impact more far-reaching than that. It led people
to question and reject racism in all its forms. It was no accident that the
postwar era was when, decades after the end of slavery, that an all-out assault
on segregation began, for example.

So if you wanted the world to go back to the "good old days", getting rid of the
reasons why people changed things suggests itself.

John Savard
Peter Trei
2019-08-11 04:09:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Titus G
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by Quadibloc
So it's perfectly correct to say that Hitler murdered 6 million Jews in the
concentration camps,
Certainly true.
Certainly nonsense.
Wikipedia puts the figure at about 3 million.
Cite from Wikipedia, please. Both
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_victims
and
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust#Death_toll
puts it at 5-6 million Jews, out of a total of about 17 million
non-combatants murdered.

What Wikipedia article are you citing?
Post by Titus G
Some scholars say 3 hundred thousand.
Which? Again, cite, please.

pt
Gary R. Schmidt
2019-08-11 04:59:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Titus G
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by Quadibloc
So it's perfectly correct to say that Hitler murdered 6 million Jews in the
concentration camps,
Certainly true.
Certainly nonsense.
Wikipedia puts the figure at about 3 million.
Some scholars say 3 hundred thousand.
The total number of Jews who died during WW2 includes those that died of
old age, those that died of poverty in the Polish ghettos, those who
served in the Russian and other armies, the Ashkenazi Zionist Jews who
died fighting alongside Hitler until 1942 and of other causes rather
than directly murdered by Hitler such as thousands of Ukrainian Jews
including children massacred by Ukrainian police and soldiers.
Fourbricks In An Otherwise Empty Skull repeats the most extreme Zionist
propaganda without thought or question.
What a load of bullshit.

My grandfather, who, as a "Betrayed Hero of the Great War" shouldn't
even have been back in the services anyway, but, well, it's complicated,
acknowledged under oath that at least a million people were sent to the
camps in the area covered by the command at which he was a paper-pushing
corporal, and he didn't get dragged back in until mid/late 1943.

He also said that the numbers were low, and no-one cared about the
number of mentally ill, or mentally deficient, or Gypsies, or
homosexuals, or diseased, or deformed, or all the other
not-enough-like-us-people that got sent to the camps as well.

Cheers,
Gary B-)
--
When men talk to their friends, they insult each other.
They don't really mean it.
When women talk to their friends, they compliment each other.
They don't mean it either.
Robert Carnegie
2019-08-11 10:25:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary R. Schmidt
Post by Titus G
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by Quadibloc
So it's perfectly correct to say that Hitler murdered 6 million Jews in the
concentration camps,
Certainly true.
Certainly nonsense.
Wikipedia puts the figure at about 3 million.
Some scholars say 3 hundred thousand.
The total number of Jews who died during WW2 includes those that died of
old age, those that died of poverty in the Polish ghettos, those who
served in the Russian and other armies, the Ashkenazi Zionist Jews who
died fighting alongside Hitler until 1942 and of other causes rather
than directly murdered by Hitler such as thousands of Ukrainian Jews
including children massacred by Ukrainian police and soldiers.
Fourbricks In An Otherwise Empty Skull repeats the most extreme Zionist
propaganda without thought or question.
What a load of bullshit.
My grandfather, who, as a "Betrayed Hero of the Great War" shouldn't
even have been back in the services anyway, but, well, it's complicated,
acknowledged under oath that at least a million people were sent to the
camps in the area covered by the command at which he was a paper-pushing
corporal, and he didn't get dragged back in until mid/late 1943.
He also said that the numbers were low, and no-one cared about the
number of mentally ill, or mentally deficient, or Gypsies, or
homosexuals, or diseased, or deformed, or all the other
not-enough-like-us-people that got sent to the camps as well.
I don't know what you mean by "the numbers were low".
Is it that the one million whose names crossed his desk
is understated? Or that one million includes people
who weren't considered to be racially Jewish? Or that
there were fewer of the others and no one was asking
about them anyway?

My understanding is that "ordinary" criminals were sent
to the camps, but I'm hazy on this. And political
prisoners too, I expect.

And the "Holocaust" of Jews didn't only happen in the
camps, of course. It happened in streets, in town jails
and police offices, in obscene laboratories...
If you only count the death camps then you under-count.

h***@gmail.com
2019-08-04 12:40:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Some of Edgar Rice Burroughs' earliest Tarzan novels have been criticized for
racial stereotypes.
Considering when they were written, this seems a bit unfair to me.
Yeah, and when slave owning was allowed it was perfectly permissible to separate families, rape the women and beat the men.

It was the way things were done at the time and we shouldn't judge...
Post by Quadibloc
However, I do know that one of the _later_ Tarzan novels contained something
that I did view as morally objectionable. However, I don't recall there being
any controversy about it, the way that Heinlein's Farnham's Freehold or Starship
Troopers have led to controversy.
One reason for that may be that Edgar Rice Burroughs, being taken less seriously
as an author than Heinlein, is also taken less seriously as a threat of
corrupting peoples' values.
Another could be that the later Tarzan books went downhill in quality, and so
they're not read as often.
Memory didn't serve me well enough to identify the specific book, but Google
did.
It turns out the book was Tarzan the Untamed.
Oops, no, it wasn't - this thing by Burroughs was from a later novel, and just mentioned in passing in a discussion of the book Tarzan the Untamed.
Quaddie, we don't need to see your entire fucking process of finding things out.
If you have point you think worth posting post the fucking point and stop rabbiting about how you got there and where you were wrong.
J. Clarke
2019-08-04 13:34:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Some of Edgar Rice Burroughs' earliest Tarzan novels have been criticized for
racial stereotypes.
Considering when they were written, this seems a bit unfair to me.
However, I do know that one of the _later_ Tarzan novels contained something
that I did view as morally objectionable. However, I don't recall there being
any controversy about it, the way that Heinlein's Farnham's Freehold or Starship
Troopers have led to controversy.
One reason for that may be that Edgar Rice Burroughs, being taken less seriously
as an author than Heinlein, is also taken less seriously as a threat of
corrupting peoples' values.
Another could be that the later Tarzan books went downhill in quality, and so
they're not read as often.
Memory didn't serve me well enough to identify the specific book, but Google
did.
It turns out the book was Tarzan the Untamed.
Oops, no, it wasn't - this thing by Burroughs was from a later novel, and just mentioned in passing in a discussion of the book Tarzan the Untamed.
That was a fairly early Tarzan book, not buried in the end of the series. There
was one other thing about it that might be found objectionable today: it was
first published just after World War I, and presented an extreme and stereotyped
portrayal of its German villains.
The other book that I'm thinking of, however...
Including Google Books in my search finally turned up my answer: Tarzan and the Lost Empire.
This book featured what was to be a very common motif in many of the later
Tarzan novels: Tarzan encounters not one, but two, lost cities deep in the
African jungle, and there is some contrast between the two cities that plays an
important role in the story.
In _this_ book the contrast is this: both cities took a severe approach in their
criminal justice system to dealing with crime. However, one of those cities (Castrum Mare) is nearly crime-free, while the other one (Castrum Sanguinarius)
is crime-ridden.
Why?
Well, in the first city, when a crime is committed, not only is the criminal
executed, but so is his family. In the other one, only the criminal is executed.
I suppose I'm biased. It's not as if, in 1919, Burroughs had the cautionary
example of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to inform his sensibilities
away from this particular manifestation of Social Darwinism.
But, in any case, it disturbed even the stunted vestiges of moral principles
that I have. I guess you can't count on Burroughs to walk away from Omelas.
Sawyer does something similar in the Neanderthal Parallax--he doesn't
have the families of criminals killed outright, but they are
emphatically removed from the gene pool.

Does the Democratic People's Republic of Korea kill the families of
criminals? I had not heard of this.
Quadibloc
2019-08-04 20:43:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Does the Democratic People's Republic of Korea kill the families of
criminals? I had not heard of this.
People put in labor camps for political offenses are accompanied by their
families.

John Savard
w***@gmail.com
2019-08-04 15:56:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Some of Edgar Rice Burroughs' earliest Tarzan novels have been criticized for
Well, in the first city, when a crime is committed, not only is the criminal
executed, but so is his family. In the other one, only the criminal is executed.
And if we focus on real life, instead of fiction, we can remember how the Bloody Code of 18th C Britain created a virtual utopia by making 220 different offenses capital crimes. Truly a model for the ages.

wes
David Johnston
2019-08-05 18:16:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by w***@gmail.com
Post by Quadibloc
Some of Edgar Rice Burroughs' earliest Tarzan novels have been criticized for
Well, in the first city, when a crime is committed, not only is the criminal
executed, but so is his family. In the other one, only the criminal is executed.
And if we focus on real life, instead of fiction, we can remember how the Bloody Code of 18th C Britain created a virtual utopia by making 220 different offenses capital crimes. Truly a model for the ages.
Both cities had capital punishment. The point is not that, but eugenics.
David Johnston
2019-08-05 13:49:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Some of Edgar Rice Burroughs' earliest Tarzan novels have been criticized for
racial stereotypes.
Considering when they were written, this seems a bit unfair to me.
However, I do know that one of the _later_ Tarzan novels contained something
that I did view as morally objectionable. However, I don't recall there being
any controversy about it, the way that Heinlein's Farnham's Freehold or Starship
Troopers have led to controversy.
One reason for that may be that Edgar Rice Burroughs, being taken less seriously
as an author than Heinlein, is also taken less seriously as a threat of
corrupting peoples' values.
Another could be that the later Tarzan books went downhill in quality, and so
they're not read as often.
Memory didn't serve me well enough to identify the specific book, but Google
did.
It turns out the book was Tarzan the Untamed.
Oops, no, it wasn't - this thing by Burroughs was from a later novel, and just mentioned in passing in a discussion of the book Tarzan the Untamed.
That was a fairly early Tarzan book, not buried in the end of the series. There
was one other thing about it that might be found objectionable today: it was
first published just after World War I, and presented an extreme and stereotyped
portrayal of its German villains.
The other book that I'm thinking of, however...
Including Google Books in my search finally turned up my answer: Tarzan and the Lost Empire.
This book featured what was to be a very common motif in many of the later
Tarzan novels: Tarzan encounters not one, but two, lost cities deep in the
African jungle, and there is some contrast between the two cities that plays an
important role in the story.
In _this_ book the contrast is this: both cities took a severe approach in their
criminal justice system to dealing with crime. However, one of those cities (Castrum Mare) is nearly crime-free, while the other one (Castrum Sanguinarius)
is crime-ridden.
Why?
Well, in the first city, when a crime is committed, not only is the criminal
executed, but so is his family. In the other one, only the criminal is executed.
He also had a utopia on Venus created by culling everyone who didn't
measure up intellectually.
Quadibloc
2019-08-05 18:46:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Johnston
He also had a utopia on Venus created by culling everyone who didn't
measure up intellectually.
I missed that part. I noticed his Venus novels were full of topical references to
contemporary politics. First the commie Thorists were the bad guys. Then the
Zanis, whose leader was saluted with "Maltu Mephis" took over as the main menace,
with the Thorists now as allies. And maps of Amtor were inside-out, explained by a
sort of theory of relativity.

Oh, wait, you _don't_ mean the society in which the protagonist found his mate.
You mean the one where he was rejected... until he proved himself by
(re-)inventing the airplane. Ah, but they weren't protagonists, they were foils,
so Burroughs was proving that such a society would be a failure, not a utopia.

John Savard
David Johnston
2019-08-05 19:02:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Post by David Johnston
He also had a utopia on Venus created by culling everyone who didn't
measure up intellectually.
I missed that part. I noticed his Venus novels were full of topical references to
contemporary politics. First the commie Thorists were the bad guys. Then the
Zanis, whose leader was saluted with "Maltu Mephis" took over as the main menace,
with the Thorists now as allies. And maps of Amtor were inside-out, explained by a
sort of theory of relativity.
Oh, wait, you _don't_ mean the society in which the protagonist found his mate.
You mean the one where he was rejected... until he proved himself by
(re-)inventing the airplane. Ah, but they weren't protagonists, they were foils,
so Burroughs was proving that such a society would be a failure, not a utopia.
John Savard
No, I mean the story where the protagonists hang with a couple of ladies
who are geniuses, but not genius enough to get a job as anything other
than cleaners.
Quadibloc
2019-08-05 21:43:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Johnston
Post by Quadibloc
Oh, wait, you _don't_ mean the society in which the protagonist found his mate.
You mean the one where he was rejected... until he proved himself by
(re-)inventing the airplane. Ah, but they weren't protagonists, they were foils,
so Burroughs was proving that such a society would be a failure, not a utopia.
No, I mean the story where the protagonists hang with a couple of ladies
who are geniuses, but not genius enough to get a job as anything other
than cleaners.
Sure we're not remembering different aspects of the same subplot?

John Savard
Quadibloc
2019-08-05 22:04:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Post by David Johnston
Post by Quadibloc
Oh, wait, you _don't_ mean the society in which the protagonist found his mate.
You mean the one where he was rejected... until he proved himself by
(re-)inventing the airplane. Ah, but they weren't protagonists, they were foils,
so Burroughs was proving that such a society would be a failure, not a utopia.
No, I mean the story where the protagonists hang with a couple of ladies
who are geniuses, but not genius enough to get a job as anything other
than cleaners.
Sure we're not remembering different aspects of the same subplot?
Specifically, the only match I can think of in the Burroughs Venus stories is
Havatoo, described in Lost on Venus.

John Savard
David Johnston
2019-08-07 20:41:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Quadibloc
Post by David Johnston
He also had a utopia on Venus created by culling everyone who didn't
measure up intellectually.
I missed that part. I noticed his Venus novels were full of topical references to
contemporary politics. First the commie Thorists were the bad guys. Then the
Zanis, whose leader was saluted with "Maltu Mephis" took over as the main menace,
with the Thorists now as allies. And maps of Amtor were inside-out, explained by a
sort of theory of relativity.
Oh, wait, you _don't_ mean the society in which the protagonist found his mate.
You mean the one where he was rejected... until he proved himself by
(re-)inventing the airplane. Ah, but they weren't protagonists, they were foils,
so Burroughs was proving that such a society would be a failure, not a utopia.
How was he proving such a society would be a failure? The reason why
they didn't have planes was because Venus had no birds.
Quadibloc
2019-08-07 21:36:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Johnston
How was he proving such a society would be a failure? The reason why
they didn't have planes was because Venus had no birds.
They condemned Our Hero to death! That proved that he _regarded_ them as foils;
the book was light entertainment, so he didn't need to coherently argue any
political positions.

That Burroughs wasn't fond of egotistical intellectuals is established in the
Mars series, where John Carter recalls a joke about the savants of Helium - that
if one of them dropped his ego, it would take a week to fumigate Helium.

John Savard
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