As most readers know, I’m a space buff and my preferred genre of reading on airplanes is science fiction. I love science fiction for many reasons, including its ability to frame current questions in different perspectives or scenarios so you have a fresh way to consider things. For example, it can be easier to consider the role of religion in society if it’s a clash between two different groups of Bug-Eyed-Monsters of Alpha Centauri coping with it….
I read a lot of what is loosely called military sci-fi. I’m a big David Weber fan, but also like Eric Flint, John Ringo, SM Stirling and others. The best of these writers do more than just write about military tech; rather they look at the entire structure of society. They often explore different government structures or economic systems, etc.
On the plane ride in, I finished a short series by Jerry Pournelle and SM Stirling known as the Falkenberg’s Legion series. One of the issues the books explore is what roles the military or soldiers play in society. In the second book, “Prince of Mercenaries,” our lead, JC Falkenberg, discusses the idea of service and duty and the role the military has in social order and the basis of freedom:
“Mr. Prince, would you like to know the most significant event in the history of freedom?”
“The American Revolution?”
“A defensible choice, a close second even, but not mine. I would choose the moment when the Roman plebians required the patricians to write down the twelve tables of the law and put them where everyone could see them — thereby proclaimed the law supreme over the politicians. The rule of law is the essence of freedom.”
I think this a good thought to keep in mind while I am here in DC this week. I’ll report next week about how it went.
Elizabeth Baldwin is Environmental Compliance Officer for Metropolitan Hardwood Floors. In her 25 plus year career in the wood industry has visited over 70 countries and hundreds of facilities of all sizes and types. She describes herself as a “jack of all wood trades.” Familiar with jungles of all sorts–having camped out along the Amazon and walked the halls of Congress–she blogs for the NWFA on both environmental and regulatory issues for educational and informational purposes only. Her blog is not intended and should not be construed as legal advice. Persons seeking legal advice on compliance with CARB, TSCA, the U.S. Lacey Act or any other law, regulation, or compliance requirement/claim should consult with the regulatory agency directly and/or a qualified legal professional.