Science fiction is a good way to learn political theory

Joseph Resert, a government professor at Colby College, has found that science fiction novels like Brave new world He adds a lot of value to his class “Introduction to Political Theory”.

Resert says in episode 485 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy Audio notation. The professor at that time appointed a political theory chapter that started with Plato and ended with it Brave new worldHe made a lot of connections for us and then I try to highlight them when I teach them in my class.”

Reisert says that science fiction can help us imagine scenarios we would never think of. He says, “Science fiction allows us to experience, in literature, very different sets of social arrangements, and through the medium of the story perhaps we’ll get past that reflection, ‘It’s different so it must be bad,'” and kind of plays into our heads, “Well, can That this work? what does that mean? If we change this thing, what happens to these other things? I think imagination does it really well.”

Reisert is currently teaching Ursula K. Le Guin .’s novel kicked out To help students understand Marxist ideas of a society without private property. “He who imagines a society without property seems reasonable to me,” he says. “I love that novel, and I think the central insight there is that making this community propertyless, even regardless of the organizational challenges, requires the kind of moral shift that isn’t easy to achieve.”

Another advantage of science fiction novels is that they tend to be more entertaining than political messages, which means that students are more likely to actually read them. “One shouldn’t underestimate the importance of getting a light, easy reading at the end of a long semester right before people take exams,” Reisert says.

Listen to the full interview with Joseph Resert on episode 485 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above). And check out some of the highlights in the discussion below.

Joseph traveled on Star Trek:

“Even as a kid I knew it was progressive—there’s still the Cold War going on and there’s a Russian on the bridge, and it’s interracial. But what struck me as a kid, and I still really liked it was the optimism of the vision. I found that very engaging, a kind of balancing medium between [the characters]. If you think of Kirk as being brave or spiritual, Spock as being mind or intelligence, and McCoy as being heart or primarily friendship, all three are essential. There are at least a few episodes of the original series where they come across a seemingly perfect but stagnant community [puts] The limits of intellectual inquiry, persistence, exploration, daring, and Project People drop it.”

Joseph traveled on Brave new world:

“[Bernard] She tries to impress Lenina Crown by taking her to the Savage Reservation, where they meet John and Linda, and take them back to London. …when Linda dies, John is somewhat settled and his disgust with the brave new world sets in, and so he decides that he will free the delta-class workers in the hospice to die by throwing away their rations of medicine. ‘Be men! be free!’ shout out to them. A riot ensued, and you gotta love the brave new world, they broke it up by foaming everyone with soma gas, and I think they had dope water guns so people could sleep. And there is the big booming voice of their hypnotic instructions urging them to begin an orgy. I think it actually ends in an orgy, this riot.”

Joseph Resert on freedom of expression:

“I’m certainly very close to the absolute of freedom of expression. Part of it is that anything I see is censored by someone, I usually consider that a reason for that. [think]Well, maybe I should look at that idea again, because someone is really afraid of it. It’s very offensive for adults to say, ‘You can’t hear this’ or ‘You can’t hear that’, and I think politically it’s just a deep erosion. I think it’s much better to let people talk, because if they stop talking the next thing is violence. …there’s kind of — I don’t even think it’s a big group, but there is a kind of loud, laid back, advanced students who can’t commit to a challenge in their own strengths at all, and can make life difficult for people who even want to talk about, let alone embrace, alternative viewpoints. actually. And I think that must be resisted at all costs.”

Joseph traveled on Brave new world against. One thousand nine hundred and eighty-four:

“Although I don’t completely agree with him [Mustapha Mond’s] In defense of a Brave New World, he embodies in some ways all the virtues that no one else in the Brave New World is really allowed to cultivate. … when O’Brien [in Nineteen Eighty-Four] He eats real chocolate or drinks real coffee, in a strange way while tasting the other party’s sadness. The point for him is the sadistic shoe forever. Whereas Mond is rather sad. if they read OthelloThey couldn’t understand it, and it would have upset them. Yes it would be great if they could have real art, but the price would be too high. It’s not like he enjoys being deprived of others, that’s how I feel One thousand nine hundred and eighty-four. “

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