Only those who serve their full stint are granted voting rights. When the Federation is not at war, most service is equivalent to nonmilitary Civil Service jobs, and anyone who applies must be found some sort of job.
The Nature of Federal Service in Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers
I have already summarized my interpretation of the nature of Federal Service. To reiterate: I believe that the evidence in the text of Starship Troopers is overwhelmingly in favor of the “exclusively military and military support” Federal Service. The only contrary evidence is sparse, vague and subject to varying interpretation.
Except, of course, for Heinlein’s own flat and uncompromising statement.
The statement “In STARSHIP TROOPERS it is stated flatly and more than once that nineteen out of twenty veterans are not military veterans. Instead, 95% of voters are what we call today “former members of federal civil service” is one such [statement Heinlein might have revised if he was more careful editing the interstitial material]. It seems likely that if Heinlein had been writing the essay, he would have taken the book from the shelf and skimmed it for supporting statements. Not finding any, it is likely that he would have modified his statement.
On the other hand…
Heinlein would not have made such a statement did he not believe it. I believe that Heinlein’s intention was for Federal Service to be only five percent military, and that in the haste and fury of writing it and due to the nature of the protagonist’s service, the supporting statements were left out or inadvertently edited out.
By the text of the novel, Federal Service is entirely military in nature. But if any reader chooses to take Heinlein’s separate comment as evidence of his intent to make Federal Service ninety-five percent “civil service,” they will get no argument from me.
Heinlein: The Man, The Myth, The Whack Job
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