Sinisalo Wins Prometheus Award

The Libertarian Futurist Society has announced the results of their annual awards. The full results are here, but the one I want to talk about is the Prometheus which is for Best Novel. It was won by The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo (my review here). The press release describes the book as “both libertarian and feminist” which will doubtless raise some eyebrows among both libertarians and feminists, who tend not to be on the best terms. I’m not going to argue with the jury, I’m just going to be very happy for my Finnish friend who has once again written a very fine book.

4 thoughts on “Sinisalo Wins Prometheus Award

  1. If you want to understand why it got libertarian votes, you might consider the statement in your review that it “ruthlessly satirizes those who think they know what it best for others.”

    Going beyond that starting point, a central theme of the novel is its critique of eugenics (and its alternate history where eugenics became the basis for Finnish social policy). The advocacy of eugenics was a big goal of the progressives a century ago, as part of their advocacy of a planned society where people did what was scientifically desirable rather than what they individually chose or preferred. You can find a discussion of eugenic policy, for example, in Pigou’s Welfare Economics. In the American legal struggles over forced sterilization, the opposition to eugenics came partly from the devoutly religious and partly from strict constitutionalists; it was Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., a hero of progressive jurisprudence, who wrote the Supreme Court decision that “three generations of imbeciles is enough” justifying the practice. Of course eugenics is not a progressive goal or policy now, but opposition to eugenics is still something that libertarians adhere to, an inheritance if you like from the strict constitutionalism of a century ago.

    Then of course there’s the more obvious parody of anti-drug laws. . . .

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