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Ray Bradbury: Too Much Government, Let’s Colonize Mars

Renowned science fiction author Ray Bradbury hates big government but wants it to fund the colonization of Mars.

Ray Bradbury is mad at President Obama, but it’s not about the economy, the war or the plan to a construct a mosque near Ground Zero in New York City.

“He should be announcing that we should go back to the moon,” says the iconic author, whose 90th birthday on Aug. 22 will be marked in Los Angeles with more than week’s worth of Bradbury film and TV screenings, tributes and other events. “We should never have left there. We should go to the moon and prepare a base to fire a rocket off to Mars and then go to Mars and colonize Mars. Then when we do that, we will live forever.”

The man who wrote “Fahrenheit 451,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” “The Martian Chronicles,” “Dandelion Wine”and “The Illustrated Man” has been called one of America’s great dreamers, but his imagination takes him to some dark places when it comes to contemporary politics.

“I think our country is in need of a revolution,” Bradbury said. “There is too much government today. We’ve got to remember the government should be by the people, of the people and for the people.”

That a man of Bradbury’s intelligence and insight can hold such diametrically opposed thoughts is an amusing reminder of the limits of human rationality.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.


  1. Bradbury, whose literary legacy I greatly respect, has long been a curmeudgeon with an odd mix of futurism and Ludditism.

    For example, I can not for the life of me understand his hostility to electronic versions of his books:

    he sounds ready to use a Kindle for kindling. “I was approached three times during the last year by Internet companies wanting to put my books” on an electronic reading device, he said. “I said to Yahoo, ‘Prick up your ears and go to hell.’ “

    Indeed, he has long had a strange antagonism to technology.

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  2. Dave Schuler says:

    Stephen Hawking holds views about space travel pretty similar to Bradbury’s. Pretty good company, I’d say.

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  3. Alex Knapp says:

    Bradbury just wants us to get shot by jealous Maritian spouses. It’s a trick I tell you!

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  4. James Joyner says:

    Dave: While I’m not a Mars enthusiast, I’ve got no real quarrel with the Bradbury-Hawking rationale. I just don’t think the free market is going to sponsor the exploration.

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