65 Robert A Heinlein Quotes On Success In Life

Robert Anson Heinlein was an American science fiction author, aeronautical engineer, and naval officer. Sometimes called the “dean of science fiction writers”, he was among the first to emphasize scientific accuracy in his fiction and was thus a pioneer of the subgenre of hard science fiction. His published works, both fiction and non-fiction, express admiration for competence and emphasize the value of critical thinking. His work continues to have an influence on the science-fiction genre, and on modern culture more generally. These Robert A Heinlein quotes will motivate you.

Best Robert A Heinlein Quotes

  1. “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  2. “[T]here seems to have been an actual decline in rational thinking. The United States had become a place where entertainers and professional athletes were mistaken for people of importance. They were idolized and treated as leaders; their opinions were sought on everything and they took themselves just as seriously-after all, if an athlete is paid a million or more a year, he knows he is important … so his opinions of foreign affairs and domestic policies must be important, too, even though he proves himself to be ignorant and subliterate every time he opens his mouth.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  3. “Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  4. “Ignorance is curable, stupid is forever.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

  5. “I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  6. “A managed democracy is a wonderful thing… for the managers… and its greatest strength is a ‘free press’ when ‘free’ is defined as ‘responsible’ and the managers define what is ‘irresponsible’.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  7. “It is a bad sign when the people of a country stop identifying themselves with the country and start identifying with a group. A racial group. Or a religion. Or a language. Anything, as long as it isn’t the whole population.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  8. “Secrecy is the keystone to all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy and censorship. When any government or church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, “This you may not read, this you must not know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man who has been hoodwinked in this fashion; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, whose mind is free. No, not the rack nor the atomic bomb, not anything. You can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  9. “Democracy can survive anything except Democrats” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

  10. “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  11. “A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  12. “Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

  13. “Patriotism is not ‘my country right or wrong’; patriotism means loving the ideals for which America stands and having the courage to speak up when these ideals are distorted for personal or political gain. The American government was instituted to be the servant of the people, not our master.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  14. “There are two ways of forming an opinion. One is the scientific method; the other, the scholastic. To the scientific mind, experimental proof is all-important, and theory is merely a convenience in description, to be junked when it no longer fits. To the academic mind, authority is everything, and facts are junked when they do not fit theory.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  15. “A fool cannot be protected from his folly. If you attempt to do so, you will not only arouse his animosity but also you will be attempting to deprive him of whatever benefit he is capable of deriving from experience. Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  16. “The United States has become a place where entertainers and professional athletes are mistaken for people of importance.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

  17. “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  18. “Reason is poor propaganda when opposed by the yammering, unceasing lies of shrewd and evil and self-serving men.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  19. “The lessons of history teach us – if the lessons of history teach us anything – that nobody learns the lessons that history teaches us.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  20. “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as “bad luck.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  21. “Anyone who clings to the historically untrue-and thoroughly immoral-doctrine that, ‘violence never settles anything’ I would advise to conjure the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedom.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  22. “Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

  23. “Remember though, your best weapon is between your ears and under your scalp -provided it’s loaded.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  24. “Don’t ever become a pessimist… a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  25. “It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creeds into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  26. “Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  27. “Love your country, but never trust its government.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

  28. “There is an old song which asserts ‘the best things in life are free.’ Not true! Utterly false! This was the tragic fallacy which brought on the decadence and collapse of the democracies of the twentieth century; those noble experiments failed because the people had been led to believe that they could simply vote for whatever they wanted…and get it without toil, without sweat, without tears. Nothing of value is free. Even the breath of life is purchased at birth only through gasping effort and pain.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  29. “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  30. “Democracy is four wolves and a sheep voting on dinner.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

  31. “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  32. “Those who refuse to support and defend the state have no claim to protection by that state. Killing an anarchist or a pacifist should not be considered “murder” in a legalistic sense. The offense against the state, if any, should be “Using deadly weapons within city limits,” or “Creating a traffic hazard,” or other misdemeanor.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  33. “Never pick up a stray kitten . . . unless you’ve already made up your mind to be owned by it.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  34. “There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

  35. “There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  36. “What are the facts? Again and again and again – what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history” – what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  37. “Ninety percent of all human wisdom is the ability to mind your own business.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  38. “The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by Homo Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not receive this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  39. “Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

  40. “I never learned from a man who agreed with me.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  41. “The right to figure things out for yourself is the only true freedom everyone shares. Go use it.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  42. “The Ten Commandments are for lame brains. The first five are solely for the benefit of the priests and the powers that be; the second five are half truths, neither complete nor adequate.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  43. “The profession of shaman has many advantages. It offers high status with a safe livelihood free of work in the dreary, sweaty sense. In most societies it offers legal privileges and immunities not granted to other men. But it is hard to see how a man who has been given a mandate from on High to spread tidings of joy to all mankind can be seriously interested in taking up a collection to pay his salary; it causes one to suspect that the shaman is on the moral level of any other con man. But it is a lovely work if you can stomach it.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  44. “Belief gets in the way of learning.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

  45. “One of the sanest, surest, and most generous joys of life comes from being happy over the good fortune of others.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  46. “Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything – you can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  47. “Government! Three fourths parasitic and the other fourth Stupid fumbling.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

  48. “There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute nor common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back…” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  49. “What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it… which for the majority translates as ‘Bread and Circuses’.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein Quotes
  50. “The police of a state should never be stronger or better armed than the citizenry. An armed citizenry, willing to fight, is the foundation of civil freedom. That’s a personal evaluation, of course.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  51. “In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  52. “You’re in bad shape when your emotions force you into acts which you know are foolish.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

  53. “Happiness lies in being privileged to work hard for long hours in doing whatever you think is worth doing. One man may find happiness in supporting a wife and children. Another may find it in robbing banks. Still another may labor mightily for years in pursuing pure research with no discernible result. Note the individual and subjective nature of each case. No two are alike and there is no reason to expect them to be. Each man or woman must find for himself or herself that occupation in which hard work and long hours make him or her happy.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  54. “My old man claimed that the more complicated the law the more opportunity for scoundrels.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  55. “The greatest fallacy of democracy is that everyone’s opinion is worth the same.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

  56. “Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  57. “Whenever women have insisted on absolute equality with men, they have invariably wound up with the dirty end of the stick. What they are and what they can do makes them superior to men, and their proper tactic is to demand special privileges, all the traffic will bear. They should never settle merely for equality. For women, “equality” is a disaster.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  58. “Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other “sins” are invented nonsense.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  59. “The whole principle (censorship) is wrong; it’s like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can’t eat steak.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  60. “No matter where or what, there are makers, takers, and fakers.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

  61. “There is no such thing as luck; there is only adequate or inadequate preparation to cope with a statistical universe.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  62. “Never try to out stubborn a cat.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  63. “You do not truly own anything that you can’t carry in both arms at a dead run” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  64. “Never frighten a little man. He’ll kill you.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  65. “People usually believe anything that they are told early and often.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

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