Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon

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There are a variety of ways to form an institution. Whether it may be deliberate or intentional, an institution is defined as a persistent structure of social order governing the behavior of a set of individuals. In the science fiction novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein, at the beginning of the novel, the penal colony of Luna is established. The colony on the moon, known as Luna, was initially composed of criminals and political exiles, but in the year 2075 it is inhabited by their decedents who are considered “free” people. Due to the moon’s low gravitational pull, the free people could not survive on Earth so are, unfortunately, forced to live on Luna. A benefit from low gravitational pull is that people who live on…show more content…
On Luna there is a code of conduct that they abide by and is based on old cultural values. Since Luna’s original inhabitants were criminals their values were similar to those of a mafia. The values that they uphold are simple and very informal; they are a disregard for conventional laws and is based on family reputation and money. These two values were socially created to serve as a standard and not as a law. The punishment for breaking the code results in private settlement or informal judge of reputation. Reputation being the highest held value in society. There is no legal system or formal judicial branch to formally punish people it is all based upon social constraints. These constraints are set by three levels of hierarchy which include family, the individual and Society. Luna has its own “authority” known as the Lunar Authority. The Lunar Authority is the equivalent to the police force. In Luna City everyone is basically free but there is a price to pay for it. Everything on Luna has a price. If you are poor then there is no point to you existence because you are considered weak and therefor are better off dead. The Warden, also known as Mort the Wart, was exiled to Luna to govern and enforce rules, but in practice little intervention was taken in lunar society on his behalf. This would be considered an informal version of the Legislative branch on Luna. As a result, there are no formal institutions on Luna due to the lack of authority and written laws. Therefor there is no government on

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