Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Rise And Fall

In real history, civilizations rise and fall. In some future histories:

a civilization rises;
a few insightful individuals foresee its inevitable fall;
they plan for a good outcome at a later date.

How plausible is this? And who am I talking about?

Asimov's psychohistorians led by Seldon have a Plan for after the Fall of the Galactic Empire;

Pournelle's Falkenberg and his colleagues have a Plan for after the self-destruction of the CoDominium;

Anderson's Desai foresees the Fall of The Terran Empire and persuades Flandry who tries to ensure that at least a few colonized planets will remain centers of civilization during the Long Night.

In past history, Poul and Karen Anderson's Gratillonius built defensive measures that would become feudalism after the Fall of the Roman Empire - so maybe the future examples are not that far fetched after all.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And of course Chunderban Desai was influenced by the work of John K. Hord, which Poul Anderson accepted as a very good explanation of how civilizations rise and fall. Anderson comes close to even mentioning Hord in A KNIGHT OF GHOSTS AND SHADOWS (and dedicated the book to him).