It reads like real history. And, because it does, I would like to read a novel set in Chicago Integrate during van Rijn's lifetime and another set in Archopolis during Flandry's lifetime.
"[Van Rijn] glared out across the city, where it winked and glittered beneath the stars, around the curve of the planet. 'Do you think they yonder is free?' he shouted. His hand chopped downward in scorn." (David Falkayn: Star Trader, p. 327)
Yes, van Rijn, I do think that we are free although lacking either the attitudes or the aptitudes of merchant adventurers. Many types of human beings are necessary to build a complex society. Van Rijn here expresses a lordly disdain for his employees and customers whereas respect would be more appropriate.
"'We here in this room are wild...We do what we do because we want to or because it is right. No other motivations, nie?'" (p. 326)
The "...because it is right..." is an important qualification. We are all too familiar with the characters who do only what they want. But there are many Terrestrial citizens who, whatever their jobs or positions in society, do what they want or what is right and do not have the slave mentality:
"'Wanting somebody else should tell them what to do...'" (p. 327)
- which van Rijn rightly derides.