Saturday, 17 September 2016
"A fierce, proud people had their noses rubbed in their own insignificance. Chee guessed that here lay the root of most of the social upheaval which followed. And belike a more urgent motive than curiosity or profit began to drive the scientists: the desire, the need to catch up, to bring Merseia in one leap onto the galactic scene." (David Falkayn: Star Trader, p. 232)
This recalls Stalin, crushing any trace of workers' control or of popular resistance in order to enforce industrialization without delay - in order to compete militarily against the Western powers; also, Chinese and Japanese regimes modernizing as rapidly as possible.
Technic civilization continues to generate discontent:
David Falkayn secretly founds Supermetals to help the many planets that lack the resources to join interstellar civilization;
the Baburites militarize and conspire to seize Mirkheim, the source of Supermetals' wealth;
the Baburites' armed forces include disaffected human beings and also Merseian aristocrats outraged that the Polesotechnic League had bypassed them to deal with the Gethfennu (organized crime);
the Merseian Roidhunate later competes with the Terran Empire.
"Chee got a distinct impression that the Republic [of Lafdigu] was actually a hobnail-booted dictatorship. Its own imperial ambitions clashed with those of the Hands. Nuclear war was averted on the ground..." (p. 233)
When Chee learns about the dynastic and nationalistic rivalries on Merseia, Anderson is most open to the charge leveled by Brian Aldiss. See here. However, when Anderson presents Terretrial-style politics on other planets, he does it extremely well - and also conveys that these are indeed other planets.