Sunday, 23 October 2016

Reasons For Secrecy?

Van Rijn's reasons for keeping quiet about evidence of an external threat to Technic civilization include:

"'Alpha, governments is too big and cumbersome for handling a problem with so many unknowns as we got. Beta, if the public in the Commonwealth learned that they have a powerful enemy some place we don't know, they could get hysterical and this could be bad for developing a reasonable type policy...'" (David Falkayn: Star Trader, pp. 429-430)

What we need is an entire population individually informed and collectively intelligent enough to respond to any crisis and to mobilize itself for defense or other emergency action. We also need a form of social organization that rapidly and accurately reflects, expresses and implements not conflicting vested interests but the collective response. HG Wells shows humanity approaching this goal in The Shape Of Things To Come and Poul Anderson shows it in Brain Wave. And we are a million light years away from it. Britain has agreed to accept a few refugee children. Press and public denounce them as adults disguised as children and demand that their age be confirmed by dental examination. Welcome, refugees? Sure!

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I was all set to criticize your second paragraph as being far too implausibly idealized before I noticed you admitted our thumbwitted human species is a million light years away from achieving it! Nor do I think we will ever do away with conflicting vested interests. What else are they, really, if not organized groups of individuals trying to advance or protect common interests? Which means I don't think we will ever get things like a rapidly arrived at "common view."