Friday, 13 January 2017

Arms Race And Space Race

Here, we discussed possible connections between the arms and space races. This connection is reflected in future histories.

In Robert Heinlein's Future History, the World Federation Space Patrol keeps the peace by monopolizing orbiting nuclear warheads. A hero of the Patrol prevents a coup by some of his colleagues who would have used the weapons to intervene in Terrestrial affairs. The Patrol does not intervene in the Second American Revolution, regarding it as a local issue.

In Larry Niven's Known Space history, the UN, governing Earth and Moon although not the Belt, suppresses any technology that might have military applications.

In Jerry Pournelle's CoDominium History, Earth's main export seems to be warfare.

In Isaac Asimov's Galactic Empire History, when it is suggested that Earth might have been made radioactive as an act of war, it is pointed out that the only Space Admiral who ever suggested doing such a thing was lynched by his own men.

In Poul Anderson's Tales Of The Flying Mountains (New York, 1984), the Advisory Council of the spaceship Astra discusses what to teach children in the ship:

"'If we've told them about the wonderful space rockets, and nothing about the nuclear warheads that most of those rockets were meant to deliver - in effect, we'll have lied to them, and they'll find that out and distrust everything else we've tried to teach them.'" (p. 17)


David Birr said...

"In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war."
— slogan of the tabletop strategy game *Warhammer 40,000*

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID and Paul!

David, I would say rather, that war will remain a PART of human life. Not the only thing which human beings will engage in. There will be interludes of peace as well as war.

Paul, and I recall how the Advisory Council on the "Astra" eventually concluded that the best thing to do was to tell their children everything about human history, good and bad alike. A decision I agree was the correct one.


David Birr said...

That was a SLOGAN, after all. Some people have written novels based on *W40k*. One of the best of them, Dan Abnett, is noted for having said there would not be only war; there would also be PEOPLE.

Abnett and a few others focused on portraying characters who're doing their best to be good and decent people — although a few of the values they hold might raise the hair on the backs of even some DRAKA necks.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, DAVID!

Now that's an alarming idea, that there can be decent and well meaning people with beliefs that appalls even the Draka!

And I will google Dan Abnett!