Sunday, 15 April 2018

Why Did They Do It?

Dominic Flandry prolonged the life of the Terran Empire because:

he enjoyed Imperial decadence;
he enjoyed Intelligence work;
billions of intelligent beings lived longer in peace;
the alternatives, barbarism or enslavement, were worse.

John le Carre's George Smiley asks which cause he served and considers five possibilities:

world peace;

He is unsure what world peace is, especially when pursued by violent means, dismisses capitalism and Christendom, relegates divided England to a past time and settles for leading Europe from darkness to a new age of reason.

A very different character from Flandry.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I have more sympathy for Dominic Flandry and his motivations for serving the Empire and working in Naval Intelligence than I do for the glum motivations of George Smiley. We even see a rare expression of patriotism for the Empire in "The Game of Glory" by Flandry! And I disagree with his dismissal of Christianity and his own county, the UK.

I'm surprised by Smiley's dismissal of efforts by the UK to help keep the peace, worldwide. If aggressive powers and rogue regimes were not at least sometimes held at bay by more decent powers, there would be no peace!

Yes, Smiley is a very different man from Flandry--with me preferring the latter! Admiral Fenross, another intelligence officer who was more a bureaucrat than a field agent, might be comparable to Smiley. Except that even Fenross, as we see in WE CLAIM THESE STARS, had more in common with Flandry than Smiley.