Sunday, 24 January 2016


Intelligent beings have biologically based motivations but also:

the ability, indeed the necessity, to learn from experience, instruction and reflection;
the ability to change their environment with hands and brain and thus to change themselves in the process (in fact, that is how we became human);
the ability to practice psychophysical disciplines of various kinds.

In Poul Anderson's Brain Wave, an increase in intelligence enables human reason to win its long war against animal instincts. Isaac Asimov's Daneel Olivaw reasons his way beyond the First Law of Robotics. (Daneel is an artificial, not a biological, intelligence but, by the same token, there are some parallels.)

So I think that some of the homo servus in SM Stirling's Drakon would be able, perhaps quite dispassionately, to reach the conclusion that the Domination, incapable of reform, should be overthrown - and they would be well placed to sabotage it.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Very interesting, the last paragraph of your piece here. Yes, I agree, logic and reasoning could and should lead some Homines servi to the conclusion that the Domination should be overthrown. Because the Domination was incapable of being reformed. Unfortunately, alas, I fear most of the Homines servi would be UNWILLING to accept that conclusion.

There also the problem of how the New Race Draka use pheromones to make the Homines servi WANT to do whatever is demanded of them. Are any Homines servi ABLE to resist control by Draka pheromones? Would not any servi conspirators need first to find a means of neutralizing New Race pheromones?

Another issue is this: the Domination would have an overwhelming military and police edge. New Race Draka and loyal servi could and would use overwhelming force to quickly crush any revolt. Any would be servi rebels would also need to get their hands on sufficient weapons and find enough troops to give any revolt a fighting chance.


Paul Shackley said...

You are so right. But this means that revolution would be difficult, not impossible - like anything worth doing.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

A revolt against the Domination would be one revolution I believe needs doing! Any conspiracy against the Domination would need to plan for the LONG term, centuries if necessary.

Biocontrol, the corrupt and oppressive regime misruling the planet Unan Besar in Poul Anderson's "The Plague of Masters" is one example from his works of a regime richly deserving of being overthrown.