Monday, 27 February 2017
Two (Or Three) Kinds Of Order
Examples of the first kind are:
Poul and Karen Anderson's Gratillonius, the former King of Ys, responding to the withdrawal of the Roman Empire from Brittania and Gaul;
Mike Havel, "Lord Bear," in SM Stirling's Dies The Fire.
An example of the second kind is the self-styled "Protector" in Dies The Fire.
Why are some people like that? When we have a society in which everyone seeks the common good, then many problems will have been solved and we will have a better chance of solving any that remain.
Both kinds of people exist now. In your workplace or community are potential Lord Bears and Protectors. They are obliged to work together although they sometimes pull against each other. Conflicts and rivalries are not settled with spears or crossbows but they remain conflicts and rivalries that can devastate lives, careers and organizations. In fact, they might reduce us to the level of spears and crossbows.
Apparently, the negation of technology in Dies The Fire has been an act of war against humanity. By whom? And will the culprits be confronted? One character suggested that it was "the Lord," as in the Biblical Flood. I will continue to read the Emberverse series and to reflect on what it tells us about existing society.
A third response to social collapse is that of Roan Tom in Poul Anderson's Technic History. Tom seeks neither the common good nor personal power but mere survival. However, in the process of protecting himself and his wives, Tom forges alliances that do help to restore order.