Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Kirkasant And Commonalty

Kirkasanters give each individual duties to clan and country from birth but then protect individuality by discouraging slavishness and encouraging privacy. Masks are a motif in their art.

The interstellar civilization served by the Commonalty gives each individual very broad freedoms but then protects society by discouraging greed, selfishness and callousness - although Laure mentions quadrillionaires.

The vast expense of locating Kirkasant in the Cloud Universe can be met neither by taxation, because no tax mechanism can exist on such a scale, nor by donations, because the cause cannot be publicized to such a vast, diverse civilization with many more pressing needs of its own.

Fortunately, however, Laure has thought of a way to make economics work for the Kirkasanters. By discovering and exploring many planetary systems in the Cloud Universe, they establish ownership and therefore a share in the wealth when the vast mineral resources generated by the incessant stellar processes are mined. Miners swarming through the "starfog" will build so many beacons that it will become an easy matter to navigate and find Kirkasant.

Poul Anderson combines astrophysics, economics and human concerns.

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