Friday, 3 July 2015

Building A Society

If you could lead the colonization of an undeveloped North America, what sort of society would you want to build? Lord Chumley from Kenya thinks that he might not be able to bring many of his compatriots with him because:

"'Living here would be...well, very different. Not many natives, for one thing; not much labor available.'"
-SM Stirling, Conquistador (New York, 2004), p. 119.

If you are used to having natives working for you, then you want to move to a place with plenty of natives.

The Founder, John Rolfe VI, explains that he has "'...restricted the import of native labor here...'" (ibid.) because:

"I don't want my grandchildren to be facing a mass of half-assimilated Aztecs who've been reading Locke and Tom Paine, not to mention Marx.'" (p. 120)

No? Locke, Paine and Marx are excellent chaps to read even if we disagree and argue about every word that they wrote. I would not be happy in a society whose leaders deliberately suppressed such works.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I don't think John Rolfe VI suppressed these books in New Virginia. He was far more subtle than that! Instead, he arranged matters so that HIS OWN people would have to do at least some of their own hewing of wood and drawing of water. However irksome this was to some, such as, perhaps, the Collettas, it made for far greater long term social stability in New Virginia.

And besides Locke, Payne, and Marx, I would add Edmund Burke and John Adams own works (and Adam Smith for economics!). Burke and Adams were both distrustful of centralized state power and disliked doctrinaire, arbitrary, one size fits all, top down schemes of "social reform."


Paul Shackley said...

No, he didn't suppress books but he wanted to prevent workers from getting ideas and that I dislike (!) I agree about adding Burke, Adams and Smith. We are the heirs of all the traditions and we, all of us, should have equal access to every idea that has ever been thought - or at least written. We should certainly have MEIN KAMPF in our libraries so that we know what to avoid in future.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And I think old John Rolfe himself would agree with you about being aware of many different ideas and traditions, while making it plain which HE believed were better. Which is fair enough, as the FOUNDER of New Virginia, old John arranged matters and set up institutions he believed were at least sound.

I even have a copy of MEIN KAMPF, altho I've never yet forced myself to read it, despite other writers saying MK had flashes of clearly written shrewdness and insight.