Friday, 11 March 2016

Future Politics

"'Nationalism everywhere,' the President sighed. 'Why?'
"No one had an answer to that."
-Jerry Pournelle, The Mercenary (London, 1977), p. 42.

This sounds like the "old and protean enemy" of the early period of Poul Anderson's Psychotechnic History. See here and here.

In The Mercenary:

Democrats and Republicans have become two wings of the currently ruling Unity Party which supports the Codominium which keeps the peace by preventing nationalist wars;

Unity are opposed by the Patriot Party, the violently left wing Liberation Party and the growing Freedom Party;

a Patriot electoral victory will mean the US leaving the CD and war;

a Freedom victory will mean a relaxation of security, a Patriot coup and war;

Liberation causes riots but remains an electoral minority.

We know that something bad is bearing down if we know anything about the later course of this future history but it will be interesting to see whether Pournelle can present it convincingly enough. I echo the President's question: why all the nationalism?. 

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

The problem for Earth in CoDominium times (and for that matter before the rise of the Commonwealth in Anderson's Technic series) was that Earth had become too SMALL for many rival nations to fight out their quarrels, not when nuclear weapons were factored in!

Altho the rise of the Commonwealth was described in the EARTHBOOK OF STORMGATE as terrible and chaotic, it was far more successful and longer lasting than the CoDominium.

And of course we have our share of all too real and very similar problems today. Such as a US with weak, feckless, and incompetent leaders (Obama being one of those bunglers!) which seems unable to at least keep at bay Iran, the Islamic State, North Korea, a trouble making Russia, etc.