Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Subordination

We see human beings subordinated to:

Martians in The War Of The Worlds;
extrasolar aliens in Martian-like machines in John Christopher's Tripods Trilogy;
Borthudians in the van Rijn period of Poul Anderson's Technic History;
green Merseians in the Flandry period of the Technic History;
feline kzinti in Larry Niven's Know Space History;
green Treens in Dan Dare;
Daleks in Doctor Who;
fellow human beings who make themselves biologically superior in SM Stirling's Draka History.

(That is another of those lists that grew in the writing.)

I was reminded of Draka and serfs when reading about a kzin and his human secretary. Like a Draka, the kzin promises to attend the secretary's offspring's naming-day celebration.

Subordination can be one way to survival. In a novel by Fred and Geoffrey Hoyle, workers asked what they thought about the prospect of an alien invasion, said that, under the aliens, they would still have to work. In one of Aesop's fable, a donkey carrying a heavy burden is advised to run away from an invading army but, when told that they are unlikely to make him carry anything heavier because he is already at his limit, says that he will stay where he is.

Having said all that, slavery is definitely worse than paid work and should be resisted at all costs!

3 comments:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Commenting on your last sentence. While I agree with what you said about slavery, I also recall you saying that the type of "slavery" we see in the Terran Empire struck you more as a kind of community work program. Because the limited form of slavery used by the Empire was designed to discourage and punish crime. Is that still your view?

    Sean

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  2. Replies
    1. Kaor, Paul!

      That's an interesting perspective to take on the limited form of "slavery" we see in the Terran Empire. And worth thinking about. Such a view might also help restrain or limit abuse of such "slaves."

      Sean

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