"Star Wars" despots vs. "Star Trek" populists

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Wed May 22 17:54:05 EDT 2002


--- Chris R <sfa_ok2001 at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
>  --- Jon Noble <jon_p_noble at yahoo.com> wrote: > I I
> can't recall seeing much left
> > wing fantasy - perhaps an interesting topic for a
> > discussion. I've always regarded Lord of the Rings
> > as
> > one of the best arguments for fascism there is
> > (right
> > up there with Orff's Carmina Burana). 
> Carmina Burana? I read those in Latin last year and
> can't remember any fascism - 
The trouble with the term "Fascism" is that people use
it today for any right wing ideology - or even for
anything they wish to denigrate, without any
understanding of the ideological basis of the popular
mass-movements of the first half of the 20th century.
An ideology that has not really existed since
(although I have come across a few on the "loony
right") who hold it. In some ways Fascism was a
combination of Marxism and 19th century romanticism.
It accepted the Marxist analysis of the economic basis
of society and class struggle but rejected the marxist
sollution, Instead of looking forward to an ideal
society created by worker revolution it looked to the
past, to a non-industrial co-operative society, in
which everyone was happy in their place in society,
and all co-operated for the good of the society. The
fascists even rejected as capitalism because like
Marxists they saw it as leading to Communism, their
sollution was to return to a pre-capitalist society.
The harking back to the middle ages of LOTR and
Carmina Burana (written in Nazi germany) are perfect
artistic expressions of this ideal. This is not
intended as a comment on Tolkien or Orff's personal
politics, or on the politics of those (such as myself)
who love both works.
> Try Eric Flint for (funny) left-wing fantasy - The
> Philosophical Strangler and Forward the Mage. They
> aren't his best stuff by a long way (for my vote
> that's 1633 - leftish alternate history - or An
> Oblique Approach - alternate history without any
> discernible political content beyond Eugenic Fascism
> Is Bad. But then you couldn't get democracy into 6th
> century Byzantium without stretching credibility
> even
> more than sentient crystals...) but worth reading.
> Gah. Babbling. Will stop now.
>
I'm not familiar with this author, will have to look
him out. Wasn't Byzantium a democracy in the 4th
century BC? However Athens and Rome demonstrated that
a democrarcy any larger than a single city didn't work
with pre-industrial technology. However in fantasy we
have  magic as a substitute for industrial technology.
This is something very few authors explore. Randall
Garrett's Lord D'Arcy stories are an example that
spring to mind. I once had fun incorporating this into
a Dungeons and Dragons campaign I ran (I also tried to
create a workable ecosystem that could support such a
large number to top predators).

 OBDWJ, I've never been able to figure out her
> politics. Does she have a consistent ideology? And
> an
> interesting twist of hers on the demi-god hero is
> the
> ordinary person who gets wacky friends, goes on a
> quest/does great deeds, *then* becomes a hero - and
> then has to sacrifice himself. I'm thinking Homeward
> Bounders here.
> Chris
> 
>I  would suspect DWJ is what we call in Australia
would call a "small L liberal"

Jon Noble
"I have a fantasy, of a librarian" Aimee Bender "Quiet
Please"



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