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From: "Andy Robertson" <andywrobertson@clara.co.uk>
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: The Best Introduction To The Mountains
Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 17:36:08 -0000

----- Original Message -----
From: "Adam Stephanides" <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
> Not feudalism, but an idealized version of Merrie Olde England, in which
> squire or local aristocrat (or factory owner) is the acknowledged leader
> the community, dispensing counsel and noblesse in exchange for the
> and obedience of the little people; but with some opportunity for social
> mobility thrown in.  In other words, an organic society, and one which
> in practice require strict limitations on the free market to maintain,
> although I'm sure Wolfe thinks of himself as a libertarian too.

Absent the silly sneers, "an organic society" is the just word

I think a quick summary of Wolfe's position on social hierarchy would be.
Someone is going to be in charge.  No society has ever dodged inequality.
In an "organic" society those on top are linked by moral bonds to everyone,
including the very poor.   In short, if they are "better" than the lower
orders, they had damn well better act better, not simply richer.

Just how Wolfe hopes to get from here to there he does not state.  It's a
dream, not a map.   Criticise away.

> Lafferty, whom I also love, is an even more right-wing Catholic than
> but he's eccentric enough so that even his didactic stuff is interesting,
> though not his best work.  This isn't true of Wolfe, IMO.

But Wolfe's most deeply political works include, for example,  "The Eyeflash
Miracles",  "The Hero As Werwolf", and "The Death of Doctor Island".

In these and many others Wolfe sets out a little guy getting crushed by the
actions of a universalist, and supposedly benevolent, State.

The political message is not the whole of these stories, but it is
unmistakable:  the government is more dangerous than any tyrant, because it
acts under a fiction of the greater good.

Surely this is obvious?

    Andy R

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