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Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 10:02:05 -0500 (EST)
From: Michael Straight 
Subject: Re: (urth) The Best Introduction to the Mountains

On Thu, 31 Jan 2002, Jerry Friedman wrote:

> > Severian doesn't automatically get to speak for
> > Urth just because he's Autarch of the Holy Roman Commonwealth.  If that
> > were true, Ymar could have brought the New Sun.
> Why?  Maybe Ymar was judged unworthy.  

He was.  That's what I mean.  Simply being Autarch of the Commonwealth
doesn't automatically mean you have found favor with the Hierodules.  You
also have to be worthy in some sense.

Ymar was "almost Just" which means he wasn't just.  Maybe this is not a
backhanded compliment, and Wolfe's point is that no human ruler could be
perfectly just.  But it also seems to indicate that Ymar and the other
Autarchs were widely seen as unjust rulers.

Had there been a genuinely democratic movement to overthrow the tyranny of
the Autarchs (unlike Vodalus's self-centered plot to seize power for
himself), I can see that Wolfe might think it tragic, in that it would be
unknowingly opposing the coming of the New Sun, but I don't see anything
in the text to indicate that Wolfe would see such a movement as morally
wrong.  Nor do I think it makes much sense to pull a few quotes from the
Catholic Encyclpedia and think that gives you enables you a complete
understanding of Wolfe's political ideas.



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