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Old 9th March 2011, 12:00 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Re: How much is political ideology dominating SFF?

You might say that but then look at how ruthlessly the Culture manipulates emerging cultures to ensure they end up with the "right" sort of politics and society.

And indeed you could argue that it ruthleesly controls all of humanity but in a way that mskes if feel like being pampered.
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Old 9th March 2011, 12:22 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Re: How much is political ideology dominating SFF?

Good point. Their foreign policy is markedly different to their home life. Its certainly manipulative, occasionally ruthless, but I still wouldn't say authoritarian. They've never mounted anything like the Iraq war, for instance, or the Boer. There's the whole Idiran thing, of course, but that was self-defence one can argue.

But, hey, no one can say there's no politics in SF having read this thread!
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Old 9th March 2011, 03:28 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Re: How much is political ideology dominating SFF?

Without wanting to go off on too much of a tangent, I wouldn't necessarily say authoritarianism is about wars and such like but more to do with control of the masses, by whatever means.
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Old 9th March 2011, 05:58 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Re: How much is political ideology dominating SFF?

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without wanting to go off on too much of a tangent, i wouldn't necessarily say authoritarianism is about wars and such like but more to do with control of the masses, by whatever means.
soylent green is people!
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Old 9th March 2011, 08:57 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Re: How much is political ideology dominating SFF?

And boy is it tasty!

(Chomp, chomp...)
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Old 9th March 2011, 09:46 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Re: How much is political ideology dominating SFF?

The Culture: herding cats for the greater good.
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Old 9th March 2011, 12:07 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Re: How much is political ideology dominating SFF?

Of course politics is important in SF and Heinlein books for example would be very boring without the different political idelogies involved. As long as you can make interesting story,themes out the politics in your novel and dont preach its very interesting.

I wouldnt say it dominates SFF maybe it did more of in Golden Age SF but not now. Also SF today tend to be set in far future and you cant just copy in your political views from 2010 in 2525.

Politics in SF books i have read is just another element of many.
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Old 9th March 2011, 04:28 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Re: How much is political ideology dominating SFF?

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The Culture: herding cats for the greater good.
Galactic social workers.
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Old 9th March 2011, 05:23 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Re: How much is political ideology dominating SFF?

And aren't social worker just the most authoritarian group in existence
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Old 9th March 2011, 10:23 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Re: How much is political ideology dominating SFF?

Science Fiction has alway been political.

From my opinion British Sci-fi took a horrible leftist turn in the early 21st Century were communism suddenly worked with no reason given for how society and technology had changed to make it possible. Anyone to the Right of this made Hitler look like a bleeding heart liberal, there was no middle ground.

It's comming out of it thanks to Neal Asher and co which is restoring my interest.
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Old 10th March 2011, 03:02 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Re: How much is political ideology dominating SFF?

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He admitted that “a close debate may someday rage. It isn’t raging yet because, for the most part, the leftist and rightist wings pretty much ignore each other,” with the lefties “fairly well cocooned by the magazines, the awards system, the reviewers, and no small number of readers who read only them, and the right by — I think — smaller groups of fans who are probably more loyal readers” than their opposite numbers.
Yeesh, so even within the geeky SFF community, right wingers continue to suffer from the same delusional persecution fantasies they do in the real world?
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Old 10th March 2011, 03:53 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Re: How much is political ideology dominating SFF?

Hey, I'm a rightwinger and I don't feel persecuted
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Old 11th March 2011, 08:50 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Re: How much is political ideology dominating SFF?

You will do when you see Michael Moore's fully operational deathstar!

(Oops. I'm not s'posed to talk about that...)
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Old 11th March 2011, 08:54 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Re: How much is political ideology dominating SFF?

I see your Death Star and raise you a Sun Crusher
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Old 11th March 2011, 11:48 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Re: How much is political ideology dominating SFF?

Jerry Pournelle (already cited on this thread as a right wing inflence) has written an essay
stating that the one dimensional right-left classification for politics has been too elementary since its inception, that no human society, even the one where it came into being shortly after the French revolution, where most dissidence had been disposed of (along with most of the dissidents) has ever been simple enough to specify with one measuring dimension. The idea that those who believe society more important than the individuals making it up will not all be technophile, change embracing, punishment-soft fuzzy animal lovers; nor will tradition-loving individualists all be rabid capitalists and paternalistic bible-beaters, embracing Darwinism as a means of slowing the rot and lack of respect in the lower classes.

He proposes a twin axis two-dimensional model, but I'm not even sure this is adequate; I could see a four or even five dimensional matrix as still being insufficient to describe a social structure. At any rate it is clear to me that declaring a particular story as left or right wing (let alone the author of said story, who might swing a completely different way in another tale) is not a useful classification for the vast majority of them. Even Fantasy, which has a tradition of "the rightful king" and well, tradition, can't be classified "right" (or wrong); how much less SF, which has a duty to be showing us alternatives, socially as well as technologically.

The Pournelle Political Axes
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