(urth) The Politics Of Gene Wolfe

David Stockhoff dstockhoff at verizon.net
Thu Mar 19 07:53:40 PDT 2009

Naturally, a system of government that relies on the good character of the ruler is plainly not a good system. But democracy is no better in this respect.

Monarchy is also more dramatic, of course, and lends itself to certain treatments. But a good monarchy may be better than a bad democracy, at least in the short term. 

In the long run, I disagree, because a healthy democracy has healthy institutions that stay healthy, thus diffusing power and preventing the worst abuses. I'm not sure Wolfe would disagree with that, but he is certainly skeptical, as he should be. We all should be. And even kings' power had limits anyway---true feudal monarchies tend to be very decentralized.


Message: 6
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2009 07:22:42 -0700 (PDT)
From: Craig Brewer <cnbrewer at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: (urth) The Politics Of Gene Wolfe
To: The Urth Mailing List <urth at lists.urth.net>
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I'd agree with this non-ideological position. After all, Severian chooses monarchy as the highest form of government. Sure, that's got religious overtones, but he's also a savior-monarch himself. Typhon is another monarch who's "bad." So it's a non-ideological position on monarchy, just says that it needs to be the right person. That would suggest that it's not really distrust of government, just distrust of the wrong forms of government. Silk, as well, is both Calde and a failure at it. Horn, too, gives us a number of very ambiguous reflections on the need for and dangers of good governing in the fragile communities on Blue.

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