February 2, 2014

Slice of PIE: Both Sides Are Right; Both Sides Are Left…

http://static1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090102033418/startrek/images/8/85/FederationCouncil2286.jpgAnyone who knows me knows exactly how much I enjoy politics.

Or not, as the case may be.

It seems that as Humanity, we’ve reached a point where our politics are either “right” or “wrong”. I’m not just talking about the US, either. Turkish senators fight in the aisles: http://www.goodmorningturkey.com/ruling-akp-deputy-injured-in-turkish-parliament-melee-over-gezi-park/; South Korean senators fight over school lunches: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8175512/Fight-erupts-in-South-Korean-parliament-over-free-school-meals.html; Georgian (country)Parliamentarians duke it out: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/georgia-legislators-throw-fists-ukraine-response-article-1.1545024 ; Malaysian senators scream at each other: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/07/09/zahids-case-sparks-shouting-match-in-parliament/; Americans sling mud faster than it can drip off the face of the accused: http://thealternativepress.com/articles/its-time-to-stop-the-mudslinging-in-new-jersey.

Why, in a world that is striving for democracy are politics increasingly violent?

Please don’t fall back on the old saw that “a free world means everyone has their say”. I KNOW that – what is falling by the wayside is sober reflection, realization that we are ALL Human, and a willingness to “walk two moons in their moccasins” (Variously attributed to the Cherokee or Cheyenne or “Native American”) – but I don’t think most people quoting it realize that “two moons” is two months. Americans have shortened the period of time necessary for understanding someone down to a mile, roughly a very, very slow stroll of thirty minutes. Then *poof!*, you understand someone.

What does this have to do with science fiction?

Few, if any, science fiction stories depict the ruling of Humanity in new and different ways. Seems we’ll always be subject to kings or queens or emperors. That or some kind of parliamentary procedure based on the Greek form. We have EMPIRES OF THE SUN (Keith Anderson); The Republic (George Lucas); a GOD EMPEROR OF DUNE (Frank Herbert); defacto Monarchy (Anne McCafferey); corporate feudalism (“Fringe” TV); CHINA MOUNTAIN ZHANG’s communism (Maureen McHugh); UNITED FEDERATION OF PLANETS (Star Trek); and various and sundry others as needed.

However, you rarely see any, one faction claiming sole or special knowledge – except that Paul Atriedes could see the future.

And American Democrats and Republicans.

I’d like to see a real exploration of how individuals or groups will actually lead in the 21st Century. I’ve never considered it, but then, I’m not a political science major.

Rest assured I’m going to give it a whirl now!

Do you have any ideas?


Anonymous said...

Guy -

I think you've brought up a really great point here. Many politicians these days (and their constituents) believe that their side is the correct one, and the other side is wrong. This leads each party to disrespect the other.

However, like you hinted at, there is always more than one side to an argument. And rather than one side being right and the other being wrong, both sides can be equally right - depending on one's background, perspective, and objective.

I think if people kept this in mind - and if authors built it into their stories more often - it would lead to more constructive dialogue all around!


GuyStewart said...

Thanks, Thinksnacker! You're my only fan! Thanks for the thoughtful comments every time I post!

Looking forward to talking soon! I'll let you know in the next day or so when I'm free -- then we can mesh our schedules!