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Authorial Politics

In the breaks in his writing schedule, David has promised to stop by and chat for a while!
Re: Authorial Politics
Post by rafael   » Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:39 pm

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Sweden also gave back to the Germans test V2s that were fired into Sweden.
Re: Authorial Politics
Post by Michael Everett   » Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:35 am

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rafael wrote:Sweden also gave back to the Germans test V2s that were fired into Sweden.

What, they lit them and fired them back?

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Re: Authorial Politics
Post by rafael   » Thu Dec 23, 2010 6:20 pm

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Michael Everett wrote:
rafael wrote:Sweden also gave back to the Germans test V2s that were fired into Sweden.

What, they lit them and fired them back?

No the Germans asked for them in plain diplomatic conversations and they go them. The Poles actually gave one to the Allies.
Re: Authorial Politics
Post by Tenshinai   » Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:06 pm


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rafael wrote:Sweden also gave back to the Germans test V2s that were fired into Sweden.

Eh... Right...

I suggest you get your facts straight.

The only V-2 that crashed in Sweden, V-89, at Bäckebo btw, was given to the BRITISH, in exchange for some Spitfires.
And by 1944, that was as good as giving it for free.
The British technical staff were playing with the remains just 6 weeks after it crashed.
Re: Authorial Politics
Post by phillies   » Wed May 18, 2011 2:24 pm

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Howard T. Map-addict wrote:U K LeGuin's novel was THE DISPOSESED.
The particular brand of l-wing politics was Syndicalist.

Frederick Pohl has always been left-wing.
The Futurians, the noted SF club in NYC in the
1930s & 40s, was leftist at the time - too much so
for Asimov.

Then there were those Famous Petitions, circa 1970,
in Amazing Stories, with about threescore SF writers
*protesting* the Vietnam War on one page,
and a like number *supporting* it on the facing page.

Howard T. Map-addict

The peculiar feature of the famous petitions, to my recollection, was that the fantasy writers were opposed to the war, the hard SF writers supported the war, and a few people like Poul Anderson did both. I recall sitting in the MITSFS library, making this point, having it vigorously denied, and reading down the names to prove my point.

With respect to card-carrying communists, I can immediately think of another, who almost anyone who has been around for a while has read, but who does not make a point of his politics.

Eric making a labor union leader the smartest fellow politically in his 163x could be said to be political, though (to administer a very gentle tweak) Eric did for better or worse have the advantage of seeing the only union President ever elected as President of the United States, with the world not coming to an end.
Re: Authorial Politics
Post by runsforcelery   » Sun May 29, 2011 2:22 pm

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solbergb wrote:
DrakBibliophile wrote:As for the anti-white collar bias, well he has little good to say about corporation CEO's which does reflect his experience with working with labor unions.

Are you guys reading the same 1632 series I am?

He's got a CEO as head of the navy. The CEO wasn't a "good guy" in the first book but they realized they needed his organizational and military experience by 1633 and he (and his society wife) were major players by 1634. The townsfolk were suspicious of this visiting urban rich carpetbagger (he was there for a wedding) but once both sides got over their initial distrust he was far too experienced and his unique skillset and background were just too useful to leave him marginalized.

He's also got as a major subplot stock market shenanigans instigated by youthful Americans, including the darker side of getting greedy with that. Indeed much of the reason innovation is going on is that the uptimers introduced the concept of incorporation and venture capital on a wide scale, partly to break the guilds.

Doctors and teachers and heck, anyone with some education are highly valued, both "uptime" trained and "downtime" (the guys with practical experience of things like plague, merchant cartels, politics and such). As are administrators and accountants of all stripes. The clergy (both uptime and downtime) also get sympathetic treatment.

What are the white collar values being stomped on here? I see education and innovation as the key to individual success in the 1632verse, although it has to be backed by a political and military security that in the 21st century they could take for granted.

Just because he ALSO has been trying to break down class barriers and introduce the concept of fair wages for less educated workers to the 17th century and has some wild eyed faux-communist revolutionaries serving fast-food and the local union boss became the transplated town's first "president" doesn't mean he's presenting a one-sided world here.

Um. Okay, politics. Cheez.

First off, I am definitely right of center (though not so far right --- by US standards, at least --- as some people believe) and a Methodist layspeaker, which probably gives you a pretty good feel for where I'm coming from on a personal basis.

Second, I'm fine with anyone's politics as long as that person actually thinks about his/her position instead of operating on (a) inherited knee-jerk ideology; (b) emotional insistence on the way "things have to/can be" which ignores pragmatic constraints (more below); (c) a refusal to permit opposing viewpoints to be heard in their own words equally with one's own; (d) an automatic refusal to listen to a potentially (or even absolutely) opposing viewpoint with at least a marginal willingness to consider that one might actually, I don't know, learn something in the process; and (e) the understanding that it is perfectly possible for someone to be wrong without being dishonest, lying, paranoid, part of a conspiracy, or evil.

To expand slightly on that "things have to be/can be" point, I think it's vital for anyone to have a belief that lives and societies can be improved (and to have a notion of how to go about doing it) and also for them to have a belief that there are worthwhile aspects of lives and societies which need to be preserved and cherished. But it's equally important --- possibly even more important --- to have a pragmatic sense of these things. For those advocating change, that means an ability to recognize the limitations of the fiscal, physical, and ideological resources available to them. What can be paid for, what can be physically accomplished even if you have all the money at the world (and what is competing for those resources), and how far can you realistically carry political and ideological support for what you want to accomplish. For those advocating preservation, that means recognizing when preservation for preservation's sake becomes destructive of lives and happiness, recognizing that as societies grow and change, new problems (or new wrinkles on old ones) arise, as do new groups of actors whose interests are just as legitimate and vital as the society's original stakeholders. And those preservationists had better understand that they are going to have to find ways of addressing those new problems and those new groups that are just and equittable.

I think it's probably fairly clear from my books that my primary emphasis is on responsibility taking. In being involved and contending for your beliefs, whichever side of the spectrum may be more comfortable to you. And my view is also that the imposition of one's views on someone who does not share them is usually a bad thing. Note that I did say "usually," however, because I don't have any problem with "imposing my views" (or those of my society, at least) on anyone who practices thing like honor killings, enslaves his fellow men and women (I'm thinking here about the pre-1860 US, guys, not any particular contemporary group! [G]), denies any group of human beings the same rights and liberties he claims for himself, or would impose his views on me or mine. In other words, I am more of an absolutist than a relativist when it comes to culture and morality and, as a child of classic Western philosophy, I have a deep and abiding belief in the individuality of human beings which leads to a personal abhorence for anyone or any philosophy which would submerge or ruthlessly subordinate the individual and the individual's rights.

The only thing I abhore more than someone who will ruthlessly crush the individual and all dissent in the name of a truly held ideology or religion is someone who will use an ideology or a religion as a vehicle to power for power's sake or out of raw personal ambition instead of acting out of genuine (if destructive) belief. I suspect the true zealot is more dangerous in the long run, but at least I can respect his honesty, and it's the self-server who gnaws away at the foundations of any society's true strength, thus weakening it for a right-wing man on a horse or a left-wing revolutionary because the existing system has become too rotten and damaged to survive.

Interestingly enough, Eric and I are pretty much alike in that regard and I am proud to have him as a friend as well as a collaborator. There have been a few times we've found ourselved, ah, warmly debating a point (especially when it might pertain to foreign policy, I fear), but by and large we are in general agreement on most everything except the future of capitalism. Which, after all, is a relatively minor point, right? [G] I think it is true that Eric sees society from the bottom up, whereas I'm more comfortable than he is with characters looking from the top down. I would point out, however, that most of my characters who end up at the top didn't start there, and that the abuse of inherited or unearned power, privilege, and/or wealth is a fertile source for the villains in my books.

I think Eric tends to see his "good guys" as validated by their lower-class, proletarian origins and their willingness to take the fight to entrenched bastions of power and privilege in favor of a society in which personal freedoms, economic opportunity, and the benefits of society --- education, medicine, personal liberty, material wellbeing and comfort etc. --- are as broadly distributed as possible. That, after all, is the "Stearns Platform" (and strategy for victory) in the 1632 universe in a nutshell. (For that matter, it's a big part of the "Merlin Platform" in the Safehold books, when you come down to it.) Actually, now that I think about it, there's also a "sub-class" of Eric's good guys who are members of the elite who have thrown their allegiance to the proletarian struggle (and been validated thereby), although Eric is far too good a writer to cause most of them to do this for purely selfless reasons. His treatment of Gustavus Adolphus (and, for that matter, the Infante in the Low Country) is a case in point . . . and a very good one, too, I might add! [G] His treatment of Bellisarius in his collaborations with David Drake could be seen as another example of this, but I actually think Bellisarius (who, by the way, I love as a character) is more similar to one of my "climbing to power" characters than Gustavus is.

I tend to see my "good guys" as validated by their belief in human dignity and freedom and by their willingness to lay themselves and their lives on the line in the protection of societies which provide those same things Eric's characters are striving to secure for their members. Our characters' perspectives and points of origin differ; the destination and the values for which they contend are very much the same. We have somewhat different views of exactly how those values may be best effectuated in the destination society we finally reach, but I suspect either of us would be able to settle into the other guy's destination quite comfortably once we got there. We both have personal life experiences which have formed and shaped our beliefs in what that society will be like and how we'll get there, but both of us (I think) agree on what must be (as opposed to "ought to be") preserved along the way.

This is longer than I meant to go, but I'll finish by adding one thing. John Simpson Chandler is "my" character just as Victor Cachat is Eric's. I asked him if I could "rehabilitate" John when we wrote 1633, and Eric was fine with the idea. In fact, I think he rather likes John these days, which he darned well didn't when he first created him! [G] And Eric created Victor for the Honorverse to give us a sympathetic radical up-from-below Peep character . . . who I've grown to like very much. I was also grateful to Eric for Cathy Montaigne, who provided me exactly the "hook" character I wanted for the Liberal Party I intended to build to replace New Kiev's in the SKM. She's a little more radical (not a lot, but definitely a little) than what I had in mind because I expected the fiery abolitionism of the Liberal Party I intended to create to emerge only after Manticore discovered the existence of the Mesan Alignment. I wanted a general hostility to interstellar slavery, but I hadn't really considered a character with that laser-focus on the issue from the get-go. Having said that, I think she actually works far better as a character because of that radical element, and her views on the other issues confronting the SKM/SEM are veru much what I wanted all along. In fact, Simpson, Victor, and Cathy are three of the best examples I can think of of what happens when a collaboration goes right, instead of wrong.

"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
Re: Authorial Politics
Post by Panzer   » Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:21 am

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The 1632 series is also co-written by Eric Flint. He's a bit left of center, and I believe has been referred to by either John Ringo or David Drake as "Eric the Red."
Re: Authorial Politics
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:02 am

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"bit" left of center?

Flint is the Original writer of 1632.
Everyone else who writes in that Universe
is a "co-writer." Flint is the only one who isn't.

EF has announced his politics to be Communist,
as in "Marxist-Leninist-Trotskite."
He has posted this on Baen's Bar frequently,
several times per year, since 1999 at least.

His most frequent nickname is Ursus Rufus (= Red Bear).
Yes, Eric The Red is another nickname for him.

Howard "Map-addict" Wilkins, a Pointy-Headed Liberal

Panzer wrote:The 1632 series is also co-written by Eric Flint. He's a bit left of center, and I believe has been referred to by either John Ringo or David Drake as "Eric the Red."
Re: Authorial Politics
Post by Ascaladar   » Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:29 am


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Interesting discussion, I will put in my own view of the matter, just being a german makes me hardly an expert, but I was always interested in history.

My point of view is, that the only common thing in both communism and national-socialism/ facism is the authoritarian element.

The communism wants a single party to decide what is best for all and the national-socialism a single leader to decide, in this aspect they are more or less the same thing.

National-socialism however puts a heavy emphasis on the 'national' to the point were anything that is not part of the nation is seen as an enemy and the Fuehrer decides what is part of the nation and what is not. So in nazi-germany if you did not have the wrong looks, were a jew, a communist, a democrat, a gay, a person asking too many questions etc. you could live relativly comfortable. The corporations in germany could also do more or less what they want, as long as there actions were perceived as anti-german or anti-Hitler, which was by the national-socialism defintion the same.

About communism, it was a failed attempt to answer a problem that Karl Marx found in 19. century, debt and interest rates and the dangerous imbalances it causes in an economy over time. In this aspect he described the sub-prime crisis of 2008 and the debt situation of greece and the US quite well, almost 150 before the actual events, but communism as a response was even more flawed as the history proved.
Re: Authorial Politics
Post by Tenshinai   » Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:34 pm


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Ascaladar wrote:My point of view is, that the only common thing in both communism and national-socialism/ facism is the authoritarian element.

Well... Facism is based on the idea of authoritarian, while communism "as written" isnt really meant to have much of it at all, or more like, as minimally little as a nation (or the world overall) can get away with.

Ascaladar wrote:The communism wants a single party to decide what is best for all and the national-socialism a single leader to decide, in this aspect they are more or less the same thing.

Well, you´re mixing up the proletarian dictature, which is in theory meant to be what happens before communism, with communism, so the comparison gets a bit skewed...

You could perhaps call Marx an early Scifi writer, as the communist idea to a very large extent really is a dream of a future society where everyone do what they want while everyone can still get what they want because machines take care of productivity.

Ascaladar wrote:but communism as a response was even more flawed as the history proved.

Well, considering how no place that i know of ever got around to actually testing communism rather than one or another form of dictature proclaiming themselves to be communist, i would say that proof either way is rather lacking.
OTOH, you could argue that the commonality of human greed means communism cannot work.

If you have a society where everyone are almost wealthy or at least, financially middle class, even if the amount of people who wants to be superrich are just a very few, that will still be enough to destroy the system.
Then there´s the problem that any actually communist state in a non-communist world would be trouble waiting to happen, as people getting whatever they want meaning they could essentially take whatever and trade it across the border, even without any bad intent, or even intent aiming for rich, it´s still going to cause disruptions and problems. Hence, why communism by default tends towards internationalism.

It should probably be added though that "capitalism" isnt going to last either, as its current form is based on endless resources and an endless amount of new markets.

And if you do a straight comparison USSR/USA, the latter is the one with higher concentration of wealth, assets and power even if you count "control" as ownership.
Extrremely much higher concentration even. And the odds for a person in USSR to improve their socioeconomic standing compared to their parents was actually a good bit higher than in USA.

Basically, there is no "I Win" button when it comes to economic ideology.

Just how closely linked current capitalism is to oil is a recipe for disaster. Last year, oil production was lower than use, and it seems we hit the infamous "Peak Oil" in 2008 as there has been no significant changes in production capacity since then.
Couple that with how utterly reliant on oil fuels the world´s food production is and...

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