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View Diary: About That Kid in Omelas (291 comments)

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  •  The planet of Anarres was settled by anarchists (6+ / 0-)

    Anarchy is based upon the principle of free association and voluntary exchange. Although many people tend to confuse anarchy with philosophical socialism, anarchy need not be communalistic in nature. The foundation of anarchy is free association and voluntary exchange. Anarchy is not about force and coercion, nor does the philosophy of anarchy deny the concept of property. Fundamentally, anarchists deny political privilege, which often tends to distort the concept of property.

    Le Guin seems to understand these principles. The story is about Shevek, a physicist living on the planet Anarres. Anarres is a part of a dual planet system, sharing its planetary orbit about its sun with Urras. The planet of Anarres was settled by anarchists, people who decided that life elsewhere was better than life on Urras. Almost 200 years later, Shevek decides he wants to share his General Temporal Theory, a theory redefining the concept of time and space travel. More importantly, he wants to see his people shed their hatred and distrust of outsiders because that attitude is slowly changing his society into close-minded zealots. Shevek hungers for the free exchange of information and ideas. He wants to see outsiders change to become more free. Yet, as Le Guin artfully shares in her story, ideas are the most dangerous weapon invented. Even the anarchist can be afraid of new ideas and change.

    •  She tossed in a small bomb (0+ / 0-)

      in the form of Ambassador Keng, who aids Shevek in his return to Anarres...but who also gives in a few brief sentences a horrifying portrait of a ruined, wasted Earth.

      There is an ever so faintly implied hint that if Urras and Anarres do not learn to work together and learn from each other, Urras could suffer the same fate as Earth.

      Yes We Did! Yes We Will!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 08:32:12 PM PST

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    •  I have not forgotten (0+ / 0-)

      reading that novel.  To this day I think about episodes in that story.

      "You don't ever want a crisis to go to waste. It's an opportunity to do important things you would otherwise avoid." Rahm Emanuel

      by Im nonpartisan on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 09:53:12 PM PST

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    •  A great depiction (0+ / 0-)

      I really like the portrayal of Anarres in The Dispossessed: sympathetic but not hagiographic.  She is not reluctant to point out its flaws, or that human nature has a hard time getting along without hierarchy or property, and yet it still seems like a decent place to live.

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