Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Barbarians

 

“Every society rests on a barbarian base. The people who don’t understand civilization, and wouldn’t like it if they did. The hitchhikers. The people who create nothing, and who don’t appreciate what others have created for them, and who think civilization is something that just exists and that all they need to do is enjoy what they can understand of it—luxuries, a high living standard, and easy work for high pay. Responsibilities? Phooey! What do they have a government for?

“And now, the hitchhikers think they know more about the car than the people who designed it, so they’re going to grab the controls.

“It wasn’t the war that put Hitler into power. It was the fact that the ruling class of his nation, the people who kept things running, were discredited. The masses, the homemade barbarians, didn’t have anybody to take their responsibilities for them. What they have on Marduk is a ruling class that has been discrediting itself. A ruling class that’s ashamed of its privileges and shirks its duties. A ruling class that has begun to believe that the masses are just as good as they are, which they manifestly are not. And a ruling class that won’t use force to maintain its position.”

— H. Beam Piper, Space Viking

Space Viking is a novel written nearly 60 years ago, before the years of rage and widespread protests of the 1960s. Its main plot threads include Lukas Trask’s hunt for his bride’s killer and the rise of a Hitler-like character on a planet called Marduk, loosely based on Great Britain at the height of its power.

While an enormously entertaining space adventure, it is also a meditation on government, the bases of government, and the use and misuse of power. Piper’s view of the power of mobs, the barbarian core at the heart of every civilization, and the necessity of accepting the responsibilities that go with privilege proved prescient — not in the years immediately after the book’s publication, but today. We see all the elements presented in this quote present in the events of the last week — an uprising of the barbarian base and a ruling elite shirking its responsibilities while abusing its privileges.

If you have not read this book before, click the link for a free online copy. (Piper’s work is now in the public domain.) Accept no substitutes for the real thing. Piper’s storylines have been continued by many authors. All except Jerry Pournelle (who is the only one whom Piper granted permission to write in his worlds) have made a hash of things.

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng… Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens, Trump Aveng…Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    People don’t change. This is timeless

    • #1
    • May 30, 2020, at 6:36 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  2. RightAngles Member

    Civilization is a thin veneer. If we don’t adhere to the Rule of Law, if we don’t apply it across the board, it all falls apart, and it can happen so fast. Centuries of civilization can be undone in a shockingly short time.

    • #2
    • May 30, 2020, at 6:45 AM PDT
    • 15 likes
  3. Arahant Member

    Seawriter: Accept no substitutes for the real thing. Piper’s story lines have been continued by many authors. All except Jerry Pournelle (who is the only one whom Piper granted permission to write in his worlds) have made a hash of things.

    You can say that again.

    Getting back to the quotation, I put a similar one from the book out on one of my Websites the day Obama was elected:

    “I’m sorry, Prince Edvard. You had a wonderful civilization here on Marduk. You could have made almost anything of it. But it’s too late now. You’ve torn down the gates; the barbarians are in.”


    This is the Quote of the Day. If it reminds you of another quotation or the events of the day bring something to mind, you can sign up for your own day in June here.

    • #3
    • May 30, 2020, at 6:50 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  4. The Reticulator Member

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    People don’t change. This is timeless

    Sure they change. They become corrupted by power, for example.

    • #4
    • May 30, 2020, at 7:06 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. Arahant Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    People don’t change. This is timeless

    Sure they change. They become corrupted by power, for example.

    Individuals change. Human nature does not.

    • #5
    • May 30, 2020, at 7:08 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
  6. Unsk Member

    Civilization is a thin veneer. If we don’t adhere to the Rule of Law, if we don’t apply it across the board, it all falls apart, and it can happen so fast. Centuries of civilization can be undone in a shockingly short time.”

    Yep. Well written and so very true. 

    Last night I was over at a neighbor and friend’s house who is a LAPD volunteer and he was listening to the police radio. 

    You could hear the police response and how they were trying to control the riots and the chaos downtown. You could hear reports of “officer down” and how the mobs were moving up 7th street towards the 110 freeway to shut it down. You could hear reports of the rioters setting off and throwing firecrackers at drivers passing by. You could hear the reports of the rioters armed with barricades ( how spontaneous of them!) were moving to shut down the freeway and how they were harassing drivers. It just went on and on and on.

    Much of this happened because the day before rioters also shut down the freeway and the officers were told not to arrest anyone. Equal protection, anyone? Serve and protect? Well based only upon a viewpoint seen through a very politically correct lens that righteously discriminates between those who deserve to be protected in the view of all the right people and those who do not. 

    First take away all our Constitutional rights, limit access and restrict us to our homes using the excuse of COVID-19. Then turn the pre-arranged rioters on us to intimidate us and to bring utter chaos to as many places as possible. All part of the plan. A new nirvana is upon us!

    From Mark Jeftovic via Guerrilla-Capitalism.com:

    “Now that we’ve had a few months to mourn the loss of our basic liberties, even if our overlords make a symbolic head-fake toward giving them back, one must realize the ramifications of what has happened and what it means going forward.”

    “The key point to understand is that the precedent has been set.”

    “If the state can take away your freedom to assemble or otherwise control your movements or operate your business now, because of coronavirus, then they can do again in the future for something else. For anything else. From here on in, every time the powers that be are spooked by what they see coming at them, like a sudden, catastrophic loss of credibility and relevancy, they know they can just wrap up an emergency in hysteria and shut the world down again, and again, and again.”

    “In the eyes of Big Government progressives and socialists, what has happened over the past few months isn’t an unmitigated disaster with no historical parallel, it’s an opportunity. It’s a chance to condition the populace to accept the tenets of central government control and the equitable reordering of other people’s lives”

     

     

    • #6
    • May 30, 2020, at 7:25 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  7. The Reticulator Member

    Unsk (View Comment):

    From Mark Jeftovic via Guerrilla-Capitalism.com:

    “Now that we’ve had a few months to mourn the loss of our basic liberties, even if our overlords make a symbolic head-fake toward giving them back, one must realize the ramifications of what has happened and what it means going forward.”

    “The key point to understand is that the precedent has been set.”

    “If the state can take away your freedom to assemble or otherwise control your movements or operate your business now, because of coronavirus, then they can do again in the future for something else. For anything else. From here on in, every time the powers that be are spooked by what they see coming at them, like a sudden, catastrophic loss of credibility and relevancy, they know they can just wrap up an emergency in hysteria and shut the world down again, and again, and again.”

    “In the eyes of Big Government progressives and socialists, what has happened over the past few months isn’t an unmitigated disaster with no historical parallel, it’s an opportunity. It’s a chance to condition the populace to accept the tenets of central government control and the equitable reordering of other people’s lives”

    That is a good way to explain it.

    • #7
    • May 30, 2020, at 7:36 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. RightAngles Member

    • #8
    • May 30, 2020, at 9:31 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  9. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    “What kind of monster are you?” Anan 7

    “Im a barbarian. You said so yourself.” Captain James T Kirk

    • #9
    • May 31, 2020, at 4:02 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  10. Phil Turmel Coolidge

    Arnold Kling’s Three Languages of Politics has a pretty good explanation of what motivates various political philosophies. I’m an unabashed “Barbarians at the Gates” conservative.

    • #10
    • May 31, 2020, at 5:37 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Henry Castaigne Member

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Arnold Kling’s Three Languages of Politics has a pretty good explanation of what motivates various political philosophies. I’m an unabashed “Barbarians at the Gates” conservative.

    I like political psychology but the lefties are ruining the study for everyone.

    • #11
    • June 1, 2020, at 2:36 AM PDT
    • Like
  12. Phil Turmel Coolidge

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Arnold Kling’s Three Languages of Politics has a pretty good explanation of what motivates various political philosophies. I’m an unabashed “Barbarians at the Gates” conservative.

    I like political psychology but the lefties are ruining the study for everyone.

    Not sure what you mean. Kling is a libertarian. One of the few such with enough perspective to put himself (pretty much) in the shoes of those with other views.

    • #12
    • June 1, 2020, at 5:30 AM PDT
    • 1 like