towards Draka society ?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by harrytrader, Apr 21, 2004.


    1984 was a DYSTOPIAN world, Draka world by the American writer S.M. Stirling is a mix of UTOPIAN / DYSTOPIAN world, this is only an exerpt of the review read the whole article by clicking on the link.

    "Citizens enjoy a considerable measure of freedom. As the Draka Karl von Shrakenberg explains it to an American journalist "the Domination is not a totalitarian dictatorship of the Nazi type…oligarchical collectivism is probably the best term. The citizen body as a whole is our idol, not the State or its officers; they merely execute and co-ordinate. And citizens all have the same fundamental interests, which means that criticism – tactical criticism - can safely be allowed. Which makes for greater efficiency". In fact, as Stirling puts it in the numerous and rather interesting Appendices in which he describes those details of Draka society, technology and history that cannot easily be worked into the narrative: "For the Citizen population, the Domination is a rather mild authoritarianism. There is an elected government, and a fair degree of freedom of speech and association. However, fundamental criticism (e.g. of serfdom) is not permitted, and the power of the Security Directorate has tended to gradually increase. Since there is a large degree of uniformity of opinion among the citizen population, that is not felt as much of a hardship." Citizen opinion is reflected in (free and fair!) election results, which give the pro-status quo Draka League a consistent 70%, with groups like the pro-free-market Liberals and the socially-liberal Rationalists the sort of miserable single-figure percentages with which any readers who have been involved in political efforts to offer western electorates any similar radical alternatives to the social status quo will be only too familiar! The Assembly thus elected itself elects the Head of State, the Archon, for a 20-year-term by a two-thirds majority. The Archon appoints the heads of the Government Directorates – Security, War, Technical (technology & science), Conservation, Eugenics, Transportation etc. but all are answerable to the elected Assembly. Provided they do not – as few do – question the fundamental ideological basis of their society, Draka Citizens perceive themselves as politically free. As they are: exactly as free, no more and no less, with exactly the same constraints on what they may do with our freedom, as we British and American citizens are today. If anything, Draka Citizens prize their freedom more than do ours. Individuality of thought and action is valued, even in the military, Draka "were disciplined enough, but lacked the sort of meekness that obeyed bureaucratic dictates without question". Unlike many of our Britons and Americans, alas."
  2. "The economy is decidedly non-Capitalist. Large scale industry is owned, mostly jointly, by the State, the free-employee Guilds, and the Landholders’ League. The latter is a co-operative of large plantation holders (not, strictly, landowners, as land is held from the State in heritable usufruct, revocable on neglect or misuse). There is also a thriving small business sector, mostly in arts, crafts, skills and handmade luxury goods. Almost all Citizens own at least a few serfs as domestic servants. The plantation holders, whose lifestyle is reminiscent of a mixture of the antebellum South and Classical Rome, may own hundreds of serfs, mostly field hands but also house servants, stewards etc. Most serfs, however, live in barrack-like compounds of up to 10,000, working in factories, mines etc. Conditions are somewhat boarding-school-like but food and medical treatment is adequate – a great improvement on conditions for most in our Third World, and they are also protected from being the victims of wars, famines etc. Even crime is very rare, because punished with condign forcefulness.

    The Draka enforce total submission and obedience with the utter ruthlessness necessary when you are outnumbered many to one by your slaves. Submission and obedience which may extend to Citizens availing themselves of suitably attractive serfs’ bodies (though Race Purity Laws ban female Citizens from such use of male serfs, until 100% effective contraception enables their relaxation) But given that, their ethos requires that serfs be decently treated and looked after. The implicit bargain is "Obedience and submission: protection and guidance". As one Citizen character puts it, "they have to obey, and be punished if they don’t. Beyond that, no harm in kindness". Serfs being gratuitously neglected or ill-treated by their owners are liable to confiscation and resale by the State, and a Citizen who neglects or gratuitously ill-treats his serfs is held in low esteem by his fellows, much as a 19th century English squire who similarly ill-used his horses or hounds would have been. Many Draka value their favourite serfs with genuine affection as dog-lovers value their dogs or equestrians their bloodstock. Serfs are, in any case, valuable property not to be ruined or wasted. Eventually, the aim is to dispense with the need for coercion altogether "obedience is not enough: in the long run, the objective is domestication".

    The Draka Citizens, moreover, do not merely declare themselves to be the Master Race. They try their hardest to actually be it; morally – they are imbued with an ethic of honour (upheld if need be by recourse to duelling), duty, courage, ferocious to their enemies but treating their friends with decency and kindliness, the qualities of what Nietzsche called a Herrenmoral and physically - from the age of five, Citizen children spend two-thirds of their year in single-sex boarding schools, in which physical fitness is almost a religion.

    Science, culture and the arts are not neglected. Military service in the Citizen Force is universal for both sexes (who have achieved social equality in a natural and PC-free way – here Stirling begs to differ from Nietzsche’s somewhat misogynistic view!), and any Citizen who is later found to be below the required standard of fitness for his or her age is liable to a six-month recall to the Colours. Those Citizens retarded or otherwise inherently defective are "put in a comfortable institution, sterilized and encouraged in life-shortening vices". The Domination in some respects consciously models itself on Sparta, although it values creativity more. As a society at war with the rest of humanity – "there aren’t many of us and nobody loves us" is a common Draka saying – and one that knows that it cannot stably share a planet with an equally inherently global-hegemonist Americanism, the art of war necessarily holds a central place in Draka society. In any case, the virtues it inculcates are valued by the Draka, who would agree with Nietzsche in The Joyous Science "We rejoice in everything, which, like ourselves, loves danger, war and adventure – which does not make compromises, nor let itself be captured, conciliated or faced".

    They also rejoice in beauty and the natural world around them. Their capital, Archona (on the site of our Pretoria) is typical of Draka cities: "marble and tile public buildings and low-rise office blocks, parks and broad avenues, the University campus and pleasant, leafy suburbs with the gardens for which the city was famed….In the centre of Archona, where the Avenue of Triumph met the Way of the Armies, there was a square with a victory monument. A hundred summers had turned the bronze green and faded the marble plinth; about it were gardens of unearthly loveliness where children played between the flowerbeds. The statue showed a group of Draka soldiers on horseback; their weapons were the Ferguson rifle-muskets and double-barrelled dragoon pistols of the eighteenth century. Their leader stood dismounted, reins in one hand, bush-knife in the other. A black warrior knelt before him, and the Draka’s boot rested on the man’s neck ". Such politically incorrect monuments aside, Draka cities are spacious and green, their buildings designed for beauty as well as function. Beauty their society values as an end in itself. As an Arch-Strategos (Field Marshal) observes in congratulating one of his junior officers for winning the Archon’s Prize for a book of poems: "The Glory of the Race is accomplishment, and beauty is as much so as power".

    Another accomplishment of the Race is avoiding wrecking the planet. The Draka are keen conservationists, even if, as a critic among their American enemies sneers, it is "an aristocrat’s conservationism". Vast areas – over 15% of Draka territrory initially, later much more - are set aside as nature reserves, cleared of human populations, unless, as with the pygmies of the Ituri forest, they and their unspoilt way of life are to be conserved too. Third World populations are brought under control as we have signally failed to do. The Draka restore wolves and leopards to the Europe they have conquered. Partly to hunt themselves, partly to deter potential runaway serfs. But also because they are wild and beautiful and the Draka value both.

    Both the beauty and the conservation are, Stirling implicitly and provocatively suggests, only made possible by the neo-Nietzschean stratification of society. An endless supply of cheap serf labour makes building beautiful buildings, from the cities to the mansion houses of the rural Draka Plantations, economical as they are not in consumerist society. Thus indeed were built Versailles and the Parthenon. The Citizens are endowed by serf labour and domestic servants with the leisure to create art, literature and culture which the creative elements in our society often lack in the daily scrabble to make a living. The serfs themselves are not materially deprived, but nor are they encouraged to consume endless gadgetry and resources the world cannot afford to provide for so many. Nor do they rot their minds with TV etc. Instead, they put their leisure time to healthier use, producing a healthy folk culture, music, song, customs etc instead of consuming mind-rotting Hollywood trash.

    A society dominated by landed and cultured aristocrats, rather than ruled by the imperatives of corporate greed, is able to value beauty and nature above profit. In any case, cheap serf labour makes profit pull in less harmful directions. For example, economic as well as social imperatives will lead to fields being tilled by hand, since hands are cheaper as well as environmentally kinder than machines. Also, hereditary landholders in a stable society can afford to and will think ahead to conserve the land and its life over the long term for their descendants, rather than chemically raping it in quest of a fast buck a la our modern agribusiness. A Draka saying: "Live as if you were going to die tomorrow: farm as if you were going to live forever". "
  3. TGregg


    Moved to Chit Chat
  4. Pabst


    Anything that guy post's should be in Chit Chat. Where's Waggie with his PM's to Barron when you need him.:)