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R.I.P. Ursula K. Le Guin, Author of One of the Greatest Novels About Freedom Ever Written

How libertarians learned to stop worrying and love The Dispossessed

Harper & RowHarper & RowOne of the most important purposes of science fiction, fantasy, and other imaginative fiction is to examine what is possible for human societies. Ursula K. Le Guin, who died this week at 88, not only wrote beautifully, but she took her duty to the imagination very seriously. When Le Guin entered the field, novels that imagined statelessness as anything other than bloody chaos were few and far between—it was Heinlein or bust. Le Guin's psychologically complex characters and gorgeous depictions of social and political dynamics influenced many science fiction writers, from Salman Rushdie to Margaret Atwood. Libertarians have another reason to love her.

In one of her most famous novels, 1974's The Dispossessed, a solar system contains two habitable bodies. On the larger planet, Urras, is a state capitalist society. On its smaller moon, Anarres, is a communalist anarchist society made up of the great-grandchildren of revolutionaries from the home planet. Le Guin examines both societies through the eyes of an anarchist physicist named Shevek.

The book was beautiful, brilliant, and personally liberating—I encountered it when it was published in 1974, right around the same time I became involved with libertarianism—and so in 1983 I nominated it for the Libertarian Futurist Society's Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, a prize that honors libertarian-themed fiction. Never in the ongoing history of that award has there been such a battle.

Many members of the Libertarian Futurist Society were up at arms. People threatened to quit the group if the book won. Although everyone admired the book as literature, the fact that the society on Anarres was communalist made the book suspect. It was called "socialist propaganda," and it was deemed not at all what we were supposed to be advocating. "Give it the Lenin Prize instead," said one member. Other members, some of them past winners of the award, defended the novel with passion and grace. We nominated it year after year. Le Guin herself got involved a little, thanking us for the nominations but telling me in a private letter that she expected a blue moon and pigs to fly before she would expect to win. I didn't know what a blue moon was at the time, and I didn't know that they sometimes occur.

In the Libertarian Futurist Society's newsletter, which I edited, I replied to the membership: "It should be repeated, a million times if necessary, that the essence of libertarianism...must be freedom of choice. Although most libertarians may believe that the best society is technologically advanced, economically laissez-faire, with private property cemented into the cornerstone of every community, other free people might choose communalism, back-to-the-bushes hermitism, or any of a thousand cultures, religions, or eccentricities possible to humanity and still remain within a libertarian framework, as long as those societies eschew the initiation of violence and respect the right of others to choose their own way of life." But the dissenting libertarians were not so easily convinced.

From 1983 on, we argued back and forth every time one of us nominated the book. The arguments were good ones on both sides. Socialist countries generally do devolve into fascist and repressive societies, held together with the bindings of terror. And they don't take 400 years to do so. What made Anarres different was that it was self-isolated, small, and committed to nonviolence and personal freedom. This isolation, Le Guin admitted later, might be one of the few ways that such a society could endure. Even then, she shows that the Anarresti were becoming ossified. Although individual behaviors were tolerated in many ways (one man hoarded blankets and broken equipment like a throwback "propertarian"), the society used censure and guilt to control its citizens. In his defense of The Dispossessed, novelist Robert Shea said: "Orwell, who created the archetype of tyrannies that rule by force and fraud, might have given us a novel about tyranny by guilt and shame had he developed his insight. What Orwell did not do, Le Guin has done."

If some members of the group hated that a communal society survived for 400 years and actually had some very positive aspects (no prisons, no jails, no laws to break), they hated even more the depiction of Urras. One member said that "Le Guin tried to paint Urras in the worst possible light." She didn't. Samuel E. Konkin III answered: "Doesn't [Urras] deliberately represent the capitalist United States of America? You bet. Now you tell me: If Murray Rothbard had half of the fictive talent of Ursula Le Guin (and he claims none), how different would his portrayal of Imperial America be in 1972."

And so the arguments ran, until 1993, when The Dispossessed was finally admitted into the Hall of Fame. I don't remember anyone jumping from the Libertarian Futurist Society's ship. Perhaps we just wore the opposition down. Perhaps they re-read the book in light of our arguments. Perhaps there was a blue moon that year. But no pigs flew—I would have heard about that.

Photo Credit: Harper & Row

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  • Stormy Dragon||

    My personal favorite Le Guin work is The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas

  • DenverJ||

    Huh. Wrong again. Her best work is A Wizard of Earthsea

  • Stormy Dragon||

    No, I'm pretty sure I was right about that being my personal favorite.

  • Gary T||

    Yeah, I would have to second that fact, contrary to DenverJ's assessment, TOWWAFO is your personal favorite.

  • Alcibiades||

    A outstanding and brilliant writer.
    Read hundred's of SF novels but Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness is easily in the top 10 best SF novels ever.

    Fun facts, Ursula Le Guin and Philip K. Dick graduated the same year from Berkeley High School, though they didn't know each other at the time.

  • Careless||

    I replied to the membership: "It should be repeated, a million times if necessary, that the essence of libertarianism...must be freedom of choice. Although most libertarians may believe that the best society is technologically advanced, economically laissez-faire, with private property cemented into the cornerstone of every community, other free people might choose communalism, back-to-the-bushes hermitism, or any of a thousand cultures, religions, or eccentricities possible to humanity and still remain within a libertarian framework, as long as those societies eschew the initiation of violence and respect the right of others to choose their own way of life."

    Well, sure. there's nothing wrong or anti-libertarian with being an anthropologist describing a communist society. What is anti-libertarian is advocating one.

    You can praise the book to the heavens as much as you like, but calling it libertarianism-compatible is just stupid.

    And you nominated it for "the Libertarian Futurist Society's Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, a prize that honors libertarian-themed fiction"

    So you're an idiot.

  • Johnimo||

    "other free people might choose communalism, back-to-the-bushes hermitism"

    Oh, ... I saw that shit up close in Boulder, CO in the sixties. There were little hippy communes sprouting up all over the place. They're all gone, lo these many long years. No loss. Communalism is a failure, and NOBODY continues it without an authoritarian forcing the "togetherness."

    My daughters bought a car together when they were in college. OMG! That didn't last long. Jamestown was all the evidence we'll ever need. The whole subject is laughable.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Communalism is a failure, and NOBODY continues it without an authoritarian forcing the "togetherness."

    Perhaps, though apparently some communes survive still around the US. Regardless, the right of them to try is not totally consistent with libertarianism.

  • Dan S.||

    Did you mean "not totally inconsistent"? The right of people to voluntarily live communally certainly is consistent with libertarianism. That right of anyone to force anyone else to is not.

  • Nuwanda||

    Those communes exist within a framework of laws that provide penalties for kidnapping, etc. You stay if you want, but if they won't let you leave, there's a remedy under the law.

  • Nuwanda||

    "The whole subject is laughable."

    It is. But it's the conceit underlying Anarchism. The same conceit underlying "pure" communism. Actually, the same conceit underlying open borders immigration.

  • ThomasD||

    Sorry, no free people might choose enforced borders. Apparently that's beyond the pale.

  • Nuwanda||

    To the open borders crowd, there is no pale.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    There are several communes in central Virginia that have been there since the 60s. They are still going strong.

  • MikeP2||

    Only possible because they are nested within a larger society that is both a resevoir for new suckers and an outlet for those who in the commune to escape.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Voluntary communalism and Communism are different things.

  • Careless||

    Hey, I'm perfectly happy with the communism of the nuclear family, but I don't pretend it's fucking libertarian.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    What is unlibertarian about the nuclear family? If a child wants to leave a family, they can emancipate themselves and go on their own. Otherwise, everyone is participating voluntarily.

  • MikeP2||

    Every teenager is the history of the world would disagree with you.

  • Radioactive||

    Literally?

  • ||

    Literally?

    Not to mention that, even if literally, huge swaths of emancipated teens wouldn't directly lead to a massive welfare or police state?

    Sure, teens aren't free to flee their homes arbitrarily but roving bands of looters and child soldiers outside the law aren't exactly the parts of libertopia that we want to bring to our shores.

  • JoeBlow123||

    I am confused by this, if people chose to live in a society like that who are you to tell them they cannot? Because you know better? How is it anti-libertarian to say people should be allowed to make their own choices, even if you personally believe they are sub-optimal, if they harm no one?

    If Cuba wants to be communist, fuck them for all I care, they can be communist. As long as they mind their own business and do not try to force their ideology on anyone else by all means, keep at it.

  • Careless||

    I fucking explicitly said I wasn't telling anyone not to do anything except for calling anti-libertarian books libertarian, you dumbfuck

  • JoeBlow123||

    :(

    You hurt my feelings.

  • Rockabilly||

    Hug?

  • Palatki||

    Careless, have you even read the fucking book? You clearly are talking to people who have, and you sound like you're talking out of your ass.

  • zazoo||

    They force the ideology on a lot of Cubans.

  • Outside the Box||

    Yeah seriously.

  • Nuwanda||

    "If Cuba wants to be communist..."

    Cuba as an abstract idea doesn't get to choose communism. It's the people of Cuba that get to choose. The people of Cuba have not made such a choice. They have not been allowed to make that choice. Cuba is a dictatorship.

    Actually, some Cubans *have* made a choice. Over a million of them. The only choice they had was to escape, to flee.

  • UVaGrad||

    I'm not sure how anyone can read The Dispossessed and come away from it thinking it advocates for living in Shevek's society.

  • Careless||

    Ok, sure, it calls itself a utopian vision, but sure, no one would think people would want to live there

  • Outside the Box||

    The *characters* may have called it a utopian vision, but LeGuin herself didn't. She was clearly unconvinced herself.

  • MHaber||

    She's not advocating it, she's just saying people have the right to do stupid things as long as they don't, I'm assuming she means, violate the NAP. If people want to share everything, even toothbrushes and towels, as long as they follow the NAP, they're just really really stupid libertarians.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Or, they have different values and desires than you.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    The "right to be stupid" might be the dummies' definition of libertarianism.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    What is anti-libertarian about it? She laid out her case, you've simply said, "Nuh-uh, idiot!"

  • AlmightyJB||

    As long as your willing to remain a small group living in relative poverty a stateless, communal society is not beyond by potential belief. Once any wealth is accumulated and that society (or any society) deems a "watchman" or any other "top men" necessary , it's all downhill from there.

  • Outside the Box||

    Am I the only one who remembers that the society on Antarres *did* have "watchmen?" There was a central computer that decided what jobs people would do etc. I always thought that was a huge flaw in her thought experiment: it pushed too much of the command/control into a black box that she never sufficiently explained. And it very much made the society *not* voluntary, since there were clearly force/violence implications for those who did not follow the central computers' instructions.

  • Robert||

    Although it was told from the perspective of someone born on Anarres, the novel revealed problems of both Anarres & Urras, & implied that people in each society wished for the advantages of the other.

  • Mike W.||

    I really liked Dispossessd a lot when I read it 40-sum years ago (probably at least in part because it was about a brilliant physicist and I had some hopes of being one). I reread it a year or two ago and found that I didn't like it as much as I remembered, though I still think it's quite interesting. It portrays a "communalist" society in a fairly favorable light, but it does also show some serious problems with it. As Robert says, she showed positive and negative aspects of both societies. I think what bothers me more now than when I was younger is what other commenters here are bothered by -- it seems that we have fairly incontrovertible evidence that such "communalist" societies just don't work. They seem to inevitable turn toward the totalitarian because they just aren't compatible with human nature. A wrinkle I will throw out for your consideration, though, is that the societies in the book were not human, they were an alien species (though obviously very similar to humans). One possible way to reconcile some of the conflict here is that perhaps such a society is possible for that alien species even though it is not possible for humans. Or, maybe LeGuin was just overly optimistic about it in order to set up an interesting story...

  • Vulgar Madman||

    If I remember correctly, the galaxy and earth had been settled by an ancient race. So , technically alien.
    I don't think Le Guin intended them to be capitol A aliens though.

  • Outside the Box||

    This.

    She didn't advocate anything. She explicitly wrote the book as a thought experiment a "what if this existed", and then followed the implications, both for negative and for positive.

    I wish more libertarian writers would do the same, frankly. What little is out there is so full of rainbows and unicorns it's not credible.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Very much so. Most libertarian authors seem to lack imagination and just pretend that a libertarian society would be a utopia without problems.

  • MikeP2||

    Then you havent really read much of the literature out there. Rainbow and unicorns is perhaps what younfind in the young adult section, but that is by far not the norm.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    No. A communal society can never emulate or allow individualism, whereas an individualistic society is perfectly fine with individuals using contracts to emulate voluntary socialism. No enforced communal society is anywhere near libertarian.

  • Outside the Box||

    I don't think the key axis is "communal" or "individualistic"; I think the key axis/dimension is what actions are considered legitimate. I'd much rather live in a society in which the initiation of interpersonal violence was never considered legitimate but whose members preferred collectivism to an individualistic one in which there were situations in which the initiation of violence was considered legitimate and acceptable, because at least I can carve out a place for myself in the former: without the initiation of violence, there's not much the society can do to stop those who want to break off and do something else.

  • MikeP2||

    No society is possible without legitimacy of some violence. Anything otherwise is utopian nonsense, because there can be no agreement, contract, law, or private property in a society that doesnt recognize violence as the final arbiter of disagreement. Yeh, we want to acoid it ever reaching that point, but still, it has to be recognized as the ultimate outcome.

  • Intelligent Mr Toad||

    I found THE DISPOSSESSED very tedious. THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS, too. The good ones are the EARTHSEA trilogy, THE LATHE OF HEAVEN, and CITY OF ILLUSIONS.

  • Radioactive||

    I found all of her work dull, tedious, boring and just plain awful...not a fan

  • MHaber||

    "Socialist countries generally do devolve into fascist and repressive societies, held together with the bindings of terror."

    X countries generally do devolve into X and a property of X, held together with the bindings of another property of X.

  • MasterThief||

    I can't claim to have read this book, but I did read the Earthsea books. Those were pretty decent, but I still picked up on Le Guin's socialist sympathies. Something tells me this writer doesn't understand the societies being set up in the books or libertarianism. Terry Goodkind would be a good example of a libertarian (objectivist) writer even if he gets repetitive and preachy.

  • Outside the Box||

    oh please dear lord do not conflate libertarianism and objectivism. The have zero to do with each other. Objectivists have openly called for the genocide of over a billion people (in the wake of 9/11, Objectivists "objectively argued" that all Muslims should be killed because they were threats to "men of the mind").

    Libertarianism is about recognizing that we all have wildly different values and trying to find a way to co-exist despite that; Objectivism is the claim that there can be only one set of values and that anyone who doesn't subscribe to them is less than human. There is nothing libertarian about Objectivism.

  • Mark22||

    Objectivism is the claim that there can be only one set of values and that anyone who doesn't subscribe to them is less than human.

    I don't know what "can only be" or "subscribe" or "less than human" are supposed to mean.

    Classical liberalism/libertarianism says that people have the right to choose how to act freely as long as they don't aggress against others, but they should also have to live with the consequences.

    You're right that objectivism goes beyond that, in that it analyzes the basis for free action and the likely consequences of ignoring that basis. In particular, objectivists believe that there is an objective reality accessible to the rational mind, and that the consequences of your action depend on taking that into account. But that's just an analysis of the effects of libertarianism, not a different political ideology.

    Objectivists have openly called for the genocide of over a billion people

    So, according to you: "X claims to believe in ideology Y. X calls for genocide of Z. Therefore, ideology Y is evil." I think all that shows is that you are moron (in this case, a moron without even a citation).

  • Nuwanda||

    "oh please dear lord do not conflate libertarianism and objectivism."

    Which version of libertarianism are you referring to? The minarchist version or the anarchist version? Wildly different and incompatible, yet both claim to be libertarian.

    Objectivist politics are certainly minarchist and therefore libertarian.

    Man's rights can be violated only by the use of physical force. It is only by means of physical force that one man can deprive another of his life, or enslave him, or rob him, or prevent him from pursuing his own goals, or compel him to act against his own rational judgment.

    The precondition of a civilized society is the barring of physical force from social relationships—thus establishing the principle that if men wish to deal with one another, they may do so only by means of reason: by discussion, persuasion and voluntary, uncoerced agreement.

    -- The Virtue of Selfishness

    A rational mind does not work under compulsion; it does not subordinate its grasp of reality to anyone's orders, directives, or controls; it does not sacrifice its knowledge, its view of the truth, to anyone's opinions, threats, wishes, plans, or "welfare." Such a mind may be hampered by others, it may be silenced, proscribed, imprisoned, or destroyed; it cannot be forced; a gun is not an argument.

    -- Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Ugh. Terry Goodkind? Has there ever been a bigger blowhard in fantasy literature?

  • Radioactive||

    John Scalzi?

  • Jesse Walker||

    such "communalist" societies just don't work. They seem to inevitable turn toward the totalitarian because they just aren't compatible with human nature.

    World history is filled with village communities with different forms of common ownership & with systems where order relies more on social pressure than direct coercion. They generally do not devolve into Stalinist dictatorships. They may be quite stultifying in other ways, but so is the society on Anarres.

    That's why the subtitle says "An Ambiguous Utopia." There are good things about Anarres and there are bad things about it. Libertarians can admire its nonviolence and spontaneous order while itching for some individualists to overturn some applecarts. And, indeed, Shevek and his friends do overturn some applecarts—quoting the novel, they do things "to shake up things, to stir up, to break some habits, to make people ask questions. To behave like anarchists!" (And here's another line: "What's the good of an anarchist society that's afraid of anarchists?")

    The novel treats readers like grown-ups: We can read Le Guin's descriptions of life on Anarres and Urras and then make up our own minds about just where the balance between community and individuality should be found. The book is certainly open to market-libertarian readings; indeed, it helped steer me in that direction when I first encountered it in my teens. I'm not sure Le Guin would've approved, but I think she would have understood.

  • Outside the Box||

    Yes, spot on Jesse. In my household, we do not buy and sell breakfast items from each other; we are a 3 person communist enclave in our dealings with each other, and though my daughter might disagree on a bad day, I think she would largely agree that we have not devolved into a Stalinist dictatorship.

    That's why I don't think the important key consideration is collectivism vs individualism etc. I think the more important consideration is what classes of actions are considered legitimate. Communist, statist, capitalist, etc, are less important in the end then whether those systems are maintained through the initiation of interpersonal violence. If a capitalist/individualist really thinks that more people will prospect under a strict propertarian legal system, they should be content with a meta system in which many economic/legal systems can coexist in the knowledge that theirs will eventually win in the competition between them. I can't stand Statist systems that implement their system with the initiated violence of jail (internally) and war (externally), but I'm not a whole lot happier with the too-frequent libertarian attitude of "I'll defend my property with guns blazing." Property is a social construct and requires the participation of others to *recognized and honor your property rights*; it is at its heart a peaceful concept. Perverting it into a violent concept actually harms the advancement of libertarianism rather than advancing it.

  • MHaber||

    You wouldn't maintain that there is no dictatorship, I assume?

  • JoeBlow123||

    "Property is a social construct"

    Looks like someone has been reading some constructivism! First time I was exposed to ideas like these was reading Alexander Wendt for international relations classes I was doing. I know these ideas lean heavily on psychology and sociology, Max Weber kind of stuff. This immediately appealed to me even though it can veer in a rather irrational, Marxist manner sometimes and I usually prefer rationality and empiricism.

    Social constructivism is pretty rad.

  • Azathoth!!||

    World history is filled with village communities with what appear to be, to people steeped in leftist academia, from far outside those communities, different forms of common ownership....

    FTFY.

    Often, these societies are built around a familial structure--a structure that leftists desperately claim is inherently socialist, if not communist.

    They are, of course, wrong.
  • Jesse Walker||

    So it is your position that the common lands in, say, France weren't really held in common? That they were actually held by families, and that all the arguments about moving lands from village control to individual households' control were a big misunderstanding?

  • Mark22||

    World history is filled with village communities with different forms of common ownership & with systems where order relies more on social pressure than direct coercion.

    Yes, they work for communities with up to maybe 150 members. They are less plausible for entire planets than Unobtainium.

    The novel treats readers like grown-ups: We can read Le Guin's descriptions of life [of the Q Continuum] and [Organian society] and then make up our own minds about just where the balance between community and individuality should be found. The book is certainly open to market-libertarian readings

    FTFY. The book is utterly irrelevant to the question of the balance between community and individuality, or to market-libertarian ideology, because it is so far removed from any social or political reality or reason.

  • Eric Bana||

    I personally like The Hardy Boys.

  • Outside the Box||

    Why are you telling us about your pornography preferences in an article about LeGuin?

    Oh, sorry, I thought you said "Hard Boys".

  • MikeP2||

    Classic case of projection.

  • Mark22||

    It's fine when regular science fiction makes a mess of economics, politics, anthropology, psychology, or sociology, but when these are the primary subject of the science fiction story, the writer better understand them well, and Le Guin didn't. I've read several of her works, including The Dispossessed, and ultimately found them to be forgettable.

  • Mark22||

    Socialist countries generally do devolve into fascist and repressive societies, held together with the bindings of terror.

    Socialist countries don't need to devolve into "fascist and repressive societies held together with the bindings of terror", being "fascist and repressive" and using "terror" to oppress the population is the nature of socialism.

  • Palatki||

    It's helpful to remember that leGuin's dad was a gifted and very successful American anthropologist, specializing in the California cultures, and was on hand just as almost all of them were being gently ushered into oblivion. There is probably no way that this wouldn't have made an impression on her, and if you read between the lines i think you can see the asymmetrical cultures in the book might be allegorical to a western/native american social dynamic. i read it that way, and the impression i had was that the Anarres society was entering its terminal phase, and the Oppenheimer character was going to be the one to help bring it about (wittingly or unwittingly). Also, i thought it was a mental exploration of how one could have such a simplified society and make it work for several centuries, with a dominant technical society nearby. The answer is that two such societies can't be on the same planet. Sort of like here. Also, i have to point out to sr&c that it is indeed possible to be communal and individualistic. The Hopi are ravingly individualistic, and until recently were more communal than any commie ever fantasized about. You probably could pull this trick off, too, fairly easily, so long as you and your neighbors are all neo-lithic farmers. But God help you when members of an industrial society show up on your doorstep.

  • kevrob||

    I enjoyed the novel, which I read in high school or college, before I decided to ditch conservatism for Libertarianism. I was studying the history of communism as a poli sci and history student, back then. I even took a class on the history of the Soviet Union in my senior year of high school, when the book was published. One nitpick re: Victoria's precis: Urras had more than one "society." A-lo stands in for Terra's "capitalist West," and Thu for the "Soviet Bloc." State Capitalism is usually a deprecatory term for the intermediate stage between a capitalist (or, in the case of Tsarist Russia, pre-capitalist) economy and actual "socialism," however one defines that, wielded by purist marxians against actual, power-wielding Commies. Though, as the Wiki link points out, it is sometimes used to describe nominally capitalist economies with significant state control - "statist capitalist," if you will. Rothbard would have said "state monopoly capitalism." Reading The Dispossessed in the aftermath of the fall of Kruschev and the rise to dominance of Brezhnev, with the more radical reds looking to Maoism for ideological purity, it was easy to see the Annarres' anarchists as just as opposed to Thu's centralism as they were to A-Lo's "capitalism."

  • Thomas L. Knapp||

    Quoth Jesse Walker:

    "The novel treats readers like grown-ups"

    Precisely.

    Is it "libertarian-themed" fiction per the Prometheus standards? I certainly consider it so, for meanings of "libertarian-themed fiction" other than "polemic that affirms rather than challenges my assumptions, disguised as a story."

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Hey Knappster. Just wanted to say I enjoy your work.

  • Thomas L. Knapp||

    Thanks!

  • Widhalm19||

    The only way communalism or communism works is within the works of fiction. All civilized societies are hierarchies of power and privilege. What Leftists do not nor will not understand is our ancestor's sharing economy worked because the band's members were kin-related and totally dependent on one another for survival plus they all spoke the same language and all believed in the same superstitions. They were hyper-homogenous groups of people. Communalism, socialism, communism fails to grasp that essential truth and when some members reject the will of other members vision of utopia the killing begins.

  • Nuwanda||

    "...our ancestor's sharing economy worked because the band's members were kin-related and totally dependent on one another for survival..."

    True. And why socialist societies must constantly be in an state of conflict, real or pretended. There must always be an external thread to bind the populace to the state and to make the populace bear sacrifices. This works in limited wars and emergencies, and even in our society we hear people lament the good wars where people banded together, etc. But you can only stretch that so far.

    The modern Left are in a constant state of activism for exactly this reason. There never can be an end to the grievances or the game will be up. So we go from the reasonable to unreasonable to the plain absurd.

  • Cloudbuster||

    On the larger planet, Urras, is a state capitalist society. On its smaller moon, Anarres, is a communalist anarchist society

    With that as the setup, you know you're about to read some dumb hippy bullshit.

    Summary at Wikipedia does nothing to indicate I'm wrong.

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