From: Paul Cockshott (clyder@GN.APC.ORG)
Date: Mon Jun 25 2007 - 13:50:15 EDT
I was also influenced by the Disposesed when working on the economics of socialism. Mensaje citado por Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@TISCALI.NL>: > Hi Jerry, > > I think that with her idea of the "ansible" (a gadget enabling superluminal > communication, faster than the speed of light) Ursula le Guin was perhaps > metaphorically anticipating the modern cellphone. Apparently the first > handheld cellphone not tied to a vehicle was produced by Motorola in 1973 > (le Guin's novel appeared a year later). Superluminal communication isn't > really possible according to physics - it would imply among other things > sending messages from the future to the past - but of course with a > cellphone you can call back somebody you met before, to make a date in the > future. > > In the novel, the character Shevek's search for a "General Temporal Theory" > (reconciling sequentiality with simultaneity) could obviously be compared to > the modern controversies about the "transformation problem" in Marxian > economics. > > You might like to consult: > > Tony Burns, "Marxism and science fiction: A celebration of the work of > Ursula K. Le Guin", in: Capital & Class, Winter 2004 > http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3780/is_200401/ai_n9366280 > > "Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed were two > of the few American science fiction novels published in the German > Democratic Republic (GDR). Le Guin shares this distinction with Isaac > Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Aldous Huxley, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (2) Like all > literature that appeared in East Germany, Le Guin's titles passed through an > elaborate approval process before they appeared in the science fiction > publishing house: Verlag Das Neue Berlin (DNB). The Left Hand of Darkness > came out in 1978 under the title Winterplanet. The Dispossessed was > published in 1987, just two years before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 > as Planet der Habenichtse (literally, planet of those with nothing)." > http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/summary_0199-6235850_ITM > > David Graeber for his part writes: > > It is hardly a coincidence that some of the greatest recruiters for > anarchism in countries like the United States have been feminist science > fiction writers like Starhawk or Ursula K. LeGuin. One way this is beginning > to happen is as anarchists begin to recuperate the experience of other > social movements with a more developed body of theory, ideas that come from > circles close to, indeed inspired by anarchism. > http://raforum.info/article.php3?id_article=1416 > > One of the contributions of anarchist thinking is its emphasis on > interpretive freedom, i.e. the idea that you do not have to interpret > everything as other people do or believe, which opens up a realm of personal > imagination and independent thought. From the same observation, many > different conclusions can be drawn. That is how I thought about it anyway, > when I read the novel in my youth. However, if you want to communicate > effectively at a high level, inexorably you do need to accept at least some > shared interpretations and non-arbitrary behaviours. To stick to your own > interpretation, or accept someone else's, that may be the question. > > What impressed me most about the novel when I read it in 1976 was the > possibility that the processes, interactions and relationships involved in > giving and receiving, obtaining and taking, sharing and relinquishing - > central to economics, but also the means through which human love is > expressed - could be successfully organised in a completely different way. > Intriguingly, in pursuing his idea, the character Shevek meets with forces > which are internally corrupting the "utopia" of Anarres - forces of > conservatism, bureaucratism and centralism - yet it remains dissatisfyingly > unclear, what ultimately gives rise to those forces. In Anarres, there is no > government oppression or inequality, but individuality is stifled and > creativity devalued, while in Urras, where there is unjust distribution of > power and wealth, great beauty and achievement also exists. But why this > particular polarity? Beyond the obvious allusion to the difference between > the USA and USSR (or Cuba), it is not something the novel really gives a > profound answer to, and in that sense it mystifies as much as it reveals. > > Happy sailing, > > Jurriaan > Paul Cockshott www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~wpc reality.gn.apc.org ---------------------------------------------------------------- This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.
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