I am currently, and for the umpteenth time, reading H. Beam Pipers “Space Viking”, published as a novel in 1963.  One of the pivot points of the plot is the election on Marduk of Zazpar  Makann, and the resulting problems which drive the rest of the novel.  What is interesting is the words Piper puts in the mouth of one of his characters in the book, Otto Harkaman.   He is speaking to Lucas Trask, our hero, about the barbarian base of society:

“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?”

They are here, we see them every day.  They see government only as a handout, welfare as an income source, education as a waste of time, patriotism as a farce, work as just another way for the man to hold them down.  They are interested only in bread and circuses, they want free everything.  The only thing they seem to produce is more like themselves, because they don’t understand the concept of birth control (or ignore it), and the cycle continues, because they mistrust anyone who wants to rise out of the mass.  I know this because I deal with people like this daily; and race is not the problem, because I see people of all shades and ethnicity who simply always want someone else to do it for them.  They want what civilization provides, but feel it should be given to them, but they can’t articulate any other argument than “because I don’t have it and they do, so I should get my share.”  There is no concept of labor, of striving, of anything but selfishness.  And when the rest of us get tired of providing it, they will rise up and destroy us and then wonder why they starve!



About Bob

Born in 1949 in Colfax, Washington. Attended grades 1-12 there, spent one year at Spokane Falls Community College, then 3 at Eastern Washington. Graduated from there with a degree in Anthropology. Married my wonderful wife in 1970, joined the US Air Force in 1971 and spent 20 years as an aircraft mechanic. Along the way had two great children, a boy then a girl, 4 grand kids and two step grands. After I retired from active duty I finally found myself a public library manager, and now after doing that for 18 years I find myself finally retired for good and all.
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3 Responses to Barbarians

  1. Bob says:

    Thanks Amanda, Nice that someone actually took a moment to read my ramblings. I read your blog with some regularity, keep on swinging.

  2. Excellent quote, one of the reasons I re-visit Piper’s work every so often. They don’t make ’em like that any more.

    • Bob says:

      Thanks for taking the time from your busy school, writing, art and keeping Sandford straight day and reading my humble work. Brad Torgeson dropped by too, guess I need to do more blogging now that I have two actual authors reading my ramblings.

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