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!