Agent of Chaos
In social orders, as in the physical realm, the innate tendency is towards increased entropy or disorder. Therefore, the more Ordered a society, the more Social Energy is required to maintain that Order, the more Order needed to generate that Social Energy, the two paradoxical needs feeding upon each other in an ever-increasing exponential spiral. Therefore, a highly Ordered society must gro ever more Ordered, and thus can tolerate less and less Random Factors as the cycle progresses.
It seems that I am on streak of books that deal with Democracy and other forms of Government. This was the second time that I read Agent of Chaos (the first being its Greek translation, 10 years ago).
Imagine a world where the US and the USSR have merged government and have managed to colonise the Solar System. This is the dystopia of the Hegemony of Sol which is governed by a Council of ten, five of them chosen scientifically by a computer and five by elections. In the Hegemony of Sol, a total surveillance state, what is not specifically permitted is prohibited.
Who can oppose such a systematic regime of absolute control? There exist two players. The basically insignificant Democratic League that fights to restore Democracy although they really do not know what it is and the resilient Brotherhood of the Assassins. The Democratic League was formed 10 years ago while the Brotherhood lasts for centuries.
The Brotherhood see themselves as agents of Chaos, and oppose the total Order imposed by the Hegemony by performing what seem to the Hegemony unexplained and unpredictable acts – but acts of defiance nonetheless. Can they or the Democratic League oppose the Hegemony? Will they change its police state? How? How, where and when one can defend against such a State is the picture that Spinrad paints. Is there any hope?
Yes there is, but the thing is that hope is not a strategy. So it is best that we do not let Governments slip into this dystopic model.
In placing Chaos opposite Order, I could not help but remember the Elric saga. I guess since Spinrad published in a magazine managed by Moorcock.
I must say that I really enjoyed reading this book on the kindle, although the production of the ebook is not without problems. Quite many spelling errors (at least enough to remember to write this). It seems like this was not retyped but OCRed.
PS: I am certain that anyone who has read the book would want Spinrad to have a complete edition of his Theory of Social Entropy as presented in the book by the fictive author Gregor Markowitz.