[LMB] Institutions

POUNCER altpouncer at yahoo.com
Tue, 5 Feb 2002 11:50:43 -0800 (PST)

Dave Snyder <oil.historian at verizon.net> references:

Charlie Moskos (at Northwestern)
>The emergence and origins of the "gap" (the increasing
>disconnect between the American military and American
>society) is the hot topic among military sociologists
>In comparison, Barrayar does not seem to have much of a
>gap.  Yes, the Vor form a caste, but ... they also
>*serve*.  Noblesse oblige runs deep among them.  Overall
>... the officer corps on Barrayar is fairly well in touch
>with Barrayaran society -- much to Cordelia's annoyance.

It's two way diffusion, though.  Vorsmyth the
industrialist and Vorthys the engineering professor
seem to have moved from the elite caste out to
the general society; where they have succeeded
competitively, on their own merits.  Major Cecil
the power-behind-the-scenes, like Simon and Duv
and Kou and before them Tesselev the tailor, have moved
from the civilian prole population toward becoming
honorary Vor.

Part of this arises from the notion that the Imperial
Military Academy is not the only road to advancement.
Textevd, somebody?  Simon Illyan himself was a product
of an non-Academy officers' training program at a
primarily civilian institution.  Or so I recall him
remarking, somewhere.  Duv, on the other hand, got
his doctorate and then went BACK as an undergrad
thru the academy.

In real life around here nowadays, I think it
increasingly rare for top name universities [1] to
offer military officers' training -- or for
twenty-something doctors of academia to join
a formation of teenaged plebes.

The integration of business majors, historians,
humanities and liberal arts majors into the military
services -- and the respect for history, the
military, and ideals of self-effacing service  --
are an attractive part of current literature.
As we appreciate Vorthys dragging Miles back
from a leap-to-conclusions  (Not 'secret weapon',
say, 'a device of unknown purpose'  -- OWTTE)
we appreciate Tom Hanks playing the high school-teacher
cum Infantry Captain in _Saving Private Ryan_.
We like the idea that our institutions work
together and our friend and fellow citizens
move freely among such groups.

Without getting into spoilers. I think the
next Miles book holds promise to explore the
military/cop/business/arts  etc interdependences
of Nexus institutions.  I'm looking forward to it.

[1] Yes, Dave, but A&M  is exceptional.  Berkeley,
Yale, Columbia ...  R.O.T.C.  has neither been
welcome nor respected for years.

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