[LMB] The Fall of Jackson's Whole?

Elizabeth Holden azurite at rogers.com
Wed, 18 Aug 2004 14:00:09 -0400 (EDT)

 --- Azalais Malfoy <tiamat at tsoft.com> wrote: 

> Yes, government by force is immoral.  I'm just
> wondering if, due to the fact that all the 
> Jacksonians we've seen are *villains*, we can 
> reasonably assume that they are ALL like
> that.  

Well, we have no evidence to the contrary.  I think
the text implies that all the leaders are villains,
and everyone else (however personally innocent they
may be) is either working for or with the villains who
lead, or enslaved by them.

It could also be a plausible scenario that there are
major groups of people on Jackson's Whole who are
fine, upstanding and free.  People you *would* want at
your dinner party.  I don't see any evidence of them,
though, and Jackson Whole's reputation everywhere else
doesn't hint at their existence.

> Any more than we can assume all the great families
> Barrayar are like the Vorkosigans.

No one is like the Vorkosigans.  Looked at another
way, all the ruling families of Barrayar *are* like
the Vorkosigans because there are certain
characteristics all ruling families of Barrayar must
have in common - shared languages, technologies,
clothing styles, manners, cultural assumptions,
history, literature, education, medical procedures,
etc.  And a society that has been closed off as
Barrayar has been for as long as Barrayar is probably
won't have a lot of racial diversity.
> But given a history of material constraints on one
> hand, and the appearance that Beta's system works 
> fairly, I'm not getting upset about it.

I think Beta would be fun to visit but the thought of
staying there makes me feel claustrophobic.  Given a
choice, I'd live on Barrayar - no question.

Neither place is ideal, or intended to be - either by
the author or (necessarily) the planet's founders. 
>I just wonder how well you'd be treated on Beta 
> if you decided you really didn't like
> the treatment you were given for your 
> mental health issues.

There seems to be a lot more conformity on Beta than I
am comfortable with - not necessarily in a bad way,
but enough to make me want to go elsewhere.  It is
possible (as with the hypothetical good people of
Jakcso's Whole) that there are aspects of Betan
society we just haven't seen or heard about.

Perhaps the apparent uniformity of the society is
simply shorthand writing - the author is smart enough
to leave out the bits that aren't pertinent to the