[LMB] Ezar (no talk about religion here, honest)
azurite at rogers.com
Tue Sep 13 04:17:46 BST 2011
> OTOH he probably created the secret police and raised -- or
> failed to -- the son.
Yes, exactly. He had to deal with the problems he had created - the one by political will (probably seemed a good idea at the time) and the other by normal procreation, which created a monster. Given Serg's nature, I don't think anything Ezar did in his upbringing could have or would have made much difference.
So Ezar set out to erase the two horrors he had unintentionally brought to Barrayar.
Seems to me that "Shards of Honour" sets up two contradictory moral views, as illustrated (in general) by Beta Colony, with Cordelia as mouthpiece, and Barrayar, with Aral as mouthpiece, and other characters as illustrative.
The first philosophy: Life is the greatest good. Like must be fostered at all cost; nurture the wounded and maimed, don't let anyone die, don't ever kill except for food.
The second: killing is necessary for the improvement of civilization. Fight your enemies, purge the evil, give the seriously damaged honourable death (whether in utero, newborn, or soldiers after battle or the insane) .
Cordelia of course lived by the first philosophy, and brings it to Barrayar.
Ezar lived by the second philosophy, and did his best to improve the world he saw around him by harsh and covert means.
Ezar's philosophy was perhaps archaic, but it was the pragmatic morality he had grown up with and I don't think he was in any way evil.
It's a sign of the changes in Barrayar (both political and psychological) that Gregor is more like Cordelia than he is like his grandfather.
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