[LMB] Ezar - - the hand he was dealt

Harimad harimad2001 at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 20 15:18:33 BST 2011

KH> --- On Fri, 9/16/11, Karen Hunt <huntkc at gmail.com> wrote:
KH> Whether Ezar could have made a Betan-style democracy appear
KH> looks very questionable to me.  

Are we discussing Betan-style democracy and nothing else?  There are many varieties of representative democracy...

As it happens, I think Ezar was firmly committed to keeping Barrayar's feudal(-ish?) system but realizes that it has to be reasonably effective or it won't last.  He's aiming for, at best, a benevolent dictatorship.

KH> Whether Aral could have done the same?  Not at first,
KH> that's clear enough. 

I'm not convinced that Aral would have wanted to, even if he didn't feel constrained by the terms of his regency.  Aral likes meritocracies, and democracies don't necessarily promote based on merit.  So when faced with the implicit question of "who decides?" I think Aral chooses a hereditary caste with a (greater or lesser) tradition of leadership and noblesse oblige.  He's less innovative than he appears, sometimes.

What I find interesting is that *Miles* doesn't exhibit any inclinations toward a more representative system.  You'd think he'd know the limitations of the Barrayaran system, growing up under Cordelia's tutorage, knowing Barrayaran history, and having such a broad exposure to other systems in practice.  And seeing that freer systems are generally associated with more  and more broadly-distributed innovation; Beta being the most extreme example.  JW is also highly innovative but fails on the broadly-distributed aspect.

KH> What Gregor is doing in these later books is headed nicely
KH> towards English-style government, as far as I can tell.  

And Barrayar is far ahead of many other systems in transition: it understands the idea - and value - of a loyal opposition.  More kudos to Vorhalas.

- Harimad

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