[LMB] Mountains of Mourning discussion

Matthew George matt.msg at gmail.com
Thu Jun 1 18:54:18 BST 2017


The highly personal nature of Barrayaran government somewhat lends to the
idea that it's supposed to intervene in its subjects' lives.  But that can
go just as wrong as active malice - and it's much harder to defend against
and stop, not least because it's harder to get other people concerned about
someone trying to act in your "best interests".  There's a really good C.S.
Lewis quote on the topic which I like to use, despite despising him
personally:

*Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its
> victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber
> barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty
> may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those
> who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so
> with the approval of their own conscience.*


An excellent comparison beween Barrayar and the Wide Green World can be
made - both Lakewalker rules about marriage and Barrayaran customs about
infanticide seem inhumane and cruel.  But both were made for excellent
reasons, and in the case of the WGW, that reason is ongoing.  Same as
Vorloupulous' Law, except they found a loophole everyone was willing to
accept.


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