[LMB] Ethan

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Sat Feb 24 10:39:10 GMT 2018

From: Marius Gedminas <marius at gedmin.as>

On Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 03:54:18PM +0000, Kevin Kennedy wrote:
> I just reread Ethan of Athos, and I'm wondering something. Ethan has
> done a required stint in the army, his baby brother is in an army band
> and may stay past his required 2 years. Why does Athos have an army?
> It's a single society on the planet, there's nobody to squabble with.
> Were the Founders worrying about needing to suppress religious dissent
> on or something, sometime? With no ships they're not going to go
> invading & coveriting anyone.  Why have an army?  Sure, some sort of
> service organization for disaster relief, public works projects,
> terraforming, whatever, but why military?

So that opportunistic offworlders (like Ezar-era Barrayarans) won't
consider them a juicy target ripe for invasion?
Marius Gedminas

Gwynne: Perhaps it's because of the dissenters who go off to live in the
wilderness. We see Athos through Ethan's eyes, and  he's very happy with
the society, and doing a very high-status job. He does acknowledge that
not everyone is happy there, but just brushes that away. We don't know
the percetage of dissenters, or how active they've been in the past - I can
see a few of them getting together to try and get to the annual survey ship,
or get a message to the outside for rescue. Maybe the army is needed to
enforce peace and compliance.

Or perhaps it's just a way of bonding the citizenry together, and the
government presents them with the possible enemy of outside invasion,
so they all prepare just in case. Again, Ethan may not be the best model
to study, but he seems very aware of the difference between his world
and the rest of the Nexus.

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