The Early Days of a Better Nation

Thursday, June 04, 2009


This weekend I'll be a GoH at Schlosscon, in Schwerin, Germany. I'll tell you all about it when I get back.

Comments regular Roderick T. Long has a post up about the new editions of the Fall Revo books, so go over there and thank him with a long, insightful comment thread.

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I happily accept your thanks for writing the blog post, and I reply with thanks to you for actually writing the books, which probably took somewhat longer!

Thanks indeed for writing the series, Ken. My favorite part was the culmination of the Empire's worldwide war of counter-insurgency (Two, Three, Many Vietnams?), when a fiscally and economically exhausted American people ended it with a general strike.

I hope I live to see the day when the United States really is the Second Former Union, although it would be nice if the land between the coasts wasn't really taken over by Flat Earthers.

Thanks for stimulating everyone from ancaps to mutualists to Trotskyists to everyone just interested in riding along for a great time!

I also wish to say thanks for your novels broadening my own political horizons, your Fall Revolution novels were an incredibly eye opener to many political concepts and got me interested in left libertarian thinking.

I echo Moonbootica.

Ken -

How about assembling a reading list to accompany Fall Revolution -- a list of the key political writings necessary to get at least a good share of the references.

I loved the books and loved the fact that they kept reminding me how little I know and kept me running to Wikipedia to play catch-up. But I still feel like I'm groping in the dark, trying to figure out where to even start in getting a handle on leftists, reds, libertarians, social libertarians, socialists, Trotsky, Trotskyists, etc.

Or maybe someone already has assembled a reading list for budding socialist-maybe-wannabes?


Ilorien, that's a wonderful idea. I hope Ken follows it up. BTW, the Wiki on Libertarian Socialism is excellent. Or it was, last time I looked at it and learned from it.

Thanks George. The wikipedia article was a very helpful intro.

For the more market-oriented end of the lefty spectrum, or perhaps the more lefty end of the market-oriented system, see

Great ilorien, that Wiki is chock full of information, history, explanations, and references. I wonder who wrote all that up. And thanks for the link Rod, and for the help last week. Sad. I have been telling people about our friend Tacitus' idea of the Good Emperors Trajan and Nerva. You opened my eyes.
Somewhat related, I'm reading the Discourses of Epictetus. What great stuff from a lovable person! Good advice, given in a lively, sensible, and above all humorous fashion. Reading this stuff makes me wonder if ethical theory has developed much since that friendly, lively, person gave his cheerful talks. I recommend them both for content and enjoyment. To vary a well-known saying, "You don't have to be a philosopher to like and learn from this fine speaker." No fance eloquence, just liveliness, with depth.

I've just finished reading The Star Fraction and The Stone Canal. Without wishing to sound to brown nosey The Stone Canal is an all time favourite.

Can't believe it was nearly 12 years ago since I first read them as a young lad of 18. I do like the idea of some more reference material linked online or something as even now I'm sure I'm missing out on quite a bit. Was only on this last reading that the Dawkin's references in The Star Fraction made much sense to the extent it was amazing I enjoyed it at all the first time.

very nice & interesting. good luck

Thanks, everyone, for all those kind words. I like the idea of a Fall Revo reading list or online reference. Some of the allusions in The Star Fraction are so recondite they embarrass even me.

Ken, about those allusions. I remember some American mag saying that some book in the series would not be well-understood in the States, since you made heavy use of the atmosphere surrounding the (student) left in the 70s. I'm not sure my memory is holding up here--those Senior Monents--but there it is. I read the books around 2000 and all that stuff was already hypernostalgic. I thought it was great. And in any case, this was stuff that people on the left in my Old Country OUGHT to have known at least a bit about. I remember sitting on the lawn at Columbia U in 68, hearing somebody cry out "Paris is Following Our Lead!." It's not only the Continent that was isolated!

Because God forbid that a reader of a science-fiction novel should have to read about an environment they're not familiar with.

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