Back in January I reviewed Legionnaire, the first volume in the Galaxy’s Edge series by Jason Anspach & Nick Cole. That story was a straight up mil-sf story set in a future where the human race has spread into the galaxy and formed a “Republic” of worlds. At the point in this Universe’s history that Legionnaire takes place, the Republic is beginning to devolve into an empire, ruled over by an elite that controls the rich central systems, with an underclass occupying the rest of the galaxy and the edge of the galaxy as an outlaw haven where even the powerful Legion can do little but skirmish with the rebels and pirates that abound out there. By the end of that story it’s apparent that all the skill and valor of the remnant of faithful soldiers is being frittered away for political points by the bureaucrats that call the shots and wield the Legion as a bludgeon against the innocent inhabitants of the poorer sectors of the Republic. As I said back in January, it is an engaging military tale.
So, what have Anspach and Cole done for an encore? It appears that Legionnaire merely set the stage for the main event. This is going to be a space opera of epic proportions. And it’s easy to see what they intend to do is follow the space opera play book but dial it up to eleven. And in doing so they are following in a long tradition. Most recently, George Lucas mined that vein for all it would pay with his Star Wars franchise. His rebels revolting against a republic that has turned into an evil empire is the latest iteration of a story that goes back to the actual Roman Empire and the tales of Brutus and Spartacus and Masada.
And when I say they’ve dialed it up to eleven I’m not kidding. The text is full of little blatant references to dialog and images reflecting some scene from Star Wars or Firefly. It was kind of fun finding them. And whole characters are parodied. There is a princess with the rebels named Leenah. There is a plucky scoundrel in a freighter who rescues the princess. There is a bot that guards a young damsel in distress. The bot speaks with some combination of the diction of C3P0 and the Operative from Serenity. You can literally hear the toff British accent. And then to make sure you don’t miss any ingredients they are sometimes doubled. So, there are two scoundrels with freighters helping damsels in distress. There are two damsels in distress. There are two bounty hunters.
And there’s even a cantina. There are mob warlords with bounties on the plucky scoundrels. There is something like a dark lord whose name is Goth Sullus. So far there are no Jedi Knights but some of the characters seem to live forever so something’s going on there.
Suffice it to say that a lot of stuff is going on. And by the end of the book you can see that this is just the beginning of the story.
And now, what do I think of all this? Well, I have a theory about space opera. I believe that space opera has the potential to be very good or very bad. It entirely depends on the imaginative powers and writing skills of the author. Take an E. E. Doc Smith or an Edgar Rice Burroughs and you get the Lensman stories or Barsoom, fun and excitement. Take the likes of George Lucas and you end up with Jar Jar Binks or the latest Disney feminist trope with a light saber.
The good news is this is fun space opera. None of the damsels in distress rescue the hero. No one mentions race or gender studies terminology and the good guys aren’t ashamed of being good. I’m pretty sure the authors have included the homages to Star Wars imagery to sort of point out that the story doesn’t have to be bad just because of the space opera tropes. It just requires the story and characters to be interesting, likable and fun. And in this case they are. So if you like your space opera right up front without too much artistic restraint then I’d recommend Galactic Outlaws.
I’ll bet you thought the quote was by Conan the Barbarian
“The greatest happiness is to vanquish your enemies, to chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth, to see those dear to them bathed in tears, to clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters.”
Long time readers of this web site know I am a big fan of Michael Anton or as he was known when he authored the Flight 93 Election, “Publius Decius Mus.” He, Angelo Codevilla and other members of the Claremont Institute have thrown their support behind the Trump presidency and its attempt to save the country from the globalist cabal of democrats and establishment republicans who want to turn it into their private fiefdom. Anton went to work for the Trump administration and now is re-entering private life. And he is leaving on very good terms with the President and his administration despite what the press contends. I found this article interesting.
To the Arab scholars of the Caliphate Aristotle was “The Master of Those Who Know.” Well, they were right. I’ve always thought Plato should be relegated to the fiction section of the library so as not to tarnish the reputation of his much wiser student. I highly recommend you read the whole of his Politics or at least read the entirety of Book 4 – Part XI to get the whole argument of the fragment below.
Aristotle – Politics – Book 4 – Part XI
Thus it is manifest that the best political community is formed by citizens of the middle class, and that those states are likely to be well-administered in which the middle class is large, and stronger if possible than both the other classes, or at any rate than either singly; for the addition of the middle class turns the scale, and prevents either of the extremes from being dominant. Great then is the good fortune of a state in which the citizens have a moderate and sufficient property; for where some possess much, and the others nothing, there may arise an extreme democracy, or a pure oligarchy; or a tyranny may grow out of either extreme- either out of the most rampant democracy, or out of an oligarchy; but it is not so likely to arise out of the middle constitutions and those akin to them. I will explain the reason of this hereafter, when I speak of the revolutions of states. The mean condition of states is clearly best, for no other is free from faction; and where the middle class is large, there are least likely to be factions and dissensions. For a similar reason large states are less liable to faction than small ones, because in them the middle class is large; whereas in small states it is easy to divide all the citizens into two classes who are either rich or poor, and to leave nothing in the middle. And democracies are safer and more permanent than oligarchies, because they have a middle class which is more numerous and has a greater share in the government; for when there is no middle class, and the poor greatly exceed in number, troubles arise, and the state soon comes to an end. A proof of the superiority of the middle dass is that the best legislators have been of a middle condition; for example, Solon, as his own verses testify; and Lycurgus, for he was not a king; and Charondas, and almost all legislators.
Basically this is why the leftists want to destroy the middle class. They know destroying it will quickly destabilize the country and allow it to be destroyed and absorbed by a world state.
A couple of day ago I linked to a post on American Greatness by Angelo Codevilla https://amgreatness.com/2018/04/13/living-with-politics-as-war/ . I’d like to elaborate a little what I think is interesting about this article. Vox Day has often said (and I paraphrase) that the Alt-Right (or Dissident Right or whatever else you call it) will have arrived when the normies have shifted so far to the right that their views can only be distinguished from the Alt-Right by tactics and not by what they believe are the facts on the ground.
Well, I think I’m seeing that happen in real time. Codevilla is a mainstream academic figure and not an Alt-Right provocateur. Reading his description of where the country now is and what to do about it is to realize that the idea of going back to a consensus society is effectively dead. The only question between the normal traditionalists and the Alt-Right is whether we just set up separate shops under the nominally United States or fight a civil war to establish borders between enemy states. That is remarkable. It should be disquieting for me but it isn’t. I still think it will be a bloodless divorce but either way I think we should get on with it.
Codevilla goes through the various arenas where Leftist coercion is the most egregious (schools and colleges, corporate blackmail and de-platforming) and suggests that federal coercion will be less effective than it was formerly and that state legislatures may ignore federal precepts and just go their own way as they have lately on drug enforcement. Whether he is correct about the federal government giving up on some of its control of local behavior isn’t clear to me but I do think that push back from the right is likely to increase in strength in the future.
So Vox is fond of saying, and I quote, “The Alt-Right is inevitable.” Depending on how you want to define the Alt-Right we may be seeing proof of his statement. And if that means the vast majority of non-leftists waking up to the necessity of casting off the oppression of the Left then I am 100% on-board. Long live the Revolution. Off with their heads (or at least throw the bums out).