Revolutionary political philosophy in the Takeshi Kovacs series of books

In one of the books' forewords, Richard K Morgan credits Robin Morgan's (no relation) Demon Lover: The Roots of Terrorism ISBN:0743452933 (originally written in 1989, updated coincidentally at the time of the World Trade Center attack) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Morgan

  • one reviewer: I think her analysis is consistent with an academic understanding of agriculture and patriarchy and therefore consistent with a biblical view of the fallen world whereas civilization is contingent on patriarchal modes of production and authority whereby we displace God, no other permutation of civilization is possible without divine intervention. The alternative is Tribalism.

  • another reviewer: Morgan maintains that terrorism can assume many shapes, for instance: Multinational corporations, governments, rebel groups such as the IRA (Irish Republican Army) and other international freedom fighters.

  • review "Macho's Victims"

  • herself: When I wrote The Demon Lover: The Roots of Terrorism, I presented evidence on how the terrorist mystique and the Hero legend have the same root: the patriarchal pursuit of manhood.

  • her 1970 "Goodbye to All That" (the "male-dominated Left") essay: White males are most responsible for the destruction of human life and environment on the planet today. Yet who is controlling the supposed revolution to change all that? White males (yes, yes, even with their pasty fingers back in black and brown pies again)... Charles Manson is only the logical extreme of the normal American male's fantasy.

  • don't think I'll be reading that.

from an interview with him: I think Quellism is really the sum total of my own exasperation with both the inherent self-serving corruption of Right-wing politics and the back-biting, up-its-own-arse self-absorption of the Left-wing. Quell herself is driven by fury at the oppression that's endemic on Harlan's World (and which I think most of us would recognize only too well here on 21st century Earth). But at the same time she's too smart and individualistic to buy into the standard revolutionary rhetoric of her comrades in the struggle. Her political antecedents are Anarchist thinkers like Proudhon and Bakunin, who provide the critique of state power, whether exercised by the right or the left. But she doesn't have the ludicrous, lethal innocence that goes with anarchist belief, and her practical post-revolutionary ideas are grounded in a clear understanding of human foibles, checks and balances, and necessary social systems. Ultimately her political vision amounts to an engaged hi-tech Social Democracy (which in itself is something of a radical concept in Kovacs's world).

from the books

In any agenda, political or otherwise, there is a cost to be borne. Always ask what it is, and who will be paying. If you don't, then the agenda makers will pick up the perfume of your silence like swamp panthers on the scent of blood, and the next thing you know, the person expected to bear the cost will be you. And you may not have what it takes to pay.

The personal, as everyone's so fucking fond of saying, is political. So if some idiot politician, some power player tries to execute policies that harm you or those you care about, take it personally. Get angry. The Machinery of Justice will not serve you here - it is slow and cold, and it is theirs, hardware and soft-. Only the little people suffer at the hands of Justice; the creatures of power slide out from under with a wink and a grin. If you want justice, you will have to claw it from them. Make it personal. Do as much damage as you can. Get your message across. That way you stand a far better chance of being taken seriously next time. Of being considered dangerous. And make no mistake about this: being taken seriously, being considered dangerous, marks the difference - the only difference in their eyes - between players and little people. Players they will make deals with. Little people, they liquidate. And time and again they cream your liquidation, your displacement, your torture and brutal execution with the ultimate insult that it's just business, it's politics, it's the way of the world, it's a tough life, and that it's nothing personal. Well, fuck them. Make it personal.

There are some arenas so corrupt that the only clean acts possible are nihilistic.

She stalked through the ruins of the previous revolution like a vengeful ghost, and her first victims were the backbaiters and betrayers from within the ranks of the old alliance. This time, there would be no factional squabbles to diffract the focus, hamstring the Quellist lead, and sell her out to the Harlanites. The neoMaoists, the Communitariancs, the New Sun Path, the Parliament Gradualists, and the Social Libertarians: she sought them out as they sat in their dotage, muttering over their respective fumbled grabs at power, and she slaughtered them all. By the time she turned on the First Families and their tame assembly, it was no longer a revolution. It was the Unsettlement. It was a war.

My father got this assignment on biotech nanobes... I remember him showing me some footage of the state-of-the-art stuff being put into a baby at birth... Imagine if some motherfucker deliberately didn't enable most of those nanobes... You end up with a body that works badly, that needs constant conscious control from above and outside, and why? Not because of some intrinsic failing but because the nanotech just isn't being used. And that's us. This society - every society in the Protectorate - is a body where 95% of the nanotech has been switched off (DisEngagement). People don't do what they're supposed to. Run things. Take control. Look after Social System-s. Build stuff. Create wealth and organize data, and ensure they both flow where they're needed. People will do al of this, the capacity is there, but it's like the nanobes. They have to be switched on first, they have to be made aware. And in the end that's all a Quellist society is - an aware populace.

  • Every previous revolutionary movement in human history has made the same basic mistake. They've all seen power as a static apparatus, as a structure. And it's not. It's a dynamic, a flow system with two possible tendencies. Power either accumulates, or it diffuses through the system. In most societies, it's in accumulative mode, and most revolutionary movements are only really interested in reconstituting the accumulation in a new location. A genuine revolution has to reverse the flow... You've got to build the structures that allow for diffusion of power (SmallWorld), not regrouping. Accountability, demodynamic access, systems of constituted rights, education in the use of political Infrastructure...

  • (response from Takeshi Kovacs): This has been tried before.. the empowered people you place so much faith in handed power right back to their oppressors, cheerfully, in return for not much more than holoporn and cheap fuel... Maybe they're happier that way.

  • (counter): Just maybe that period you're taling about was misrepresented. Maybe premillennial constitutional democracy wasn't the failure the poeople who write the history books would like us to believe. Maybe they just murdered it, took it away from us, and lied to our children about it.

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