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Friday, August 08, 2008

USSR Forever!

I just read Isaac Asimov's Fantastic Journey II -- not a bad book, about what you'd expect from Asimov. (Yes, 350 books is fantastic output, but quality does suffer a little along the way.) But what really struck me is that Asimov, writing in 1987, saw the USSR still around 100 years later, still operating much as it did in 1987, just a few years before its complete disappearance from the scene.

5 comments:

  1. He probably relied on Samuelson's textbook.

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  2. Andy Stedman6:20 PM

    I loved Asimov's Foundation series when I first read it (7th grade, I think) but realize now that his outlook, as opposed to that of Heinlein, Banks, most other authors that I've enjoyed, is, if not statist, quite thoroughly of the opinion that society needs to be run. By someone. I have always found this surprising, given his personal history.

    Look at the entire premise of the Foundation series, and try to imagine the person who wrote it pondering anarchism. Look at his stories of UNIVAC, where all our problems were solved because we finally had a computer that could run the economy and the government efficiently.

    He probably thought that the USSR would struggle on, because he couldn't see that something could be fundamentally wrong with trying to run an economy in a top-down manner.

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  3. Right-o, Andy, and consider a very different take on much the same subject: Heinlien's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

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