Thursday, March 26, 2009


The magnificent Jerry Pournelle has seen fit to republish SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS, originally written in 1983. As Jerry points out, some things have changed. On the gripping hand, much has not...

There are other masters; masters who will do more than hold fast to the old ways; they will usher in a new era. The theorists proclaim it. Times have changed. Old institutions, devised in simpler times, are outmoded. Modern times demand modern, streamlined, efficient government- government that can sweep away the dead hand of the past, and bring forth the new dawn.

A new friend of the people comes forth. He will end the babble of political parties and factions and class war He will give meaning to life; will lead a crusade against poverty, squalor, ugliness; will transform the nation into a land beautiful and shining. He will be the Hero, of whom Carlyle said,

His place is with the stars of heaven. He walks among men; loves men, with inexpressible soft pity--as they cannot love him: but his soul dwells in solitude, in the innermost parts of creation. Thou, 0 World, how wilt thou secure thyself from this man? He is thy born king, thy conqueror and supreme lawgiver not all the guineas and cannons under the sky can save thee from him.
Sound familiar? Do read the entire thing, and see just who was the object of Carlyle's adoration. [Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full article.]


  1. Monster - many years ago I read the Pournelle and Niven collaboration of The Mote in God's Eye and The Gripping Hand, both of which I enjoyed. I happen to have a second-hand copy of Lucifer's Hammer on the shelves - which I believe is another fruit of their combined labor - that I have never got around to reading. Have you by any chance read it? Would you recommend it?

    I haven't read anything by Pournelle solo, although a friend of mine has some dog-eared copies of a Sauron Supermen series, IIRC, which perhaps I should get around to borrowing in the near future.


  2. I haven't read Lucifer's Hammer, but by all accounts it's a good 'un. I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Pournelle, even though I disagree with him on a few points. He is intellectually honest, which is saying a lot these days.

  3. Monster - Thanks for the reply. I've heard nothing but good things about LH as well. Perhaps I'll give 'er a crack sooner rather than later. I believe I came across the same SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS introduction on another blog site, posted along with a similarly-veined warning from Orson Scott Card.

    You seem to me to be a person that brings cool and clear thinking to your posts - so tell me, if you don't mind, do you believe that the Obama administration has the intention of turning the United States of America into a National Socialist nation? That the only G7 nation that has never had a genuine socialist party is nearing the point of being transformed into a left-wing dictatorship?

    These are fascinating times: on the leftnet there's a vast horde of enraged liberals hungering for a public tarring, feathering and/or lynching of the Wall Street barons - and the AIG executives in particular - even while another throng are seeking more vengeful taxation amidst chants about a university education and medical care for everyone. On the interright - on this very blog - there are comments inquiring if the time to firebomb Washington is upon us; indeed, if it is not time to do something - presumably in a Henry vs. Beckett manner - about this oval office trojan; still others are making loud Galtish threats about an imminent mass emmigration to Costa Rica, and perhaps even Russia.

    Is the cold and undeclared cultural civil war nearing an eruption point?



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