Communities growing apart is one of the biggest trends nowadays. The free and the suppressed, the happy and those with grievances, the elite and the masses – sometimes it seems as if people living in the same world or even in the same society are inhabitating completely different planets. Do the more enlightened have the right and the obligation to help others along, and what does „enlightened” mean in the first place? Just be human, the common suggestion goes. Sure, but what does it mean to be human in an age when the stakes are rising and the grey shadow of the coming cataclysms sweep across the land? Can the inevitable violence of intevening ever be justified?
Should one intervene into the direction a society is developing? Should one „take arms against the sea of troubles” or let things just blunder along, until the pessimism of the intellect makes the will just as pessimist? Who has the right to intervene, for what cause and how strongly?
"Arkanar is not within the scope of base theory. Some new, systematic factor has appeared. And it looks like Don Reba is intentionally inciting all the greyness in the kingdom against learned people. Everything that's even slightly above the average grey level is now in danger. Hear me out, Don Kondor – these aren't emotions, these are facts! If you're smart, educated, a skeptic, if you say anything unusual – even if you just don't drink wine! – you are in danger. Any shopkeeper has the right to hound you, even until death. Hundreds and thousands of people are declared outside the law."
Arkady and Boris
Strugatsky are classics of science-fiction. In 1964 they published
„Hard to be a God”, a short novel that takes place on a planet
parallel to Earth, yet living in the dark Middle Ages. In appearance
and in conduct, Don Rumata is a cocky aristocrat typical for his era, in
reality he is an omnipotent observer from Earth. He comes from a
society into the like of which also Arkanar should in the
develop, so the theory goes, yet his mission has only a single rule:
he must not intervene. "Hard to be a God" is a parable and
now is just the right time for it.
Authors Arkady and Boris Strugatsky