The Politics of Survival (Public Planet Books)

100 Great Works of Dystopian Fiction
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Physically they are large and strong, and the men usually wear bristling black beards. The White Martians, known as 'Orovars', were rulers of Mars for , years, with an empire of sophisticated cities with advanced technology. They were white-skinned, with blond or auburn hair. They were once a seafaring race, but when the oceans began to dry up they began to cooperate with the Yellow and Black Martians to breed the Red Martians, [19] foreseeing the need for hardy stock to cope with the emerging harsher environment. They became decadent and 'overcivilized'.

At the beginning of the series they are believed to be extinct, but three remaining populations - the Orovars, Therns and Lotharians — are still living in secret and are discovered as the books progress. There are only of them remaining, all of them male. They are skilled in telepathy, able to project images that can kill, or provide sustenance. They live a reclusive existence in a remote area of Barsoom, debating philosophy amongst themselves. Descendants of the original White Martians who live in a complex of caves and passages in the cliffs above the Valley Dor.

This is the destination of the River Iss, on whose currents most Martians eventually travel, on a pilgrimage seeking final paradise, once tired of life or reaching years of age. The valley is actually populated by monsters, overlooked by the Therns who control these creatures and ransack and eat the flesh of those who perish, enslaving those who survive.

They consider themselves a unique creation, different from other Martians. They maintain the false Martian religion through a network of collaborators and spies across the planet.

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They are themselves raided by the Black Martians. They are white-skinned of a skin tone close enough to human Caucasians that John Carter was able to easily pose as one and the males are bald but wear blond wigs. Legend suggests that the Black Martians are inhabitants of one of the moons of Mars , when in fact they live in an underground stronghold near the south pole of the planet, around the submartian Sea of Omean, below the Lost Sea of Korus, where they keep a large aerial navy.

They call themselves the 'First-Born', believing themselves to be a unique creation among Martian races, and worship Issus, a woman who styles herself as the God of the Martian religion but is no such thing. They frequently raid the White Martian Therns, who maintain the false Martian religion, carrying off people as slaves.

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The Politics of Survival (Public Planet Books) [Marc Abélès, Julie Kleinman] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In this provocative analysis of . Editorial Reviews. Review. “ The Politics of Survival contains some fascinating discussions it provides a fresh look at the preoccupation with living and.

John Carter defeats their navy in The Gods of Mars. The Chessmen of Mars introduces the Kaldanes of the region Bantoom , whose form is almost all head but for six spiderlike legs and a pair of chelae , and whose racial goal is to evolve even further towards pure intellect and away from bodily existence. In order to function in the physical realm, they have bred the Rykors , a complementary species composed of a body similar to that of a perfect specimen of Red Martian but lacking a head; when the Kaldane places itself upon the shoulders of the Rykor, a bundle of tentacles connects with the Rykor's spinal cord , allowing the brain of the Kaldane to interface with the body of the Rykor.

Should the Rykor become damaged or die, the Kaldane merely climbs upon another as an earthling might change a horse. A lesser people of Barsoom are the Kangaroo Men of Gooli, so called due to their large, kangaroo -like tails, ability to hop large distances and the rearing of their eggs in pouches.

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They are presented as a race of boastful, cowardly individuals. In addition to the naturally occurring races of Barsoom, Burroughs described the Hormads, artificial men created by the scientist Ras Thavas as slaves, workers, warriors, etc. Although the Hormads were generally recognizable as humanoid, the process was far from perfect, and generated monstrosities ranging from the occasional misplaced nose or eyeball to " a great mass of living flesh with an eye somewhere and a single hand. When Burroughs wrote the first volume of the Barsoom series, aviation and radio technology was in its infancy and radioactivity was a fledgling science.

Despite this, the series includes a range of technological developments including radium munitions, battles between fleets of aircraft, devices similar to faxes and televisions, genetic manipulation, elements of terraforming and other ideas. One notable device mentioned is the "directional compass"; this may be believed to be the precursor to the now-common " global positioning system ", or GPS for short.

The Red Martians have flying machines, both civilian transports and fleets of heavily armed war craft. These stay aloft through some form of anti-gravity , which Burroughs explains as relating to the rays of the Sun. In Thuvia, Maid of Mars , John Carter's son, Carthoris, invents what appears to be a partial precursor of the autopilot several decades before it became a reality. The device, built upon existing Martian compass technology, allows the pilot to reach any programmed destination, having only to keep the craft pointed in the set direction.

Upon arrival, the device automatically lowers the craft to the surface. He also includes a kind of collision detector, which uses radium rays to detect any obstacle and automatically steer the craft elsewhere until the obstacle is no longer detected. In Swords of Mars a flier with some kind of mechanical brain is introduced. Controlled by thought, it can be remote-controlled in flight, or instructed to travel to any destination. Firearms are common, and use 'Radium' bullets, which explode when exposed to sunlight.

Some weapons are specific to races or inventors. The mysterious Yellow Martians, who live in secret glass-domed cities at the poles and appear in The Warlord of Mars have a form of magnet which allows them to attract flying craft and cause them to crash. Scientist Phor Tak, who appears in A Fighting Man of Mars , has developed a disintegrator ray, and also a paste which renders vehicles such as fliers impervious to its effects. He also develops a missile which seeks out craft protected in this fashion, and a means of rendering fliers invisible which becomes a key plot device in the novel.

Survival: One Health, One Planet, One Future

However, while advanced weapons are available, most Martians seem to prefer melee combat — mostly with swords — and their level of skill is highly impressive. Warriors often are armed with four weapons in descending order, pistol, long-sword, short sword and dagger and it is considered unchivalrous to defend with any weapon but the one used in an attack or a lesser one. There are many technological wonders in the novels, some colossal works of engineering.

The failing air of the dying planet is maintained by an atmosphere plant, and the restoration of this is a plot component of A Princess of Mars. Martian medicine is generally greatly in advance of that on Earth. In The Master Mind of Mars aging genius Ras Thavas has perfected the means of transplanting organs, limbs and brains, which during his experiments he swaps between animals and humanoids, men and women and young and old. They frequently emerge deformed, are volatile and are difficult to control, later threatening to take over the planet. The Martians wear no clothing other than jewelry and leather harnesses, which are designed to hold everything from the weaponry of a warrior to pouches containing toiletries and other useful items; the only instances where Barsoomians habitually wear clothing is for need of warmth, such as for travel in the northern polar regions described in The Warlord of Mars.

This preference for near-nudity provides a stimulating subject for illustrators of the stories, though art for many mass-market editions of the books feature Carter and native Barsoomians wearing loincloths and other minimal coverings, or use strategically placed shadows and such to cover genitalia and female breasts. The martian mammalian equivalents all have fur, and both domestic and wild varieties are described by Burroughs. Barsoom might be seen as a kind of Martian Wild West. John Carter is himself an adventuring frontiersman.

The Politics of Survival (Public Planet Books)

When he arrives on Barsoom he first compares it to the landscape of Arizona which he has left behind. He discovers a savage, frontier world where the civilized Red Martians are kept invigorated as a race by repelling the constant attacks of the Green Martians, a possible equivalent of Wild West ideals. Indeed, the Green Martians are a barbaric, nomadic, tribal culture with many parallels to stereotypes of American Indians.

The desire to return to the frontier became common in the early 20th century America. As the United States become more urbanized, the world of the 19th century frontier America became romanticized as a lost world of freedom and noble qualities.

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Until now, human beings have been spreading, from our beginnings in Africa, out across the globe—slowly at first, and then much faster. I found myself in the position of mostly agreeing with this book while being really annoyed with it at the same time. Judges of the jurisdictional tribunals of social, educational, and industrial matters hold degrees from the regional schools. Our homes are lost not to natural disasters usually , but to bank foreclosures. New Releases. She came upon a group of fire lizards, wild relatives of the fire-breathing dragons.

Race is a constant theme in the Barsoom novels and the world is clearly divided along racial lines. Red, Green, White, Black, and Yellow races all appear across the novels, each with particular traits and qualities which seem to define the characters of the individuals. In this respect, Burroughs' concept of race, as depicted in the novels, is more like a division between species. The Red and Green Martians are almost complete opposites of one another, with the Red Martians being civilized, lawful, capable of love and forming families, and the Green Martians being savage, cruel, tribal and without families or the ability to form romantic relationships.

Yet, friendship between individuals of different nations and races is a frequent topic driving the stories. The Barsoom series features a number of incidents of religious deception, or the use of superstition by those in power to control and manipulate others. Upon reaching 1, years of age almost all Martians undertake a pilgrimage on the River Iss, expecting to find a valley of mystical paradise; what they find is in fact a deathtrap, populated by ferocious creatures and overseen by a race of cruel, cannibal priests known as Therns, who perpetuate the Martian religion through a network of spies across the planet.

John Carter's battle to track down the remnants of the Therns and their masters continues in the sequel, The Warlord of Mars.

Abélès, Marc

Burroughs continued this theme in his many Tarzan novels. Burroughs was not anti-religious; however, he was concerned about followers placing their trust in religions and being abused and exploited, and saw this as a common feature of organized religion. While Burroughs is generally seen as a writer who produced work of limited philosophical sophistication, he wrote two Barsoom novels which appear to explore or parody the limits of excessive intellectual development at the expense of bodily or physical existence.

The Lotharians have mostly died out, but maintain the illusion of a functioning society through powerful telepathic projections. They have formed two factions which appear to portray the excesses of pointless intellectual debate. One faction, the realists, believes in imagining meals to provide sustenance; another, the etherealists, believes in surviving without eating.

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The Chessmen of Mars is the second example of this trend. The Kaldanes have sacrificed their bodies to become pure brain, but although they can interface with Rykor bodies, their ability to function, compared with normal people of integrated mind and body, is ineffectual and clumsy. Tara of Helium compares them to effete intellectuals from her home city, with a self-important sense of superiority; and Gahan of Gathol muses that it might be better to find a balance between the intellect and bodily passions.

Some of Barsoom's peoples, especially the Therns and First-Born, hold themselves as "superior" to the "lesser order" peoples on Barsoom.

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A paradox is established in that the Therns and First-Born, though they hold themselves in such high esteem, nonetheless are dependent on these lesser orders for their sustenance, labor, and goods. The Therns and First-Born are "non-productive" peoples and do not produce anything or invent, as such labor is seen as beneath them.

Empty Planet: Preparing for the Global Population Decline

This is punctuated by the fact that the Therns and First-Born are obliged to create strongholds in the south polar regions, to insulate themselves from the remainder of the planet dominated primarily by red and green Martians. A particular ironic twist is introduced by the fact that the white Therns think that they control and manipulate the entire planet, when they are in turn unknowingly exploited by the black First-Born.

Burroughs' concept of a dying Mars and the Martian canals follows the theories of Lowell and his predecessor Giovanni Schiaparelli. In , Italian astronomer Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli observed geological features on Mars which he called canali Italian : "channels". This was mistranslated into the English as "canals" which, being artificial watercourses, fueled the belief that there was some sort of intelligent extraterrestrial life on the planet.

This further influenced American astronomer Percival Lowell. In Lowell published a book titled Mars which speculated about an arid, dying landscape, whose inhabitants had been forced to build canals thousands of miles long to bring water from the polar caps now known to be mostly frozen carbon dioxide or "dry ice" to irrigate the remaining arable land. These books formed prominent scientific ideas about the conditions on the red planet in the early years of the 20th century. Burroughs does not seem to have based his vision of Mars on precise reading of Lowell's theories, however, as a number of errors in his books suggest he got most of his information from newspaper articles and other popular accounts of Lowell's Mars.

The concept of canals with flowing water and a world where life was possible were later proved erroneous by more accurate observation of the planet.