uninteresting and anti-climactic
For a political philosophy junkie like me, barely, for most people I think not.
This book is about what communists and socialists dream about, what's called anarcho-syndicalism. As such, it's very well executed. As an aspiring writer, I find anarchy a very interesting topic. This was a good book to get a feel of what what these types are thinking. I believe, the anarchists you heard about among the occupy wall st crowd were essentially of this variation. What I found interesting was to identify the inconsistencies with this vision. But I find Anarcho-capitalist's arguments much more compelling. For an understanding of that perspective, read 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' in fiction or 'A Market for Liberty' in non-fiction.
These people are supposedly free, but they can't leave their planet, and no one is allowed to come to theirs, they can't name their own children, and a computer runs their lives even separating families which are very loosely sanctioned. And nobody who's in charge of keeping the 'ruling computer' uses it corruptly for their benefit, though there are hints of corruption that don't seem to spin out of control like we witness in every pretty much every society with a power structure.
Every effort at communism end's in very big, corrupt government and severe poverty if not outright starvation, so this vision is totally impossible. Le Guin recognizes that such 'equality' means a more meager existence, but she under-appreciates the complete societal breakdown which ensues.
This book has nothing to do with reality, but gives insight into a very odd and dangerous political philosophy.
The book, while reasonably engaging and well written, is also overly philosophical and insufficiently story-based. The science fiction ideas are totally weak and erroneous. The protagonist travels around near light-speed without having to worry about aging differences with his loved ones. She doesn't seem to fully understand her invention of the Ansible which is reused from an earlier novel.
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