My rating: 5 of 5 stars
You probably look at this book and think it's a sci-fi novel, and you'd be right and you'd be wrong. It is a sci-fi novel, and a very good one, but it is just a vehicle for the main theme of the book. The main theme being the interaction between Anarchism (anarcho-syndicalism) and Capitalism. for good measure Socialism is thrown in as well.
The story is centred around a character called Shevek who is a citizen of a planet called Anarres. Anarres is a desolate planet where society functions under anarchistic principles. Anarres was colonised by people from Urras who left and fled to Anarres to escape the rampant capitalism of Urras. They were anarchists who followed the teachings of Odo, a woman who had put developed a concept of anarcho-syndicalism.
Apart from these two planets a number of other races are intertwined in the novel which represent Socialism and other forms of civilisation.
I have to say that the way of life under anarcho-syndicalism played out in the book was attractive and yet was repulsive to me personally. The working together of the people on the harsh world of Anarres came across as somehow noble but the way personal relationships happened was somehow deflating.
The way the book looked at the clash between the person and the anarchic society was very thought provoking, and you can see so much that links in with our society today.
If you haven't read this book then read it, if you have any interest in political systems then you should also read it. Highly recommended.
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