One of the prevailing themes in science fiction is that of the power struggle. Who will be in charge — of humanity, the planet, the universe? Who will prevail? What will it mean for the rest of us?
Here are twelve quotes to consider as we head back to the polls here in the United States.
“To permit irresponsible authority is to sell disaster.” ―Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers
“Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristocratic forms. No government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class — whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracy.” — Frank Herbert, Children of Dune
“My great uncle emigrated from Earth. He missed it terribly. He used to tell me stories when I was a little boy about these endless blue skies, free air everywhere, open water all the way to the horizon… I could never understand your people. Why, when the universe has bestowed so much upon you, you seem to care so little for it?” — The Expanse (S1, E4)
“You’ve lost sight of the purpose of the law: to protect its citizens, not persecute them.” — Battlestar Galactica (S1, E6)
“Many of the truths that we cling to depend on our point of view.” — Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi
“We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?” — Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
“Some people think the future means the end of history. Well, we haven’t run out of history quite yet. Your father called the future — ‘the undiscovered country.’ People can be very frightened of change.” — Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
“The best alliances are formed from necessity, not convenience.” — Dark Matter (S3, E8)
“John Adams was a farmer. Abraham Lincoln was a small-time lawyer. Plato and Socrates were teachers. Jesus was a carpenter. To equate judgment and wisdom with occupation is, at best, insulting.” — Warehouse 13 (S1, E10)
“One of the most effective forms of… sabotage limits itself to damage that can never be thoroughly proven — or even proven at all — to be anything deliberate. It is like an invisible political movement; perhaps it isn’t there at all… over a period of natural time, with numerous small failures and misfiring- then the victim, whether a person or a party or a country, can never marshal itself to defend itself.” — Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
“God doesn’t take sides.” — Battlestar Galactica (S1, E10)
“The seed of doubt was there, and it stayed, and every now and then sent out a little root. It changed everything, to have that seed growing. It made Ender listen more carefully to what people meant, instead of what they said. It made him wise.” — Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game