Bujold on Governments

“Whatever your own feelings — whatever the final outcome of the current crisis — don’t let them see you shake,” the Countess advised. “It’s all in the mind, this Vor system. Conviction is contagious. So is doubt.”

“You consider the Vor system an illusion?” Mark asked.

“I used to. Now I would call it a creation, which, like any living thing, must be continually re-created. I’ve seen the Barrayaran system be awkward, beautiful, corrupt, stupid, honorable, frustrating, insane, and breathtaking. It gets most of the work of government done most of the time, which is about average for any system.”

“So… do you approve of it, or not?” he asked, puzzled.

“I’m not sure my approval matters. The Imperium is like a very large and disjointed symphony, composed by a committee. Over a three-hundred year period. Played by a gang of amateur volunteers. It has enormous intertia, and is fundamentally fragile. It is neither unchanging nor unchangeable. It can crush you like a blind elephant.”

— Lois McMaster Bujold, Mirror Dance


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