Power and Choice in the Second Age: A Political Primer

What:
Talk
When:
Sunday Aug 11   10:30 AM to 11:00 AM (30 minutes)
Where:
Discussion:
0

Power and Choice in the Second Age: A Political Primer

Fantasy fiction is often conceived to aid escapism in a world as complex and threatening as ours is. It is also an important tool for reflecting on and critiquing our political and societal norms and deficits, serving as a great lens to understand politics, power, choice, order, and justice. The breadth of political scholarship regarding Professor Tolkien's literary creations, particularly the Silmarillion and extended works, is, in my view, depressingly narrow. We have been given a world rife with geopolitical tensions - wars, sieges, territorial struggles, ethnic groups, internal clan struggles, royal successions, great power politics, inter-ethnic trade, colonialism, and corruption. With such things, the Professor offers us a way to understand and navigate the troubled times we live in. How can we understand the drivers behind recent nuclear brinksmanship in the Indo-Pacific; rising populism in Europe and the USA; rapidly industrialising nations in the global South; a yawning global gap in inequality; and rampant environmental degradation? By paralleling the theories we have used to explain our imperfect world through the fiction of Professor Tolkien, we can find a way to move through the uncertainty.


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