New America post-Li

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Posted by Michael Brazier on June 02, 19100 at 19:12:53:

A few thoughts on the probable future of the "official" timeline:

New America's plunge into chaos on the Li's arrival is due mostly to the
impossibility (at that time) of protecting oneself from Li infection. When
the Process brings a vaccine to New America in late 2353, the "clear" islands
and habitats no longer have any reason to isolate themselves. Hence the
social bonds which held NA society together before the Li ought to revive --
but only between the "clear" islands and habitats. The likely result is,
then, not a splintering into many little statelets, but a single fracture
separating the Li-infected from the non-infected. (One way this could
play out is for the non-infected areas to repudiate the 2353 elections,
elect a President and Congress among themselves, and expel any agents of
Thurber's government...)

Then there's the New Tree trahan embassy, which came to NA at the height
of the Li's chaos. I get the impression that, before that embassy, the
xenocreole society has been much more trahanizing humans than humanizing
trahans -- if only because the humans on Traha were interlopers, and few
in numbers compared to the trahans. In the NA system, however, all that's
reversed; the trahans, not the humans, will have to adjust to a culture
alien to them, if they want to get anything done. Of course _these_ trahans
would not think it onerous to do so; the really interesting consequences
will start when some of them return to Traha, and start talking about this
novel human society, and the strange ideas they have...

At the same time, the xenocreole program seems to fit better with the New
American culture than, say, the philosophy of the Process Board; and the
Li bears a strong resemblance to Traha's passion cults, which mainstream
trahan society finds so disruptive. Between the Process Board and Traha's
Imperial Couple there can be only an uneasy truce; but between the Couple
and (the Li-free part of) New America, there can be a true meeting of minds,
and a number of common interests. Project Columbus may be dead in 2354,
but the aspirations that led to it are not.

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