Today I’m pleased to present a guest post by E J Randolph, author of a fascinating scifi series that follows a diplomat solving planetary problems. Though there’s plenty of action and good characters, it’s EJ’s unique perspective I especially enjoy. Take it away, EJ.
I use history in my science fiction. Strange as it seems, to write about the future, I have to know the past.
My main character is a Federation diplomat who goes to planets troubled by civil unrest, and she brings about peace through unusual but still historically valid methods.
That means I have to know how insurgencies develop.
There is a continuum that all insurgencies follow. First there is a movement. The government cracks down. The movement organizes. The government cracks down with violence. The insurgents pick up weapons, and a shooting war starts.
You may have noticed something. The government is driving the escalation of violence. In the news, the rebels are always portrayed as instigating things. No, the government is unwilling to share any power or address any issues.
Consider the problem: Does anyone willingly give up power?
Yeah, now you know why insurgencies seem to have an innate dynamic, why they seem unstoppable. Because the government has mishandled things.
And, that my friends, is a lesson of history.