Announcement

Collapse

Welcome to Moorcock's Miscellany

Dear reader,

Many people have given their valuable time to create a website for the pleasure of posing questions to Michael Moorcock, meeting people from around the world, and mining the site for information. Please follow one of the links above to learn more about the site.

Thank you,
Reinart der Fuchs
See more
See less

Law vs Chaos

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Law vs Chaos

    How come no one is talking about stuff here? Guess I'll need to get the ball rolling, though I am but a humble Sailor on the Sea of Fate.
    So, the basic thing is Michael Moorcock's Law verses Chaos. Personally, I think that this is a bit of Good verses Evil and exstistentalism. Like the Christian idea of good verses evil, the forces of Law and Chaos fight a never ending war. However, not how it is Law and Chaos, not Good and Evil. Moorcock is odviously stearing this away as both have there good points. Take a comparison of Moorcock's own Corum and Ken Kesey's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Corum live in a world of negative Chaos, were he fights for Law. McMurphy however, lives in a world of negative Law, were he works to bring Chaos. Moorcock's Law verses Chaos shows two sides of the same coin.
    I'm sorry if people find this redundent. Does anyone have any questions?

  • #2
    thje master word is balance ....

    In a world of evil/good dichotomy, there is no choice .....

    In a world where chaos and law exist, the two are usefull and must have their place .....

    But the tru issue will be the day humanity will be adult and will need gods and chrutches no more to stand ..... In fact human beings are respoonsable

    Comment


    • #3
      Mythanian Posted:
      McMurphy however, lives in a world of negative Law, were he works to bring Chaos.
      That’s a crock.
      McMurphy lived in a corrupt society in which a man that loved to fight and
      too much was being chastised and cast amongst bank robbers, rapists, the criminally insane and hard core career criminals. He was never convicted of murder which in turn means that he wasn’t a psychopath. The whole concept of the movie pits one man’s quest for true freedom against the grist mill of society which is in the more than willing hands of Ms. Ratchet. Ratchet didn’t want to see Randall reformed, she wanted to see him broken spiritually because he had a character in him which she herself lacked…The spirit to live and be free and seek out above and beyond governmental and societies limitations…. To explore vast expanses of the conciousness that a downtrodden drone of a human would fear to conceive let alone partake in.
      No…. Randall P. McMurphy would have been another incarnation of the champion eternal treading precariously on the precipice of Law and Chaos if Mike had written One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

      Comment


      • #4
        Voilodian Ghagnasdiak says
        That’s a crock.
        McMurphy lived in a corrupt society in which a man that loved to fight and

        too much was being chastised and cast amongst bank robbers, rapists, the criminally insane and hard core career criminals. He was never convicted of murder which in turn means that he wasn’t a psychopath. The whole concept of the movie pits one man’s quest for true freedom against the grist mill of society which is in the more than willing hands of Ms. Ratchet. Ratchet didn’t want to see Randall reformed, she wanted to see him broken spiritually because he had a character in him which she herself lacked…The spirit to live and be free and seek out above and beyond governmental and societies limitations…. To explore vast expanses of the conciousness that a downtrodden drone of a human would fear to conceive let alone partake in.
        No…. Randall P. McMurphy would have been another incarnation of the champion eternal treading precariously on the precipice of Law and Chaos if Mike had written One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.
        I was thinking of the book myself. That's what I got out from reading it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by The Mythanian
          So, the basic thing is Michael Moorcock's Law verses Chaos. Personally, I think that this is a bit of Good verses Evil and exstistentalism. Like the Christian idea of good verses evil, the forces of Law and Chaos fight a never ending war. However, not how it is Law and Chaos, not Good and Evil. Moorcock is odviously stearing this away as both have there good points.
          I believe Mike uses Law & Chaos without actually equating either to 'Good' or 'Evil' - in fact, in the original Elric novellas, specifically 'To Rescue Tanelorn...' he makes special reference to the desolation that Absolute Law brings.

          As humans, I think we're culturally conditioned to think that Law is 'good' and Chaos is 'evil', but according to Moorcock both concepts are beyond such evalutions. I see some people apparently getting off on the idea that Chaos is all about destruction and being evil, such as in Games Workshop's portrayal of Chaos within their Warhammer universe. Chaos can be a force for Evil but so can Law, and both can be forces for good, so the deliniation between them isn't as clear cut as some like to think.

          Elric, of course, is a creature of Chaos who strives to make a world where Chaos' influence is held in check by an increase of Law in the New World. Thus we see that Chaos can oppose Chaos in order to achieve Balance in the world.

          I've never read OFOTCN, although I have seen the film (many years ago) so I can't really comment on that, I'm afraid.
          _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
          _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
          _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
          _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

          Comment


          • #6
            Cat among the pigeons or doo-doos hitting the fan?

            Originally posted by Morgan Kane
            thje master word is balance ....
            Morgan Kane has hit the nail right on the head here, imho. Although Law is perceived to be 'Good', it promotes stagnancy and stifles the very soul of humanity through its' inflexibility. Chaos, as the opposite of Law, denotes (to me) change without reason or need.

            I agree with David that preconceptions about Law and Chaos exist, created by warhammer among others. I play warhammer myself, and despair when I come across their definitions of chaos.

            I remember that the end of one of the Corum books, 'King of the Swords', has a section where the gods of both Law and Chaos are destroyed by Rhynn and Kwll, during the Conjunction of the Million Spheres. Kwll says, "Now you can make your own destiny". I think, for me, that summed up MM's feelings on the subject? A balance with no gods on either side is still balanced.

            As far as OFOTCN is concerned, I read it recently and, thinking back to it, I believe that it doesn't fit into the argument. I can't get my head around the phrase 'Negative Law' because, as ultimates, both Law and Chaos are negative. Perhaps McMurphy was making his own destiny?

            Anyway, without Chaos there would be no need for Heroes! Or Antiheroes (which is how I see Elric).
            He's well smoked

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kipper
              Although Law is perceived to be 'Good', it promotes stagnancy and stifles the very soul of humanity through its' inflexibility. Chaos, as the opposite of Law, denotes (to me) change without reason or need.
              Exactly.This comes across very clearly in the Second Ether books where it is hard to work out who are the 'goodies and baddies', but it is very clear that there are goodies and baddies on both sides of the Law/Chaos divide.

              Originally posted by Kipper
              As far as OFOTCN is concerned, I read it recently and, thinking back to it, I believe that it doesn't fit into the argument. I can't get my head around the phrase 'Negative Law' because, as ultimates, both Law and Chaos are negative. Perhaps McMurphy was making his own destiny?
              Whilst I agree with everything that VG says, McMurphy's role (in book and film) is

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes, I do see what you're saying, but isn't McMurphy creating his own destiny by his actions? He is repeatedly warned about his course of action, and the probable results of pursuing that course, but refuses to deviate from it. What happens to him is exactly what he is warned will happen. He certainly is the catalyst for Chief Brooms' return to self awareness, and as the story (told by the chief) unfolds, that return gathers pace, up to the climax of the story.
                But I still don't agree that OFOTCN is about Law and Chaos! Lets leave Kesey? His place is elsewhere and I think we are moving away from MMs mythos in pursuing it?
                He's well smoked

                Comment


                • #9
                  Okay, forget about Ken Kesey.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Mythanian
                    Okay, forget about Ken Kesey.
                    Just a reminder that if anyone does want to discuss Ken Kesey (or OFOTCN specifically) they're welcome to do so in the Books forum. Just because something doesn't fit in MMM, doesn't mean it can't be discussed elsewhere.
                    _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                    _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                    _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                    _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Kipper Posted:
                      But I still don't agree that OFOTCN is about Law and Chaos! Lets leave Kesey? His place is elsewhere and I think we are moving away from MMs mythos in pursuing it?
                      Mike M. Wrote:
                      I had more sympathy with the Merry Pranksters and liked Kesey. I also liked Hendrix when he first turned up in England and became a huge fan of his music.
                      Apparently Mike did know Ken K in the 1960's. I agree that the concepts of Law and Chaos as created by Mike are non existent in OFOTCN. The fact of the matter is that you can apply and relate their characteristics to anything, anytime. Law is not good and Chaos is not bad, they both have universal (multiversal) traits that are similar. I feel that the acts of right and wrong are exemplified more than the judgement between what's good and what's evil in the EC stories.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have to agree with your last statement VG. Absolutely. I've tried to pull away from the Kesey argument as it seemed to be taking over. Guilt I suppose, as this is a MM based area? But, as your first comment in the last post shows, Mike knew Kesey, so maybe the linking of the two fits?

                        I'll certainly bow to superior knowledge of the subject!

                        Back to an earlier statement of mine. Do you see Elric as Hero, or Antihero? I'd welcome views on that. (I might have a chance to sound as if I know what I'm talking about there, Ha Ha !).
                        He's well smoked

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by voilodian ghagnasdiak
                          I feel that the acts of right and wrong are exemplified more than the judgement between what's good and what's evil in the EC stories.
                          Indeed. Just to go all philosophical on yo' asses for a moment, the distinction is that rather than espousing a particular morality (or code of behaviour, if you will), the books interrogate what it is to behave ethically within particular situations. This is as much to do with the protagonists' reactions to events as it is to the events themselves.

                          For example, Elric's reaction to his inadvertent slaughter of various friends is deeply ethical in that he takes the burden of guilt upon himself for his actions even though one might argue that they were really out of his control.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by johneffay
                            For example, Elric's reaction to his inadvertent slaughter of various friends is deeply ethical in that he takes the burden of guilt upon himself for his actions even though one might argue that they were really out of his control.
                            Indeedy! No argument from me about that issue! For Elric, the relationship with the sword is symbiotic. He has to have it to stay alive! Most of the swords' victims are pre-warned, throughout the books, that to be near the sword is dangerous for their souls. Moonglum commits suicide by the sword, although Elric tries to stop it, and it then kills Elric of its' own volition. MM absolves Elric in the last few lines of Stormbringer. ('Twould be churlish to quote what all know by heart!).
                            He's well smoked

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kipper

                              I agree with David that preconceptions about Law and Chaos exist, created by warhammer among others. I play warhammer myself, and despair when I come across their definitions of chaos.
                              .
                              You're right, in Warhammer for example, chaos is very much perceived as the 'bad guys', and the forces of law (the Imperium, space marines, etc.) are perceived as the 'good guys'. BUT, The Imperium is described in the WH40K 4th edition as such (referring first to the Emperor of the Imperium):

                              "He is the carrion lord of the Imperium for whom a thousand souls die every day, for whom blood is drunk and flesh eaten. Human blood and human flesh-the stuff of which the Imperium is made. To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruellest and most bloody regime imaginable"

                              So although they are perceived as the force for 'good', in reality they are almost as vicious and cruel as the forces of chaos.

                              - Joe DeAngelo

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X