Post by Sea Wasp (Ryk E. Spoor) Post by firstname.lastname@example.org
In Foundation, there is the second foundation. In Dune there is the Bene Gesserit sisterhood. Secretive organisations guiding humanity.
It's been a long time since I read them. IIRC the second foundation use mental powers to guide humanity out of the dark ages. In Dune, the BG manipulate bloodlines, and manipulate leaders through carefully placed sisters.
Can you give some examples of more recent SF with secret governments? If in the real world there was a secret government, we wouldn't know much about it by definition, since it is a secret.
I use the term government loosely, as an organisation that exerts control over society.
Harry Potter and the Ministry of Magic.
Charles Stross' Laundry and all the related organizations, at least
until Case Nightmare Green started and the weird came out in the open.
In the Fall of Veils series by my wife Kathleen and myself, the
supernatural world is organized as a shadow government behind the real
ones and tied to it. All the top levels of all governments are connected
to it in one way.
There's some element of that present in most of the "supernatural's all
over but it's a secret" works.
In my own _Princess Holy Aura_, for instance, the OSC is a
world-girdling organization that does its best to hide and neutralize
any supranatural threats to the world, and does so with any means
necessary, including erasing and changing memories of those involved
(including other government agencies). They are of course a direct expy
of the SCP Foundation.
There was an elitist version of it, IIRC, in Pohl and Kornbluth's
Search the Stars, where Earth was populated by mostly idiots who THOUGHT
they ran things, but was actually controlled by a small number of
smarter people who kept the idiots from killing themselves. I think that
one is actually not uncommon in Golden Age SF.
I think that the idea was more of a secret organisation
secretly controlling the visible government - while the
Ministry of Magic, for instance, just regulates magical
people and things, or those in the UK anyway - I consider
this vague but unless the "Fantastic Beasts" films say
otherwise, there doesn't seem to be regulation of other
countries, which probably manage in their own way.
There is a scene in HP where the UK Prime Minister meets
the Magic Minister, initiated by the latter, and unusual.
My headcanon is that both of them, at least theoretically,
answer to the monarch, but certainly in practice and by
choice the wizards live apart from the rest of the world.
Hagrid says it's because the normals kept bothering
wizards and witches to get magic done for them, but
a lot of the information from Hagrid is not accurate.
There was the ultimate authority of the universe in
Douglas Adams' _The Restaurant at the End of the Universe_
- not a god because probably this way works better.
(Had we done him?)
The "Lost Stars" novels by "Jack Campbell" deal with
a couple of senior administrators in the "Syndicate"
evil space empire's Midway star system who launch a
popular revolt, democratic reforms, and personal legal
rights, while also making sure that they themselves
still have absolute power when they want it.
I've forgotten whose stand-up comedy act included
describing each new U.S. president being shown a film
of John F. Kennedy's assassination that is not one
the rest of us have seen, and told that "Here's how