By Neal Stephenson

Der Mond explodierte ohne Vorwarnung und ohne erkennbaren Grund. Die Uhrzeit würde guy später als A+0.0.0 oder schlicht Null bezeichnen …

05:03:12 Weltzeit. Die Stunde Null. Nach der Explosion des Mondes wütet über Jahrtausende ein Meteoritensturm, der die Erdoberfläche in eine unbewohnbare Wüstenei verwandelt. Um die Menschheit vor der Auslöschung zu bewahren, schickten die Nationen der Erde eine Flotte von Archen ins All. Der Asteroid Amalthea, der ursprünglich zu Forschungszwecken an eine internationale Raumstation angedockt worden struggle, soll der Kolonie als Schutzschild dienen. Doch das Leben im Weltraum fordert einen hohen Tribut, und die meisten Menschen sterben, bis schließlich nur noch sieben Frauen übrig sind, um eine neue Zivilisation zu begründen. 5000 Jahre später existieren zwei Völker: die Nachfahren derer, die die Katastrophe auf der Erde überlebt haben, sind primitive Siedler; die sieben Stämme der Nachkommen der Sieben Urmütter von der Raumstation hingegen hochkultiviert ― und sie machen sich auf, die Erde zu kolonialisieren …

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A sometime tendency (notably in America) to distinguish a populace that is by deWnition virtuous from a political elite that is invariably corrupt, radically falsiWes the reality of the interrelationship between governors and governed, leaders and led. 16 The possibility of the demagoguery that shadows democratic politics attests to the ubiquitous existence of baser impulses that, rather than what Lincoln called ‘‘the better angels of our nature,’’ may be tapped by unscrupulous politicians capable of gracing sordid desires with a mask of seeming virtue.

242–245. Moral capital and leadership 33 diVer, as we have seen, very dramatically. But if moral capital lies, so to speak, in the eye of the beholder, then it would seem to follow that it must be bound to speciWc constituencies that make up particular sets of beholders deWned by things like class, culture, interest, nationality and so on. Moral capital, in other words, would appear to be bound to particular constituencies, deWned by particular end-values and goals, within which it is formed and maintained.

Moral capital and leadership 29 traders, brokering deals between various interests represented by groups, factions or parties. Typical of transactional leaders are those who dominate the processes of complex legislatures like the American Congress. They are means-dominated, status quo politicians who operate as insiders within a pluralistic political environment, and for their leadership to work they must observe what Burns calls modal values – honesty, responsibility, fairness and the honoring of commitments.

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