3900Re: A stupid question
- Sep 8, 2001--- In mythsoc@y..., Stolzi@a... wrote:
> In a message dated 9/8/01 12:16:26 AM Central Daylight Time,You say that in jest, but you strike closer to the mark than you
> michael@x... writes:
> > The Lord of the Nazgul was also the Witch-king of Angmar, the
> > Lord of Morgul, and the Captain of Mordor.
> > Robert Foster provides a full
> > list of his titles in THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO MIDDLE-EARTH.
> So, what we need here is a bureaucratic organization chart :)
> Mordor, being horrendously evil, is bound to have a bureaucracy :)
realize. Mordor did indeed have a bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is one
of those features of human society which rely upon what Tolkien
called "The Machine". The Machine is the coercion we result to when
we want to have our way, whether it be with the landscape (such as
cutting down trees, dredging rivers, etc.) or with people (by
organizing them, and assigning them numbers, etc.).
When Frodo and Sam get caught up with the marching Orcs in Mordor,
one of the sergeants demands to know their numbers. Presumably,
Sauron's armies had some sort of serial number system (and I suppose
one could infer from that one passage that Tolkien may have detested
the dehumanization that modern armies inflict upon their recruits).
I think the concept of The Machine is fascinating, and is one of the
least understood themes in Tolkien's book. Christopher Tolkien
explains it very eloquently in "JRRT: A Film Portrait", which was
produced by the Tolkien Trust in 1992 and includes interviews with
the surviving Tolkien children, Tom Shippey, Verlyn Flieger, and
Queen Margrethe of Denmark.
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