Attack on Triton?
Why is there a war between the worlds and the outer satellites?
There’s no concept of scarcity in the book. There’s no production of physical necessities mentioned. The war against Earth and Mars is made to look like aggressors, trying to keep their colonies for the sake of having colonies, where the outer satellites are just the poor victims that need to be set free. Lawrence berates Bron, saying “The people who did that to them, busily doing what must be done for the survival of the species, and so efficiently” (Delany 217).
What survival struggle? Triton does not seem to produce any agricultural product, and most certainly doesn’t generate taxes. If Earth is the agricultural supplier, it might be that it attempted to bump up the prices on food exports. The satellites, in return, would demand this food for a lower, more reasonable price. It would’ve been a sympathetic cause to the war starting, to force Earth to send the essential food. That, or the satellites attacked for control of the food production on Earth, a nastier cause. Either way, it doesn’t make much sense for the worlds to have started the war.
It’s also brought up that Triton was the last satellite to join the war (Delany 217). Triton appears to be a place of plenty; one can get what one wants, so long as they try (Delany 104). It’s possible that the outer satellites have their own means of production, if not on Triton itself. This opens up reason that Earth/Mars might’ve been trying to control that production, and Triton was merely supporting its satellite brethren. In this way, their reluctant involvement might have been completely just. They could’ve been the victims. Boo-hoo.
But is that probable? Earth and Mars have their fair share of problems, but consider: Triton (and presumably the other satellites) is a place where anyone can get what they want/need at any time. Kids who always get what they want turn into spoiled brats that throw tantrums every time they don’t get their every whim fulfilled. Would the society of Triton, used to having all it needs, truly not be jealous of one another’s earned luxuries? Would they be so inclined as to earn what they want if they’re already given what they need?
Delany, Samuel R. Trouble on Triton. Wesleyan University, 1976.
Hans. n.d., photograph, Pixabay. Web.