Can efforts be wasted?
In The Gold Coast Jim and his more politically active friend Arthur talk about the history of Orange County, and Arthur dramatically says “Their efforts were wasted!” (42). This point has really stuck with me. It keeps nagging at me, because I do not think Arthur was right. He continues to go on and explain that their efforts at forming a better society were wasted, because no one bothered to do anything about them. This bothers me, because it just seems wrong and over simplified. History builds upon itself and one part of the past cannot just be simply a waste. Something is always learned out of failures or successes. It seems so alien to me that someone would just think that one part of past history would just be a waste. Without the failures in history the successes don’t really matter. Arthur at the same time seems to be making the argument that the political movement he is following is better just because they are actively doing something now. I wonder if he would think his actions were a waste ten to twenty years down the road, or if his perspective would have changed.
Robinson, Kim Stanley. The Gold Coast. New York, Tom Doherty Associates, Inc., 1988