10

Looking for a short story where the uneducated masses revolt and kick out the 'elites' that keep society running on a planetary colony. The protagonist works at a hydroelectric dam, power plant, or some similar type facility. Without the people that actually know how to do things around, bad consequences result.

The story is no older than the 1950s and no newer than the late 1970s.

I thought this was by Keith Laumer but I can't find it. It's similar in philosophy to Laumer's The Plague in which the "untrainables, the unemployables" get dumped on a planet and try to grab up the fruits of that story's protagonist's labor, but the element of the power plant is not present in The Plague.

Other possible authors are Frederik Pohl or Poul Anderson, but I can't find it in their works either.

I read it in a single-author paperback collection (which presumably I own).

It's not The Marching Morons or any of those 'super intelligent elites / moronic masses' stories by Kornbluth. The rebellious types in the story I seek are not morons, just lazy and uneducated.

4
  • This figures into A World Out Of Time (1976) by Larry Niven.
    – Spencer
    Jun 16 '20 at 21:00
  • By the way, if you think "The Marching Morons" has super intelligent elites, you missed the point of the story.
    – Spencer
    Jun 16 '20 at 21:02
  • @Spencer By the way, I disagree with your last comment. Jun 16 '20 at 21:08
  • 1
    @Spencer I'm with Organic Marble on this. I thought it was pretty explicit that the population was split into the vast majority of the very stupid and the tiny minority of the super-intelligent - and that super-intelligence was in fact needed to keep things going at all. Kornbluth returned to this setup a couple of times - in "The Little Black Bag" and in "Search the Sky" (co-authored with Frederik Pohl).
    – user888379
    Jun 16 '20 at 21:55
13

Fairly certain your thinking of The Governor of Glave" (aka "Native Intelligence"), If, November 1963. On Glave, the proles have overthrown the technicians, and the infrastructure is falling apart - until Retief makes the rounds.

It is one of Laumer's Retief stories it is not a hundred percent match but it is probably what your looking for

1
  • That's absolutely it. Thanks! I completely forgot it was a Retief story - no aliens. Jun 16 '20 at 22:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.