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Sun Feb 5, 2017, 07:22 AM

Law and Chaos

Law and Chaos are the dominant metaphysical forces in the fantasy stories of Michael Moorcock, inspired by the work of Poul Anderson (especially Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions). Law and Chaos are in constant struggle, but they are kept in check by the Cosmic Balance, an even more powerful force for neutrality. The Eternal Champion acts to balance the advances of Law and Chaos as a servant of the Cosmic Balance, reincarnated or summoned to the worlds of the Multiverse where Chaos or Law is becoming dominant.
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Chaos
Chaos (disorder, entropy) expresses the principle of possibility unfettered by rules. In general, magic and sorcery draw on the powers of Chaos because they break the laws of nature. The effects of Chaos can be beautiful, but left unchecked, they become too disruptive for life.
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Law
Law provides order, structure, and justice to the world. Without it, nothing material could exist. Law appears friendly to life, but a realm controlled by Law alone becomes just as stagnant as one overrun by Chaos. In "To Rescue Tanelorn", the Realm of Law is a barren wasteland; without wrongs to right and injustice to correct, Law becomes meaningless. In The Dreamthief's Daughter, Law goes mad and tries to overrun the world. Ordinarily, however, Law is benevolent and beautiful in its perfect regularity.
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The Cosmic Balance
The Cosmic Balance maintains the balance of power between Law and Chaos by keeping both sides from overstepping the rules of war. It rarely manifests directly, but when it does (as in Stormbringer, The Queen of Swords, and The Quest for Tanelorn) it appears as a great pair of scales suspended in the sky. In The Queen of the Swords, it also manifests to pass judgment between two Lords of the Higher Worlds. The Balance is the power most beneficial to life, which needs a mixture of Law and Chaos to exist. It is also the agent of Fate.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_and_Chaos


Redeeming the Lost by Stephen Hickman

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Cyberpunk Feb 2017 OP
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Response to Cyberpunk (Original post)

Sun Feb 5, 2017, 08:09 AM

1. The actors swap roles but the drama continues...

As Chaos expands, Order will eventually be reimposed to restore the Balance. The question remains as to who will impose the new order.

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Response to Cyberpunk (Original post)

Sun Feb 5, 2017, 04:09 PM

2. Moorcock's Metaphysics:



One of the recurring features of Michael Moorcock’s novels is the war between the forces of Law and the forces of Chaos. Indeed, the essential source of conflict in many of the hundreds of Moorcock novels originates in this tension, although how it is expressed can vary wildly, from vying pantheons of gods in the core Eternal Champion cycle, to competing political pressures in novels with settings closer to our world. When Law and Chaos are viewed as cosmic forces (such as gods), there is also another metaphysical power known as the Cosmic Balance, which strives to retain equilibrium between the two forces, since ultimate victory by either side in this struggle would mean the end of all life.

Chaos expresses unfettered possibility, and in fact within the fantasy novels the stuff of Chaos is the raw material out of which all things are formed. In the short story “The Dream of Earl Aubec”, part of the lands of the Young Kingdoms (where the Elric stories are set) is dreamed into existence by Aubec from raw Chaos. Within the fantasy milieu, the symbol of Chaos is an eight pointed star, representing possibilities. (The picture above is Walter Simonson's asymmetric version of the symbol, as used in the comic series Michael Moorcock's Multiverse). There is a beauty to Moorcock’s depiction of Chaos in a fantasy context, but it has a savage edge – Chaos lets nothing bind it, and certainly not morality.

The other side of Chaos can be found when it expresses itself in “real world” settings, or in those stories that are set in alternative histories of our world. Here, chaos represents something akin to liberalism, and ultimately anarchy, with a moral relativism that denies any kind of fixed context. The forces of chaos (which are rarely labelled as such in this kind of story) work to undermine the ruling powers and destabilise them, perhaps pushing as far as a return to the “war of all against all” (to employ Hobbes term).

Read more:
http://onlyagame.typepad.com/only_a_game/2008/04/moorcocks-met-1.html

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