Arthur C. Clarke’s “Paladorian Consciousness”

Arthur C Clarke’s short story Rescue Party, written in 1945, alludes to a socialism that would benefit us very well in these days:

Last came one of the strange beings from the system of Palador. It was nameless, like all beings of its kind, for it possessed no identity of its own, being merely a mobile but still dependent cell in the consciousness of its race. Though it and its fellows had long been scattered over the galaxy in the exploration of countless worlds, some unknown link still bound them together as inexorably as the living cells of a human body.

When a creature of Palador spoke, the pronoun used was always “We.” There was not nor could there ever be, any first person singular in the language of Palador.

In moments of crisis, the single units comprising the Palador mind could link together in an organization no less close than that of the physical brain. At such moments they formed an intelligence more powerful than any other in the universe. All ordinary problems could be solved by a few hundred thousand units. Very rarely, millions would be needed and on two historic occasions the billions of cells of the entire Paladorian consciousness had been welded together to deal with emergencies that threatened the race.*

(Problem is that humans are too stupid and selfish for any of this to be actualized.)

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