by Isaac Asimov
Foundation Power Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph)
"You see, there is a branch of human knowledge known as symbolic logic, which can be used to prune away all sorts of clogging deadwood that clutters up human language." (II.5.14)
Power comes not only from the press, but also in one's education. Here, Hardin uses knowledge to decipher a code, allowing him to see beyond the words of a treaty and to the treaty writer's true intentions. Education and knowledge, chalk up two more forms of subtle power. (Also, we're thinking a shoutout to close reading.)
"Were you to discover those ins and outs, our plan might fail; as it would have, had you penetrated the fraud of the Encyclopedia earlier; for then, by knowledge, your freedom of action would have expanded and the number of additional variables introduced would become greater than our psychology could handle." (II.7.23)
Knowledge is power, so here, Seldon withholds information to maintain power over the Foundation. Should they have the knowledge, they might no go along with his plan. And Seldon can't have that, no sir.
"I helped each in turn. I offered them science, trade, education, scientific medicine. I made Terminus of more value to them as a flourishing world than as a military prize. It worked for thirty years." (III.1.66)
Four out of five mayors prefer knowledge to military power in a blind taste test. (And the opposite for military generals, we guess.) Here, Hardin explains how he used forms of knowledge as power—the ones we've discussed above—to overcome the military power of the Four Kingdoms.