Study Guide

Foundation Part III, Chapter 4

By Isaac Asimov

Part III, Chapter 4

  • Sermak and his Action Party meet with Lewis Bort, a member who has worked undercover in Anacreon and will now report his findings.
  • Report away.
  • Bad news, Sermak, the plan won't work. Sure, they could try to foster a rebellion to replace King Lepold, but the religion Hardin placed on Anacreon insures that any rebellion would fail.
  • The priesthood has total control over the technology and scientific innovations on Anacreon, and they believe in the religious elements of Hardin's theology completely.
  • In this religion, the king is seen as a type of minor god. See the problem? No one is going to rebel against god. It just doesn't promote good health.
  • And Hardin has backed the whole thing. He lets the priests provide the King with small tricks to "prove" his divinity—stuff like thrones that levitate and radioactive lights that produce golden auras.
  • All scientifically based inventions, of course, but to the uneducated people of Anacreon, the inventions look like magic. (We get that. It might as well be hamsters inside this here computer, for all we know.)
  • Sermak finds the whole affair fishy. It seems like Hardin's given the Kings of Anacreon complete power, but would he be so dumb?
  • Sermak doesn't get it, and to be fair to him, it is a touch on the odd side.
  • The Action Party asks about the battle cruiser, but Bort has nothing to report. The navy yards are religious sanctuaries on Anacreon, so no word in or out.
  • Sermak concludes that the Foundation might as well blow itself up for all the good Hardin has done them.
  • The only question left is how much time they have before Anacreon's inevitable attack. Bort says there's no way of knowing. Lepold is a god, after all. He can just give the order whenever he feels like it, and his people will attack. Done and done.
  • The whole party argues until a guy named Levi Norast stomps into the room with a newspaper in hand. (Guess Asimov couldn't predict tablets.)
  • It seems Hardin is visiting Anacreon himself. The party views this as treason, and Sermak decides that they have no choice now. Impeachment it is.