One of the fundamental differences between Aristasia and Telluria — even when regarded as parallel worlds — is that the rationalist revolution of the 17th Century (miscalled the “Enlightenment”), which has shaped modern Tellurian thought and culture, did not take place in Aristasia. Aristasian science fiction, such as The Princess and the Captain explores a world in which technics have developed to a high degree, but are seen as an extension of the traditional metaphysical outlook, and are not the result of a revolutionary rationalism.

Even the Classical Aberration of Greece and Rome, with its republicanism, individualism and proto-rationalism, has no equivalent in Aristasia. In Telluria, this aberration was consciously revived at the time of the Renaissance (literally a “rebirth” of the Classical spirit). In Aristasia the traditional view of the world (as upheld by Plato in Telluria against the spirit of his time) continued unbroken.

In Westrenne Aristasia, a spirit of individualism and a weakening of tradition has certainly manifested itself in recent centuries. However the Westrennes have never regarded this as a “progress” or “advance”, and have never adopted an attitude of superiority and condescension toward the ancient world or the East. On the contrary, they regard their own “modernism” as a decline from the highest standard and as somewhat regrettable, while at the same time acknowledging that it has made their particular culture possible.

The fact that the most advanced technics in the West have come out of Novaria — the Western nation most closely adhering to the traditional thought of the East — seems like a paradox only to non-Aristasians. To the Aristasian mind, the strong connexion of Novaria with the wellsprings of traditional intellectuality is precisely the reason for its successful adaptation of that intellectuality to the forms and possibilities of the Iron Age.

Again and again one must remind oneself that in Aristasia technics are not associated with a revolutionary ideology as they are in Telluria, but on the contrary, are seen as the latest application of traditional Intelligence.