YMMV / The Dispossessed

  • Critical Research Failure: Shevek floors an Urrasti in debate by pointing out that military hierarchy is unnecessary, since, after all, guerrillas manage without such things. Apparently, Ursula K. Le Guin had never troubled herself to learn anything about guerilla warfare, as even a cursory study of the topic would have taught her that guerilla armies do indeed have rank structures, organized units, and hierarchies of command (they are basically just light infantry who are trained in raiding tactics). This was an especially egregious error, given that America was actually involved in a guerrilla war at the time that she wrote this book — with guerrillas who had a very highly developed military hierarchy.
    • To be fair, there are historical examples of guerrillas who didn't use hierarchy, like the POUM militias George Orwell fought with during the Spanish Civil War (read Orwell's Homage to Catalonia for a detailed description). Of course, they lost the war.