(Found) Becoming Earth's greatest enemy to motivate them to win a war

The Maw

New Member
Jun 6, 2022
I have read the rules so I appreciate that I am not giving you a lot to go on here and for that I apologise. I have to give it a go though as this story is stuck in my brain and I would like to read it again.

I remember it is a short story so would have been part of a collection in a book. I read it about 10 years ago but I believe it was written before that time.

The main character narrates that they have become Earth's greatest enemy but they did it to save humanity from a war they were losing against an alien race. Over the years Earth had become obsessed with everyone having a job and being equal which meant everyone had a job that they did not excel at, but achieved acceptable results. Everything had become somewhat mundane.

Earth is fighting a war against aliens but losing because of this ethos. Humans had lost the ability to be inventive. The narrator sees the inevitable end so joins the aliens and commits a terrible war crime. I think on one planet he had the aliens hang every person, adult and child from street lamps (or similar). This atrocity is televised on Earth and it is so shocking it breaks them out of their fugue state, they stop caring about everyone being equal and galvanise their greatest minds and build better warships.
Was this a satire or dead-pan right-wing sf?
How does one tell without knowing the author?


It sounds like the kind of thought that Robert Heinlein might have had. But I don't know a thing about his short stories.
Try The Highest Treason by Randall Garrett.

Available free in Project Gutenberg

That is the story. Thank you so much! Clearly I had forgotten much of it and will enjoy reading through it again.

That book has been rattling around in my brain for so many years and I began to think it did not even exist.

I need to edit the title of this thread to include FOUND?
Edit: read the forum notes, someone will update the thread title. Great.

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