The Foundation has become the dominant power in the galaxy, controlling its regions through its trading network. The existence of the Seldon Plan has become widely known, and Foundationists and many others believe that as it has accurately predicted previous events, the Foundation’s formation of a Second Empire is inevitable and unavoidable. The leadership of the Foundation has become dictatorial and complacent, and many outer planets belonging to the Traders plan to revolt.
An external threat arises in the form of a mysterious man who is known only as the Mule. The Mule (whose real name is never revealed) is a mutant, and possesses the ability to sense and manipulate the emotions of others, usually creating fear and/or total devotion within his victims. He uses this ability to take over the independent systems bordering the Foundation, and has them wage a war against it.
As the Mule advances the Foundation’s leaders assume that Seldon predicted this attack, and that the scheduled hologram crisis message appearance of Seldon will again tell them how to win. To their surprise, they learn that Seldon predicted a civil war with the Traders, not the rise of the Mule. The tape suddenly stops as Terminus loses all power in a Mule attack, and the Foundation falls.
For the “Seldon Plan” read “liberal democracy” as defined by the “liberal” elites in the West.
For the “Foundation’s leaders” read “the Republican and Democrat establishments, the Hilary machine and other Western liberal elites including the MSM, the academics etc.” Sadly the last have have blind followers in S’pore.
I read this novel and the rest of the Isaac Asimov trilogy in 1977 after listening to the BBC radio series when I was in living in London after my law exams, waiting for the results.
Might interest, excerpts from long BBC article:
But for voters who cast ballots for Brexit and Donald Trump it feels like politics has finally listened to them. The “left behind” economic narrative does not account for the full variety of forces behind this new populism.
Claire Fox, the director of the Institute of Ideas, thinks the vitality of liberal democracy has been proved by the Brexit and Trump results. “We have to be careful of an anti-democratic response to perfectly legitimate democratic votes. Quite a lot of liberals are saying, ‘well, democracy is not working so well because people are voting in a way we don’t want them to vote’, which strikes me as a supreme irony.”
A suffocating political and cultural consensus has driven the backlash we are seeing now, she believes. “There has been arguably far less tolerance over the last 10 years for anyone who doesn’t agree with what a particular elite outlook is – and a silence or demonising of people who don’t go along with the narrative.”
Ms Fox cites public concern about immigration as a prime example and she also takes exception to the suggestion liberal democracy is being threatened by an ugly authoritarianism. “The whole of the establishment, from army generals to big business, lined up to say Brexit was a mistake,” she argues. “What’s authoritarian is employers turning round to their workers and saying jobs would be lost.
“We had an elite who thought they could call a referendum, mobilise everybody who should go and vote as they were told. That’s caused a massive tantrum amongst the elite who then have the nerve to say it’s the people’s fault for threatening democracy.”