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Title of a book by Norman Spinrad, published 1967; your mileage may vary and many do seem to consider this second novel of the author a lesser book but I think it could be the author's best and most thought out work.

This book belongs strictly in the sub-genre of political science fiction. Its story is based on the struggle between the ruling Hegemony and the underground Democratic Movement, led by the naive Boris Johnson. Beyond the two and with no discernible motive, the Agents of Chaos appear to be sabotaging the work of both and promoting an agenda that appears to contradict itself. Some of the ideas they represent seem to be related to Discordianism.

The central theme is entropy in a society that strives towards absolute order and does its best to eliminate random factors. At the same time these entropic forces generate a reaction that manifests itself in the democratic rebels, led by Johnson, the sterotypical idealistic anti-hero, and guided by an unclear vision of personal freedom.

The Agents of Chaos, in the guise of the Brotherhood of Assassins, appear out of nowhere in any part of the solar system and intervene seemingly randomly with actions that favour either one side or the other, as befits a chaotic entity. Ultimately though their acts seem to benefit the Hegemony most, placing the democratic opposition on the verge of eradication--a situation that, on the surface, is detrimental to Chaos. The Agents continue to stir the political cauldron right up to a very interesting ending and prove that Chaos still rules the universe. Some of the book reads like Heinlein-style adventure sci-fi but it contains elements of those currents in philosophy and political science that swept the intellectual world in the last 1960s, and those are the key parts of the book.

This book is not just entertaining reading--it leaves a lasting impression on the reader and has earned its spot on the list of cult classics. Subjectively speaking, if you're into either science fiction or political literature and haven't read it, you should do so. This writeup doesn't do it justice.

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