The Dispossessed

The Production and Distribution Coordination, a coordinating system for all syndicates, federatives, and individuals who do productive work on Anarres. Shevek, Bedap, Takver, and their group of friends slowly begin to realize that though there is nominally no government on Anarres, the PDC exerts the control, influence, and coercion of a government, and the three of them—anarchists at heart—begin to wonder what a dismantling or reorganizing of the PDC would look like.

PDC Quotes in The Dispossessed

The The Dispossessed quotes below are all either spoken by PDC or refer to PDC. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Freedom Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Collins edition of The Dispossessed published in 1974.
Chapter 6 Quotes

“We have no government, no laws. But as far as I can see, ideas were never controlled by laws and governments, even on Urras. You can’t crush ideas by suppressing them. You can only crush them by ignoring them. By refusing to think, refusing to change. And that’s precisely what our society is doing! Sabul uses you, and prevents you from publishing, from teaching, even from working. In other words, he has power over you. Where does he get it from? Not from vested authority, there isn’t any. He gets it from the innate cowardice of the human mind. Public opinion! That’s the power structure he’s part of, and knows how to use. The unadmitted, inadmissible government that rules Odonian society by stifling the individual mind… Government [is defined as] the legal use of power to maintain and extend power. Replace ‘legal’ with ‘customary,’ and you’ve got Sabul, and the Syndicate of Instruction, and the PDC.”

Related Characters: Bedap (speaker), Shevek, Sabul –
Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 12 Quotes

“What we’re after is to remind ourselves that we didn’t come to Anarres for safety, but for freedom. If we must all agree, all work together, we’re no better than a machine. If an individual can’t work in solidarity with his fellows, it’s his duty to work alone. His duty and his right. We have been denying people that right. We’ve been saying, more and more often, you must work with the others, you must accept the rule of the majority. But any rule is tyranny. The duty of the individual is to accept no rule, to be the initiator of his own acts. Only if he does so will the society live, and change, and adapt, and survive. We are not subjects of a State founded upon law, but members of a society founded upon revolution. Revolution is our obligation. We can’t stop here. We must go on. We must take the risks.”

Related Characters: Shevek (speaker), Rulag, Bedap
Page Number: 359
Explanation and Analysis:
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PDC Term Timeline in The Dispossessed

The timeline below shows where the term PDC appears in The Dispossessed. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
The Failure of Utopian Ideals Theme Icon
Humility and Moderation vs. Ego and Excess Theme Icon
Individualism and Isolation vs. Collectivism and Solidarity Theme Icon
...now, since there is no communication between the two worlds. Bedap interjects, saying that the PDC keeps in touch with Urrasti freighters, as the two planets trade with one another and... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
Humility and Moderation vs. Ego and Excess Theme Icon
Individualism and Isolation vs. Collectivism and Solidarity Theme Icon
...Urras, Tirin wonders aloud what it would be like to go there, noting that the PDC wants to keep Anarresti from traveling to Urras at any cost. (full context)
Chapter 3
Freedom Theme Icon
The Failure of Utopian Ideals Theme Icon
Humility and Moderation vs. Ego and Excess Theme Icon
Individualism and Isolation vs. Collectivism and Solidarity Theme Icon
The People vs. the State Theme Icon
...Shevek about Anarresti authority, and how society functions without a government. Shevek explains about the PDC, the Production and Distribution Coordination system, which coordinates all syndicates and individuals who do productive... (full context)
Chapter 4
Freedom Theme Icon
The Failure of Utopian Ideals Theme Icon
Humility and Moderation vs. Ego and Excess Theme Icon
Individualism and Isolation vs. Collectivism and Solidarity Theme Icon
...World of Anarres is considered nothing but a mining colony of Urras. Each year, the PDC argues for the end of trade with the “warmaking propertarians” of Urras, but Anarresti know... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
The Failure of Utopian Ideals Theme Icon
Humility and Moderation vs. Ego and Excess Theme Icon
Individualism and Isolation vs. Collectivism and Solidarity Theme Icon
...can publish his own work under his own name on Urras, Sabul says that the PDC will not allow any unapproved written materials to leave Anarres. (full context)
Chapter 6
Freedom Theme Icon
The Failure of Utopian Ideals Theme Icon
Humility and Moderation vs. Ego and Excess Theme Icon
Individualism and Isolation vs. Collectivism and Solidarity Theme Icon
...other mathematicians and scientists down on Urras. Many of his letters are confiscated by the PDC and don’t get through, and so Shevek turns to Sabul to send the letters for... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
The Failure of Utopian Ideals Theme Icon
Humility and Moderation vs. Ego and Excess Theme Icon
Individualism and Isolation vs. Collectivism and Solidarity Theme Icon
The People vs. the State Theme Icon
...problem is that Anarresti society is designed to stifle the individual mind. Bedap sees the PDC as an archist bureaucracy, which has contributed to the spiritual suffering of many Anarresti. After... (full context)
The Failure of Utopian Ideals Theme Icon
Humility and Moderation vs. Ego and Excess Theme Icon
Individualism and Isolation vs. Collectivism and Solidarity Theme Icon
The People vs. the State Theme Icon
...to job after job which required intense physical outdoor labor, and Bedap believes that the PDC drove Tirin to insanity on purpose to keep him from making “anarchist” art. Shevek tells... (full context)
Chapter 10
Freedom Theme Icon
The Failure of Utopian Ideals Theme Icon
Humility and Moderation vs. Ego and Excess Theme Icon
Individualism and Isolation vs. Collectivism and Solidarity Theme Icon
The People vs. the State Theme Icon
...are acting of free will when really they are just following the orders of the PDC. Bedap was right, Shevek says—social conscience has overwhelmed individual conscience to the point that Anarresti... (full context)
Chapter 12
Freedom Theme Icon
The Failure of Utopian Ideals Theme Icon
Individualism and Isolation vs. Collectivism and Solidarity Theme Icon
The People vs. the State Theme Icon
At a PDC meeting, Bedap introduces a project idea from the Syndicate of Initiative, who have—against the recommendation... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
The Failure of Utopian Ideals Theme Icon
Humility and Moderation vs. Ego and Excess Theme Icon
Individualism and Isolation vs. Collectivism and Solidarity Theme Icon
Bedap warns Takver that his and Shevek’s Syndicate of Initiative had a difficult time at PDC today, and that Rulag threatened the two of them. Takver then reveals that Rulag is... (full context)
Freedom Theme Icon
The Failure of Utopian Ideals Theme Icon
The People vs. the State Theme Icon
...you can’t uproot it, domesticate it,” Shevek says, referring to the notion that perhaps the PDC is trying to force him to stay put on Anarres—and get home to dissociate from... (full context)
The Failure of Utopian Ideals Theme Icon
Humility and Moderation vs. Ego and Excess Theme Icon
Individualism and Isolation vs. Collectivism and Solidarity Theme Icon
...might not be able to come back, revealing Rulag’s warnings and threats earlier at the PDC. (full context)