Salvor Hardin

Salvor Hardin

Salvor Hardin was the first mayor of Terminus, the capital planet of the Foundation in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. He is portrayed as a shrewd and ruthless politician, a master manipulator who acts in the interests of the Seldon Plan. Hardin began his career studying psychohistory under Alurin, but when he found no facilities on Terminus to pursue it, he went into politics instead. Hardin was elected mayor of Terminus, and although he had no legal ownership of the "Terminus City Journal", he controlled and used it as a way to influence trends and people. He transformed his previously powerless office into the most formidable political position in the Foundation. Asimov, Isaac. " Foundation". Gnome Press. 1951.]

First Seldon Crisis

Shortly before this crisis, Hardin realizes that military support of Terminus is dissolving: the Empire effectively gives Anacreon and the other nearby kingdoms (collectively known as the Four Kingdoms) full independence. Hardin engineers a bloodless coup intended to leave the mayor's office, as opposed to the Encyclopedia Foundation, in complete control of Terminus. At the same time, Hari Seldon's first appearance in the time vault gives Hardin the clue he needs to solve the first Seldon Crisis, the solution being to play Anacreon and its neighbors against each other. In addition, Hardin promulgates to them a pseudo-religion known as Scientism, which is used to control the masses in those kingdoms. ]

econd Seldon Crisis

The second Seldon Crisis arises when Anacreon, under Prince Regent Wienis, the power behind the throne of the soon to be King Lepold I, builds up Anacreon’s battle fleet. By using the masses’ belief in the Foundation’s “religion” against him, Wienis is defeated and commits suicide, and Lepold signs a treaty that is very favorable to the Foundation. ]


Salvor Hardin was well known in the Foundation for his epigrams. The four that are mentioned in the series are:

*"A nuclear blaster is a good weapon, but it can point both ways." "
*"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right". "
*"It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety".
*His best-known maxim, "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent", became one of Asimov's favorite sayings. ]


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