The word, 'satire,' as I use it, denotes a cultivated and critical point of view. Obviously all these characters are funny, some extremely so, hence the reference to Scott Adams' 'Dilbert' comic strip. But many of them are also playing a role, or acting within impersonation of some sort. And Asimov saw another sort of impersonation, that of repression, in those like Brodrig or Sutt, whose corny or aloof acts were a cover for inward evil that civilization would not allow free expression of. Acting out a corny role makes one a target for amusement, acting out a false one invites targeting for critical satire.
My citations of where in the books of the trilogy to look, may need clarifying a little:
|Name/title/moniker||Description, w/satire in mind||cited chapter(s)|
|The "Commission's Advocate"||courtroom demagogue||F. I 6|
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
|prissy administrative academician||F. II|
|Anselm haut Rodric
Sub-prefect of Pleuma, & Envoy Extraordinary of His Highness of Anacreon...
|dull-witted & truculent feudal nobility||F. II 2|
Chancellor of the Empire
|overly elegant 'Decline-&-Fall-of-the-British Empire' aristocrat...
..."consummate donkey"/"accomplished diplomat"
|F. II (3-)4(-5)|
member of Terminus City Council, head of 'Actionist' party
|idealistic young fire-eater||F. III 1,4(-5)|
Prince Regent of Anacreon
|'sincere', but royally loony, operational head of an absolute monarchy||F. III 2-3,6,8|
King of Anacreon
|immature king of a backward nation; very unpromising for a worthwhile reign||F. III 3|
|'Grand Master' of Askone
|superstitious fanatic reactionary||F. IV 2(-3-)4|
member of council of Askone
|medieval 'social climber', overbearing... and overreached||F. IV 4-5(-6)|
Commdor of the Korellian Republic
|best described in quoted phrases to indicate insincere high-mindedness:
'Man of the people', 'enlightened ruler', 'the Well-Beloved'.
|F. V (4-)5,6,16|
|Jord Parma (alias)
'Priest of the Spirit'
|agent provocateur, in the persona of ranting potential religious martyr||F. V 4,14|
|Commdora of Korell||bride of state, convinced that her marriage (& much else) is below her||F. V 6,16|
|"tech-man, senior grade"
|privileged ceremonial technocrat, hereditary (-!!)||F. V 11,12|
Secretary to the Mayor
|Machiavellian. Superficially enlightened racist.
Too unpleasant a portrayal to be really satiric, but mentionable in this company.
|F. V (1-2),13,18|
Privy Secretary of the Council
|lickspittle courtier, fop, 'vaccuum-headed peacock'||F.E. I 4,6,7,[& esp.]8|
| 'official in charge at the moment'
'Home Commissioner of the Outer Provinces'
|a pair of corrupt, corruptible, and pompously verbal bearaucrats||F.E. I 9|
|in Part I, 5, acts like a rough-hewn cynical un-hero of the spaceways||F.E. I 5[& 6-10]|
|semi-sensible, theatrically inclined, jingoistic 'rebel'.
(Perhaps a new twist on jingoism, since one is used to its being loyalistic)
|F.E. I, 1,16|
|The Mule (alias)||seemingly a parody on the once-fashionable ideal of the "Nietzchean Superman":
wins at impossible odds (F.E. II 11), has reported immense physical strength and will-power, is reportedly "a storm that sweeps the worlds aside" (II 13), not a (common) human being (II, 14), etc.
- In reality deformed and both physically and psychologically weak.
|F.E. II, 11-14,16-19,24-26|
Founder of the two Foundations, mastermind
|at one point, has the satiric role of a respected authority figure giving a 'fireside chat' speech whose content is completely wrong, to the disappointment of those who trust in him.
(The 'fireside chat' aspect of the Time Vault appearances that Asimov used until he graduated to other dramatic devices (the one I refer to is the last), have an obvious resemblance to those of President Franklin Delano Rooseveldt, but are (unlike most political roles in the Foundation Trilogy) treated with complete reverence.
|F.E. II 18|
|Indbur the Third
'Mayor'/tyrant of Terminus
|inappropriate hereditary ruler, absolute beauraucrat, pompous incompetent in power
(slightly resembling the 'Dilbert' cartoon's pointy-haired boss.)
|F.E. II 12,15|
|'controlled' (i.e. brainwashed), mentally stunted servant to a dominative mutant (-we don't see many of those hereabout, do we?)||F.E. II 12,14,15,20,24 & S.F. I 1,2,4,5|
|Pelleas Anthor||'ranting conspirator', immature, emotionally over-the-top, prone to the 'lie thats ashamed of itself', obviously enamored of spy stuff.
Double agent, analogous to 'Jord Parma'.
|S.F. II 1,18 (notably)|
Lord of Kalgan, First Citizen
|Fascist 'strongman'. Complete with weaknesses.||S.F. II 12-14,17,19|
...In postscript, it's worth mention that there's less and less satire or character caricature in the trilogy as it proceeds, to the point that it almost vanishes as an element in 'Second Foundation' - or, is subsumed by Asimov's developingly pompous and elaborated mature presentation style.
And Asimov, whether by expressing it in his own terms, or as almost a suggester of it, in the 'search for the Second Foundation', presents something of the feel of McCarthyism, exactly coincident in time with its first manifestations: the showoffish 'drama', the fanaticism, the irrational paranoias, etc.
It was the early 50s, and nothing was quite the way it had been when the first episodes of the trilogy were written. In sum, the whole of the third book of the Foundation Trilogy might be seen as ... not satire but exploitation, of the overseriousness that was prevalent in the 50s, of the America that was unquestionably the first nation in the world at the time... looking for new worlds to conquer, and (like Walter Kelly's Pogo) finding that the enemy was .... well, that's enough of that.