Hi everyone, If you are a constant visitor of this site you may have noticed that on the commentary on Out of the Silent Planet, Maverik states that the line "The killing fields, the grinding wheels crushed by equilibrium" is open for interpretation. Where here goes a minor take on the entire song and a long explanation for this one particular line. I think the only "sci-fi" element in the song is the fact that they say "out of the silent planet we are". Aside from that they seem to describe very human topics and problems. The song seems to describe a war...pure and simple. "The killing fields" are a clear picture of that. Even clear is the first stanza "withered hand and withered bodies begging for salvation" Who in agony doesn't cry out for help (supernatural or otherwise)? Nations cry under decaying skies above- I agree that this may refer to polution, yet keeping it in the context of war it could mean darkened skies from bomb explosions and/or rubble. Now to explain what "equilibrium" they are talking about.... there are three major Sociological theories but pertaining to the quote we will only use two: Functionalism and Conflict theory. Functionalism sees society as this huge "body" that is able to function thanks to its "organs" or institutions and citizens working harmoniously. It keeps the status quo. Conflict Theory obviously says that the powerful are powerful at the expense of the weak. So...... The grinding wheels are "society" seen as a well oiled machine through functionalism, however they are crushed by equilibrium.... a revolution brought forth by those who believe in conflict theory, that there is huge inequality and are asking for their piece of the pie. And it fits the theme of war potrayed throughout the song.