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    Melange and the Golden Path

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    Melange and the Golden Path

    Postby Kensai » 28 Jun 2010 09:42

    I appologize if this is explained in GEOD, but its been a couple of years since I read the series and I am only just reading it again (just started Dune again the other night).

    So when Letto comes to power, terra forms Rakis (did they call it rakis in GEOD?) there is a steep reduction in spice production because the Sareer is the only desert left and there are few if any worms left (again its been a good few years since I read GEOD so forgive me if this is wrong). Letto controlls the Spaceing Guild effectivly because of his rationing of the dwindled spice.

    So in short there is not a lot of spice to go around. Now we all know that many people use spice such as the Guild, Bene Gesserit ect... But also many "regular" people are addicted to the spice also. Most of the Imperial Nobility is addicted from regular use, and I recall (again correct me if I am wrong) that it is mentioned "the middle classes" have semi-regular acess to spice as well and are addicted to a degree. I'm pretty sure that wealthy but not necessarily noble people such as corprate executives, court sychophants actors will also be addicted due to regular acess to spice. So in short thats a lot of people addicted to spice.

    So my question is, when Leto II took over the spice production and it dwindled to a trickle, there is no way enough spice to go around. So a lot of people must have died from withdrawl. I'm pretty sure that must have been intentional on Leto's behalf as for the golden path to work, the dependency (i.e. addiction) to Melange must be broken. I'm pretty sure these people couldn't have survived because the Tielaxu fake spice wasn't created until after the Scattering(?). This does explain why the Landsraad and the Great Houses fell. Again this must have been another part of the Golden Path, by killing of the nobles he breaks the people's dependency on them.

    The only thing I don't understand is, Leto wanted to break mankind's dependency on Melange, but later the Tielaxu create the synthetic fake spice. Surely Leto must jave foresen this?
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    Re: Melange and the Golden Path

    Postby Serkanner » 28 Jun 2010 10:03

    That is why it's called the famine times.
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    Re: Melange and the Golden Path

    Postby SandChigger » 28 Jun 2010 10:58

    (The preceding is what is known as The Serkanner Reticence. ;) )

    Let's see...

    Rakis is the name used in HoD & CHD; it appears in GEoD, but only in the later historical parts, like the introduction where they're talking about the Dar-es-Balat discovery (Leto's secret journal storehouse).

    During most of his life, Leto is the last sandworm-like thing alive. The only sandtrout in existence make up his outer skin. No sandtrout means no spice blows means NO new spice. So he doled out allotments to the Guild and Bene Gesserit as he saw fit. There were probably other limited stockpiles, but spice was much less plentiful and much more expensive than ever before.

    Leto lived/reigned 3500-some years. A spice-extended normal lifespan was 300-some years. So most of the people REALLY addicted to the spice would have probably died of natural causes long before the spice started getting really scarce. And it would have been too expensive for most to become addicted afterwards.

    Later Tleilaxu spice is not "fake". It's synthetic in the sense that it's man[well, woman!]-made, not naturally occurring Arrakeen spice, but it was still spice. As a physical/chemical substance it was identical to the "real thing", just of different origin. ("Fake" spice is a McDune thing. Avoid at all costs! :P )

    And finally, Leto didn't try to foresee and micromanage a solution to every future problem. :)

    (If I'm off on any of the above, I'm sure someone will correct me! Freak? :D )
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    Re: Melange and the Golden Path

    Postby Freakzilla » 28 Jun 2010 11:57

    SandChigger wrote:(If I'm off on any of the above, I'm sure someone will correct me! Freak? :D )


    Right on. :handgestures-thumbupright:

    The only things I can add is that Leto did not eliminate the Great Houses. However, a Bene Gesserit report in GEoD lists ever shrinking numbers and some reduced to Minor House status. I think this was probably more directly realted to Leto's control of the Guild and CHOAM.

    Also, Leto claims not to have looked past his own lifetime except to ensure that the GP continued. He may have seen the invention of the Tleilaxu spice but that was after centuries with NO spice. Leto's spice hoard was hidden and there was no spice left on Arrakis until his descendants began to emerge from the sand, (did we ever come up with a number for that?) so the only spice left was in BG, SG or personal stores. Anyone addicted would have died by that time, if they could afford to be addicted.

    But yes, the point of all this was to ween the people off spice and that IS why it was called The Famine Times.
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    Re: Melange and the Golden Path

    Postby Serkanner » 28 Jun 2010 11:59

    SandChigger wrote:(The preceding is what is known as The Serkanner Reticence. ;) )



    I was at the office and didn't have much time. Do I get a C for effort?
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    Re: Melange and the Golden Path

    Postby Freakzilla » 28 Jun 2010 12:01

    Serkanner wrote:
    SandChigger wrote:(The preceding is what is known as The Serkanner Reticence. ;) )



    I was at the office and didn't have much time. Do I get a C for effort?


    You get an A for brevity. :P
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    Re: Melange and the Golden Path

    Postby SadisticCynic » 28 Jun 2010 13:15

    Freakzilla wrote:
    Serkanner wrote:
    SandChigger wrote:(The preceding is what is known as The Serkanner Reticence. ;) )



    I was at the office and didn't have much time. Do I get a C for effort?


    You get an A for brevity. :P


    Neither of those begin with the letters you've quoted... F for fail? :P
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    Re: Melange and the Golden Path

    Postby Serkanner » 28 Jun 2010 13:35

    SadisticCynic wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:
    Serkanner wrote:
    SandChigger wrote:(The preceding is what is known as The Serkanner Reticence. ;) )



    I was at the office and didn't have much time. Do I get a C for effort?


    You get an A for brevity. :P


    Neither of those begin with the letters you've quoted... F for fail? :P


    I'll settle for a D of damn you! :P
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    Re: Melange and the Golden Path

    Postby Freakzilla » 28 Jun 2010 13:50

    Serkanner wrote:
    SadisticCynic wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:
    Serkanner wrote:
    SandChigger wrote:(The preceding is what is known as The Serkanner Reticence. ;) )



    I was at the office and didn't have much time. Do I get a C for effort?


    You get an A for brevity. :P


    Neither of those begin with the letters you've quoted... F for fail? :P


    I'll settle for a D of damn you! :P


    D... for Dingle-berry. :clap:
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    Re: Melange and the Golden Path

    Postby Aquila ka-Hecate » 28 Jun 2010 23:40

    Kensai wrote:The only thing I don't understand is, Leto wanted to break mankind's dependency on Melange, but later the Tielaxu create the synthetic fake spice. Surely Leto must jave foresen this?


    He... may have done.
    But the point of breaking an addiction is just that - the breaking of it. If the spice reappears further down the line, it's not important, as humankind will have gotten over, or around it by then.
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    Re: Melange and the Golden Path

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 28 Jun 2010 23:49

    Aquila ka-Hecate wrote:
    Kensai wrote:The only thing I don't understand is, Leto wanted to break mankind's dependency on Melange, but later the Tielaxu create the synthetic fake spice. Surely Leto must jave foresen this?


    He... may have done.
    But the point of breaking an addiction is just that - the breaking of it. If the spice reappears further down the line, it's not important, as humankind will have gotten over, or around it by then.


    That's the thing, as soon as humanity found a way to fold space safely without the spice, that dependancy was broken. He wasn't trying to break "a" human's dependancy, or "some" humans' dependancy, he was breaking humanity's as a whole, and this was accomplished in the Scattering. After that happened sure, the Old Empire could get itself partially re-addicted (but many people had Ixian Nav machines so there was no danger of monopoly again) and it would make no difference at all to the scattered humanity.
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    Re: Melange and the Golden Path

    Postby MrFlibble » 30 Jun 2010 06:39

    Freakzilla wrote:But yes, the point of all this was to ween the people off spice and that IS why it was called The Famine Times.

    Hmm, somehow I've always thought that the Famine Times were about real famine that followed the collapse of Leto's empire, and it was one of the factors that fuelled the Scattering as people would leave the Old Empire to get more breathing space, so to speak.

    Correct me if I'm completely wrong in this.
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    Re: Melange and the Golden Path

    Postby Kensai » 30 Jun 2010 08:19

    MrFlibble wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:But yes, the point of all this was to ween the people off spice and that IS why it was called The Famine Times.

    Hmm, somehow I've always thought that the Famine Times were about real famine that followed the collapse of Leto's empire, and it was one of the factors that fuelled the Scattering as people would leave the Old Empire to get more breathing space, so to speak.

    Correct me if I'm completely wrong in this.


    Actually the Spic Famine hypothesis makes sense. I'm sure there was a lot of anarchy and conflict after Leto II fell, but unless people were flying nukes at each other and totally destroying their enviroments, I don't see how the death of Leto would stop people growing food and such. Maybe its a bit of both, as both would require people to go settle new lands. A think a lot of the exodites (later to be known as The Lost Ones) were just people who wanted to get away from the Fish Speakers and anything that reminded them of the Tyrant.
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    Re: Melange and the Golden Path

    Postby MrFlibble » 02 Jul 2010 06:40

    Kensai wrote:I'm sure there was a lot of anarchy and conflict after Leto II fell, but unless people were flying nukes at each other and totally destroying their enviroments, I don't see how the death of Leto would stop people growing food and such. Maybe its a bit of both, as both would require people to go settle new lands. A think a lot of the exodites (later to be known as The Lost Ones) were just people who wanted to get away from the Fish Speakers and anything that reminded them of the Tyrant.

    I have always been under the impression that the pressures that Leto II created during his reign resulted in explosive growth and expansion of human populations after the restraints were removed; the Scattering's purpose was to satiate many hungers, but I think that the physical one was among them too.

    I'm not sure about this though, gotta re-read the books :)
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    Re: Melange and the Golden Path

    Postby lotek » 02 Jul 2010 06:53

    yeah it seems Leto II purposely restricted humanity to ensure that as soon as the limitations he imposed went then it would be like some gas suddenly free from its container to expand in all available space.
    At least that's what I think,
    I'll back that up with quotes.

    EDIT: damn internet bragging, I still haven't looked for them!

    IMO Melange's role in the GP is that of control: we discussed the powers of a KH without political/religious influence on "earthly" matters would be useless.
    And as much as Leto was a powerful oracle and the container of his ancestral OM, you can tell that spice and its enforced rarity is the best lever in the Imperium to ensure even the most powerful structures would not dare disobey.

    so if the GP's goal was to secure humanity's freedom then Melange had to go, otherwise there always was the possibility of it being used to seize control of the Imperium.
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    Re: Melange and the Golden Path

    Postby A Little Galach » 02 Jul 2010 09:36

    MrFlibble wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:But yes, the point of all this was to ween the people off spice and that IS why it was called The Famine Times.

    Hmm, somehow I've always thought that the Famine Times were about real famine that followed the collapse of Leto's empire, and it was one of the factors that fuelled the Scattering as people would leave the Old Empire to get more breathing space, so to speak.

    Correct me if I'm completely wrong in this.


    This is my intrepretation of the term. With the lack of spice comes lack of travel comes lack of trade comes collapse of economy comes lack of previously available food comes famine. That was my understanding. People could still grow food or raise livestock, but if a given planet (or regions of a planet) had relied on imports of such for generations it would have taken a while to reacquire the skill. Or if a region of a planet had relied on exports for income to pay for their food, and there is no trade...they have no money. If they have no money and the farmers cease to have a market for their product, they will cease to grow surplus beyond what they need to survive. Hence famine.

    The navigation machines probably took a while to get online in large scale and many would be diverted to the scattering anyway, the Tlex would have taken a while to come up with their spice and would have made people pay through the nose for it.

    Sorry, I just started thinking and typing at the same time.
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    Re: Melange and the Golden Path

    Postby Kensai » 06 Jul 2010 16:19

    A Little Galach wrote: This is my intrepretation of the term. With the lack of spice comes lack of travel comes lack of trade comes collapse of economy comes lack of previously available food comes famine. That was my understanding. People could still grow food or raise livestock, but if a given planet (or regions of a planet) had relied on imports of such for generations it would have taken a while to reacquire the skill. Or if a region of a planet had relied on exports for income to pay for their food, and there is no trade...they have no money. If they have no money and the farmers cease to have a market for their product, they will cease to grow surplus beyond what they need to survive. Hence famine.

    The navigation machines probably took a while to get online in large scale and many would be diverted to the scattering anyway, the Tlex would have taken a while to come up with their spice and would have made people pay through the nose for it.

    Sorry, I just started thinking and typing at the same time.


    Thats a pretty good answer and makes a lot of sense Galach :clap: I have another question. The Freemen had a great dependency on Spice, being in the enviroment they were they must become addicted at infancy (of course this is conjecture). How did Letto keep the Museum Fremen (I belive thats the term) going? Did he give them an allowance of Spice? I find it difficult to belive the Fremen could be weened off of spice seeing as they are all addicted and it even seems to be ingrained into their biology (they Eyes of Ibad).
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    Re: Melange and the Golden Path

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 07 Jul 2010 10:41

    I actually just read a passage where Leto is talking to Hwi about the details of the famine times - he does specify that there will be literal famine as well as spice famine, largely because people have over populated the worlds and will run out of food very quickly once interstellar transport essentially shuts down.
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