Freakzilla wrote:I imagine that they were captured as slaves and deposited on Arrakis as a work force. Once there, they were essentially free, but without means or opportunity to leave. They either worked enough to buy water or went into the desert to be "wild".
I just had a cynical thought, which may be something Frank would have had in mind. If you deposit slaves on a planet but tell them they're "free men", while knowing that in order to survive they'll have to work for you to earn a living, what you basically have is where modern capitalism went. This involves people who are 'free' to decline to work, even though the alternative is death since they have nowhere else to go. In modern society it isn't strictly impossible, but in general it's very difficult to go 'off the grid' and have nothing to do with society in general and the system of economics in place there. The only way to avoid the rat race is to become a survivalist or something and live in the woods and hunt for food, or maybe run a self-sufficient farm. And I guess maybe that's exactly what the desert Fremen effectively did, assuming they were given the choice to work in the city or not. A slaver might well have thought "We'll tell those fools they're free in order to fool them, except when they get hungry they'll come crawling and begging for a job. So our workforce situation is solved and we don't need to enforce anything or watch anybody." It's an efficient slavery system where the workers can tell themselves they're free men, even though they have no control of their lives and are subject to their 'employers' in all things. I guess the joke would be on them if the 'free men' actually said fuck it and just went into the desert never to return. It kind of turns the history of Dune into a funny story if you think of it that way, that those 'slaves' would come back and conquer the entire Imperium.