When did Paul's Jihad become unavoidable?

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Spicelon
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When did Paul's Jihad become unavoidable?

Postby Spicelon » 12 Nov 2009 10:57

Spurred by the discussion in the "Paul is a coward" thread, I got to thinking about this in a non-earth
shattering sort of way.

So...if indeed Paul's jihad was unavoidable, at what point did it become unavoidable? When Leto bit the fake
tooth? When Paul took the Water of Life? Generations before maybe, the result of the BG's breeding
program? I mean, that moment would be a pretty focal point in human history, no?
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Re: When did Paul's Jihad become unavoidable?

Postby Seraphan » 12 Nov 2009 11:13

I think that the necessity of his actions and looking at the possible futures locked him to that path, he was only aware that it was unavoidable at the end of the book.

But theres another question that's prompted in Heretics: Did he predict or did he create?
If the latter one's the case then the moment he saw the jihad in his visions he got locked to that path.
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Re: When did Paul's Jihad become unavoidable?

Postby Freakzilla » 12 Nov 2009 11:22

RM Mohiam predicted the "wild mingling of genes" way before Paul did. I think "Muad'dib's Jihad" became inevitable upon Paul's first vision of it. I don't think there really is any debate on whether the oracle predicts or creates, at least not in my mind.
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Re: When did Paul's Jihad become unavoidable?

Postby Lundse » 12 Nov 2009 11:30

Spicelon wrote:Spurred by the discussion in the "Paul is a coward" thread, I got to thinking about this in a non-earth
shattering sort of way.

So...if indeed Paul's jihad was unavoidable, at what point did it become unavoidable?


Interesting!

In the sense that someday a Jihad would come and shake up the empire, which was growing stagnant on both the societal and genetic level, I'd say a long, long time back. Maybe not even that long after the Guild/Landsraad/CHOAM tripod was established.

If we are talking about the fremen's Jihad, I'd say it wasn't exactly unavoidable. But the fremen did become a contender as the starting point of the great shake-up from the moment they landed on Arrakis. Other events could have led to their galaxy-spanning conquests (such as their transformation of the planet starting, which might give them some political clout to get off-planet).

Paul's Jihad started rolling around the time when he became a Fremen. But up to what point was he still able to stop it?
The more I think about it, I'd say his blackmail of the Guild was a show-stopper. I am not convinced that the Fremen could have thought of that, or pulled it off without him. And even if they had, the prescient (!) Guild (and the Bene Gesserit, the Sardaukar and the Houses Major) would probably have been enough to stop them.

So before Paul ascended the throne, I am not sure it was truly unavoidable. The Fremen would have tried, after he became a legend among them, but I am not sure they would have succeeded. But the chance that they might, and the horrors of a Jihad unfettered by Paul, might conceivably be enough reason for Paul to have taken control. Or maybe he told himself that, as he took the throne...

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Re: When did Paul's Jihad become unavoidable?

Postby Spicelon » 12 Nov 2009 11:49

Lundse wrote:But up to what point was he still able to stop it?


That is exactly how I wished I had phrased the question.

In my opinion I think we can rule out "awareness" of the event as a factor. Didn't Paul, and other prescients for that matter, see multiple futures? Not that I'm disagreeing with Freak, for that may very well be the answer, if in fact an answer exists, but his "seeing" the Jihad certainly enabled the jihad to happen, but not necessarily everything he saw came to be. But I can also see how Paul, being who he was, could be powerless to stop something he saw, at least in his mind.

In a much less exciting thought process than the level of analysis capable by the learned members here, I got to thinking if it was possible to reduce his jihad to a cough, a planting of a tree, a shipment of lasguns, a broken stillsuit pump - something so mundane that serves as the singularity to all futures.

Another thought - didn't Paul, in the moments before fighting Feyd, see that moment as a nexus? I focal point for all events leading up to it and all futures leading from it? Maybe the moment Paul's crysknife sunk into Feyd's chest was the moment that sealed the jihad's fate?

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Re: When did Paul's Jihad become unavoidable?

Postby Freakzilla » 12 Nov 2009 12:02

Spicelon wrote:
Lundse wrote:But up to what point was he still able to stop it?


That is exactly how I wished I had phrased the question.

In my opinion I think we can rule out "awareness" of the event as a factor. Didn't Paul, and other prescients for that matter, see multiple futures? Not that I'm disagreeing with Freak, for that may very well be the answer, if in fact an answer exists, but his "seeing" the Jihad certainly enabled the jihad to happen, but not necessarily everything he saw came to be. But I can also see how Paul, being who he was, could be powerless to stop something he saw, at least in his mind.


Yes, Paul (and Leto) saw all possible futures. Creating the future isn't a matter of choosing the future you want but eliminating the ones you don't. See CoD when Leto starts severing all threads except those few that lead to the Golden Path.

In a much less exciting thought process than the level of analysis capable by the learned members here, I got to thinking if it was possible to reduce his jihad to a cough, a planting of a tree, a shipment of lasguns, a broken stillsuit pump - something so mundane that serves as the singularity to all futures.


Paul's vision at Cave of Birds says it better than I can:

He sensed it, the race consciousness that he could not escape. There was the
sharpened clarity, the inflow of data, the cold precision of his awareness. He
sank to the floor, sitting with his back against rock, giving himself up to it.
Awareness flowed into that timeless stratum where he could view time, sensing
the available paths, the winds of the future . . . the winds of the past: the
one-eyed vision of the past, the one-eyed vision of the present and the one-eyed
vision of the future--all combined in a trinocular vision that permitted him to
see time-become-space.
There was danger, he felt, of overrunning himself, and he had to hold onto
his awareness of the present, sensing the blurred deflection of experience, the
flowing moment, the continual solidification of that-which-is into the
perpetual-was.
In grasping the present, he felt for the first time the massive steadiness
of time's movement everywhere complicated by shifting currents, waves, surges,
and countersurges, like surf against rocky cliffs. It gave him a new
understanding of his prescience, and he saw the source of blind time, the source
of error in it, with an immediate sensation of fear.
The prescience, he realized, was an illumination that incorporated the
limits of what it revealed--at once a source of accuracy and meaningful error. A
kind of Heisenberg indeterminacy intervened: the expenditure of energy that
revealed what he saw, changed what he saw.
And what he saw was a time nexus within this cave, a boiling of
possibilities focused here, wherein the most minute action--the wink of an eye,
a careless word, a misplaced grain of sand--moved a gigantic lever across the
known universe. He saw violence with the outcome subject to so many variables
that his slightest movement created vast shiftings in the pattern.
The vision made him want to freeze into immobility, but this, too, was
action with its consequences.

The countless consequences--lines fanned out from this cave, and along most
of these consequence-lines he saw his own dead body with blood flowing from a
gaping knife wound.


Another thought - didn't Paul, in the moments before fighting Feyd, see that moment as a nexus? I focal point for all events leading up to it and all futures leading from it? Maybe the moment Paul's crysknife sunk into Feyd's chest was the moment that sealed the jihad's fate?

Bored at work, bored at work.... ;)


No, even if Paul had been killed by Feyd he would have become a Martyr and his "spirit" would lead the Jihad:

This is the climax, Paul thought. From here, the future will open, the
clouds part onto a kind of glory. And if I die here, they'll say I sacrificed
myself that my spirit might lead them. And if I live, they'll say nothing can
oppose Muad'Dib.


High Camp, as Frank put it. :P
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Re: When did Paul's Jihad become unavoidable?

Postby SandChigger » 12 Nov 2009 18:28

Freakzilla wrote:And what he saw was a time nexus within this cave, a boiling of
possibilities focused here, wherein the most minute action--the wink of an eye,
a careless word, a misplaced grain of sand--moved a gigantic lever across the
known universe. He saw violence with the outcome subject to so many variables
that his slightest movement created vast shiftings in the pattern.
The vision made him want to freeze into immobility, but this, too, was
action with its consequences.

Which is why I still think that prescience by itself creates nothing, only action (or intentional inaction) changes the future.

I think Lundse called it. Without the Guild, no one goes anywhere, so leverage on the Guild is essential. The Fremen Jihad became unavoidable once the idea of controlling the Guild through threatening the spice came into play.

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Re: When did Paul's Jihad become unavoidable?

Postby Freakzilla » 12 Nov 2009 20:04

SandChigger wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:And what he saw was a time nexus within this cave, a boiling of
possibilities focused here, wherein the most minute action--the wink of an eye,
a careless word, a misplaced grain of sand--moved a gigantic lever across the
known universe. He saw violence with the outcome subject to so many variables
that his slightest movement created vast shiftings in the pattern.
The vision made him want to freeze into immobility, but this, too, was
action with its consequences.

Which is why I still think that prescience by itself creates nothing, only action (or intentional inaction) changes the future.


Of course, but it can be a very tiny, seemingly insignificant action, like in the quote.

I think Lundse called it. Without the Guild, no one goes anywhere, so leverage on the Guild is essential. The Fremen Jihad became unavoidable once the idea of controlling the Guild through threatening the spice came into play.


I think someone posited that the Fremen setting up the "Water of Death" chain reaction created the next.
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Re: When did Paul's Jihad become unavoidable?

Postby SadisticCynic » 16 Nov 2009 11:37

Of course, but it can be a very tiny, seemingly insignificant action, like in the quote.


Chaos theory?

Another way of thinking about it is not that the specific sequences of events or even a jihad in general was unaviodable, but that some thing is a necessary outcome of stagnation in society. Eventually the dam will burst. War isn't the only way change could come about, simply the fastest way.
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Re: When did Paul's Jihad become unavoidable?

Postby Freakzilla » 16 Nov 2009 12:32

SadisticCynic wrote:
Of course, but it can be a very tiny, seemingly insignificant action, like in the quote.


Chaos theory?

Another way of thinking about it is not that the specific sequences of events or even a jihad in general was unaviodable, but that some thing is a necessary outcome of stagnation in society. Eventually the dam will burst. War isn't the only way change could come about, simply the fastest way.


More specifically, the butterfly effect.

I thought it was made clear by RM Mohiam in the begining that the jihad (flood) would be a result of humankind's stagnation.

I can't help but wonder if the BG breeding program somehow contributed to the stagnation.
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Re: When did Paul's Jihad become unavoidable?

Postby SadisticCynic » 16 Nov 2009 12:48

Freakzilla wrote:
SadisticCynic wrote:
Of course, but it can be a very tiny, seemingly insignificant action, like in the quote.


Chaos theory?

Another way of thinking about it is not that the specific sequences of events or even a jihad in general was unaviodable, but that some thing is a necessary outcome of stagnation in society. Eventually the dam will burst. War isn't the only way change could come about, simply the fastest way.


More specifically, the butterfly effect.

I thought it was made clear by RM Mohiam in the begining that the jihad (flood) would be a result of humankind's stagnation.

I can't help but wonder if the BG breeding program somehow contributed to the stagnation.


That's an interesting idea. Technically, they tried to enforce control other genetics (although only to a small extent compared to all the reproducing human population) and control to a certain extreme (wahtever that may be) limits creativity => stagnation. I don't know too much about the details of chaos theory but I think there is something about a line between order and chaos where creativity is at its highest. Either side of the line generates the opposite. I can't remember if that's something from Dune, or Jurassic Park (which is quite a good book and film) or something I picked up elsewhere.
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Re: When did Paul's Jihad become unavoidable?

Postby SandChigger » 16 Nov 2009 15:44

SadisticCynic wrote:... that some thing is a necessary outcome of stagnation in society. Eventually the dam will burst.

Not necessarily "necessary". Extinction is always a potential outcome of stagnation, no?

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Re: When did Paul's Jihad become unavoidable?

Postby Freakzilla » 16 Nov 2009 16:20

SandChigger wrote:
SadisticCynic wrote:... that some thing is a necessary outcome of stagnation in society. Eventually the dam will burst.

Not necessarily "necessary". Extinction is always a potential outcome of stagnation, no?


I think RM Mohiam implied that the Jihad was inevitable, however, it was not a cure for the stagnant state humanity was in, only a band-aid.

So, you're right. Extinction was the eventual outcome, barring the GP.
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Re: When did Paul's Jihad become unavoidable?

Postby SadisticCynic » 17 Nov 2009 12:28

SandChigger wrote:
SadisticCynic wrote:... that some thing is a necessary outcome of stagnation in society. Eventually the dam will burst.

Not necessarily "necessary". Extinction is always a potential outcome of stagnation, no?


Very good point.
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Re: When did Paul's Jihad become unavoidable?

Postby Drunken Idaho » 18 Nov 2009 17:15

Freakzilla wrote:
SandChigger wrote:
SadisticCynic wrote:... that some thing is a necessary outcome of stagnation in society. Eventually the dam will burst.

Not necessarily "necessary". Extinction is always a potential outcome of stagnation, no?


I think RM Mohiam implied that the Jihad was inevitable, however, it was not a cure for the stagnant state humanity was in, only a band-aid.

So, you're right. Extinction was the eventual outcome, barring the GP.



I think she saw the Jihad through her own filtered view. Leto II (or Paul) would have seen the Jihad as a band-aid, but the sisterhood probably considered it the closest thing to the golden path that they could fathom.
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Re: When did Paul's Jihad become unavoidable?

Postby The_Kat » 21 Nov 2009 19:19

Paul, seemed to have two choices of direction.

1. To go to the freeman and hope that he could somehow find a way to avoid the Jihad

2. To confront the Baron "hello grandfather".

Paul refused to look down the 2nd path as what was down it sickened him, but i would imagine that paul would have replaced Feyd in the Barons schemes and with the help of thufir would have probably ended up in a similair position but with less control over the fremen he loosed on the universe.

As paul reflects the freman jihad was the race reinveting himself, his only choice was to what extent the jihad occured. Think its messaih when paul asks would all those people who would have died if it wasn't for his choices thank him.

So i think it was never in pauls power to stop the jihad.
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Re: When did Paul's Jihad become unavoidable?

Postby Freakzilla » 21 Nov 2009 20:50

The_Kat wrote:Paul, seemed to have two choices of direction.

1. To go to the freeman and hope that he could somehow find a way to avoid the Jihad

2. To confront the Baron "hello grandfather".

Paul refused to look down the 2nd path as what was down it sickened him, but i would imagine that paul would have replaced Feyd in the Barons schemes and with the help of thufir would have probably ended up in a similair position but with less control over the fremen he loosed on the universe.

As paul reflects the freman jihad was the race reinveting himself, his only choice was to what extent the jihad occured. Think its messaih when paul asks would all those people who would have died if it wasn't for his choices thank him.

So i think it was never in pauls power to stop the jihad.


You're absolutely right, that was the exact moment Paul chose the Jihad.

He suddenly saw how fertile was the ground into which he had fallen, and
with this realization, the terrible purpose filled him, creeping through the
empty place within, threatening to choke him with grief.
He had seen two main branchings along the way ahead--in one he confronted an
evil old Baron and said: "Hello, Grandfather." The thought of that path and what
lay along it sickened him.
The other path held long patches of grey obscurity except for peaks of
violence. He had seen a warrior religion there, a fire spreading across the
universe with the Atreides green and black banner waving at the head of fanatic
legions drunk on spice liquor. Gurney Halleck and a few others of his father's
men--a pitiful few--were among them, all marked by the hawk symbol from the
shrine of his father's skull.
"I can't go that way," he muttered. "That's what the old witches of your
schools really want."

~Dune

I used to think Paul a coward for not turning himself in to the Harkonnens and sacraficing himself to prevent the Jihad, but it is the fault of his royal upbringing.
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