DragEgusku wrote:You keep talking about ecology and I keep talking about morality and I think that both are important for humanity not only one. If only ecology is considered important for humans then what makes it any different from social Darwinism? Nothing. We are animals but we also have the potential to become more than just animals - and morality plays a key role in this. Without morality we would regress back to the animal stage and that is why I insist so much on it.
I want to add more on this but I lack the vocabulary to express what I want to say - I'm still struggling with English. Maybe I will continue on this a bit later.
Ok. I mean it's fine to disagree with Frank about this, but I think his point is that ecology necessarily shapes society. It's not like the Fremen wanted to have the customs and culture they had; it was forced upon them by their environment, and specifically by scarcity conditions. We could discuss their 'morality' as well, I suppose, but at any rate it doesn't seem to be central to the books. From that standpoint it's not a question of ecology being 'important' for people, it's more like it automatically shapes the landscape in which choices are made. Those choices can still go one way or another, but the available options are dictated by the ecology. Which options are picked from amongst those is perhaps a matter of strategy and morality.
It would not have been a viable option in Dune, for instance, for a House Major to be pacifist and kind to everyone. They would have been crushed. I think there was leeway for morality in that landscape, but it was fairly limited compared to what we think of today as 'moral.' It is my contention that the Atreides were absolutely as moral as a House Major could have been under the circumstances, and even so they regularly employed propaganda, mass extermination, assassination, and so forth. Any less ruthless than that and they could not have competed or survived. That's the ecology at work. The wiggle room comes into it in terms of them keeping their word, and in how they treated their people.