Chapter 05

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Freakzilla
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Chapter 05

Postby Freakzilla » 12 Feb 2008 21:26

Empires do not suffer emptiness of purpose at the time of their creation. It is
when they have become established that aims are lost and replaced by vague
ritual.

-Words of Muad'dib by Princess Irulan

Alia enters the council meeting, knowing it is going to be a bad one, as Korba and Paul are talking. She accuses the Qizerate of being spies. Paul notices Alia has become a woman. Paul instructs Korba to lead the pilgrims in prayer in his place. Irulan wonders if Edric conceals her from Alia. Paul decides to let the location of Tupile, the sanctuary for defeated Great Houses remain a secret. Stilgar asks if Paul can locate Tupile through prescience but Paul tells him the act of seeking it out itself could hide it. Stilgar presents the next order of business, the Ixian Confederacy requests a constitution and wishes to negotiate their imperial taxes. Paul thinks the Jihad is faltering but too late to save him. He remembers his horror at the earliest visions of it, now become reality and the worse things yet to come. Paul forbids constitutions in his empire and decrees that the price of him signing the Tupile Treaty is for the Ixians to accept the tax. Stilgar then brings up that House Corrino has been putting their one legion of Sardaukar through landing maneuvers and Paul asks Irulan to send him a message to stop. Stilgar then brings a request from the Bene Gesserit to discuss preservation of the royal bloodline. Paul denies Irulan's proposal that she bear an heir due to her loyalty to the Bene Gesserit and her desires for personal power. Lastly, the Guild requests a permanent embassy on Arrakis. Korba warns that the naibs might present a danger to Steersman on Arrakis due to the long history of them blackmailing the Fremen for secrecy. Paul says they are going to send a Steersman and they wouldn't come if they saw danger. Irulan asks if Paul had seen a Steersman which he denies and explains that he can see where one has been and where they are going. Irulan takes comfort in Paul and the Guild's mutual blindness to each other and believes the conspiracy is still hidden.

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Demerzel
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Re: Chapter 05

Postby Demerzel » 29 Oct 2011 12:59

I found this quite hilarious:

How could anyone react to Korba with other than cynical humor? What is more ridiculous than a Death Commando transformed into a priest?

Also when Korba remarks how Guild Steersmen contaminate the soil they step on, to which Paul snaps, saying that they live in tanks and don't touch the ground.

The way Korba is handled by Paul and Alia throughout DM is quite amusing. He almost comes off as a pseudo-comic relief character ._.
When Paul was three I found him wearing lingerie I was planning to wear for my Duke. I asked him: "How can this be?" and he answered: "For I am the Kwisatz Haderach!" I was proud since these were the first words Paul ever spoke, but now I knew for certain that my Paul was a special boy. I brought him to Duncan's room while he was busy "training" a young maidservant in the Art of Sword-Handling. My Paul shall be the best! - Tleszer

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Freakzilla
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Re: Chapter 05

Postby Freakzilla » 02 Feb 2012 15:45

I found this disturbing:

"Constitutions become the ultimate tyranny," Paul said. "They're organized
power on such a scale as to be overwhelming. The constitution is social power
mobilized and it has no conscience. It can crush the highest and the lowest,
removing all dignity and individuality. It has an unstable balance point and no
limitations.
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georgiedenbro
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Re: Chapter 05

Postby georgiedenbro » 26 Aug 2014 11:10

Freakzilla wrote:I found this disturbing:

"Constitutions become the ultimate tyranny," Paul said. "They're organized
power on such a scale as to be overwhelming. The constitution is social power
mobilized and it has no conscience. It can crush the highest and the lowest,
removing all dignity and individuality. It has an unstable balance point and no
limitations.


Yes, this is a passage I remembered sharply after my previous read-through. Its message is echoed again later by Paul when speaking to Chani, but I won't quote it here because of spoilers. I think this passage is an important part of Frank's general message of the Dune series, even though it obviously defies current beliefs in the U.S. (or at least recent beliefs...I'm not sure how many people really care about the constitution anymore...). But I think it is best to compare this passage to the epigraph at the chapter head to see where Frank may be going with this.

If a constitution is, at a single point of time - at its creation - a reflection of the will and the spirit of a people, then after that point passes it is merely a piece of history, unchanging, while the people and world continue to change. Frank talks a lot about stagnation and how things staying the same always is a bad thing, and I think this is a part of that. The U.S. does permit constitutional amendment, of course, but I think Frank's point is a more general one about being forced to adhere to a strict code that doesn't have a living spirit. It is very like man submitting his mind to the operation of machines; a set of rules and laws is much the same as a mechanical device, and when humans are forced to be subservient to a machine or a set of 'machine-logic' (i.e. laws) then man's greatest power, thinking, is suppressed. What is a law, after all, but something that allows you to not have to think about an issue the next time it comes up? Laws streamline how events are dealt with, systematize interaction with reality, and instead of referring to one's judgements one refers to the laws instead when considering what's to be done.

Dune wrote:"You know the law," said the voice from the rocks. "Ones who cannot live
with the desert--"
"Be quiet," Stilgar said. "Times change."


Stilgar is a great example of a Fremen who was aware of the living needs of his tribe as being greater than the written law. When his group first encountered Paul and Jessica, Stilgar overrode the letter of the law (as Jamis reminded him) in favor of what he believed would benefit the tribe most. And then this later:

Dune wrote:He's accepting the religious mantle, Jessica thought. He must not do it!
"It's the way!" someone shouted.
Paul spoke dryly, probing the emotional undercurrents. "Ways change."


This is a riff on the Buddha and other great figures who are referred to as "the way." First Stilgar and then Paul voice the new wisdom: Ways change. The BG believed in a path, and that the KH was the shortening of the path. Paul might tell them that there is no set path, that change is the only real law.

Paul's jihad is a fine example of the chapter's epigraph: The Fremen were oppressed, ergo they want a freedom crusade. But once on the crusade there's no reason to continue the crusade, since they are no longer oppressed. The reality driving the new order changes when the new order is established. I think Frank believes a similar thing will happen to any nation or power once founded, and that for its founding constitution to remain relevant the spirit present in its founding must be maintained and not just echoed like a ritual. If a freedom-loving people like the Fremen wanted to keep their identity after the jihad began, they'd have to somehow make that a part of their new culture and to revitalize their spirit with each new generation. In the Fremen's case they failed to do this and they became decadent.
Last edited by georgiedenbro on 26 Aug 2014 14:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chapter 05

Postby D Pope » 26 Aug 2014 13:25

So you're saying the message is to be careful what you ask for?
The Fremen were sick of living in the desert but didn't like losing it.
I'm all for balanced judgement but divine authority scares the crap out of me.
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georgiedenbro
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Re: Chapter 05

Postby georgiedenbro » 26 Aug 2014 14:32

D Pope wrote:So you're saying the message is to be careful what you ask for?
The Fremen were sick of living in the desert but didn't like losing it.
I'm all for balanced judgement but divine authority scares the crap out of me.


I believe that Frank is saying that a goal is something that exists in relation to the present, but there can be no "the goal" for all time. A people who define themselves by a goal - in the Fremen's case, 'to be free' - have an identity that relates to their present situation. But situations are constantly changing, and to continue to pretend that the single goal originally stated is still relevant is an illusion. If a people carry on with the same notion of identity when reality changes, they become an echo of the past, tied to an old notion of who they were and what they needed.

That this is a central theme to the Dune series can be found in countless ways, including in the dichotomy of thought between the old powers (Guild, BG, Imperium) and Paul. The BG, for instance, believe in there being 'a path' and were willing to plan long-term to achieve their goal. Their KH was, to them, the way to finally achieve their aims, whatever those were. Paul understood that the KH isn't really a 'shortening of the path', i.e. a means to reach an end, as the BG had thought. In reality the KH is one who knows how identity, thought and reality are all connected, and how each affects the other and changes constantly as time goes forward; or in other words, that there is no 'end' to reach. The KH, in Paul, is the personification of the principle that the only real law is change, and it took someone of Paul's power to realize the full implication of this.

So, to directly address your question, I would say the moral is not to be careful what you ask for, but to be careful about what you think you are. Rules about your own identity tie you down just as surely as laws, just as surely as political gridlock, just as surely as always taking the safe path towards decay.
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