The Truth from the Dune Series

I am in the midst of reading the monumental “Dune” series by Frank Herbert. I am constantly surprised by the depth of his understanding of government. I offer two quotes in evidence:

#1. “Governments, if they endure, always tend increasinglty toward aristocratic forms. NO government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class — whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracies.” — Children of Dune.

This quote is entirely true. No matter how any particular government comes to power, it always devolves into an agent for the protection of those in power. This is certainly true in the United States, as we have seen over the course of our history, and in particular in the last eight years, when the nation has been plundered by the allies of President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

#2. “All rebels are closet aristocrats.” — God Emperor of Dune.

Again, so true. Simply look at Fidel Castro of Cuba. He overthrew a tyrant, Batista, and then ruled as a worse tyrant than the man he ousted.

I am a liberal; but I abhor the communist tyrants that arrived in the 20th Century. Castro is but one.

In my summer class, “History of Europe and the U.S., 1789 – 1989,” we will discuss such ruthless dictators. We began by talking about the French Revolution and Maximillien Robespierre. He ruled as a tyrant, but he was also a fanatic. Fanatics are the worst kind of politician. All politicians are whores and liars, but at least the corruptible can be bought.

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