First, I have not yet seen “Dune,” or read the series. But after this essay, I am intrigued. At least that’s a good starting place hopefully!
And I also agree, it would be very easy to wander other roads into other worlds and realms/stories as mentioned in other comments above.
So I have a different perception/angle to add to the mix. And it might be a risk but I’ll take it and take the chance I’m coming out of my ears (laugh) or am too far in left field.
Norland you write:
On a broad philosophical level, there is a striking similarity between the Dune saga and The Lord of the Rings trilogy: they both affect a kind of “transvaluation of all values,” a fundamental critique of the mythology of the One and its hyper-masculine heroic attitude. Where the masses are programmed to worship superheroes and bow before “the One,” both of the greatest epics of fantasy literature are there to warn us against the dangers of Its rise.
Herbert wants to allow all the disastrous—indeed, genocidal consequences that follow from the One’s brutal imposition upon the collective.
The last half of the first paragraph, which concerns “programming the masses to worship superheroes and bow before the “One,”
And Herbert’s emphasis of as you say “the genocidal consequences that follow One’s brutal imposition upon the collective,”
stand out to me.
And here’s the odd angle or thought:
Sometimes, I wonder if the One uses the Collective against itself?
Yes, I could see as in other tales mentioned above the divide and conquer strategy, which can be effective.
If the One (or any Dark One) makes dark and cruel mischief alone, that’s one thing.
But isn’t the greater power of the one derived from an attending Collective?
That it is Collective power (collective underneath the One of course) that the One often seeks and desires? And NEEDs?
And as you suggest Norland that to me would be exactly a used and abused Collective and blind one, which is conditioned to serve one cause in this case a Dark One’s cause. And no doubt illusion brought them there.
Maybe even with a promise of a “Greater Good,” which is anything but.
It seems like a lot of these One’s are darkly clever that way.
But what do I know? Heh heh.
It would be interesting to see how Dune plays out. And then maybe I’ll have different thoughts.
I do love the idea of people (individuals with different backgrounds and stories) coming together, working things out, sharing, helping each other and celebrating life. It’s a much happier collective place to be and much saner (at least to me) than the idea of a dark collective under a (One?) which I imagine would be built on fear/anger promises and illusion (the real test.)
Thanks as always for an interesting read!