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I didn’t read Dune until right before the new movie came out. There’s some six books made by the author Frank Herbert and bunch more made by his son. There are a lot of suggestions on how many of them you should read. Most are in consensus you should avoid the novels written by his son. Some say read his six, others say only the first, and everywhere in-between. Someone said to stop where you think you should, which for me ended being after book four.
The first two books deal with the character Paul Atreides while the next two deal with his son, Leto, who was named after Paul’s father. After the forth, I felt like I didn’t need to go further. In the original Dune, Paul’s father agrees to go to the planet Arakkis, knowing full well his family’s enemies would be trying to sabotage and destroy the Atreides. Why did he do this? He sold the idea as he didn’t care so much about the spice(which is the primary reason the empire remained there), but the people who lived on Arakkis. The Fremen, who were the natives of the planet, were a hard and strong people. The intelligence coming in to Leto Atreides had their numbers being many times more than what the empire thought.
Leto wanted to align himself with the Fremen and use them to secure power for house Atreides. He saw that the emperor himself had secured his seat through using another strong people called the Sardaukar. From this you can gain some insight on how Frank Herbert interpreted the nature of the world. Empires were built by hard and strong barbarians and this echoes throughout our history. If you want to take power, you and your crew have to be on another level compared to your enemies. Nietzsche himself speaks of how the noble class was always the barbarian class.
The Spartans martial culture dominated Ancient Greece and we still remember the details of them today. The weak and puny newborns would be tossed off cliffs. Boys would enter the military training program at 7 and remain there until after 40. They made their entire culture around manifesting the martial virtues. They’re far from the only example. The Romans were possibly more militant and it’s from the Romans we get the word virtue, which was originally virtus. The word vir in Latin meant man or hunter.
In recent times, you had the German Second Reich which fought the entire world in World War I almost single handedly. Their ally, the Austro-Hungarian empire crumbled. This German army was never pushed back behind their borders for the entirety of the war. You also had the Americans a couple hundred years before who were forced to survive on the frontiers of the New World. This experience helped them defeat the British Empire and take the country from the Native Americans. Theodore Roosevelt spent much time talking about how soft and weak peoples get trampled over by ruder barbarians.
“Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.” -Frank Herbert
In Dune, the Fremen are strict adherents of Water Discipline. They lived on a vicious desert planet where water was hard to come by. The suits they wore preserved their water. The water in their body didn’t belong to them, it belonged to the tribe. When a Fremen died, the water would be extracted from his dead body. No one cried because it would waste a body’s water and in the rare moments tears were shed, it was a sacred moment for the Fremen. To survive in the worst of environments required strict discipline on the part of men.
Hard times make for hard men. Almost everyone has heard this by now. Look at a man like Nathan Bedford Forrest. His family grew up poor in the frontier. His father died when he was 16, making him head of household. Not long after that, his sister is attacked by a panther. Forrest goes out into the night with his rifle and hunts the panther down by dawn. He killed more men during the Civil War than horses shot out from under him.
How many Americans set out west, into the unknown? We have many legendary stories from frontiersmen, mountain men, trappers, and cowboys. Heritage Americans today descend from hard men. Removed from civilization, nature is an unforgiving place. Only the strong survive as the saying goes. To survive in the worst environments required strict discipline. You had to become hard.
Discipline may be the great equalizer. Your enemies aren’t disciplined. Everything they do is half assed at best. They have numbers and technology on their side. To stand against this requires strict discipline. You have to become superior in every way. Make yourself an outstanding man.
Discipline to your training. To your own development and self-conquest. What discipline must you manifest to win? What you have is every opportunity to choose comfort and security in the modern world. To choose discipline is rebellion. To choose strength and courage is rebellion. The system is designed to hold you down, to remove all avenues to success — the way out is discipline.
I call for a fanatical discipline to strength, courage, and honor as foundation. A fanatical discipline to becoming superior in every way to our enemies, on every battlefield. We must be able to best many times our number if we want to create a new barbarian class. Make yourself great, brave, hard, and manly. Manifest excellence — arete — and crush your enemies.