A macro-view of the GP

Leto II's plan for the survival of mankind

Moderators: Omphalos, Freakzilla

A macro-view of the GP

Postby Omphalos » Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:48 pm

Especially in Dune, but also in later novels, the motif of stagnation is brought up as an apparent by-product of the governmental and social constructs that dominated the empire. Those who would govern well and who had an eye on the long term future recognized this, and sought to create a system that would spark discovery and exploration in necessary trades and sciences without helping monopolies form, and had an overall goal of saving humanity. This essentially was the Golden Path.

One of FH's points, I think, is that the form of government and the religous-like implications of the Butlerian Jihad really put the kibosh on development of technology, which in turn effectively ended the development and maturation of the species into something else. That, I think, was one of the purposes of the Golden Path. Leto II wanted to end the strict interpretation of the BJ's prohibition on machines, and did it by hurting or killing off all the providers of "technology," such as the guild and the mentats, so that when he died humans would be more willing to turn to IX and use technology to accomplish the same goals. But, Leto definately did not want technology to replace human thinking and effort. Just to be a crutch to accomplish certain goals, then put back into the box where it belongs.

Now, determining what the Golden Path exactly is seems to be the $64K question. I think of the Golden Path as this nebulous plan that cannot be acknowledged in its whole by any one character's mind, save that of Leto II. The purpose of the plan, I think, is best stated vaguely: To save the human race from extinction. That much is stated in FH's books. But along the way other things would have to be accomplished so that the human race actually was saved in the end. Part of doing this necessarily means the expansion of competition to make vital goods more readily available, and to get development of new and necessary products going again, the founding of governmental institutions that would be capable of dealing with mega-scale threats, the consolidation of authority so that humanity would act as one (or as close to this as possible), and the breeding of indivuduals with the will, power and abilities to combat an enhanced enemy. This would generally re-open the human mind to different possibilities, so that when Leto really repressed the empire, they would come up with, on their own, effective ways of dealing with enormous threats.

Many things were started by Leto to get humanity to this place. For this reason the Spacing Guild was hobbled, but not killed, and the worms were eliminated, then repopulated. This gave the Ixians and the Bene Tleilax time to develop and market suitable substitutes. Then the originals were brought back to create competition, or more surely, to eliminate the possiblility of a life strangling monopoly. Of course, the effect of this alone would not have saved humanity. Rather, it made the Diaspora possible, which allowed humanity to form governments and societies outside the confines imposed by the remnants of Empire, which in turn created a new class of vital humans to come back into the core worlds and mix new skills and abilities, so that humanity would be that much stronger and able to survive the coming war.

For example, assume that the BH & KJA plan is what FH had in mind, and the ultimate threat is from machines who have had 15K or so years to get ready and encircle humanity. Those machines are not going to make the same stupid mistakes again. If Kralizec is a final war between them and us, there is pretty much no way we could survive if Ix and BT had been kept hobbled and ineffective, and their products had not flooded the market (and any number of other things, such as a solitary BG in power instead of what we had, basically a joined Sisterhood, the breeding of the Siona Atriedes and Miles Teg and their genes, the "construction" of Duncan Idaho, etc, etc.).

After these things, humanity can go where it wants, when it wants, without having to pay a king's ransom to the Guild. Before humanity was beholden to large, undextrous monolithic companies and governments who could not react with enought speed or force to defend and Empire-wide threat. Not only that, but in the ensuing years, the power structures that were would not have had the time or opportunity to develolp new technologies to defend themselves. I mean, look at the state of things when Paul came along. Every piece of technology in that entire universe had been invented and put into use a long time ago by Holtzman alone. Since him, nothing new had come along, signifying that Holtzman was a bit of a diamond in the rough, and that the business and scientific classes were incapable of developing anything novel. Why? Probably because of the stiffling climate created by The Guild, CHOAM and the Emperor. All three entitites had a tight grip on the Lansraad, and thus the individual planets, that was so tight that there was no incentive to develop anything new. I mean, in a static environment, no new real internal threats are encountered, so no new solutions are developed that could be applied to external threats that may develop. This is actually a classic problem with feudal governments, and sprawling societies, and are some of the things that Leto II had to wreck if humans were going to survive the war!

Now admittedly there is some dispute about what FH intended when he created his Universe, and the problems in it. Just read these boards. But I think its pretty obvious that he really enjoyed throwing monkey wrenches into his works just to see how his characters reacted, and to test the Golden Path with the reality of entropy. Just look at what FH did to Paul. And look at what happened to Rakis. But in a real world, that is how reality tests us, so I guess it will work in his books too.

So I guess in summary I would say that it is best not to think of the Golden Path as a static, inflexible line from Point A to Point B. Its not so much a plan as a philosophy. Leto II was not limiting humanity to one way to survival so much as creating some cultural momentum that would wind up pushing humanity in the correct direction. In this sense its probably more helpful to think of it as a Golden Wave, any part of which could crash along the shores of time and achieve success.

I know that many of you disagree with this complex a view of the GP. I am not really wed to this idea, but I came up with it after trying to reconcile more than one or two of the concepts FH had in his books. Let's get some discussion going about this.
Last edited by Omphalos on Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Omphalos
Inglorious Bastard
 
Posts: 6189
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:07 am
Location: The Mighty Central Valley of California

Postby Simon » Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:28 pm

Complex indeed! :shock:

"So I guess in summary I would say that it is best not to think of the Golden Path as a static, inflexible line from Point A to Point B. Its not so much a plan as a philosophy. Leto II was not limiting humanity to one way to survival so much as creating some cultural momentum that would wind up pushing humanity in the correct direction."

This is how I saw it, perhaps it's a bit simplistic but this seems to be the GP in a nutshell. Though I would have said "directions" there at the end of the quote. I think a sole "direction" was the problem at the start, LetoII wanted the possibilities of many directions to florish, giving rise to much of what you out lined above.
User avatar
Simon
 
Posts: 566
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:15 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Postby Freakzilla » Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:34 pm

Great post Omph, I especially found your take on technology in relation to the Golden Path interesting.

So do you think that the new authors are right that FH intended Leto's GP to prepare humanity for "Kralizec" or a "end of the world" scenareo as presented in the new books?

I think the idea defies the concept of the GP which in my view boils down to a two basic eliments:

The Siona Gene.

This was a temporary measure to hide the Atreides decendants from prescients until The Scattering (which I believe to be what Leto was refering to when he spoke of Kralizec) succeded.

The Scattering.

Leto's repression of humanity, that is, forbidding them to travel in space and limiting them to certain static ways of life, whole planet prisons is the way Siona put it, I believe, for so long gave humanity such an urge to seek new frontiers it resulted in an exponantial increase in the size and population of human civilization.

The result of The Scattering was basically near infinite humanity. No one would ever be able to find, rule over or destroy all people.
Last edited by Freakzilla on Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Freakzilla
Lead Singer and Driver of the Winnebego
 
Posts: 17486
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:27 am
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Postby Freakzilla » Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:39 pm

Simon wrote:Complex indeed! :shock:

"So I guess in summary I would say that it is best not to think of the Golden Path as a static, inflexible line from Point A to Point B. Its not so much a plan as a philosophy. Leto II was not limiting humanity to one way to survival so much as creating some cultural momentum that would wind up pushing humanity in the correct direction."

This is how I saw it, perhaps it's a bit simplistic but this seems to be the GP in a nutshell. Though I would have said "directions" there at the end of the quote. I think a sole "direction" was the problem at the start, LetoII wanted the possibilities of many directions to florish, giving rise to much of what you out lined above.


I think "Path" is a poor description. I think the events that led up to Leto's metamorphasis and ending in his death were a path. Leto created a bottleneck in the possible futures to where only he could determine which path humanity followed. When he fell, he essentially released the "key log" in the log jam of human futures and after The Scattering nearly anything became possible.
User avatar
Freakzilla
Lead Singer and Driver of the Winnebego
 
Posts: 17486
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:27 am
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Postby Simon » Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:55 pm

I guess what makes it hazey for me is "When did LetoII's vision/hold of/on humanity end?". I remember thinking it meant until his death (at the Idaho River as it turned out) but then Darwi finds his message in HoD, it seems to suggest his path/plan/vision had ceased to release humanity.

I know it had to end (wasn't that the point of destroying Paul's Godhead? To release humanity from Paul's vision?) Or maybe it mattered how the vision/path was set into play? Like Paul's vision/path was begun with the goal of vengence for his father's betrayal.

Paul had a very narrow plan at the start: revenge. LetoII's plan: human survival was a little more benevolant. Could the whole path (Paul or Leto's) be effected by the nature of it's roots? I'm undecided on this...
User avatar
Simon
 
Posts: 566
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:15 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Postby Freakzilla » Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:10 pm

Simon wrote:I guess what makes it hazey for me is "When did LetoII's vision/hold of/on humanity end?". I remember thinking it meant until his death (at the Idaho River as it turned out) but then Darwi finds his message in HoD, it seems to suggest his path/plan/vision had ceased to release humanity.


I don't think Leto ever locked humanity into his vision. I think Odrade's explaination was just an excuse to destroy the worms for her opposing faction. That was one of the first lessons he learned from Paul. Leto didn't rely on his prescience to guide his empire. Sure he used it to crush rebelions and the like but no where near the degree Paul did.

I know it had to end (wasn't that the point of destroying Paul's Godhead? To release humanity from Paul's vision?) Or maybe it mattered how the vision/path was set into play? Like Paul's vision/path was begun with the goal of vengence for his father's betrayal.


You may want to revisit Paul and Leto's "battle of visions" in Children of Dune. That was the point Leto took the vision away from Paul. Paul had locked humanity on such a narrow vision that the only way Leto could break it's hold was an act of creation, the human-sandtrout symbiote.

Paul had a very narrow plan at the start: revenge. LetoII's plan: human survival was a little more benevolant. Could the whole path (Paul or Leto's) be effected by the nature of it's roots? I'm undecided on this...


That's a very deep question. Paul's vision was overlayed on Leto's awareness since before birth. Maybe the Golden Path wouldn't even have been necessary if Paul hadn't occured. I have posed the question before, was Leto's Golden Path just a bigger, better prescient trap? But I don't think it was. Leto saw something in his initial "worm trip" that would destroy humanity, his metamorphasis and reign prevented that. I think everything else he planned was by mentat reasoning and Other Memory example. Patterns. He didn't need prescience to see where the Bene Gesserit was heading.
User avatar
Freakzilla
Lead Singer and Driver of the Winnebego
 
Posts: 17486
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:27 am
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Postby Omphalos » Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:19 pm

Freakzilla wrote:Great post Omph, I especially found your take on technology in relation to the Golden Path interesting.

So do you think that the new authors are right that FH intended Leto's GP to prepare humanity for "Kralizec" or a "end of the world" scenareo as presented in the new books?


As to your first question, absolutely not, Freak. I think that the purpose of the GP was only to ensure that humanity would get to a point where the Scattering/Diaspora would ensure that it is physically impossible to destroy all of humanity, even if sizable chunks could be lopped off. If FH was working up to a glorious battle, it was going to be over the remnants of empire and those who has been chased back in. But the Scattering was a success. Leto II saw it. How could it be otherwise?

Freakzilla wrote:I think the idea defies the concept of the GP which in my view boils down to a two basic eliments:

The Siona Gene.

This was a temporary measure to hide the Atreides decendants from prescients until The Scattering (which I believe to be what Leto was refering to when he spoke of Kralizec) succeded.

The Scattering.

Leto's repression of humanity, that is, forbidding them to travel in space and limiting them to certain static ways of life, whole planet prisons is the way Siona put it, I believe, for so long gave humanity such an urge to seek new frontiers it resulted in an exponantial increase in the size and population of human civilization.

The result of The Scattering was basically near infinite humanity. No one would ever be able to find, rule over or destroy all people.


I Agree, agree, agree and agree. I think everything else I mentioned above was a tool or strategy to accomplish the goals, which you have hit upon. I may have overstated above, but I do believe that Leto's plan was dependent on individual smaller successes as I noted above, and in that sense all those things are "part" of the GP.

I should also add that the health of humanity depended, probably, on the survival of the sphere of human influence that encompassed Leto's empire. My opinion is that Leto really was interested in more than survival. He wanted humanity to flourish. Whatever he immagined as the threat that was driving the HM back into it, he wanted it to survive. It was the foundation of humanity, and Im sure eventually FH would have had a second diaspora. How could he not after the HM had shown up on the scene. There was just too much out there for the BG to ignore now. They would have had to go outwards.
User avatar
Omphalos
Inglorious Bastard
 
Posts: 6189
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:07 am
Location: The Mighty Central Valley of California

Postby SandChigger » Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:28 am

Freak, I thought your view was that Kralizec was the chaos after Leto's death, the Famine Times.

That seem consistent with the books. The word never appears outside of CoD.

(Nice tie in with the stagnation and monopoly, Omph! :D )
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA
User avatar
SandChigger
KJASF Ground Zero
 
Posts: 14487
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:29 pm
Location: "Whatcha having, shoog? Hurry up and order now, I ain't got all day!"

Postby Freakzilla » Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:56 am

SandChigger wrote:Freak, I thought your view was that Kralizec was the chaos after Leto's death, the Famine Times.

That seem consistent with the books. The word never appears outside of CoD.

(Nice tie in with the stagnation and monopoly, Omph! :D )


I think of The Famine Times and The Scattering as being the same "Kralizec" period, yes, that's the impression I got from Leto at the end of CoD.
User avatar
Freakzilla
Lead Singer and Driver of the Winnebego
 
Posts: 17486
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:27 am
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Postby Omphalos » Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:01 am

Freakzilla wrote:
SandChigger wrote:Freak, I thought your view was that Kralizec was the chaos after Leto's death, the Famine Times.

That seem consistent with the books. The word never appears outside of CoD.

(Nice tie in with the stagnation and monopoly, Omph! :D )


I think of The Famine Times and The Scattering as being the same "Kralizec" period, yes, that's the impression I got from Leto at the end of CoD.


Ah! Yea! I forgot about that. I never put that together before I heard Freak say it, but Herbert was building to a battle at the end of the sixth book. That battle was obviously a risk to the continuity of the Empire. I think that there was too much culture, history and, obviously, knowledge there to be lost. Based on what we know losing the empire would not put humanity itself at risk of death, but the loss would hold humanity back, even if the contact was minor at the time.
User avatar
Omphalos
Inglorious Bastard
 
Posts: 6189
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:07 am
Location: The Mighty Central Valley of California

Postby SandChigger » Sun Feb 10, 2008 1:21 am

Freakzilla wrote:I think "Path" is a poor description. I think the events that led up to Leto's metamorphasis and ending in his death were a path. Leto created a bottleneck in the possible futures to where only he could determine which path humanity followed. When he fell, he essentially released the "key log" in the log jam of human futures and after The Scattering nearly anything became possible.

Agreed.

Because of the nuances it brings with it, it might actually be better to dispense with the term "Golden Path" in these discussions and use the (Ancient Egyptian?) Secher Nbiw, secher meaning "plan" or "counsel" IIRC. Too many people seem to get hung up on the idea of a "path" that humanity must follow and could possibly wander off of...which of course it can't.

I also don't think that Leto "micro-managed" things like responses to the HMs or NFDs (or some machine revenge), because he knew the dangers of the prophetic trap. There was a 5,000-year period from the beginning of his reign to the beginning of Heretics, within which was a period of 4,000 years from the time of the construction of the Dar-es-Balat complex until its discovery. He said himself that he never looked deeply beyond those 4,000 years, only peeked (he uses "glimpses") to make sure that the SN continued. (And he was only checking then because he was still alive and things not finalized, not because the SN could be endangered AFTER his death.)

I'm not entirely convinced that he looked ahead and saw who would find his spice hoard at Tabr, or even that it was found. The clues he left could only be read by a BG with OM, hence the "A REVEREND MOTHER WILL READ MY WORDS!"
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA
User avatar
SandChigger
KJASF Ground Zero
 
Posts: 14487
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:29 pm
Location: "Whatcha having, shoog? Hurry up and order now, I ain't got all day!"

Postby SimonH » Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:05 pm

great points.

I think an important short term thing that Leto II did was entrench a rebellious attitude.

By reducing the availability of space travel during his reign to basically nothing and ruling almost omnipotently he created the desire for the scattering. To me the scattering is firstly a literal scattering of people through the universe, but also by removal from the old empire, a scattering of aims/motivations etc to achieve a sustainably diverse population forever more.
User avatar
SimonH
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:28 pm

Postby Phaedrus » Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:36 am

I like the ideas here.

A more simple statement of the same idea: Leto II used all the power he had at his disposal(Other Memory, prescience, hydraulic despotism, etc.) against humanity. He was essentially humanity's predator. Once the prey grew strong/smart/capable enough to destroy that predator, they should have been able to counter any threat equal to it. Leto also directed forces in such a way that humanity wouldn't simply counter this threat, it would become suspicious of other segments of humanity, and all of them would grow in competition. Thus, the BG worry about creating another KH, yet they breed Miles Teg and other individuals, and use Sheeana, because if they don't, the Tleilaxu may create something greater, and use that to destroy them. The Tleilaxu, are, of course, in the same situation, but then both are threatened by the Honored Matres, and greater ingenuity and power is needed to overcome this new force.
User avatar
Phaedrus
 
Posts: 551
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 4:35 am

Postby Tleilax Master B » Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:38 am

SandChigger wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:I think "Path" is a poor description. I think the events that led up to Leto's metamorphasis and ending in his death were a path. Leto created a bottleneck in the possible futures to where only he could determine which path humanity followed. When he fell, he essentially released the "key log" in the log jam of human futures and after The Scattering nearly anything became possible.

Agreed.

Because of the nuances it brings with it, it might actually be better to dispense with the term "Golden Path" in these discussions and use the (Ancient Egyptian?) Secher Nbiw, secher meaning "plan" or "counsel" IIRC. Too many people seem to get hung up on the idea of a "path" that humanity must follow and could possibly wander off of...which of course it can't.

I also don't think that Leto "micro-managed" things like responses to the HMs or NFDs (or some machine revenge), because he knew the dangers of the prophetic trap. There was a 5,000-year period from the beginning of his reign to the beginning of Heretics, within which was a period of 4,000 years from the time of the construction of the Dar-es-Balat complex until its discovery. He said himself that he never looked deeply beyond those 4,000 years, only peeked (he uses "glimpses") to make sure that the SN continued. (And he was only checking then because he was still alive and things not finalized, not because the SN could be endangered AFTER his death.)

I'm not entirely convinced that he looked ahead and saw who would find his spice hoard at Tabr, or even that it was found. The clues he left could only be read by a BG with OM, hence the "A REVEREND MOTHER WILL READ MY WORDS!"


double agreed. I especially agree with the ideas that NFDs and HMs were relatively inconsequential to the survival of humanity. They served as a threat to the Old Empire, but the Scattering has prevented them from having a detrimental effect on humanity as a whole.

Leto II couldn't have looked ahead to see which RM found his message; most of the RM including Odrade have the Siona Gene and would have been invisible to his prescience........
User avatar
Tleilax Master B
 
Posts: 674
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:54 am
Location: Desert of New Mexico

Postby GodEmperorJason » Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:03 pm

I think its telling that given all of the factions in the Old Empire, we are exposed in the books to relatively few factions of the much larger Scattering. It always gave me the impression that the HMs, NFDs and even the Enemy were only a very small part of it.

"Leto's voice came in wheezing gasps: "Let them scatter, Duncan. Let them run and hide anywhere they want in any universe they choose."


"My gift," Leto said. "Nobody will find the descendants of Siona. The Oracle cannot see her."
"What?" They spoke in unison, leaning close to hear his fading voice.
"I give you a new kind of time without parallels," he said. "It will always diverge. There will be no concurrent points on its curves. I give you the Golden Path. That is my gift. Never again will you have the kinds of concurrence that once you had."
User avatar
GodEmperorJason
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:07 am

Next

Return to The Golden Path

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest