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    BG and passive aggression and the cold war

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    BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby bloshka » 16 Jun 2010 16:39

    Hi all,

    So, ok. I do hope I don't offend anyone, but I'd like a chance to write a bit about my frustration with the BG.

    They exist to serve: a little like an ever-suffering mother who uses that for control.

    They delight in throwing their sisters (and others) off balance and in concealing their thoughts and feelings. In Chapterhouse, Odrade continually frustrated me with her derogatory thoughts toward others and her bossiness. And her sense of entitlement.

    Claiming to know what's best for the universe in order to serve it is rather entitled, no?

    Still, what frustrated me was the ever-present sense of paranoia and passive-aggression among the Bene Gesserit. They never, that I remembered, answered a question directly. (Well, perhaps Murbella did with Duncan, but in secret, hiding from the comeyes.)

    The comeyes, the passive-aggression, the centralized control. I wonder whether this was a comment on the USSR, given that Frank Herbert did write during the cold war. Indeed, I was rather surprised when, toward the end, the message of the novel seemed to be about the corruptibility and inefficiency of entrenched bureaucracies (although the BG clearly had a large, large bureaucracy) and the tendency of old-boy networks to have inept people at the top (although, there again, we have all groups in the book --from the BG to the Jews to the Honored Matres-- having old-boy networks).

    I'd appreciate any thoughts on this and any commentary.

    With my best regards,

    Terry
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 16 Jun 2010 17:02

    No, I think you're on the mark. I think a big part of Leto II's Golden Path (the Scattering) was to get humanity away from the BG and to give it a chance to go it on it's own. Of course more things like the BG will always crop up, but at least once people were scattered no one group could ever bring down humanity as a whole.
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby Freakzilla » 16 Jun 2010 17:04

    While the BG do have quite the bureaucracy, corruption within is nearly impossible due to their ability to read people from minute details. They are all ultimately loyal to the sisterhood.

    I haven't thought much of the cold war analogy, that's very interesting. I'll have to ponder that.
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby lotek » 16 Jun 2010 18:10

    well it's true that the comeyes, the constant monitoring and the pragmatic attitude to religion have a whiff of the old communist totalitarism, but to me it feels like the BG pay the price for that: they renounced love(and look where it got them!).
    Dictatorships don't exist only to serve don't they?

    aToE don't you think that the main goal of the GP was to set humanity free from the prescient hold?
    Leto II could have easily destroyed the BG but he chose not to do it, I am not saying I disagree but I'd appreciate if you could develop that line of thought :)
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby D Pope » 16 Jun 2010 20:03

    Like Paul said, they take a lot on themselves.
    Leto II is gone for good, except for OM. The "pearl" was just that; a miniscule portion of what Leto was, and not a compressed version of the whole. The pearl that the worms have do not make them Leto, or in any way similar to him.
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby Freakzilla » 16 Jun 2010 20:49

    To the latter-day BG, I think "I exist only to serve" was only a motto and didn't really apply anymore. They have come to the forefront in politics and are no longer manipulating from behind the scenes. Having the dominant military force in the Old Empire (not counting the HM) I think they might be more analogous to the post-cold-war USA.

    :wink:
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 16 Jun 2010 23:06

    lotek wrote:
    aToE don't you think that the main goal of the GP was to set humanity free from the prescient hold?
    Leto II could have easily destroyed the BG but he chose not to do it, I am not saying I disagree but I'd appreciate if you could develop that line of thought :)


    Oh yes, of course I agree that that was the main goal. I just said "a big part" - he could simultaneously see them as a threat to humanity that needed to be overcome, and respect them as his creator (without the BG there never would have been any Golden Path, (they created the KH after all) humanity would have died out rather soon, as Paul foresaw) and respect their intentions and right to exist.

    Think of it like this - he loves them and cares about them as "parents" or family (and through his OM he would literally be BG), but recognises that they are dangerous to humanity. Why destroy them, when his plan to save everyone from prescience (or any one thing) also takes care of the BG problem.
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby Freakzilla » 16 Jun 2010 23:13

    A Thing of Eternity wrote:...humanity would have died out rather soon, as Paul foresaw...


    :cylon101: Paul never saw that, as he told Leto in CoD.
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 16 Jun 2010 23:16

    Freakzilla wrote:
    A Thing of Eternity wrote:...humanity would have died out rather soon, as Paul foresaw...


    :cylon101: Paul never saw that, as he told Leto in CoD.


    Damnit! What'd I miss/forget now? What about the extinction he saw happening if his Jihad didn't come to be? :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby Freakzilla » 16 Jun 2010 23:21

    A Thing of Eternity wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:
    A Thing of Eternity wrote:...humanity would have died out rather soon, as Paul foresaw...


    :cylon101: Paul never saw that, as he told Leto in CoD.


    Damnit! What'd I miss/forget now? What about the extinction he saw happening if his Jihad didn't come to be? :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:


    He didn't, he just saw that it was inevitable. Paul saw no way to avoid the jihad. It was humanities reaction to the stagnant state of the empire. Since it was inevitable, and he obviously didn't see as far into the future as Leto, from his point of view there was no threat of extinction. This is why I say Paul's Jihad was a temporary fix until Leto's GP.
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 16 Jun 2010 23:25

    Freakzilla wrote:
    A Thing of Eternity wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:
    A Thing of Eternity wrote:...humanity would have died out rather soon, as Paul foresaw...


    :cylon101: Paul never saw that, as he told Leto in CoD.


    Damnit! What'd I miss/forget now? What about the extinction he saw happening if his Jihad didn't come to be? :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:


    He didn't, he just saw that it was inevitable. Paul saw no way to avoid the jihad. It was humanities reaction to the stagnant state of the empire. Since it was inevitable, and he obviously didn't see as far into the future as Leto, from his point of view there was no threat of extinction. This is why I say Paul's Jihad was a temporary fix until Leto's GP.


    Ok, but I remember a specific passage where it comes up that if Paul's Jihad hadn't happened humanity would have been dead in a couple thousand years (or something to that effect).
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby Freakzilla » 16 Jun 2010 23:25

    A Thing of Eternity wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:
    A Thing of Eternity wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:
    A Thing of Eternity wrote:...humanity would have died out rather soon, as Paul foresaw...


    :cylon101: Paul never saw that, as he told Leto in CoD.


    Damnit! What'd I miss/forget now? What about the extinction he saw happening if his Jihad didn't come to be? :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:


    He didn't, he just saw that it was inevitable. Paul saw no way to avoid the jihad. It was humanities reaction to the stagnant state of the empire. Since it was inevitable, and he obviously didn't see as far into the future as Leto, from his point of view there was no threat of extinction. This is why I say Paul's Jihad was a temporary fix until Leto's GP.


    Ok, but I remember a specific passage where it comes up that if Paul's Jihad hadn't happened humanity would have been dead in a couple thousand years (or something to that effect).


    Well, you'll have to quote it. :wink:
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 16 Jun 2010 23:29

    Freakzilla wrote:
    A Thing of Eternity wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:
    A Thing of Eternity wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:
    A Thing of Eternity wrote:...humanity would have died out rather soon, as Paul foresaw...


    :cylon101: Paul never saw that, as he told Leto in CoD.


    Damnit! What'd I miss/forget now? What about the extinction he saw happening if his Jihad didn't come to be? :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:


    He didn't, he just saw that it was inevitable. Paul saw no way to avoid the jihad. It was humanities reaction to the stagnant state of the empire. Since it was inevitable, and he obviously didn't see as far into the future as Leto, from his point of view there was no threat of extinction. This is why I say Paul's Jihad was a temporary fix until Leto's GP.


    Ok, but I remember a specific passage where it comes up that if Paul's Jihad hadn't happened humanity would have been dead in a couple thousand years (or something to that effect).


    Well, you'll have to quote it. :wink:


    Shit, I wonder if I'm actually thinking of a GEoD quote where LETO is talking about how humanity would have been toast without HIM, not Paul... :doh:


    AND - just to get back to my point, Humanity would have been toast if the BG had not started the KH program.
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby Freakzilla » 16 Jun 2010 23:29

    Paul buried his face in his hands. His shoulders shook for a moment, then he
    lowered his hands and his mouth was set in a harsh line. "There is a curse upon
    our House. I prayed that you would throw that ring into the sand, that you'd
    deny me and run away to make . . . another life. It was there for you."
    "At what price?"
    After a long silence, Paul said: "The end adjusts the path behind it. Just
    once I failed to fight for my principles. Just once. I accepted the Mahdinate. I
    did it for Chani, but it made me a bad leader."
    Leto found he couldn't answer this. The memory of that decision was there
    within him.
    "I cannot lie to you any more than I could lie to myself," Paul said. "I
    know this. Every man should have such an auditor. I will only ask this one
    thing: is the Typhoon Struggle necessary?"
    "It's that or humans will be extinguished."
    Paul heard the truth in Leto's words, spoke in a low voice which
    acknowledged the greater breadth of his son's vision. "I did not see that among
    the choices."

    "I believe the Sisterhood suspects it," Leto said. "I cannot accept any
    other explanation of my grandmother's decision."

    ~CoD
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby Freakzilla » 16 Jun 2010 23:32

    A Thing of Eternity wrote:AND - just to get back to my point, Humanity would have been toast if the BG had not started the KH program.


    Maybe... then again, maybe Leto's Vision CREATED the threat. :shock: :wink: :P
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 16 Jun 2010 23:32

    Thanks Freak, that lines up, but I'll have to do my own digging, because I remember a passage where a specific timeline for extinction was laid out. The more I think about it the more I think it might have been a Leto-Siona conversation bit.
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 16 Jun 2010 23:33

    Freakzilla wrote:
    A Thing of Eternity wrote:AND - just to get back to my point, Humanity would have been toast if the BG had not started the KH program.


    Maybe... then again, maybe Leto's Vision CREATED the threat. :shock: :wink: :P


    Bah. That's what I say to that! :lol:
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby Freakzilla » 16 Jun 2010 23:35

    A Thing of Eternity wrote:Thanks Freak, that lines up, but I'll have to do my own digging, because I remember a passage where a specific timeline for extinction was laid out. The more I think about it the more I think it might have been a Leto-Siona conversation bit.


    "What makes you do what you do?"
    The question was well framed. He said: "My need to save the people."
    "What people?"
    "My definition is much broader than that of anyone else even of the Bene
    Gesserit, who think they have defined what it is to be human. I refer to the
    eternal thread of all humankind by whatever definition."
    "You're trying to tell me. . ." Her mouth became too dry for speaking. She tried
    to accumulate saliva. He saw the movements within her face mask. Her question
    was obvious, though, and he did not wait.
    "Without me there would have been by now no people anywhere, none whatsoever.
    And the path to that extinction was more hideous than your wildest imaginings."

    "Your supposed prescience," she sneered.
    "The Golden Path still stands open," he said.

    ~GEoD
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby Freakzilla » 16 Jun 2010 23:36

    A Thing of Eternity wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:
    A Thing of Eternity wrote:AND - just to get back to my point, Humanity would have been toast if the BG had not started the KH program.


    Maybe... then again, maybe Leto's Vision CREATED the threat. :shock: :wink: :P


    Bah. That's what I say to that! :lol:


    Yeah, but I bet you'll think about it more now that I've said it. :twisted:
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 16 Jun 2010 23:37

    Freakzilla wrote:
    A Thing of Eternity wrote:Thanks Freak, that lines up, but I'll have to do my own digging, because I remember a passage where a specific timeline for extinction was laid out. The more I think about it the more I think it might have been a Leto-Siona conversation bit.


    "What makes you do what you do?"
    The question was well framed. He said: "My need to save the people."
    "What people?"
    "My definition is much broader than that of anyone else even of the Bene
    Gesserit, who think they have defined what it is to be human. I refer to the
    eternal thread of all humankind by whatever definition."
    "You're trying to tell me. . ." Her mouth became too dry for speaking. She tried
    to accumulate saliva. He saw the movements within her face mask. Her question
    was obvious, though, and he did not wait.
    "Without me there would have been by now no people anywhere, none whatsoever.
    And the path to that extinction was more hideous than your wildest imaginings."

    "Your supposed prescience," she sneered.
    "The Golden Path still stands open," he said.

    ~GEoD



    Oh, that could be it - thanks.
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby Hunchback Jack » 19 Jun 2010 02:39

    A Thing of Eternity wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:Maybe... then again, maybe Leto's Vision CREATED the threat. :shock: :wink: :P


    Bah. That's what I say to that! :lol:


    Or "Pshaw", even.

    But was the advent of increased prescience part of the threat? Protection from prescient rule seems to be an important part of the GP. If that's the case, then breeding for the KH may have been part of the problem.

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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby Freakzilla » 19 Jun 2010 11:22

    Hunchback Jack wrote:
    A Thing of Eternity wrote:
    Freakzilla wrote:Maybe... then again, maybe Leto's Vision CREATED the threat. :shock: :wink: :P


    Bah. That's what I say to that! :lol:


    Or "Pshaw", even.

    But was the advent of increased prescience part of the threat? Protection from prescient rule seems to be an important part of the GP. If that's the case, then breeding for the KH may have been part of the problem.

    HBJ


    Eactly. Mabey the self-improving hunter-seekers were/would be designed to kill Leto but ran/run amok?
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby Hunchback Jack » 21 Jun 2010 00:35

    :lol:

    No, I don't think so.

    I'm not saying that the advent of prescience was the *only* problem, or that Leto was the threat to humanity that the GP eradicated. Clearly not. But I was thinking that the emergence of prescience in the human gene pool might have been part of the reason the GP was necessary. So long as the Siona gene was absent, humanity was vulnerable to *any* prescient ruler - not just Paul or Leto - shaping the future for them; I think of it as a kind of slavery.

    Leto was a hero because he chose to use his prescience to free humanity from that.

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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby Freakzilla » 21 Jun 2010 01:00

    What I'm saying is... how do we know the GP was necessary?

    Leto says so.

    Paul didn't see it.

    Now, I'm not saying Leto WAS the threat of extinction but that maybe his vision of one is what created the threat. There was quite a bit of time Leto spent in CoD severing all timelines except ones that lead to the begining of the GP. How do we know those other timelines didn't have extinction in them?

    Just like Paul chose the Jihad over the end of House Atreides, Leto may have chosen the GP for similar reasons. But instead of saving the Atreides, he makes everyone Atreides.

    Sure, he saved humankind. I'm not saying he didn't. Just maybe he chose the path that lead to extinction for the sole purpose of doing so.

    In effect, the GP was a bigger, better prescient trap that he had the solution for.


    :wink:
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    Re: BG and passive aggression and the cold war

    Postby SandChigger » 21 Jun 2010 02:06

    mrpork has hacked Freak's account. :P
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