God Emperor of Dune


God Emperor of Dune


“This is their weakness, Duncan. Radicals always see matters in terms which are too simple—black and white, good and evil, them and us. By addressing complex matters in that way, they rip open a passage for chaos. The art of government as you call it, is the mastery of chaos.” — p. 37

That lasgun is no more than a machine. But all machines fail or are superceded. Still, the Army worships at the shrine of such things—both fascinated and fearful. Look at how people fear the Ixians! In its guts, the Army knows it is the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. It unleashes technology and never again can the magic be stuffed back into the bottle. — p. 53

“In the view of Infinity, any defined long-term is short-term.” “Then are there no rules at all, Lord?” Moneo’s voice conveyed a faint hint of hysteria. Leto smiled to ease the man’s tensions. “Perhaps one. Short-term decisions tend to fail in the long-term.” — p. 82

I know the evil of my ancestors because I am those people. The balance is delicate in the extreme. I know that few of you who read my words have ever thought about your ancestors this way. It has not occurred to you that your ancestors were survivors and that the survival itself sometimes involved savage decisions, a kind of wanton brutality which civilized humankind works very hard to suppress. What price will you pay for that suppression? Will you accept your own extinction? — p. 115

“The only past which endures lies wordlessly within you.” — p. 154

“They believe that by risking death they pay the price of any violent behavior against enemies of their own choosing. They have the invader mentality. Nunepi does not believe himself responsible for anything done against aliens.” — p. 193

“I point out to you, Marcus Claire Luyseyal, a lesson from past over-machined societies which you appear not to have learned. The devices themselves condition the users to employ each other the way they employ machines.” — p. 212

“If there is no enemy, one must be invented. The military force which is denied an external target always turns against its own people.” — p. 246

“Men are susceptible to class fixations. They create layered societies. The layered society is an ultimate invitation to violence. It does not fall apart. It explodes.” — p. 247

“I know that. The Ixians do not recognize that machine-makers always run the risk of becoming totally machine. This is ultimate sterility. Machines always fail . . . given time. And when these machines failed there would be nothing left, no life at all.” — p. 281

“This wise man observed that wealth is a tool of freedom. But the pursuit of wealth is the way to slavery.” — p. 285

“My Uncle Malky always said the Lord Leto never responded to prayer. He said the Lord Leto looked on prayer as attempted coercion, a form of violence against the chosen god, telling the immortal what to do: Give me a miracle, God, or I won’t believe in you!” — p. 403

“What’s the purpose of those journals?” “An Ixian machine records them. They are to be found on a faraway day. They will make people think.” “An Ixian machine? You defy the Jihad!” “There’s a lesson in that, too. What do such machines really do? They increase the number of things we can do without thinking. Things we do without thinking—there’s the real danger. Look at how long you walked across this desert without thinking about your face mask.” “You could have warned me!” “And increased your dependency.” — p. 412

Most civilization is based on cowardice. It’s so easy to civilize by teaching cowardice. You water down the standards which would lead to bravery. You restrain the will. You regulate the appetites. You fence in the horizons. You make a law for every movement. You deny the existence of chaos. You teach even the children to breathe slowly. You tame. — p. 435

“Then what could you do?” “Run faster. History is a constant race between invention and catastrophe. Education helps but it’s never enough. You also must run.” — p. 465

“Take charge of your own existence, Moneo!” Moneo took a deep, trembling breath. “Lord, I meant no offense. I sought only . . .” “Look upward, Moneo!” Involuntarily, Moneo obeyed, peering into the cloudless sky where morning light was increasing. “What is it, Lord?” “There’s no reassuring ceiling over you, Moneo. Only an open sky full of changes. Welcome it. Every sense you possess is an instrument for reacting to change. Does that tell you nothing?” — p. 480