Genre Criticism

February 27, 2024

Dune: Part Two: The film conservatives have been waiting for? – Mark Judge (Washington Examiner)

The world and politics of Dune have been expertly analyzed by Daniel Immerwahr, a bestselling author and professor at Northwestern University. Immerwahr charts the two sides of Herbert, the conservative Republican and the environmentalist who grew up in Washington state, hung out with hippies and did drugs in the 1970s, and whose mentor was an American Indian.

Although raised by socialist parents, Herbert’s experience with commune living and Native Americans filled him with a hostility toward the federal government. Herbert rejected “any kind of public charity system” because he “learned early on that our society’s institutions often weaken people’s self-reliance.” Herbert worked for four Republican candidates, including very conservative Guy Cordon, a U.S. senator from Oregon. Cordon was pro-logging, pro-business, pro-military, anti-labor, anti-regulation, and a supporter of Joseph McCarthy. A book Herbert wrote before Dune calls Soviet agents “the sinister embodiment of everything evil.”

Yet, Herbert was also an environmentalist. In the 1960s, a countercultural activist gave him a book to read about log mining. Herbert was shocked and agreed in that hysterical time that humans were going to strip the Earth of all its resources. All that would be left, he said, “is one big dune.” Herbert also had knowledge of Islam before it was widely known in the West.

H/t: Instapundit