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Honour and cultur in dune


Emperor Harkonnen
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Most universe changing people really have to be single-minded and intensely focused.

As far as religious individuals go, Mohammad was continuously pursuing the unification of all the states of the western Arabian peninsula. Jesus devoted hour after hour ministering to the Jewish people.

Generals/Admirals such as Octavian, Antony devoted whole months of moving armies, getting even, and slaughtering thousands, to obtain power. Was Paul or Jessica doing any less?

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Most universe changing people really have to be single-minded and intensely focused.

Because we've seen so many people change the universe of late, right?

USA has the highest GDP per capita of all countries in the world, given my assumptions. This is a proof that freedom maximizes value.

That's ridiculous. The USA is also possessed of massive natural resources and a very large labour pool, not to mention infrastructure, strong trade, favourable diplomacy... In any case, making any sort of causal connection between freedom and profit would require the US of A to be high on workers' freedoms as compared to its peers, which it isn't. Again, individual freedom is not the same as corporate freedom. Indeed, the two are generally mutually exclusive.

Anyway.

I can't really see how it is so difficult to understand:

1: You want almost full employment, because unemployed people is a waste of resources since people are resources

2: You want every employee to produce as much as possible for as little cost as possible. (as mentioned before, this does not involve stepping on people)

You're not quite getting it. Your economics function because they're based in the theatres of more or less democratic, stable, capitalist societies, yes? But you're trying to employ them in a so-stable-it's-stagnant series of feudalist mini-kingdoms. There will be changes, to wit:

1) Full employment is that much easier to attain when you can kill the old, weak and otherwise unemployed. And anyway, why employ when you can enslave?

2) Working people until they drop means giving them just enough to stay alive. They won't be as efficient as well treated workers, but you can make up for the drop in quality by compensating with quantity. What (for example) an Atreides worker might eat in a day could feed a Harkonnen worker, his (working) wife and their (working) six and nine year old children for three days. Not only does this stretch resources, but you can therefore afford far more workers than someone who treats their workers well.

My point is this: does your theory apply equally to modern New York, 1946 Sheffield, 4004BC Egypt and a Harkonnen slave pit?

And my argument is that profits are greater when individual workers are treated as units, commodities, to be used up and sacrificed as required. And importantly, the only reason we don't work like that (anymore?) is because the consequences of so abusing people became more expensive than the alternative.

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That's ridiculous. The USA is also possessed of massive natural resources and a very large labour pool, not to mention infrastructure, strong trade, favourable diplomacy... In any case, making any sort of causal connection between freedom and profit would require the US of A to be high on workers' freedoms as compared to its peers, which it isn't. Again, individual freedom is not the same as corporate freedom. Indeed, the two are generally mutually exclusive.

Anyway.

I allready wrote as an assumption that I consider individual freedom a nation with less government intervention(capitalism). If you are questioning this assumption that is fair, but should it be wrong my argument doesn't hold, this is why I wrote it as an assumption. If you don't believe that capitalism is freedom, of course you won't agree to this.

Natural resources: Has almost nothing to do with economic development, as you obvisoulsy know. (with the exception of oil, and other resources in large quantities with high margins) African countries is one example here.

Infrastructure: of course this matters, but most countries in Europe have equal or better infrastructure.

Trade: A biproduct of global capitalism and freedom

Anyway the US is not my only example, the Nordic countries does extremely well also. In these countries there is freedom for corporations, but also free education and medical care. Which further increases the freedom of individuals. (this is because capitalism has a flaw in medical treatment and education)

For the second part of your reply: (i don't know how to get more quotes)

You are right to question whether these theories applies to a scenario one does not know that much about. And of course I could be wrong, I am simply basing my opinion on the current situation which is probably the best estimate one can make. And in the current situation a worker gives the most output if he is happy. Quantities doesn't replace quality.

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Thanks TMA. In retrospect, I think I understood more than I thought I did. Mostly, I think I found the purpose of this thread ambiguous: Are we asking why traditional views of capitalism = freedom = productivity aren't used in the Duniverse, or are we arguing that traditional views of capitalism should have been present in the Duniverse?

I think I tried to answer the first question because I don't think the second question is answerable (much like the question of what would have happened if Feyd had won). IMO, individual corporations are threats to national security, particularly autocratic rule, which makes the whole concept of a free market on Caladan, Geidi Prime, or Arrakis somewhat silly, unless you get rid of the concept of nobility. Then the whole plot is lost.

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We cannot assume that democracies induce or create productivity. China is far from a republic or a democracy, and they have the most productive society on the earth at the current moment. The USA is not productive at all -- it borrows 2+ trillion dollars a year, which is a sure sign of the opposite of productivity. Here goes my rant: Democracies in decline are actually anti-productive.

So if the purpose is to say that the Dune universe would be more productive had it been a democracy, the answer would not necessarily be Yes.

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Lord Johnsonius

Yeah, the question was why they are not used. I understand your argument, but I disagree. I don't think a corporation poses a threat to the government/noble family.

Erasomnius:

GDP produced per hour worked is a good measure of productivity. As you can see the most productive societies are those of Western and Northern Europe as well as the USA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_hour_worked

China is acctually thought to have a higher borrowing rate as well, it is thought to be concealed in the municipalies and difficult to estimate. They are far from more productive than the western world, and predictions say that they probably never will be in the next 100 years. Most capital in the world is owned by the OECD countries, and the return on this capital, even if invested in China, goes back to the countries that own the capital.

But if you only count the east coast of China, they are probably closer to western productivity.

But you raise a good point, it is hard to say for such a society as Dune what would work ;)

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