Apart from being the God Emperor of mankind, Donald Trump may also be the Kwisatz Haderach, the Messiah. Frank Herbert’s Dune may serve as a guide for understanding the Trump phenomenon.
Apart from being the God Emperor of mankind, Donald Trump may also be the Kwisatz Haderach, the Messiah. Those who know their science fiction will recognize this title from Frank Herbert’s novel Dune (1965), which was also made into a film by David Lynch in 1984. This is a film that can be described as a flawed masterpiece, if ever there was one. Dune depicts the young aristocrat Paul Atreides and his trajectory towards becoming something more: a messiah and a liberator. Paul’s journey is about self-overcoming, the conquering of fear and weakness, and the fulfilment of a prophecy and the leading of a people toward liberty, stepping outside of the boundaries which have been set up by one’s enemies.
Dune, and I refer to both the novel and the cinematic adaptation, belong to that scarce category of cultural works which actually relate to the real world, and which have important and insightful things to convey. This work deals with many themes which are of definite importance for us today and the struggles we face. Paul’s conquering of fear and weakness is one thing, but there are many more themes which can be discussed. Dune has an anti-colonial theme in the sense that it depicts a people, the Fremen, whose planet has been taken from them because it contains the cosmic drug known as the spice melange. Spice is necessary for space travel, and worth more than anything else in the Dune universe.
Another theme is the power of words and language. In Dune, a word can literally kill. In the film (not the book), Paul shows the Fremen how to use a Weirding Module, a strange device which can turn the power of a word into a ray of raw, destructive energy. When Paul joins the Fremen he takes a Fremen name, Muad’dib. As Paul’s power grows, and his troops’ admiration for his military prowess grows accordingly, his name becomes a powerful killing word to be used by the Weirding Module. When a Fremen soldier holds the Module, and shouts ‘Muad’dib’, that word can blow a man to pieces.
Not long ago, a strange thing occurred at an American college during a talk by Breitbart’s tech editor, Milo Yiannopoulos, when a number of White students more or less disarmed a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters by chanting ‘Trump’ as a response to their aggression. The Black Lives rabble walked out of the building in shame, and the talk went on as planned. Trump’s name has become a real-life killing word.
Words contain great power. The Left has proven this over the years by their usage of a number of killing words: racist, anti-Semite, reactionary, hater, and so on. The Right has never really been able to counter this, and they have been blown to pieces by the Left’s killing words. But by now we now have a number of killing words at our disposal. Besides Trump, I’m thinking in particular of words like Cultural Marxist and cuckservative.
Cultural Marxism has become a way of capturing the modern Left in a single term. People on the Left don’t normally refer to themselves in this way, and we have therefore given them a name that is not of their own choosing. To name someone is to have a degree of power over them. Cuckservative is a less scholarly term, but its killing power is even greater than that of Cultural Marxist. To have a word for those conservatives who are completely dominated, or cucked, by the Left is indispensable.
The alt-Right as a collective has done a great deed in coining ‘cuckservative’. These killing words are our guns and ammunition, much like the word racist has been the smoking guns in the hands of the Left for a long time. We remember their killing words. Now they will remember ours.
I like to imagine Trump as a real-life Paul Atreides. One can have doubts about Trump and his motivations, or his sometimes vulgar speech. As an outsider looking at American politics, I don’t claim to know all the facts. But one thing is undeniable, and that is Trump’s cultural meaning and the symbol he has become for something greater than himself (if there is such a thing). There is a scene in Dune, at the end of the film, in which Paul confronts an old nemesis who used to have power over him. This woman is the leader of an order of scheming witches, and they have the ability to dominate people with their spoken words, using a spell called ‘the voice’. Their order goes by the name Bene Gesserit.
At one point early in the film, this wicked witch dominates Paul using her voice, and makes him obey her commands. When they encounter each other again, she tries to do this again, but Paul has become too powerful in the meantime to be controlled, and when she tries, he uses a voice of her own and commands ‘silence’, and she mentally falls to pieces. This scene is one of the most epic ever featured in a film, and it came to my mind when Trump owned a young female reporter for NBC on the subject of immigration. She tried to use her voice on Trump, but he proved too powerful for her to control. That’s a recurring theme: they can’t control him with their killing words.
Culture and politics change through complex mechanisms. Language, words, and discourse are important. Having a few killing words at one’s disposal is like having a loaded gun in one’s hands. But one thing that should not be overlooked is the metapolitical meaning of politics, or rather, how a single political leader can become the symbol representing these words and thoughts, just as Napoleon symbolised the revolutionary energy of France, or Cromwell symbolised the Protestant fury of his time. I’m not referring to them because I think that the ideas they represented were particularly good, but because of the sheer power they carried. In Dune, this is symbolised at a cultural level when Paul comes to embody the Fremen’s struggle for independence, and the way in which they utilise his name in order to destroy their enemies.
Speaking a killing word is one thing. Being the person that killing word connotes is something else entirely. When Paul fights all the supreme powers who have an interest in the spice, he does so by destroying spice production. These powerful foes have no idea how to deal with someone who has no interest in the spice trade. They begin to make blunders, and soon enough, Paul has his blade at their throats. I suppose you could say that he is the Dune equivalent of a chaos candidate. That’s the meaning of being dangerous. Trump’s foes know how to deal with senators and governors, but he doesn’t follow the rules of their petty political game, and that’s why they have no clue how to deal with him.
When the Leftists, the liberals, and the SJWs look into that place where they do not dare to look, they will not see some cuckservative constitutionalist staring back at them. They are already seeing Trump. After Trump’s successful Super Tuesday, where he laid claim to another seven states, that image is stronger than ever.