Duke Leto Atreides on Political Ignorance

I recently noticed that several of Frank Herbert’s Dune books are among the books that purchasers of my new book on political ignorance buy at the same time on Amazon. That brings to mind the following interesting quote on political ignorance by Duke Leto Atreides in Chapter 7 of Dune:

“My propaganda corps is one of the finest,” the Duke said….

“Yes, I am tired,” the Duke said. “Did you know we’re using spice residue as raw material and already have our own factory to manufacture filmbase?”

“Sir?”

“We mustn’t run short of filmbase,” the Duke said. “Else, how could we flood village and city with our information? The people must learn how well I govern them. How would they know if we didn’t tell them?”

[emphasis added]

Frank Herbert was a political activist and journalist before becoming a science fiction writer, and the exploitation of political ignorance and irrationality was one of the themes of Dune and its sequels.