Best Quotes by Frank Herbert 💬

Frank Herbert stressed his views on governments, politics, religion, ecology, and power with his books.

Frank Herbert

American Author

Using his books, Frank Herbert spoke severally of the repercussions of over-exploiting natural resources and how the intoxication from power spells doom for humanity.

Quotes by Frank Herbert


Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristocratic forms. No government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class – whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracy.

In ‘Children of Dune,’ Frank Herbert talks about what happens when governments form and mature. In his view, Frank Herbert felt that every government eventually spirals into aristocracy, a form of government that does not tend to what the people want. Frank Herbert described this change as inevitable, and he expressed concern on how the aristocratic conversion of governments will lead to the rich and powerful benefiting at the expense of the poor.

If you think of yourselves as helpless and ineffectual, it is certain that you will create a despotic government to be your master. The wise despot, there fore maintains among his subjects a popular sense that they are helpless and ineffectual.

The weak make the strong powerful. Frank Herbert was a huge critic of the government. He believed that the control governments had over their citizens was influenced by the weak nature of those citizens. According to him, when people relinquish their power, it creates an avenue for total control.

Empires do not suffer emptiness of purpose at the time of their creation. It is when they have become established that aims are lost and replaced by vague ritual.

One thing Frank Herbert did was liken empires to governments. Frank believed that the lack of purpose plagued great nations and empires because when one feels on top, they do not see the need for extra progress, and thus they retract into a state of uselessness.


One of the best things to come out of the home computer revolution could be the general and widespread understanding of how severely limited logic really is.

One thing Frank Herbert tried to show was how technology could spell doom for humanity. Frank Herbert expressed his resentment towards technology in ‘Dune,’ where he intentionally suppressed the technological aspect of his story and shed more light on how technology almost became an avenue for the destruction of humanity.

Individuality and Desire

Most lives are a flight from selfhood. Most prefer the truths of the stable. You stick your head into the stanchions and munch contentedly until you die. Others use you for their purpose. Not once do you look outside the stable to lift your head and be your own creature.

One thing Frank Herbert tried to voice out was the idea of individuality. Frank Herbert always wanted people to be themselves and not be controlled by the government or the powerful. In his view, people were prone to be enticed with a life of ease which removed individuality.

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.

Humanity aspires for one thing; freedom. However, Frank Herbert likened the search for freedom to a fruitless journey that led to addiction. He saw the quest for freedom as selfishness and instead urged people to desire discipline. 


The mystery of life isn’t a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.

Life is not a mystery we need to solve, but it is a journey we have to embrace. Frank Herbert as a believer in discipline and Zen, made his belief regarding life known through ‘Dune.’ Frank stated that life is more of an experience and everything, whether good or bad makes the entirety of life’s journey.


Education is no substitute for intelligence.

In his view, education had nothing to do with intelligence. Frank Herbert perceived intelligence as wisdom gotten through observation and analysis of the world around you. According to his son, Frank never learned what did not interest him; this led to him leaving the University of Washington.


Without change something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.

Change is the force that drives progress, and though most people get scared of it, Frank Herbert knew it was necessary for growth. Frank, in his quote, explained that without change, a person could never awaken their inner potential. He showed that change is the tool that drives a person to enlightenment.


Belief can be manipulated. Only knowledge is dangerous.

Frank Herbert always believed that religion played a crucial part in control. Frank Herbert stressed how politics played a role in religion. He also stated that knowledge could be liberating yet deadly.


What is a famous Frank Herbert quote?

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death that brings obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

What Frank Herbert’s quote is on Freedom?

“Seek Freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and fine your liberty.”

What Frank Herbert’s quote is on life?

“The mystery of life isn’t a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.”

Joshua Ehiosun
About Joshua Ehiosun
Joshua is an undying lover of literary works. With a keen sense of humor and passion for coining vague ideas into state-of-the-art worded content, he ensures he puts everything he's got into making his work stand out. With his expertise in writing, Joshua works to scrutinize pieces of literature.
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