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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

[[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=glm0dnr6&trope=UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans From YKTTW]] Sikon: "Sailor Pluto is deliberately engineering a timeline where 95% of the Earth's population is killed off in a thousand-year glaciation period in order to produce Crystal Tokyo"? I like that one. Unlike most Sailor Moon Epileptic Trees, it actually makes sense and ties nicely with the Deconstruction-esque idea of dystopian Crystal Tokyo, as well as with Sailor Pluto enjoying her Omniscient Morality License. This should probably be added to Wild Mass Guessing...
  • Rebochan: I don't really think that should be here. This is the first I've heard of it. We can put it in Fan Wank or Fanon, but since nothing in the show even comes close to suggesting this, it's on the wrong page.

Fast Eddie: Crimeny, folks. Neon Genesis Evangelion is 11 years old. Watchmen is over 20 years old. What in the world do they need spoiler font for?

Jefepato: Because not everyone's seen or read them. Neither of those is anywhere near It Was His Sled status, and short of that, there's no reason not to use spoiler font.

Phartman: I'm kind of thinking that if you've made it 10 or 20 years without watching a particular anime, you're probably never going to. Nevertheless, go ahead and keep 'em covered.

Kilyle: Completely disagree, Phartman: At the end of six years of college I was just discovering the edge of anime, and I'm sure there are numerous landmark series that I haven't yet seen, but that I wouldn't wish spoiled. I think it would be different if anime were not imported, or if I lived in Japan.

On another note: Finally got this page working, I see — great! I like the title pretty well, and it looks like this narrows Aesoptinum to the point where it's a workable trope, and examples can be directly compared. Don't have the time now to investigate what Aesoptinum looks like at present, but it's a good supertrope and I'm sure you guys have come up with some good subtropes within it. Kudos!


A Carlssin: Doctor Who... Invasion of the Dinosaurs... I can't remember the details!


Eran of Arcadia: At the risk of political pontification, i am not sure that the real life examples are that good; including one mediocre president along with some of the greatest dictators of all time won't make sense to many people 10 years from now or outside the US. Just my opinion perhaps.


Brickman: Is it me, or does listing George Bush as a real life example (next to such favorites as Hitler and Lenin) seem to be slightly bad taste? "Slighly" meaning "completely"? Not to mention more than a bit of a stretch—started a war on the grounds of preventing potential attacks from the same people (or at least claimed to, at least part of the time), wheras the rest of that list were trying to transform their own country's entire structure to be something they liked better through violence and/or genocide. Giving another country a less violent government may have been a goal, but it's nothing next to anyone else on that list. I'm going to remove it until someone gives a good arguement to the contrary.

Kilyle: Thank you for staying vigilant. We don't need that kind of comment on here.

Fake Nog: I do think you could make a case for PNAC aspiring to this trope, but Bush? Nehh. (Although, uh, Eran Of Arcadia? Leaving him on the list would make loads of sense to at least some people outside the U.S.)

Komanda: I dunno about you, but it would seem to me that Darth Caedus (or Jacen Solo, your mileage may differ) ought to be here as he genuinely believes he is doing all he does for the good of the galaxy. A 'Selfless Sith', if you will.


Cambias: I'm not sure the Fahrenheit 451 reference is entirely accurate about the society being a Utopia. The people are told it's a Utopia — but at one point the main character is out taking a walk and sees the sky black with bombers. I think it's more of a "Dystopia with good publicity."


Austin: "Any Enlightened Despotism will work - for the lifetime of the despot. Or the lifetime of the despot's sanity. What then? The message is more like, "In our world, no one is raped, murdered, or robbed. But we don't allow people to learn how to handle things themselves, so when we're all dead, insane, or senile, the whole species will be victims. Oh well."

I question how valid this is. We knew the Justice Lords were in control of the world, but we didn't see how everything was set up, or whether they had any plans for when they died. Heck, Superman's pretty much immortal himself, since I've never heard of a story where he dies from old age. On an additional note, arresting someone for threatening to not pay for food isn't jumping off the slippery slope. Refusing to pay for a service is a crime.

Austin: I've decided to remove it. It may be a good point, but it's not brought up in the episode and not a given reason why the Justice Lords were wrong, so it's irrelevant.


  • Although to be fair, at least Castro was closer to creating a utopia than others. It has the fourth best healthcare in the world , in which it has the second highest doctor to civilian ratio, second only to Italy. Is one of the most literate countries in Latin America , and has a greater racial harmony in its diverse demographics (we all starve equally.) However, it has a habit of paying small salary to good workers and imprisoning homosexuals for "social deviancy".
    • Most of the above claims, however, have been refuted — most recently by video footage smuggled out of the country by those selfsame doctors, showing the wretched conditions in their filthy, rat-infested hospitals.... to say nothing of the testimony of the thousands of refugees who paddled their way through shark-infested waters to escape this utopia. As always, the claims of the dictators in charge, and the intellectual elite fawning upon them, stand in stark contrast to the actuality.
HeartBurn Kid: It's natter, and it borders on a political flame war. Deleted.


Adam C: Okay, The Justice Lords episode of Justice League? It's devolved into Conversation on the Main Page over if the evil alternate Justice League was justified or not. I editted the conversation down and added a bit more to the original entry about how it's an "even-handed example."

  • How well done this was is arguable, because while the Justice Lords were jerks, the episode could be seen as delivering the message "In our world, no one is raped, murdered, or robbed. But we don't have freedom of speech, so it's not worth it."
    • Precisely. And people are LOBOTOMISED if the Justice Lords decide their a threat. Proof that there's truly no such thing as Utopia. It's a mad dream, best left to the imagination of fools and psychopaths. After all, let's not forget that every despot, tyrant and fascist thought that the world they were trying to create was "Better" as well.
    • But you're missing the other side of the coin: every nice and good person in history ALSO thought they were creating a better world. In fact, everyone who ever intentionally caused any big change - good or bad - thought they were creating a "better" world, according to some definition of "better." So if your definition of "utopia" is "anything that anyone considers to be a better world," then yes, it's responsible for most of the bad things in human history - and most of the good things, too. It's responsible for change in general.
    • Better =/= Perfect. Trying to improve things is different from saying "All problems will be solved if I am in charge, and the more power I have the more they will be solved." Only the latter is an example of this trope.


Arivne: I merged an Equilibrium example with the original one.


Gamer2002: Delete damn seventh point from Code Geass entry because it has nothing to do with reality. She WASN’T Utopia Justifies AT ALL unless there is different Code Geass (okey there are mangas, but this doesn’t count). Reasons why this point is completely wrong:
  • First of all, is she would be, she would be an extremist. But Nunnaly’s reactivation of SAZ was just Euphie’s plan and if that was extremist, Euphie was extremist too.
  • Second It wasn’t extremist at all because the whole point of SAZ was peace route that allowed both Britannians and Japanse to live equally to law through reformation of law and negotiations . If that was extremist, then every single politician starting from Gorbachev ending with Martin Luther King should heve their entry in Real Life.
  • Thirth She never wanted to use Democles, but she couldn’t stop Schneizel. She had to act as his puppet, or he would get rid of her immediately after she would do something funny. She was completely powerless and there still was equally dangerous (in her POV at last) Lelouch. The only constructive thing that she could do was acting as Schneizel’s parrot, until there was a chance to do something with him and Democles. That, if she would be successful, is debatable, but this was the only thing that she could do.
  • Fourth. It! Wasn’t! Her! Goal! She never wanted “kind and gentle” world, she wanted only to live with her brother. Because said brother went rogue and she was once again a princes with (even if not completely true) authority, she just tried to reactivate SAZ, what wasn’t extremist at all, and later she was just desperate about trying to stop Schneizel and Lelouch despite that she was completely powerless. She wished for kind and gentle world, but who doesn’t wish for that, especially if we are talking about girl that had become blind invalid and lost her mother because of world’s ruthlessness? What do you want from that poor girl, people?

Also Sprach Odin: I didn't include Nunnally in the revision of the Code Geass example because of anything related to the SAZ, so I hope you'll forgive me for disregarding the two first points.
- The third point I agree almost entirely with: What exactly Nunnally intended to do with Damocles is left mostly unsaid, but she did say that Damocles would become a symbol of hate, that she would gather the entire world's hate with Damocles, and that the world would eventually be able to move on to "tomorrow". I think it's reasonable to assume that Lelouch immediately catches what she means by this because that's also the fulcrum in his own Silent Scapegoat plan: To gather the entire world's hate and die with it. And for that plan to work for Nunnally or Lelouch - for everyone to lay pasts differences and wars aside to unite against either of them - they have to make everyone in the world hate them a lot. This requires them to be villains on a global scale, and great villainy intended well is exactly Utopia Justifies the Means. (Maybe we should merge these two tropes.)
  • (Side note) So far that still leaves some options open for Nunnally, but I imagine she had the exact same plan as Lelouch: She would use Damocles as an instrument of intimidation and Take Over the World before being brought low by some machinations of her own, thus leaving everyone free to "face tommorow." Great minds think alike?
- Fourth point: Okay, I admit that we don't know if she ever actually wished for a kinder world. Because we're never even told if she's folded a thousand paper cranes. We only hear that's what she would wish for when she does finish the 1000th crane. If a wish had any power, she wouldn't expend it on something so small as her own happiness. And as I have tried to argue here, that is also what she would do if given actual power, like being crowned Empress of the entire world. If she really only wished to live with her brother, there was her chance: Right there when Lelouch had conquered Damocles, neutralised Schneizel and only needed the firing controls Nunnally had. But instead of immediately handing the Key to Damocles over and explaining that she had to play along with Schneizel, she attempts to talk Lelouch down from his Big Bad behaviour, even resisting his Geass (as far as that is ever possible) because it goes against her nature to hand victory over to despotic Demon Emperors.
- What do I want from the poor girl? Nothing much more than what she was doing, which I think was a very admirable job. But that's not important, because whether or not utopia really does justify the means is not what the trope is about, just the dilemma of means and ends.

Gamer2002:

  • Third point: Yes, it is not clear what she would do, but Democles was already used in battle and Schneizel didn’t care if he was shooting at Lelouch or his own forces. And he would still use it until Nunnally would have a chance to do something with him. So, never mind how, by the time Nunnally have taken Schneizel out of picture, Democles would be already enough of symbol of hate. So the only thing that Nunnally had to do being in control of Democles, would be blow it up immediately. So in other words, she didn’t planned to create scenario (that she couldn’t even stop), but she calculated what to do in said scenario after it would be possible for her to do anything.
  • Forth point: I wish for world pace, I had once even prayed for that, does that means that I should have here my entry? And I want to live with person beloved by me, does that means that if (we are talking about possibilities) said person were going to take over the world with nuclear weapons I should say “ok, just don’t leave me alone” and not even try to convince her to stop? Nunnally didn’t wanted all of this to ever occur, but she was trying to use given her power for other’s good, it is this same case like with Euphie. Lelouch went rogue and if she would go along with him only to live him again, no matter what would he planned, then she would be selfish and egoistic. There is a fine line between wishing something to occur, and allowing it to occur no matter what, or trying to make it occur no matter what. She had never crossed this line, that’s why she doesn’t fit this category at all.

And if stopping bad guys from creating dystopia is utopia justifies the means, then we should put here every single Gundam hero/Big Good with Lacus from Gundam SEED on the top of list (and she fits this category much more then character that we are discussing since Lacus actually created and used her instruments, banned weapons, for her goal of stopping war, discussed character was only going to destroy instruments created and used by others, what would give bonus stopping war).

Also Sprach Odin: (just spoiling up the entire section because I'm lazy)
  • Third point: No, Damocles would not become a symbol of hate because of friendly fire in single, all-deciding battle. Imagine for a second a world where two countries fight war, and in one battle one of those sides win while taking losses from friendly fire - friendly fire that won that battle, keep in mind. That's was at most a few hundred men lost there. Do you really see the winning and the losing side set aside past hate to rebel against the winning side's highest ruler because of this? Do you see Oughi, Kallen, Xingke, The Black Knights, the UFN and so on - turn their hate and weapons against Nunnally and/or Schneizel because of those FLEIYA blasts and some of their own troops got caught in them? When those weapons clearly won the battle and saved the lives of all those that would die if they had lost? Do you think the UFN would think of Damocles as anything less than their wonderful weapon that lets them rule the rest of the world?
    - Besides, if it was that simple, and Damocles was already a sufficient symbol of hatred to unite everyone against, everyone would have already done so during the battle. They don't. Instead they talk a lot about why they fight for their own side. Given all the tech and communications, I don't think we can explain this with the Black Knights and Schneizel's forces simply not realising what was going on. And Lelouch could have just gone along with Nunnally's plan and surrendered the moment he realised her plan. Schneizel was already taken care of, so no problem there. But obviously Lelouch didn't.
    - Just some more indices: Lelouch uses the Damocles to take over the world, but it doesn't seem like anyone hates the big weapon of mass destruction in the end, just him. And during the final battle, when this alleged friendly fire is supposed to have already happened, Nunnally doesn't say that "Damocles is a symbol for hate" (present tense), but that it "will become a symbol of hatred", which indicates that she is not done gathering hate at that point.
  • Yes, Nunnally was doing her best and good intentions are not this trope - we've already establish that. Please stop with all the rhetoric, it just clutters everything up.
    - What you did say of something approaching relevance here, was that Nunnally didn't actually do anything, and that's true. That does not disqualify her - several of the examples of these types of plans were foiled in time by the heroes, and my argument has always been that Nunnally was planning something of this trope.