History Main / RightMakesMight

11th May '16 9:18:24 PM merotoker
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-->-- '''Sir Galahad''', ''KingArthur''

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-->-- '''Sir Galahad''', ''KingArthur''
''Myth/KingArthur''



This is obviously intended to be AnAesop on how TheGoodGuysAlwaysWin but it can come off as a FamilyUnfriendlyAesop that is functionally JusticeWillPrevail (those who prevail are justice). In these cases, the implication that Right Makes Might comes off as an equivalence, which is most likely not what the writers intended. Often, the writers will make the opponent KickTheDog by fighting like a {{Heel}}, which will result in either the hero winning anyway through brute force, or the enemy's KarmicDeath. Other time's they'll make an opponent want [[DisproportionateRetribution revenge rather than justice]], taking away from whatever righteousness their cause had. That being said, it's still a slightly more acceptable philosophy than inverse: MightMakesRight.

This trope can be more or less {{justified|Trope}} by the story showing just ''why'' the Right philosophy is better (even for winning in combat) in the end. One possibility is that the good guys rely on character-building virtues like dedication and teamwork while the villains bluster and bully their way through life, leaving the latter unready to face a real test. If nothing else, the ''belief'' that RightMakesMight could [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve make it happen]] by encouraging the heroes or demoralizing the villains.

Very prevalent in {{shounen}} anime and western comic books, but really, this has been used to deliver morals throughout history. It was even assumed in ancient times in Western civilization to ''work in real life'', on the logic that God or gods would help those worthy of victory.

If the defeated party acknowledges the wrong of his/her/their ways, this may also include DefeatMeansFriendship. If the meaning of the battle is supposed to be particularly obvious, the characters will actually engage in a WorldOfCardboardSpeech or ReasonYouSuckSpeech before or [[TalkingIsAFreeAction during]] the battle, explaining their particular beliefs, the lessons they've learned and why they have faith that they will carry them through this battle successfully.

to:

This is obviously intended to be AnAesop on how TheGoodGuysAlwaysWin but it can come off as a FamilyUnfriendlyAesop that is functionally JusticeWillPrevail (those who prevail are justice). In these cases, the implication that Right Makes Might comes off as an equivalence, which is most likely not what the writers intended. Often, the writers will make the opponent KickTheDog by fighting like a {{Heel}}, which will result in either the hero winning anyway through brute force, or the enemy's KarmicDeath. Other time's they'll make an opponent want [[DisproportionateRetribution revenge rather than justice]], taking away from whatever righteousness their cause had. That being said, it's still a slightly more acceptable philosophy than the inverse: MightMakesRight.

This trope can be more or less {{justified|Trope}} by the story showing just ''why'' the Right philosophy is better (even for winning in combat) in the end. One possibility is that the good guys rely on character-building virtues like dedication and teamwork while the villains bluster and bully their way through life, leaving the latter unready to face a real test. If nothing else, the ''belief'' that RightMakesMight Right Makes Might could [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve make it happen]] by encouraging the heroes or demoralizing the villains.

Very prevalent in {{shounen}} {{sho|nenDemographic}}unen anime and western comic books, but really, this has been used to deliver morals throughout history. It was even assumed in ancient times in Western civilization to ''work in real life'', on the logic that God or gods would help those worthy of victory.

If the defeated party acknowledges the wrong of his/her/their ways, this may also include DefeatMeansFriendship. If the meaning of the battle is supposed to be particularly obvious, the characters will actually engage in a WorldOfCardboardSpeech or ReasonYouSuckSpeech TheReasonYouSuckSpeech before or [[TalkingIsAFreeAction during]] the battle, explaining their particular beliefs, the lessons they've learned and why they have faith that they will carry them through this battle successfully.



* ''FistOfTheNorthStar'': This might as well be tattooed on Kenshiro's knuckles so it's the last thing a mook sees before his fist goes right through his face. Kenshiro's fighting prowess comes from Hokuto Shinken. Kenshiro's STRENGTH comes from the [[IncorruptiblePurePureness righteousness of his cause]] and [[{{Determinator}} his unwillingness to ever give up]].

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* ''FistOfTheNorthStar'': ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'': This might as well be tattooed on Kenshiro's knuckles so it's the last thing a mook sees before his fist goes right through his face. Kenshiro's fighting prowess comes from Hokuto Shinken. Kenshiro's STRENGTH comes from the [[IncorruptiblePurePureness righteousness of his cause]] and [[{{Determinator}} his unwillingness to ever give up]].



* The titular character from ''SaintSeiya'' is driven by justice, the PowerOfFriendship, and his [[AlwaysSaveTheGirl love for Saori (that is, the Goddess Athena.)]] He's a Bronze Saint --[[UnderdogsNeverLose the lowest class of guardian, beneath Silver and Gold Saints, Specters, Marine Shoguns, and God Warriors]]-- and he's arguably the least naturally powerful of the FiveManBand. And yet, his [[{{Determinator}} all-encompassing determination]] to defeat evil has allowed him to [[TimeToUnlockMoreTruePotential awaken the Seventh Sense]] and fight actual ''Gods'' to a standstill. At least, hold them back long enough for Athena herself to finish the job.
* The fight between Marco and Luchist in the ''ShamanKing'' republications. Although Marco's clothes (or lack of), and his {{bishonen}} looks led many fangirls to think that true justice is [[{{Stripperiffic}} the one that's hotter and uses the less clothing pieces as possible]].
* Used all the way to {{dea|dHorseTrope}}th in ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'' and ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02''. The Chosen Children "wielded" various virtues (yes, as in Wielder of Courage, Wielder of Friendship, Wielder of Purity, etc.). Their {{Mons}} got bigger when the kids developed positive character traits. This is fairly blatant RightMakesMight.

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* The titular character from ''SaintSeiya'' ''Manga/SaintSeiya'' is driven by justice, the PowerOfFriendship, ThePowerOfFriendship, and his [[AlwaysSaveTheGirl love for Saori (that is, the Goddess Athena.)]] He's a Bronze Saint --[[UnderdogsNeverLose the lowest class of guardian, beneath Silver and Gold Saints, Specters, Marine Shoguns, and God Warriors]]-- and he's arguably the least naturally powerful of the FiveManBand. And yet, his [[{{Determinator}} all-encompassing determination]] to defeat evil has allowed him to [[TimeToUnlockMoreTruePotential awaken the Seventh Sense]] and fight actual ''Gods'' to a standstill. At least, hold them back long enough for Athena herself to finish the job.
* The fight between Marco and Luchist in the ''ShamanKing'' ''Manga/ShamanKing'' republications. Although Marco's clothes (or lack of), and his {{bishonen}} looks led many fangirls to think that true justice is [[{{Stripperiffic}} the one that's hotter and uses the less clothing pieces as possible]].
* Used all the way to {{dea|dHorseTrope}}th in ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'' and ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02''. The Chosen Children "wielded" various virtues (yes, as in Wielder of Courage, Wielder of Friendship, Wielder of Purity, etc.). Their {{Mons}} {{Mon}}s got bigger when the kids developed positive character traits. This is a fairly blatant RightMakesMight.example.



* Whenever ComicBook/CaptainAmerica throws [[{{Anvilicious}} His Mighty Shield]], you can see this written on it in six-inch letters. His NighInvulnerable {{Unobtainium}} shield is literally reinforced with American Righteous Might - not [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve Self-Righteous Might]]. [[EagleLand America is the Greatest Country in the World]] - but only when it ''[[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism maintains its idealism]].''

to:

* Whenever ComicBook/CaptainAmerica throws [[{{Anvilicious}} His Mighty Shield]], you can see this written on it in six-inch letters. His NighInvulnerable {{Nigh Invulnerab|ility}}le {{Unobtainium}} shield is literally reinforced with American Righteous Might - not [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve Self-Righteous Might]]. [[EagleLand America is the Greatest Country in the World]] - but only when it ''[[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism maintains its idealism]].''



* Myth/KingArthur spent the majority of his reign trying to dispel the idea that MightMakesRight and implement a legal system where RightMakesMight. Unfortunately, [[BastardBastard Mordred]] used this against Guinevere and Lancelot. KingArthur was forced to [[SadisticChoice choose between]] the woman he loved and the system he had spent his life working on for the good of his people. If Arthur had abandoned his legal program, Lancelot could have taken Trial By Combat to avoid the charges but in doing so removed any support by both commoners and nobles for his plan, while the RightMakesMight would remove any advantage Lancelot or Guinevere had, but would prove his system was equal and truthful. In the end, he [[TearJerker stuck with his ideal]], and his new laws sentenced Guinevere to burn at the stake, which caused Lancelot to rebel, which signaled [[ItWasHisSled the end of Camelot]].

to:

* Myth/KingArthur spent the majority of his reign trying to dispel the idea that MightMakesRight and implement a legal system where RightMakesMight.Right Makes Might. Unfortunately, [[BastardBastard Mordred]] used this against Guinevere and Lancelot. KingArthur Myth/KingArthur was forced to [[SadisticChoice choose between]] the woman he loved and the system he had spent his life working on for the good of his people. If Arthur had abandoned his legal program, Lancelot could have taken Trial By Combat to avoid the charges but in doing so removed any support by both commoners and nobles for his plan, while the RightMakesMight Right Makes Might would remove any advantage Lancelot or Guinevere had, but would prove his system was equal and truthful. In the end, he [[TearJerker stuck with his ideal]], and his new laws sentenced Guinevere to burn at the stake, which caused Lancelot to rebel, which signaled [[ItWasHisSled the end of Camelot]].



* A recurring bit in the VideoGame/MegaMan series, both games and other media, is Proto Man telling Bass that his obsessive desire to be the strongest robot is what keeps him from defeating Mega Man, who fights for the greater cause of protecting everyone. Bass never gets it.

to:

* A recurring bit in the VideoGame/MegaMan Franchise/MegaMan series, both games and other media, is Proto Man telling Bass that his obsessive desire to be the strongest robot is what keeps him from defeating Mega Man, who fights for the greater cause of protecting everyone. Bass never gets it.



* In the computer game ''FreedomForce'', the main hero, The Minuteman, [[TropeNamer actually says]] "Right Makes Might!" He's also your most damaging melee fighter (if not the sturdiest), so he is apparently right on that.

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* In the computer game ''FreedomForce'', ''VideoGame/FreedomForce'', the main hero, The Minuteman, [[TropeNamer [[TropeNamers actually says]] "Right Makes Might!" He's also your most damaging melee fighter (if not the sturdiest), so he is apparently right on that.



* In ''Videogame/EarthBound'', [[spoiler:one of your party members has a Prayer ability that sometimes has random, minor effects on a battle, but it's also the only thing that's strong enough to defeat the final boss.]]
* In ''Videogame/PlanescapeTorment'', the character Vhailor embodies this trope. A "Mercykiller" who died long before the beginning of the game, he is now held together solely by his burning hunger for justice, and it is stated that his strength is equivalent to the degree of injustice that he's facing at the time - [[spoiler: as can be seen if you choose him to resurrect at the final battle, where he'll gain ludicrous stat bonuses and utterly trample the final boss.]]
* The final fight between [[spoiler:Shirou and Kotomine]] in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' is a mild example of this, pitting the former's ideal against a person who is the antithesis of that ideal and considers it idiotic. The [[spoiler:Shirou/Archer]] fight in Unlimited Blade Works is a sheer endurance match for [[spoiler:Shirou to try and defend his ideals against a man who was betrayed by the very same ideal and wants Shirou to give up on it]]. Finally, the trope is {{defied|Trope}} in Heaven's Feel where [[spoiler:Shirou once again fights Kotomine but recognizes that he has long since lost any moral high ground and that the battle is merely that of two equally selfish and NotSoDifferent wishes clashing against each other.]]

to:

* In ''Videogame/EarthBound'', [[spoiler:one of your party members has a Prayer ability that sometimes has random, minor effects on a battle, but it's also the only thing that's strong enough to defeat the final boss.]]
boss]].
* In ''Videogame/PlanescapeTorment'', the character Vhailor embodies this trope. A "Mercykiller" who died long before the beginning of the game, he is now held together solely by his burning hunger for justice, and it is stated that his strength is equivalent to the degree of injustice that he's facing at the time - [[spoiler: as can be seen if you choose him to resurrect at the final battle, where he'll gain ludicrous stat bonuses and utterly trample the final boss.]]
boss]].
* The final fight between [[spoiler:Shirou and Kotomine]] in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' is a mild example of this, pitting the former's ideal against a person who is the antithesis of that ideal and considers it idiotic. The [[spoiler:Shirou/Archer]] fight in Unlimited Blade Works is a sheer endurance match for [[spoiler:Shirou to try and defend his ideals against a man who was betrayed by the very same ideal and wants Shirou to give up on it]]. Finally, the trope is {{defied|Trope}} in Heaven's Feel where [[spoiler:Shirou once again fights Kotomine but recognizes that he has long since lost any moral high ground and that the battle is merely that of two equally selfish and NotSoDifferent wishes clashing against each other.]]other]].



** {{Enforced|Trope}} by George Lucas's policy. In a Star Wars game, only the "Light Side" path is considered canonical. This prevented Obsidian from doing a KillEmAll ending and forced them to prop up the Light Side path they were working so hard on deconstructing.

to:

** {{Enforced|Trope}} by George Lucas's Creator/GeorgeLucas's policy. In a Star Wars game, only the "Light Side" path is considered canonical. This prevented Obsidian from doing a KillEmAll ending and forced them to prop up the Light Side path they were working so hard on deconstructing.



* The eponymous SamuraiJack is a firm believer in (in his words) "the might of righteousness".
* This is essentially how Lion-O is able to harness the power of the Sword of Omens in both ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats'' and ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011''. It repels evil, does not work in the hands of of selfish or misguided, but it does not hold back when Lion-O is fighting for the good of others.
* A rare villainous example in WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra - [[WellIntentionedExtremist Zaheer]], Book 3's BigBad, believes that his new airbending abilities are due to this trope. He had, apparently coincidentally, been studying Airbender lore for years beforehand; this meant that unlike the other new benders he was a master from the moment he gained the power. He takes this as a sign from the universe that his cause is a righteous one.

to:

* The eponymous SamuraiJack WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack is a firm believer in (in his words) "the might of righteousness".
* This is essentially how Lion-O is able to harness the power of the Sword of Omens in both ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats'' ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats1985'' and ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011''. It repels evil, does not work in the hands of of selfish or misguided, but it does not hold back when Lion-O is fighting for the good of others.
* A rare villainous example in WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' - [[WellIntentionedExtremist Zaheer]], Book 3's BigBad, believes that his new airbending abilities are due to this trope. He had, apparently coincidentally, been studying Airbender lore for years beforehand; this meant that unlike the other new benders he was a master from the moment he gained the power. He takes this as a sign from the universe that his cause is a righteous one.



* UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln, the original TropeNamer used this phrase in his 1860 speech at the Cooper Union in New York. After an hour and a half arguing that the logical extension of the founding father's actions was to outlaw the spread of slavery, he enters an impassioned climax that at his own suggestion was written in capital letters in the newspapers. "LET US HAVE FAITH THAT RIGHT MAKES MIGHT, AND IN THAT FAITH, LET US, TO THE END, DARE TO DO OUR DUTY AS WE UNDERSTAND IT." While the phrase might have been used before, it's almost certain that it had received very few standing ovations before this time.

to:

* UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln, the original TropeNamer {{Trope Namer|s}} used this phrase in his 1860 speech at the Cooper Union in New York. After an hour and a half arguing that the logical extension of the founding father's actions was to outlaw the spread of slavery, he enters an impassioned climax that at his own suggestion was written in capital letters in the newspapers. "LET US HAVE FAITH THAT RIGHT MAKES MIGHT, AND IN THAT FAITH, LET US, TO THE END, DARE TO DO OUR DUTY AS WE UNDERSTAND IT." While the phrase might have been used before, it's almost certain that it had received very few standing ovations before this time.
11th May '16 2:26:04 PM Kytseo
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* In ''VideoGame/{{DmC Devil May Cry}}'', Dante is UnskilledButStrong while Vergil is about as strong, yet also has superior skill. [[spoiler: During their duel, as Dante's ChaoticGood trumps Vergil's mix of LawfulNeutral and LawfulEvil, Dante wins anyways]].

to:

* In ''VideoGame/{{DmC Devil May Cry}}'', Dante is UnskilledButStrong while Vergil is about as strong, yet also has superior skill. That said, [[spoiler: During during their duel, as Dante's ChaoticGood trumps Vergil's mix of LawfulNeutral and LawfulEvil, Dante wins anyways]].
11th May '16 2:24:06 PM Kytseo
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* In ''VideoGame/{{DmC Devil May Cry}}'', Dante is UnskilledButStrong while Vergil is about as strong, yet also has superior skill. [[spoiler: During their duel, as Dante's ChaoticGood trumps Vergil's LawfulNeutral-LawfulEvil, Dante wins anyways]].

to:

* In ''VideoGame/{{DmC Devil May Cry}}'', Dante is UnskilledButStrong while Vergil is about as strong, yet also has superior skill. [[spoiler: During their duel, as Dante's ChaoticGood trumps Vergil's LawfulNeutral-LawfulEvil, mix of LawfulNeutral and LawfulEvil, Dante wins anyways]].
11th May '16 2:23:15 PM Kytseo
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Added DiffLines:

* In ''VideoGame/{{DmC Devil May Cry}}'', Dante is UnskilledButStrong while Vergil is about as strong, yet also has superior skill. [[spoiler: During their duel, as Dante's ChaoticGood trumps Vergil's LawfulNeutral-LawfulEvil, Dante wins anyways]].
10th May '16 11:20:25 AM bravo104
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Added DiffLines:

*** The trope is given a TitleDrop by house Wydman, whose words are "Right Conquerors Might."
16th Apr '16 12:01:08 AM ImpudentInfidel
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* A rare villainous example in WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra - [[WellIntentionedExtremist Zaheer]], Book 3's BigBad, believes that his new airbending abilities are due to this trope. He takes them as a sign from the universe that his cause is a righteous one.

to:

* A rare villainous example in WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra - [[WellIntentionedExtremist Zaheer]], Book 3's BigBad, believes that his new airbending abilities are due to this trope. He had, apparently coincidentally, been studying Airbender lore for years beforehand; this meant that unlike the other new benders he was a master from the moment he gained the power. He takes them this as a sign from the universe that his cause is a righteous one.
28th Mar '16 7:17:50 AM MaxChaplin
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* Fiction as a whole often portrays governments as more powerful and/or uniformly [[BlackAndWhiteMorality good]] than they can realistically be. This is partly because of WishFulfillment.
5th Mar '16 7:54:59 PM nombretomado
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* Whenever CaptainAmerica throws [[{{Anvilicious}} His Mighty Shield]], you can see this written on it in six-inch letters. His NighInvulnerable {{Unobtainium}} shield is literally reinforced with American Righteous Might - not [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve Self-Righteous Might]]. [[EagleLand America is the Greatest Country in the World]] - but only when it ''[[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism maintains its idealism]].''

to:

* Whenever CaptainAmerica ComicBook/CaptainAmerica throws [[{{Anvilicious}} His Mighty Shield]], you can see this written on it in six-inch letters. His NighInvulnerable {{Unobtainium}} shield is literally reinforced with American Righteous Might - not [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve Self-Righteous Might]]. [[EagleLand America is the Greatest Country in the World]] - but only when it ''[[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism maintains its idealism]].''
29th Nov '15 7:09:14 AM Prfnoff
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* A key element of TengenToppaGurrenLagann: Spiral Power is based on the ability of organic life to adapt to and ultimately overcome adversity. Though any strong emotion can produce it, more Spiral Power can be derived from [[ThePowerOfLove Love]], [[ThePowerOfFriendship Friendship]], and {{P|apaWolf}}rotective [[MamaBear Instinct]] than mere UnstoppableRage.
* Discussed several times in ''MedakaBox'', in the sense of deconstructing it. "I will lose because I was weak, not because I was wrong" is used by both heroes and villains at various points in the series, and [[BornWinner Born Loser]] Kumagawa has variations of "I am not wrong" as one of his {{Catch Phrase}}s.

to:

* A key element of TengenToppaGurrenLagann: ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'': Spiral Power is based on the ability of organic life to adapt to and ultimately overcome adversity. Though any strong emotion can produce it, more Spiral Power can be derived from [[ThePowerOfLove Love]], [[ThePowerOfFriendship Friendship]], and {{P|apaWolf}}rotective [[MamaBear Instinct]] than mere UnstoppableRage.
* Discussed several times in ''MedakaBox'', ''Manga/MedakaBox'', in the sense of deconstructing it. "I will lose because I was weak, not because I was wrong" is used by both heroes and villains at various points in the series, and [[BornWinner Born Loser]] Kumagawa has variations of "I am not wrong" as one of his {{Catch Phrase}}s.
21st Nov '15 12:09:25 PM nombretomado
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* Used a lot in ''RurouniKenshin'', especially during the Kyoto Arc, after which most of the surviving bad guys shrug and start [[CutLexLuthorACheck using their powers for good (or the government, anyway)]]. But also subverted with the Kenshin vs. Soujiro battle (where Soujiro's philosophy ''is'' Might Makes Right, if not necessarily the reverse); when Kenshin wins, he is quick to state that this does not mean he has the right philosophy either, just that he's a better swordsman.

to:

* Used a lot in ''RurouniKenshin'', ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'', especially during the Kyoto Arc, after which most of the surviving bad guys shrug and start [[CutLexLuthorACheck using their powers for good (or the government, anyway)]]. But also subverted with the Kenshin vs. Soujiro battle (where Soujiro's philosophy ''is'' Might Makes Right, if not necessarily the reverse); when Kenshin wins, he is quick to state that this does not mean he has the right philosophy either, just that he's a better swordsman.
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