"Yes, there is pain in life, pain and loss and sorrow, but there is also joy, and the pleasures of growing and learning. You can't have one without the other and I wouldn't want to sacrifice either."
What happens when the Well-Intentioned Extremist
villain with a Utopia Justifies the Means
thought pattern thinks that the problem of the world lies in The Evils of Free Will
. This is a unique kind of Dystopia
: a world with no conflict and no infighting, but in which people have no emotions and no sense of self
. Usually seen as a Fate Worse Than Death
for the entire world
What happens here is that the world becomes an empty and, well, silent
place. Maybe all humans are extinguished. Maybe they are all put in a stasis or turned into mindless beings
. Maybe the whole frikkin' world
is put in a kind of temporal stasis. Either way, you can bet it's not a good thing.
Usually, this is what happens when the Antagonist is certain that the world is a sick and twisted place
and that there is no way to make it any better without a complete overhaul. Oftentimes Humans Are Bastards
is a main theme in the story. Either way, it is up to the protagonists to try to stop the villain before it all goes to hell by showing that Humans Are Special
after all, and that not everyone is mean and cruel as he may think they are. If a final battle is involved, it can sometimes be seen as a kind of Humanity on Trial
kind of scenario.
Surprisingly, the villain isn't usually associated to a Freudian Excuse
. More often than not it's a case of Fantastic Racism
Usually unrelated to Silence Is Golden
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- This was the ultimate plan of Emperor Charles, V.V. and Marianne in Code Geass, referred to as a "World without Lies".
- The surface world in Texhnolyze is pretty much this. It's a serene village stuck in 1920's scenery, perpetually sunny with green fields as far as the eye can see... but nothing is actually alive in there.
- The title character of Noein tries to do this to the entire multiverse, wanting to integrate every time stream to exist ever into The Shangri-La in an effort to start anew with no sadness or pain. As such, Shangri-La, as viewed by the protagonists, is a peaceful place devoid of intelligent life.
- SEELE from Neon Genesis Evangelion intend to remove longing, suffering, and loneliness from the world, via Instrumentality. The end result is the entirety of humanity merged into a sea of LCL where individual existence is impossible.
- The Z-Master from GaoGaiGar wanted to save people from the despair and sadness of reality by mechanizing the universe, eliminating negative emotion (and every other emotion at the same time).
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann had the Anti-Spiral who had his entire planet put into stasis in order to stop their evolution in an effort to prevent the Spiral Nemesis, a universe-destroying black hole.
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica this is the goal of Kriemhild Gretchen, the witch form of Kaname Madoka.
- In Naruto, this is how the Allied Shinobi Forces regard Madara and Obito's plan to create world peace. When Madara succeeds it becomes literally true as every human is wrapped in cocoons and suspended like trapped insects from the God-Tree's roots.
- Joe Kelly's Deadpool run. The Messiah froze everyone in the world in blissful mindlessness.
- In the ElfQuest: Siege at Blue Mountain arc, Winnowill's master plan involves merging Blue Mountain and the Palace into a space habitat in which all of the pure-blooded elves will dream forever, free from (literal worldly) conflict. Of course she fails (again).
- Swamp Thing winds up in one in the issue "My Blue Heaven" after Lex Luthor's device scrambles his frequency so that he loses his connection to Earth and has to reform on another planet. There's nothing there but non-sentient blue flora and fauna. Swamp Thing tries to keep himself sane with constructs of plant matter in the forms of his wife and other people, but this amounts to talking to himself.
- On a world visited by the Exiles, Doctor Doom had created one of these, by eliminating humour in Humanity. The Exiles are torn on whether it is worth it to create a crime-free utopia.
- Ra's Al-Ghul's philosophy has shades of this, where he states he dreams of a world "as clean as the wind-swept dunes" he came from.
- The entire premise of the movie Equilibrium is a Utopian future society created by suppressing all human emotion and anything that might stir it up—through propaganda, chemicals and Gun Kata-practicing Badass Longcoats. This removes all hate, jealousy and anger but also removes humanity's capacity for art and creativity.
- This was the goal of the Alliance in Serenity: They pumped happy gas into a planet's air supply, hoping that everyone would become calm and peaceful. What they got was a planet full of death, as everyone just gave up on living, and the only survivors became horribly violent monsters.
- In Invasion of the Body Snatchers, this is what would happen if the pod people won as they ostensibly do in the 1978 version.
- Pumzi: The citizens of the Maitu Community are silenced through dream suppressants which repress creativity and agency.
- The brainwashed conformity enforced by IT in A Wrinkle in Time.
- In the Discworld series:
- This is the main goal of The Auditors, a group of recurring villains, they are the auditors of reality itself and dislike life and especially sentient life because it's "messy" and unpredictable.
- In Wintersmith, Tiffany gets a vision of the world—frozen, silent, no death because there's no life—if ruled by the Wintersmith alone and later, the Summer Lady shows her counterpart to it, no less terrifying.
- In Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series, everyone is beautiful and happy. There's no war and No Poverty. The surgery that makes everyone pretty also gives them brain lesions eliminating anger and sadness, but also creativity and independence.
- In High Wizardry, Dairine's mobiles planned to do away with entropy on a universal scale, creating a Universe of Silence as a side-effect. They're persuaded otherwise when she links her consciousness to theirs, allowing them to understand the importance of human experience.
- Referenced as far back as the first book in the series:
(I've lost enough friends to that one,) Fred said, (heard enough songs stilled. People gone nova before their time, or fallen through naked singularities into places where you burn forever but don't learn anything from it.)
- The community from The Giver is a milder version. People still laugh and take pleasure in their activities, but as Jonas discovers, it is all very superficial. When someone in the community says they are sad or angry, they are not talking about true grief or rage, but much shallower emotions. The word "love" is not unknown in the community, but it has lost relevancy. Jonas' parents enjoy his company very much, but they consider the word as very generalized, meaningless to the point of being obsolete. If the community continues as it is, the word itself may be forgotten.
- The Wheel of Time:
- When Rand finally confronts the Dark One, the two have a metaphysical battle imposing their visions of the world on each other. Rand creates a vision of a world without the Dark One, who is a metaphysical force of evil. At first, it appears to be a veritable utopia where people have no concept of violence and peace and prosperity reigns. As it becomes clear soon, this is only possibly because by destroying the Dark One, Rand has also destroyed the potential for conflict, however minor. Every person in the world is a vacant shell with simple minds, with no true free will. The understanding of what killing the Dark One would result in nearly breaks Rand and almost hands the victory over to him.
- Two of the Dark One's attacks take this form. The first is a vision of a world which at first appears happy and prosperous, but in which conscience has been cleanly excised from the human race, such that no one feels the slightest bit of empathy or love for another, and any person will backstab another if he thinks it will help him, without feeling the slightest remorse. The second is the Dark One's idea of a compromise or bargain: if Rand will agree to stop trying to redeem the world, the Dark One will stop trying to corrupt it and will simply unmake everything.
- The Soundkeeper in The Phantom Tollbooth enforces a literal world of silence by having all the sounds in the Valley Of Sound muted. However, it doesn't stop the people there from protesting.
Live Action TV
- The Q Continuum from Star Trek: The Next Generation and later series.
- Star Trek: The Original Series
- In the backstory of "The Return of the Archons" and "The Apple", mind control/brainwashing was used to make the population docile and happy.
- ''What Are Little Girls Made Of?": An android decided to Kill and Replace all humans with androids in order to eliminate negative emotions like jealousy, greed and hate. Of course, it would also get rid of positive emotions like love and tenderness.
- There's no real antagonist in "This Side of Paradise", just spitting pink flowers who inflect people with spores that drain them of all real emotion or desire. Those inflected try to convince everyone else to join them in their endless garden tending, by getting them squirted as well. On the plus side the spores cure even fatal diseases, giving their hosts perfect health.
- Jasmine in Angel turned people into peaceful, Jasmine-loving zombies and wanted to do it to the whole world.
- The original Cybermen in Doctor Who were created with this in mind. If everyone was a Cyberman, there would be no more pain and no more loss, no wars, because everyone would think the same. The parallel-Earth Cybermen from the revival are similar; their creator's original goal was to prolong his own life, but after being converted himself he embraces the "life without pain" concept.
Cyber Controller: I will bring peace to the world. Everlasting peace. And unity. And uniformity.
Cyber Leader: You need not fear. Cybermen will remove fear. Cybermen will remove sex, and class, and colour, and creed. You will become identical. You will become like us.
- In his first appearance, this was one of Davros's justifications for the creation of the Daleks. Having spent his entire life in a world stuck in a Forever War between two races, he decided that the only guarantee of peace is for one life-form to rise to the top and suppress all others. Of course, it was at least as much about him having the power to make this decision.
- Helen Cutter's aim in the third series of Primeval. She is only stopped by a juxtaposition of a cliff, gravity and a pissed off velociraptor.
- When Agent Mulder of The X-Files wished for world peace from a Literal Genie, every human in the world except him vanished, thus granting his wish through this trope.
- The "utopia" created by the Avatars in Charmed. All the adults were Stepford Smilers, and anyone who created conflict was erased from existence.
- An earlier two-parter had the cosmic balance be thrown off, causing the main and predominantly good universe to become too good. It was always daytime, everyone was insufferably happy and pleasant, and even the most minor of offensives (like using your cell phone in a hospital) were punished by death or dismemberment... and having to pay a fine.
- Fluffy Cloud Heaven is sometimes seen as this by critics.
- Mormonism Lucifer's condition for volunteering as savior is that humanity surrender their free will so they can't fail.
- In Exalted, this is what the Yozi She Who Lives In Her Name, the Principle of Hierarchy, wants for the world. Given that most Yozis have at least one body that's a world unto itself, she may well be a World of Silence.
- Two titan avatars from Scion, Nu and Shu, want to turn the world into nothing else but their prefer element (water for Nu, air for Shu). No creature, not even the avatar themselves, will exist, as that will disturb the stillness of their world.
- In the Old World of Darkness, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the role of The Weaver was to take the primal chaos of The Wyld and fix it in form and purpose. After going insane, the Weaver's goal was nothing short of crystallizing the entire multiverse.