Quotes / Well-Intentioned Extremist

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    Anime and Manga 

Since Kira has appeared six years ago, wars have stopped and global crime rates have been reduced by over 70%. But, it's not enough. This world is still rotten with too many rotten people! Somebody has to do this! When I first got that notebook all those years ago, I knew I had to do it. No, I was the only one who could. I understood that killing people was a crime. There was no other way! The world had to be fixed! A purpose given to me! Only I could do it. Who else could have done it and come this far?! Will they keep going?! The only one, who can create a new world, is me.
Light Yagami, Death Note

When you wrap yourself in strong intentions, you don't really hear people trying to talk to you.

Sometimes, in the search for the truth/ideals, sacrifices are required.

If what I have done today makes me a villain, then I embrace it gladly. I'll use any means necessary to bring down a monster like you.
Satsuki Kiryūin, Kill la Kill, to her mother Ragyou.

    Comic Books 

It's truly regrettable that Devos' noble desire has somehow become so twisted that he's overseen the destruction of entire worlds. In another life, he could have been a hero.
Captain America, on Devos the Devastator's mission to end war forever

Gepetto: Millions died as I carved out my empire. Millions more were delivered into dire bondage, where they certainly didn't survive long. But that resulted in a life of peace and security for untold billions that spanned many centuries. Who else has ever accomplished so much? When again will so many enjoy such widespread safety for so long?
Mrs. Cornhusk: You're a monster! A bloody-handed monster!
Gepetto: Of course. No kind man could ever do what I've done. The compassionate man will let billions suffer and die, as long as he doesn't have to get his hands dirty.
Fables, "Around the Town"

Even when you think you're doing the right thing, you may be going about it the wrong way.
Alfred Cranston, PS238

Aftermath: NO!!! I only did this to make them understand— to make the world better.
Supergirl: I know. But that doesn't mean you're right.
Supergirl (2005), Way of the World

Robespierre: If it threatens France, it is my business.
Johanna Constantine: Yes, so I have seen. You will save France... if you have to kill every man, woman, and child within it to do so.
The Sandman, "Thermidor"

    Fan Works 

If you had not been a thorn in our side I would not have needed to. But you make a point that I cannot dispute, the actions we have taken are horrible, and through them we have become horrible. But then what are we to do? Give up and reveal in the horribleness, become a raider or worse? Or do we understand that sometimes horrible actions are necessary for the good of all.

If anyone is to blame for this wretched world we live in, it's the Assassins. They can't see that there will be peace if we achieve our goal. No more killing, no more hate, isnít that right, Crescent?
Mahogany Wood, Leap of Faith

If I had to, I would sacrifice a dozen worlds and every person living on them if it would give me my Alicia back.
Perscia Tessarossa, Magical Pony Lyrical Twilight

"A king I betrayed by abandoning his son," Loghoof sputtered, looking up at the two goddesses before him, "I betrayed the crown of the kingdom I was sworn to defend. I watched as countless brave ponies died. My own daughter rejects me. I use that snake Maim and his shadowy tactics. For what?"
"I do it all for Equestria! I do what I must to protect Equestria! Ponies fight ponies across the land because they claim I am a usurper and a traitor, when everything I do is to protect this land I love! I watched as my friend's son died because because I left him to die because he would have sold Equestria to the Filesians! Now the ponyspawn run unchecked throughout the realm, the Bannorn wage civil war against me and now I must suffer all the slings and arrows of the regency I need to keep this land in check! If this is not a challenge to my faith, I do not know what is!"

Zaibach: Kicking your ass for the greater good.

Science requires sacrifices, and some things are better not be divulged. My means might not be orthodox, but goals are what really matters.
Dr. Elias Dreschner, Kintsukuroi

    Film - Animated 

Sulley: It doesn't have to be this way!
Waternoose: I have no choice! Times have changed! Scaring isn't enough anymore!
Sulley: But kidnapping children?!
Waternoose: I'll kidnap a thousand children before I let this company die! And I'll silence anyone who gets in my way!

He who has the power makes the rules... This isn't about love. It's about removing the cancers that fester in us and flushing them down the toilet. The people don't want babysitters in Spandex to slap them on the wrist when they're bad; they want a surgeon to cut the ugly bits from them and charge them through the moral nose. "Doctor" Manchester Black, at your service.

Did I falsely imprison those missing animals? Well, yes, yes I did. It was a classic "doing the wrong thing for the right reason" kind of a deal.
Mayor Lionheart, Zootopia

    Film - Live-Action 

With the best intentions? Some of the worst things imaginable have been done with the best intentions.
Dr. Grant, Jurassic Park III

I exist only to protect Krypton. That is the sole purpose for which I was born. And every action I take, no matter how violent or how cruel, is for the greater good of my people.
General Zod, Man of Steel

Wanting people to listen. You can't just tap them on the shoulder anymore, you have to hit them with a sledgehammer. And then you'll notice you've got their strict attention.
John Doe, Se7en

Why do they still call me a warlord? And mad? All I want to do is to create the perfect genetic soldier. Not for power, not for evil, but for good. Carlos Blanka will be the first of thousands. They will march out of my laboratory and crush every adversary, every creed, every nation! Until the world is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And peace will reign and all humanity will bow to me in humble gratitude.
M. Bison, Street Fighter

A world at peace. There had to be sacrifice.
Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, Watchmen

Everything they've built will fall! And from the ashes of their world, we'll build a better one!


"But the evil" answered Momus, "is that they hold for certain that they are in the light."
Lo Spaccio de la Bestia Trionfante, by Giordano Bruno

Q: For what essential must we strive? A: The essential of preservation, to shelter a seed of humanity through the coming storm. Q: What cost must we bear? A: The cost is irrelevant. Mankind must survive. Our burden is that of the species, and all other considerations are but dust by comparison.
— From the Diagram, Catechism of the Back of the Flowered Painting: paragraph 1, The Stormlight Archive

Doing the wrong things for the right reasons.

I only ever wanted to do something to help.
Taylor Hebert, Worm

Taylor: You made sacrifices, you made sacrifices on the behalf of others, and you made the hard calls, but it was all for something greater. I bet you think you wonít have any regrets at the end.
Doctor Mother: It's been some time since I lost sleep because of a heavy conscience.

This girl? Do you know what this girl's future held, Arthur? I mean, she was barely held together when I found her. She grew up here. In this filth. Her whole life drowning in the toxins of humanity. She was more disease than human. She was dying, too. Slowly and painfully. Day by day. She has cancer, Arthur. She's riddled with it. She'll last another week or two at the most. And it would have been awful. Awful. And now she doesn't feel anything. She doesn't know. She's not here anymore. I gave her peace, Arthur. It was the only thing anyone decent could give her. And there are no decent people here, Arthur. None at all. And I know you had to go through hell to get here and I'm sorry for that, but all I can say is that you don't guard your home with squid golems when you're surrounded by wonderful people. But that's my point. Do you see, Arthur? Probably not. Not yet. I'm probably making a hash of it all. Wandering up the conversational garden path. And garden paths have their merit, they can be quite beautiful, but I brought you here so you would see. In the hope that I can be clear for once in what I shall refer to as my life. I came to you as this child so I could. I saved this girl. And it was an awful monstrous way to do it, but in the end, it was the only way. The problem is awful and monstrous. It demands that kind of solution. Humanity, you see, Arthur, is that kind of problem.
Clyde 2.0, Anti-Hero, by Jonathan Wood

    Live-Action TV 

I'm not seeking forgiveness for what I've done, father. I'm asking forgiveness for what I'm about to do.
Matt Murdock, Daredevil

From this day forth, we will be known as Faust! Those who don't know better may think our actions are acts of the devil. However even if our hands are soaked in blood, we will turn this country into what it has the potential to be!"
Night Rogue I/Gentoku Himuro, Kamen Rider Build

It's beautiful here, isn't it? When you stay here long enough, you start to fool yourself into thinking this is how it's always going to be. Then you remember what this place'll look like when it's on fire and... you realize you'll do whatever it takes to keep from watching it burn again.

    Mythology and Religion 

Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
Jesus on the methods by which the Pharisees attempted to please God, Matthew 23:24 (New King James Version)

Why not say ó as some slanderously claim that we say — "Let us do evil that good may result?" Their condemnation is just!
Paul, Romans 3:8 (New International Version)


And I want to conquer the world
Give all the idiots a brand new religion
Put an end to poverty, uncleanliness and toil
Promote equality in all of my decisions!
Bad Religion, "Conquer the World"

Good can't help but do a little evil.
N.A.S.A., "Spacious Thoughts", featuring Kool Keith and Tom Waits

    Tabletop Games 

Battlechimp Potemkin does not understand the meaning of the words "innocent bystander." The closest he comes is "regrettable civilian casualties."
Feng Shui: Gorilla Warfare

Man is an ape and wishes to return to that state! He recognizes his bestial side, seeking to embrace it with one hand while the other hides his eyes. From the beginning of time, he has eaten fungi, swallowed potions and chewed herbs in an effort to disguise the world around him or as an excuse to do the things he really wanted to do all along! We of the Pharmacopeists have only refined and channeled a basic primal urge. Whole periods of history have been directed by the fear or drug-induced muddle that we have spread in an attempt to control the Masses. All this in anticipation of the day we would rise up and save this reality.
Mage: The Ascension - Convention Book: Progenitors

For the greater good!
— Tau battle cry, Warhammer 40,000


Sure I meant well — well, look what well meant did!
My road of good intentions led where such roads always lead.
Elphaba, Wicked, "No Good Deed"

    Video Games 

I am not the villain in this story. I do what I do because there is no choice.
Samuel Hayden, Doom

I removed the chance for compromise, because there is no compromise!
Anders/Vengeance, Dragon Age II

I was taught it was my responsibility to bring the torch of knowledge to the wastes. I may have taken the torch part more literally than they intended.
Caesar, Fallout: New Vegas

Arcade Gannon: Hildern is a good example of "big picture" obsession gone too far. At some point he became so fixated on large scale results that he lost the concept of "the common good" along the way. It's an inhumane kind of public service when people and the basic resources they need become numbers in a ledger.
The Courier: I'm sure he means well.
Arcade Gannon: It isn't enough to mean well if you don't do good. I'm sure Caesar meant well, too.

The best intentions invite the worst kind of trouble.
Balthier, Final Fantasy XII

No cost too great.
The Pale King, Hollow Knight

Salvation comes with a cost. Judge us not by our methods, but what we seek to accomplish.
The Illusive Man, Mass Effect 2

Raiden: All you want is power, at any cost.
Solidus: Jack, it's not power I want. What I want to take back from the Patriots are things like... freedom, civil rights, opportunities. The founding principles of this country. Everything that's about to be wiped out by their digital censorship.

Chris: Why are you doing this?! What do you accomplish by unleashing Uroboros?!
Wesker: Every day, humanity comes closer to self-destruction. I'm not destroying the world. I'm saving it!

Simmons: Are you here to avenge the President? Is that it? You fool. Had he disclosed the truth behind Raccoon City, the U.S. would have lost all its authority, and the global political order would have collapsed!
Helena: So to avoid one possible disaster, you create another?! No matter how many people die?!
Simmons: He had to be stopped!! He was leading my country, and this world, into complete chaos!

There is no difference between what is right and what is necessary.
— A loading screen in Spec Ops: The Line

Alchemax CEO: Miguel... you're on the wrong side of this. I'm not the villain here. I'm the guy who's trying to make everything right. Don't you get it?
Spider-Man 2099: Apparently, I don't.
Alchemax CEO: When the storm is fully unleashed, I'm going to harness the quantum energy. It will give me complete control over the time stream.
Spider-Man 2099: Complete con—? What, you're trying to play God?
Alchemax CEO: The first creation of the universe wasn't bad... for a first draft. I'm just going to provide a much-needed rewrite. I can make up for my original sin by saving Uncle Ben. Not to mention Gwen Stacy, her dad, countless others! What kind of villain fixes it so that everyone gets to live happily ever after?
Spider-Man 2099: You're talking about power no human should have. You'll end up destroying yourself, but not before you've annihilated everything else.
Alchemax: Well then, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

My methods may seem harsh in contrast to my true intentions.

Kira Yamato: Commander Trieze... I don't understand you. Why did you start this battle?
Trieze Khushrenada: Right now, your heart is filled with sorrow.
Kira: It's not just me! A lot of people, their hearts ache because of this battle!
Trieze: That's good. That's exactly why I started this war.
Kira: Commander Trieze...
Trieze: Remember this, Kira... this pain is for changing the world. Now then, let's fight!
Super Robot Wars Z2: Saisei-Hen

"The very moment that Man loses his imagination, he is doomed."
"It is unfortunate... but this is for the sake of protecting Earth from... [Kali Yuga]."
"I have conceived it. A method by which Man might be spared. We have chosen. This is the solution that we have devised."

Megatron: Cybertron is the center of my universe! How is it not at the heart of yours?!

    Web Animation 
Ilia: I'm sorry it has to be this way, but you and your family are holding the Faunus back!
Blake: Because we're trying to protect people?! In what world do you live in where attacking the innocent is the right thing to do?!
Ilia: The same one as you! Thereís the humans that still hate the Faunus, and thereís the others who stand by and let the hate happen! But you know what snuffs out hate? Fear. I donít like hurting people. But Iíll tell you this ...itís gotten us results.
Blake: Yeah, look where itís gotten you.
Ilia: We all have to make sacrifices for the greater good, no matter how much it hurts.


Sheena: Wow, I can't believe that GI Guy was really so... unbalanced.
Radd: Believe it. But in his own severely messed up way, he thought he was doing the right thing.
Sheena: You're actually sympathizing with him?
Radd: No way! He was just... well, like a lot of madmen. Somewhat accurate view of the problem, really insane view of the solution.

"All contestants had benign intent that manifested in malicious behaviour. Only the best for society as a whole was ever considered. But only under the terms each contestant explicitly laid for himself."
The Judge, 10%+

Redcloak: You have to understand. It was for the greater good.
Right-Eye: Good... never really entered into it...

"Don't give me that bullshit! Petty slave morality means nothing when you devote yourself wholly to a purpose!"
Jennifer Trianglini, It Hurts!!

    Web Original 

The world is a mess, and I just need to... Rule it!

I say, we kill everything. There cannot be any evil if there is nothing existing.
Lust in a livejournal role-play

Nox didn't have a road paved with good intentions as much as he had a slide greased with them.
Anonymous user on /tg/

It's just that here at Freddy's, heh, we have a few rules.
Now you wouldn't want that, and frankly, neither would I,
But sometimes to do some good you gottta be the bad guy!
Bonnie, Mandopony's Five Nights at Freddy's 2 fan song "Survive The Night"

This is your first lesson. The Foundation is not evil. We do not torture people just because. We are against unnecessary cruelty. Which means somebody has to decide when cruelty is necessary. That somebody is us.

Acceptable Collateral Damage: 90% of worldwide human population.

Picture this: Both these guys are working on the same school project. It's for Model UN and the teacher said "write a plan for how you would try and get world peace if you were in a high power government position." Raiden writes his project about how he would try and stop wars through peaceful tactics. Only perform violence when it's absolutely necessary, like the samurai of old. Armstrong presents his elaborate military plan that would make people change their ways to allow less violence in the future as well as put a stop to the current violence with his... "bigger gun" (for lack of a better term). Raiden doesn't like the violence, so he gets into a debate. He says "what about military costs and those orphans?" Armstrong says "The war makes jobs, which allows money to be used. Plus, the kids would get a job, food, and an education." Raiden knows he's right, but doesn't want to be wrong, so he simply yells "VIOLENCE IS WRONG!" Armstrong replies "But necessary." At recess, they get into a fight and Raiden wins. Armstrong admits he lost, but says he just wanted to get world peace with a solution that he knew would work, even if it was morally black. At the end of the day, Armstrong goes home and Raiden realizes he was trying to do good, but he made bad choices. So at the next Model UN meeting, Armstrong isn't there because he got pneumonia. Raiden has made it clear to himself that Armstrong had a good idea once he changed his views on it. So he combines some of his and Armstrong's ideas and starts using that new plan in the club's world debate. Does that make sense?
— a YouTuber describing the ideological conflict between Raiden and Armstrong in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Just goes to show that liking good things and aspiring to do them doesn't always make you good.
Joshscorcher on the antagonists of Bioshock, "Top Ten Scary Atmospheres"

Raph: I thought we'd be doing hero stuff to save the world, see historical figures or even dinosaurs. I feel like we're fucking innocent people.
The Visitor: What did you think a hero does? He accepts to be a fucker for other people's sake.

    Western Animation 

Imagine. I now possess the power to end hunger. To abolish disease. To eliminate crime. To establish a perfectly content, perfectly ordered world — all under the benevolence of MY IRON WILL!

My followers and I will not rest until the entire city has achieved equality. And once that goal is achieved, we will equalize the rest of the world. The revolution has begun!

What do I want? I want a world... where laughter doesn't come at someone else's expense. Where people can live freely without fear of being farted on. I want a world where you aren't ridiculed for trying to help. A world where a Nice Girl that I liked isn't turned into another ERIC CARTMAN!! These Canadians are in the way of that world, and everything they do and everything they have done needs to be erased from the EARTH!
Kyle Broflowski, South Park, "Super Hard PCness"

For more years than I can remember, I have stood, watch, preparing for a day I've long known was inevitable. The alien threat is real, and the world has suffered at the hands of these invaders. The world must be prepared. It must always be vigilant, and I will make sure it is, no matter what the cost.
Agent Bishop, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

If you could take back a terrible mistake at the cost of a few lives, would you do it?
Nox, Wakfu

    Real Life 

I would remind you that extremism in defense of liberty is no vice!
Barry Goldwater, 1964 Republican National Convention acceptance speech

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baronís cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock

The doctrine which, from the very first origin of religious dissensions, has been held by bigots of all sects, when condensed into a few words and stripped of rhetorical disguise, is simply this: I am in the right, and you are in the wrong. When you are the stronger, you ought to tolerate me, for it is your duty to tolerate truth; but when I am the stronger, I shall persecute you, for it is my duty to persecute error.
Thomas Babington Macaulay, Critical and Miscellaneous Essays

I also find that people who work in the field are more moderate in their views. I don't care what the issue is or even what side they're on, but radical people to the right or left of any issue are never in touch with what's actually going on. I've noticed everywhere that most of the people who are pure activists have never actually worked with animals. Everything becomes totally abstract, an idea that isn't based in reality...
Paula Morin, Honest Horses: Wild Horses in the Great Basin

Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim.
George Santayana

No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.

Roosevelt saved capitalism by accepting a degree of welfarism. Johnson applied the same formulas, with less dramatic results. When Roosevelt's experiments began to go sour, the Second World War disguised their inadequacy. I've often wondered if Johnson instinctively hoped to repeat the Roosevelt career: domestic reform, followed by the triumphant prosecution of a war.