Quotes / Well-Intentioned Extremist

"Good can't help but do a little evil."
— "Spacious Thoughts" - NASA feat. Kool Keith & Tom Waits.

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!

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

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

"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!"
Doctor Doom, Fantastic Four

"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

"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

"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."

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.

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

"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 was always be vigilant, and I will make sure it is, no matter what the cost. "
Agent Bishop, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

"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, from the Street Fighter film.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Zaibach: Kicking your ass for the greater good."

"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%+

"Acceptable Collateral Damage: 90% of worldwide human population."

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

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

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

"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

Roberspierre: 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"

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

"I removed the chance for compromise, because there is no compromise!"
Anders/Vengeance, Dragon Age II, about blowing up the Chantry.

"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

"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 baron’s 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

"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

"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!"

"Since Kira has appeared 6 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

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!
— Kira Vs. Trieze, Super Robot Wars Z2: Saisei-Hen

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.

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

"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."

"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."

"Every action I take, no matter how violent or cruel, is for the good of my people."

Doing the wrong things for the right reasons.
— Tagline to Worm

"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 won’t have any regrets at the end.
Doctor Mother: It’s been some time since I lost sleep because of a heavy conscience.

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

"I would remind you that extremism in defense of liberty is no vice!"
Barry Goldwater, 1964 Republican National Convention Acceptance Speech.

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

"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."

"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 You tuber describing the ideological conflict between Raiden and Armstrong in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

"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"

"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

"Sure I meant well- well, look what well meant did!"
Elphaba, " No Good Deed"

"My road of good intentions led where such roads always lead."
Elphaba, "No Good Deed"

"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

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"

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"

"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."

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

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

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.

“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!”

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

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

“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

“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, isn’t that right, Crescent?”
Mahogany Wood, Leap of Faith

“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.”

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!

"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

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