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The TropeNamer is American civil rights activist Medgar Evers, who stated that "you can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea." He was later shot dead by a [[UsefulNotes/KuKluxKlan Klansman]] but the civil rights movement endured.

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The TropeNamer is WWII veteran and American civil rights activist [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medgar_Evers Medgar Evers, Evers]], who stated that "you can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea." He was later shot dead by a [[UsefulNotes/KuKluxKlan Klansman]] but the civil rights movement endured.


SuperTrope of CantStopTheSignal. The characters who pass on the idea are likely {{Doomed Moral Victor}}s. Likely to inspire an InnocentBystander to make a DefiantStoneThrow. Compare WeAreEverywhere for those bad ideas that can't be killed, AsLongAsThereIsEvil for evil in general that's can't be killed, and the [[MindVirus "Neurovirus" or "Memetic Science"]] for bad ideas that deserve to die but are too sentient and/or too contagious to be killed by law of [[MindWipe morality]], [[{{Thoughtcrime}} man]] or [[TheHeretic god]] (and don't expect TimeTravel or BigDamnVillains to fix it either).

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SuperTrope of CantStopTheSignal. The characters who pass on the idea are likely {{Doomed Moral Victor}}s. Likely to inspire an InnocentBystander to make a DefiantStoneThrow. Compare WeAreEverywhere for those bad ideas that can't be killed, AsLongAsThereIsEvil for evil in general that's can't be killed, and the [[MindVirus "Neurovirus" or "Memetic Science"]] for bad ideas that deserve to die but are too sentient and/or too contagious to be killed by law of [[MindWipe morality]], [[{{Thoughtcrime}} man]] or [[TheHeretic god]] (and don't expect TimeTravel or BigDamnVillains to fix it either).
either). See also AsLongAsThereIsOneMan.


** In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedI'', Altaïr found out the hard way [[spoiler: that Knights Templar are not just Crusaders. They can also be Saracens and even Assassins as well, like his mentor, Al Mualim. As long as there are people who believe the world must be controlled in order for there to be peace, the Templars will never be rid of.]]

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** In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedI'', Altaïr found out the hard way [[spoiler: that the Knights Templar are not just Crusaders. They can also be Saracens and even Assassins as well, like his mentor, Al Mualim. As long as there are people who believe the world must be controlled in order for there to be peace, the Templars Templar Order will never be rid of.]]

Added DiffLines:

** In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedI'', Altaïr found out the hard way [[spoiler: that Knights Templar are not just Crusaders. They can also be Saracens and even Assassins as well, like his mentor, Al Mualim. As long as there are people who believe the world must be controlled in order for there to be peace, the Templars will never be rid of.]]


* Speaking of Nazis, people who oppose anti-hate speech laws and other policies aimed at directly suppressing hate groups cite this trope as one of the reasons why they believe they would be ineffective. You can throw them in jail or silence them publicly, but people won't stop being racist simply because someone tells them they can't be. [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment Whether you agree with such sentiment is ultimately subjective]]

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* Speaking of Nazis, people who oppose anti-hate speech laws and other policies aimed at directly suppressing hate groups cite this trope as one of the reasons why they believe they would be ineffective. You can throw them in jail or silence them publicly, but people won't stop being racist simply because someone tells them they can't be. [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment [[Administrivia/RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment Whether you agree with such sentiment is ultimately subjective]]subjective.]]


* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'': "You can crush me but you can't crush my spirit!" *crushed by giant claw* "Ow! My spirit!"

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* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'': "You ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'':
-->'''Old Man Waterfall:''' You
can crush me but you can't crush my spirit!" *crushed by spirit!\\
(''A
giant claw* "Ow! claw crushes him)''\\
'''Old Man Waterfall:''' [[ImmediateSelfContradiction Ow!
My spirit!"spirit!]]
* A villainous example from the finale of ''WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil'': After Mina Loveberry and her genocidal army are {{Depowered}}, most of the heroes [[VillainExitStageRight let her leave]] out of pity, except for an anonymous archer who simply shoots her. The first shot fails to connect, and Mina convinces her ([[CloudCuckoolander in her unique words]]) that it wouldn't matter if she succeeded.
-->'''Mina:''' You can get rid of me. It's '''so''' easy. But the sweet thing is, I'll never ''really'' be gone, 'cause I've got ''[[ANaziByAnyOtherName good ideas]]''. And the thing about good ideas is they tend to kinda hang around, like a baaad ''[[AnalogyBackfire fart]]''.


%% NOTE: This image came from: https://elmejorhumorinteligente.blogspot.com/2014/08/no-se-matan-las-ideas.html

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%% NOTE: This image came from: from https://elmejorhumorinteligente.blogspot.com/2014/08/no-se-matan-las-ideas.html



The TropeNamer is American civil rights activist Medgar Evers, who stated that "you can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea." He was later shot dead by a [[UsefulNotes/KuKluxKlan Klansman]], but the civil rights movement endured.

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The TropeNamer is American civil rights activist Medgar Evers, who stated that "you can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea." He was later shot dead by a [[UsefulNotes/KuKluxKlan Klansman]], Klansman]] but the civil rights movement endured.



* In ''Film/{{Casablanca}}'', Victor Lazslo tries to assert this about LaResistance against the Nazis. The film itself does a good job of illustrating the concept. Unfortunately ThoseWackyNazis also have ideas, and ones that Lazlo is kinda, you know, trying to kill.

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* In ''Film/{{Casablanca}}'', Victor Lazslo tries to assert this about LaResistance against the Nazis. The film itself does a good job of illustrating the concept. Unfortunately Unfortunately, ThoseWackyNazis also have ideas, ideas and ones that Lazlo is kinda, you know, trying to kill.



* ''Film/{{Inception}}'' addresses this and emphasizes why it is so hard to plant one. The title refers to the act of doing so, but the main obstacle is that [[GladIThoughtOfIt the subject has to believe it's their own idea]] for it to stick. The next complication is that the idea will grow to define their entirely life... even to suicidal extremes.
* ''Film/VForVendetta'' had an epic one near the end. After taking dozens of bullets and killing a dozen men before they could finish reloading (as per his BadassBoast), V approaches The DragonInChief, who asks, in disbelief, "WhyWontYouDie!" His response? "Beneath this mask is more than flesh; beneath this mask there is an ''idea'', Mister Creedy--and ideas. Are. ''[[PunctuatedForEmphasis Bulletproof.]]''" [[spoiler:The literal bullet proof vest helped, if only for a while; he died shortly thereafter to his wounds.]]
* ''Film/{{Braveheart}}'': William Wallace, right after being [[spoiler: racked, stretched by horses, and disemboweled]], defiantly yells ""FREEEEDOOOOOOMMM!"'

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* ''Film/{{Inception}}'' addresses this and emphasizes why it is so hard to plant one. The title refers to the act of doing so, but the main obstacle is that [[GladIThoughtOfIt the subject has to believe it's their own idea]] for it to stick. The next complication is that the idea will grow to define their entirely entire life... even to suicidal extremes.
* ''Film/VForVendetta'' had an epic one near the end. After taking dozens of bullets and killing a dozen men before they could finish reloading (as per his BadassBoast), V approaches The DragonInChief, who asks, in disbelief, "WhyWontYouDie!" His response? "Beneath this mask is more than flesh; beneath this mask mask, there is an ''idea'', Mister Creedy--and Creedy -- and ideas. Are. ''[[PunctuatedForEmphasis Bulletproof.]]''" [[spoiler:The literal bullet proof vest helped, if only for a while; he died shortly thereafter to his wounds.]]
* ''Film/{{Braveheart}}'': William Wallace, right after being [[spoiler: racked, stretched by horses, and disemboweled]], defiantly yells ""FREEEEDOOOOOOMMM!"'''"FREEEEDOOOOOOMMM!"''



* In ''Film/AndQuietFlowsTheDon'', Podtyolkou the Bolshevik says this right before his execution, telling the crowd that they'll be sorry later, and that all Russia will be Bolshevik.

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* In ''Film/AndQuietFlowsTheDon'', Podtyolkou the Bolshevik says this right before his execution, telling the crowd that they'll be sorry later, later and that all Russia will be Bolshevik.



** Of course Discworld takes it literally many times. ''Discworld/WitchesAbroad'' introduces the idea that on the Discworld, stories have not only memetic influence, but [[TheoryOfNarrativeCausality are a law of nature]]. In ''Discworld/SoulMusic'' and ''Discworld/MovingPictures'', the immortal idea (rock music and movies, respectively) is the BigBad.

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** **, Of course course, Discworld takes it literally many times. ''Discworld/WitchesAbroad'' introduces the idea that on the Discworld, stories have not only memetic influence, influence but [[TheoryOfNarrativeCausality are a law of nature]]. In ''Discworld/SoulMusic'' and ''Discworld/MovingPictures'', the immortal idea (rock music and movies, respectively) is the BigBad.



* This is the crux of [[spoiler:Kelsier]]'s ThanatosGambit in ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}''. He purports himself as a figure of legend and a symbol of evolution, so that when he is killed, a vengeful religion rises up immediately to complete his work in his name.

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* This is the crux of [[spoiler:Kelsier]]'s ThanatosGambit in ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}''. He purports himself as a figure of legend and a symbol of evolution, evolution so that when he is killed, a vengeful religion rises up immediately to complete his work in his name.



* In ''Literature/ItCantHappenHere'', the totalitarian government never completely stamps out people's longing for freedom and dignity. Revolts erupt across America as people take back areas from Haik's forces. Doremus in particular exemplifies this trope, continuing the struggle after having lost loved ones, endured torture and incarceration, and lived in lonely exile.

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* In ''Literature/ItCantHappenHere'', the totalitarian government never completely stamps out people's longing for freedom and dignity. Revolts erupt across America as people take back areas from Haik's forces. Doremus Doremus, in particular particular, exemplifies this trope, continuing the struggle after having lost loved ones, endured torture and incarceration, and lived in lonely exile.



** [[spoiler:The spren who were bonded to the old Knights Radiant were all killed during the Recreance, when all the knights broke their oaths at once. Since the spen were also their [[SoulCuttingBlade Shardblades]], they were locked in that form when they died, and the kingdoms of the world have been using the corpses of spren as the most dangerous and valuable objects for millennia. A non-Radiant can bond with a Blade, giving the spren a simulacrum of life for a moment (enough to be [[SummonToHand summoned and dismissed at will]]), but no more. Truly bringing them back to life has been implied to be possible but very difficult, as their original bonded knights are long dead. According to WordOfGod, it would not only require a wielder of the dead blade to swear the oaths of the order of the Knights Radiant the spren was associated with but something more to forge a new bond with the spren and heal their mostly destroyed minds.]].

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** [[spoiler:The spren who were bonded to the old Knights Radiant were all killed during the Recreance, Recreance when all the knights broke their oaths at once. Since the spen were also their [[SoulCuttingBlade Shardblades]], they were locked in that form when they died, and the kingdoms of the world have been using the corpses of spren as the most dangerous and valuable objects for millennia. A non-Radiant can bond with a Blade, giving the spren a simulacrum of life for a moment (enough to be [[SummonToHand summoned and dismissed at will]]), but no more. Truly bringing them back to life has been implied to be possible but very difficult, as their original bonded knights are long dead. According to WordOfGod, it would not only require a wielder of the dead blade to swear the oaths of the order of the Knights Radiant the spren was associated with but something more to forge a new bond with the spren and heal their mostly destroyed minds.]].



** This is then reversed in the "[[Recap/SherlockS03E01TheEmptyHearse The Empty Hearse]]" which shows that given enough time, cooler heads were able to re-examine the subject and found major faults in the original theory. Once discredited, the idea quickly dies off and [[spoiler: when Sherlock is revealed to be still alive, the pubic embraces him once again as a hero.]]

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** This is then reversed in the "[[Recap/SherlockS03E01TheEmptyHearse The Empty Hearse]]" which shows that given enough time, cooler heads were able to re-examine the subject and found major faults in the original theory. Once discredited, the idea quickly dies off and [[spoiler: when [[spoiler:when Sherlock is revealed to be still alive, the pubic public embraces him once again as a hero.]]



--->'''Gowron:''' Kahless has been dead for a thousand years; but the idea of Kahless is still alive. Have you ever fought an idea, Picard? It has no weapon to destroy, no body to kill.
*** Later in the episode, the same argument is used to convince Gowron to let Kahless be a figurehead Emperor rather than oppose him. When Kahless counters that this Kahless is a clone, Worf points out that it won't matter to a good number of Klingons, who will still see it as reincarnation, and would only result in fracturing the Empire. Gowron is forced to, reluctantly, kneel before Kahless (even though Gowron is still in charge).
** In the two-part episode "Birthright", Worf discovers a Romulan prison camp where Klingons and Romulans have learned to live together in peace. However, he finds that the Klingon children are not informed about their heritage. The Romulan leader, Tokath, finds him a threat to this peace, and demands that Worf stop or else he'll get executed. Worf tells him he is content to FaceDeathWithDignity for this reason.

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--->'''Gowron:''' Kahless has been dead for a thousand years; years, but the idea of Kahless is still alive. Have you ever fought an idea, Picard? It has no weapon to destroy, no body to kill.
*** Later in the episode, the same argument is used to convince Gowron to let Kahless be a figurehead Emperor rather than oppose him. When Kahless counters that this Kahless is a clone, Worf points out that it won't matter to a good number of Klingons, who will still see it as reincarnation, reincarnation and would only result in fracturing the Empire. Gowron is forced to, reluctantly, kneel before Kahless (even though Gowron is still in charge).
** In the two-part episode "Birthright", Worf discovers a Romulan prison camp where Klingons and Romulans have learned to live together in peace. However, he finds that the Klingon children are not informed about their heritage. The Romulan leader, Tokath, finds him a threat to this peace, peace and demands that Worf stop or else he'll get executed. Worf tells him he is content to FaceDeathWithDignity for this reason.



-->'''Sisko:''' You can deny me all you want but you can't deny Ben Sisko He exists! That future, that space station, all those people they exist in here! In my mind. I created it. And everyone of you knew it, you read it. It's here. Do you hear what I'm telling you? You can pulp a story but you cannot destroy an idea, don't you understand, that's ancient knowledge, you cannot destroy an idea. That future I created it, and it's real! Don't you understand? It is real. I created it. And it's real! It's real!

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-->'''Sisko:''' You can deny me all you want but you can't deny Ben Sisko He exists! That future, that space station, all those people they exist in here! In my mind. I created it. And everyone every one of you knew it, you read it. It's here. Do you hear what I'm telling you? You can pulp a story but you cannot destroy an idea, don't you understand, that's ancient knowledge, you cannot destroy an idea. That future I created it, and it's real! Don't you understand? It is real. I created it. And it's real! It's real!



* The point of the song "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night", as recorded by Paul Robeson, Joan Baez and others.

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* The point of the song "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night", as recorded by Paul Robeson, Joan Baez Baez, and others.



* One of the Madness talents in ''[[TabletopGame/DontRestYourHead Don't Lose Your Mind]]'' grants you a knife that can cut, sever or kill ''anything'', including ideas. There's always a ritual quality to such an act--dubbed '''memeticide'''--for instance, slitting Fidel Castro's throat would kill the idea of Communism in Cuba, meaning the idea not only gets forgotten, but loses all momentum and will never be taken seriously anymore. That being said, the knife can also [[BadPowersGoodPeople cut off flaws, sever abusive relationships, and kill personal demons.]]

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* One of the Madness talents in ''[[TabletopGame/DontRestYourHead Don't Lose Your Mind]]'' grants you a knife that can cut, sever or kill ''anything'', including ideas. There's always a ritual quality to such an act--dubbed '''memeticide'''--for act -- dubbed '''memeticide''' -- for instance, slitting Fidel Castro's throat would kill the idea of Communism in Cuba, meaning the idea not only gets forgotten, forgotten but loses all momentum and will never be taken seriously anymore. That being said, the knife can also [[BadPowersGoodPeople cut off flaws, sever abusive relationships, and kill personal demons.]]



--->'''Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad''' ...how does one wage war against a concept? It is the perfect weapon. It lacks a physical form yet can alter the world around us in numerous, often violent ways. You cannot kill a creed. Even if you kill all of its adherents, destroy all of its writings these are a reprieve at best. Some one, some day, will rediscover it. Reinvent it. I believe that even we, the Assassins, have simply re-discovered an Order that predates the Old Man himself...

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--->'''Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad''' ...how does one wage war against a concept? It is the perfect weapon. It lacks a physical form yet can alter the world around us in numerous, often violent ways. You cannot kill a creed. Even if you kill all of its adherents, destroy all of its writings these are a reprieve at best. Some one, some day, Someone, someday, will rediscover it. Reinvent it. I believe that even we, the Assassins, have simply re-discovered an Order that predates the Old Man himself...



* Cruelly subverted by Sylvanas Windrunner in her ''Warbringers'' short in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''. The Horde has just attacked Darkshore and is about to capture [[WorldTree Teldrassil,]] the Night Elves' home. Conversing with Delaryn Summermoon, a Night Elf Sentinel who is dying from her woulds, Delaryn tells Sylvanas that she has made life itself her enemy, and that's a war she'll never win because she simply can't kill hope. Sylvanas coldly responds "Can't I?", [[ForcedToWatch turns Delaryn's head towards Teldrassil,]] and orders her soldiers to burn it down.[[note]]Sylvanas had also planned to kill Malfurion Stormrage to demoralize the Night Elves, and when High Overlord Saurfang strikes Malfurion from behind and renders him unconscious, Sylvanas leaves to oversee Teldrassil's capture, ordering Saurfang to bring her Malfurion's head. Saurfang, however, [[HonorBeforeReason refuses to kill him, since his back was turned when Saurfang attacked.]] This allows Tyrande Whisperwind to swoop in and rescue Malfurion, leading Sylvanas to discover that Malfurion is still alive and [[DoomedHometown doing the next best thing.]][[/note]]

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* Cruelly subverted by Sylvanas Windrunner in her ''Warbringers'' short in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''. The Horde has just attacked Darkshore and is about to capture [[WorldTree Teldrassil,]] the Night Elves' home. Conversing with Delaryn Summermoon, a Night Elf Sentinel who is dying from her woulds, wounds, Delaryn tells Sylvanas that she has made life itself her enemy, and that's a war she'll never win because she simply can't kill hope. Sylvanas coldly responds "Can't I?", [[ForcedToWatch turns Delaryn's head towards Teldrassil,]] and orders her soldiers to burn it down.[[note]]Sylvanas had also planned to kill Malfurion Stormrage to demoralize the Night Elves, and when High Overlord Saurfang strikes Malfurion from behind and renders him unconscious, Sylvanas leaves to oversee Teldrassil's capture, ordering Saurfang to bring her Malfurion's head. Saurfang, however, [[HonorBeforeReason refuses to kill him, him since his back was turned when Saurfang attacked.]] This allows Tyrande Whisperwind to swoop in and rescue Malfurion, leading Sylvanas to discover that Malfurion is still alive and [[DoomedHometown doing the next best thing.]][[/note]]



* Remus Shepard had a go at this in ''Webcomic/IndefensiblePositions'', then deconstructed it in ''Webcomic/GenocideMan''. In the former ideas are actually living creatures known as demons, but are [[GodsNeedPrayerBadly dependent on belief]] from humans to survive. However the protagonist of the latter argues that an idea can be killed, and that some ideas [[http://www.genocideman.com/?p=88 ''should'' be killed]]--even if the only way to do so is to slaughter every single person who holds the idea.

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* Remus Shepard had a go at this in ''Webcomic/IndefensiblePositions'', then deconstructed it in ''Webcomic/GenocideMan''. In the former ideas are actually living creatures known as demons, but are [[GodsNeedPrayerBadly dependent on belief]] from humans to survive. However However, the protagonist of the latter argues that an idea can be killed, killed and that some ideas [[http://www.genocideman.com/?p=88 ''should'' be killed]]--even if the only way to do so is to slaughter every single person who holds the idea.



* There were several sects of early Christians that are only known about by official church writings condemning them. In some cases we only have the names and there must have been others where even that hasn't survived. Of course since we don't know what their ideas were it is impossible to say whether those ideas were killed, absorbed by the Catholic Church or recycled by better known groups. (That's a red herring, as many of those ideas would have had to also have been "absorbed" by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Oriental Orthodox Church)

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* There were several sects of early Christians that are only known about by official church writings condemning them. In some cases cases, we only have the names and there must have been others where even that hasn't survived. Of course course, since we don't know what their ideas were it is impossible to say whether those ideas were killed, absorbed by the Catholic Church or recycled by better known better-known groups. (That's a red herring, as many of those ideas would have had to also have been "absorbed" by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Oriental Orthodox Church)



* A legal punishment in ancient Rome was ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damnatio_memoriae damnatio memoriae]]'', which was [[UnPerson an attempt to erase a political figure completely from history after his or her death]]. Their faces would be removed from portraits, statues damaged, and anything mentioning their name would be destroyed or erased. This is extremely difficult to pull off completely--for instance, we have some surviving busts of Publius Septimius Geta, denarii featuring his image, and a wealth of information about his personality, tastes, family politics and eventual assassination--and obviously it's impossible to know if a complete damnatio memoriae ever occurred.

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* A legal punishment in ancient Rome was ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damnatio_memoriae damnatio memoriae]]'', which was [[UnPerson an attempt to erase a political figure completely from history after his or her death]]. Their faces would be removed from portraits, statues damaged, and anything mentioning their name would be destroyed or erased. This is extremely difficult to pull off completely--for completely -- for instance, we have some surviving busts of Publius Septimius Geta, denarii featuring his image, and a wealth of information about his personality, tastes, family politics politics, and eventual assassination--and obviously assassination -- and obviously, it's impossible to know if a complete damnatio memoriae ever occurred.



-->''Cattle die, kinsmen die, we ourselves also die; but the fair fame never dies of him who has earned it.''

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-->''Cattle die, kinsmen die, we ourselves also die; die, but the fair fame never dies of him who has earned it.''



* Creator/{{Plato}} was a pioneer of this trope. His philosophizing posited 'forms' existing independently of the real world, i.e. every chair may look different, but we recognize them as 'a chair' because they all reflect form of the eternal chair. Hence, mankind will never forget how to make chairs because the idea exists separately from any one man. Things like 'justice', 'virtue', and 'goodness' were also forms. In his 'Republic', the leaders communed with 'the Form of the Good' and embodied it completely.

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* Creator/{{Plato}} was a pioneer of this trope. His philosophizing posited 'forms' existing independently of the real world, i.e. every chair may look different, but we recognize them as 'a chair' because they all reflect the form of the eternal chair. Hence, mankind will never forget how to make chairs because the idea exists separately from any one man. Things like 'justice', 'virtue', and 'goodness' were also forms. In his 'Republic', the leaders communed with 'the Form of the Good' and embodied it completely.



* This trope is one of the main reasons why many people (often Sci-Fi writers) believe that [[HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct going back in time to kill Hitler wouldn't prevent the Holocaust or World War 2]]; once his sick ideas were planted in the minds of the Nazis, someone else (perhaps even crazier--or worse, more [[GeneralFailure competent]]--than he was) would have continued his work if he was assassinated. Also, even if Hitler didn't come into power and lead the Nazi Party, racism, anti-Semitism, ableism, homophobia, etc. existed centuries before he was born, and live on to this day. It wouldn't be a stretch to assume that if Hitler didn't stir up the prejuduces of the 1930s German public in order to get political support, someone else would have done so.

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* This trope is one of the main reasons why many people (often Sci-Fi writers) believe that [[HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct going back in time to kill Hitler wouldn't prevent the Holocaust or World War 2]]; once his sick ideas were planted in the minds of the Nazis, someone else (perhaps even crazier--or worse, more [[GeneralFailure competent]]--than he was) would have continued his work if he was assassinated. Also, even if Hitler didn't come into power and lead the Nazi Party, racism, anti-Semitism, ableism, homophobia, etc. existed centuries before he was born, and live on to this day. It wouldn't be a stretch to assume that if Hitler didn't stir up the prejuduces prejudices of the 1930s German public in order to get political support, someone else would have done so.



* Domingo Faustino Sarmiento escaped from Argentina to Chile, during the dictatorship of Juan Manuel de Rosas. Before leaving, he wrote "Barbarians, ideas can not be killed" in a big rock. He worked against Rosas during his exile, and became president of Argentina years later, when Rosas had long been defeated and gone.

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* Domingo Faustino Sarmiento escaped from Argentina to Chile, during the dictatorship of Juan Manuel de Rosas. Before leaving, he wrote "Barbarians, ideas can not cannot be killed" in a big rock. He worked against Rosas during his exile, exile and became president of Argentina years later, later when Rosas had long been defeated and gone.


* Speaking of Nazis, people who oppose anti-hate speech laws and other policies aimed at directly suppressing hate groups cite this trope as one of the reasons why they believe they would be ineffective. You can throw them in jail or silence them publicly, but people won't stop being racist simply because someone tells them they can't be.

to:

* Speaking of Nazis, people who oppose anti-hate speech laws and other policies aimed at directly suppressing hate groups cite this trope as one of the reasons why they believe they would be ineffective. You can throw them in jail or silence them publicly, but people won't stop being racist simply because someone tells them they can't be. [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment Whether you agree with such sentiment is ultimately subjective]]


SuperTrope of CantStopTheSignal. The characters who pass on the idea are likely {{Doomed Moral Victor}}s. Likely to inspire an InnocentBystander to make a DefiantStoneThrow. Compare WeAreEverywhere, for those bad ideas that can't be killed, AsLongAsThereIsEvil for the EvilCounterpart of this trope, and the [[MindVirus "Neurovirus" or "Memetic Science"]] for bad ideas that deserve to die but are too sentient and/or too contagious to be killed by law of [[MindWipe morality]], [[{{Thoughtcrime}} man]] or [[TheHeretic god]] (and don't expect TimeTravel or BigDamnVillains to fix it either).

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SuperTrope of CantStopTheSignal. The characters who pass on the idea are likely {{Doomed Moral Victor}}s. Likely to inspire an InnocentBystander to make a DefiantStoneThrow. Compare WeAreEverywhere, WeAreEverywhere for those bad ideas that can't be killed, AsLongAsThereIsEvil for the EvilCounterpart of this trope, evil in general that's can't be killed, and the [[MindVirus "Neurovirus" or "Memetic Science"]] for bad ideas that deserve to die but are too sentient and/or too contagious to be killed by law of [[MindWipe morality]], [[{{Thoughtcrime}} man]] or [[TheHeretic god]] (and don't expect TimeTravel or BigDamnVillains to fix it either).


SuperTrope of CantStopTheSignal. The characters who pass on the idea are likely {{Doomed Moral Victor}}s. Likely to inspire an InnocentBystander to make a DefiantStoneThrow. Compare WeAreEverywhere, for those bad ideas that can't be killed, and the [[MindVirus "Neurovirus" or "Memetic Science"]] for bad ideas that deserve to die but are too sentient and/or too contagious to be killed by law of [[MindWipe morality]], [[{{Thoughtcrime}} man]] or [[TheHeretic god]] (and don't expect TimeTravel or BigDamnVillains to fix it either).

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SuperTrope of CantStopTheSignal. The characters who pass on the idea are likely {{Doomed Moral Victor}}s. Likely to inspire an InnocentBystander to make a DefiantStoneThrow. Compare WeAreEverywhere, for those bad ideas that can't be killed, AsLongAsThereIsEvil for the EvilCounterpart of this trope, and the [[MindVirus "Neurovirus" or "Memetic Science"]] for bad ideas that deserve to die but are too sentient and/or too contagious to be killed by law of [[MindWipe morality]], [[{{Thoughtcrime}} man]] or [[TheHeretic god]] (and don't expect TimeTravel or BigDamnVillains to fix it either).

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* In ''ComicBook/TheSandman'', is is establish that the Seven Endless are capable of being killed (the methods and logistics being as archaic and eldritch as the Endless themselves), but should the current incarnation of the Endless be killed, they will be replaced with a new one because the Endless are the {{Anthropomorphic Personification}}s of abstract concepts that permeate the universe. This first happened with Despair and later with [[spoiler:Dream, Morpheus having his place taken by Daniel as the new incarnation of Dream]]. It is even implied that this will happen with every Endless (with the exception of Death, of course) before the universe ends.


** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E9TheSatanPit "The Satan Pit"]]: The Doctor references the trope when he confronts the Beast's body and realizes it's an EmptyShell, with the Beast attempting to escape by sending its mind away inside someone. While the mind may not be as powerful as it would be inside its own body, it could still spread the evil throughout the universe, knowing how hard it is to defeat an idea.



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* Opponents of the WarOnTerror and War On Drugs invoke this trope as one of their points. [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement We shall not go any further.]]

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* Opponents of the WarOnTerror and War On Drugs invoke this trope as one of their points. [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement [[Administrivia/RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement We shall not go any further.]]


* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' novella ''Backup'' goes into a bit of detail about The Oblivion War, a war waged, essentially, against ideas. Specifically, the memory of some unpleasant old gods who can't do anything if humans remain blissfully unaware of their existence. We don't get a ''lot'' of information, but since the antagonist is a cultist of said gods, and Thomas (the novella protagonist) mentioned the war has been ongoing for thousands of years, it fits.[[note]]As an interesting side note, there is zero mention of the Oblivion War in any of the main series novels, even though, according to WordOfGod, Thomas ''has'' been actively participating in it since the beginning of the series (and before), specifically because Thomas does not want to and cannot let Harry know anything about it: since the main series is told in First Person, the reader only knows what Harry knows. There are very subtle hints in the stories, but they have no connecting thread without the context of ''Backup''.[[/note]]
** Actually, the Oblivion war could be a subversion, because it's implied that the Venatori actually ''have'' killed ideas over the course of the conflict. As well as putting others on life support.

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* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' subverts this idea. The Oblivion War is an ancient ongoing war against old malevolent gods and demons who now are remembered only by a scant few mortals. If those mortals die and all records of the god are destroyed, and no one is there to take up remembering the name, then the leader of the humanity's faction can fully delete the god and information about the god from the last possible source on Earth. This then banishes the god to oblivion. One advantage for the gods' factions is even accidental knowledge of the god is enough to make a binding. So, if one put the name of a god on Twitter and tweeted it to 10 people, they would become binds to the mortal realm. They would need to die before the human's leader could act. Thankfully, Humanity's leader is patient enough to wait a thousand years to really make sure all records and knowledge are destroyed, so waiting a hundred years for these mortals to die is okay as long as they don't start spreading the name further and become liabilities or agents of the god. One saving grace of the limits to knowing this is the gods must be known by a mortal being. If a spirit of knowledge learns of the War or a god's name, it won't become a tie to the world. The novella ''Backup'' goes into a bit of detail about The Oblivion War, War where a war waged, essentially, against ideas. Specifically, side character who participates behind the memory of some unpleasant old gods who can't do anything if humans remain blissfully unaware of their existence.main hero Harry Dresden's back. We don't get a ''lot'' of information, but since the antagonist is a cultist of said gods, and Thomas (the novella protagonist) mentioned the war has been ongoing for thousands of years, it fits. It is said in the novella, Humanity's side cannot even know how many victories and banishes they have made because even that could risk some of the defeated enemies a chance to come back.[[note]]As an interesting side note, there is zero mention of the Oblivion War in any of the main series novels, even though, according to WordOfGod, Thomas ''has'' been actively participating in it since the beginning of the series (and before), specifically because Thomas does not want to and cannot let Harry know anything about it: since the main series is told in First Person, the reader only knows what Harry knows. There are very subtle hints in the stories, but they have no connecting thread without the context of ''Backup''.[[/note]]
** Actually, the Oblivion war could be a subversion, because it's implied that the Venatori actually ''have'' killed ideas over the course of the conflict. As well as putting others on life support.
[[/note]]

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