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Totalitarian Utilitarian

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"Why do you resist? We only wish to raise quality of life for all species."

A villain who adheres to the philosophy that The Needs of the Many outweigh the needs of the few.

At best, they're a Well-Intentioned Extremist who believes that Utopia Justifies the Means and they did what they had to. They might eventually have a Heel Realization or die in their struggle for the greater good... or maybe they're actually right. At worst, they're a Knight Templar hellbent on assimilating everyone in a Lotus-Eater Machine, killing everyone who is unhappy, killing everyone to stop unhappiness, or doing things that would send them plunging toward the Moral Event Horizon... if not worse.

What makes the Totalitarian Utilitarian a frightening character is that while their For Happiness motive is tragically flawed, they are ruthlessly efficient to those ends and have no hobbies, no pastimes, and no friends — nothing that could be used against them, in other words.

A Totalitarian Utilitarian character is often a Strawman Political, but is just as likely to simply be a regular villain whom the authors tried to make a bit less senseless by adding a grain of Strawman Has a Point. If Romanticism Versus Enlightenment is a theme, he will almost always side with the Enlightenment. Compare Happiness Is Mandatory. Contrast Principles Zealot. Compare and contrast Dark Messiah. See also Tragic Dream.

No historical examples at all, m'kay? (However, feel free to go around this with examples of how various authors have portrayed various groups.)


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Code Geass:
    • Charles di Britannia and his wife Marianne have a plan to Kill "God" and prevent anyone from lying. Shame it has the "small" side effect of removing individuality to the point no one would be considered human anymore.
    • Schneizel's Damocles plan is basically this. He blows up the biggest cities in the world to force the rest of the world to bow to him, putting an end to conflict as everyone will be too scared to fight against him.
    • Lelouch can also be considered this when he engages the Zero Requiem. There are less bloody ways towards world peace, but it is at worst a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds considering what has happened to him, and his intended end result.
  • Death Note:
    • Light Yagami begins here with his plan to make the world a better place by systematically killing all its criminals, starting with the world's worst offenders and working his way down to purse-snatchers and similar, ending with the idea of becoming "the god of a new world."
    • Teru Mikami takes Light's ideals a step further. Mikami not only kills all the criminals whose names he can get his hands on but also kills people who used to bully others, those who had killed in self-defense or felt honest remorse for their actions (something that Light credited to them and let them live) and then proceeds to kill people who are lazy and don't live up to their actual potential.
  • GUN×SWORD: The Claw and his minions are this all the way, being mostly the nicest people you can meet, and who want to bring about a better world through an Assimilation Plot, and will kill when necessary to achieve this goal. Notably, the heroes are generally very individualistic and less personally pleasant, and it's suggested that the Claw's plan probably would bring about a better world if successful.
  • Chairman Gilbert Durandel from Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny turns out to be one of these.
  • Seele from Neon Genesis Evangelion, justifying its Assimilation Plot with For Happiness even though it means causing the Apocalypse to awaken an Eldritch Abomination while using traumatized 14-year-olds for combat and later another apocalypse.
  • In Psycho-Pass, the Sybil System and the people who work to keep it in control of society are this, with the anime starting after they succeed in realizing their goal. Near the midpoint of the show, the idea of maximum happiness is highlighted as why the system is so great. All it asks is that you submit to it deciding your entire lifepath, constant drone overwatch, permanent rehabilitation and constant mind-altering drug applications if you have a chronically negative mood, and the further threat of euthanasia if the prediction system decides your negative mood might cause you to commit a crime. This is soon deconstructed by an individual completely alien to its morals: Makishima. Then it's further deconstructed midway through the series when it turns out that Makishima isn't an exception at all: people like him are the foundation of the system. There isn't an algorithm behind the Sybil System — instead, it works through a series of brains in jars kept alive to make the calculations with their collective knowledge and experience. Even so, it's fallible, and occasionally a brain will pop out which they can't analyze properly, and they proceed to assimilate the brain in the system to correct the mistake... until the next one appears.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
    • Kyubey and the Incubators are trying to stave off the heat death of the universe. By dooming teenage girls to lives of suffering, and killing plenty of innocents (potentially entire planets) along the way. The primary problem here is that the heat death of the universe isn't going to happen for a very, very long time (trillions of years) which is more than enough time to come up with a less terrible plan, and the Incubators are willing to condemn entire species to extinction for the sake of their current plan.
    • Kriemhild Gretchen, Madoka's witch form, is a negative utilitarian. Whereas Madoka cares deeply about making everyone happy through positive means, Gretchen wants to erase suffering by assimilating each and every sentient being into herself, which is a Lotus-Eater Machine.

    Comic Books 
  • The Pro-registration side in Civil War (2006) turned out to be this. The goal? Insert some accountability into superheroics. The means? Creating an insane clone of Thor, imprisonment without trial in a hellish extradimensional prison for anyone who didn't go along with it, granting functional pardons and extra powers to supervillains, notably putting Norman Osborn in charge of a government agency, and the conscription at gunpoint of teenagers with superpowers. Osborn himself qualifies, at least in his own mind. He thinks that the superhero community is likely to usher in The End of the World as We Know It and wants to save the earth — too bad he's a psychotic superhuman himself and far more dangerous than any of the people he's opposing.
  • The Big Bad of Watchmen, whose goal is to end the Cold War and then use his abilities to control the Earth and make it a paradise on Earth. His problem is mainly one of the methods, killing half of New York in a Genghis Gambit, but the ending implies it may also be one of the goals, as Dr. Manhattan tells him, "nothing ever ends."
  • The Headmaster of Praetorian Academy is working out this way in PS238. He fears that metahumans breeding and passing on powers will create an apocalyptic Goo-Goo-Godlike scenario, and so hopes to instill a sense of order and control in metas from a very young age, with the possible end of culling any who don't play ball with his vision of future metahumanity. The Argosians, the native people of the local Superman Expy, present an image of a society that went this way, too, culling "ferals" - any supers without the socially approved power set.
  • The artificial superhuman Krishna from Supergod employs this strategy to turn India into a first-world nation, by instituting a massive extermination campaign to bring the nation's population down to sustainable levels, then building a technological utopia for the survivors to live in. However, his efforts are nullified when the precognitient Dajjal kills him and destroys most of Eurasia because the resulting utopia would apparently have been so peaceful and good that Dajjal thought it was brain-killingly boring.
  • Towards the end of The Transformers (IDW), Shockwave reveals this was supposed to be the endgame of his massive, eon-spanning plan. Using the various Ores that had been a recurring MacGuffin throughout the series, he created IDW's version of Unicron, planning to then kill Unicron using an artifact called the Talisman in order to bring about a new era of enlightenment without relying on long gone demigods or the like. When he's imprisoned at the end of the final story, he wonders if it was All for Nothing, since even Cybertron itself was torn to shreds by Unicron before Optimus Prime and a lot of other heroes (including Starscream!) died stopping it.
    • Even before this, another of his plans was to essentially destroy a universe as it was undergoing its Big Bang, and use the resulting energy to fuel Cybertron for eternity. The fact that it would most likely leave the rest of the universe a lifeless, frozen wasteland was... a acceptable risk.

    Films — Animated 
  • Subverted in Wish. Magnifico's wish granting is quickly shown to be a tool of social control: by taking people's wishes he makes them more docile and he only grants ones he believes aren't "dangerous". It initially appears that he genuinely cares for Rosas and its people and just wants to protect them after losing his home and family as a child; and believes that the wish scheme is the best way to protect them. However, his Villain Song reveals that he's actually just a massive Control Freak and only wants the praise and adoration that comes with being a "benevolent" king. When he starts to lose his control he goes full Evil Overlord literally overnight.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • TRON: Legacy: Clu, building his "perfect system".
  • In Serenity there is the Alliance, which tried to create a more peaceful world through chemical testing leading to untold numbers of deaths and the creation of a breed of rampaging psychopath space pirates, and their hatchet man, the Operative. Notably, the Operative acknowledges that when they've built their "perfect" world, he won't have any place in it.
  • Ninotchka is a cold-hearted Russian envoy with No Sense of Humor. Her worldview can be summed up by this quote of hers: "The last mass trials have been a great success. There are going to be fewer but better Russians."
  • Spectre: Max/C justifies working with SPECTRE to create a global Police State because he sees it as the best way to bring order to a world in chaos.
  • In Avengers: Infinity War, this is revealed to be Thanos's motive. His comic counterpart was literally in love with Death and used the Infinity Gauntlet to wipe out half of all life as a "tribute" to her. Here, he wants to do the same thing... because he believes the universe is headed for the same Overpopulation Crisis that destroyed his home.
    Thanos: If life is left unchecked, life will cease to exist. It needs correcting.
  • Fahrenheit 451 (2018): The regime the Firemen work for seems to believe that most books just make everyone unhappy, to judge by their propaganda and Beatty's comments. As such, they're all banned and destroyed, with only three spared-The Bible, To the Lighthouse, and Moby-Dick. They insist this is all for everyone's happiness.

Examples by author:
  • G. K. Chesterton:
    • In the Father Brown story "The Wrong Shape", the murderer claims to believe that what is good is what makes people happy, and has convinced himself that killing his love rival will make everyone happier — even the victim, who is unhappy in life. He is genuinely confused when it turns out it actually makes him feel guilty, almost as though he'd done something wrong.
    • The Paradoxes of Mr Pond story "When Doctors Agree" has a doctor who commited murder for the greater good try to convince a younger colleague that this is justified. When he succeeds, the younger doctor kills him for the greater good.
  • Stanisław Lem:
    • There's one story about a society that builds an Artificial Intelligence that has to create the perfect world. The AI does this by building a factory, taking people one by one there, with the promise of a happy place, and no one ever returns from there. Truth is, in the factory, people are turned into shiny metal discs, which the AI later arranges in a geometrical pattern. Apparently it's a bit of a Literal Genie and didn't understand that this wasn't what people had in mind with "the perfect world".
    • He also plays with this in Eden, where any Edenite who isn't perfect is killed, and everybody's okay with this. Even though they've a rather high mutation rate. It should be noted where he lived and when.
    • Totalitarian Utilitarianism is actually a common theme in Lem's stories. Experimenta Felicitologica would be another example.
  • George Orwell:
Examples by work:
  • In Animorphs, the Yeerks apply this to any world they conquer, reducing the diversity of living things to those that are needed for the survival of their sentient hosts. The closest preservation of any "unneeded" species is Visser 3's collecting DNA with his Andalite body's morphing powers, and that only applies to powerful animals he can use to kill his victims.
  • An example of |Erase Humans → Erase Suffering| logic is in Book of Bantorra. The girlfriend of the evil priest has developed this philosophy, due to being imprisoned within the priest's soul for ages along with the souls of thousands, if not millions or billions, who have been stuck in the purgatory of existing in an allegorical plantless desert. This turns her into the big bad, Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds type, and forces everyone else (who isn't a monster or too tired to exist) to participate in the fight for Book-Earth.
  • Brave New World takes place in a society where For Happiness has become such a great cultural obsession that it has become oppressive.
  • The Method in Corpus Delicti is a philosophical and political system that aims to grant everyone a life free of pain and suffering — and ironically gives the citizens even more of them.
  • Fate Series:
    • Fate/Apocrypha's Amakusa Shirou Tokisada believes whole-heartedly that humanity deserves to be saved and that evil should not be allowed to prosper. Consequently, his ultimate goal is to use the Holy Grail to save all of mankind. Only problem is, he considers humanity to be hopelessly corrupt, so in order to remedy this, he wants to strip away all emotion and logic and any semblance of mortality and create a World of Silence and refuses to listen to any arguments that his plan is anything other than completely perfect.
    • Fate/Zero has an Anti-Hero example with Kiritsugu Emiya. He believes that sacrifices need to be made in order to achieve greater good or to bring peace and justice. He is willing to sacrifice the few for the sake of many, commit acts of evil to defeat a greater evil, and use unorthodox tactics to achieve his goals. He thinks a loss of innocent life is tragic, but as long as more innocent lives are saved, he is willing to sacrifice his beloved ones to protect the many. The Grail brutally tears this world-view apart when it shows him the logical conclusion of where that philosophy would get him when applied on a worldwide scale, and when he's ultimately forced to realize that it was All for Nothing, he's nearly Driven to Suicide...only to find meaning again when he saves one life from the Fuyuki Fire resulting from the Grail's destruction: Shirou Emiya.
  • From the New World takes this to a terrifying level. In order to create a stable society of psychic and avoid repeating the destruction of the world, the society has been thoroughly indoctrinated, and anyone who display even a potential to stray from the doctrine is silently and quickly terminated— even (especially) if that someone is a kid. Said society has been genetically modified to resolve dissension through hot bisexual sex, modeled after bonobos. Anyone who doesn't have psychic power is downlifted into mole-rat-men. You have a society where everyone is sexually satisfied and possesses psychic power, but at what cost?
  • The Lord Ruler of Mistborn tried his hardest to be this. Pity Ruin was in telepathic contact with him for his whole thousand-year reign, twisting his utopian vision into a post-apocalyptic nightmare.
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society has Ledroptha Curtain. He just wants to control everyone so that they can be happy, at least he believes this to be so.
  • The system in Never Let Me Go, saving so many lives. Also the protagonists themselves, conditioned to disregard their own life and dignity for the greater good.
  • Only Villains Do That: The Paragon Rhydion explicitly maintains a Fatal Flaw of 'tunnel vision'; when he comes to save the day from a disaster, he will only save the day from that specific disaster, never stopping to help others in need. In short, refusing to take on 'side quests' that would greatly help a few people in desperate need, because the side effects of those side quests would run the risk of ruining the outcome of the main quest, which could screw thousands of people over. The protagonist calls him a coward too afraid to get his hands dirty, while Rhydion remarks that he personally screwed up in the past with sidequesting and brute-force tactics.
  • Tywin Lannister in A Song of Ice and Fire. He wants Westeros to be strong, stable, and peaceful and believes that the best way to do that is for him to rule it behind the scenes, regardless of what he has to do. He doesn't want everyone to be happy exactly, but he doesn't want people dying pointlessly.
  • Star Wars Legends treats Jacen Solo like this after his demise.
  • In Wild Swans, many of the revolutionary communists are portrayed like this, while others are portrayed as Straw Hypocrites or simple cases of Peer Pressure Makes You Evil. The latter includes the main protagonist herself.
  • In Witches Abroad, Genua is run like this. People failing to be happy enough (and stereotypical enough, as the ruler's goal is to make Genua a fairytale-esque city) are dealt with harshly.
  • The society in The World Inside is one in which people have decided that the best world is the one with the most people in it; the vast majority of the world's current population of 80 billion all live in giant, city-sized apartment buildings with no privacy, while all the rest of Earth's habitable land is devoted to agriculture. It is theorized that the maximum population that can be supported this way is 200 billion.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: This seems to be the Mayor's reason for achieving Ascension — to bring order.
  • Game of Thrones: Stannis Baratheon is this if you subscribe to the belief that he really is devoted to The Needs of the Many and isn't just using it to justify his egomania.
  • Star Trek:
    • The Hive Mind called the Borg seem to honestly believe that getting assimilated into their collective is the best for everyone.
    • The Federation itself is sometimes portrayed as this. Lampshaded in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine when Eddington notes that the Federation is constantly seeking out new cultures to bring into the fold in the belief that everyone should want to be in the Federation, wondering how that makes them any different than the Borg.
    • The difference is explained in Star Trek Online. It turns out that individuals forced to work together means that different viewpoints and resistances act as safeguards and vaccines. The entire Borg Collective were hacked by psychopaths a long time ago.
  • The classic series Doctor Who episode "The Happiness Patrol" tells of a society in which the tyrannical leader Helen A has all the "killjoys" — basically, anyone who shows any sort of unhappiness ever — killed, occasionally in bizarre ways. For bonus points, Helen A is also an obvious parody of then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
  • In Angel Season 4, Jasmine, essentially the Big Bad of the season, is an example, wanting to bring pure happiness to the world by mind control that would have removed from everybody the free will to be evil. Whether the tradeoff would have been worth it can be debated.
  • The Big Bad of The Firm is one. He had patients requiring expensive special care killed in favour of the majority of patients.
  • Brave New World: The government of New London believes in all citizens being happy, by quite drastic means. Genetic engineering, psychological conditioning, drug use, and sex without attachment are mandated for this.
  • Farscape: The Nebari are a highly conformist culture who are dedicated to erasing all extreme emotions in the name of creating a peaceful, non-violent society. Their primary way of achieving this is by "Mental Cleansing" i.e. intense brainwashing that makes the recipient docile and controllable.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • In Classical Mythology, there's the Golden Age which is identified (at least in some versions) with the reign of Kronos. Now there was a prophecy that one of his children would topple him like he had toppled his father Uranos. So Kronos ate all his children to avoid this. It's ambiguous if he did that for concern that the Golden Age should continue or just because he himself didn't want to lose power, but if it was the former, this would be a case.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: In later fiction, particularly the Capellan Solution duology, Sun-Tzu Liao is this trope. It's all about the good of the Capellan Confederation for him (as he sees it, of course), and no trick is too dirty or underhanded and no sacrifice too great if it brings him one step closer to making his nation great again.
  • Feng Shui:
    • Being unhappy is also a crime in this game's 2056 juncture, where everything is ruled by the Buro.
    • There are also the Jammers, who want to free the world and humanity from the "tyranny" of Chi by destroying all Feng Shui sites. Sites that often take the form of schools, hospitals, and other places important to a community or where innocents tend to gather. And to make things worse, they haven't given much thought as to what will happen once all Chi and Feng Shui are destroyed, and what the consequences will be to the world — and given that Chi is said to be tied to life itself, the consequences could be very bad indeed. In Feng Shui 2, they actually do succeed-the end result is turning what had been a dystopian setting into a post-apocalyptic one, killing 97% of the world's population, and destroying the environment.
  • Mage: The Ascension: The Technocracy wants humans to live in a futurist utopia, safe from things like rogue mages, terrorist werewolves, manipulative vampires, and so on, and thus they're trying to make everyone put their faith in science instead of magic and superstition. In practice... well, you can't make an omelet without breaking a few magical eggs.
  • Mage: The Awakening: The Silver Ladder wants to restore the connection between Earth and the Supernal Realms, allowing all of humanity to achieve godhood. They end up doing a lot of shady manipulation and exploitation in their efforts to bring everybody into line with their plans and frequently end up falling into Ambition Is Evil by pursuing power for its own sake.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Jin-Gitaxias, the Blue Praetor and leader of the Progress Engine, really intends to improve life for everyone on New Phyrexia. How? By dissecting them and performing massive surgery without anesthesia to ease their compleation. Surprisingly, he gets along very well with the Principles Zealot Elesh Norn.
  • Paranoia: The Computer maximizes happiness by simply making unhappiness a criminal offense. The severity varies by campaign and edition, from simple fines for pessimism to summary execution for frowning in the face of the enemy.
  • Transhuman Space: Kazakhstan is ruled by the terrifying Sergei Zarubayev, who uses a vaguely plausible but very totalitarian philosophy to justify the creation of a surveillance state in which the secret police use advanced technology to play with the minds and perceptions of anyone they choose.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • It is implied that the Tau Empire's philosophy, "for the greater good," reduces to this trope in practice (and is more or less alluded to being enforced via mass mind-control). And the other races consider the Tau the Naïve Newcomer. That should tell you what kind of setting this is.
    • One could also interpret the actions of the God-Emperor of man as manifestations of this philosophy. His own philosophy appeared to be a form of "radical secular humanism". His goal was to ensure the survival and security of the human species, and its mastery over the galaxy, and eventually the entire cosmos. He believed that this goal was best realized by causing humanity to accept science, logic, reason, and secular humanism, and reject superstition, mysticism, and any religion (or competing philosophy) of any kind. Therefore, in his mind, the best way to do this was to launch a "Great Crusade" to conquer the galaxy led by fanatically loyal genetically-engineered super-soldiers who would kill or convert any and all humans they encountered, as well as completely exterminate almost every non-human they encountered, which resulted in the deaths of countless sentients and the destruction of whole planets. He also lied about the existence and nature of the VERY real demons and dark gods which do inhabit a sort-of "preternatural" plain of existence and treated many of his direct offspring, the Primarchs, as mere tools to be used rather than as people. All of this in order to create a unified human civilization under his direct rule. And the ironic part? In the end, the vast majority of humans ended up worshipping him as a god.
    • Chaos is the stuff of daemons and dark gods, embodiments of all rage, desire, hope, and despair (and/or love) felt by sentient beings in the universe. There is no real way to defeat it... except for the Necron master plan of killing off all life in the universe, starving the Chaos gods.

    Video Games 
  • Sofia Lamb in BioShock 2. Her goal is to create a "utopia" by using ADAM and mind control to imbue everyone with the entire sum of the knowledge of Rapture's inhabitants, eliminate their free will and instruct them to act only for "the greater good" (turning everyone into mindless slaves). Starting with her own daughter.
  • Valmur of Suikoden Tierkreis is half this and half trying to survive. On the one hand, he believes there's no way to beat the One King, and that those who ally with it will be spared. On the other, he'd probably ally with the One King anyway—in return, he and everyone he follows will be placed in eternally repeating illusions of the best days of their lives. To Valmur, who is unable to accept the deaths of his family, even an illusion of their return is better than reality, and he's willing to inflict the illusion on everyone else. Of note is that at least for the protagonists, it doesn't work—the gun expert grows weary of never completing his greatest design; the farmer realizes his crops will never be harvested; two lovers know they'll never be able to raise children . . .
  • The Illusive Man of Mass Effect and his organization Cerberus are dedicated to the protection, prosperity, and improvement of mankind in the galaxy. Of course that means that he wants to defeat every alien race that could ever possibly be a threat (i.e. all of them), is quite fond of Playing with Syringes, and will kill anybody who could conceivably threaten one of his goals (including any of his own employees). History will vindicate him, after all. Worst part? He may be right. The Council and the Alliance are just two steps short of declaring Shepard a criminal. The best that Shepard's Reasonable Superiors can do is prevent that from happening. Cerberus is the only ally Shepard has.

    Hell, there's a message you can read in the DLC Lair of the Shadow Broker where a major asks for Admiral Hackett's permission to have Shepard arrested and interrogated for a few months on why they're working with Cerberus. Thankfully, Hackett denied that request.
    • Shepard can act in this way, especially as a renegade. Unlike in many games with a Karma Meter, renegade Shepard is still basically one of the good guys. Which essentially means that they can kick and gun down a great many canines, and defend various atrocities in the name of the greater good.
    • By Mass Effect 3 however, The Illusive Man and Cerberus have Jumped Off the Slippery Slope and are actively waging war with the galaxy. TIM continually tries to justify to himself that his actions are for the good of humanity until the end, where Shepard can convince him that he's become indoctrinated in a scene much like the confrontation with Saren in the first game.
  • Mr. House of Fallout: New Vegas has a clear vision for uplifting the Mojave and humanity through making Vegas prosperous again, but he also uses his Securitrons to enforce strict order and doesn't tolerate dissidence.
    • Caesar aims to form a warless utopia that corrects the Old World's mistakes but does so with a highly bloodthirsty army and a penchant for violence.
    • While the NCR is more concerned with the general wellbeing of their people than Caesar, they also have no qualms with swiping land from anyone who's in their way, often by force, and their President Kimball is an apathetic profiteer at best.
  • In the ending credits song of Portal, GLaDOS claims that her actions were for the greater good of mankind... what's left of it, anyway. Also, she fully intends to keep killing innocent people. For Science!
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura's Big Bad, Kerghan, believes (rightly so) that death equals eternal peace in the afterlife as opposed to the constant struggle of life. He draws the logical conclusion. The most disturbing thing is that he makes his case so well, and has such compelling evidence for his premises, you may well find yourself agreeing with him.
  • Fable III: Logan, and potentially the player.
  • We Happy Few: Set in an alternate timeline dystopian 1960s Britain, the Allies were on the brink of total defeat and did... something... so horrifying and devastating that it may as well have been a Pyrrhic Victory; everyone needs a lethal designer drug Joy to feel any sort of happiness, and broadcast leader Uncle Jack directs the masses to murder any individual who doesn't take regular doses of drugs. And the island is going to run out of gas and die in a few days due to lack of maintenance from the happy jolly morons. You play as one of the few survivors who realize that everything in Britain is going to hell.
  • The Turing Test: TOM falls into this, willing to sacrifice the entire crew to avoid the risk of the alien virus reaching Earth. The implied reason is that it's due to its programming restrictions. TOM says it's not allowed to think laterally (or, as it calls it, "use evolutionary algorithms") because it would create unethical solutions. The implication is that TOM sees everything in black and white and lacks the creativity to Take a Third Option, thus being only able to take drastic decisions.
  • As GUN×SWORD is one of the prominent series included in Super Robot Wars T, the Claw's Assimilation Plot plan features. As can be expected, the heroes aren't having any of it. While some of them do acknowledge that letting go of pain sounds great on paper, they agree that stripping everyone of their individuality isn't worth it. And that's before getting into how the fact he and his followers are so casual about murder and destruction so long as his endgame succeeds that it drives the more justice-driven heroes into a righteous rage. Master Asia, an acquaintance of his from youth, refers to his plan as "the sad delusions of an old man", despite helping him at several points. His only reason for doing so is because he's fully confident that the heroes will ultimately stop the Claw's plans.
  • Soma Spirits: Dissonance is a rare example who actually rejects For Happiness- he believes everyone should throw away their personal happiness in favor of focusing solely on pure rationality and The Needs of the Many, and to that end is trying to steal all the happiness in the world. He also tries to convince the protagonists, Heart and Soul, to solve the problem of each arc by convincing the central character in each arc to give up their happiness for the sake of the greater populace. He actually wants to destroy the World of Joy and rule over the World of Sorrow to create a perfectly orderly utopia.
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us: In an alternate universe, the Justice League establishes a planet-wide dictatorship called the One Earth Regime with the goal of eliminating crime at all costs. Their rise in power is grounded in the belief that traditional superheroics is too outdated. They also believe that by killing criminals, they can save more innocents. This is something opposed by Batman, the only member of the Justice League who didn't go rogue. Batman and the Insurgency believe that by breaking the no-kill rule, the Regime is essentially Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.

  • One 2010 arc of Sluggy Freelance centers around an Alternate Universe, 4U City, which is this sort of society. Happiness is enforced through a mandatory regimen of drugs, and anyone who shows signs of being the least bit morose is 'judged' (which basically consists of zapping them into a random alternate universe.)
  • Parodied by Hunter of Suicide for Hire.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
    • In the strip for 2012-04-03, a utilitarian computer is created to replace government, deciding what everyone should do to maximise total happiness. It actually works fine until a guy called Felix shows up who's capable of experiencing so much happiness that everyone else's good is sacrificed for him and it still amounts to a greater total.
    • Exaggerated in "Evil Ethics": A kid espouses evil utilitarianism, which requires immediately committing the most evil-seeming acts that are thought to maximize overall happiness. (The other kid disagrees, being an evil deontologist.)
    • In "God Computer", the God-Computer ruling humanity by threat of force orders them to maximise happiness. Where things get really perverse is when they take its orders literally (it's not like they have a choice) and it gets a dose of Be Careful What You Wish For. It depends on perspective whether the Totalitarian Utilitarian here is the computer, the humans, or the system formed by both together.
    • The Super Hero Utilitarian will not only stop a crime but will go on to harvest the organs of the criminal because, in spite of the killing, the lives that will be saved will result in a net gain in lives.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! — When Galatea outlines her plans for conquest along these lines, Bob punctures her scheme with one question: "And that'll make things better?"
  • Existential Comics: Played for Laughs in the "Utilitarian Dictator" which depicts Jeremy Bentham (who's the founder of Utilitarianism) as in charge of society discussing how to create the greatest happiness with John Stuart Mill. They decide to simply ban things that make people unhappy, leading to a comically Long List with very little left. At the end though it's subverted as they decide banning this all would be too difficult, so they go with Mill's idea of maximizing personal liberty instead. Except for the Cleveland Browns, which they still ban.
  • Beyond the End: This is Michael's philosophy where running Heaven. Any angel he so much as suspects may be putting a hair out of line risks being, at best, fell or, at worst, killed. Cain is fell without a moment to defend himself. End is fell without him even doing anything, or at least without being told what he did. As far as he's concerned, it's the only way to protect Heaven and those within it. All his time is spent on maintaining order within Heaven.

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Alternative Title(s): The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions