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Quotes / Might Makes Right

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    Anime and Manga 

The first requirement of being a hero isn't being right. It's being strong. That's why the hero always wins.
Araragi Koyomi, Bakemonogatari

Weakness is a sin.
Yuichirou Kanzaki and Supremacy Black Dragon, Aurageyser Damned, Cardfight!! Vanguard

Strength is absolute. Strength forgives all. Even the past.

Pirates are evil!? The Marines are righteous?! Ha! These terms have always changed throughout the course of history! Kids who have never seen peace and kids who have never seen war will always grow up with different values! Therefore, those who stand at the top determine what's wrong and what's right! Justice will prevail, you say!? Damn right it will! And that's because whoever wins this war becomes justice!
Doflamingo, One Piece

    Comic Books 

Mace Windu: The Yinchorri believe that if they're strong enough to take something and hold on to it, it is, by rights, theirs.
Oppo Rancisis: "Might makes right". A short-sighted philosophy, and one that is often recanted upon meeting a more powerful adversary.

Nancy, the road you're on ends the one in charge being the strongest one there is. And that's the Hulk. And if you ask me, I think there are better ways to live than on some sort of "Planet Hulk" where a furious rage monster decides everything. Might doesn't make right, Nancy. Might just makes you better at punching. I know you'll make the right decision.
Squirrel Girl, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl


    Film - Animated 

Rule number one. He who has the power, makes the rules. Obvious.
Manchester Black, Superman vs. the Elite

    Film - Live-Action 

Darth Vader: Calrissian, take the princess and the Wookiee to my ship.
Lando Calrissian: You said they'd be left at the city under my supervision.
Darth Vader: I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further.

"We have been forced into a conflict, for we are called to meet the challenge of a principle, which, if it were to prevail, would be fatal to any civilized order in the world. Such a principle, stripped of all disguise, is surely the mere primitive doctrine that 'might is right'."
King George VI, The King's Speech

Yusuf: She bears no mark.
Sinbad: Nonsense! All ships bear identity! It's the law of the sea!
Yusuf: Law? What law is stronger than strength?


(T)hey have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

Might is the answer; I forgot the question.
Eighinn Stossuhl, Eclipse

There is only power. Power is of the individual mind but the mind's power is not enough. Power of the body decides everything in the end and only might is right.

"Listen, then," [Thrasymachus] said; "I proclaim that justice is nothing else than the interest of the stronger."

    Live-Action TV 

Forgive me, Khaleesi, but your ancestor Aegon the Conqueror didn't seize six of the kingdoms because they were his right. He had no right to them. He seized them because he could.
Ser Jorah Mormont, Game of Thrones

If there are gods, they do not help, and justice belongs to the strong; but know that all things done before the naked stars are remembered.
— Klingon proverb, Star Trek

Baldur: You think you own the planet. What gives you the right?
(Baldur charges at Lucifer, who rams a hand through his chest and out his back)
Lucifer: No-one gives us the right. We take it.
Supernatural, "Hammer of the Gods"

    Mythology and Religion 

Let us oppress the righteous poor;
let us neither spare the widow
nor revere the aged for hair grown white with time.
But let our strength be our norm of righteousness;
for weakness proves itself useless.



Gold is for the mistress — silver for the maid —
Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade.
"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,
"But Iron — Cold Iron — is master of them all."
Rudyard Kipling, Cold Iron


Force should be right; or rather, right and wrong,
Between whose endless jar justice resides,
Should lose their names, and so should justice too.
Ulysseus, Troilus and Cressida

    Video Games 

Ideas don't determine who's right. Power determines who's right. And I have the power... So I'm right.
Jonathan Irons, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Might controls everything, and without strength you cannot protect anything, let alone yourself.
Vergil, Devil May Cry

If you steal from another [of House] Telvanni, but still live, then clearly you deserve whatever you stole. Murdering your opponents by magic or treachery is the traditional way of settling disputes. If you win, then clearly your argument has more merit.

Vae victis!note 
Kain, Legacy of Kain

Might makes right, don't you fuck with me. You know what? Fuck this war, I just want you dead.
Senator Armstrong, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Imagine three great nations under three great queens. The first queen writes a great book of law and her rule is just. The second queen builds a high tower and her people climb it to see the stars. The third queen raises an army and conquers everything.
The future belongs to one of these queens. Her rule is harshest and her people are unhappy. But she rules.
This explains everything, understand? This is why the universe is the way it is, and not some other way. Existence is a game that everything plays, and some strategies are winners: the ability to exist, to shape existence, to remake it so that your descendants - molecules or stars or people or ideas - will flourish, and others will find no ground to grow.
And as the universe ticks on towards the close, the great players will face each other. In the next round there will be three queens and all of them will have armies, and now it will be a battle of swords - until one discovers the cannon, or the plague, or the killing word.
Toland the Shattered, Destiny, Grimoire: The Darkness, explaining the logic of the Darkness.

Of Oryx, that admirable monarch, I have only a little to say. Why? Because He is all in the action, fellow traveler, His philosophy is all on display. He has twinned himself so closely to the power He admires. He has become many-placed, many-formed, sending out emissaries of himself to ask after the truth.
In each act of His power Oryx seeks to incarnate the self-sustaining, immortal suzerainty that He worships. The power that He uses to wash his Taken clean and etch them into useful shapes.
Oryx inhabits a world where power is truth. To win is to be noble, and to be real. When He departs from that world, out into the material universe, He is lessened.
The echoes of Oryx go forth to ask a question: are you the truth?
Toland the Shattered, Destiny Grimoire: Echoes of Oryx

"No matter what circumstances my opponent has, all I’ll think is 'I see, there’s that opinion too.' Then, if I cleanly cut my opponent down, I’m in the right. The fight’s over with that. On the other hand, if I fall without defeating them, then I was in the wrong. And there, my fight will end."
Miyamoto Musashi, Fate/Grand Order: Cosmos in the Lostbelt

The only thing that can defeat power is more power. That is the one constant in this universe.

Only power yields victory. Only strength can rule. Only fools think otherwise.


Toahdfrohg Captain: You have no right to pass judgment on me!
Petey: Per your own actions, you appear to believe might makes right.
Toahdfrohg Captain: I don't like where this is going.
Petey: Oh, good. I was hoping you wouldn't.

The value and merit of all things is defined by how far we are willing to go to obtain them, and how far we are willing to go to defend them. Morality is no different. If it is not defended, it has no value. Without "might," there can be no "right." There's no need to demonize it.
King Law Wight, Suppression

"It is said the greatest warrior-kings may sublime violence and forget all they learn about the sword. This is true. But the only true path to kingship lies through regicide."
Meti's Sword Manual, Kill Six Billion Demons

Professor Gurwara: We stand now in Brooklyn. This region's greatest philosophers once carefully observed that you must fight for your right, among other things, to party. And yet still others of your countrymen would remark that our deepest rights are inalienable, endowed by our Creator. Does this seem to pose a contraction? Are our rights inalienable, or in fact, extremely alienable?
Alison: So what are you getting at here? It's starting to sound pretty damn cynical, like you're circling around just saying "Might Makes Right."
Gurwara: ...Would that be so incorrect?
Alison: No! No, no, no! I reject that fundamentally. I cannot make what I did okay by just saying "well, I'm strong, so it's fine."
Gurwara: Of course not! That is not what I said! Look around you! What does this world know of justice or freedom? It knows claw and fang. It knows want and need. It knows power. We may balance our stories on its back, but the world gave you the only authority it truly understands when it made you strong. You wish to call me a cynic because I see that the rights of the fish have always ended at the jaws of the shark? Very well. Might Makes Right is not an endorsement. It is the tired admission of an old man.

    Western Animation 

"Who deserves what is irrelevant. What matters is who. Has. Power."
Grand Admiral Thrawn, Star Wars Rebels


    Real Life 

But now, instead of discussion and argument, brute force rises up to the rescue of discomfited error, and crushes truth and right into the dust. "Might makes right," and hoary folly totters on in her mad career escorted by armies and navies.
Adin Ballou

Treason doth never prosper. What's the reason?
For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
John Harington

Fuck your parliament and your constitution. America is an elephant. Cyprus is a flea. Greece is a flea. If these two fleas continue itching the elephant, they may just get whacked good.
President Lyndon Johnson to the Greek ambassador

Political power flows out from the barrel of a gun.

The Pope disapproves? How many divisions does he have?

You know as well as we that right, as this world goes, is only in question between equals in power; for the strong do as they will, and the weak suffer what they must.
— "The Melian Dialogue," Thucydides' History of The Peloponnesian War

Enough might makes what is right irrelevant.
— Many

Jus est in armis.
(Literal translation: The law is in weapons.)
—Seneca the Younger

Auctoritas non veritas facit legem.
(Translation: Authority, not truth, makes law.)
—Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan


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