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I found Rome built of bricks. I left her clad in marble.
Augustus, as quoted in Suetonius's The Twelve Caesars

He found Russia working with wooden ploughs and left it equipped with atomic piles.
Isaac Deutscher, "Stalin: An Obiturary"

This, cruel and dispassionate prince was concerned with the ideal of the nation. Under his reign France was great and the French wretched.
The Accursed Kings, Maurice Druon describing King Philip IV "Le bel"

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“They are. But in Special Circumstances we deal in the moral equivalent of black holes, where the normal laws — the rules of right and wrong that people imagine apply everywhere else in the universe — break down; beyond those metaphysical event horizons, there exist . . . special circumstances.”
—-Use of Weapons, Rasd-Coduresa Diziet Embless Sma da' Marenhide.

I have an evil plan
to save the world for every man,
and I think it's better than
the way it's being run
Oh, the groundwork's laid
No, don't be afraid
I'm sure that I can fix it
when I figure out the physics
Five Iron Frenzy, "My Evil Plan to Save the World"

For we knew only too well:
Even the hatred of squalor
Makes the brow grow stern.
Even anger against injustice
Makes the voice grow harsh. Alas, we
Who wished to lay the foundations of kindness
Could not ourselves be kind.

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But you, when at last it comes to pass
That man can help his fellow man,
Do not judge us
Too harshly.
Bertolt Brecht: To Posterity

I loathe your ideals. I admire your methods. If one believes one's right, one shouldn't wait to convince millions of fools, one might just as well force them.
Ayn Rand, We the Living

Justice Lord Hawkgirl: Remember when everyone liked us?
Justice Lord Green Lantern: Since when does that matter to you?
Justice Lord Hawkgirl: Since I started seeing the fear on everyone's face.
Justice Lord Green Lantern: You wanna talk about fear? When I was a kid, I went to bed every night scared that the whole world was gonna blow up. That's the way things were back then; folks just accepted it. They didn't think there could be a better way. But we found one.
Justice League, "A Better World (Part 1)"

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Justice Lord Batman: The problem with democracy is: it doesn't keep you very safe.
Batman: It has other virtues, but you seem to have forgotten them.
Justice Lord Batman: I didn't forget. I just chose peace and security instead.
Batman: You grabbed power!
Justice Lord Batman: And with that power, we've made a world where no eight-year-old boy will ever lose his parents because of some punk with a gun.
[A clang is heard as Batman drops his Batarang, followed by a Dramatic Pause]
Batman: ...You win.
Justice League, "A Better World (Part 2)"

"Ever since I've become Fuhrer, I've done nothing but improve this country, winning wars, and exponentially expanding our territory... I think of myself as one of God's guardian angels."
King Bradley Pride, Fullmetal Alchemist

"May the future forgive me. May history judge my actions, great or small. In the final reckoning... when I have given them paradise, and the world is free... those poor dead will not seem so many. Now, let the sky fall."
Magnetonote , New X-Men #150

"There is no shame in this. For a man who has done... fine works. We're building a better world. All of them... Better worlds."
The Operative, as he executes the head doctor of the Academy, Serenity

It is only through your toil, through your labours, through your conviction, that Albion will be transformed. Do not fear the sound you hear, the throbbing you feel beneath your feet. These sensations will soon be as familiar as your own heartbeat. And as long as your heart continues to beat, all that I require of you is obedience. Now... sleep.
Lord Lucien Fairfax, Fable II

The Operative: I believe in something greater than myself. A better world. A world without sin.
Mal: So me and mine gotta lay down and die... so you can live in your better world?

The future doesn't belong to you or me. It belongs to those who come after us. Their hands will be clean of blood; they need not know any sin, if we pay that price for them. To think that a child, like Ashu, might never again know pain! Isn't that a future worth fighting for?
Xan Hei, Guild Wars Beyond: Winds of Change

Nite Owl: You've killed millions!
Ozymandias: To save billions.

You would see all of mankind corralled into a neatly furnished prison, safe and sober, yet dulled beyond reason and sapped of all spirit.

Angel: Thousands of people are dead because of what you've done!
Jasmine: (unfazed) And how many will die because of you? I could've stopped it, Angel. All of it. War, disease, poverty. How many precious, beautiful lives would've been saved in a handful of years? Yes, I murdered thousands—to save billions. This world is doomed to drown in its own blood now.
Angel: The price was too high, Jasmine. Our fate has to be our own, or we're nothing.
Angel, "Peace Out"

I have seen them do this. I have seen them do far worse. And it is not the price we pay for peace and prosperity. It is too great a price for that.

Man: How are things in Moscow?
Ninotchka: Very good. The last mass trials were a great success. There are going to be fewer but better Russians.

"The state has always been made a hell by man's wanting to make it his heaven."
Friedrich Hölderlin

"Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things."
Russell Baker

"The attempt to make heaven on earth invariably produces hell."
Karl Popper, philosopher, just after World War II

"Communism is based on ethical relativism and accepts no stable moral absolutes. Right and wrong are relative to the most expedient methods for dealing with class war. Communism exploits the dreadful philosophy that the end justifies the means. It enunciates movingly the theory of a classless society, but alas! its methods for achieving this noble end are all too often ignoble. Lying, violence, murder, and torture are considered to be justifiable means to achieve the millennial end. Is this an unfair indictment? Listen to the words of Lenin, the real tactician of Communist theory: "We must be ready to employ trickery, deceit, lawbreaking, withholding and concealing truth." Modem history has known many tortuous nights and horror-filled days because his followers have taken this statement seriously."

"That is what happens with projects to build model societies in other people's countries...it was preordained in that original seemingly innocuous, even idealistic phrase: "a model for a new Middle East." The disintegration of Iraq has its roots in the ideology that demanded a tabula rasa on which to write its new story. And when no such pristine tableau presented itself, the supporters of that ideology proceeded to blast and surge and blast again in the hope of reaching that promised land."
Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine

"Then I'm goose-stepping my way to utopia and you can't stop me!"

"In silencing talk of conflict, Ba Sing Se remains a peaceful, orderly utopia – the last one on Earth."

The beauty of the Onesong is beyond description: it offers us an end to conflict and misery and suffering, and it holds the promise of an era of peace and tranquility. Sadly, there are some who fight against this hallowed vision. They lash out against the agents of order with tooth and claw, doing everything in their power to rend the vision to pieces. They must be purged if the system is to survive: this is the only way to make the beauty of Clarification a reality.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse: Apocalypse, The Weaver Ascendant

Centuries ago, ancient maps bore a simple legend: Here There Be Monsters. Now we have driven those monsters from the world. Five thousand years of human evolution have led us to where we are today. With technology at our command, we can realize ideals the ancient Enlightened societies could never achieve. While others may look to the past or look away into their own delusions, we have built our Union while looking to the future, reinforcing the collective vision of mankind. The world of tomorrow is ours to discover, and with vision and imagination, we will further the evolution of the human race. By basking in the light of reason, victory will be ours.
Mage: The Ascension - Guide To The Technocracy

"Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed".
Barry Goldwater

For the Greater Good!

Elan: You're... you're EVIL! Aren't you? With all capital letters!
Tarquin: Son, labels like "good" and "evil" are just words. Words with many possible capitalizations. They're outdated concepts that do nothing but cause conflict. What I'm trying to do here is move beyond those ideas into a world where no one has any reason to fight one another. But you can't make an omelette without ruthlessly crushing dozens of eggs beneath your steel boot and then publicly disembowling the chickens that laid them as a warning to others.

Krennic: We were on the verge of greatness. We were this close to providing peace and security to the Galaxy.
Galen: You're confusing peace... with terror.
Krennic: Well, you have to start somewhere.

Kovat: Whatever you've done, whatever the charges against you, none of that really matters in the long run.
O'Brien: What does matter?
Kovat: This trial is to demonstrate the futility of behavior contrary to good order. Everyone will find it most uplifting.
O'Brien: Not everyone.
Kovat: Once again, justice will be done. Our lives will be reaffirmed, safe and secure. Here on Cardassia, all crimes are solved, all criminals are punished, all endings are happy. Even the poorest of our subjects can walk the streets in the dead of night in perfect safety. You're only one man, but your conviction will be a salutary experience for millions.

"We deal with threats to the Federation that jeopardize its very survival. If you knew how many lives we've saved, I think you'd agree that the ends do justify the means. I'm not afraid of bending the rules every once in a while if the situation warrants it, and I don't think you are either."
Luther Sloan, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "Inquisition"

The Society has no aim other than the complete liberation and happiness of the masses – i.e., of the people who live by manual labor. Convinced that their emancipation and the achievement of this happiness can only come about as a result of an all-destroying popular revolt, the Society will use all its resources and energy toward increasing and intensifying the evils and miseries of the people until at last their patience is exhausted and they are driven to a general uprising.
Sergey Nechayev, Catechism of a Revolutionary (1869)

People can go on about how [Elon] Musk is saving humanity's future, but they're assuming that any present-day suffering he's causing is not only worth it, but necessary. Are we sure we can't build the future without steamrolling people in the present? [...] If history has taught us anything, it's this: Anyone who assures you they're only inflicting suffering in the present in order to bring about a glorious future Utopia is about to take you down a very dark road.

"His primary concern is justice. His subjects live fairly, peaceably, and one might say even well, if not for the heavy blade of the law constantly grazing the tender skin of their necks."

Without melange to ignite the linear prescience of Guild Navigators, people cross the parsecs of space only at a snail's crawl. Without melange, the Bene Gesserit cannot endow Truthsayers or Reverend Mothers. Without the geriatric properties of melange, people live and die according to the ancient measure - no more than a hundred years or so. Now, the only spice is held in Guild and Bene Gesserit storehouses, a few small hoards among the remnants of the Great Houses, and my gigantic hoard which they all covet. How they would like to raid me! But they don't dare. They know I would destroy it all before surrendering it.
No. They come hat in hand and petition me for melange. I dole it out as a reward, and hold it back as punishment. How they hate that.
It is my power, I tell them. It is my gift.
With it, I create peace. They have had more than three thousand years of Leto's Peace. It is an enforced tranquility which humankind knew only for the briefest periods before my ascendancy. Lest you have forgotten, study Leto's Peace once more in these, my journals.
Leto Atreides II, God-Emperor of Dune

Mr House: New Vegas is more than a city - it's the remedy to mankind's... derailment. The city's economy is a blast furnace in which can be forged the steel of a new rail line, running straight to a new horizon. What is the NCR? A society of people desperate to experience comfort, ease, luxury... a society of customers. With all that money pouring in? Give me twenty years, and I'll reignite the high technology development sectors. Fifty years, and I'll have people in orbit. One hundred years, and my colony ships will be heading for the stars, to search for planets unpolluted by the wrath and folly of a bygone generation.
The Courier: In the meantime, you'd rule Vegas as some kind of dictator?
Mr House: I prefer the term "autocrat." I would rule as a chief executive. I would not answer to a board of directors or any other entity - nothing to impede progress. If you want to see the fate of democracies, look out the windows.

Once more, Vlad looked westward. Here, the nobles of the Empire squabbled and fought, allowing anarchy to reign and their people to die in famine and pointless war. Here, the greatest nation of the Old World rotted from within, soon to collapse under its own rancid dilapidation.
Vlad would not allow that to happen. He would bring order where now there was mayhem. He would bring leadership where now there was weakness. Under his rule, the Empire would be united forever. With Vlad as its immortal emperor, never again would the Empire fall prey to the petty schemes of mortal men. Alive or Undead, the people of the Empire would serve their new emperor without question. Vlad's undying reign would sweep away lawlessness and disorder for eternity.
Warhammer: Vampire Counts Army Book (7th edition)

Psychiatry has been my continual study, to chart consciousness in all its strata. But intelligence does not require introspection: the son of Ryan was more effective than all his self-aware rivals. He lived without questions. I could end the self... and save the world.
Sofia Lamb, Bioshock 2

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