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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:23 am 
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There were basically two options:
1) Human extinction
2) Sacrificing a few million

You seem very confident that option #1 is the better one.

I'm not saying that what Veidt did was right. What he did was unspeakably evil, whatever his intent. But, Dan, Laruie, and Rorschach cannot go back in time and change it. What's done is done. Peace has been brought to the world and human extinction has been narrowly avoided. What good would killing Veidt do?

Who exactly should have killed Veidt? And how is it their place to execute him? If one of the main characters kills him, they are doing exactly what the story identifies as a moral problem with superheroes. Superheroes are merely vigilantes enforcing their own morals and sense of justice on the rest of the world. (This is exactly what Veidt did. He tried to be the watchman over world peace. But, the question this story asks is, if he is the watchman, who watches him?)

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:01 am 
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You yearn for judgment, but are granted none. That's the point of the movie.

Veidt is not a hero, nor assured glory. That's the point of the movie.

Dr. Manhattan leaving Earth is what prompts nuclear war. It wasn't inevitable until he left. So in a way, Veidt caused the immediate situation he was curing. That's the point of the movie.

Yes, you could argue that Veidt was more detached than Doc Manhattan. It's not a sure thing, but it's one of the kinds of arguments that the author wanted people to have.


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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:01 pm 
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OK, I've managed to make my way through most of this thread and I thought I'd toss in my own 2 cents on the morality of Adrian's plan.



One of the points of contention I've noticed recurring in this thread is the notion that Adrian's plan was the only plan that could be effective in averting nuclear armageddon. Setting aside for a moment arguments centering around whether nuclear armageddon was actually inevitable and the level of certainty that Adrian could be justified in having regarding his plan's effectiveness I submit, for your approval, an alternate plan.

There is, in the novel, one obvious alternative. Who else would have had the power and ability to avert a nuclear holocaust if he had chosen to act? Who else could have justified his actions with (actual) certainty in his knowledge of the future? Who could have done it without killing a single person?

Jon could have.

Now, the obvious objection is that Jon's alienation from humanity and completely fatalistic outlook would prevent him from taking any action to interfere. True enough. However, we do know that Jon can be manipulated. Adrian, in fact, manipulates him to further exacerbate his alienation and triggers his trip to Mars. Adrian devises an extremely elaborate and devious plan that takes decades to unfold involving the manipulation of many of Jon's friends and associates into taking jobs with subsidiary companies all for the sake of giving them cancer...etc. The point being that Adrian was capable of devising a plan to manipulate Jon. Why not, instead, devise a plan that draws Jon back to his humanity? That shows him the worth and value of human life and that it's ultimately worth saving? If anyone is capable of devising such a plan it would the "world's smartest man".

Perhaps it was easier to manipulate Jon towards alienation than reconciliation but surely the extra effort would have been worth it. After all Jon would have been able to end the stalemate and completely remove the threat of nuclear annihilation. He could simply convert all the fissionable material on the planet to lead (in secret) and then, once accomplished, make an announcement to the world that nuclear war was no longer an option on the table - enforced multilateral disarmament. That would have been at least as effective as Adrian's plan without the necessity of killing 3 million innocent people. And, even if you don't accept that particular scenario as effective then surely there is some other scenario that would be effective. If you have faith in Adrian's capacity to devise a successful plan without Jon's cooperation then surely with Jon engaged, on his side and his vast power at his disposal it would be even easier to devise some alternate plan.

Was it even possible to persuade Jon that saving humanity was worth the effort? Of course it was - Laurie managed to do it and inadvertently at that. Surely Adrian could have devised a plot, perhaps even engaging Laurie through intermediaries, to ultimately persuade Jon to get involved.

Could Adrian have known it was possible to engage Jon's value of humanity? I would say that he did. Adrian's plan even anticipates this eventuality. Why else were the tachyon generators necessary? Jon was, according to Adrian's plan, already off planet and completely indifferent to the fate of humanity. If Adrian didn't anticipate the strong possibility of Jon's sympathies being engaged then there would have been no compelling reason to block Jon's ability to see his future, discover his plan and interfere with it.




Anyway, I hope these are points worth pondering...


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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:33 pm 
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Whimper wrote:
Dr. Manhattan leaving Earth is what prompts nuclear war. It wasn't inevitable until he left. So in a way, Veidt caused the immediate situation he was curing. That's the point of the movie.


I agree that Doc's departure increased the tension, but nuclear war was still inevitable even when he was on Earth. In the book, Milton Glass says he believes the soviets will resort to mutually assured destruction if necessary. Veidt seems to agree. He says that both sides realize the suicidal implications of nuclear war, but still couldn't stop racing towards it.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:18 pm 
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ROR-SHACK wrote:
Whimper wrote:
Dr. Manhattan leaving Earth is what prompts nuclear war. It wasn't inevitable until he left. So in a way, Veidt caused the immediate situation he was curing. That's the point of the movie.


I agree that Doc's departure increased the tension, but nuclear war was still inevitable even when he was on Earth. In the book, Milton Glass says he believes the soviets will resort to mutually assured destruction if necessary. Veidt seems to agree. He says that both sides realize the suicidal implications of nuclear war, but still couldn't stop racing towards it.



I don't think that you can argue conclusively that nuclear war was inevitable. The main narrative certainly created a pervasive air of inevitability and many of the characters certainly believed that war was inevitable but there's really no way to claim that with complete certainty. The only characters we're shown that could know with certainty are Nixon and his cronies and the last we see of them has Nixon holding tight at Defcon 2. A precarious position, of course, but not one that inevitably leads to the launch of nuclear weapons as we've seen in our own history.

I think it's important to note that the only other character who could have known with certainty that nuclear war was to occur in advance is Dr Manhattan. Even Nixon can't know for certain what he will do until he does it. The fact that Dr Manhattan's abilitity to know his own timeline and thus know whether or not nuclear war will occur is obscured by Adrian's tachyon generators is, I think, a very important one. It not only serves Adrian's plan in preventing Dr M from interfereing it also negates Dr M's ability to know the (his) future. It removes any possibility of actually knowing the future and makes Adrian's probablistic analysis the best insight into the future.

That seems a bit self serving to me and something the Adrian would have been aware of. By removing certainty he both elevates the value of his own abilities but undercuts the morality of his actions by denying himself access to a potentially more certain source of knowledge.

Tricky stuff...


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:42 pm 
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[NOTE: Merged. --"Curiosity Inc."]

Veidt killed thousands of people in New York and billions with Dr. manhattan's powers in the movie but do you agree with Veidt's plan for wrold peace? I watched some shows on the subject of some supervillain attempting world peace through force and they were even some real life figures who did this but Veidt is asmong the most despicable because he had to do something that involved the slaughtering of innocents. Although Veidt is a tragic figure, his plan to achieve world peace is admirable if not flawed and I agree that we need to one day end our need for war but do ends really justify the means? Do you agree with Veidt's paln when we know of Veidt's intentions despite the deaths of millions of people?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:56 pm 
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Perhaps the answer lies here.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:27 pm 
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I don't, i will not deny the results, and i would've been silent about what really happened, but given the chance to stop him, i would have.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:41 pm 
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Bump.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:04 pm 
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Quote:
Think about World War II -- that was actually negative social product spending and yet it brought us out...

Now that's an understatement.

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it was tying it into the rape-revenge stories and making light of a verys erious sub-genre that kind of offended me.


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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:34 pm 
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Curiosity Inc. wrote:


.................................................

I wonder what the fuck did people with a bachelor in economics learn if they quote The frikkin Twilight Zone to back up their statements.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:14 pm 
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feliciano182 wrote:
I wonder what the fuck did people with a Nobel Prize in economics learn if they quote The frikkin Twilight Zone to back up their statements.

Fixed.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:25 pm 
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Curiosity Inc. wrote:
feliciano182 wrote:
I wonder what the fuck did people with a Nobel Prize in economics learn if they quote The frikkin Twilight Zone to back up their statements.

Fixed.

And he even cited the wrong show.

This offends me as a nerd.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:57 am 
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These days I find Ozymandias the most interesting character in all of Watchmen. (with the possible exception of Dr. Manhattan. I can't figure out where he fits into things thematically) "Was Ozymandias right?" is the wrong question to ask. The more pertinent one is why Ozymandias came to the conclusion he did. I think his story is the book's definitive answer about superheroics & heroism and where that gets us. Superheroes: that's what Watchmen attempts to deconstruct and Ozymandias is the book's superhero par excellence.

Ozymandias' story begins with his parents' death and his soul searching through the world. After a bad trip with some shady drugs he decides to join the crime-fighting fad and puts on a silly costume and attains a silly name. Like his crime-fighting comrade Comedian however, he's able to see the bigger picture and quickly deduces beating up mobsters & costumed weirdos is a fucking stupid way to help the world. So he retires from crime-fighting but he never gives up on superheroics. Adrian Veidt becomes his public persona and Veidt Industries his tool to adress the bigger problems. And for him the biggest problem of all was impending nuclear annihilation between two superpowers. The solution he found was an application of brute force and terror.

We got to ask why. As posters above me noted the book does not give a definitive answer on whether US and USSR would destroy each other if it wasn't for Ozymandias' intervention. Ozymandias thinks so and he is a smart guy(not the smartest. That's just something PR people came up for him) but he can't tell the future and the only person who actually can is prevented to do so by Ozymandias. Another person in Ozymandias' capabilities and position could have come to a different conclusion or try different, more peaceful things(such as running for president or build an organization for peace). Why the most violent solution? Why mass murder?

The answer lies in superheroics. In the superhero genre (massive generalization incoming!) evil is defeated and good triumphs by application of brute force and violence and this is the sensible way because the villains are utter bastards who won't listen to reason or love and won't stop until their ass gets handed to them. In Watchmen the incredibly violent and brutal nature of a superhero's job transform his attitude to society & power and gives him a very cynical and violence-filtered outlook: Society is the villain and humans are violent animals only held in check by show of violence and that's the superhero's job. Ozymandias might have left the crime-fighting scene but when he sees an evil his first instinct is still punching it in the face. This point is driven home with the allegorical Tales of the Black Freighter. After a violent and traumatic encounter with evil, the castaway (a stand in for Ozymandias) sets out to save his hometown on a raft of corpses. He becomes delirious and thinking it's too late to save his town he mistakes his fellow men and wife as enemy and murders them. The Black Freighter never came. Indeed, like the castaway, Ozymandias is quite mad. He even uses a classic mad scientist scheme to save civilization.

I said saving civilization instead of saving humanity. Ozymandias's "moral dilemma" was not primarily about killing millions to save billions (like the movie clumsily put), but it was about killing millions to save humanity's legacy. That's the real stakes for him and for Ozymandias there can be no contest between the two: humanity's collective achievements, their works, are far more precious than any single human life or a million of them.* It's not the violent death of billions that's horrifying him but the fact that after all is done there would be no one left to remember what came before. It's quite an inhuman attitude to life and all in it: your life's worth is only determined by your legacy. And according to Ozymandias, his legacy is saving the world and being the best superhero among them all.

So let's ask again: was Ozymandias right? No, because he was answering the wrong question. His craving for superheroism and his outlook on society pretty much confined him to commit genocide. If the story went further I would expect Ozymandias to become more and more monstrous to protect his legacy. What's a few murders here and there for that after you have committed the ultimate crime? His saddened look after Dr. Manhattan tells him nothing ever ends might be his realization of there is no stopping there and what must he become.

* I heard one of earlier drafts for Watchmen film had the superweapon "erasing" people, leaving only shadows of them with all buildings intact. Now that would be an appropriate alternative doomsday weapon for the film. It fits Ozy perfectly.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:42 am 
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fspades wrote:
So let's ask again: was Ozymandias right? No, because he was answering the wrong question. His craving for superheroism and his outlook on society pretty much confined him to commit genocide.


I would say not his "craving for superheroism," but more his craving for murder, because, man, does he love to murder! The method of death (The Veidt Method, if you will) doesn't seem to matter, although he does have a thing for poison. Whatever means are available to facilitate the ends, I suppose.

fspades wrote:
If the story went further I would expect Ozymandias to become more and more monstrous to protect his legacy. What's a few murders here and there for that after you have committed the ultimate crime? His saddened look after Dr. Manhattan tells him nothing ever ends might be his realization of there is no stopping there and what must he become.


We might disagree about the nature of his legacy. I'm assuming when you say legacy, you mean his tenuous and questionable acquisition of world peace; when I think of Adrian's legacy, I picture a new world modeled in his image. I think his ultimate goal was to conquer and rule the world. As evidence of this, look no further than the two people Adrian modeled himself after: Ramesses II and Alexander the Great, both conquerors and rulers of the world (or the the world as it was known to them).

Either way, to strengthen and keep his new hold on the world (or to keep the U.S. and the Soviet Union from blowing the world away), there's no doubt that Veidt would have no problem murdering millions more, all in the name of his new Age of Enlightenment, of course.


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 Post subject: Childhood Obscenity
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:44 pm 
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fspades wrote:
Ozymandias' story begins with his parents' death and his soul searching through the world.

In actuality, some eleven years beforehand, we see Veidt depicted as a six year old child being regarded presumably by his mother and a school teacher. A fledgling schoolboy, making the conscious decision to disguise and so conceal his abilities from those around him in a deliberate act of deceipt, borne out of a paranoia that to do otherwise would arouse suspicion towards him in others and so frustrate and impede his intentions. A child, driven to create a façade of a persona in order to pursue his own personal agenda without hindrance.
And that alone tells you all you need to know about Adrian Veidt...

fspades wrote:
If the story went further I would expect Ozymandias to become more and more monstrous to protect his legacy. What's a few murders here and there for that after you have committed the ultimate crime? His saddened look after Dr. Manhattan tells him nothing ever ends might be his realization of there is no stopping there and what must he become.

More monstrous than engineering the death of three million from afar... the accomplishment of which giving Veidt the appetite - quite literally the stomach - to then nonchalantly dine on a fine meal lovingly prepared for him by the three confidants he also murdered up close and personal - quite literally in cold blood - only a short time beforehand? Wow.

And that saddened look? Veidt cares not for what lengths he has gone to or indeed will go to in order to realise his plans, certainly not to any significant an extent that would provoke such a visual emotional response in him. The suggestion by Dr. Manhattan that Veidt's endeavours may yet ultimately prove to have been for naught is all that caused that pained expression... and even then only because it's the thought of his own personal failure on a purely narcissistic level that is the one thing Veidt dreads above absolutely anything else.


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