So he's neither condoning or condemning. Thanks for proving my point.
Yes, it's your point, and it's my point as well. How wonderful for both our arguments that Veidt neither gets condoned nor condemned.
You're problem is that you can't distinguish between Veidt's mass genocide (which is totally immoral) and the subsequent decision to keep it secret (which is slightly less immoral but acceptable to everybody except Rorschach)
I'm not sure you've got my actual distinction between 'em in mind; let me lay it out for you, and *then* we can usefully discuss whether (a) my problem is a failure to distinguish between the two, or whether (b) your problem is a failure to understand that Veidt and Doc are operating on the same principle.
Veidt's reasoning can be summed up as "choosing the lesser evil". He'd kill one person to save a thousand people. He'd kill a million of 'em to save a billion more. We could even say he reasons like an absolute utilitarian, such that the only premise for his actions is the benefit of others; he'd kill half of NYC to save the rest of the world, he'd kill one guy to preserve that plan, he'd simply and only claim in each case that the ends justify the means as the lesser of two evils.
Doc's reasoning? Well, you said it yourself: "DM is an absolute utilitarian -- the only premise for his actions is the benefit of others."
Doc kills Rorschach to save the plan because it can be summed up as "choosing the lesser evil." He does the math and figures that the ends justify the means as the lesser of two evils.
The *same* principle that justifies killing one innocent for a greater good justifies killing three or three thousand or three million; it's *never* just about how evil the act is, it's *always* about whether the alternative is worse. If you subscribe to such a philosophy, then (a) if the alternative is worse, you should do it; (b) if not, you shouldn't.
"Consciousness of vindication" -- now you're just making stuff up, but I'll humor you;
“I did it. I DID IT! I saved Earth from hell.”-- That sounds like he’s fully “conscious” of his “vindication” to me.
But I'm arguing that Veidt can only justify doing something evil -- killing an innocent, killing millions of innocents, whatever -- if he truly believes the alternative is worse: that a good result justifies those evil means, that he did evil things for some greater good. If he *has* saved Earth from hell thereby, then, yes, he can justify the evil he's done. If he *hasn't*, then, no, he can't.
Veidt believes that he *has*, in fact, chosen the lesser evil. He believes he's saved the world from a worse alternative, such that he can reassure himself that the evil he's done is justified by a worthy result. But he's not sure.
And so he'd really like to hear from Doc about whether he's right about that.
So the world's smartest man isn't sure whether he correctly gambled on the lives on 3 million people.
No, he isn't sure. He'd very much like for Doc to say it'll all work out just fine in the end (in which case the evil he's done would be justified). He'd very much *hate* for Doc to say it won't (in which case the evil he's done wouldn't be justified). He therefore asks Doc whether it all worked out in the end, expecting one of those two answers.
But, he's told, nothing *ever* ends. Doc can't yet say the plan was a success. Doc also can't yet say it was a failure.
Veidt had hoped to get his evil actions condoned, as justified means to a successful end. He'd hoped not to get his evil actions condemned, as unjustified means to failed end. But *neither* happens, because Doc instead tells him that (a) it's too soon to say, and (b) it'll *always* be too soon to say.
Yes, if we strip that quote of all context it's just a presumably false statement; all *sorts* of things end, after all. But if we take it in context, Doc is answering Veidt's question by claiming he can't yet say whether the plan will succeed or fail -- and, given that ignorance, all Doc can do is kill Rorschach for the exact same reason Veidt would: because Doc understands, without condoning or condemning, why one would kill *any* number of people to save yet *more* people.
Doc safeguards the plan (as do Laurie and Dan) since that is the only reasonable play to make at that point in time.
And, likewise, Veidt instituted said plan since he believed it was the only reasonable play to make at that point in time. Doc kills Rorschach for the same reason Veidt kills three million people: because he genuinely believes the alternative is worse, since, y'know, otherwise, he'd decide to just sit on his ass while things play out.