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Old 01-13-2013, 11:34 PM   #118
RustyCage
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Gotham
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Default Re: Why did the League of Shadows want to destroy a peaceful city?

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Originally Posted by BatLobsterRises View Post
I don't think the point was ever avoided. Ra's says it's "When a society reaches the pinnacle of its decadence". For the League that point came decades prior to Batman Begins, when they attacked Gotham financially.
But it rebounded since, due to Thomas and Bruce. Surely it's time for such a wise and harmony-seeking organization to re-examine. Surely they'd be mature enough to judge such a serious matter with care.

Thomas wasn't enough to convince Ra's, but Bruce has (apparently to them) taken it so much further. It's been 8 years. You'd think they'd look before they leap.

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If the League believed broken societies were capable of fixing themselves in a permanent way, why would the League have any reason to exist?
The issue I take is that the standard for 'broken societies' is incredibly vague, and incredibly low in TDKR's case. Any other city in the world could as easily be manipulated into being corrupt or chaotic BY the League just so the League can point at them in accusation. If these are the standards, it's a hypocrisy, the logic falls apart.

What's the point of them existing at all if the standard is such that a city can't even pursue a harmonious state to begin with? It's not as if a harmonious state comes out of nothing, it has to be worked toward. If they blow up Gotham, a harmonious state does not miraculously sprout from it's ashes. It is built by learning from mistakes. That's what humanity is.

They are purposely stunting that growth under the illusion of encouraging it, just so they can say, 'We're more perfect than you, you failed.' over and over, for literally infinity.

So they might as well just blow up every civilization before it gets started and eradicate all of humanity, because it will never be born again perfect without any work and without any slip-ups.

With Begins, we are left to assume that Gotham became truly terrible before the League stepped in. At least that lack of specified standards of 'decadence' leaves room for a probable reasonable standard and motivation. With Rises, the standard appears pettily low, and merely revenge based.

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And that's the interesting thing. I think this very notion that Gotham can cure itself is utter blasphemy to them. It's an existence-threatening paradox that they cannot begin to consider.
So those who take upon themselves the authority to judge the imperfect with the scythe of Death are so set in their ways that they cannot even consider a potentially superior alternative to bettering humanity... Not so perfect themselves, eh?

Not only that, but they are occasionally the deliberate cause of the corruption they seek to destroy. That's two reasons for them to just self-destruct, kill themselves, if they truly adhere to their logic.

Sounds like the League itself has reached decadence.

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They may not have known about the Dent coverup, but their devout dedication to staying the course is vindicated when the truth finds its way to them.
But the point is, they just got lucky, it wasn't their motivation.

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And that's what is so fascinating and scary about that to me. What happens when evil extremists have the truth on their side? What does that mean? What kind of power does that give them? Does it make them right? Or is a broken clock right twice a day?
This is a perspective that I thoroughly enjoy. The idea that reality looks to be on the moral/philosophical side of these people that feel justified in committing genocide. Scary for sure.

Just wish THAT was the deliberate part of the League's plan, and not the 'causing the problem' part.

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So basically, the League are complete and utter dogmatists. I like to think of it as what would Ra's al Ghul do if he had survived (or if there was a Lazarus Pit in this universe)? He had already made it clear that he thought Bruce's crusade to fix Gotham was pointless because Gotham was beyond saving, just like he thought Thomas Wayne's efforts to fix Gotham were pointless. Even without the knowledge that the Dent Act was based on a lie, you can see how the League would still find this to be a temporary and insufficient solution to a more deeply engrained problem. It doesn't matter that Gotham has shown improvement, the "new" Gotham still does not fit into their vision for a new world, though its destruction lies at the center of it. It's the most prominent city in the world and it's decades past its expiration date.
I don't think Ra's is so arrogant and simple-minded that he is above being corrected, even if he has to be corrected the hard way (I want to say this is supported by BTAS, but I'd have to do some digging).

As for the idea of an expiration date, I think Ra's is honorable enough that he would judge the city based on it's condition as it is rather than as it was. The League now is operating on old information, just for the sake of it. In a way this is reflective of the real world, when extremists lose their leaders, but I always figured Bane to be more impressive and self-capable than that.

Further, I figure Ra's to be the kind of person who would have at least found out about Dent before striking, he would seek some larger justification, something Bruce couldn't deny.

And he may even be impressed with Bruce's work to prove him wrong up until he learns of the lie, it may have him slowly reconsidering over the 8 years, but then once the veil falls, he becomes convinced he was right all over again. That's kind of their respect/clash relationship in the books and cartoon as well, which charms me. Makes me wanna see them just hug it out, but I know they never can even if an agreement seems close at times.

I would have LOVED to see Ra's still alive just for this story purpose. Lazarus pit or some other explanation, maybe he's recovering from nearly dying and watching curiously during the 8 years to explain the bizarrely delayed second strike. Giving Bruce a chance to prove himself since he bested him. Respeck, mon. haha

I view Ra's as one of many father figures Bruce turned to after the death of Thomas Wayne in Begins, so finally satisfying the father he never could and setting the foundations for a true harmony that his father previously scolded him to be impossible would be a nice undercurrent with a lot of gravity.

They could have referenced Thomas in that regard at the same time, he completed his real father's work. But he didn't even get roses, much less a visit. Missed opportunity. The parental angle was so scarce in Rises... all we had in the way of that was Alfred whining out of character a couple of times. Siiigh.

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Last edited by RustyCage; 01-13-2013 at 11:38 PM.
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