Originally Posted by Dark Sentinel
I haven't been here for a while, but I will say this on this subject:
Twice Bane says that he is here (in Gotham) to "fulfill Rā's al Ghūl's destiny."
If you read the Batman Begins novelization, Rā's wanted Gotham to serve as an example to the world at large. Gotham in his mind represented the growing decadence and corruption in the modern world, and so as "the League of Shadows (being) a check against human corruption for thousands of years," saw fit to use Gotham as a symbol. Remember, the LOS essentially created the environment that killed Bruce's parents and, in turn, created the Batman, by tampering with Gotham's internal economy, thrusting the city into a polarizing depression.
Talia simply wishes to continue/finish her father's work. So regardless of Gotham's "peacetime," the LOS has a legitimate reason to want to destroy Gotham. But under Bane and Talia, they would have literally destroyed Gotham. Rā's never wanted to destroy the city. He wanted to use Crane's blue poppy-derived fear toxin to let Gotham tear itself apart.
In other words, Rā's was pretty hands-off, Bane/Talia were very hands-on.
Great post. This is precisely what I've been saying since July. Some fans don't agree with the interpretation of the LOS seeing Gotham as a symbol for corruption in the world and instead believe Ra's simply wanted to rid Gotham of organized crime and move on. To which I have always thought, why not just assassinate all the mobsters/corrupt politicians in Gotham then? They're ninjas, after all. And Gotham was easy for them to infiltrate (EG. Finch's murder).
Considering that, along with a bunch of key lines from Ra's in BB, necessitates the global ideals interpretation IMO. If all Ra's wanted to do was eliminate the mob influence in Gotham, that makes him a weaker character because gassing the city is a completely overwrought, roundabout, mustache twirling way to go about that. And as you said, it does not make sense of why he attacked Gotham economically which put it in the state it was in during BB. It's the fact that he believes his plan will somehow improve the state of the world at large and bring it towards balance that makes him scary, and believable. He's a terrorist, plain and simple. Terrorists do things to send a message. This was a trilogy that dealt heavily with symbols, and has also been known as the post 9/11 superhero saga. Terrorists, as we know are highly symbolic about the targets they choose to strike.
I wish more fans saw it this way. It makes a huge difference in how you take in the entire movie.