Originally Posted by georgec
The feeling is mutual.
Yes, this is an excellent point. Almost every criticism I've read or heard from friends contains those words - "Batman would never do that." Well, he did. The entirety of TDK built up to those last few moments, when Batman realized he simply couldn't be the hero he wanted to be for Gotham. He decided his presence was only causing more problems, epitomized by the Joker's rise and Harvey's fall, and that the best he could do was to take the blame and preserve the mission Harvey had begun.
I've been listening to the soundtrack while sitting in traffic and having new epiphanies. It's happening a lot nowadays.
Anyways, I had another thought about this. Batman, by his very nature, is not the kind of hero who saves the world all by his lonesome. He works outside the law and bends the rules...but only so the police and lawyers can do their job. In BB, he gives Rachel what the DA's office need to prosecute Falcone. In TDK, he extradites Lao for Dent to take him to court. He doesn't give the notion that he decides how society should be run.
He's an enabler. He enables good people to do their job. That's why he retired after TDK. His job was done - with the legacy of Dent intact, the Dent Act would give the police power to clean up the streets.
The only time he needed to step in and save Gotham all by his lonesome were from things that could be thought of as "his fault." The LOS coming in, as well as Joker's rampage. In fact, the second time the LOS arrives is directly because of Bruce's actions in BB. The mobs were gone, the city was peaceful aside from the wayward slimy businessman (which really couldn't topple a city all by himself), so why did they return? Because Bruce killed Ra's in BB. (Or allowed him to die. Whichever.
) It was wholly a revenge scheme. Talia was too focused on revenge and honoring her father, to even consider whether Gotham was the same as it was in BB and deserved to be destroyed. IMO, it certainly is not, because Batman changed it for the better. She was going in with wholly selfish reasons.
Now, the social implications of Bruce quitting also indirectly helps Bane gather his army. Without Batman and a reason for living, Bruce throws his entire company behind the clean energy project (without even considering if it's what Gotham really NEEDS), and it fails. With no more money and no more motivation, he hides within Wayne Manor, while his foundation ceases to help the less fortunate. Other would-be philanthropists see what's happening, and hold their money back also. I mean let's be fair, Wayne is very prominent in Gotham society. If he generously donates, he's definitely inspiring other of his social standing to do the same. (IRL, look to Bill Gates inspiring Warren Buffett, and them inspiring other wealthy donors.)
Then look what happens in TDKR. A kid from the orphanage is found dead, probably because he pissed off Bane. He went there for work because the orphanage he grew up in no longer has the funds to keep him on. What was funding the orphanage? The Wayne Foundation. In this way, Bruce's inadvertent selfishness is partly his own undoing. The Dent Act also would make Gotham look like a police state to some, angering the lower class even more. All this happens because Batman meddled just a little too much into things, in society and in Bruce's life.
So then, what IS the point of Batman? If the mob is gone and the police/DA can do their job, there is no point. The LOS that might reform after TDKR will be a different League - one that wouldn't just destroy Gotham because it was on the agenda 10 years before. (And unless Talia or Bane have a child bent on revenge...again.) Batman's reason for existing died after he took the bomb away from the city, which is why killing off Batman after that moment was so poignant. Without Batman and the trouble he brings, the people have a chance to rebuild it the way they see fit. "You don't need me anymore. Go off and do what you know best." At the end of TDKR, Bruce finally accepts this, instead of needing to be the hero.
All this still depends on whether Blake has the sense not to make the same mistakes Bruce did and gaining more enemies in the process.