Magnanimous wrote:Also, I hadn't really paid much attention to his love of Truman until this thread, but it does make a lot of sense. He approves of Hiroshima/Nagasaki because that was forty* years ago, and its effects are obvious: it played a big part in stopping WWII, which saved countless lives. On the other hand, it's impossible to predict the outcome of Ozymandias' plan at that moment, so he defaults and says it's evil.
A few posts mentioned how utilitarian Rorschach is. These people are crazy. Yes, he often does do cruel things in order for a greater benefit...such as, say, break a guy's fingers in order to find a child murderer. A child murderer which he would then kill, instead of bringing to jail. A real utilitarian wouldn't cause any more pain than is necessary, and would try to optimize happiness. This point of view is represented by Ozymandias, definitely not Rorschach.
R represents our illogical, emotional nature. I'll expand on this, but first let me explain how I viewed the other Watchmen.
The comedian was an existentialist egoist. Morality meant nothing to him...all that mattered was himself. Which leads to, well, sociopathy. R is not a sociopath, btw, because sociopaths have no sense of morality at all, while R most definitely has a sense of morality. The Comedian is an existentialist because he found no inherent meaning. He decided his own meaning, which is simply self-gratification, despite the rights of others.
Manhattan is simply a nihilist, IMO.
Silk Spectre II and Nite Owl II seem pretty much to be the same....regular people who takes everything in consideration in regards to morality, with their own faults.
So what is R? He's an existentialist, and he finds meaning through the one thing that is most true to him, most genuine. His gut sense of emotion. There is no logic there at all, only what he, in his stomach, feels is the correct thing to do. Many of us, in our liberal heads, think that the death penalty is always wrong, while knowing that if anyone kills a loved one, we want that murderer to suffer a horrible, horrible death. But we value logic, so we have to say it is wrong, despite our feelings, but we smile in glee as a masked superhero thrusts an axe repeatedly into a child murderer's brain.
For R, the lesbians deserved to die because it fundamentally disturbs him, as it fundamentally disturbs many people burn in the 50s. Their brain just flashes "WRONG" with no input from the logical parts. He was probably ingrained with racism from his father or whatever, and initially views the Japanese as animals, not worthy of consideration, even though we know, logically, that they are just like white people. But to many people, when they think about the Japanese, or blacks, or whatever the word "ANIMAL" flashes in their brain, and that affects their interaction with the outside world. Blowing up New York City, though? Too far, there are actual people living there. It doesn't matter what justification you give. if someone suggests blowing up New York City, the word "WRONG" is going to flash in neon blinking red in your brain. Any justification "It'll unite the world under a common enemy" seems so distant and fake.
This is how R finds meaning. By sticking with that which feels most true to him...his basic, gut emotions. If you do that, and be sure you never consider logic, you will never feel like you messed up. You won't say later "Oh dang, I don't think that decision maximized happiness for all!"
This is, if you don't mind me getting political, how many conservatives tend to think. Distrust of namsy pamsbly logic, operating solely on their base emotions, which are mediated by their prejudices.