Might for Right, Eh?

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Might for Right, Eh?

Postby Wandering Observer on Sat Apr 28, 2007 12:41 pm

So examining your Deviantart link to the picture of the mighty, I found your brief statement on "Might for Right;" the code you hold yourself to. Care to explain it a bit more?
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Postby Linkara on Sat Apr 28, 2007 4:08 pm

Jeez, where to start? ^_~

Well, I suppose it comes down to two sources that have been the inspiration for an entire philosophy based simply around those words: "Might for Right." The first is the book "The Once and Future King" by T.H. White. For those unaware, it's considered one of the greatest fictional accounts of King Arthur. In the second part of it, Arthur discusses with his foster-brother Sir Kay and Merlyn the subject of chivalry and the phrase "Might is Right." He comes to the conclusion that the other barons and Kings in England are holding onto an outdated way of life - having immense might and power but no justice to temper it:

"Now what I have thought, is this. Why can't you harness Might so that it works for Right? I know it sounds nonsense, but, I mean, you can't just say there is no such thing. The Might is there, in the bad half of people, and you can't neglect it. You can't cut it out, but you might be able to direct it, if you see what I mean, so that it was useful instead of bad."

The idea is to bring people into the Round Table so that instead of going around whacking people for no reason, they harness violence and power as a method of good, punishing evildoers and improving the general welfare of the people. It's really the basic idea of most modern political thought - those in power can do good for people in some capacity or another. Expounding upon this further was the musical based on the Once and Future King, the aponymous "Camelot." While the musical tended to focus in the second act on the love affair of Guenivere and Lancelot, it did contain a lot the ideas about Might for Right:

"Look, only the knights are rich enough to have armor. The footsoldiers? They have nothing. So all that can happen to a knight is the occasional dent. Proposition: right or wrong, they have the might, so right or wrong, they're always right! And that's wrong. Right?"

At this point, Arthur gets his idea to start the Round Table as an ordery of chivalry, to use might to improve instead of destroy. Arthur then coins the phrase "Might for Right" as a counterpoint to the popular "Might is Right" statement.

Now, this has become my personal philosophy along with a second phrase that's uttered near the end of the musical "Right for Right," doing the right thing for the sake of the right thing and not simply because it's convenient or profitable for the individual at that time.

The idea of "Might for Right" stands not only as a simple political doctrine, but on a broader basis serves as the justification for all superheroic activity - that one can use their power to do the right thing. But I believe it extends even farther than in comic books - that every human being has might in some capacity, be it in their own personal might for the ability to achieve great things or for their ability to make choices. They can have might in other ways, like physical might through muscles, political might through a government position, or economic might by being rich. Humanity is mighty, but sometimes it just doesn't realize how much it is.

That's all I've got for now, it's exciting for me to talk about and as such difficult to get it all out there. ^_~ But to break it down to one sentence: One can and should use power to do good things.
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Postby Wandering Observer on Sat Apr 28, 2007 7:23 pm

I see. The idea certainly makes sense.

So one ought to use the power they have been given to do good things.

Of course, a questions beg to be asked.

The concept of using your talents and abilities for good seems, at first glance, to be taken for granted in most modern systems of morality. In an age when "might is right" is largely considered to be an unethical philosophy to begin with, how does "might for right" distinguish itself?

Lastly, why emphasise might for right as your cardinal philosophy? Why is this the value that you hold in highest regard?
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Postby Linkara on Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:20 pm

To distinguish itself in modern times? There are certain ways, albeit it tends to walk a dangerous line in the public view as a result. Sorry to delve into politics here, but it's one of the reasons I support the efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. I believe that military might was the only way to affect change in the oppressive regimes in power. The problem is that people would disagree with me there, saying that the might of negotiation, trade sanctions, or other such things would have been preferable or more efficient or etc., etc.

In modern times it also reestablishes the idea of chivalry as a method for everyday life particularly in regards to children and teenagers. You see an innocent being picked on by bullies? Defend the innocent and don't let them use their might to do wrong. Or, for that matter, if one is being bullied or oppressed, stand up to it and fight back in some capacity.

I wouldn't necessarily say it's my cardinal philosophy. That I'd say is probably my belief in individuality and the infinite aspiration of individual achievement. However, Might for Right is certainly up there with it - individual might without being tempered by a conscience is just bound for disaster.
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