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Moshe Goldberg Rubinshteyn

GOODKIND VII, The sword of truthiness

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Good morning and welcome once again to the Terry Goodkind Quote of the Day. Today’s episode follows Nicci’s stirring description of the Imperial Order’s culinary habits, as Richard explains to the army that it has to be disbanded in order to fight in a different way. The Imperial Order’s army is way to big to defeat in ordinary battle, so naturally, Richard has a new plan. Terry (BBNC) is, as always, really subtle.

“We must fight the war our way. We must fight it for what it really is—not armies on a field of battle acting as surrogates for ideas, but a war for the future of mankind.

“As such, it is a war in which the Old World is totally committed, in which everyone on their side has dedicated themselves to the struggle. They are passionate about their cause. They believe in what they are doing. They think they have right on their side, that they are acting morally, that they are fulfilling the Creator’s wishes, and so they are justified in murdering whoever they wish in order to define how mankind will live. […] <oh yeah, I almost forgot that the Order are the bad guys, thanks for the reminder>

“All the people who believe in the ways of the Order, who contribute, who encourage, who support, who pray for their soldiers to crush us, are part of their war effort. Each of those people adds something to their cause. As such, they are just as much the enemy as the soldiers swinging the swords for them. They are the ones who feed their blades with a supply of young men and everything they need to come after us, from food to moral support and encouragement.â€

Richard pointed south. “In fact, those people who make this war possible are perhaps even more of an enemy because each one is a silent enabler who wishes us harm from afar, who hates by choice, who believes that there is no consequence for them forcing their will on us. <see where this is all going yet?>

[…] He drew his hands into fists. “We must bring this war home to the people who support and encourage it. It must not simply be the lives of our friends, our families, our loved ones who are thrown into the bloody cauldron these people of the Old World stoke. It must now be their lives as well.

“They see this as a struggle for the future of mankind. I intend to see that it is. I want them to fully understand that if they set out to murder and subjugate us-for whatever reason-then there will be consequences.

“From this day forward, we will fight a real war, a total war, a war without mercy. We will not impose pointless rules on ourselves about what is ‘fair.’ Our only mandate is to win. That is the only way we, our loved ones, our freedom will survive. Our victory is all that is moral. I want any supporter of the Order to pay the price for their aggression. I want them to pay with their fortunes, their future, their very lives.

“The time has come to go after these people with nothing but cold black rage in our hearts.â€

Richard lifted a fist. “Crush their bones to blood and dust!â€

There was a moment of silence as everyone took a collective breath, and then a thunderous cheer erupted, as if they had all secretly known that they had no chance to succeed and that they were doomed to face only death and failure in the end, but now they had been shown that there was a way. There was, at last, a real chance to save their homes and loved ones, to save the future.

[…] “The army of the Order has the support of the people of their homeland. The soldiers of the Order each know that their families, friends, and neighbors support them. The men of the Order need to hear from those back in the Old World. What I want the men of the Order to hear are wails of agony. I want them to know that their homes are being gutted, their cities and towns leveled, their businesses and crops destroyed, and their loved ones left with nothing.

[…] We must deny them those supplies they need to survive here in such numbers. We must cut that vital link. If the Imperial Order’s soldiers starve to death they are just as dead. […]

“Also, the recruits coming up from the south will be much more vulnerable since they will not yet have joined up with experienced men, or be in massive numbers. They are poorly trained and little more than young thugs going off to rape and pillage. Slaughter them before they go north and have the chance….Seeing the bodies of these young heroes-to-be rotting on their doorsteps will help us crush the spirit of the people of the Old World.â€

[…] One of the men toward the back cleared his throat, then spoke up. “Lord Rahl, innocent people down there are going to die. These aren’t soldiers we will be attacking. A lot of children are going to die in this kind of thing.â€

“Yes, that is unfortunately true, but don’t let your mind be clouded or your determination turned aside by such a spurious and irrelevant charge. The Order is responsible for conducting a war of aggression against innocent people who have done them no harm-including women and children. We seek only to end the aggression as swiftly as possible.

“It’s true that innocent people-including children-will be hurt or killed. What is the alternative? Continuing to sacrifice good people out of fear of harming someone innocent? We are all innocent. Our children are all innocent. They are being harmed, now. The Order’s rule will eventually harm everyone, including all those children in the Old World. The Order will turn many of them into monsters. Many more people will die in the end if the Order wins.

“Moreover, the lives of the people in the Old World are not our responsibility, they are the Order’s responsibility. We did not start this war and attack them-they attacked us. Our only proper course of action is to end the war as swiftly as possible. This is the only way to do that. In the end, this is the most humane thing wed can do because in the end this will mean the least loss of life.

~Terry Goodkind, Phantom

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Lord Rahl, innocent people down there are going to die. These aren’t soldiers we will be attacking. A lot of children are going to die in this kind of thing.

See...I knew Richard hates kids. I wonder if he is personally going to go around and kick them all in the face?

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Holy shit! :sick: :sick: :sick: :sick: :sick: :sick: :sick: :sick: :sick:

Is there anything more noble than mass genocide?

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Can't someone just get Goodkind a blog? He's not exactly being subtle with the political allegory here, is he?

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Surely the end of the Sword of Truth series can only be that Richard has been having delusions all along and is really mentally unstable in a Fight Club styley. We will discover that the Imperial Order is in fact the men in white coats coming to take him away . . .

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That's quite a shocker, even by Yeardian standards. Let me get this straight - Richard's army is too weak to fight the actual soldiers, so he's going to go round the back and butcher all the civilians instead?

His statement about the Order is quite funny too - "They believe they are doing the only moral thing, whereas in fact the only moral thing is what we are doing, which is killing babies..." I'm quite astounded that TG (BBHN) can write stuff like this with a straight face.

One other thing (that is not a thing) - I don't know much about Objectivism as I don't think it ever made it to this side of the Atlantic, but how is it objective to have the motives define the morality of an act? Surely from an objective point of view, killing innocent people is bad no matter whether it is for a good cause or a bad one - bringing motive into it makes it subjective, not objective. Ah well, I'm probably too young and/or stupid, or possibly one of those evil Canadians.

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Can someone with moral clarity explain how slaughtering non-combatants gives Richard's army a chance to win? I mean, the Order doesn't care about their people anyway, do they? I was however suprised at the gentle rebuke the jackal of evil received from Richard after his plan was questioned. Is Richard going soft?

And wait a second, this is from Phantom? Hasn't Richard already engaged in 4 or 5 other "battles for humanity" against the Order? Isn't he supposed to be looking for Kahlan?

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Richard's speech only goes on for about 12 pages, I guess he was in a hurry.

I should have added this part: Richard gives Captain Zimmer and his elite troops a special mission in the Old World. They are to specifically target those who preach the ways of the Order.

Captian Zimmer stood tall. "Thank you, Lord Rahl, for allowing me and my men to rid the world of those who preach this poison."

"There's one other thing I'd like you and your men to do for me."

"Yes, Lord Rahl?"

"Bring me their ears."

Captain Zimmer smiled as he put a fist to his heart. "There will be no escape or mercy for them, Lord Rahl. I will bring you proof."

~Terry Goodkind (BBNC), Phantom

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MM: genuinely, did you make that up?

Terry's kind of all over the place here.

They think their cause is noble, so they're justified in doing whatever bad things they like. But they're wrong! We're noble. So we're justified in doing bad things.

So, the great sin for which these people die is... being in error?

Then we get 'if they set out to subjugate us for whatever reason'. So now the reason doesn't matter. What matters is... they're them, and we're us. And this makes us better than them, inherently. It just does, OK?

It's not very rational, is it?

Then he talks about being 'filled with cold black rage' again, as if an Objectivist considers acting from emotion to be a good thing.

Innocent people will die... but that's 'irrelevant' and 'spurious'. (I suspect Mr G does not have a firm grasp of what that last word means, btw.) It will weaken the enemy, after all. But at the same time, when innocent people on our side die or are threatened, it makes us more ruthless and determined!

I can only conclude this is some kind of setup where Richard will come to realise in the next book that he's been magically confused by Jagang or something.

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This is becoming more and more disgusting.

Terry Goodkind is not subtle at all, first he describes atrocities commited by the Imperial Order so his heroes have a case then he has Richard Rahl to declare "total war" against the Imperial Order. What Richard plans here is just genocide, he is telling his men to target civilans, he orders his men that they will have to kill children because otherwise those children would become monsters.

Total war, targeting civilians, killing children to avoid having them grow up to become enemies. Hitler and Goebbles would have approved. Even that stupid Arthur "Butcher" Harris would have agreed with the part of attacknig civilians, even though he would have justified this strategy on the grounds that he expected them to turn against the government that didn't protect them. As every one know, Arthur "Butcher" Harris failed.

Richard strategy is murderous and has no base from a tactical point of view. He has a smaller army and is being invaded by a larger one that he knows that he cannot defeat in an open battle. He decides to send his army, in smaller units it would seem, to the enemy homeland and have them commit atrocities. How does he expect to supply his forces in enemy territory? How does he expect to coordinate them and avoid them being picked one by one by larger imperial forces and destroyed in detail? How does he expect to defend his own territory without soldiers, the imperial Order could leave part of their army invading the Midlands and then send the rest of their forces back home to supress Richard's genocidal campaign. This was precisely what Sherman did in 1864 when Hood marched with his army back into Union territory, he just send Thomas with part of his army to the North to deal with Hood while he advanced freely into Confederated territory without enemy forces to stop his march.

The more I read the more convinced I am that Terry Goodkind has read Dan Simmons "April's message" and decided that he had to lecture his reader about the necessity of being ruthless to defeat "evil".

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MM: genuinely, did you make that up?

I wish I could be so clever as to make such an accurate parody of Terry's (BBNC) work. But my brain couldn't possibly come up with so many contradictions and simultaneously spend book after book trying to justify them all. And I could never be so subtle. ;)

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Can he really write that and be serious about it ?

It' s so much nonsense that I' m speechless.

"Come on people, we can't defeat the order, so let's abandon our position (like that he has free move to butcher our owns) and let's go butchering his people so that they are weakened. And we can butcher innocent people because we are good, so it's good !"

Wow, just wow !

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And this is the speech where Richard throws away every bit of humanity left in him by forgetting about human rights and the value of human life and unfolds his final solution: mass genocide of civilians.

Forget getting Hitler to play as Jagang. Clone him to play Richard instead. He'd be very convincing. Just give him a wig for the yeard.

I think I'll throw up.

This speech deserves :sick: :sick: :sick: :sick: :sick: :sick: out of 5.

(I was going to have 11 sick emoticons but the board wouldn't let me.)

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Forget getting Hitler to play as Jagang. Clone him to play Richard instead. He'd be very convincing. Just give him a wig for the yeard.

Seems to be the right solution.

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Agulla,

There will be no coordination between the smaller groups of soldiers being sent to the Old World, since if somebody got captured and tortured (after which his balls would be eaten) he could betray the whereabouts of other groups. So they are all being turned loose on the Old World to do whatever the hell they want so long as it is bad for the Order. I suppose there are a few hundred thousand D'Haran troops left, and they have no chance at defeating the Order's army which has several million. But of course the Old World is enormous. Its like sending your army out to ransack Asia. Btw, at the point in the book where I am (mercifully close to the end) thirty or so Old World cities have been burned to the ground. Probably about a month after Dick's speech. Time and distance have no meaning in these books.

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Now that I think about it. Surely Terry Goodkind would have already finished writing his book by the time of Simmons' "April's message". Surely then both of them have been reading the same stuff and have arrived to the same conclusions.

Edited to add:

The Mad Moose,

at the point in the book where I am (mercifully close to the end) thirty or so Old World cities have been burned to the ground. Probably about a month after Dick's speech. Time and distance have no meaning in these books.

This or they have the writer at their side. It always helps.

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Up until now, I have been mostly a lurker. I think I have read half of the first book, before dropping it because of the boring story.

But ...

“From this day forward, we will fight a real war, a total war, a war without mercy. We will not impose pointless rules on ourselves about what is ‘fair.’ Our only mandate is to win. That is the only way we, our loved ones, our freedom will survive. Our victory is all that is moral. I want any supporter of the Order to pay the price for their aggression. I want them to pay with their fortunes, their future, their very lives.

:o:o:o

Nothing is more useful to show how good your good people are than using words that sound almost like an (in)famous speech out of the German history.

Edit: Agulla said it before me.

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I wonder how "tit for tat" works in this Objectivist philosophy. They killed our kids, so we'll kill their kids. They cut the balls of our men for their dinner so.... What would Ghandi think? "A ball for a ball leaves the whole world impotent." Although Richard would tear Ghandi apart, "Your malnourished body and peaceful ways are no match for my rage-driven magic sword!"

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:sick: :sick: :sick: :sick: :sick: :sick:

yee gads that has to be the wierdest strategy I've ever heard of.

utterly disturbing, he seems to be advocating the use of terrorist tactics to win a war - how terribly PC of him!

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:sick: I cannot believe it... where is the coherency? Khalan just established the Imperial Order was evil because they did such things, for their own ends, too.

As such, it is a war in which the Old World is totally committed, in which everyone on their side has dedicated themselves to the struggle. They are passionate about their cause. They believe in what they are doing. They think they have right on their side, that they are acting morally, that they are fulfilling the Creator’s wishes, and so they are justified in murdering whoever they wish in order to define how mankind will live. […] <oh yeah, I almost forgot that the Order are the bad guys, thanks for the reminder>
Such irony there, I cannot believe TG is serious. Just replace "Creator" by "Richard" and the paragraph can be used by the other side.

It's just mind boggling. Ultimately what's said here is that it doesn't matter what you do, only the belief that drives you is important... On the other hand, Goodkind goes against that simple rule by making bad guys look evil because of their actions.

Thus something seems wrong here: either your actions matter or they don't, so if a character of such mental clarity as Khalan can judge that everyone on a whole continent is evil just because of the actions of a select few, then everyone helping Richard should be labelled evil as well, as an external observator would see thing like tortured men, men forced to eat their own balls, children kicked to death, peace protestors slaughtered, elected representative slaughtered and so on, in the wake of Richard and Khalan. It's on the same level as the atrocities used to make the reader dislike the opposing team.

If Mystar was here he'd say that I'm refusing to see something, I guess, but I truly don't know what.

Anyway, for the mass genocide thing, Richard is not wrong for once: if you manage to have such a black and white situation with no gray in between, then exterminating the black is a good option for white to reign supreme in the end, rather than compromise and create shades of grey. Of course it's too bad for TG that it doesn't work like that in the real world, unless you want to exterminate everyone but you (and even then you better avoid being conflicted about anything...).

Since TG says his works apply to the real world, I wonder how much of this is supposed to be relevant to the middle east situation. Surely he isn't suggesting that the best approach toward *erm* terrorists is to raid their countries and slaughter the women, the children and the elderly, on the basis that they have a different culture than US and that they are in the bad guys camp when you do that sweeping generalization thing? I shiver imagining someone of Richard's ilk getting his hands on a nuclear arsenal.

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