Did Veidt doom humanity?? (spoilers for Watchmen)

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Posted by SuperXAsh (573 posts) - - Show Bio

In one of the darker and more thought provoking endings in comics, Ozymandias concocted a scheme to solve the Cold War in his world. It involved convincing the world that alien invaders were a threat to the entire World. It worked, despite killing thousands, and now humanity was united against a common threat. 
But what I'm wondering is... is this answer any better than the looming threat of nuclear holocaust? or has it just delayed things for a few years/decades?
Think about it, sure the Cold War is no longer threatening to nuke humanity into extinction in this world, but now humanity is going to throw itself into building up defenses against a threat that doesn't exist. That means making changes to infrastructures and factories, possibly putting people out of jobs all in the name of building up defensive weapons against a percieved threat from outer space. It'll eventually become a fruitless, wasteful endeavor in the end, that's teetering precariously on a lie. It's sole reaon is based on the assumption that people would just go with this without asking questions, and that the results would be nothing short of happiness and lilacs for everyone. Also the idea that nobody is going to investigate the attack, to better understand what they're up against (to better build up defenses, otherwise you'll just be spinning your wheels), is quite a logical misstep by the supposed "smartest man in the world".
You can solve the Cold War problem, but you sure as hell can't solve the "Human Problem". Maybe he should have listened to Manhattan more often.  
That's what I always liked about Alan Moore's stuff, they tend to leave such things up to the reader's interpretation.

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#1 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6958 posts) - - Show Bio
@SuperXAsh: That's always been a lingering thought for me as well.  In this post-9/11 world there is no longer an "us vs. them" mentality, and enemies linger in different and various forms now.  The old paradigm of 'evil empires' and rogue states is out the door now, with domestic and foreign terrorism crossing over national boundaries as easily as powdered sugar through a sieve.  In a way, yes, Veidt did see to it that the worldly apocalypse was averted with bringing "Beasty" to the Big Apple, but clearly I think for all of his smarts he was only thinking in short-term, limited solutions.  Cold war was stopped yes, but that does not mean that nuclear holocaust was eradicated.  Eventually another state would buy or even produce stockpiles of weapons and use them as military and political deterrents (i.e. North Korea, Iran) but unlike their old Soviet equivalents are much more likely to flip the switch.  Put it this way, its like what the T-850 said to John Connor in the T3 movie, saying that the destruction of the Skynet CPU chip "Only delayed the inevitable." And in conclusion, I will put out a quote that Osterman put toward the end of the movie, though I'm not sure if it was said in the graphic novel or not: "I can change almost anything, but I cannot change human nature."  Veidt merely postponed the inevitable.
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#2 Posted by KenTheProfile (420 posts) - - Show Bio
In the Watchmen universe, The only people who would look into it are stupid, crazy, or dead. the Gov. would steady the body left over and go from there on how to build things to stop. and every couple of years there be another dead thing or attack. Veidt is smart enough to do that. so yeah maybe one day shit hits the fan but for awhile the world will be better off.
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#3 Posted by SuperXAsh (573 posts) - - Show Bio
So nobody would want to better understand the monster that just suddenly landed in New York?? They'll just blindly accept that it is what it is? Veidt never seemed to have a long-term plan. It's never alluded to in the slightest. And eventually people are going to start asking questions of him if he goes to such great lengths to cover up his tracks over the years. 
While on the subject of the truth possibly coming out...  

I don't know how seriously people would take Rorschach's Journal if the Frontiersman ran the story. Rorschach was seen as a nut, and despite the fact that he would be telling the truth, I don't think anyone but the wacky conspiracy types would believe it. 
And one more thing before I go... 
That still doesn't answer my original question, has Veidt traded a cold war for a possibly even more disasterous path towards possible self-destruction in the name of self-preservation against an imaginary threat??
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#4 Posted by KenTheProfile (420 posts) - - Show Bio
to answer your question no the world would be just fine.   if anything there will be more jobs, more building, more people running defenses. and if someone did look into they'll find nothing and not the truth. 
The people there were stupid enough to give Nixon life time power they'll never forget the monsters in space. they'll drink up what ever crap their told to.
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#5 Posted by darkdetective27 (7953 posts) - - Show Bio

This is a very interesting point that I hadn't really thought about. I always pictured possibly either Veidt was right and he created the end of conflicts or it would only be a temporary peace and in the decades to follow nations would be at conflict with each other. I certainly can see what you said happening.

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