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Superman takes care of problems the human race appears unable to contend with on their own.

Even without evil geniuses and super-powered villains, though, Superman has the capacity to do things that humans have long struggled to do and are very expensive. For instance, he could launch all our satellites - a matter of hours for him to launch a satellite that would take weeks and millions of dollars for mankind. He could transport uranium waste into the sun and take care of human nuclear waste issues.

Doing so could lead humanity to depend on his assistance and would ruin any space programs or nuclear waste programs we are developing ourselves, limiting humanity's ability and possibly preventing us from growing as a species in some directions.

This is a relatively common trope for aliens visiting earth with plans to take it over - provide humans with something they can't easily do, create a dependance and level of trust, then that dependence results in weakness in the species that can be exploited.

What examples of increasing dependence on Superman leading to problems do we have?

What, if any, internal or external limitations does Superman have that prevent him from giving humans assistance that would result in damaging dependance?

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  • youtube.com/watch?v=hOLhQ6puoS4 – Valorum May 27 '16 at 11:21
  • It's a common trope, like you said. But there is a difference between scifi tropes and real experience, and I don't think that there is enough real evidence for you to consider this consequence to his assistance as any sort of inevitability. – Misha R May 27 '16 at 18:48
  • @MishaRosnach Which is why I'm asking for both evidence of this happening, as well as things that prevent it. – Adam Davis May 27 '16 at 18:50
  • Your question implies the assumption that this is something that should be happening. – Misha R May 27 '16 at 18:56
  • @MishaRosnach I changed "would" into "could". Hopefully that resolves your concern that my question begs the question. – Adam Davis May 27 '16 at 18:58
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Going from the animated universe's perspective, as it is the first one I could think of:

In the animated universe, we see what happens when superman does take over the planet in an alternate universe. Instead of being called the Justice league, they are called the Justice Lords and they rule with an iron fist, which is kicked off by

Superman killing Luthor.

The Justice Lords end up going into the Justice League's universe and convincing them to make some changes, and the Justice Lords end up taking over that universe. For the rest of the series, that point is brought up again and again whether or not they are following the same path as the Justice Lords, which Superman uses to try and limit himself.

In Superman:Red Son, Superman becomes head of the USSR, and you see lots of moments where humans do become dependent on him and Wonder Woman. Such as people not wearing seat belts as much, nor keeping proper safety gear on ships.

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