The issue seems to be not whether M is conscious or not, but can he be held accountable for his actions. If someone is a repeat offender, and goes through life making their way via scams (selling the Brooklyn Bridge, special fake investment package, etc), they're not worth a whole lot of compassion. |
All the more so, someone who cons thousands of people at a time is not going to be worth the consideration.
It seems, honestly, like people who have been around Miragey a lot, have a lot of trouble saying that he's a villaim. Is this because he genuinely has some redeeming qualitites and you have experienced them? I doubt it.
The people who are high up are twice blessed, they are actually financially supported by the old gizzard. I don't think his machinery today would be as successful (i.e., stable) without his healthy financial underwriting of so many of his bigshots.
It's harder to say that some guy who paid your rent for years is a villain, but it really doesn't mean he isn't. People around Hitler often described him as the life of the party. The example shows how much villainy can appear as innocence, whether a comparison is fair or not. No comparison is implied except as far as how easy it can be to overlook the wrongdoings of someone close to you.