"The Minority Report" by Philip K. Dick - This essay discusses the relationship between citizen and state in the short story.

Essay by champion_000University, Bachelor's February 2003

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"The Minority Report," by Philip K. Dick, portrays a government desperately trying to secure legitimacy and, therefore, stability through ultimate control over the lives of its people. The Federal Westbloc Government is ruled by a Senate, the Army and Precrime, the police who virtually eradicated major crime in this new society. In order to keep power, the three branches must convince people that the Precrime system works, so they will believe the suspension of certain rights is simply an unfortunate, unavoidable side-effect to peace and safety. The entire government comes to depend on the flawlessness of the system, or at least the people's view of the system as flawless.

The Government achieves legitimacy through the citizens' faith in the system. The Government essentially creates a "reality" out of information communicated through mutated

humans (called precogs) to computers that interpret the information. The people feel the system is accurate because there are three precogs, making a majority decision necessary for arrest.

The future the precogs foretell is taken as fact by society and, especially, by the police who act upon the information with no proof of anything. With the creation of a virtual reality and artificial intelligence, people are understanding that this alternate "future" world told by the precogs can be

as real as what we like to call "reality." The Government seems to be succeeding in its ideals, even lowering the crime rate by 99.8%.

The illusion of flawlessness of the Precrime system is essential to the preservation of the current, stable system of government, who will go to any length to defend the illusion. The government must create a sense of the individual being much less important than the grand ideal of

a crime-free society. Anything or anyone who would try to bring down the...