Philip K. Dick was an American author whose works often
conveyed metaphysical themes He achieved this through the inclusion of science
fiction in his works. For instance, in the short story The Minority Report, the author narrates the tale of a future
universe whereby crime is spotted and averted before it even takes place. The
book tells the story of a system which can be able to harness the parapsychological powers of three mutants, referred to
as “precogs”, so as to predict crimes before they occur. Nonetheless, the book
is really all about John Allison Anderton trying to find the “minority report”.
This paper aims at exploring the notion of mankind having to pay dearly for
meddling with nature. The use of science to meddle with the natural course of
things surely has dire consequences for humanity. In the short story “Minority Report”, Philip K. Dick
explores the idea of creating a perfect society through imperfect actions.

                First and foremost, the story
falls under the science fiction genre. This is because the story occurs in a
future society setting, where precogs foretell felony even before it takes
place and people have the ability to travel to other planets. The political and
economic philosophies that have guided mankind have undergone several changes.
It is, therefore, not surprising that Dick decides to use science fiction and
reference to an unknown future where humans have made substantial and rather
worrying progress in science (Hubble
& Aris 162). Dick writes that one progress
made by humans was the ability to harness and mutate precogs for use by the
government. According to Ermak, dialectical materialism and historical
materialism are the main building blocks for Marxist
theories (47). Dialectical materialism acknowledges and accepts natural
evolutions and the emergence of the new qualities such as the emergence of the
precogs. Nonetheless, with regard to historical materialism, the use of precogs
by the government does not seem to be a material requirement for life. Anderton
himself knows his own crime of passing
the precogs as a material requirement. This comes back to hurt him as his own
system ends up punishing him.

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                The story also portrays a very
tense tone throughout, which is rife with adventures that use science to meddle
with nature.  John Allison Anderton, who
is the chief architect of a new criminal justice system, that is dubbed
Precrime, acknowledged the intrinsic paradox of his system that makes it
possible for criminals to be arrested before they even commit a crime. Anderton
says, “they, on the other hand, can eternally claim that they’re innocent. And
in a sense they are innocent” (Dick 226).
This means that theoretically, the
convicted felons are innocent of the crime they are arrested for, which is
rather a paradox in itself. Anderton, however, does not seem at all to be
concerned by the technicality and is concerned about finding this “minority
report” that could prove his innocence. The minority report is a report from a
precog who would incidentally not predict the same turn of events as the other
two, and this would be locked away in a
safe. The premature accusation of murder makes Anderson doubt further the
system that he himself created and he believes that it was an act of
interference within the system and hence undertaking a mission to clear his
name. These doubts by the character draw to the worries of the consequences of
meddling with nature through science such as monumental errors.

The minority report is in itself is a metaphor. It
represents the truth, by giving an alternative forecast in which Anderton does
not commit a crime. The majority report, which concludes that he will kill
Kaplan, happens to be a false report. Nonetheless, Anderson seeks to prove that
the majority report was wrong and that he was innocent by looking for the
minority report where he strongly believes that the truth was hidden.  Marx used the word ideology (McCarney 3)
to explain the false consciousness as that is exhibited by Anderson. The
metaphorical aspect of this is that it is not all the time that the truth is on
the majority’s side but it may sometimes be hidden in the minority. The
generation of the minority report, which is not even given the slightest
consideration usually, gives us a perception of a universe where the marginal
ones are undermined. It can also be a relation to the idea how the little
things can be considered as insignificant such as Marxism’s classifications of
social classes on the basis of power and resources. Anderton proves the
importance of the minority report, therefore, proving the impact that can be
made by the things we think are minute in our lives such as scientific

In the book, each one of the three mutants makes available their own variation of
interpretation and understanding on the different visions that they experience.
Then the two reports which have the greatest correspondence assist in the generation of the majority report which is
perceived to be the right one. “The solution, based on a careful study of
statistical method, is to utilize a third computer to check the results of
first two. In this manner, a so-called
majority report is obtained. It can be assumed with fair probability that the
agreement of two out of three computers indicates which of the alternative
results is accurate.”(Dick 227).  This
would be put into context and perceived better in such a society whereby people
are manipulated of their freedoms and that that two minorities have a say in
what is right. Compared to a society where the rights are granted to a union of
people rather than individual, it would indeed be an unintentional message by
the author to his readers about the similarity in both societies, the virtual
scientific one and the real world that we live in.

The particular image of minority and majority computer-generated reports paints to us a
mental depiction of a parallel world where even the idea of crime is considered
as a crime in itself and individuals are very dependent on machines to run
their world and hence cannot be able to do anything without the machines. Thus
after all the majority and the minority reports finally get to coalesce into
something significant after all – controlling the world and making the
fictitious world believe that the humans cannot be able to function well
without them. However, the fictitious
world and their astounding technology paint an equivalent picture of the same
scenario happening in the real world
today. With this era of accelerated technology and overwhelming change,
computers and robotics are trading places with human beings due to their speed
and efficiency in doing tasks. From manufacturing industries to office work as
well as restaurants and retail stores, technology is visible. The smartphones
and the complexity of the cars that we drive is a proper indication of all
that. Despite the usefulness of science in life, humans are still worried about
the effect science would have once it is used to change nature. For instance,
some scientific innovation is receiving a
cold should due to their potential to cause disaster to humanity. In the story,
the majority report signifies the irrefutable veracity of the future which
cannot be altered while the minority report which is not at all considered
symbolizes the alternate version of the imminent future that might take place.

The story itself, in the context of the minority report, is a great Irony. Anderton works all
his life, towards the improvement of the Precog system. In essence, according
to the Marxism theory, he uses his social class to control the production of the precogs which fundamentally
exploit the ordinary citizens through wrongful convictions. He was considered
to be always a good guy who apprehended bad guys, until the system that he
considered the work of his life decided to turn on him. Clearly, the meddling
of nature in this through the use of Precrime had dire consequences not only
for Anderton but also for all the people that got arrested just for having the
idea to commit a crime. Philip K. Dick’s “Minority
Report” poses the idea of creating a perfect society through imperfect
actions. The Science Fiction genera has enabled writers to address current
economic and social issues through thrilling and entertaining works. 


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