Status Quo and Power Politics in The Minority Report

It is interesting to note that the society that the story presents us is the one where the new system of precrime is taken up naturally. Is Philip K. Dick showing how the society has in a way turned a blind eye to the fundamental issues of liberty and justice? That is why Lisa says that Ed Witwer is “motivated by the same desire that has always dominated you. He believes in Precrime. He wants the system to continue.”

There is an inherent tendency in several characters like Lisa, Anderton and Witwer to save the precrime system and to maintain the status quo. The system is more important than the freedom of any one individual being. It is only Kaplan who wishes to change the political order and pull power away from the police and Anderton by the revelation of the truth of the reports, an event which ultimately lead to his death and reinstatement of the same status quo and future prediction which he tried to disband and contest.

Lisa too wants the status quo to be maintained and that is why she points a gun at Anderton when she learns that Anderton is thinking only of his own safety and not the system of precrime. For Lisa, the system of precrime is of more importance to her than her husband’s innocence.

The plot ultimately becomes a means to play power politics and becomes a tug of war between the police led by Anderton and Witwer on one hand, and the army led by General Kaplan on the other hand. Kaplan is in possession of the minority report which he plans to make public so that he can shift the balance of power in favor of the army with support from the higher senate. He would have been successful in doing so and would have shifted the power back to the hands of army and senate, but for the final climax of the story. The climax made the system of precogs fool proof as its legitimacy stood doubly assured at the end. Any doubts on the authenticity of the precrime system has finally been laid to rest. Not just Lisa or Witwer, but even Anderton appears to put himself at risk for the larger good of maintaining the status quo. At the end the individual falls, but the system survives.

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