Short essay – Cory Doctorow

I decided to publish my short essays on the readings from the Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World course syllabus. The course started on the 1st of June and finished on the 14th of August. The essays were supposed to be around 270-320 words a piece. Today, I publish the essay that I wrote after reading Cory Doctorows Little Brother. This is the last essay of the course.

* These are my views and interpretations only


Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother gives a frightening view of one of the possible futures of the U.S.A. and the world.

A world where the higher-ups and leaders of cities and even countries are so led by fear – of terrorists, extremists, rebellious teenagers and their possibly ‘dangerous’ ideas of how the world should be – that they’d rather crack down on their own citizens and weed out anyone who might be a danger to the country, than work on making the world a safer place. Where they spy on and track all the regular citizens for fear of letting one lone wolf or one loose-cannon element slip through the cracks. Where they’d rather trade freedom for imagined safety. And that is a scary thought.

Let’s be honest here: we’re not that far off from this oppressive future. Think of the reaction of the politicians when Julian Assange and Edward Snowden released incriminating documents and evidence of wrongdoings. Instead of apologizing and making amends, they called for their heads. (I’m leaving out Assange’s rape allegations, because he’s not been tried and convicted.) Look at what happened when a hacker from the group Anonymous publicly exposed the Steubenville rapists: he was facing more jail time than the rapists themselves – one of them already released for ‘good behaviour’. And let’s not forget the that the NSA and the British Intelligence have been spying on their respective citizens for quite some time.

But if we let our fear of terrorists and extremists rule us, paralyse us, and force us to ‘imprison’ our citizens for their ‘safety’ and the ‘safety’ of the nation, they’ve already won. Terrorists terrorize. They want us to live in terror; it makes their job easier. After all, why actually detonate bombs, when you can just threaten people with the thought of them? Doctorow shows us what could happen to the world if we let fear rule our decisions. It’s sickeningly frightening.


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