Why Robocop Is Dystopian To Me

A police officer named Murphy lives in a futuristic version of Detroit with his family and is fighting crime on streets. The corporate mogul of a security technology agency called RoboCorp is responsible for Murphy being killed in front of his home. Murphy`s body dies, but his brain is salvaged to create a prototype for RoboCorp`s first bio-mechanical supercop. Murphy works with the Detroit police force to stop crime using his enhanced technology, but his past memories lead him on a vengeful path to track down the criminals responsible for his “death”.

This story is a realistic dystopia because people are already debating about how including security measures on a federal level for travel, social media and trade restricts the freedoms of everyday people. In Robocop, the Detroit Police Department was given money through tax dollars to collaborate with RoboCorp in order for Murphy to patrol with loaded ammunition and a computer program that decides based upon criminal record who was to be taken into custody by any means of violence. The citizens simply had to trust that they were being protected from criminals in the area. There is was no real way to prevent Murphy from doing what he wanted. I saw another example in real-life with the Ring security cameras that a lot of families have in their homes. Users can see who comes and leaves their homes and control the security of their items. However, computer hackers were able to hack some of those cameras and spy on people at the same time. There`s a risk associated with every security measure.

What makes this story dystopian is that citizens were willing to submit to the threat of being overrun by machines that were not under their control just to consider themselves safe. More trust and responsibility are given to machines than humans, or in Murphy`s case, his memories are what makes him dangerous. Since Murphy mostly machinery, it doesn`t matter that he carries around a forty-caliber shotgun to protect law-abiding people, but it does matter that he can hold a grudge or resentment and act upon those feelings. Historically, people have struggled with the idea of machines becoming sentient or artificial intelligence existing alongside everyday people. It is even more difficult to imagine one singular person or authoritative group having control over that technology. Some evidence of interest in this kind of dystopia in present-day is found in other films like “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “iRobot” or cartoons like “My Life As a Teenage Robot”.

About kbyrd8

Enjoys Star Trek, Marvel movies and historical fiction novels.
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