PSYCHO PASS 12 — Tribalism and Revolution

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It’s pretty obvious at this point that the Sibyl system isn’t going to rehabilitate anyone. That’s not its intention, either. The goal is to remove the undesirables from society to bring about peace.

Despite all the sci-fi trappings, this isn’t a particularly novel idea. In fact, it predates recorded history. Humans used to run around hunting and gathering in tribes, and then it was pretty easy to tell who belonged to the tribe and who didn’t.

Since then there have been many markers for who belongs and who doesn’t: people in the neighboring village, the poor, orphans, widows, criminals, prostitutes, the guy with more sheep than you, you name it. The winnowing of the chaff from the wheat is no less common nowadays: high school cliques, the neighbor who roots for the wrong football team, people of different skin colors, Catholics, Jews, gypsies, gays, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon fans, you name it.

The only difference with PSYCHO PASS is that it’s an automated system. It’s perfectly fair, since it uses machines and the power of science to figure out who the undesirables are. Then it gets rid of the undesirables, and we have world peace.

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Some people don’t like this. Mainly the undesirables. They ought to be grateful that the Sibyl system saves them from themselves, but let’s set that aside. People used to be slaves of each other, now they are slaves of the Sibyl system. They decide to throw a revolution.

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Unfortunately, they decide their revolution needs power.

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They resort to the system of violence that they so despise to overthrow the system of violence. But she who lives by the sword, dies by the sword. It’s not going to work. They need a revolution of nonviolence.

‘You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you. — Matthew 5:38-42

I think civil disobedience could be quite effective against the Sibyl system. Simply refuse to do the job the system assigns for you. Put a cog in the wheel. Or people wouldn’t have to do something that drastic: just get another job, if they could. Or sit in the middle of town all day with some sign.

Hold a sit-in. If you don’t have a high psycho pass value, it doesn’t seem the cops would be able to do anything to you. The Sibyl system actually seems quite fragile to me. Unlike most totalitarian societies, the government is not above the law (from what we’ve seen so far). So non-violent passive resistance could be quite effective, with little the government could do to stop it without relinquishing the people’s trust.

2 thoughts on “PSYCHO PASS 12 — Tribalism and Revolution

  1. Well… would civil disobedience be treated very kindly by the Sibyl system? Surely, the type of person that doesn’t submit to authority would also be the type of person who would try to disrupt the current society, i.e. commit crimes. We know from experience that peaceful demonstrations can easily degenerate into rioting.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if anybody who stages peaceful protests ends up having a high Psycho-Pass rating. After all, what is the Pyscho-pass other than a heuristic used by the Sibyl system to determine the probability of committing a ‘crime’?

    1. If they did sit-ins and stuff that could potentially be given a high psycho pass. I don’t know though, they seem loathe to adjust their algorithms, and without intentional human input it doesn’t seem as the sort of activity that would be flagged. I mean, murdering someone doesn’t necessarily raise your psycho pass, so…

      But regardless, it would be difficult to punish the simple act of choosing to do a different job from what Sibyl assigned. It’s hard to argue that that would be criminal (doing so would effectively admit the citizens are slave labor).

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