The Defenders by Philip K Dick

This noveletta explores an alternative history scenario where Cold War escalates to full fledged nuclear confrontation. Both US and Soviets move to Underground bunkers, from where they control(barely) the Fallout universe through radiation resistant Terminators called ‘Leadys‘ (I think their name has more to do with radiation shielding element Lead than the verb lead).

Like all other PKD stories this one also offers strong philosophy to contemplate on, from irrationalities of war to dangers of automation to extreme nationalism. The Leadies are proxy soldiers, fighting a war while humanity is safe in their bunkers, much like soldiers fighting for the nationalistic interests while leaders enjoy comfiness and safety. There is a far greater idea of peace through homogenisation implied in the story, and author uses robots(human creation) as mediums to convey it.

This ‘melting pot’ solution, in my opinion, might be able to resolve issues within a demographic of closer cultural ties, but would easily fall short on a global scale of co existance. A more rational and tolerent society that celebrates cultural heterogenity would be my prefered line of world peace. 

The Defenders” is a 1953 science fictionnovelette by American author Philip K. Dick, and the basis for Dick’s 1964 novel The Penultimate Truth.

source : wiki


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