"If there was an observer on Mars, they would probably be amazed that we have survived this long."
- Noam Chomsky
"Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of."
- Stephen Hawking
"The control of information is something the elite always does, particularly in a despotic form of government. Information, knowledge, is power. If you can control information, you can control people."
- Tom Clancy
"Without the ability to talk about government power, there's no way for citizens to make sure this power isn't being misused."
- Aaron Swartz
"It means that, in fact, it's - whether fascist is the right word I don't know - more of a plutocracy than anything resembling a democracy; it has become a nation controlled by a very small, very wealthy elite."
- Peter Singer
A theme in Watchmen that matures as the novel progresses is the righteousness of controlling information for the betterment of humanity. The idea of a plutocracy, where the wealthy are the former heroes, is explored especially at the end of the novel. The wealth defined is symbolic for owning knowledge of Adrian Veidt's master plan. This singular bit of knowledge is capable of ripping apart a newly developed global society, founded on the idea of xenophobia towards a seemingly hostile alien species.
Characters and Their Views:
Controlling influential information is an effective means to hold power in society, but to think that it is a viable solution to world peace, much less the only option, should be frightening to a global society. Rorschach was a formidable resistance to this idea, and it is assumed that he defeated the idea of controlling information by releasing his thoughts to a publisher.
But, in a world where those who control information have few rivals as powerful or determined as Rorschach - the question is raised - who watches those who are meant to watch and protect us?