Why Sci-Fi Is Hung-up on Colonialism
Why Sci-Fi Keeps Imagining the Subjugation of White People
As much as the genre imagines the future, it also remixes the past—often by envisioning Western-style imperialism visited on the Western world.
Science-fiction 'contemplates possible futures.' So says a new Smithsonian article, and it doesn't seem like a particularly controversial thesis. As the piece says, sci-fi tries to think about what’s to come for civilization. 'The future is a safe, sterile laboratory for trying out ideas in,' as Ursula K. Le Guin says.
But it's worth remembering that in sci-fi, the future actually isn't safe or sterile at all. On the contrary, with its alien invasions, evil empires, authoritarian dystopia, and new lands discovered and pacified, the genre can look as much like the past as the future. In particular, sci-fi is often obsessed with colonialism and imperial adventure, the kind that made the British Empire an empire and that still sustains America’s might worldwide."