Science Fiction and Its Relation To Genocide

May 7, 2018
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Genocide is one of the most evil moral crimes any ruling authority can commit against its people. Genocide means acts committed to destroy in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. The term genocide was created by Holocaust survivor, Ralph Lemkin. ‘Geno’ comes from the word genes and ‘cide’ means to cut down or murder. A Genocide occurs due to a variety of reasons like, extreme prejudice, a heightened sense of nationalism, authoritarian, and totalitarian power, unknowledgeable ideas on how to conduct social change, or because one group of people think that another group of people, which are usually describes as “The Other” or the minority, are “causing problems” to society and are different from the majority or from ones who are in power. Although genocides in the United States are less likely to happen, because we are a civilized and democratic nation that allows freedom to all its citizens, in a totalitarian nation, where there is a centralized and dictatorial system of government, genocides are more likely to happen. In the science-fiction film, The Hunger Games, Gary Ross portrays a dystopian society with a totalitarian government by the harsh separation between the cruel Capitol and the enslaved districts. Since the release of The Time Machine directed by George Pal in 1960, there has been numerous science fiction films and books with totalitarian rule that depict genocides and dystopian societies. The genre of science fiction utilizes speculative technology, time travel, alien races, intelligent robots, genetic engineering, space travel, experimental medicine, psionic abilities, dimensional portals, or altered scientific principles contribute to the plot or background in both literature and film. Science fiction is important to society since it is the only genre that illustrates how society could function differently, as it allows the people to imagine the future, and consider ways to work towards it. In the movie, X-Men: The Last Stand, Brett Ratner depicts the stages of genocide by classifying the mutants as “The Other” (targeted group) and Worthington’s struggle to eliminate them.


One of the stages of genocides that is depicted in the movie, X-Men: The Last Stand, is dehumanization. Dehumanization is the stage in which one group denies the humanity of another group, and makes the victim group seem subhuman. Some examples of dehumanization are hate propaganda in speeches, print and hate radios vilifying the victim group. Members of the victim group are described as animals, vermin, and diseases. Dehumanization also justifies murder by calling it “ ethnic cleansing” or “purification”. In the movie, X-Men: The Last Stand by Brett Ratner, dehumanization is manifested in The President’s speech when he describes the mutants as a “disease that needs to be cured” and making it seem as if he is making the world a favor by creating the antibody vaccine. By creating the vaccine or cure, the people are taking away what makes the mutants who they are, which is basically killing the mutants.


Usually, when one group dehumanizes the other, the groups are driven apart, this is called Polarization. Polarization is when extremists drive the groups apart, making them physically separated. Hate groups broadcast and print polarizing propaganda, laws are passed that forbid intermarriage or social interaction, and political moderator are silenced or killed. Once it gets to a point where society is polarized, it is really hard to go back. In the movie X-Men: The Last Stand, Brett Ratner illustrates polarization when at a community action meeting of mutants in a church, there is a sign that says, “No Humans Allowed”. When Magneto asks mutants to choose over themselves or the humans it is also an example of polarization because it demonstrates how society is being separated. Another example in which Brett Ratner illustrates polarization in the movie X-Men: The Last Stand making society look separated, is when Mystique becomes human and Magneto says, “she was so beautiful”. At the community action meeting, Magneto says, ”why are we still hiding” as an example of ideology of mortal conflict.


After polarization, victims have to be prepared to be killed, and killers have to be prepared to kill. Preparation is both physical and psychological. Members of the victim group are forced to wear identifying symbols, death lists are made, victims are separated because of their ethnic or religious identity, and weapons are stock piled. In the movie X-Men: The Last Stand, Brett Ratner illustrates preparation when the cure or vaccine gets weaponized. When a group weaponizes something that is supposed to be voluntary, it is considered the stage of preparation.
Science fiction it’s a reflection of the future and it is important because it makes people aware of the problems that they wish to avoid, and help prevent them.  It is a different way for everyone to understand and to learn about societal issues. In the science fiction film X-Men: The Last Stand, director Brett Ratner depicted the stages of genocide due to the harsh separation between the mutants and the humans. Throughout the film X-Men: The Last Stand, the mutants are illustrated as “The Other” and described as a disease. The discovery of the cure for mutations leads to the stages of genocide when the humans try to eliminate mutants to have a perfect society. At the end, mutants manage to retain their uniqueness and remain isolated. In order to prevent genocides from happening, people need to be educated about it, and science fiction is a way for a wide audience to understand and learn about the important issues in society.






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