There is a joke about world-building in science fiction. Many writers simply don’t know how to introduce their past history, and therefore have ridiculous lines of dialogue like “As you know, Bob, we were invaded by aliens in 1945.”
My question is – how do we know we haven’t been?
No, I’m serious, look around you.
Those of us who read history can see this perhaps more clearly than others. When a culture is invaded and occupied, the first thing the occupiers do is take over the education of children (sometimes by force), the means of disseminating news (there is a reason we joke about invaders taking radio and TV stations first), the cultural life of the country including entertainment.
All of these mechanisms are turned to giving the children of the occupied land the idea that their occupiers are in fact redeemers, and that the old culture was not only weaker but objectively worse than that of the occupiers.
Because humans are essentially great apes (with an overgrown brain and more neuroses) we’re not made JUST of genes, but also of the environment we grow up in. It is, therefore, possible for invaders to take over the genetic product of another culture and turn them essentially into the invaders.
This has been done with greater and lesser success throughout history. Some cultures, like the Christian cultures in Africa invaded by Muslims, were obliterated; the cultures in India invaded by… well, everybody, tended to take what they were handed and meld it into their crazy quilt; and Greece and others managed to infect their invaders with their culture.
However, most of the time this takeover succeeds and the extent to which it succeeds relies on the seizing not just of government but the cultural portals: education, entertainment, intellectual culture (which includes news and opinion and other non-fiction analysis of the culture and its problems.)
Look around you – if we in the West and we humans, in general, had been invaded by aliens, what would be different?
Read the whole thing
Hat tip Instapundit