…like all the arts, writing is a liberal’s game. Science fiction, too, I think encourages extreme ideologies, which almost inevitably default left. It’s part of creating a world. You start thinking you could create “logical” rules for “this” world. (I tell you, if Lenin had written SF instead, we’d all be happier.) The climate in the field can best be judged by the fact that I could stand up tomorrow in the middle of a conference room full of my peers and announce I was a communist and they’d all applaud. However, if I announced I’m anti-communist, they would laugh. Some of them might laugh nervously and sympathetically but they would laugh.
Anyone clinging to Marxist theory is immediately believed to be very smart, and someone who goes against it is considered a lightweight.
Do they intentionally discriminate against Libertarians and conservatives? I don’t think so. Not the vast majority of them. The vast majority of my colleagues are decent people. They are also, like the vast majority of the human race, conformists. Most of them attended good schools and grew up in upper middle class neighborhoods (at least most of them who came into the field in the last fifteen years. Yes, there are reasons for that, which I’ll mention rapidly later, if I have time.) Their parents were taught in college about class struggle and that money was evil. They got it at home. They got it from schools. They got it from magazine articles and newspapers. The books they read growing up were infused with unconscious Marxism. OF COURSE they assume anyone who doesn’t agree with them is either stupid or evil. And would you give a leg up to the career of someone who is evil? Would you help them?
The funny thing that always startles me a little is hearing myself addressed as a “conservative.” I’m full of wild-eyed radical ideas not proposed out loud since Thomas Jefferson talked in his sleep, and I’m a “conservative” because I am, ultimately, anti-communist. This is a through-the-looking-glass world, since the establishment is as close to soft — (and sometimes hard) — communism as someone can go without sewing hammers and sickles into all their undies.
And that’s part of the problem there too — I don’t think any of them means to discriminate against me. Some of them even like me, in a slightly bewildered way, but they don’t know what to do with me. I was born in a Latin country, I am female, and yet I don’t consider myself a victim and you truly don’t want to get me going on a-historical theories of great mother goddesses. They don’t know what to make of me, or what to do with me. I make them uncomfortable, and it’s easier to ignore me or not to have me around too much.
It’s always been a little weird, being into both folk music and science fiction, because the prevailing political attitude in both has been leftist, at least for most of my life. One does have to be a little careful of what one says in such groups. And of course, it’s always amusing to see the confoundment on some peoples’ faces in the space activist community, who read my blog and fantasize that I’m a conservative or Republican (or worse, like RAH, a “fascist”), and see me defend Barack Obama’s space policy.
[Update a few minutes later]