Red Planet論 : 白人性の上書きがもたらす帝国の変容
Robert Heinlein's Red Planet : An Alteration of "Empire" Caused by Overwriting Whiteness
In Red Planet (1950), Robert Heinlein narrates the process of a fictional independence movement on Mars: the colonists on Mars who came from the Earth achieve independence from colonialism with the aid of the indigenous people of Mars. The readers of this novel can easily recognize that the colonists on Mars represent the early colonists of America, the administrators of the colony represent the government bureaucrats of the British Empire, and the indigenous people of Mars represent Native Americans. My aim in this paper is to show that independence is not achieved by the colonists' will but by the indigenous people's influence. In order to demonstrate this, I will classify the characters into three groups in terms of whiteness and point out that the indigenous people succeed in bringing an end to the colonial period by changing the colonists' whiteness. Furthermore, I will point out that the process of independence movement is similar to the way in which computer viruses invade a computer network and bring on system failures.
The characters in this novel are divided into three kinds of whiteness. (1) The "imperialistic" whiteness: people who have this whiteness introduce Western civilization to non-white people in colonies but do not promote democracy or independence. They treat the indigenous people as the exploited class. (2) The "republican" whiteness: people who have this whiteness claim to preserve equal treatment in their society and yet exclude non-white people from their society. They regard the indigenous people as the enemies in the battle for existence. (3) The "multicultural" whiteness: people who have this whiteness are more liberal than the former two categories, and affirm racial and cultural diversity in their society. They regard the indigenous people as a diff erent ethnic group they should coexist with.
These three kinds of whiteness represent the opposing factions in this novel. The administrators of the colony who have the "imperialistic" whiteness imprint the "republican" whiteness on the colonists and make them obedient in order to maintain the society of the colony. On the other hand, the indigenous people, who regard the "republican" whiteness as exclusive and dangerous, try to delete it from the colonists and to imprint the "multicultural" whiteness on them in order to make them emerge from colonial rule.
It should be noted that the "multicultural" whiteness in today's world is slightly diff erent from the "multicultural" whiteness in the novel: although the "multicultural" whiteness in today's world pretends to be liberal and democratic, people who have this whiteness share the dominant position in their society. On the other hand, the colonists in the novel who are imprinted with the "multicultural" whiteness are in a dependent position in their society. This is because the indigenous people have a clear intention to wrest back control of Mars.
This novel can be read as a story about a network failure caused by an invasion by a virus: the indigenous child in this novel who is sent to the colony goes everywhere in the colony, steals some highly confidential information, changes the colonists' whiteness, and finally triggers the independence movement. Although the colonists think that the independence has been achieved by their' own will, they are controlled by the indigenous people. We can find several similarities between the child's activities in the colony and a computer virus's activities in a computer network.