Actually, there’s one other thing I could append to the previous post, with regard to Earth and why it’s probably a good thing that first contact ain’t gonna happen any time soon:
As has been pointed out to me, the thing that would truly make the Imperials despair is that even among people who recognize the problem, there is no significant movement to actually extend sophont, or even human, rights to everyone. We just have to push it forward one tiny special-interest group at a time, in what almost looks like the fear that if we start going around claiming rights are universal, we might accidentally give them to the wrong people.
(Personally speaking, my near-complete cynicism on this in re humanity was firmly set back on Tumblr some years ago, when I had the distinct pleasure of seeing a committed anti-racist, by their own account and history, argue firmly that Cerberus’s pro-human/anti-alien to downright human-supremacist policies in the Mass Effect universe were absolutely, 100% correct and justifiable, and that speciesism was in no way similar to and certainly not the same thing at all as actual racism, because it’s totally okay to discriminate against people who are actually, genuinely different.
…and other recapitulations of arguments isomorphic to historical arguments made by historical racists.
And so that was the week when my days of not taking rights activists seriously came to a definite middle, without some actual convincing evidence that their posture wasn’t a thin gloss over “give us ours, and fuck everyone else”.)