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The Scars Of Being A Slave Master: AMC’s Humans’ New Take On I, Robot – Thought Catalog

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A quick review of the latest franchise about the robot menace coming to steal our jobs.

Using the oppression of robots as a metaphor for the oppression of people is an old, old science fiction trope. What better way to demonstrate the evils of treating people as things than to make up a world where there’s literally a whole class of people whom everyone believes to be things? That metaphor is, in fact, where the word “robot” comes from — Karol Capek’s play R.U.R., which coined the term “robot” from the Czech word “robota,” or slave labor.

Since 1939’s “I, Robot” by Eando Binder we’ve seen the trope of the robot as a stand-in for enslaved workers or oppressed ethnic minorities over and over again — more recently with the not-very-subtle class-revolution rhetoric of the Machine Uprisings in works like AI or Battlestar Galactica or the backstory of The Matrix trilogy (which goes so far as to name the first robot rebel, “B1-66-ER,” after Bigger Thomas from Richard Wright’sNative Son).

(Read the entire article at Thought Catalog)