Making Light: Robert A. Heinlein, technological nostalgist: Raphael (#39), Rob (#40) Racism in HG Wells. I've mentioned this before. From page one of War of the Worlds, just after the famous section about "minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes".
And we men, the creatures who inhabit this earth, must be to them at least as alien and lowly as are the monkeys and lemurs to us. The intellectual side of man already admits that life is an incessant struggle for existence, and it would seem that this too is the belief of the minds upon Mars. Their world is far gone in its cooling and this world is still crowded with life, but crowded only with what they regard as inferior animals. To carry warfare sunward is, indeed, their only escape from the destruction that, generation after generation, creeps upon them.
And before we judge of them too harshly we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals, such as the vanished bison and the dodo, but upon its inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants, in the space of fifty years. Are we such apostles of mercy as to complain if the Martians warred in the same spirit?
Doesn't the rapid repetition of "inferior animals" and "inferior races", along with the argument, sow a niggling seed of doubt? Much of the rest of the book can be seen as an Other Side's view of invasion by Superior Weaponry (formerly European). And it's not even the Superior Qualities (pluck, can-do, courage, ingenuity, etc) of humanity that Triumph Against Overwhelming Force (see Independence Day, Ewoks, etc.). Note spoiler avoidance. The narrator in WotW is an Everyman, representative of the average reader, not an omniscient opinion-giver,
Wells was very down on "primitive" nationalism, war-loving attitudes and the like. I suspect he could see the "primitive" and "progressive" aspects of many different cultures across space and time. To me he's criticising the racist "Social Darwinism".
Actually, I suspect my favourite part of this section is another:
With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same.