The world has changed in the last hundred years; there's no longer a massive groundswell of anxiety in mainstream society about whether the Stars and Stripes or the Union Jack or whatever flag you choose to fly is about to be lowered for the last time. This may be less true in Australia: yesterday I saw a trailer for the upcoming movie Tomorrow When the War Began, which appears to be nothing if not Red Dawn down under, and Red Dawn itself is being remade with the Chinese, not the Russians, as the invaders of America.
Migration is frequently seen as a form of invasion, as an intrusion by one alien population into the domain of another, ostensibly for practical purposes (work, say, or school) but actually hoping to destroy this nation and replace it with their own. Recently, the motif has made it into young adult literature, in Australian writer John Marsden's Tomorrow series, which features an invasion and occupation by a Southeast Asian power that might well be Indonesia, this Indonesia interested in colonizing that island continent.
If invasion literature does come back in a big way, though, it won't be the same as the original nineteenth-century wave; it'll be informed by the fears of the present. What I wouldn't be surprised to see is a new wave of invasion literature based around the idea of the developing world invading the developed.
It was the story of MV Sun Sea, a vessel loaded with hundreds of Tamil refugees that made landfall on Vancouver Island last week, that got me thinking along these lines. Refugees are always a hot-button issue, and there will always be people who agitate for them to just be sent back where they came from - the fear of strange Others coming to your land unbidden from over the sea is, like Michael Valpy wrote in the Globe and Mail, a kind of primal xenophobia. It's also something we're going to have to learn how to deal with, because unless all our projections are off, the incipient climate and food and water crises of the next fifty years are going to generate a massive tide of people desperate to escape the privations of the developing world.
I can easily see a new wave of invasion literature tapping into the undercurrent of xenophobia that this would generate: stories about how these other, impoverished countries are trying to "steal" the developed world's wealth, and probably also their women - because, honestly, invasion literature would probably be a man's genre. Hell, I can even see the possibility of "liberal" invasion literature, tapping into the developed world's culpability in keeping the developing world depressed and vulnerable to climate shocks.
The prototypical migration invasion novel is Jean Raspail's 1973 :Le Camp des Saints/The Camp of the Saints, where weak-willed and excessively humanitarian Westerners do nothing as waves of immigrants from the Third World both domestic and foreign come and take over (Indians in Europe, Chinese in Siberia, African-Americans in the United States).
It goes without saying that migration-themed invasion literature contributes nothing at all good to discussions on migration and population. The simple fact is that migrants are normal people (gasp!), experiencing conditions at home which make them try to take advantage of a better environment elsewhere, whether in another region or another country. Perhaps most of the time migration is intended as a temporary phenomenon, as a way to earn economic or social capital that could be used at home, wether to sustain a community of origin or to make investments. When migrants stay, dDiaspora cultures do endure, but they haven't conquered and do eventually assimilate; even in the course of the great Germanic migrations into the Western Roman Empire, where Germanic-speaking Arian Christians ruled over Romance-speaking Roman Catholics, in the end the ruling elite assimilated to the majority population. Identifying waves of migration that aren't military invasions as attempts to destroy the receiving country is ridiculous, with militarized borders ironically discouraging migrants from leaving, on account of the costs and risks of going to and from the country where they make their living.
All I can say is that the language, the rhetoric used by people matters. Especially in a time when literally unbelievable irredentisms--Greater Mexico, Eurabia, Indian and Russian caliphates, Greater China--are discussed much more by fearful people than by the irredentists' nominal audience, and are acted upon as actually existing threats, honesty counts.