"The oldest argument against SF is both the shallowest and the profoundest: the assertion that SF, like all fantasy, is escapist...
If it's worth answering, the best answer was given by Tolkien, author, critic and scholar. Yes, he said, fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape? The moneylenders, the know-nothings, the authoritarians have us all in prison; if we value the freedom of the mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can."
- from "Escape Routes"
in The Language of the Night
by Ursula K Le Guin