Good question. Fiction in near future form assists people in imagining the process by which things may happen. It also suggests implications and possibilities that people may not have spent the time to flesh out conceptually.
It also allows me to work through those same things. In fact much of our transformative world is the direct result of working these things out in the science fiction of the last seventy years. The last thirty years anticipated much that we are seeing. Neofascist nationalism is a reaction against what is being changed to retain racist and misogynistic power. And that was anticipated, too. Read cyberpunk from William Gibson on. . .