The Dumbing Down Of America Is Almost Complete. Can The Rest Of The World Be Far Behind?
Exactly a decade ago, Mike Judge wrote (along with Ethan Coen) and direct a movie called Idiocracy.
was about a US army private who was, as part of an military experiment,
put into suspended animation and awakened 500 years later to find the
experiment had long since been abandoned. And the world he wakens to has
been so dumbed down that he’s the smartest guy on the planet.
This is a brilliant comedy because Mike Judge is a brilliant satirist. But he is also a seer of things that were to come because even a mere 10 years later, the world seems to be hell bent that dumbed down destination.
It’s easy to sound cynical when you are talking about big issues like the dumbing down of the human race. But honestly, I’m not trying for cynical here.
Look around. The signs are all there. And they are most easily observed in America today.
We now live in a world where instant communication is possible for just about everyone, but hardly anybody has anything to say. Most people’s perception of the world is that which comes to them though a 3 inch by 5 inch screen.
I don’t see this as an accidental development. I see it as part of the greater scheme of things, where settling for less starts with making everything smaller.
The quality of mass media entertainment has descended into an abyss of comic book heroes and mind numbing special effects.
The 24 hour news cycle is exposing us to all the violence in the world pretty much round the clock. This has the effect of numbing a lot of us to violence. So that as it continues, and the corporate entities who profit from war can keep on profiting. And the governments who actually sanction these wars can keep on getting paid off to do so.
The moral compass of the world has gone haywire. Almost 75% of the web sites are porn sites. Women all over the world are either being tricked, forced out of desperation or coerced by slimy bastards into participating. And what’s worse, a good percentage don’t really see the harm in allowing themselves to be exploited in this way.
The divide between Liberal and Conservative thinking, especially in the USA, has widened to the point where it’s barely possible to build a bridge between them.
This is where you see the idiocracy or dumbing down has the most visible manifestation.
If you look closely at what is happening here…at the legislation that is being passed on a state level in the US you can see that bit by bit the fundamental rights of many different groups of people (gays and lesbians, transgenders, Muslims, Hispanics and women), are being systematically stomped on. And the general public does not seem to be at all concerned with this.
But the pinnacle manifestation of this dumbing down is the rise of Donald Trump.
I have written a lot about this and not because I despise Trump,(which I do), and the massive hypocrisy he represents, but because of the social phenomenon that he has become.
Donald Trump is not an idiot. But he does play one in this election campaign. He has chosen the most disfranchised group in America as his core constituency, and is building his following from there.
The group he chose was blue collar white guys, and through his inflammatory rhetoric, has given voice to a lot of the frustrations they are feeling.
When you do that at the right time and in the right social circumstances you can turn ordinary pissed off people into zealous followers, and that is exactly what Trump has done.
The trouble with this is that the vast majority of the stuff he is promising to do for them is stuff he can’t do without congressional approval. Or stuff that’s possible to do altogether.
But Trump makes this all sound like he can just magically wave his hand and make it all happen. And what’s worse is that his followers all believe this to be the case.
And the only logical reason I can think of why they would believe all this bullshit is that they have now reached the point in the dumbing down where all this absurdity is something they consider to be perfectly believable.
I am hardly a voice in the wilderness here.
There are a lot of writers and prognosticators who believe the same thing to a greater or lesser extent. They are shooting off warning flares all over the place.
But the media, owned by the very people who have a vested interest in the politics of division, the perpetuation of war and the dumbing down of the planet, pay very little attention to them.
And so the bright little comedy made by Mike Judge and his friends 10 years ago now seems to be much more a prophecy than a satire.
I imagine there are a lot of people, mainly Americans, who will take issue with, well, just about everything I have said here. But I have always tried to reflect the things I see in my writing and for better, and probably worse, this is what I am seeing these days.
Feel free to disagree. It may be a lot dumber world out there, but most of it is still a free world.
I am a communications professional, primarily a strategist & writer.I work with B to B clients, large and small, graphic designers, art directors and marketing consultants to create hard working strategically focused communications in all on & offline media.
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All content copyright Jim Murray, Onwords & Upwords Inc 2016