Idiocracy

One of my co-workers recommended this movie due to its hilarity and satirical nature, so April and I picked it up from Blockbuster last night and decided to watch it during lunch today. All I can say is: Dear Lord…

I mean, I guess it was funny… but mostly, I felt horrified throughout the film. It was depressing in its potential accuracy, taking the observation that people of both lower socioeconomic status and education tend to have more children than those with higher IQs, and then extending that observation to its logical conclusion. A man with an average IQ (which is between 90 and 100) in the present day is frozen and, due to circumstances that arise around the experiment, he is left frozen for over 500 years. When he awakes, he is the most intelligent person on the face of the planet.

The movie depicts a society that teeters on the brink of self-destruction due to starvation and rampant poverty because people are too stupid to solve even their most basic problems, and the main character is put in jail largely due to his intelligence, which is viewed as deviant, and is eventually sentenced indirectly to death. He survives, of course (this is a comedy, after all, rather than a tragedy), but the movie is still depressing.

I do not think such a future will come to pass, however. One of the subplots in the movie is that the two main characters (a woman was frozen as well) are easily able to manipulate the people with whom they come into contact. I suspect such manipulation and strength of will would disallow such a bleak and stupid future to occur. Or, at least, I hope so.

I felt that, in the end, the movie called into question our form of government. It makes no observations about any country other than the United States of America, and the viewer is left wondering what is going on in the “outside world.”  Perhaps it was not Mike Judge’s goal to question Democracy, but it certainly led me to such questions. Faced with such a crisis in a country with so many stupid people, is there any way for a democracy to resolve the challenges before it? For even a republic calls for election of those one thinks are intelligent enough to address and solve the problems we face… and if the people voting are too stupid to recognize intelligence, let alone know what is required to solve these problems, how can democracy succeed?

It is a dangerous question, and I do not know the answer. I suppose my fall-back would to be to trust God in the sure knowledge that He is sovereign. But that does not free us from our duty to question, learn, and do the best we can. The satire is right: we can no longer just “get out of the way.”

3 thoughts on “Idiocracy

  1. In light of such happenings in the present world my heart aches from the wealth of knowledge and lack of understanding. Is it unavoidable for man-kind to dodge mistakes of the past? Do we just not care about the past and the lessons therein? In recent days ideas and ideologies have take a foothold in the minds of the masses in this counrty. The biggest heart breaker for me is the fact that good ideas have taken hold of people, especially those who claim Christ. We are in an information age and it’s great, but it takes a toll on a nation and a church that now turns to the quickest and easiest source when we should turn to the original Source. “Good ideas” have a foothold on our priorities that clouds our view of the Perfect idea. Christ is the center. All else is a secondary point. I don’t know exactly how to explain why these words of mine came out of this post, but I just couldn’t not write it. I hope you, the reader got something out of this, but above all I hope God is praised by it.

  2. Thanks for commenting, George.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, though, but are you arguing that good ideas are bad things? I would think that, by their very definition, that would sort of be impossible.

    The real irony is that, in this information age you mentioned, people on average are less informed than they were 50 years ago, and equally less involved in our country, politics, and world. For some reason, the easy ability to get information leads people to a place of complacency where they just don’t bother anymore.

  3. I am not saying good ideas are bad, that’s why they are good. The point I am trying to make is that when a good idea is held in higher esteem than a perfect idea the priority is in the wrong order and that is bad. A specific example would be that of the Seaker Small group movement the Willow Creek Church started. They in vested a great deal of resources to making their church “seaker friendly.” This in no way sounds like a bad idea. Just recently Bill Hybels has put out a book, “Revealed,” in this book he talks about the reasons the seaker friendly approach didn’t work. The Willow Creek Association put several hundreds of thousands of dollars into a research project to come to this conclusion. What the seaker friendly movement had overlooked is the idea of discipleship. It prioritized bringing in non-Christians over discipling their current members toward being Christ-centered. Christ-centered people will by the nature of Who is at the center of their life will bring in non-Christians to a church regardless of the programming. I am not calling good ideas bad, I simply want people to not put good ideas over perfect ones.

    You are right about people being complacent. That is why they jump on the easiest source of information and ideas, ie. the tv, youtube, etc., and accept good ideas because they sound good. The irony is that there are better ideas if people would search harder or use a better source.

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