Quick disclaimer: I haven’t seen the movie, so I’m only referring to the underlying philosophy. I’ve been told I would like it, which I doubt. I consider stupidity a sin that we’re all doomed to experience, and I no longer take much pleasure in my position on the bell curve. It’s a very lonely existence.
The sad thing is that any evolutionary/societal/whatever pressure to the contrary has been virtually nonexistent for centuries. I can’t think of any good reason that, if the Idiocracy hypothesis is true, it hasn’t been in force since the beginning of agricultural society. There really hasn’t been much groundbreaking work in the arena of thought since the Greek philosophers compiled their ideas in written form.
In addition, I’ve been noticing that mysticism and pseudoscience serve incredibly useful purposes, with the correct perspective. You just have to look a little deeper than the internet generation is accustomed.
For example, organizing the night sky into constellations is a very efficient way to memorize its layout. Creating little stories is a very efficient way to remember this type of organization. I wish I’d thought of it myself. You don’t have to believe these stories. Maybe the ancients didn’t. Maybe they were all much smarter than we are.
When we’re feeling a little brighter than usual, we make up the same kind of stories:
Many moons ago a great Indian Chief was hunting when he stumbled and hit his foot on a rock. this caused him great pain. So he found an ice cold, snow fed mountain stream to get relief from the pain. While sitting and enjoying the cold water, a trapper came across him and asked “Who are you…what are you doing?” he replied “Me Chief” “Me soak a toe” “Ahhhh”
This story was invented so it would be easier to remember the mnemonic SohCahToa from trigonometry. We don’t believe it’s true, but if a future civilization found it on our papyrus lesson plans, and they were retarded from centuries of intellectual regression and reality television, they might think we did believe it’s true.
Similarly, it makes a lot of sense to refer to systems of belief as “gods”. Maybe instead of saying I’m a “paleoliberal” I could just say that I follow the god of paleoliberalism. We could shorten his name to Paeo, and in short order I’ve created a pseudoreligious sect of paeists. A lot of political sects act in ways so similar to religious orders that it actually makes a lot of sense to group them together. Marxism comes to mind.
Ideas are a lot like the gods of antiquity, in that they sometimes combine and have kids. Maybe Paeo meets Heda, the god of directionless hedonism, they have divine intercourse and conceive the god of libertinism, Libito (wink wink, nudge nudge).
This requires a sort of abstract reasoning that is in short supply today (try explaining this idea to a random person), but may have been so commonplace in antiquity that it was considered a best practice of education. Maybe “everybody knew” that Zeus was an abstraction, the way “everybody knows” technology isn’t magic. But it’s fun to refer to it as magic- I anthropomorphize my computer all the time because I assume my listeners know better.
Ideas are also like gods in that they are immortal unless all of their followers die. And maybe when somebody stumbles across a dead idea in a library somewhere, that idea can be “resurrected” or “awakened” or “released from its one thousand years of exile”.
Man, this would make for a great book.