Are We Marching Morons Yet?
Updated: Jan 3, 2018
In 1981, following a stint of manual labor working as a weldor building boat docks on Possum Kingdom lake, I was debating with myself about returning to college. Manual labor wages just weren't cutting it and although I liked being out on or near the lake every workday, the work wasn't at all inspiring. Then I bought a copy of a popular science magazine and read a short story in it titled The Marching Morons.
Though I have since learned the premise of the story isn't plausible (I've seen highly educated professionals raise children which turned out to be marching morons like anyone else can), it helped convince me to at least not go through my entire life being a marching moron, which I most definitely still was at that time.
Since the turn of the century, though, I've decided part of the story's premise was definitely prophetic. Commercialization of life, rather than genetics, has rendered the greater part of world population into marching morons. Case in point: smartphone users. We see them every day now with eyes glued to screens, buds jammed into ears, too absorbed to avoid blithely walking into traffic and stepping off of cliffs. Prior to smartphones, television was the great culprit commercializing life. Since then, TV has been integrated right into tiny touch screen devices, along with all sorts of new commercially-driven media, efficiently training users to become marching morons.
Having finally purchased a smartphone in 2016, I find it useful but only for a few things aside from making and receiving phone calls. Things like checking regional weather forecasts, especially when traveling more than 50 miles from home; surveillance system configuration, status checking and video viewing; and managing all of my passwords in a password safe app. None of the social apps so popular with the hordes of marching morons of the 21st century have been useful in the least for me. I have too many projects in progress producing useful stuff to improve the world to waste precious time stuck in cybersocialspace striving to be friended and liked and other such silliness.
So in retrospect, C.M. Kornbluth's story (first published in April 1951) apparently did predict this future societal downheaval, and marching morons are now the most populous people on the planet.