Monday, September 14, 2009

The marching morans

Why is it, reading about Glenn Beck's "Million moran march" (that got about 40,000 morans to march on Washington, according to the D.C. Fire Department), that I get a flashback to this cheesy sci-fi story?

The sad thing is, there was a genetic reason for the morons in Kornbluth's story to be morons. There isn't any genetic reason for the participants in the "Million moran march" to be idiots, other than the fact that, like all monkeys, they're prone to hierarchical behavior where they follow an alpha male and screech and howl at members of other monkey tribes for no real reason other than the fact that screeching and howling is what their alpha male wants them to do. But human beings have free will, more or less. Meaning they choose to be morans. Siiigh!

-- Badtux the non-marching Penguin
Why do you think I'm in the SF Bay area rather than Antarctica? Marching sucks!

OH: The PERFECT "unclear on the concept" photo from the Thousand Moran March: Medicare is, of course, socialized single-payer health insurance... i.e., socialized medicine. LOL!


  1. Galaxy magazine , and there was another one back then too , can't remember the name . Black and white , smaller than comic books but more like a readers digest for Sci Fi fans . That takes me a Long way back . Read that stuff like kids eat junk food today .
    Hummmm , maybe the food has sosmething to do with the stupids ?
    an aging w3ski

  2. Galaxy, Amazing, Astounding, Fantastic - there were a few of them back in the day.

    Somehow, in the midst of all my Heinline devouring, I missed this one. Of course, I was only 4 when it came out - but Kornbluth was anthologized a lot. From the description in the link, it's really not that cheesy.

    I'm just now reading "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" so the final solution aspect of it is resonating powerfully.

    The sociology and inherent libertarianism of much of the S.F. from that era disturbs the hell out of me now.

    The thing you're describing, BT is called herd mentality. I don't think choosing to me a Moran, or a Martian, or a Moravian really has much to do with it. The alphs sceeches, the betas, gammas, ans epsilons fall in line.

    Which also has a lot to do with Hitler's success.

    JzB the erstwhile but never-again marching trombonist

  3. s/b

    I don't think choosing to be a Moran.

    JzB the types-like-a-Martian trombonist

  4. w3ski, I grew up in the South, and fast food was basically all we got -- "if it ain't fried, it ain't food" was pretty much the motto. Corn dogs, chili mac, etc. were staples growing up, and nutritional value was pretty much nil other than the animal vitamins that we kids sometimes got. No, most of the morans *chose* to be morans, because that was the popular thing to be -- a moran.

    Regarding "The Marching Morons", it was based on an idiotic notion -- the notion that if you're poor, it's because you're stupid. No. There's plenty of poor people who are quite smart. Most of them are college professors and high school teachers, a sad statement on how little our society values education :(. Indeed, the smartest kid I ever encountered during my teaching career was from a poor family. He is a quite successful gang leader and drug lord, wicked smart and manipulative and an intuitive grasp of the math involved in running a major (illegal) enterprise, but his family was poor not because of genetics but because of where they were born and the choices they made in life. His entire family was that way, wicked smart but applying it only to illegal activities because they saw no chance for advancement in society given the fact that they were, well, brown and did not have access to a decent education (4th Ward of Houston's schools aren't going to produce any national merit scholars anytime soon!).

    So anyhow, intelligence is randomly distributed in the population and tends to the norm (that is, the child of two brilliant parents will statistically be more likely to be more "normal" in intelligence rather than super-smart as you'd expect if intelligence was strictly genetic). There is no genetic reason for the marching morans to be morans. They choose to be that way, to comply with the cultural norms that say "if you're smart, play dumb, and don't do well in school or think because then you'll be despised as an egghead". Which makes it altogether a more pathetic display than in Kornbluth's story, where intelligence was not randomly distributed but rather was strictly based on how smart your parents were.

    - Badtux the Sociology Penguin

  5. Hon, have you read
    this book? For some reason it helped.

  6. Watching the "Million Moran March" I was surprised at the pride that they take in their stupidity and ignorance. That is sooooo sad.

    No black people in that parade...

  7. That "old" Sci Fi was part of who I am . I was thrilled that at least in Fiction all or most of mankinds Bullshit got worked out and we really did have a future It's kinda like going to sleep with Star Trek on your mind and waking up in the Flintstones .
    a saddened w3ski

  8. w3ski, I grew up in the South, and fast food was basically all we got -- "if it ain't fried, it ain't food" was pretty much the motto.

    That's interesting, I grew up in the N.W. and pretty much didn't know about fast food as a youth.

    And for the most part I still pretty much ignore it and do most of my own cooking.

    And I eat to live, not live to eat, that works for, me and I pretty much stay slim and trim and in better shape than a lot of monkeys my age.

  9. You're the second blogger I read who's linked to "The Marching Morons" in the past few months. I was a voracious reader of sci-fi in my yoof (I even took a "Science Fiction as Literature" class three times in college, because they kept changing the course number, and I wound up getting 9 credits for the same damn curriculum.) But I had never read "Morons" until the other blogger clued me into it. The story formed the basis for the movie "Idiocracy," which is a cult favourite amongst the yoof of today, including my daughter, who turned me onto it. But even though people watch it, they don't seem to learn from it -- they LIVE it!

  10. I have had Philosophy discussions with French lorry drivers...who held their own. They read the originals.



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