Posted BY: J.R. Dunn

You know the story: a man wakes up after a century-long bout of suspended animation to find… orbital colonies? Contact with aliens? Cheap universal fusion power? Nope – he finds a culture inhabited by ill-dressed goons speaking in monosyllables, with no understanding of history or the natural world or anything else, surrounded by shoddy, fake technology. The president is a dreadlocked idiot. The average IQ hovers around 65.

Sure… you know that one. It’s Idiocracy, the comic film from 2006.

Except that it isn’t — it’s “The Marching Morons,” a 1951 short story by C.M. Kornbluth. That’s where the producers of Idiocracy got it, without acknowledgment, knowing that the current run of morons wouldn’t recognize it.

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The theme and most of the details are identical: the intelligent and educated failed to reproduce, leaving the world to be populated by the subnormal. Except that while Idiocracy is slapstick comedy, “Morons” is high tragedy – in fact, tragedy of the highest sort, one that mourns the loss of an entire civilization.

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