Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Marching Morons by Cyril M. Kornbluth

The Marching Morons is a short science-fiction story about a dystopian future in which the majority of society has become, shall we say slower than molasses. In this future, people with higher IQ's tended to either be more goal oriented and not have children or have one. While those of lesser intelligence procreated like rabbits at the beginning of spring.

The story begins with Barlow a conman from the past being awoken from a state of hibernation after being dug up. As the story progresses, he comes to see how society has fallen into disarray and how the majority of people are well, morons. As he is apprehended by the highbred elite [a group of very intelligent individuals], they explain to him the problems of this society and how they as the only intelligent beings work very hard to keep people alive.

The story focuses on the planet over populations issue which in the book is about 5.5 billion people about 95% of the people being morons, its is there that Barlow offers a devious and deplorable solution to control the over population. His solution is to kill them off by selling them real estate in Venus [yes, the second planet from the Sun] and then sending the morons off in rockets that will never actually get there, as they most probably explode the moment they leave Earth. The second part of his plan,  Barlow rips off from the Nazi's, sending post-card on behalf of the deceased morons to their relatives still on Earth promoting how great life on Venus is and essentially creating more propaganda for their over population solution. As the story nears it's end and the population problem is brought under control, the elite use the same solution they used to get rid of the morons to get rid of Barlow.

The story focuses not only on how over population can put a strain on resources and societies, but also on how ignorance should not be accepted. Rather than coddling the morons the elite should have found ways to alleviate the problem by promoting education from the very beginning. 

Rating 5 out of 5
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