"Idiocracy" is a Problematic Anti-Poor Film
Unlike other films that satirize the media and the soul-crushing consequences of sensationalized entertainment (my personal favorite being 1951's Ace in the Hole), Idiocracy lays the blame at the feet of an undeserved target (the poor) while implicitly advocating a terrible solution (eugenics). The movie’s underlying premise is a fundamentally dangerous and backwards way to understand the world.
The origin story for Idiocracy’s future world of half-wits is that uneducated people in the early 2000s are having kids and smart people don’t reproduce enough. It’s clear from the film that the intelligent people are wealthy, while the uneducated people are poor. So we’re starting from a position of believing that wealthy people are inherently more intelligent and, by extension, deserve their wealth. This link between intelligence and wealth is perhaps the most dangerous idea of the film and pretty quickly slips into advocating for some form of soft eugenics to build a better world.
If only we could get rid of the uneducated Americans (read: redneck poors) and we’ll have the opportunity to live in a utopian world filled with smart and civilized people. Of course, everyone here in 2014 making a reference to Idiocracy as a pseudo-documentary identifies with the soon-to-be-extinct intelligent class. They believe it’s the “others” — the dumb, impoverished people — that are ruining America with their binging on crap TV and crap internet and crap food.
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