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Have you ever seen the film ‘Idiocracy’? I haven’t, but I’m well-acquainted with its subject.

From what I’ve read about it, the plot of the film takes place in a (we hope) distant dystopian future, after the effects of the downward selection currently in progress has matured and taken over American society. To put the idea simply, because (in the film, as in reality) less intelligent people have reproduced more than the intelligent, society has become an ‘Idiocracy’, dominated by feral dullards, up to and including the President.

The scientific name for this process is ‘Dysgenics’, which (as any amateur etymologist will see) is the counterprocess to ‘Eugenics’. Dysgenics is the trend by which the intelligent fail to reproduce in sufficient numbers, or else are saturated by the greater fertility of the stupid.

But why am I mentioning this here?

Well, a few months ago, Boris Johnson, the mop-headed Mayor of my city, attracted a great deal of controversy by suggesting that some people are too stupid to get ahead in life.

In a speech to the Margaret Thatcher Centre, Johnson speculated that ‘natural differences’ in cognitive ability mean that economic equality is a dangerous pipe dream not to be pursued by politicians.

As you would expect, the Guardian and other liberal papers quickly poured aggressive scorn on this idea, with Johnson even being compared to Gordon Gekko, the ruthless elitist from the movie ‘Wall Street’.

Johnson is of course correct to say that differences in ability exist and that these differences will usually oppose any attempt to impose ‘equality’. Where he is wrong is to think that politicians can ever get away with pointing this out.

Dysgenics is an open secret among the educated. Prospect magazine ran a terrifying story last year which claimed that (in contravention of the Flynn Effect) the average British IQ was going down.

As strange as this would seem to science, it would surprise very few people who converse with contemporary youth. Public literacy (a good test of intelligence) has never been in more dire straits, and little is being done to address the problem. In the title of this post, I have used what has fast become the standard social-network spelling of ‘losing’. The word ‘lose’ is now ‘loose’, whereas ‘loose’ is now ‘lose’ (or sometimes even ‘looce’). A similar mutation has afflicted the word ‘ridiculous’, which is almost always now spelt ‘rediculous’.

This is isn’t a small concern. When language degrades, cultures usually aren’t far behind.

Boris Johnson deserves credit for his bravery in speaking up on this, but his candor will likely go wasted on a public too afraid of dangerous ideas, and ignorant of the costs of ignoring them.