Do you ever lament that old songs seem to have more meaning than those produced today? Do you ever regard the success of books like the Da Vinci Code and the Hunger Games with sadness, comparing their lack of depth and nuance against the qualities of Brave New World, Sons and Lovers, and other bestsellers of yesteryear? Have you ever complained that the media in general is ‘dumbing down’ and that politics is becoming a reality TV competition?
What you may be describing are the effects of a phenomenon called ‘Dysgenics’, the process by which the human population (and thereby the culture) of a given area grows less intelligent with every new generation (needless to add, it is the opposite of Eugenics, a proposed system of discriminatory breeding intended to raise the general level of intelligence).
Out of all the burning scientific and sociological issues of our day, this is probably the most controversial, the one that people are really not supposed to talk about. This is because everyone is affected by dysgenics. It is not a process limited to a certain people, culture or nation. No-one can afford to laugh at it, shrug it off or deny it.
*I must emphasise before continuing that this is not an issue of ‘class’. Just because someone hasn’t gone to university doesn’t mean they are stupid. As a corollary, just because someone has been to university (even Oxford or Cambridge) doesn’t necessarily imply a superlative level of intelligence. In the latter case, people may just be privileged or have had superior or over-dedicated schooling.
When we talk about a new class of stupid people, we are talking about those who are incapable of philosophy and conviction, who shun the political and the cerebral in favour of the popular and facile, who cannot read and write, who are senselessly criminal and randomly aggressive, who have no sexual restraint and who fail to properly raise children.
These people, found in all classes and proliferating furiously up and down the United Kingdom, are something quite novel in British history. Of course, there has always been an idiot class, feckless and wild, unable to become part of the working majority, but they have never been so numerous or culturally influential as they are today.
The underclass is now a sub-culture, a sub-nation, with quirks of dress, language and even cuisine.
As to how the dysgenic process works, opinion is divided. Some blame the welfare state and its habit of paying people more welfare when they have large families, thereby encouraging the most incapable to have more children in order to live off said benefits. Frankly, I don’t think this is common enough to account for what is happening. I think it more likely that the dysgenic process has accelerated due to a longstanding imbalance of fertility and intelligence. In short, the smart people (those with jobs, political opinions and bookshelves) have smaller families than those who chew their toenails. Over time, that imbalance can completely transform the character of a nation, even one with such an illustrious history as ours.
While this is tolerable enough for now, one has to think about the future and how the nation will cope as the ratio leans ever more toward the negative.
Something particularly threatened by this process, I believe, is human liberty. After all, what becomes of a society when people no longer understand politics enough to partake in it? What kind of government will assemble itself in that situation, and what extra powers will it take on?
The voter turn-out for national elections is frighteningly low in the West, frequently clocking in at less than 50%, and sinking as low as 20% in local contests.
You can be sure that the elite secretly approves of this. The progeny of Eton don’t care if the rest of the country begins to moan and dribble. On the contrary, popular degeneration only serves to elevate them to an even greater standing.
Indeed, this is partly why the class system exists at all. It was and is designed to segregate people according to ability, never having them intermix or interbreed with one another.
In reality, the growth of illiteracy and criminality affects all classes equally. You will have met people so afflicted on many occasions, I’m sure, no matter where you live or what company you aspire to keep.
The last time I wrote about dysgenics on this blog, I was accused of being fascistic. I suppose that’s inevitable. Hitler has forever tarnished the discussion of genetics with the stamp of extremism. Be that as it may, this is an important conversation that must be held sooner or later.