A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

Recent entries:
“You can’t tax your way to prosperity. You can’t bomb your way to security. And you can’t ban your way to liberty” (4/21)
“You can’t bomb your way to security” (4/21)
“You can’t bomb your way to democracy” (4/21)
“You can’t ban your way to freedom” (4/21)
“If you can’t expose crime in the government, you don’t really have a government. You have a dictatorship…” (4/21)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Entry from May 29, 2010
Idiocracy (idiot + bureaucracy)

“Idiocracy” is a “bureaucracy” run by “idiots” (or “idiot” ideas). “Idiocracy” gained popularity when it was used as the title of a 2006 movie satire. ‘Idiocracy” or “idiocrasy,” in a different sense similar to “idiosyncrasy,” has been recorded since the 17th century. “Idiocracy”—meaning “government by idiots”—had sparse citations in the 20th century.
Wikipedia: Idiocracy
Idiocracy is a 2006 comedic film, directed by Mike Judge and starring Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolph.
The film tells the story of two ordinary people who are taken into a top-secret military hibernation experiment that goes awry, and awaken 500 years in the future. They discover that the world has degenerated into a dystopia where advertising, commercialism, and cultural anti-intellectualism run rampant and dysgenic pressure has resulted in a uniformly stupid human society devoid of individual responsibility or consequences.
Despite its lack of a major theatrical release, the film has achieved a cult following.
Wikipedia: Bureaucracy
Bureaucracy is the combined organizational structure, procedures, protocols, and set of regulations in place to manage activity, usually in large organizations. As opposed to adhocracy, it is often represented by standardized procedure (rule-following) that guides the execution of most or all processes within the body; formal division of powers; hierarchy; and relationships, intended to anticipate needs and improve efficiency.
A bureaucracy traditionally does not create policy but, rather, enacts it. Law, policy, and regulation normally originates from a leadership, which creates the bureaucracy to implement them. In practice, the interpretation and execution of policy, etc. can lead to informal influence - but not necessarily. A bureaucracy is directly responsible to the leadership that creates it, such as a government executive or board of directors. Conversely, the leadership is usually responsible to an electorate, shareholders, membership or whoever is intended to benefit. As a matter of practicality, the bureaucracy is where the individual will interface with an organization such as a government etc., rather than directly with its leadership. Generally, larger organizations result in a greater distancing of the individual from the leadership, which can be consequential or intentional by design.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
1681 tr. Willis’ Rem. Med. Wks. Vocab., Idiocrasie, the proper disposition or temperament of a thing or body.
1684 tr. Bonet’s Merc. Compit. Pref. 2 Several Mens Idiocrasie is various.
1755 JOHNSON, Idiocrasy, peculiarity of constitution.
20 September 1919, Sheboygan (WI) Press, pg. 4, col. 3:
TO send the boys
THAT fought to make
THE world safe for
24 May 1940, Reno (NV) Evening Gazette, pg. 5, col. 2:
We are told by the New Deal idiocracy that our military and naval units are woefully inadequate to compete in modern warfare.
20 January 1952, New Orleans (LA) Times-Picayune, “Washington Scene” by George Dixon, sec. 2, pg. 2, col. 6:
WHERE WILL ALL this bureaucracy heaped on idiocracy end?
2 August 1967, Zanesville (OH) Times Recorder, “It Happened last Night” by Earl Wilson, pg. 6D, col. 5:
NEW YORK—I’m not brave about campaigns but somebody should curb the great American idiocracy (a word I think I invented) which makes men wear hotter-than-hell ties, jackets and strangling tuxedo outfits in the summer.
5 February 1971, New Orleans (LA) Times-Picayune, sec. 1, pg. 19, col. 2:
To guarantee income to any ablebodied man, without working for it, borders on idiocracy.
9 December 1973, Bridgeport (CT) Press, ‘In and Around Our Town, pg. D14, col. 2:
What’s a beaurocracy (sic) that’s staffed by idiots? An idiocracy, of course.
3 July 1986, Miami (FL) Herald, “Hertz finds resting place for ‘sculpture,’” Neighbors, pg. 3:
Because of the idiocracy that prevails in our City Hall it became necessary for a higher authority to take over, Hertz said,
Google Books
Trump: the saga of America’s most powerful real estate baron
By Jerome Tuccille
Washington, DC: Beard Books
Pg. 96:
For good measure there was a smattering of third- party candidates, including one from the Free Libertarian Party named Jerome Tuccille, who ran on a platform to stamp out what he termed idiocracy, or government by idiots.
Google Books
The Nu Collitch Dickshunary
By Edward G. Stockwell
Pg. 59:
idiocracy: foolishness, bordering on stupidity
One might be tempted to see this term as describing a form of government in which the idiots run things. A cynic might even say it is a reasonable characterization of our own government. In the present context, however, the student is clearly applying it to people who possess what he correctly sees as idiotic beliefs.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Military/Religion /Health • Saturday, May 29, 2010 • Permalink

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.