Saturday, January 8, 2011


“Some nation-states have suffered what the Greeks called kakistocracy—government by the worst of men.”
Tom H. Hastings, Ecology of War and Peace: Counting the Cost of Conflict, 2000

I think it’s pretty clear that the US has been a nation in a state of kakistocracy for quite some time now. This term explained a lot to me. For one thing, we now know we aren’t alone in history to put the worst possible people in power. That’s good to know. Isn’t it? No one wants to be alone in misery.

So, we may be stupid, but at least we aren’t precedent settingly stupid. I, for one, would feel far worse if I knew ours was the first and only country in world history to have voted its enemies into power, those who would destroy rule of law and a government of the people and by the people.

And we are in good company with the Ancient Greeks. Besides amazing art and architecture, philosophy and mythology, the Greeks gave us the term, democracy. So, they did know the difference between rule by the people and by the people's enemies.

But, at least, it is good to know that we are not anomalies. We are simply flawed creatures guilty of having what is, probably just an inherited human condition, the desire to vote against one's best interests, or for Kakistocracy, “government under the control of a nation's worst or least-qualified citizens.”

I know there are countless governments in power now and throughout human history that are/were definitely kakistocractic. But, those are/were probably forced upon the people, more than they were popularly put into power. This handing the keys to the car over to the obviously falling down drunk, is more what we have practiced in our elections.

I’ve referred to our current system of government variously as a plutocracy, an oligarchy, a moneocracy, and a corporatocracy. Very often, I simply tell people we are literally living inside Norman Jewison's 1975 film, Rollerball. Maybe even The Body Snatchers.

But, now that I have discovered kakistocracy, the term just seems to sum it up succinctly. Not the why one would do that, but the fact that it has been done.

Now, whether our current kakistocracy is due to mass ignorance, in part from our less than stellar educational system; or whether it’s due to mass hypnosis from the constant din of misinformation that is thrown at us in the corporate-owned media’s planned disinformation campaign, I don’t know. We could, probably, also, blame rigged and/or hacked electronic voting and ballot counting machines. It could, also, be due to the huge cache of corporate election funds spent buying pet puppet politicians who will push their self-aggrandizing agendas.

Or maybe our kakistocracy can be blamed on the large percentage of American citizens who are simply suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. That’s one of my favorite choices. Though, I think there is not one simple cause, I think it’s clear that it has been a concerted, if concealed, effort by the rightwing “conservative” (whatever it is they think they are conserving, certainly not the economy or the environment or the Constitution), power base to take “their” country back from the fools who they think unjustly stole it from them. They are the reverse Robin Hood. Regardless of where total blame lies for our kakistocracy condition, the electorate put the wrong people at the helm, again. They’re back.

And those wrong people in power are steering US right back off the edge of their flat earth. We veered away from it for a short while. And just when we thought/hoped, that just maybe, if we stuck together, we could affect a sea change, too...

Does anyone in the rightwing notice or care that this country is being controlled by the same mindset that brought us our first Great Depression, those greedy, self-serving, myopic plutocrats who crashed the economy then? Do they ever stop and ponder why we are on the brink again? Don’t worry. That’s rhetorical.

See, here’s the thing. I do think too many here in this country have Stockholm Syndrome. And then there’s those poor people who actually believe they will win Lotto and be stinkin’ rich one day, too. So, they don’t want the government to mess with their future success by taxing them like they do the poor and middle class now.

So, they fight to keep the top 2% of the population, who have more wealth than the bottom 98% combined, from paying their share, which if they paid would get us out of the debt the rightwing brought us, after those on the politically left got us out of it. They do not seem to see that the now rich are rich at the expense of the now poor and the now middle class. They bought the bird in the bush and pie in sky trick. But, the sky is falling and the bush is burning.

And then there’s the Christian connection.

That’s been a real magic, bunny out of hat trick, by the rightwing. They’ve convinced Christians that Jesus would hate the poor enough to give what little they have to the rich. You kind of have to hand it to them for that one. They’re good. Logically, you can’t, on the surface, even imagine that that one would go over. But, it did and continues to work for them.

And they are not even close to what Jesus preached, love thy neighbor as thyself. They are about stealing from thy neighbor to make thyself richer. And yet, it’s the supposed Christian base that, by and large, votes these “worst of men” into public offices. Go figure. Huh?

Can anyone explain that to me? Or better still, can someone, please, explain it to them? The FAUX News that permeates society has left their heads so far up their posteriors that they can’t hear the truth. Can someone free their ears, please?

We all know power corrupts. Thus, we really do know, even if only subconsciously, that those who crave power are the exact opposite of who should be in power. The power hungry sycophant class is too easily corruptible. And those who would do the corrupting, for their own gain, know exactly whom they can corrupt the most easily.

If you would work a man, know his desires and his weaknesses, to paraphrase Francis Bacon. The corrupters know who will sell out their mothers for fame, fortune, and power. And they do know very well how to how to work them.

Those we would have to drag, kicking and screaming, to be in the public and in power are those who should run our government. Those are people we can trust. They don’t want the limelight. They know it’s bad for their complexions. They don’t want the power. They know their rewards are not in material possessions or physical power. Their hearts and minds are above the fray. They know power is an illusion, if not a delusion. They would just rule by law for the benefit of all to live in peace and harmony.

The problem for us is, we can’t find those kind of conscious and solid citizens. They don’t want to be found. They know better. They know they will not be repaid for their sacrifice to serve the people with gratitude and understanding by the masses, but rather with the reward of thrown stones. So, the stone age minds continue to rule this age, too.

So, here we are, stuck again with the bottom feeders, entering by default, into Lord of the Flies time. The criminally insane continue to run the asylum.

When we handed the biggest gavel to the biggest baby bully crying out the loudest for power, we knew we were headed into the waterfall at edge of the universe.

So, hold onto the boat and for dear life, my dears… We are charged with nothing less than keeping the light of sanity shining. We will be back.

You really can’t keep a good “man” down… Good will out in the end. So, keep the faith. And remember what Jesus would do: Have a big fish fry for all and keep the wine pouring.

No comments:

Post a Comment