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Mon May 9, 2016, 02:00 PM

General Election: The Looming Choice Between Oligarchy and Kakistocracy

As much as I'd like to revive the fading embers of the democratic republic, that does not appear to be among our choices. On November 8th, we may be forced to decide between oligarchy and kakistocracy. The pros and cons of each are unappetizing, but it's best to have at least a fall-back strategy for unpleasant realities.

Oligarchs tend to maintain a minimal awareness of the necessity to keep up the appearance of a functional, if grotesquely corrupt, governing capacity. This occasionally creates cracks, where the desirability of appearing to appease popular sentiment becomes necessary. An oligarchy, if the oligarchs support a moderately competent executive, can preserve some level of civil order, maintain some level of infrastructure, and enable sufficient economic activity to engage their helots and support the services and appearance of normality from which the oligarchs themselves benefit.

They keep the wheels on, in other words. If they delegate competent executives and maintain some awareness of the need to balance repressive authoritarian responses to challenges to their authority against 'keeping up appearances,' they generally avoid wholesale slaughter, bloodshed, displacement, and genocide.

The downside to this side of the choice is that in maintaining a minimal comfort level for their helots and sustaining the appearance of "normalcy," it can take longer and be more difficult to ultimately destabilize, overthrow, and replace oligarchs with more democratic government.

This should be balanced against the awareness that our oligarchy is large and very complex, and there are some opportunities to create divisions among them, play off factions within the oligarchy against one another, and accelerate destabilization that way.

A kakistocracy's one "pro" is usually the speed of devolution, and the shattering chain reactions of upheaval as incompetence produces unrest which is met with authoritarian repression, undermined by further incompetence to produce further unrest and the wheels come off fairly quickly.

The cons to that side of the equation are the human costs of bloodshed, civil disorder, pogrom, repression, disease, massive environmental catastrophe, and chaos, in the process of the kakistocracy's failure and ultimate replacement. In such environments it can be difficult for democratic revolutions to maintain equilibrium. Catastrophic failure of a kakistocracy usually results in a series of further devolutionary regimes such as competent authoritarian dictatorships, repressive totalitarianism, and other forms of backlash, before democratic government can be re-established.

So, if the General Election choice comes down to Oligarchy versus Kakistocracy, I shall reluctantly choose the former.

Your mileage, of course, may vary.

pragmatically,

Bright

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Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply General Election: The Looming Choice Between Oligarchy and Kakistocracy (Original post)
TygrBright May 2016 OP
exboyfil May 2016 #1
LiberalArkie May 2016 #2
IamMab May 2016 #3
BillZBubb May 2016 #4
Eleanors38 May 2016 #5
BillZBubb May 2016 #6
muriel_volestrangler May 2016 #8
BillZBubb May 2016 #9
muriel_volestrangler May 2016 #12
BillZBubb May 2016 #14
muriel_volestrangler May 2016 #16
IamMab May 2016 #15
KamaAina May 2016 #10
BillZBubb May 2016 #13
JPnoodleman May 2016 #7
BillZBubb May 2016 #11
hobbit709 May 2016 #17

Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Mon May 9, 2016, 02:08 PM

1. Thanks for the new word

It fits to a T.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Mon May 9, 2016, 02:18 PM

2. So kakistocracy is the type of government in Idiocracy or the Trump style?

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Mon May 9, 2016, 02:24 PM

3. Someone clearly had a bunch of definitions to study ahead of their PolSci 101 final.

 

And then decided to regurgitate them, context-free, into a DU post.

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Response to IamMab (Reply #3)

Mon May 9, 2016, 02:31 PM

4. The context is clear enough if you are paying attention.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Mon May 9, 2016, 02:32 PM

5. My eyes again. I thought it was Kakacrocy.

 

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Mon May 9, 2016, 02:36 PM

6. I reject the dichotomy.

Our election, it appears, will be between one oligarchic/kakistotic candidate and another. Both are .1%'er, corrupt, corporatists.

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Response to BillZBubb (Reply #6)

Mon May 9, 2016, 03:09 PM

8. What a crap post. What a crap understanding of Clinton and Trump.

It's as if you don't know the first thing about politics, the Democratic party, or life. Or you feel the need to show off your rebel credentials and pretend to be 'edgy'.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #8)

Mon May 9, 2016, 03:11 PM

9. I understand Hillary and Trump very well.

You apparently do not, at least not Hillary.

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Response to BillZBubb (Reply #9)

Mon May 9, 2016, 03:14 PM

12. Then don't write posts pretending that you don't.

You post was full of shit, and should have been flushed down a toilet.

She's a Democrat. She has won the votes of millions of Democrats. She is leading the Democratic primary. As I said, you post as if you haven't got a clue about the Democratic party.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #12)

Mon May 9, 2016, 03:17 PM

14. Your response makes no sense. I do understand Hillary, you do not.

No pretending.

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Response to BillZBubb (Reply #14)

Mon May 9, 2016, 03:20 PM

16. She's the leading choice of Democrats

and you are saying she's an example of the worst people in the world. You are pretending to think that, or pretending to be an ally of Democrats. Either way, your post is full of shit. It belongs on Free Republic, not a site for Democratic supporters.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #8)

Mon May 9, 2016, 03:18 PM

15. "Or you feel the need to show off your rebel credentials and pretend to be 'edgy'." DingDingDing

 

We have a winner. I've not been on DU long, but the behavior here is not much different than the comment section of any left-wing website. The "Super-Dooper-REAL Progressives" are usually the ones beating their chests and gnashing their teeth and otherwise putting on a big show for all to see, as if being seen as progressive matters more than actually being a progressive person.

But from a movement that has thrown women, minorities, and immigrants under the bus at every opportunity in pursuit of their Free Everything monetary-based "revolution," this is not surprising behavior, because they genuinely are less progressive than they actually appear to be.

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Response to BillZBubb (Reply #6)

Mon May 9, 2016, 03:13 PM

10. "kakistocracy" = government by the worst.

 

While Hillary does have her faults, she is hardly the worst.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #10)

Mon May 9, 2016, 03:15 PM

13. OR the corrupt. I stand by my statement.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Mon May 9, 2016, 02:50 PM

7. Populist insurgency will be endemic now.

Namely since the system won't change there will both right and left populism in growing numbers for age to come until something breaks.

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Response to JPnoodleman (Reply #7)

Mon May 9, 2016, 03:14 PM

11. I think the OP would agree.

Of course the oligarchs will fight back. They're not going to give up the goose that lays the golden eggs without a fight.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Mon May 9, 2016, 03:22 PM

17. The Bush regime was a Kakistocratic Kleptocracy.

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