What is a kakistocracy


Cakistocracy denotes a in political science Rule of the worst.


The foreign word is derived from Greek κάκιστος (kákistos = worst), the superlative of Greek κακός (kakós = bad), and Greek κρατία (kratia = Rule). Originally the term was used as an antonym to aristocracy, the Rule of the best, used.

History and use

The first use is unknown. However, the term is traceable in the second half of the 18th century. In 1783 August Ludwig von Schlözer published a translation of a publication from 1782 on the "Dutch Kakistocracy".[1]Abraham Gotthelf Kästner noted in his epigramMemorizing rhymes to keep four forms of state the kakistocracy even as fourth next to the actual forms of government:

"They scold aristocrats,
And swear hatred of the monarchy,
They also felt the Democrats
Robespierre'n's Kakistocracy. "

Christoph Martin Wieland also saw the danger of a cakistocracy in the French Revolution.[3]

The term experienced a resurgence with the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States and the composition of his cabinet.[4][5][6]

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ August Ludwig von Schlözer: Dutch kakistocracy. In: Stats displays. Volume 4, 1783, pp. 123-140 (digitalisat)
  2. ^ Abraham Gotthelf Kaestner, Karl Wilhelm Justi: In part unprinted epistles and ideas. Volume 2, digitized
  3. ↑ Christoph Martin Wieland: Reflections on Mr. Condorcet's explanation of what a peasant and manual laborer is in France. In: The New German Mercury from 1792. Volume 2, 1792, p. 43 (digitized)
  4. ↑ Michael Lewitt: Investing In A Kakistocracy. In: Forbes. October 13, 2016. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  5. ↑ Ryan Lizza: Donald Trump's First, Alarming Week as President-Elect. In: The New Yorker. November 16, 2016. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  6. ↑ Aasif Mandvi: The Trump Tweets I Want to Read. In: The New York Times. December 3, 2016, accessed January 29, 2017.

Categories:Form of rule | Political catchphrase

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