JF Ptak Science Books Post 2740
The other day former CIA director John Brennan (2013-2017) dug up the word kakistocracy from its dirt nap to describe the Trump government. I had never heard of the word before, and so went to the Oxford English Dictionary to look it up. While there, I wondered how many other “-ocracies” and “-cracies” there were that have fallen completely off the RADAR, and it seems there are a lot—just about enough for a full alphabet, with dozens of "extras". (See https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2016/07/18/words-ending-with-cracy/ for a 60-word list, a longer list with shorter descriptions.)
Adhocracy. “A flexible and informal style of organization and management, characterized by a lack of bureaucracy. Also (depreciative): bureaucracy characterized by inconsistency and lack of planning.” 1970. A. Toffler Future Shock vii. 113 We are..witnessing the arrival of a new organizational system that will increasingly challenge, and ultimately supplant bureaucracy. This is the organization of the future. I call it ‘Ad-hocracy’.
Androcacy. “The rule or paramount influence of money.” 1868 Pall Mall Gaz. 23 May 11. The disease of argentocracy."
Angelocracy. "A government by angels. 1685 J. Scott Christian Life (1700) II. ii. vii. 320. Those angelocracies or angelical governments of countries and nations."
Barbarocracy. "Government or rule by barbarians, as that of Italy by the German emperors. 1866. C. C. Felton Greece, Anc. & Mod. II. xi. 486 Better fitted to live under a constitution than under a barbarocracy."
Bestiocracy. "The rule of beasts. 1863 Times 21 Nov. 8/5. The English farmers, being..members of a vile bestiocracy, living among the beasts of the field, and even employing men to serve the beasts."
Chrysocracy/ chryso-ariˈstocracy. "An aristocracy of wealth. [Is there an aristocracy of poverty? I guess so...i.e. Tramp Kings, that sort/] 1885. E. C. Stedman in Cent. Mag. 29 511. Even our ‘chryso-aristocracy’ he thinks is bettered by the process."
Demonocracy. "Government or rule by demons; a ruling body of demons. Now chiefly in extended use (with punning contrast with democracy) referring to cruel or wicked political regimes . 1755, J. Maud Doctr. Endless Torments i. v. 83. The House of Cain..may..not improperly be said to have put itself under a Demonocracy, where the implacable Adversary to God and Man, was the limited Tyrant."
Dulocracy. "Government by slaves. 1838 J. C. Hare & A. W. Hare Guesses at Truth (ed. 2) 1st Ser. 291. We should be the sport of chance and caprice, as has ever happened to a people when fallen under a doulocracy."
Foolocracy. "A governing class or clique consisting of fools. 1861, T. P. Thompson Audi Alteram Partem III. cxliv. 127. The management of affairs has been..given up to, what may for conciseness be called a ‘foolocracy’."
Gerontocracy. "The system of government by old men. Also, a governing body consisting of old men. 1830, Examiner 643/1 The adjustment of the qualification of candidates involves the entire question between the gerontocracy and the young men. 1877, R. Lowe in Fortn. Rev. 1 Oct. 445. By making a Parliament already too old older, and already too rich richer—a plutocracy, and a gerontocracy."
Hagiocracy. "A government or sovereignty of persons esteemed. 1874, J. E. Carpenter tr. H. Ewald Hist. Israel V. 198 The internal weakness..of the hagiocracy already betrays itself in the one small but significant circumstance of its treatment of the name of God."
Kakistocracy. "The government of a state by the worst citizens. 1829, T. L. Peacock Misfortunes Elphin vi. 93 . Our agrestic kakistocracy now castigates the heinous sins which were then committed with impunity. 1876, J. R. Lowell Lett. II. vii. 179 Is ours a government of the people, by the people, for the people, or a Kakistocracy rather, for the benefit of knaves at the cost of fools?"
Kleptocracy. "A ruling body or order of thieves. Also, government by thieves; a nation ruled by this kind of government. 1819, L. Hunt Indicator No. 12 (1822) I. 95. Titular ornaments, common to the Spanish kleptocracy. 1968, S. L. Andreski African Predicament vii. 109 . The essence of kleptocracy is that the functioning of the organs of authority is determined by the mechanisms of supply and demand rather than the laws and regulations. 1971, Guardian Weekly 10 July 18. The Federal Republic of Cameroon, which he [sc. Leonard Barnes] seems to regard as one of the less wicked kleptocracies. 1975, Times Lit. Suppl. 4 July 740/4 The role of corruption within the [Franco] regime..and the growth of a virtual kleptocracy within the administration."
Logocracy. "A community or system of government in which words are the ruling powers. 1807. Salmagundi 4 Apr. 127 Their government is a pure unadulterated logocracy, or government of words. 1845, S. Smith Elem. Sketches Moral Philos. (1850). Instruments which overturn the horrible tyranny of adjectives and substantives, and free the mind from the chains of that logocracy in which it is so frequently enslaved."
Mediocracy. "Government by the mediocre; a system within which mediocrity is rewarded. 1845. Adams Sentinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) 3 Nov. 5/4 The reign of shuffling incompetency and mousing mediocracy approaches its end. 1876 Atlantic Monthly July 86/2 The day which brought the news of the fall of Fort Sumter saw the overthrow of the mediocracy. All the old customs, barriers, molds of opinion, were broken up at a blow. 1909 Daily Chron. 12 July 4/4 We are all at hear agreed upon one political creed. This is that the only really adequate form of government is a ‘mediocracy’... We are happy in our firm belief that..the greatness of the British Empire rests..upon the mediocrity of the middle-classes. 1937 D. Jerrold Georgian Adventure iv. 124 A professional officer corps..reinforcing itself from a mediocracy of successful careerists and yes-men. 1972 H. J. Eysenck Psychol. is about People iv. 198 The conscious cultivation of a mediocracy, in which the bright, the original, the innovators, the geniuses are held back in order to spare the mediocre the spectacle of outstanding success is to me an abomination. 1990. I. MacDonald New Shostakovich (1991) vii. 233 He was simply furious with the Soviet mediocracy and the morally rotten art it brandished as exemplary."
Narcocracy. "A body of people responsible for the implementation of drug laws. rare.1983 National Rev. (Nexis) 29 Apr. 492 The National Research Council report of June 21, 1982..was promptly suppressed by the narcocracy because it questions the efficacy of marijuana prohibition and advocates complete decriminalization and the consideration of legalization."
Ochlocracy. "Government by the populace; mob rule; a state, etc., ruled or dominated by the populace. 1594 R. Ashley tr. L. le Roy Interchangeable Co. There followeth a Democratie; by the outrages, and iniquities whereof, is againe erected the Ochlocratie. 1979 Globe & Mail (Toronto) 17 Nov. 9/1 The removal of the veil of secular government (for Mr. Bazargan has frequently admitted it to be little more) reveals the ochlocracy, mob-rule..."
Papyrocracy. "A government by excessive paperwork. 1843 Tait's Edinb. Mag. 10 238 A vow..against sparing one drop of blood which the tribunals had once devoted to the altars of the Papyrocracy."
Pedantocracy. "A system of government by pedants; the rule of pedants. Also: a governing body of pedants. 1856 ‘T. H. Prescott’ Amer. Encycl. Hist., Biogr., & Trav. 26 Such are the Chinese..living under a form of government which has been very happily designated a pedantocracy. 1859 J. S. Mill On Liberty v. 203 If we would not have our bureaucracy degenerate into a pedantocracy. 1872. F. W. Farrar Witness of Hist. (new ed.) v. 184 A Pedantocracy of unpractical Philosophers. 1964 E. Barker Greek Polit. Theory xvii. 432 The curious feature of his pedantocracy is that it is most fastidious in that department, to which we naturally think of Plato himself as belonging—the department of literature."
Ptochocracy. "A government elected by or consisting of the poor; (in extended use) poor people considered as a class. 1774. J. Burgh Polit. Disquis. I. ii. iv. 50 The British government..is neither absolute monarchy nor limited monarchy, nor aristocracy, nor democracy,..but may be called a ptochocracy (the reader will pardon a new word) or government of beggars. 1831 Examiner 140/2 Consistently the King has a Pension List for Charity to the Ptochocracy. 1879 W. E. Gladstone Gleanings Past Years I. vi. 182 To make its argument good, it [sc. Robert Lowe's objection to the county franchise] should have shown the imminence of a ptochocracy. 2002. Daily Mail (Nexis) 24 Dec. 41 One individual: autocracy. The people: democracy. The poor: ptochocracy."
Slavocracy. "The domination of slave-holders; slave-holders collectively as a dominant or powerful class. 1840. Illinois State Reg. (Springfield) 22 Jan. 2/2 The reign of the slaveocracy is hastening to a close. 1848. N.Y. Express 4 Sept. An exhortation to curb the slaveocracy. 1863 W. Phillips Speeches xxiv. 526 Union means a submission to the old slavocracy. 1896. E. B. Gordon Biogr. A. J. Gordon 68 The devouring indignation against the slavocracy which possessed the soul of Theodore Parker."
Technocracy. "Government or control by an elite of technical experts; (also) a doctrine or theory advocating this. 1895 Econ. Jrnl. 5 9 (note) Compare the annual contest between ‘physiocracy,’ leading towards ‘nihilism,’ and ‘technocracy’ in the history of medicine. 1919. W. H. Smyth in Industr. Management Mar. 211/2 For this unique experiment in rationalized Industrial Democracy I have coined the term ‘technocracy’. 1932. N.Y. Herald-Tribune 15 Dec. 11/1 Technocracy..the name for a new system and philosophy of government, in which the nation's industrial resources should be organized and managed by technically competent persons for the good of everyone instead of being left to the management of private interests for their own advantage."