Are We Living Under a Kakistocracy: Government by the Worst?

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Dan Sanchez

“In 1963, Leonard Read warned Americans that ‘our once-upon-a-time Republic’ was degenerating into something else; ‘we are headed into a kakistocracy,’ he wrote. Kakistocracy means ‘government by the worst.’ Read particularly liked James Russell Lowell’s definition: ‘a government … for the benefit of knaves at the cost of fools.’ Looking at the state of America today, we seem to be subject to the kakistocracy Read foresaw. Those holding the highest offices tend to be venal, abusive, and incompetent in their official conduct, and are frequently revealed to be dissolute — sometimes heinous — in their personal lives. And the masses who foolishly elevated such people to power have paid dearly for it in lost liberty and tumbling living standards.” (07/21/22)