Friday, June 1, 2007

Kakistocracy and the Bush administration

Our family always enjoys watching the National Spelling Bee finals, which were held last night in Washington, D.C. My sons in particular are always in awe of the poise - and knowledge - of these 12- and 13-year old spellers. Last night we learned a new word that has heightened relevance right now for the United States: kakistocracy.

kak·is·toc·ra·cy [kak-uh-stok-ruh-see] –noun, plural -cies.

Government by the worst persons; a form of government in which the worst persons are in power. Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens.

[Origin: 1820–30; < Gk kákisto(s), superl. of kakós bad]

In addition to hearing a definition and the etymology of a word, spellers could also request that the word be used in a sentence. How about this example:

"The Bush administration precipitated the decline of America to a mere kakistocracy amidst its democratic neighbors." Or how about . . .

"Embracing the forms and practices of a kakistocracy, the Bush administration hastened the destruction of the American republic."

Use the word while you can. The Christian Right is engaged in a very conscious war against words and their traditional meanings in our society. Words like "patriotism," "truth," "American," "justice" and "tolerance" are victims of a Christo-fascist logocide (another good spelling bee word!) in which definitions are rewritten or reinterpreted through the prism of Christian conservatism. They're hijacking the language of the Republic and 99% of Americans don't even realize it. The forces of totalitarianism did the exact same thing in Nazi Germany, Mussolini's Italy, and Stalinist Russia.

1 comment:

One Wink at a Time said...

Great post. Words are some of my favorite things ;-) and I will use this every chance I get.
Do you know, you should get a blogging award for the widest range of interesting subject matter. I'm totally serious.