Saturday 14 April 2018

of the people, by the people, for the people

In response to Trump’s offensive rubbishing of the character of the intelligence services, a former agency director erupted, “Your kakistocracy is collapsing after its lamentable journey. As the greatest nation history has known, we have the opportunity to emerge from this nightmare stronger and more committed to ensuring a better life for all Americans, including those that you have so tragically deceived,” addressing Trump with no intermediaries—through a Tweet. Surprisingly, this will be the fifth time that PfRC has used the Greek neologism and it has been invoked in many other editorials about this regime,  but the present surge in inquiries about its meaning—government by the worst—and how it echoed this earlier bit of testimony of he who bears the brunt of Trump’s attacks sent me on an errand mission to the original 1644 sermon preached by one Paul Gosnold (original orthography below and note the old-fashioned way plurals are formed) before the assembly of St Mary’s of Oxford, including some visiting parliamentarians:

Therefore we need not make any scruple of praying against such: against those Sanctimonious Incendiaries, who have fetched fire from heaven to set their Country in combustion, have pretended Religion to raise and maintaine a most wicked rebellion: against those Nero’s, who have ripped up the wombe of the mother that bare them, and wounded the breasts that gave them sucke: against those Cannibal’s who feed upon the flesh and are drunke with the bloud of their own brethren: against those Catiline’s who seeke their private ends in the publicke disturbance, and have set the Kingdome on fire to rost their owne egges: against those tempests of the State, those restlesse spirits who can no longer live, then be stickling and medling; who are stung with a perpetuall itch of changing and innovating, transforming our old Hierarchy into a new Presbytery, and this againe into a newer Independency; and our well-temperd Monarchy into a mad kinde of Kakistocracy. Good Lord!

Oh lordy, indeed! A derived term is khakistocracy, an ironic pun referring the habit of strongmen dictators of parading about in military fatigues or as poseurs in battledress.