Kakistocracy

Over the past few days, I've stumbled upon a word that more of us should know as it so perfectly captures this moment in time. Commit this one to memory, because you're probably going to want to use it often:

Kakistocracy n. (kak·is·toc·ra·cy / kækɪsˈtɑkɹəsi)   Government by the worst persons; a form of government in which the worst persons are in power.

 REUTERS/Christopher Aluka Berry

REUTERS/Christopher Aluka Berry

The origins of kakistocracy are actually pretty neat. The term was first used around 1829 and was coined as an opposite to "aristocracy". It comes from the Greek "kakistos" or "worst", which is the superlative form of "kakos" or "bad". Switch the "k" to a "c" and you have the root of modern words like "cacophony".

But here's where it gets even more fun. "Kakos" is closely related to "Caco" or "defecate". As we saw above, it's essentially the same phonetic sounds and has similar modern words derived from it.

Today, you'll find this in the Greek "Kakke" "human excrement", Latin "cacare", Irish "caccaim", Serbo-Croatian "kakati", Armenian "k'akor", Old English "cac-hus" or "latrine", Dutch "kak", German "Kacke", and the school-yard favorite "caca".

So in this trying time, remember the word "kakistocracy".

Quite literally, government by the shittiest.