“Anyone have any better ideas?”

Terry Bouricius pointed out the following story in The Onion, “America’s finest news source”:

Humanity Surprised It Still Hasn’t Figured Out Better Alternative To Letting Power-Hungry [Depraved People] Decide Everything

NEW YORK—Noting that it has had thousands of years to develop a more agreeable option, humankind expressed bewilderment this week that it has yet to devise a better alternative to governing itself than always letting power-hungry assholes run everything, sources worldwide reported.

Individuals in every country on earth voiced their frustration that, in spite of generations of mistreatment, neglect, and abuse they have suffered at the hands of those in positions of authority, they continue to allow control over the world’s governments, businesses, and virtually every other type of organization and social group to fall to the most megalomaniacal pricks among them.

“We’ve all seen what this system leads to, so you’d think that by now, someone, somewhere would have sat down and thought up another way to keep our societies functioning without giving all the power to arrogant, amoral dicks whose only concern is improving their own status,” said Mumbai software designer Ankan Rao, one of 7.1 billion humans who conveyed continued surprise that their species has so far proven incapable of formulating a method of governance that was even slightly more tolerable. “Everybody dislikes the people in charge and everybody knows they’re only serving their own personal agendas at the expense of everyone else, but we just keep allowing these jerks to make our decisions time and time again. And it’s not just here—it’s everywhere in the world.”

“Boy, maybe we shouldn’t do that anymore,” Rao added. “Anyone have any better ideas?”

Speaking with reporters, citizens across the planet unanimously expressed their bafflement at the consistency with which they either formally or informally select corrupt and self-obsessed sacks of shit for leadership roles in all facets of life, including positions atop corporate boards, judicial and legislative bodies, religious institutions, parent-teacher associations, the military, intramural softball teams, and international and national professional associations, as well as groups of friends deciding where to eat.

In addition, sources offered countless examples of the counterproductive and perplexing practice of entrusting power to the world’s least scrupulous individuals, ranging in scale from a domineering dictator who plunges his country into civil war in order to consolidate his power, to a Foot Locker shift manager who forces his subordinates to close up without him so that he can go home early.

Moreover, everyone across the planet acknowledged that the tradition of allowing an exploitative asshole to take charge of a given situation has been the principal system for group decision-making from the earliest formation of tribal societies to the present day, an admission that caused each member of the human race to either emit an exasperated sigh, shake his or her head, or mutter a profanity.

“My old boss, my sorority president, my congressional representative, my current boss—they’ve all been soulless, backstabbing dickheads whose only concern is getting what they want,” said administrative assistant Sheryl Gittens of Fort Worth, TX, who went on to list the bully back in her seventh grade class, her homeowners association president, and the coordinator of her Bible study group among the legions of selfish jagoffs who have inexplicably been granted commanding roles by the acquiescent masses. “What’s even more annoying is that we essentially reward these people for only thinking of themselves and repeatedly screwing us over. If you stop and think about it, that’s pretty messed up.”

“Jesus,” she continued. “What the hell’s wrong with us?”

Given the prevalence throughout history of compassionless, two-faced leaders whose lust for control and inflated self-importance have led to disastrous results for society at large, many individuals questioned if, going forward, they should instead try giving power to someone other than a greedy, self-serving bastard.

“Maybe we should try letting a kind, responsible person run things for a change,” Cairo resident Nathifa Bakhoum told reporters. “I, for one, don’t want to be told what to do by another narcissist who’s drunk on power and who has absolutely no regard for my well-being. It’s just a thought, but perhaps we could go with a good, decent human next time, or at least someone who’s not a completely egotistical pile of dogshit. That seems like a good thing to try at least once, right? Could we even do that? It’s probably worth a shot.”

When pressed for further comment, however, every member of humanity agreed that the current system, though deeply flawed, remains far better than one in which they actually have to make decisions for themselves.

5 Responses

  1. power-hungry assholes . . . megalomaniacal pricks . . . arrogant, amoral dicks . . . only serving their own personal agendas at the expense of everyone else . . . corrupt and self-obsessed sacks of shit . . . exploitative asshole . . . legions of selfish jagoffs . . . greedy, self-serving bastard. . . egotistical pile of dogshit

    I’m embarrassed that the convenor of a serious blog like this feels the need to re-tweet these lazy and hackneyed cliches. Particularly in view of the author’s conclusion:

    every member of humanity agreed that the current system, though deeply flawed, remains far better than one in which they actually have to make decisions for themselves.

    I note also that the diatribe applies to “groups of friends deciding where to eat”, the second line of Yoram’s syllogism demonstrating the logical progression from self-interest to the general good that underlies his model of full-mandate sortition.


  2. Keith’s complaints reveal that the Onion’s style of humour isn’t for everybody. I liked this for the same reason I like this other story they ran a while ago with the headline:

    When Will The Idiots On The Other End Of The Political Spectrum Wake Up And Have Every One Of My Life Circumstances, Daily Interactions, And Upbringing?



  3. Terry,

    I’ve got nothing against humour, were it not for the fact that the message is a sexed-up version of a serious position frequently advocated on this blog — I imagine that’s why you drew it to Yoram’s attention and why he chose to turn it into a blog post. I genuinely believe this kind of hyperbole does huge damage to the sortition cause, especially at a time when it is at last being considered seriously by those who are actually in a position to do something about it. Unfortunately “those who are in a position to do something about it” are the self-same targets of the Onion’s sarcastic ire and will be the first up against the wall come the kleristocratic putsch.

    It’s about time we all started to grow up and take this matter seriously, rather than recycling tired old tropes from our revolutionary past, however amusing we may find them. You are probably the only one of us who has any actual hands-on experience as an elected representative. I accept that there is a weak correlation between leadership and psychopathy but are you really comfortable to describe your erstwhile colleagues as an “egotistical pile of dogshit” and do you think this is suitable language for a public forum?


  4. > Keith’s complaints reveal

    … that he has an authoritarian mindset and tries to censor other people. But, then again, that was very clear for a long time.

    (What isn’t clear is why otherwise reasonable people are willing to tolerate such behavior.)


  5. So Yoram, if you believed that the contents of this blog was causing serious damage to the sortition cause, would you not advocate some degree of self-censorship? Of course you do not believe this to be true (apart, that is, from my comments) as you have consistently argued that sortition will only come about when “the people” demand it and that the existing elites (as sarcastically depicted in this post) will do everything in their power to destroy or neuter the sortition movement.

    >What isn’t clear is why otherwise reasonable people are willing to tolerate such behavior.

    Because what you describe as authoritarian to most people is plain common sense. It really is time to grow up and stop playing Citizen Smith.


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