9 Obscure Forms of Government

Aidan Herklotz

Now, you’ve all heard of the so-called “popular”, “cool”, or “hip”, types of governmental systems, i.e Republic, Monarchy, Dictatorship, Communism, etc. (I don’t say democracy here because it just doesn’t work). So,  like me, you may have thought: “What are some governments that are scarcely used, or just plain obscure?” That question is what I intend to answer. Welcome to 9 Obscure Forms of Government!


9) Meritocracy: Rule by the Individual Achievements        

A meritocracy is one of the implements of society that absolutely should be in place now. Basically, it says that government and military positions are granted to those who are most qualified to do the job, instead of being determined by wealth, social status, or family ties (not the 80’s sitcom, mind you). This was used by Genghis Khan to select the generals and chiefs in his massively vast Mongol Empire.


8) Stratocracy: Rule by Military Chiefs

You may confuse this with a military dictatorship, like in Laos, but it’s actually quite different. In stratocracies, the leader’s power is enforced by laws, and rules. Military dictators are free to do whatever they please, with no checks by anything or anyone. Modern-day Ukraine and Ancient Sparta are some stratocracies that you may have heard of.


7) Ochlocracy: Rule by the Mob

An ochlocracy is a society ruled by a mass of citizens, instead of a single central authority. This mob often participates in illegal activity, and usually consists of a minority, be that religious, racial, economic, etc. Ochlocracy can also mean rule by the intimidation of legitimate authorities, but some may say that we have that in place in our own society already. Also, I find mob rule to be much more interesting.


6) Ethnocracy: Rule by an Ethnic Group

An ethnocracy is a society ruled strictly by an ethnic group, although religiously ruled countries can sometimes be classified as an ethnocracy as well. Many say that Adolf Hitler used an ethnocracy in Nazi Germany, with his racial hierarchy being extremely well known. As with Hitler, modern day ethnocracies put the main race of their country at the top of the metaphorical pyramid, like Ethiopia and Israel.


5) Logocracy: Rule by Words

Now, this one confused even me (so modest), so I’ll try to explain it well as I can. It’s a government ruled by words, or more simply, propaganda. It escapes me why they didn’t just say “Propagandaocracy” or something like that, but I guess they know best. An example of this would be in George Orwell’s 1984, where propaganda literally changes history in the eyes of the populous.


4) Exilarchy: Rule by a Religious Leader (in Exile)

You may have heard of a man by the name of “the Dalai Lama.” He once ruled Tibet under a peaceful regime, until China cane in, deposed him, and sent him into exile. This is a prime example of exilarchy, perhaps even the best example. Tibetan freedom syndicates are still active today, in many countries around the world, hoping to free the country. But, until then, the Dalai Lama will be in India, biding his time, waiting to come out of exile.


3) Technocracy: Rule by Scientists

This government hasn’t actually been put into practice yet, but still interesting nonetheless. A technocracy is a proposed government in which officials are chosen by expertise and responsibility, specifically in the field of scientific achievements. Technocratic followers believe that elected representatives shouldn’t be the focus of decision making. This leans more toward Meritocracy (which is number nine on the list) in opposition to Republic. Since this system is purely hypothetical, there are no examples to give here.


2) Kleptocracy: Rule by Thieves

As you read the title, you may be thinking “Why would people knowingly elect a thief as their leader?”, and that is a very logical question. The answer is, they don’t. At least, they don’t knowingly. People don’t know they’re living in a Kleptocracy until their corrupt leader is caught, then and only then is the jig up. The leaders embezzle from their government using their authority as an elected official. Some well known Kleptocracies are Russia and China, both having massively corrupt officials.


1) Kakistocracy: Rule by the Worst

Yes, you read this right. Rule by the worst. The baddest. The most incompetent, the least qualified, the overall crappiest leaders that you can imagine. The term was first coined as early as the seventeenth century, and was used in 1829 by Thomas Love Peacock in his book “The Misfortunes of Elphin” in this quote: “They were utterly destitute of the blessings of those “schools for all,” the house of correction, and the treadmill, wherein the autochthonal justice of our agrestic kakistocracy now castigates the heinous sins which were then committed with impunity, of treading on old footpaths, picking up dead wood, and moving on the face of the earth within sound of the whirr of a partridge.” It may have originated then, but it gained mass popularity quite recently when a certain *ahem* United States government official was elected in late 2016. To avoid any further political “conflicts” I will end it here. Thanks for reading, and I hoped you liked this article.