When Political Systems Met For Coffee…

Several centuries of being in a state of war with one another exacted a massive toll on old foes, Democracy, Communism, Anarchism and Monarchy. Strong-headed, each found it impossible to share any podium which involved the other(s). Ravaged by savage battles, they decided that their historical alienation needed a rethink. A secret meeting was arranged in a labyrinthine underground facility at an unknown location.

Monarchy took his place in an exaggerated throne specially designed for him. Anarchism was, unfortunately, seated next to him. This caused him immediate distress.

Democracy sneakily attempted to take credit for initiating the idea. That he had managed to bring thick foes to the coffee table was testimony to his modus operandi. Before airing his views on reconciliation, he pretended to request others to break wind by airing their…views. His eyes would be open but he couldn’t vouch for his hearing mechanisms, and most importantly, his mental faculties. Choosing prudence, he decided against sharing his true thoughts, preferring instead to reflect the view of the consensus.

Anarchism, in a signature display of personality, spilled his coffee on the table, ruining Monarchy’s fine linen apparel.

Communism remonstrated. Uncomfortably jittery at Democracy’s perceived first strike, he wondered what transpired to put him on a coffee table with folks he couldn’t see eye to eye with. He couldn’t entertain the possibility that Democracy was perhaps, as was his wont, overestimating reality. Making a mental note to suitably exterminate the Comrade responsible for this transgression, Communism launched into a splendid account of his many virtues.

The proletariat were the Chosen Ones. They were the all-pervading force that held a civilization together. No government, no ruler was the road to a good life. Anarchism beamed while Monarchy fumed at this reference.

Monarchy suggested that while Communism’s speech was eloquently pleasing, behind his goodwill façade, the cousins Feudalism and Fascism lurked stealthily. Communism interpreted this as a suggestion of hypocrisy and, unsurprisingly, Reddened. He quickly reminded Monarchy that nobody cared about his opinions anyway. Monarchy grumbled and held his chin high, even as no one paid homage.

Democracy, true to his character, had no opinion of his own. Opting to reflect the view of the consensus, he did or said little.

Anarchism broke his coffee mug.

Communism continued. He stood for everything ‘less’ and enlisted stateless, moneyless, faceless and classless as his most endearing accomplishments. Also clueless, soulless and perhaps senseless, thought Democracy. He, of course, didn’t share his true thoughts, choosing instead to express fake smiles of approval. Communism pretended to ignore him but developed Cold feelings nonetheless.

Unhappy with the level of orderliness, Anarchism broke one of his chair’s legs.

Meritocracy made a surprise appearance. Training his guns on Communism, Meritocracy said Communism was like a school teacher. When an exam was held and the kids graded, Communism abhorred the A’s and in a swipe of a pen, equalised everybody. The entire class was graded a C and lo! there was equality, a classless society. It didn’t take many exams for the entire class to be F-ed, quite literally. This is what Communism engendered.

Communism made another mental note to teach Meritocracy a lesson and wondered who had sneaked Meritocracy in. He suspected Capitalism but decided to maintain a poker-face.

In reality, nobody harboured affections for Meritocracy. It was left to Democracy to usher him out. He did so, citing popular will. Meritocracy scowled that Democracy was the spokesperson of the uninformed. At this point, Ignorance, Democracy’s trusted Man Friday, was pressed into service and he duly muscled Meritocracy out of the room, permanently.

Monarchy seemed clueless and sleepy, even though he was high on coffee.

Anarchism broke the table, demanding air time. Noticing that no one listened, he borrowed Monarchy’s sword, against the latter’s wishes, and slew him with an almighty swipe.

Pandemonium broke out at this juncture.

Democracy tried to control the rapidly agitating mob by insisting on a popular vote before killings could commence. Anarchy punched him in the face. Communism belched and conveyed that WMDs were installed around the facility, as a pre-emptive measure.

Democracy’s unused brains went numb. As the spokesperson of the uninformed and the will of the majority, he stayed rooted to his position, hoping that someone would force him into action. When none was forthcoming, he attempted story-telling, threatening Communism that nukes would be met with nukes, should push come to shove. Communism backed off at this threat but stayed Cold. Both stood geared for combat, but preferred manufactured menace to actual warfare.

Anarchism, meanwhile, radioed his trusted lieutenant, Arson. Sensing a great opportunity to leave an indelible mark on the meet, Arson flattened the room before proceeding to kick Democracy’s underbelly. As Democracy crumbled to the floor, Communism was overcome with laughter. Arson turned towards Communism and mistaking the guffaws for personal slander, torched him alive.

As Communism succumbed to the invitations of Death, Democracy was relieved.

The will of the majority had triumphed, or so Democracy thought. As he attempted standing up on his feet, Arson whacked his head with a sledgehammer.

Democracy went limp and his non-functioning brains forsook him, leaving him in a permanent state of uselessness.

Arson was a suicidal fellow, given to self-destruction. Delirium stoked suicidal tendencies and he eventually perished to self-immolation, but not before taking Anarchism with him.

None of the Political Systems survived.

23 thoughts on “When Political Systems Met For Coffee…

    1. Meritocracy, also a fan of prudent individual self-regulation, was the narrator. But then, he was thrown out of the meeting, wasn’t he? 😉

  1. From a numb brains to brains going numb. The realms of the figurative and the actual areintermingling here…Just loved it! Thanks for the entertainment.

  2. I admire how you managed to skewer through each political system and lay each of them bare for the layman reader. The literary devices used throughout made this a very interesting and informative read for me. Thank you!

    (You were particularly harsh on Democracy though, perhaps you guys had a coffee date to forget in the past? 😛 Don’t get me wrong, I personally am not too fond of that Democracy guy either, shuts me up too many times when I talk!)

    1. Appreciate you stopping by, enjoying and commenting. Thank you!

      I agree with you. 🙂

      Having lived in democracies all my life, I have been a happy receiver of its many benefits. But I think its virtues are sometimes overstated. No system is perfect but I confess to being a little iffy about some of my mate Democracy’s behaviour (equalising people, punishing the meritorious to subsidise the sluggish).

      Our relations continue to remain cordial, though. And, I hope, he wouldn’t mind some humour at his expense. 🙂

      1. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind one bit: let your voice (or jokes) be heard! I generally have the same experience as yours under the democracies I’ve lived in so far, though I haven’t really experienced much of the ‘equalization’ doctrine. To be honest, I’m a bit apprehensive in using the word ‘democracy’ since one of the countries I’ve lived in has so much going on behind the scenes that ‘democracy’ essentially becomes ‘the rule of the (some) people’. The other is the famous one-party democracy which I shouldn’t be elaborating on. 😛 Guess you’ve already pinpointed my location in your head! 😀

      2. I tend to see it this way.

        Country of over a billion + growing at close to 10% + inequality + 1-party democracy >
        Country of over a billion + growing at 6-7% + big inequality + rule of a historically influential few but masquerading as a democracy

        ‘>’ = preferable


    1. Space and reader attention spans constrained the length of this post. This subject shall be a recurring theme at various points in the coming time. There are too many interesting personalities that I could not introduce in this piece.

      Thanks for reading.

  3. i believe democracy is the best system if public controls the parliament in true sense. otherwise they all are same – depending on backbones of people residing in the country.

    political science, history were my subjects in graduation and reading these books gives a bit gray insight in human nature.

    1. As you allude to, no system can ever be perfect. I sometimes feel it is trouble by nomenclature. All of these systems exhibit overlaps with the others, so referring to X as X isn’t a straight-forward affair.

      I have a weakness for those very subjects too. I found myself nodding on the shades of Gray bit.

      1. exactly. all these systems are in reality swirling together, at the least chance they overlap the other or become the other.

        if you study political science, economics and history together, seriously you do become pretty wise about human nature esp the nature of politicians and monarchs.

  4. I wonder if one were to define inequality (spiritual/intellectual/material) would it then challenge your stance of self-regulation as the best system of governance given the reality of the world? I assume your definition merely incorporates material inequality.

    1. Even though I gravitate most towards self-regulation, I fully recognise that it can be easily abused. In the absence of corrective forces, if a powerful few gain ascendancy over the powerless many, the system can quickly crumble.

      No system is perfect, really. For instance, I quite warm to the idea of self-reining capitalism, as the least-of-all-evils alternative. You will quickly recognise that what I’m referring to is an oxymoron. There will be gainers and losers in any system. I suppose we joust most about how to create a system that supports a tolerable level of losers…and gainers. I’m at a loss, at the moment, to conjure up an optimal system.

      Given all of this, I lean towards prudent self-regulation in a self-reining capitalistic system as a platform for reasonably fair governance. But, we are probably juggling with a fiery combination here!

      One of the things about material inequality is that it lends itself to tangible quantification. You have $100, I have $1. Inequality.

      Inequality in the spiritual sphere may be a matter of subjectivity. It is impossible to ‘prove’ that your approach to spirituality is superior/inferior to mine (I’m assuming this is the spiritual inequality that you are alluding to, do correct me if I’m misinterpreting).

      Intellectual inequality probably lies somewhere between spiritual and material in the ‘tangible’ scale. Stephen Hawking is smarter than most of us. Tough to argue against it. But is that a bad thing? I doubt it. The brainy owe no apology to the sluggish for being endowed with superior cerebral powers. In the same breath, jockeying from the sluggish for a ‘level playing field’ is a prospect bordering on the amusing!

      I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts on this matter.

    1. Thank you, Subhan! Pleasure to see your comment.

      I’m not sure about your first suggestion (the ‘A’) but I vote for the second. 🙂

      1. Mate, I hopped over to your blog and the rest was worth the while. I look forward to reading someone who has a PhD in Linguistics (it is about as far as it can get from my profession!). I liked what I saw. I’m coming back for more.

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