Monday, February 13, 2012

Today's Word: pantisocracy

pantisocracy: Government by the pantsless.

But seriously, you probably recognize the -ocracy from words like plutocracy (government by the wealthy), theocracy (rule by a religious authority), and my favorite kakistocracy (government by the worst possible people). So -ocracy indicates a form of government.

Participants of No Pants Subway ride at Times ...
A government of the pantsless, by the pantsless,
and for the pantsless.
Image via Wikipedia
If you add iso- — meaning "equal," like in isopod, isothermal, and isotope — to create isocracy, you've named a system of government in which power is distributed equally among all.

Then you put some pants on it. That is, you add the combining form pan-/pant-/panto-, meaning "all" (pandemic, pantheon, pansexual), and you have pantisocracy, a utopian form of government in which power is distributed evenly among all citizens.

In real terms, utopian ultimately means "impossible pipe dream." I would expect to see a pantslessocracy first.
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