Down with Democracy! By Wortley Clutterbuck
Are not fools and stupid beings a majority in the world, and ought they not to have their
— Honoré de Balzac, Le Député d’Arcis.
There’s been some muttering I’ve heard
about a goverance preferred;
it seems the lower classes want
democracy, with all its cant.
The speeches make it sound real grand
in language stark to understand;
there’s promises of something free
that goes to them, taken from me.
Now, despotism, people demn —
at least until explained to them;
but there’s issues so delicate
you can’t trust an electorate.
The population’s prejudiced,
distracted, as well hedonist;
the great unwashed can’t understand
that government is better planned.
The average chuff’s illiterate —
he’d hurt himself with a ballot;
‘why bother with democracy
if you can’t vote yourself money?’
Consulting ikons and tea-leaves,
they’ll eeny-meeny between thieves;
since elements rob themselves blind,
why should it surprise in mankind?¹
The people who want parliament
are out to shift the ignorant;
the problem with democracy
is when the turn-out out-votes me.
The riff-raff and the menials
should leave it up to us nobles;
aristocrats, we’ll make the law
and peasants, you may thank us all.
Sure, populism’s pretty quaint
and everyone’s got some complaint;
it’s effortless to finger-point
but lots more work to run this joint.
I ask you how low can they stoop
to call the King a nincompoop?;
sure, sovereigns make a few boo-boos
but aren’t those famines now old news?
These knaves who want equality
deserve naught but the pillory;
muck-rakers’ heads should be on blocks —
democracy’s a scurvy pox.
The best technique, I would confide,
to win is join the winning side;
who needs those scrofulous cut-throats —
who counts are those who count the votes.
Who needs their tedious ‘fair play,’
they’d end up despots anyway;
it’s ‘liberty!’ ‘til they prevail
then they’ll oppress the curst canaille.
We’ll not have mobs or street dissent —
all power to the 1%;
who cares what the great unwashed likes —
it’s their or our heads up on pikes!
Democracy’s the latest thing —
It’s dernier cri to be left-wing;
but they’ll be sorry, soon enough,
when they elect some dumb-ass chuff.
1. “Since elements themselves do rob each other,
and Phoebe for her light doth rob her brother,
what ist in man, one man to rob another?”
—Richard Brome, The City Wit, act IV, sc. I.
Wortley Clutterbuck, esq., is the composer of Poèmes Déplorables and Bedtime Stories, each available gratis through soundcloud. Text publications include Quadrant (Australia), Reed (USA) and (upcoming) Stand (UK).