Many years ago, when I was in what was called Junior High School, that is the years and grades between leaving Primary at 6th Grade and entering High School at 10th Grade.
I was in what can only be called an anomalous class.
During the days of my education Streaming was practiced. There was Bright Class, there was Second Bright, there was Average and there was Dunce.
These are not the official names, nor is there only once class in a designation. It was simply that based on your intelligence, your achievement you were placed in a specific class.
I will not go into the long story of what caused the creation of 9-7, suffice it to say that was a class made up of misfits. Kids who caused problems, whether behavioral, spotty attendance, whatever it was, they were problems to the teachers.
Some of the kids had stellar I.Q.s, scoring 140 without busting a sweat. Some of the others could just about add 2 + 2.
Some of the kids had been left back twice. Some were on parole from Juvenile Institutions. Some were jokers. Some didn’t take school seriously.
At the first day,when the kids looked around and saw where they were, it was, for the brighter kids a kind of shock and awe. How could they be in such a class?
After the tears, the embarrassment, everyone seemed to realise the class was more joke than education. Because the teachers were afraid of us, as we were a kind of ‘freak class’ we took full advantage.
It didn’t take us long to start to ‘play’ the system.
The problem with bright kids, (I’m not just talking about A students, I’m talking about kids who have over a 130 I.Q. and border genius), is that they can think circles around average people, and quickly ‘get’ any of the ‘tricks’ and how to play them.
If a bright kids is challenged by school work they can plunge in and do the work and get the ‘A’s and go very far in the narrow bands of society. If bright kids are not challenged, (in the years before they would be chemically induced into zombies) they tend to become ‘trouble makers’.
We became trouble makers.
Every year there were elections for Class President and other officers, and then for the Student Government which was school wide.
We knew elections were a crock. We knew that the person elected had no power and was just used to spew the policies of the school and waste time.
We ignored all this until the Vice Principal burst into our classroom to berate us for our lack of school spirit and patriotism and whatever other words he wanted to toss.
Glenn, the class clown, stood and said, “You are so wrong Sir! We have already elected our officers! We elected Stoner as our President!”
Stoner was not his real name. Stoner was a drug dealer who had been left back, deliberately, because he was making a lot of money selling drugs at the school. He was usually high.
When the Vice Principal hear the name, saw Stoner, he fell pale. He stood staring at Stoner who gave him one of those ironic smiles. The V.P. ran out of the classroom as if his pants were on fire.
We, fourteen years old, (for the most part) had already learned that elections were crock, that it wasn’t the best and brightest who was elected, it was the guy or gal who played the voters. So appointing Stoner, claiming he had been elected was the kind of brilliant slap in the face of the system that few people have ever comprehended.
It was at that moment we had our Epiphany of what elections are and would always be.
Those who were Christian, and those who read history, knew about the ‘election’ when Pontus Pilate put two candidates before the people. One is the man the world knows as Jesus, the other is a guy called Barabbas.
The rabble ‘elected’ Barabbas.
No matter how you read that portion of Scripture, there is no way to not see that the ‘people’ called for Barabbas. That the ‘majority’ called for Barabbas.
Stoner was ‘elected’ and Stoner went on to cause Student Government to be collapsed for that year, due to his demands, behaviour, etc.
When I left for High School, the major lesson I took with me was that people will vote for the least qualified. That people will vote against their interests.
Sure, there wasn’t voting for Stoner, Glenn just called his name as a joke. I knew it, others knew it, but those who would have objected, were silent. No one contradicted Glenn.
Stoner went on to do a lot of embarrassing and insulting things which caused the entire concept of Student Government to collapse for that year.
It was not the last time I had seen this kind of ‘worst person on top’. The term Kakistocracy refers to the rule by the very worst people.
When you see the election of Donald Trump, or the vote to turn Turkey into a dictatorship, there can be no real shock. People almost always vote against their interest. This is why, when it is important, there is no democracy.
The Owner of the business will hold most of the shares, so can overrule the decisions of the Board. The General will make his orders without asking opinions. The Parents don’t let the kids vote on whether they want broccoli or ice cream.
Voting has always been ‘Give Us Barabbas’.