Abolish Politicians — Why We Should Just Put Random People In Office

How could it be worse?

7 min readDec 29, 2020


Why do we have politicians? Please just think about this for a minute. Couldn’t you just select random people off the street and have them do a better job, or at least a less professional job of looting? This is in fact how democracy was supposed to be. Ask Aristotle:

It is accepted as democratic when public offices are allocated by lot; and as oligarchic when they are filled by election.

Athenian citizens — all being equals — literally drew lots for most positions. Athens didn’t have a semi-permanent political class because that would inevitably become a ruling class, AKA an oligarchy. Which is what we have today. We just vote on which branch of the oligarchy screws us, and call it a democracy. Aristotle would laugh. They didn’t have the same value judgements attached to systems of governance as we did, but based on what we claim to value, we’ve fucked it all up.

We’ve just ended up with minority rule like the enslaving Greeks, except we’re hypocritical about it. They at least said that only rich men could be citizens, but once in you were equal. We say that almost anyone can be a citizen, but still end up ruled by rich men. We’ve improved the spirit of democracy but fucked the process all up.

We shouldn’t be electing most positions at all. We should put our own names in the ballot box, and represent ourselves. We like to think that we practice self-rule, but we do not. Why then is a political class ruling and not ordinary citizens? What we call modern democracy is really the practice of self-deception.


The ancient Greeks, of course, were classist, patriarchal bastards, but at least they didn’t deceive themselves. Very few people (male, not enslaved) could be citizens, but once you were a citizen you were in. You had every right to power. You didn’t have to make a career of it, you didn’t have to put up statues of yourself to win votes, you just put your name in and you had the same chances as any other citizen to govern.

As Aristotle said,

Democracy arose from the idea that those who are equal in any respect are equal absolutely. The next is when…




Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at www.indi.ca, or just email me at indi@indi.ca.