There is a constitutional revolution underway. It has long been in the
making, but its full logic is unfolding now.
The new type of regime it will beget defies classification. It cannot
be captured by the categories bequeathed by those
who understand different regime types: Plato or
Polybius, Aristotle or Kautilya, Montesquieu or
This new regime is not a monarchy, aristocracy, republic, or democracy.
It has a distinct identity, values, and
Behold, all, the rise of quotocracy! Experience the bliss that is this
The principles behind quotocracy need to be carefully understood. It
arises out of a democracy and often gets confused
But, make no mistake. Quotocracy is distinct.
A democracy values choice. Voters are free to elect whoever they wish.
In a quotocracy, voters, in turn, are obliged to
vote for someone with particular ascriptive
In a democracy, general will is possible. In principle, people can
reason in terms that take all relevant reasons into
consideration and are good for all.
In a quotocracy, by definition, there are only particular reasons and
interests: men for men, women for women, caste for
caste. General will is a conceptual impossibility.
Each regime has a principle that sustains its best form, Montesquieu
said. In despotism it is fear, in aristocracy it is
honour, and in republics it is virtue.
Quotocracy has its own principle: victimhood. No quotocracy can be
sustained without it.
The currency of new claims is the narrative of hurt. The axis of
competition is also victimhood. Those who do not get
that status are left most aggrieved. The
identification of each new victim group escalates
the race for identifying the next.
Democracies occasionally make exceptions to redress gross injustice. In
a quotocracy, the exception is the norm.
Men want quotas for themselves but not for women. Women want for
themselves, but not for men.
Some say, “Why do women need quotas? Why do parties not give tickets?”
But, in a quotocracy this question is not legitimate.
However, those who deny the legitimacy of this question use this same
argument when the demand for sub-quotas is made.
“Why not give men tickets under the quota?”
But, do not confuse this with hypocrisy. Hypocrisy can exist only in a
democracy, when ideals do not match reality. In a
quotocracy, exception is the norm.
Democracies have ideological contentions between left and right,
liberty and equality, and secular and religious.
Quotocracy has consensus: all divisions between
left, right, and centre are dissolved by quota.
Those who oppose quotas are accused of treason. In a way, there is
justice to this charge. After all, in quotocracy,
opposing quota is like subverting a regime.
Quotocracy creates a new distinction between public and private.
Privately, one may oppose quota, but she politically
acts on that belief at her own peril.
Quotocracy has its own conception of justice. It is not equality,
capability, fitness, or fairness. It is simple
arithmetic: 33 here, 22 there, 50 for the rest.
Since arithmetic can be complicated, there is no point in doing
fractions and subdivisions. A simple quota is just
what justice is.
In a democracy, where one comes from should matter less than where one
is going. It seeks to make de jure rights and
privileges less and less dependent upon identity.
A quotocracy is the reverse. It makes de jure rights dependent upon
identity. A democracy prizes individuality (not to
be confused with its evil cousin, individualism).
Quotocracy prizes group think. An individual is his
Democracy values self-identification. One should be whatever she
wishes, chooses, or names himself.
Quotocracy is premised upon ascription. She is what the state
certificate says she is. He can be this and no
Democracy is suspicious, giving the state power to construct
identities. Quotocracy creates new identities by
using state power to create incentives.
A quotocracy has a new separation of powers. Some get reservations in
jobs and education but do not deserve them in
politics, or they get reservations in politics but
not in jobs.
In a quotocracy, legislation and administration are also confused.
Administrative organs are equated with supreme
lawmaking bodies, forgetting that they have
Quotocracy also has its own logic of mystification. In a democracy, the
myth of formal equality can disguise substantive
inequality, De Tocqueville said. In a quotocracy,
the fact that select individuals from some
communities are empowered is considered as
empowering the community.
This mystification is justified as compensation for democracy’s
mystification. Since, in a democracy, there is a gap
between formal and substantive equality, in a
quotocracy elites can be empowered within
communities with impunity and it is called
empowerment for all.
Democracy strives for deliberation. For quotocracy, getting numbers
right is paramount.
Democracy is bound by constitutionalism. It is hemmed in by a diversity
of values. Quotocracy makes constitutionalism
subordinate to itself.
What if some states exceed 50pc, and the courts, for fear, are unable
to pronounce a verdict? Quotocracy redefines the
scale of values. Excellence is a ruse for
domination; self-reliance is a tactic for injustice.
Democracy thrives on historical traditions associated with its
founding. A quotocracy thrives on historical
The British used two tactics: divide and rule, and people in their
colonies were infants because they could not think
outside of caste and community, they said. They were
incapable of self-government.
Quotocracy likes dividing and ruling, as well. People are incapable of
self-government it also thinks. Identities need to
The founding fathers worked hard to combat ascriptive identities. They
rejected two-nation theories, separate electorates,
narcissism of partial groups, communal
representation, and caste censuses. The logic of
quotocracy is to bring them back.
Democracy seeks to unite despite differences. Quotocracy seeks to
divide despite commonalities.
But, democracy and quotocracy have this in common. They are never
complete. They are always a work in progress.
Democracy has to continually dissolve hierarchy. Quotocracy has to
continually create new quotas.
In a democracy, all animals are equal, but some are more equal than
others. In a quotocracy, some deprived groups will
get their deprivations recognised more than others.
Quotocracy is truly revolutionary. Make no mistake about it. It is
deeper than most revolutions because it needs a new
moral vocabulary. It needs a new political science
to understand it. Prepare for the Age of Quotocracy.