Authority has always attracted the lowest elements in the human race. All through history mankind has been bullied by scum. Those who lord it over their fellows and toss commands in every direction and would boss the grass in the meadows about which way to bend in the wind are the most depraved kind of prostitutes. They will submit to any indignity, perform any vile act, do anything to achieve power. The worst off-sloughings of the planet are the ingredients of sovereignty. Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy, the whores are us.

P.J. O’Rourke, Parliament of Whores (1991).

The late P.J. O’Rourke got this a bit wrong, I think. In a democracy, every citizen becomes both whore and whoremonger, hooker and john. Politicians are the procurers whom we hire. Politics is the art of trying to negotiate terms in which one plays the part of the client to be served more often than clients’ servicer — and since, historically, the number of transactions tends to increase in which one or the other is going to happen, and since the brothel house procurers take a cut each transaction, it is quite evident who, at net and in the end, gets . . .

Well, you complete the sentence.