In Celebration of Towel Day

A nod to Dodd for the reminder.

A favorite quote:

“The major problem – one of the major problems, for there are several – one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarize: it is a well known fact, that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.” — The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (radio version)

I mean, really, when it comes right down to it, is there a more useful phrase to explain politics than “To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem”?

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Dodd says:

    Though I can’t say I recall that section of the Guide, that pretty well sums up my entire attitude about politics, with one corollary: That all being the case, elections are really about selecting the set of atavistic narcissists who will do fewer things that infuriate you and more things that don’t.

  2. It’s from the last episode of the second of the radio series when our intrepid heroes find the Old Man in the Shack. I think a version of it can be found in the book, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe