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Kim Il-sung (1912–1994), the supreme leader of North Korea from its establishment in 1948 until his death. He was subsequently declared the country’s “Eternal Leader”.

From necro- (dead) +‎ -cracy (power, rule).



necrocracy (plural necrocracies)

  1. A government that still operates under the rules of a dead former leader.
    • 1928, William Bennett Munro, The Invisible Government: The Jacob H. Schiff Foundation Lectures Delivered at Cornell University, 1926, New York, N.Y.: Macmillan Co., OCLC 989056, page 2:
      What we call democracy, therefore, is to a considerable extent necrocracy, or a form of government by the graveyards. Old precepts and phrases are handed down from one generation to another; they become part of a nation's heritage []
    • 1992, E[ric] L[ionel] Mascall, “Extra-Curricular Activities (1937–1962)”, in Saraband: The Memoirs of E. L. Mascall, Leominster, Herefordshire: Gracewing, Fowler Wright Books, →ISBN, page 190:
      Other activities became increasingly pressing, the Fellowship was flourishing and had plenty of younger members ready and able to take over from their elders; and I have seen too many cases of vigorous organisations gradually turning into gerontocracies and finally into necrocracies to wish ever to hold on to power myself.
    • 1996, Sterling Harwood, Judicial Activism: A Restrained Defense, San Francisco, Calif.: Austin & Winfield, →ISBN, page 21:
      Further, even if one hundred per cent of the governed in 1789 fully supported the Constitution, the constitutional rule by the dead—one might call it necrocracy—is not democracy. Democracy requires self-government, which cannot be the dead ruling the living. Though legislators now dead passed many statutes now in force, a mere majority in the current Congress can repeal statutes but cannot amend the Constitution.
    • 2001 January, Christopher Hitchens, “Visit to a small planet”, in Vanity Fair[1], archived from the original on 4 July 2011:
      Kim Jong Il, incidentally, has been made head of the party and of the army, but the office of the presidency is still "eternally" held by his adored and departed dad, who died on July 8, 1994, at 82. (The Kim is dead. Long live the Kim.) This makes North Korea the only state in the world with a dead president. What would be the right term for this? A necrocracy? A thanatocracy? A mortocracy? A mausolocracy?
    • 2005, Robert Fisk, The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East, London: Fourth Estate, →ISBN:
      Iran might still become a democracy, but it would also be a necrocracy: government of, by and for the dead.
  2. (fantasy, science fiction) A government ruled by the undead.