According to Lizzie Skurnick, the word's inventor, an oughtocrat is:
"A person who tells people what he or she thinks they should do."
That word hit me right between the brain lobes. Yes! thought I, what a great word!
Who among us doesn't know an oughtocrat or two?
But the question, I guess, is this: is oughtocracy a good thing or a bad thing?
I think it can cut both ways or be a mixed bag.
The main problem with your standard issue oughtocrat is that they have a propensity to dish out advice on issues of which they know nada.
Like when you're trying to deal with a situation, one that you may have been dealing with and working on for some time and have given a lot of thought to, maybe done research on or sought professional help for, but your situation is not yet resolved. Then along comes an oughtocrat and, hearing of your situation, a situation he or she has never had to deal with themselves, maybe never even heard of before, but in any case, has never given a minute's thought to, jumps right on in and starts giving advice, often even lecturing you on what you ought to be doing. That's oughtocracy at its annoying worst.
Your true oughtocrat knows little of the art of supportive listening.
But...On the other hand, some oughtocrats, annoying as they are when they're shelling out the advice, can be good resource people when you actually want some advice, as they may be well-springs of information. And when asked, oughtocrats are usually willing to share whatever they know and will do so with your best interests at heart. Some oughtoctrats are even very helpful human beings as well as advice-givers. If you could just get them to keep their help and advice to themselves until you ask for it. Which you'll never get them to do. They're just too convinced that they know it all. Or at least more than you do.
I should know. I'm afraid I've been guilty of practicing oughtocracy myself in times gone by.
But I try hard not to anymore, though I suppose I do slip off the "Keep thy mouth shut" wagon from time to time. Keeping your mouth shut is hard to do, particularly when you're a parent. I think all parents, especially mothers, are guilty of oughtocracy from time to time. We shell out when we'd do better by our kids to just listen. We'd do better by everybody to just listen.
But worse than the oughtocrat is the I'dofcrat. "I'dofcrat" is the word I made up to describe this particular corollary of the oughtocrat.
An I'dofcrat is someone who tells you what they'd have done had they been in your situation.
Unlike the oughtocrat, who sometimes has socially redeeming value, the I'dofcrat just wants to let you know (or make you think) that, in the same situation, they could have done better than you, hence are better than you. As in, "Boy, if my kid pulled something like that I'd of never let him get away with it."
Thus they are letting you know that they are a better parent than you.
I'dofcrats are generally full of hoggy.
That being said, I also may be guilty of having practiced I'dofocracy. But these days I'm likewise trying not to be an I'dofcrat even more than I'm trying not to be an oughtocrat.
Lord, help me to keep it zipped.