Gustave de Molinari argues that political parties are like “actual armies” who are trained to seize power and reward their supporters with jobs and special privileges (1904)
Found in: The Society of Tomorrow
The French economist Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912) compared political parties to "armies" whose sole aim is to win office, distribute spoils and jobs, all at the expence of taxpayers
Parties & Elections
These associations, or political parties, are actual armies which have been trained to pursue power; their immediate objective is to so increase the number of their adherents as to control an electoral majority. Influential electors are for this purpose promised such or such share in the profits which will follow success, but such promises—generally place or privilege—are redeemable only by a multiplication of "places," which involves a corresponding increase of national enterprises, whether of war or of peace. It is nothing to a politician that the result is increased charges and heavier drains on the vital energy of the people. The unceasing competition under which they labour, first in their efforts to secure office, and next to maintain their position, compels them to make party interest their sole care, and they are in no position to consider whether this personal and immediate interest is in harmony with the general and permanent good of the nation.