Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The history of the Machine, Puck Cartoon
Puck, one of the greatest political cartoonist of all time sums up Boss Croker in tNew York, credited by some as the origin of the concept of machine politics -
from Wikipedia - we have the current debate on "the Machine" and its meaning
A political machine (or simply machine) is a disciplined political organization in which an authoritative boss or small group commands the support of a corps of supporters (usually campaign workers), who receive rewards for their efforts. Although these elements are common to most political parties and organizations, they are essential to political machines, which rely on hierarchy and rewards for political power. Machines sometimes have a political boss, often rely on patronage, the spoils system, "behind-the-scenes" control, and longstanding political ties within the structure of a representative democracy. Machines typically are organized on a permanent basis instead of for a single election or event. The term may have a pejorative sense referring to corrupt political machines.
Although the term "political machine" dates back to the 19th century in the United States, where such organizations have existed in some municipalities and states since the 18th century, similar machines have been described in Latin America, where the system has been called (under the name clientelism or political clientelism), especially in rural areas, and also in some African states and other emerging democracies, like postcommunist Eastern European countries. Japan's Liberal Democratic Party is often cited as another political machine, maintaining power in suburban and rural areas through its control of farm bureaus and road construction agencies. In Japan, the word jiban (literally "base" or "foundation") is the word used for political machine, In the ancient Roman Republic, a similar patronage system existed.