The Inner Nature of the Ruling Parties

  • Werner Sombart


For the educated person from central Europe American parties are a riddle from the start. Even their names! I remember how hard I found it at the time when I first became interested in politics to make up my mind in favour of one of the two major American parties. I did not know anything about them other than their names. I liked both names equally well and therefore found the choice dreadfully difficult. While in every other country I found at least one party whose name was acceptable — the estrema sinistra, the radicaux or the extrême gauche, the Fortschrittspartei or even the Freisinnige Volkspartei46 — I stood between the names of the American parties like Buridan’s Ass47 between the two bundles of hay. I found ‘Democratic’ just as good as ‘Republican’, and I could not for the life of me discover which of the parties was the more ‘radical’ (it being a foregone conclusion that my sympathies would go to this one). I found that ‘Democrats’ could just as well be to the ‘left’ of ‘Republicans’ as ‘Republicans’ could be to the left of ‘Democrats’.


Political Position Democratic Party Republican Party Major Party Ruling Party 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Werner Sombart

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