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Unequal Friendship

The Patron-Client Relationship in Historical Perspective


Antoni Mączak

This book analyzes the patron-client relationship over both space and time. It covers such areas of the globe as Europe, Africa and Latin America, and such periods in time as ancient Rome, seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Poland, as well as twentieth-century America. It also analyzes clientelism in U.S. policy toward the Vietnam War and in Richard J. Daley’s mayoral rule over Chicago. In his comparative approach the author makes broad use of theories from such fields as history, sociology, anthropology and linguistics while considering the global scale of the patron-client relationship and the immense role that clientelism has played in world history.

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Chapter 8: The Clientele and Political Parties


“When they ask me to vote,” an old farmer said, “I ask who for, and when they tell me who for, I vote. And if they don’t ask me to vote I stay home and mind my own business.”667

Once he spoke of his clan chiefs when they would go with us to war, now they go with us to vote.668

What do we have between us to quarrel about? Better that you take, and I take, and we agree we each other.669

Tutti vogliono un posto di lavoro su basi clientelari.670

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