That popular suffrage does not now really govern this country, that it is notoriously a marketable commodity, that the United States have really ceased already to be what they pretend, a federation of republican States, no clear sighted man doubts. Under a thin veil of radical democracy, the government has already become an oligarchy. Are not State conventions traded off by the magnets as openly as blocks of railroad bonds? Are not legislatures bought as really and almost as openly as cargoes of corn? Are not “corners” made in politics by which the weaker capitalists are sold out, as really as in the pork market? It is Washington or Wall Street which really dictates what platforms shall be set forth, and what candidates elected and what appointments made, not the people of the States.
Obviously the government now ascendant in the country while “Republican” in name and ultra-democratic in theory, is an oligarchy in fact….
…But we do not forget that other people have had other forms of government, aristocratic or regal, and under them have had their share of domestic virtues, of patriotism, of civilization, of Christianity. (But under the illicit and dirty oligarchy of which our present regime is a virtual specimen, no people has ever had or can have anything but corruption, ignominy, and vice)
Our best prayer for you is, that out of the present foul transition, a good providence may cause some new order to arise tolerable for honest men.
Dabney’s Discussions Volumn IV, The New South 1897 pages 13,14, & 16