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edifice complex


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  • WORD edifice complex


    (1) The complex of emotions aroused in an egotistically juvenile politician or bureaucrat by an irrational -- possibly sexual -- desire to erect "monuments to his own magnificence" (Yeats*), at the expense of the citizen taxpayers whom he supposedly serves.
    * See Yeats' poem "Sailing to Byzantium", lightly paraphrased here. The original lines are:
             ' Nor is there singing school but studying
              Monuments of its own magnificence '
    (2) ' The tendency of politicians to have large buildings and stadiums built as a concrete reminder of their "Legacy". ' -- Jargon Database.com
    <<  http://www.jargondatabase.com/Category/Political/General-Politics-Jargon/Edifice-Complex  >>
    (3) Urban Dictionary definition of 'edifice complex':
    <<  www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Edifice Complex  >>
    (1) ' One other story caught my eye, about the new courthouse looming over downtown Durham at a cost of $119 million . . . Don’t even ask me about the new Department of Social Services palace. Perhaps a Greek analogy is more apt, for we seem to have an Edifice Complex in Durham right now.

    ' The responsibility of our elected officials job is to prudently raise and spend money for the benefit of the community, be it affordable housing, transit, school or other services and infrastructure. When politicians defend spending because citizens will forget about it, it’s because they have no valid rationale for the spending . . .

    ' We need to put an end to bread and circuses government, whether it’s printing $80 billion a month or fancy buildings for bureaucrats. '

    --- Theodore Hicks. "Politicians bring bread and circuses to Durham." Durham Herald-Sun, Oct. 31, 2013.
    << http://www.heraldsun.com/opinion/guestcolumnists/x2082477622/Politicians-bring-bread-and-circuses-to-Durham >>
    (2) Book title: The Edifice Complex: How the Rich and Powerful Shape the World.  Author: Deyan Sudjic, 2005.
    ETYMOLOGY: A punning on the psychiatric term Oedipus complex.

    November 15, 2013