a blindly devoted official, follower, or member of an organization (as a corporation or political party)

This word appears in an editorial by Paul Krugman in the New York Times: “The key point is that ever since the Reagan years, the Republican Party has been dominated by radicals — ideologues and/or apparatchiks who, at a fundamental level, do not accept anyone else’s right to govern.”

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2 Responses to apparatchik

  1. Alex MacLean says:

    While I acknowledge the wider (and growing) current usage, is this word not historically associated with the Soviet-era communist party? I think the etymology is useful, if not interesting. I’ll look it up, since you’ve piqued my interest.

    To me it connotes a sense of ideological commitment, and not just “loyalty” to, for instance, a corporation or a brand. But I could be wrong; it could be changing in its applicability. Thanks for the blog – it’s a pleasure to read!

    • Ellen says:

      I didn’t know anything about the Soviet-era association. That is interesting to know! I do think that the connotation of ideological commitment (good use of the word ideological-and thank you for showing me the correct spelling thereof) is within the denotation “blindly devoted”.

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