In tribal societies chiefs and other "big men" would hold feasts, give gifts and destroy material possessions. The more lavish the expense, the richer and more powerful the chief was implied to be and the stronger his claim to power. It strikes me that political campaigns, especially in a democracy, are not so different. What is the point of fundraising? One would think that in an age when ideas can be easily disseminated at low cost and assuming the ideal of a citizen making his political choice based on an affinity with a candidate's policy, no such efforts would need to be undertaken.