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1. the rule or control of society by the wealthy
2. a state or government characterized by the rule of the wealthy
3. a class that exercises power by virtue of its wealth
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the rule of the wealthy and the dominance of money. Most often plutocracy denotes a state system in which political power belongs to the most well-to-do circles. Plutocracy may exist de facto and with high property qualifications established by law, or it may exist simply de facto and irrespective of declared democratic norms. Essentially, exploiting states are always plutocratic in nature, but the term is usually applied to states ruled openly by the highest and economically most influential strata of the most dominant class.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Above all, can Pakistan's 'democracy' survive side by side with 'oligarchy' and 'plutocracy' factors, at least for the time being, and eventually reinvent itself?
Backlash against plutocracy birthed Trump's presidency.
Western societies formed at the advent of industrialization experienced an evolution from Plutocracy to a form of Aristocracy of talent.
ranks far behind other high-income countries because America's plutocracy has for many years turned its back on social justice and environmental sustainability.
Zhou is a likable hero who, with his Mei friends and against all odds, is able to infiltrate the You plutocracy to discover just how powerful it is.
Moore also reiterated remarks made by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during  DeVos' confirmation hearing where he correlated her appointment to nepotism and plutocracy.
How then could he justify his vow to dismantle the country's plutocracy when he is dancing with the Marcoses?
The government of a Roman Emperor, a Czar, a Sultan, or a Napoleon, has been only a raid of a lot of hungry sycophants upon the subject mass; the aristocracy of Venice and other city states has been only a plutocratic oligarchy, using the state as a means to its own selfish ends; democracy has never yet been tried enough to know what it will do, but with Jacobinism, communism, and social democracy lying in wait for it on one side, and plutocracy on the other, its promise is not greater than that of the old forms.
In the same race it is hard to resist Plutocracy. His form in May over course and distance and Newmarket entitles him to be in the thick of things, while first-time blinkers could eke out a bit more.
Plutocracy in America: How Increasing Inequality Destroys the Middle Class and Exploits the Poor
As a result, some people see the United States as a plutocracy run by and for the very rich.
He dismissed both Theodore Roosevelt and, after initial hope, Woodrow Wilson as agents of plutocracy. Weathering charges of disloyalty during World War I, the Wisconsin senator argued for American neutrality, opposed preparedness, voted against entry into the war and against the draft, denounced the Versailles Treaty as a cynical division of spoils, and rejected the League of Nations.