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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



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.

References in periodicals archive ?
Hell bent in maintaining a cruel plutocracy destroying for ever, democracy.
At its very beginning America was founded on replacing plutocracy, demanding democracy and a republican system.
Another solution, one that involves neither populism nor plutocracy, would require enormous effort at the understanding of one's own longer-term self-interest.
Its plutocracy aims to continue controlling world oil supplies to control the world.
The question is whether new faces and a different balance of parties will lead to more stable and effective governance, or to a continuation of the current government's misrule -- what the Indian academic Pratap Bhanu Mehta has called "a plutocracy of the most insidious kind.
Lyles asserts that Obama was actually selected and auditioned by the American plutocracy before he could finance an expensive campaign for the nation's highest elective office.
A more accurate psychology says that people can know and act upon the reality of the urgent climate time frame--and the reality of the unconscionable plutocracy.
David Lanigan's Plutocracy is progressing with each race, and a 7lb rise for his latest Leicester win might not prevent him from adding to his tally in the Party Continues At Chapel Nightclub Handicap.
Kutskova is one of the authors of the "Charter for disbanding the plutocratic model of the Bulgarian state," a paper signed by over 60 prominent Bulgarian intellectuals, law experts, journalists, human rights activists, environmentalists and cultural workers calling for an end to plutocracy and the restoration of democracy and the rule of law.
dismantle betrayal as a social norm Plutocracy can never replace the
The rich don't always win; the forgotten triumph over plutocracy that created the American middle class, 1900-1970.
Romney is their perfect instrument, giving voice to the same tired talking points of plutocracy and untrammeled militarism.