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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 ?
They now spend so much time among the country's plutocrats, sowing friendship wherever the funds are, that their bearings and their yardsticks surely change, as must their sense of their station.
India's nexus of wealthy plutocrats, corporations, and criminal politicians, enables a tiny minority to control the Indian economy.
Here, political parties, almost from one to all, have been reduced into family fiefdoms by a few plutocrats.
Sadly, as a nation, we have been placing our bets on the capitalists and plutocrats.
Labor journalist Pizzigati reviews the history of the 20th century in order to remind us that such sentiments might have seemed equally valid at the start of the that century, but that a broad group of activists, union organizers, political coalitions, and others fought a long-running battle to curtail the privileges of the plutocrats and to create the conditions for an unprecedented expansion of the middle class.
On Tuesday night, the plutocrats lost their shirts.
The plutocrats are so vital to us - we couldn't possibly do without them.
Thai Jones - The author will read from, discuss and sign copies of his new book "More Powerful than Dynamite: Radicals, Plutocrats, Progressives, and New York's Year of Anarchy" at 7 p.
Meanwhile, the global vultures are gathering - the oligarchs and plutocrats, foreign governments like China - to pick at what is left of our public services after the government has wielded the axe.
But in an interview that with the website Truthdig, West attacked the president for not being true to his race and dismissed him as a black puppet of corporate plutocrats.
On Monday West described Obama as "a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and now a black puppet of corporate plutocrats.
Those plutocrats are worth at least a combined US$420 billion, representing almost half of the collective net worth of all the ultra high net worth individuals in Brazil.