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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 ?
Critique: In a time of increasing polarization and the 'echo chamber' effect of being able to select news sources that reinforce a particular perspective on the social and governmental issues of the day, in an era where propaganda has become indistinguishable from unbiased information, "The Ideas Industry: How Pessimists, Partisans, and Plutocrats are Transforming the Marketplace of Ideas" is a critically important addition to both community and academic library Political Science and Contemporary Social Issues collections and supplemental studies lists.
If the top income earners don't pay their fair share of our taxes, the middle-income folks, who have been convinced that cutting taxes is a good thing, will have to fill the void left by the plutocrats.
Not only are the plutocrats dilly-dallying on reviving the local governments, they are even chasing out rising stars.
No matter: Even this hint that sometimes the rich aren't completely praiseworthy has been enough to drive plutocrats wild.
But that is inclusive and doesn't fit in with the insatiable greed of the plutocrats.
Five years later, his book, just out, titled More Powerful Than Dynamite: Radicals, Plutocrats, Progressives, and New York's Year of Anarchy, is proving to be timely.
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.
This country is overpopulated but all its problems could be solved if the plutocrats made the interests, welfare and wellbeing of the indigenous population their paramount concern.
His gentle humor about the plutocrats who hated Roosevelt and about our need to help our neighbors who were down and out was much more influential than historians credit with persuading the average man to embrace the New Deal.
All that money has to go somewhere and luxury items are what the plutocrats buy.