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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Though he himself does not represent plutocrats or kleptocrats, a sizable number of politicians occupying important positions in his party and government belong to these categories.
This is a lesson for all countries contemplating corporate tax breaks - even those without the misfortune of being led by a callow, craven plutocrat.
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.
But many such investigations into plutocrats' creative tax accounting were aborted because a great deal of sophisticated manpower is required to breach the walls hiding tax avoidance or evasion that are erected by the plutocrats' army of financial advisers, lawyers, and accountants.
West of the Brookings Institution, the book points out that plutocrats worldwide not only "own" candidates but "buy" political office--witness Bidzina Ivanishvili in Georgia, Serge Dassault in France or, most famously, Silvio Berlusconi in Italy.
Here, political parties, almost from one to all, have been reduced into family fiefdoms by a few plutocrats. And it is the family that dominates and domineer the whole party apparatus.
The plutocrats are in revolt, plotting to overthrow the government, start another war, reopen the factories and restore their wealth and employment for the masses.
It amazes me what lengths these plutocrats will go to squeeze the working man and woman.
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.
In fact, as Thai Jones recounts in More Powerful Than Dynamite: Radicals, Plutocrats, Progressives, and New York's Year of Anarchy (Walker), many journalists found him hard to take.
And because money talks, this softness - call it the pathos of the plutocrats - has become a major factor in America's political life.
The plutocrats are so vital to us - we couldn't possibly do without them.