oligarchy


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Related to oligarchy: autocracy

oligarchy

(ŏl`əgärkē) [Gr.,=rule by the few], rule by a few members of a community or group. When referring to governments, the classical definition of oligarchy, as given for example by Aristotle, is of government by a few, usually the rich, for their own advantage. It is compared with both aristocracyaristocracy
[Gr.,=rule by the best], in political science, government by a social elite. In the West the political concept of aristocracy derives from Plato's formulation in the Republic. The criteria on which aristocracy is based may vary greatly from society to society.
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, which is defined as government by a few chosen for their virtue and ruling for the general good, and various forms of democracydemocracy
[Gr.,=rule of the people], term originating in ancient Greece to designate a government where the people share in directing the activities of the state, as distinct from governments controlled by a single class, select group, or autocrat.
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, or rule by the people. In practice, however, almost all governments, whatever their form, are run by a small minority of members. From this perspective, the major distinction between oligarchy and democracy is that in the latter, the elites compete with each other, gaining power by winning public support. The extent and type of barriers impeding those who attempt to join this ruling group is also significant.

oligarchy

see IRON LAW OF OLIGARCHY.

Oligarchy

 

a form of government in which state power belongs to a small group of people, as a rule, the most powerful economically (hence the term “financial oligarchy”). The ruling group itself is also called an oligarchy.

The term “oligarchy” first appeared in the works of a number of ancient Greek authors, including Aristotle’s Politics (book IV) and The Constitution of Athens and Polybius’ The Histories (book VI). In these works it designated a form of state structure that arises as a result of the degeneration of the aristocracy.

oligarchy

1. government by a small group of people
2. a state or organization so governed
3. a small body of individuals ruling such a state
4. Chiefly US a small clique of private citizens who exert a strong influence on government
References in periodicals archive ?
We've become now an oligarchy instead of a democracy, and I think that's been the worst damage to the basic moral and ethical standards to the American political system that I've ever seen in my life.
The academics call the resulting system "economic elite domination," a polite way of describing oligarchy.
WM: For our American readers who don't know the specifics of the Greek system, can you explain how the oligarchy works?
William Domhoff, in his book describes the political process of the US as one held captive by a small percentile of the population, whose position and wealth allow them control of the ordinary citizen's political and economic state, a classic Oligarchy Domhoff first published his revisionist thesis in 1967 and added new editions in '83, '98, '02 and '06.
In the second legend, Branko had addressed his oligarchy for a wise piece of advice, and the answer was--nobody but Branko Azeski.
Exactly one year after the coup, the FNRP issued a lengthy political manifesto stating, among other things, that "when the Honduran oligarchy staged the coup d'etat.
How regrettable it is that since then, successive British governments have, slowly and deliberately, handed over the government of this country to an unelected oligarchy based in Brussels, at the head of the so-called European Union.
In his book, '13 Bankers, The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown,' Johnson describes Wall Street as an oligarchy holding the country hostage to its risk-taking measures.
The US oligarchy and its Nato allies are waging a veritable war on the world: killing, disappearing and incarcerating millions of civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan - a war that is expanding into Yemen, Somalia and the rest of the Horn of Africa, with the militarisation of sea lanes and oceans (see Chossudovsky, Globalresearch.
The ruling oligarchy in Turkey used anti-Armenian sentiment to assert its power and enrich itself.
An oligarchy is defined as a "government where power is held by a small dominant class.
Maciel set up a Mexican oligarchy to run the Legion.