what is an oligarchy

Such states are often controlled by families who pass their influence from one generation to the next, but inheritance is not a necessary condition of oligarchy. Besides these two, we have meritocracy “a system in which the talented are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement,” monarchy “a form of government in which a country is ruled by a king or queen,” ochlocracy “government by the mob," and gerontocracy “rule by elders,” among many others. These people are usually more powerful and wealthy than the rest of the population. Typically, the rulers come from a small privileged group and use their power to seek personal gain or benefits for their group. Disclaimer. See the full definition for oligarchy in the English Language Learners Dictionary, Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for oligarchy, Nglish: Translation of oligarchy for Spanish Speakers, Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oligarchy. Delivered to your inbox! Like aristocracy, oligarchy meant rule by the few, as contrasted with democracy, which is rule by the people. It may surprise you how contemporary this system actually is. The political term, oligarchy, comes to English from the Greek with its meaning intact — a form of government run by a small number of people such as wealthy landowners, royalty or powerful military figures. The difference between an oligarchy and a democracy is who holds the power. The main difference between oligarchy and plutocracy is that oligarchy is the rule by a privileged minority whereas plutocracy is the rule by a wealthy minority.Hence, plutocracy is a form of oligarchy, but plutocracy distinguishes the particular ruling minority by their great income or wealth. I want to arm them against the lawyer, the doctor, the priest, the literary man, the professor, the artist, and the politician, who, once in authority, are the most dangerous, disastrous and tyrannical of all the fools, rascals, and impostors. The word oligarchy has originated from Greek language(s). Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible). What made you want to look up oligarchy? Oligarch definition, one of the rulers in an oligarchy. The iron law of oligarchy is a political theory first developed by the German sociologist Robert Michels in his 1911 book, Political Parties. [16] Jeffrey A. Winters wrote that "oligarchy and democracy operate within a single system, and American politics is a daily display of their interplay. The study analyzed nearly 1,800 policies enacted by the US government between 1981 and 2002 and compared them to the expressed preferences of the American public as opposed to wealthy Americans and large special interest groups. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Or where the term comes from? An oligarchy is a power structure that allows a few businesses, families, or individuals to rule a country. It possesses sufficient political power to promote its own interests. Find more ways to say oligarchy, along with related words, antonyms and example phrases at Thesaurus.com, the world's most trusted free thesaurus. Oligarchy is one of numerous English words for a type of rule or government. [18] In 2011, according to PolitiFact and others, the top 400 wealthiest Americans "have more wealth than half of all Americans combined. The word "oligarchy" from the Greek words olígos, which means "few," and archo, which means "to rule". In an oligarchy, a small elite group holds the majority of the power. noun oligarchies. Such states are often controlled by families who pass their influence from one generation to the next, but inheritance is not a necessary condition of oligarchy. Academic oligarchy and the market are also influential – although the ways in which the three forces interact vary according to contexts. Oligarchy summary is an overview about its definition, advantages, disadvantages, origin, etc. close. Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens. I want a democratic power strong enough to force the intellectual oligarchy to use its genius for the general good or else perish.” [11]. What is Oligarchy. Their power flows through their relationships with each other. Oligarchy, government by the few, especially despotic power exercised by a small and privileged group for corrupt or selfish purposes. [6] They even used lots for posts, such as judges and jurors in the political courts (nomothetai), which had the power to overrule the Assembly. [35] Wall Street spent a record $2 billion trying to influence the 2016 United States presidential election. Share. Sanders said his former opponent would nominate justices prepared to overturn Citizens United. Overall there are 35 oligarchic groups. It comes from the Greek … Recent Gains of Bottom 90 Percent Wiped Out", "The Families Funding the 2016 Presidential Election", "From Fracking to Finance, a Torrent of Campaign Cash – Top Donors List", "Why the 'donor class' matters, especially in the GOP presidential scrum", "Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens", "Major Study Finds The US Is An Oligarchy", "The new study about oligarchy that's blowing up the Internet, explained", "Testing Inferences about American Politics: A Review of the "Oligarchy" Result", "Reconsidering the Middle: A Reply to Martin Gilens", "Jimmy Carter: U.S. Is an 'Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery, "Wall Street spends record $2bn on US election lobbying", "Wall Street Spent $2 Billion Trying to Influence the 2016 Election", Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Largest financial services companies by revenue, Largest manufacturing companies by revenue, Largest information technology companies by revenue, Public corporations by market capitalization, The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, Socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Oligarchy&oldid=1000004182, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from July 2014, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Gilens and Page do not characterize the US as an "oligarchy" per se; however, they do apply the concept of "civil oligarchy" as used by Jeffrey Winters with respect to the US. Another word for oligarchy. An oligarchy is a power structure under which a small group of elite individuals, families, or corporations control a country. As per its definition, an oligarchy is a system of government where the few - be it families, businesses, scholars, or individuals - rule. You can also refer to a country which is governed in this way as an oligarchy . An oligarchy is a form of government in which most of the political power effectively rests with a small segment of society, typically the people who have the most wealth, military strength, ruthlessness or political influence. What in the world? The word oligarchy comes from the Greek ” olígos ” which means “few” and ” archos “, it means to command or govern. This was already recognized by the Athenians in the fourth century BCE: after the restoration of democracy from oligarchical coups, they used the drawing of lots for selecting government officers to counteract that tendency toward oligarchy in government. Major Barbara & Majorin Barbara. Athens was suffering under the rule of an oligarchy. Learn a new word every day. But its money buys plenty of access. Oligarchy literally means rule of a few. Mary Altaffer/AP Photo Oligarchy” means government of and by a few at the top, who exercise power for their own benefit. In the early 20th century Robert Michels developed the theory that democracies, as all large organizations, have a tendency to turn into oligarchies. An oligarchy is a small group of elite people who control a country, business, government or other institution. An oligarchy is a small group of people who control and run a particular country or organization. This group typically has several distinguishing characteristics among them, including their wealth, political, religious, or military ties, or nobility. The oligarchy refers to a form of government that was implemented during the contemporary era, represented by a group of people belonging to the same social class , that is, it is a government made up of few people. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021. The power of the state is, therefore, for Clark, not absolute, but moderated by academic oligarchy and the market. Jimmy Carter comments on the influence of money in politics ... “Oligarchy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oligarchy. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and privatization of the economy in December 1991, privately owned Russia-based multinational corporations, including producers of petroleum, natural gas, and metal have, in the view of many analysts, led to the rise of Russian oligarchs. 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