Oligarchy

Oligarchy (from Greek ὀλιγαρχία (oligarkhía); from ὀλίγος (olígos), meaning "a few", and ἄρχω (archo), meaning "to rule or to command") is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. These people could be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, corporate, or military control. Such states are often controlled by a few prominent families who pass their influence from one generation to the next.

Throughout history, oligarchies have been tyrannical (relying on public servitude to exist) or relatively benign. Aristotle pioneered the use of the term as a synonym for rule by the rich, for which the exact term is plutocracy, but oligarchy is not always a rule by wealth, as oligarchs can simply be a privileged group, and do not have to be connected by bloodlines as in a monarchy.

Read more about Oligarchy:  History, Manifestations, Political Theory, Authors

Other articles related to "oligarchy":

Iron Law Of Oligarchy
... The iron law of oligarchy is a political theory, first developed by the German syndicalist sociologist Robert Michels in his 1911 book, Political Parties ... It claims that rule by an elite, or "oligarchy", is inevitable as an "iron law" within any organization as part of the "tactical and technical necessities" of ... Who says organization, says oligarchy." He went on to state that "Historical evolution mocks all the prophylactic measures that have been adopted for the prevention of oligarchy." Michels stated that ...
Opposition To Democracy - Arguments Against Democracy - Michels On Democracy
... the mainstream political science theory of the iron law of oligarchy in 1911 ... Michels argued that oligarchy is inevitable as an "iron law" within any organization as part of the "tactical and technical necessities" of organization and on the topic of democracy ... Who says organization, says oligarchy" and went on to state "Historical evolution mocks all the prophylactic measures that have been adopted for the ...
Plato's Five Regimes - Oligarchy
... Plato defines oligarchy as a system of government which distinguishes between the rich and the poor, making of the former its administrators ... An oligarchy is originated by extending tendencies already evident in a timocracy ... That is how a timocracy becomes an oligarchy ...
Oligarchy - Authors
... Prolific authors on the subject of oligarchy include Vilfredo Pareto, Gaetano Mosca, Thomas R ...
The Republic (Plato) - Topics - The Dialectical Forms of Government
... successively into each other timocracy, oligarchy (also called plutocracy), democracy and tyranny (also called despotism) ... Oligarchy These temptations create a confusion between economic status and honor which is responsible for the emergence of oligarchy ... From the conflicts arising out of such tensions, democracy replaces the oligarchy preceding it ...

Famous quotes containing the word oligarchy:

    Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes—our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking around.
    Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874–1936)