Throughout history, oligarchies have been tyrannical (relying on public obedience and/or oppression 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.
Oligarchy is not always rule by the wealthy, as oligarchs can simply be a privileged group, and do not have to be connected by bloodlines as in a monarchy.
Forms of government and other political structures associated with oligarchy can include aristocracy, Corporatocracy (Crony capitalism), meritocracy, military junta, plutocracy, technocracy, and theocracy.
Ancient Sparta, for instance, was run by an oligarchy.
Texas Republican Officials
Texas Republican officials are arguably dictated by an oligarchy of wealthy dark money donors there, where campaign contributions are unlimited. Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick pursue an agenda there that cannot be described as conservative, and yet legislators known to be conservative typically vote for it. An example is the Convention of States, which is pushed by oligarchs to change the constitution with a Con Con that Justice Antonin Scalia described as a "horrible idea."
Oligarchs were presumably behind the ambush sham impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
- Iron law of oligarchy
- Big Tech
- Winters (2011) p.37
- Government's Money Monopoly and the "Great Reset"