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An oligarchy is a form of government ruled by a small elite group. These people could be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, corporate, universities, or military control.

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,[1] 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.


Currently, the central authority of Communist China is concentrated in the Politburo Standing Committee composed of 7-members, of the Communist Party of China.

Forbes magazine suggested that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation is ruled by oligarchs.

Ancient Sparta, for instance, was run by an oligarchy.

The Great Reset is a plan to establish an oligarchic party elite.[2]

See also


  • Ostwald, M. Oligarchia: The Development of a Constitutional Form in Ancient Greece (Historia Einzelschirften; 144). Stuttgart: Steiner, 2000 (ISBN 3-515-07680-8).