Oligarchy is the union of power and property in the hands of a narrow group of individuals close to power. No one can tell exactly where aristocracy ends, and oligarchy begins. From which place they pass from one other. They share common characteristics and combine the qualities necessary for leadership: authority, wealth, competence in matters of power, and the ability to govern.



Looking for the purity of meaning, the first aristocrats of humanity were prophets, ascetics of faith and spirit. However, they understood wealth only as a spiritual value and consciously avoided material wealth. Then all sorts of noblemen appeared, but they could not be called the best. So the terms “aristocrat” and “oligarch” are very conditional and blurred. Wealth as a sign of oligarchy does not fit the description either.

In the legal sense, the word “property” includes four aspects: management, possession, use, and disposal. If you manage, dispose of and use, then ownership is already an empty formality. The formation of an administrative ruling group in any society is an inevitable process identical to the concept of oligarchization. Because in this stratum, the concentration of management functions in the upper strata of society, and taking away these functions from the lower strata begins immediately. Power as a corporation arises; it is called elite, ruling stratum or class, oligarchy – all these are different names of one phenomenon.

The concentration of power in the upper social strata is a process of increasing authoritarianism, and the process of democratization comes into conflict with it. These are two dialectical sides of the same coin. Oligarchy is not something to be justified, but not something to be demonized either. Like any phenomenon, oligarchy requires public attention and influence.

Example of an Oligarchy government system

Classic examples of oligarchy are found in ancient Greece in all the major city-states except democratic Athens.


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