Form of government with small ruling class / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Oligarchy (from Ancient Greek ὀλιγαρχία (oligarkhía) 'rule by few'; from ὀλίγος (olígos) 'few', and ἄρχω (árkhō) 'to rule, command')[1][2][3] is a conceptual form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people. These people may or may not be distinguished by one or several characteristics, such as nobility, fame, wealth, education, or corporate, religious, political, or military control.

Throughout history, power structures considered to be oligarchies have often been viewed as coercive, relying on public obedience or oppression to exist. Aristotle pioneered the use of the term as meaning rule by the rich, contrasting it with aristocracy, arguing that oligarchy was the perverted form of aristocracy.[4]

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