What is an Oligarchy Government?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

An Oligarchy government is a type of government characterized by the rule of a few individuals or families. Power is wielded by a small and privileged group for corrupt or selfish reasons in this type of government. Power is frequently passed down from generation to generation as a result of family rules.

Oligarchy Government Definition and Meaning

Oligarchy governments can be found in Iran, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, and other countries. They are more self-serving and more authoritative.

Oligarchy is a type of governance in which a few people or families reign. More specifically, the term was coined by the Greek philosopher Aristotle to contrast with aristocracy, another term for rule by a select few. However, Aristotle defined an aristocracy as a government by the best members of society, whereas an oligarchy was defined as domination by the few for corrupt and unjust causes.

Impact of Oligarchy Government

Following are the points on the impact of an Oligarchy government on its people:

  • The middle class shrinks.
  • The rich get richer and the poor grow poorer.
  • People are controlled by the government.
  • Income inequality tends to increase among people.
  • It results in puppet leaders controlled by the oligarchs who funded their election campaigns.

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