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Related to Oligarchy: autocracy

OLIGARCHY. This name is given to designate the power which a few citizens of a state have usurped, which ought by the constitution to reside in the people. Among the Romans the government degenerated several times into an oligarchy; for example, under the decemvirs, when they became the only magistrates in the commonwealth.

References in periodicals archive ?
Who says organization, says oligarchy," wrote German sociologist Robert Michels in a treatise called Iron Law of Oligarchies.
But any new talent will likely remain on the national margins--running races for Congress and judgeships--until someone breaks up the consultant oligarchy.
Any who opposed the oligarchy were smeared as disturbers of the peace, socialists, anarchists, or worse.
In the context of an increasingly unruly oligarchy, the vast military apparatus of imperial expansion-which, later in the period of Empire, was professionalized and became perhaps the largest military force the world had ever known-was bound to be deployed in the service of personal ambition and intra-oligarchic rivalry.
Strengthening of state institutions and stronger regulation is the way to overcome problems with the oligarchy and oligopolies, stated rightist leader Ivan Kostov.
We are faced with a bureaucratic oligarchy even in unexpected times.
The democracies of ancient Greece and Rome eventually collapsed when the government by merit, courage in the battlefield, education and wisdom gave way to government by oligarchy (wealth).
He justifies this focus by suggesting that the personalities and patronage of a minuscule oligarchy were the essence of politics under Lenin and Stalin and that, therefore, Stalin's early history of brigandage, political gangsterism, and paranoia are explanatory of much wider issues of Soviet history.
So is Gordon Brown intending to form his own oligarchy of non-elected people around him and ignore the elected MPs?
Through propaganda designed to manipulate fear, hatred, and other potent base emotions, the totalitarian state and its controlling oligarchy seek to enlist the subjects as collaborators in their own enslavement and psychological reconstruction.
Bush's help) by 400 percent, which has since handed roughly $20 trillion in interest to the Oligarchy - a legacy that is an involuntary and inescapable burden on this and future generations.
This Texas is a toxic byproduct of the hierarchical plantation society of the American South, a creel caste society in which the white, brown, and black majority labor for inadequate rewards while a cultivated but callous oligarchy of rich white families and their hirelings in the professions dominate the economy, politics, and the rarefied air of academic and museum culture.