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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 ?
Letting huge sums of money affect elections - and by extension, policy - has transformed what was once a democratic country into an oligarchy, the form of state structure in which power is held by a small group of wealthy people.
Verifiably, the stranglehold of this oligarchy of the political elites is so tight on politics and state apparatus that it has snuffed out the outlet of local governments for the meritorious but with limited means to make to the tops in politics and in the state.
WASHINGTON: The United States' status as a democratic society is under threat as it turns into an oligarchy where policy is shaped by a rich elite and the average citizen has little or no influence.
Interests of Bulgarian citizens were replaced by manipulations of oligarchy and attempt for creation of marionette political projects which serve a small circle in the country.
The prime minister complained that what he called the bureaucratic oligarchy in Turkey puts obstacles in the way of steps the government wants to take to further democratize the country.
In a socialist society, the ruling oligarchy must select the "desired" distribution of income and even then special interest groups will be lobbying the state for recognition.
It is not easy to invest when there is not a stable, just tax system, when there is too much bureaucracy, and when there is a tight connection between the political establishment and the group of businessmen who basically control the economy, the oligarchy.
America has been ruled by an Oligarchy through most of its history.
A result of that was the personal amassing of fortunes by Georgievski, the oligarchy and SDSM.
On the other hand, blanket Election-by-Lot would sweep oligarchy from these shores.
POSH BOY'S TOYS Two posh boys, don't know the price of milk But I guarantee, these two wear shirts of silk There are more than two, posh boys in the House Who also know naught, of the tasty lobscouse If you need to know, what an Oligarchy is Look no further, cast your eyes on this They allowed a hose-pipe ban, in a so called drought Then rain soaked every-one, entirely throughout I don't know, what they teach at Eton But it is true, they think they can't be beaten This is undemocratic, and open to abuse Should they be allowed, to be out on the loose?
He discusses the origins of the negative image, ideology, oligarchy, democracy, whether the general Phocion was good or bad, whether Stratocles of Diomeia was an audacious buffoon or shamelessly bold, and whether Callippus of Eleusis was a tin-pot general or a The Generalissimo.