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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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
If humanity is to save itself from the insectile, hive-like future associated with a Tech Singularity, the Human Singularity must prevail, empowering mankind to exert sufficient control over the production, distribution, and application of technology to prevent its unlimited oligarchical abuse.
The Punic gerousia seems to have been a fairly broad oligarchical but the One Hundred and Four was narrower group.
Proposed bromides include banning mergers between large, profitable firms (which reduces competition and almost always results in layoffs), setting up federal businesses to compete in undercompetitive sectors (such as establishing a federal bank that gives loans at much lower rates than the outrageously high rates of most credit cards), taking steps to lower oil prices (which Batra contends are propped artificially high through oligarchical industry actions), offering government-issue bonds with a set, stable interest rate to pensioners whose incomes have evaporated as interest rates have fallen, and more.
If the degree of oligarchical power depends on the concentration of wealth and rules governing the conversion of wealth into power, two developments in recent decades have pushed American politics in that direction: The gains from growth have gone overwhelmingly to the top, and the Supreme Court has effectively eliminated legal barriers to the use of money in political campaigns.
The secret will be found to be in the making [man] the depository of the powers respecting himself, so far as he is competent to them, and delegating only what is beyond his competence by a synthetical process, to higher and higher orders of functionaries, so as to trust fewer and fewer powers in proportion as the trustees become more and more oligarchical. The elementary republics of the wards, the county republics, the State republics, and the republic of the Union, would form a gradation of authorities, standing each on the basis of law, holding everyone its delegated share of powers, and constituting truly a system of fundamental balances and checks for the government.
Cueva points out that in the strictest sense, the transition from feudalism to capitalism in Latin America did not take place in the twentieth century, because "this process, in the most general terms, had already taken place in the oligarchical phase" (ibid., 148).
The effects of treating Erdogan like a reasonable actor when he is clearly crazy are not only being felt by the people of Turkey, who have seen their democracy curdle into authoritarian one-man rule and their economic miracle turn into an oligarchical prison-house built on enormous mountains of debt.
The Managerial Revolution itself appears in 1984 as Emmanuel Goldstein's forbidden book The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism.
Whether the approach you take is topdown with a CRM czar, as Sullivan suggests, or something more oligarchical, to have good uptake, the relevant teams must be represented early.
Its political systems are unstable; its economies are more oligarchical than liberal; territorial disputes are resolved by force; and its foreign-policy vectors point in different directions.
"We can no longer dance around the need to level direct and devastating criticism of the oligarchical and imperialistic interests being championed by Barack Obama." That is why in my humble offerings I have been attempting to make the links between all of these various global maneuvers so that we can connect them theoretically and devise the correct response politically and organizationally as we struggle to rebuild and unite the black left.
Regardless of how much Putin says he wants to recreate an oligarchical structure, he can't easily cut ties with the rest of the world.