definition of oligarchy

The oligarchy is a word that in our language designates a type of government that is characterized by the fact that power is exercised by a very small group of individuals who normally share the same social and economic rank.

It is also worth mentioning that the concept is also used to refer to the set of businessmen or people who have wealth and who tend to group together and act jointly to defend their interests and assets.

The origin of this form of government dates back to the Ancient Greece , in which it would be born as a deformation of another form of government: the aristocracy.

It is worth mentioning that in those times the aristocracy grouped the most capable individuals to govern, while, when this system began to deviate, perpetuating itself by blood descent, those who directed the government were no longer the best and most capable but the owners of the economic resources. Thus arose the concept of oligarchy.

In the oligarchy the mobility of social class is not accepted in any way.

The Athenian Philosopher Plato was one of the many classical authors who spoke of the oligarchy, citing for example the government of the Thirty Tyrants in your city. It was called that way because it was precisely composed of thirty magistrates who assumed absolute power after the Peloponnesian War, succeeding the democratic form of government, and imposing an oligarchic.

Meanwhile, it will be referred to as oligarch to that individual who is part of the oligarchy.

Historically, the oligarch was depicted as a millionaire individual, who ignores ethics or morality, because if necessary he is capable of engaging in corrupt and violent acts to preserve his status, and who uses his economic resources to politically pressure who corresponds and thus assert their interests, on the one hand, and on the other hand to further extend their wealth.

The political ideology of the left has traditionally been the main opponent of the oligarchy worldwide.

On the opposite side of this form of government is located democracy, which as we know is the form of government that attributes supreme power to the people, being the people who, through direct participation mechanisms, grant power and legitimacy to their representatives.