Online Encyclopedia

OLIGARCHY (Gr. oXiyot, few, apxil, rule)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 81 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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OLIGARCHY (Gr. oXiyot, few, apxil, rule), in political philosophy, the term applied to a government exercised by a relatively small number of the members of a community. It is thus the appropriate term for what is now generally known as " aristocracy " (q.v.). The meaning of the terms has substantially altered since Plato's day, for in the Republic " oligarchy " meant the rule of the wealthy, and " aristocracy " that of the really best people.
End of Article: OLIGARCHY (Gr. oXiyot, few, apxil, rule)
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