What is oligarchy

Lexicon: oligarchy

The word oligarchy comes from the Greek. It is made up of the words "oligoi", which means few, and "archon", which means something like rule or leader. Translated, oligarchy means “rule by a few”. So that means that in an oligarchy, few people have power and are in charge. This can be within a group, in a party or in a state. The oligarchy can therefore also be a specific form of government. Since only a few have power in this form of government, it is also very concentrated. This means that power is not distributed among different people or institutions as in a democracy, for example. There is therefore no separation of powers in an oligarchic state. The small group of people who have power do not want to give up or share their power in an oligarchy, so they make sure that no one can oust them. If necessary, also with force. An oligarchy can therefore also turn into a dictatorship, since here power is limited to a few, mostly even to one person, namely the dictator.

The oligarchy does not only exist in politics, but also in business. An oligarch here describes a person who has very great wealth, who dominates a certain branch of the economy and who does not want to give up this position of power. Russia has often been mentioned in this context since the 1990s. After communism came to an end in Russia during this period, some people made a lot of wealth, for example by buying up state companies. This was possible because with the collapse of communism, the Soviet Union also fell apart. Because of their position of power they were able to influence politics and so they were jointly responsible for the fact that in 1996 the weakened President Boris Yeltsin was re-elected. You even influenced the media. But this term is also used in other countries for people who have a great position of power in the economy.