The term oligarchy came from a Greek word oligarkhía meaning the rule of the few. Where ‘olígos’ means ‘few’, and ‘arkho’ means ‘to rule or to command’.
Oligarchy is a power structure. It defines the rule of small groups of businesses, and political identities.
We know from the history of the oligarchy that its structure is more like tyrannical. It relies on either oppression or public obedience to exist. It is a structure where the minority, not the majority, can rule.
Every form of government has, both, positive and negative aspects. Today we’ll have a look on some pros and cons of an oligarchy.
What Will I Learn?
- 1 Pros of Oligarchy
- 1.1 1.Encourages Individualized Expertise:
- 1.2 2.Less Pressure on Society:
- 1.3 3.Consolidation of Power:
- 1.4 4.Apprentice in Creative Fields:
- 1.5 5.Allows Anyone to Hitch:
- 1.6 6.Oligarchy Can be Representative:
- 1.7 7.Encourage a Conservative Approach:
- 1.8 8.Doesn’t Support Gender Discrimination:
- 1.9 9.Motivation for Kindness:
- 1.10 10.Quick Decision Making:
- 2 Cons of Oligarchy
- 2.1 1.Divisions Within Society:
- 2.2 2.Tends to Be Restrictive:
- 2.3 3.Disrupt the Domestic Economy:
- 2.4 4.Incline to Violence and Protests:
- 2.5 5.Inhibits Growth:
- 2.6 6.Figureheads Rather Than Real Leaders:
- 2.7 7.An Oligarchy is Found Anywhere:
- 2.8 8.Internal Bias:
- 2.9 9.Consistency is Monotonous:
- 2.10 10.Economic Supremacy:
- 2.11 Winding It Up!
Pros of Oligarchy
Let us discuss some advantages of oligarchy. And see how it benefits the government and the society.
1.Encourages Individualized Expertise:
The structure of oligarchy encourages individuals to come and join. Anyone can join an oligarchy. They get education in the way and are capable of doing something productive.
But for this one has to prove themselves to be worthy of this and show their boldness. To this one has to be able to gain their trust, and you are on board.
2.Less Pressure on Society:
Within an oligarchy, the citizens can focus on their life goals. They can make their time useful for creating innovative and creative projects.
3.Consolidation of Power:
In an oligarchy, power remains within the experts and skilled. The oligarchs are mostly from established families. They are matured and groomed.
They learn tactics and skills to run power before coming into power. That keeps their path easy to excel. The base of oligarchy allows power to be within a certain group of people.
4.Apprentice in Creative Fields:
In past, many great artists made their apprentices in art, music, science, and other fields. This was possible because of oligarchy.
In this system, common people need not to worry about government affairs. People can focus on skills and creativity to send to the next generations.
5.Allows Anyone to Hitch:
Though oligarchy makes the power consolidated. But it also allows anyone to come forward with a high skill set and make their place. One can study deeply for a long time and develop enough experience. He can hope for further progress in society and in an oligarchy.
6.Oligarchy Can be Representative:
By the definition of oligarchy, a small group of people takes charge of the governing and ruling body. But it is not necessarily defined how they use their power or how they work a state body.
Usually, the positions are set for the persons born in their families. But sometimes people in an oligarchy elect them through a vote.
7.Encourage a Conservative Approach:
Mainly, oligarchy focuses on the state quo. The structure of oligarchy helps limit any risky decisions being made. This increases the possibility of moving forward consistently. But it can be only possible with a certain level of confidence. They can meet that confidence with a long term experience.
8.Doesn’t Support Gender Discrimination:
A great advantage of oligarchy is that it is not gender-biased. Women can contribute their expertise to serve the government body along with men. They are serving their states and people as a board of directors and mayor in the US.
9.Motivation for Kindness:
Oligarchs are meant to rule and enforce their political power for their whole life. This gives them the motivation to rule society with kindness. Like democracy, there are no elections to create any mess. In a democracy, leaders make propaganda against their opponents.
They want to win elections at any cost. This creates sufferings for common citizens. But, oligarchs come up with long term strategies. That are society friendly and fruitful for a long period.
10.Quick Decision Making:
Cons of Oligarchy
Now, we are about to learn some disadvantages of oligarchy that have a great impact of a system.
1.Divisions Within Society:
Wealth is not, necessarily, for oligarchs. But oligarchy makes them priority to have wealth. That doesn’t mean that an average man cannot become rich. Oligarchs have an approach to wealth and all resources by birth.
People outside the oligarchy have to work harder to get noticed. As they have limited opportunities for accumulated wealth due to oligarchy. And this creates inequality of income.
2.Tends to Be Restrictive:
Sometimes oligarchy can take control over society. It can control certain elements of society such as the economy and education.
The free market can be restricted by some actions of the oligarchs that are in charge. It can fix prices, create artificial inflation. And provide benefits to some certain class. They can even restrict average citizens to be in business with some certain groups or companies.
3.Disrupt the Domestic Economy:
The basic aim of oligarchy is to keep power, not to gain control over wealth or moving forward. If oligarchs find out any threat to the oligarchy, they tend to disrupt the economy to retain power.
If common people are not given the chance to join oligarchy, they become frustrated. They try to overthrow the ruling class. That creates conflicts and causes disruption in the economy.
4.Incline to Violence and Protests:
For oligarchy to have control over power, it is necessary to make people obey the rules set by the oligarchs. Sometimes the people don’t follow those rules and that obedience doesn’t seem to be happening. Then the ruling class becomes frustrated. That will lead them to restore the control overpower. And they can do anything to do this.
Doing this both, oligarchs and people, try to vanquish each other. Eventually, it creates a situation of protesting and violence. That can lead sometimes to war.
Oligarchy supports power consolidation in a limited circle. It tends to inhibit growth over a long term basis. Without diversity, there is no growth because there are fewer possibilities to occur.
6.Figureheads Rather Than Real Leaders:
The true power of an oligarchy doesn’t lie within a leadership. It lies within the people who surround the leader. The consolidation of power is mandatory for the preservation of oligarchy. And consolidation needs allies.
These allies demand anything in return whenever they need the ruling class. Then the leader may have a zero value even if they may have the title and be the face of the leadership.
7.An Oligarchy is Found Anywhere:
We find that oligarchy is not limited to government structures or businesses. The people with same earning and common standards have a specific close circle. This shows that oligarchy can be found anywhere in society these days.
When oligarchs need to have a certain task done, they appoint an individual or a group on their own to do so. Here bias originates. If they are in the judiciary they can tag anything to be a serious crime. That means that they have all the powers to determine the penalties to be issued to the guilty people.
The alarming thing is that if you do a detailed inquiry on the oligarchy, it can be a crime and you can’t do anything about it.
9.Consistency is Monotonous:
In the earlier era of oligarchy, it may have different opinions and diversity of ideas to work things. But now, the right to decision making has diverged to specified people. This creates monotonous and stagnates the advancement in society. It also affects the ethics and moral values of a society.
Within an oligarchy, the individuals or families compete with each other. They want to preserve their hegemony over the power, government, and society. They want to take over all the resources of the land.
To do this they try to control the industrial sector and own most of the shares. Everyone wants to dominate the whole economy.
Winding It Up!
Now we had a detailed discussion on the pros and cons of oligarchy.
If oligarchy works positively, it can give the government and society a new horizon of prosperity.
From the disadvantages of oligarchy it is clear that it can be no good to the economy, neither to the society, if consolidates to some hands. The use of power and wealth for all can lead to the endless possibilities of the future.