Oligarchy is a form of government that places political power in the hands of a few people.
Forms of Oligarchy
- Authoritarianism: Authoritarianism may be defined as a form of government in which the subjects are expected or compelled to submit blindly to the authority of the ruler. In this type of system, freedom of thought, religion etc are not allowed.
- Aristocracy: Aristocracy is defined as a form of government in which the best citizens rule. In most cases, people of noble birth or wealth usually rule. It claimed that they possess the best qualities for rulership. This form of government is sometimes referred to as government by the rich.
Merits of Aristocracy
- Quality: This system stresses quality rather than quantity.
- Ruling class: This system bestows upon the community a ruling class who inherit and bequeath to their posterity high traditions of public service and can be trusted to administer public affairs with integrity and honour.
- Natural institution: Rousseau claimed that aristocracy is the best and has a natural arrangement that the wisest should govern dai the many.
- Conducive: Aristocracy is seen as being conducive and progressive.
Demerits of Aristocracy
- Cruel and harsh administration: The ruling aristocrats have often been accused of harshness and cruelty towards the lower class.
- Rigidity: The system was excessively rigid. Society is not static and aristocracy cannot easily adapt to changing social and economic conditions.
- Theocracy: Theocracy is a government by priesthood or religious leaders. It is divine and the laws made are through divine inspiration. The Vatican City in Rome, for example, is a theocratic state headed by the Pope.
- Plutocracy: Plutocracy is seen as a government by the rich, a state ruled by the wealthy class. They are propertied-class and virtually in control of the economic resources of the state.
- Autocracy: This is a form of government in which one person or a small group of people rule with absolute power and authority without caring for the wishes of the people. For example, France during Louis XIV and Nazi Germany.