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Study: The U.S. Is Not a Democracy, It Is an Oligarchy

Posted Apr 18, '14 at 11:16pm

nichodemus

nichodemus

13,577 posts

Knight

Yeah I know what Ash wrote....just pointing out that may be a narrow definition. Has no impact on what is the reality though. Just quibbling pedantically.

 

Posted Apr 19, '14 at 11:35am

Kennethhartanto

Kennethhartanto

248 posts

pardon me from asking, but what is the difference between Oligarchy and a Dictatorship system? the definition given here..........

Oilgarchy: A government in which the rich have undue control over the government, and contrary to what may be the wishes of the general populace.


..............somehow looks very similar to the definition of a dictatorship, or maybe the above IS the definition for dictatorship.
 

Posted Apr 19, '14 at 12:20pm

nichodemus

nichodemus

13,577 posts

Knight

A dictatorship more or less refers to a government led and controlled by a person of immense power and influence, who rules through means that are undemocratic. All, or close to all political life/activity revolves around one person. More often than not, dictators rule through a ruthless mix of extreme fear, a cult of personality, and the backing of loyal military/paramilitary forces. People like Hitler, Mao, Stalin, are the more famous dictators. The term came from the Roman practice of appointing a single person to be the Dictator in times of great need and emergency, granting him sweeping powers. A famous Roman Dictator was Fabius Maximus, during Hannibal's time. Roman dictators were expected to, and most did, return their powers after the danger had passed, hence it never did have a negative connotation with the Romans. Until the time of Sulla, and subsequently, Caesar.

An oligarchy can be thought of as a government led by a small group of elites, which can be designed through a variety of means, wealth, blood, military hierarchy, etc. Most historical oligarchies have turned out to be authoritarian/totalitarian, traits which they share with a dictatorship. Oligarchies however, do not centre upon a single person with immense prestige and power. Examples include possibly, modern day China (With its Politburo members and political families descending from those who survived the Communist takeover in 1949 controlling the government), the USSR (after Stalin, where power was more decentralized amongst the ruling magnates) and perhaps modern day Russia, where Russian businessmen who made themselves after the collapse of the USSR hold vast political and economical power.

I would say that typical oligarchies and dictatorships often have traits that overlap each other, such as a disregard for civil liberties, suppression of political oppositions, tight control over the economy, etc. But an oligarchy does not have a cult of personality. It often outlasts dictatorships (which crumble, or evolve into other forms of authoritarianism after the charisma of a dictator fades with his death).

I'm just skimming very briefly by the two...hope others can point out more information, or my mistakes!

 

Posted Apr 19, '14 at 12:21pm

nichodemus

nichodemus

13,577 posts

Knight

designated*

 

Posted Apr 21, '14 at 6:21am

Kennethhartanto

Kennethhartanto

248 posts

ok then, so to put it simple, a dictatorship centers on one person, while an oligarchy centers on a group of people correct?

according to your definition, all countries all oligarchic to some extent. In democracy, you center power in a group of people that was elected and chosen by the rest of the nation. since the group essentially control all other organization existing in the country ( even the media, that's why we have censorship), they would theoretically leave the rest of the country unable to share the power / control and manage it. unless you have 0 % corruption in your country, which is a pretty impossible goal, you would always have some oligarchic-democratic government

 

Posted Apr 21, '14 at 7:51am

Asherlee

Asherlee

5,331 posts

Knight

That wouldn't make sense though, because by all accounts almost no contemporary or historical would qualify. D:


Does that matter, though? America is generally labeled as a democratic country and many Americans would say the same thing. Those that pay attention know it's probably more on the oligarchy side, though.

I really have no idea how people can flat our say the U.S is an Oligarchy, but there it is.


I think the issue is that sometimes what the right do happens to be what the general populace wants, as well. But, I agree there should be more terms. We are guised under democracy but act more as an oliarchy.
 

Posted Apr 22, '14 at 8:38am

nichodemus

nichodemus

13,577 posts

Knight

Does that matter, though? America is generally labeled as a democratic country and many Americans would say the same thing. Those that pay attention know it's probably more on the oligarchy side, though.


Now that I think more and more about it, I don't think it matters. :L If they were talking about a direct democracy or a representative democracy, it would still be edging away. :L
 
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