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An oligarchy is a society or organization ruled by a small group of people. The small group of people has the power to control the people they rule. In a government structure, the oligarchy can be a royal family while in a business setup, it can be a family which maintains full control of the board of directors.
Oligarchies have both pros and cons that affect the society they rule. Let’s look at some of them.
1. Political exclusion: Political powers are entrusted to few hands or the powerful minorities who control society by passing laws that are to their own interests as well as exclude masses from political processes.
2. Superior organization: Oligarchy leads to a well-organized society with distinct classes: rulers, soldiers, and common people who work together to achieve a common objective.
3. Reduce societal pressure: Society has the freedom to do what they want as long as it is a legal action being taken. The oligarchy is concerned with social issues and lets individuals take care of their personal issues.
4. Encourage creative endeavors: Oligarchy focuses on solving all organizational issues, leaving individuals with enough time to focus on their creativity and other innovations.
5. Gives a chance to apprentice in creative fields: In an oligarchy, great artists could take on apprentices to learn what they are passionate about and they become great artists. They can teach creative skills or pass the talent to a new generation.
6. Encourage conservative approach: Oligarchy maintains the status quo thus making the people in the society or organization have confidence they are headed in the right direction.
Each ruler has a certain level of influence eliminating risky decisions.
7. Consolidates powers to experts: In this form of ruling, skilled and experienced persons are given more powers because they’re good at what they do.
8. Allows anyone to join: People with potential skills are given a chance to participate in leadership roles. Therefore, any hardworking person has a chance to join the ruling class.
9. Not gender-biased: Both men and women have equal powers to rule in an oligarchy organization.
10. An oligarchy can be representative: The small group in the ruling class are elected for their roles and some may be born into their roles and these rulers act as a representative of the general population.
1. Encourages income inequality: The rulers tend to channel all the wealth towards themselves leaving few opportunities to others. This creates income inequality in society.
2. Disrupt economy: If people are not given the chance to join the ruling class, they become frustrated and violent. They may try to overthrow the ruling class resulting in conflicts and disruption of the economy.
3. Inhibit growth: Oligarchy maintains the status quo with the same rulers sharing the same values. This results in a lack of diversity which can be brought by a new ruling class. This inhibits growth and stability with time.
4. Creates puppet leaders: The powers of oligarchy lies with people that surround the leader and a weak leader can consolidate their powers for him to remain in charge. He only increases powers to those he trusts.
5. Difficult to break in: If the minority group gains more powers and experience in their position, it will be difficult for new rulers to break in.
6. Restrictions: If an oligarchy exercises many powers and control, it can provide some benefits to some people, set fixed prices, and even restrict the free market.
7. Oligarchy can happen anywhere: Oligarchy is not limited to government structures, it can happen in businesses that are established by families, society, and other institutions.
8. Consistency leads to sameness: With consolidated powers in an oligarchy, there is no diversity, and decisions are made from a single perspective instead of a multitude of experiences and this leads to stagnation and loss of value.
9. No single clear ruler: It has several groups of powerful people who run the government instead of having a single ruler.
10. Internal bias: Oligarchy can elect a group of rulers to carry out a specific task and this group can make bias decisions.