What is Oligarchy?

Oligarchy is a form of power structure found in businesses and political organizations. In this structure few people control everything while the majority are condescended upon and are not in any way participant to the spoils and profits, but may rest upon on the belief that they are being noticed and given to rare service or help as and when people at the top in such power structure thinks it as their duty to do so. Here, there is a sharp contrast between the rights of the power among the many with that of the superimposed self styled dictatorial mindset of the few that would never allow their power to be infringed upon in anyway.

Most oligarchies from the past were from noble classes and were famed for being snobbish in their deals with that of lesser ranked people at the bottom. Apart from noble class, oligarchies are found among organizations due to their wealth, education, religious, military and political control. Many such power structures are often controlled by families with younger generation of the family line taking on the reign in due course. These people may be either capable or lack willingness at administration yet they remain in power for the very reason that they have inherited power and influence from their previous generation. These people may even think that it is their birthright to cling to power and very often are tyrannical in their behaviors.

Oppression of the Majority

Most oligarchies function with the single minded pursuit of class division at the bottom levels of political, social, business or religious organizations. They refuse to rectify existing rules that have always been to their favor and may even oppress anyone trying to do so or even influencing others into doing so. They are quick to point out through their own behaviors to lesser folks that are in majority at the bottom that it is for their own interest and good of the organization, country or social order to remain in absolute obedience. This power structure has often been considered by philosophers, writers and other social scientists as the very reason why some groups of people holding on to power seldom allows the individual, social and other basic human rights to those at the lower rungs of the ladder.

According to experts it has been seen that although oppression may be the password of oligarchs yet some people in the masses tend to find this to be quite all right too. They feel that there are less chances of anarchy to happen when the power to yield is in few hands only. They also feel that power having been concentrated in a few hands may act as deterrent to those that may feel like creating pockets of inconsistencies and confusion in order to make another oligarchic power structure on their own.

People at lower bottom may think that since power rests on a few they may find relative comfort zone in their own social, business or religious circles while larger issues pertaining to society may be handled by the oligarchs. Yet, people on the top may have less interest in taking risky ventures that may benefit the masses or employees of an organization on the whole. They seldom need to face new challenges and competition and remain conservative. This obviously lessens the spirit of the majority as well as lack of newer ground breaking ideas whether in businesses, politics or social orders.

Power and Wealth in Few Hands

It is quite obvious as you may find throughout history that oligarchies have a distinction of gathering wealth that only rests on those at the top of the power ladder. In sharp contrast, the masses always remain poor and lack basic amenities of life. Even though they may aspire to be wealthy they hardly lack the chance as the oligarchs would never allow this to come true.

This is because the elite always control all policies and hold legislative powers. In business oligarchy they try to influence the political class with their money and gifts making it immensely tougher for others to get into their competitive line. As such with businesses too coming under the control of few, there will be less diversity and even lesser risk taking initiative on part of businesses. Further, they may even damage other businesses so as to thwart competition and destroy the chances of newer products from appearing in the market. They do this by controlling prices of their products as well as restricting economical access to raw materials and by hindering supply demand functions.

However, oligarchs may not be all that bad for creative people as they may easily find their projects funded as well given a chance of bringing out new ideas. They allow this as they feel that in the end it would support their own goals although they may still find in difficult to accept new ideas detrimental to their own interest brought before them.

Oligarchical Business Practices

Some industries and specific companies within them have been accused of maintaining oligarchical structures within their businesses. The tech industry has been a target of many as a sector in which the balance of power and profit has not been distributed. Specifically in video gaming and adult tech related companies suspicions have arised. This was an early criticism of backpage before its alternative bedpage rose in popularity. Specific gaming companies have come under scrutiny for their practices and structures as well.