Aristocracy

aristocraticaristocrataristocratsaristocraciesnoblearistocratic classcity aristocracynoblemanaristocratic dominancearisto
Aristocracy (Greek ἀριστοκρατία aristokratía, from ἄριστος aristos 'excellent', and κράτος, kratos 'rule') is a form of government that places strength in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class.wikipedia
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Government

Form of governmentgovernmentsgovernmental
Aristocracy (Greek ἀριστοκρατία aristokratía, from ἄριστος aristos 'excellent', and κράτος, kratos 'rule') is a form of government that places strength in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class.
Historically prevalent forms of government include monarchy, aristocracy, timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, theocracy and tyranny.

Plato

Plato's dialoguesDialogues of PlatoPlatonic dialogues
However, the term was first used by ancient Greeks such as Aristotle and Plato, who used it to describe a system where only the best of the citizens, chosen through a careful process of selection, would become rulers, and hereditary rule would actually have been forbidden, unless the rulers' children performed best and were better endowed with the attributes that make a person fit to rule compared with every other citizen in the polity. Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Xenophon and the Spartans considered Aristocracy (the ideal form of rule by the few) to be inherently better than the ideal form of rule by the many (Democracy), but they also considered the corrupted form of Aristocracy (Oligarchy) to be worse than the corrupted form of Democracy (Mob Rule).
Plato belonged to an aristocratic and influential family.

Democracy

democraticdemocraciesdemocratically
Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Xenophon and the Spartans considered Aristocracy (the ideal form of rule by the few) to be inherently better than the ideal form of rule by the many (Democracy), but they also considered the corrupted form of Aristocracy (Oligarchy) to be worse than the corrupted form of Democracy (Mob Rule). There are some governments that have elements of Direct Democracy, but all of those governments are mixed governments, like the Spartan, Roman, British, Swiss, German, French and American governments, which all have elements of Democracy, Aristocracy and Monarchy, with a system of checks and balances, where each element checks the excesses of the other, as described by Polybius in his analysis of the Roman Constitution.
The term appeared in the 5th century BC to denote the political systems then existing in Greek city-states, notably Athens, to mean "rule of the people", in contrast to aristocracy (ἀριστοκρατία, aristokratía), meaning "rule of an elite".

Ochlocracy

mob rulemobmob justice
Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Xenophon and the Spartans considered Aristocracy (the ideal form of rule by the few) to be inherently better than the ideal form of rule by the many (Democracy), but they also considered the corrupted form of Aristocracy (Oligarchy) to be worse than the corrupted form of Democracy (Mob Rule).
Ancient Greek political thinkers regarded ochlocracy as one of the three "bad" forms of government (tyranny, oligarchy, and ochlocracy) as opposed to the three "good" forms of government (monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy).

Monarchy

kingdommonarchieskingdoms
At the time of the word's origins in ancient Greece, the Greeks conceived it as rule by the best qualified citizens—and often contrasted it favourably with monarchy, rule by an individual. There are some governments that have elements of Direct Democracy, but all of those governments are mixed governments, like the Spartan, Roman, British, Swiss, German, French and American governments, which all have elements of Democracy, Aristocracy and Monarchy, with a system of checks and balances, where each element checks the excesses of the other, as described by Polybius in his analysis of the Roman Constitution.
Polybius identified it as one of three "benign" basic forms of government (monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy), opposed to the three "malignant" basic forms of government (tyranny, oligarchy, and ochlocracy).

Ancient Greece

Greekancient Greekancient Greeks
At the time of the word's origins in ancient Greece, the Greeks conceived it as rule by the best qualified citizens—and often contrasted it favourably with monarchy, rule by an individual.
The aristocratic regimes which generally governed the poleis were threatened by the new-found wealth of merchants, who in turn desired political power.

Mixed government

Mixedmixed constitutionmixed monarchy
There are some governments that have elements of Direct Democracy, but all of those governments are mixed governments, like the Spartan, Roman, British, Swiss, German, French and American governments, which all have elements of Democracy, Aristocracy and Monarchy, with a system of checks and balances, where each element checks the excesses of the other, as described by Polybius in his analysis of the Roman Constitution.
Mixed government (or a mixed constitution) is a form of government that combines elements of democracy (polity), aristocracy and monarchy, making impossible their respective degenerations which are conceived as anarchy, oligarchy and tyranny.

Aristocracy (class)

aristocrataristocraticaristocrats
Aristocracy (Greek ἀριστοκρατία aristokratía, from ἄριστος aristos 'excellent', and κράτος, kratos 'rule') is a form of government that places strength in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class.
The term aristocracy derives from the Greek ἀριστοκρατία (aristokratia from ἄριστος (aristos) "excellent," and κράτος (kratos) "power."

Republic

constitutional republicrepublicsrepublican form of government
The idea of hybrid forms which have aspects of both aristocracy and democracy are in use in the parliamentary form of government and in republics.
Some emphasize the central role of the assemblies and thus tout them as democracies; other scholars focus on the upper-class domination of the leadership and possible control of the assembly and see an oligarchy or an aristocracy.

Oligarchy

oligarchicoligarchiesoligarch
Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Xenophon and the Spartans considered Aristocracy (the ideal form of rule by the few) to be inherently better than the ideal form of rule by the many (Democracy), but they also considered the corrupted form of Aristocracy (Oligarchy) to be worse than the corrupted form of Democracy (Mob Rule). Hereditary rule is more related to Oligarchy, a corrupted form of Aristocracy where there is rule by a few, but not by the best. Modern depictions of aristocracy tend to regard it not as the ancient Greek concept of rule by the best, but more as an oligarchy or plutocracy—rule by the few or the wealthy.

Ruling class

rulingruling classesruling elite
Aristocracy (Greek ἀριστοκρατία aristokratía, from ἄριστος aristos 'excellent', and κράτος, kratos 'rule') is a form of government that places strength in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class.
The comedic film The Ruling Class was a satire of British aristocracy, depicting nobility as self-serving and cruel, juxtaposed against an insane relative who believes that he is Jesus Christ, whom they identify as a "bloody Bolshevik".

Constitution of the United Kingdom

British constitutionconstitutionEnglish constitution
There are some governments that have elements of Direct Democracy, but all of those governments are mixed governments, like the Spartan, Roman, British, Swiss, German, French and American governments, which all have elements of Democracy, Aristocracy and Monarchy, with a system of checks and balances, where each element checks the excesses of the other, as described by Polybius in his analysis of the Roman Constitution.
It emerged through a series of revolutions as the dominant body, over the church, courts, and the monarch, and within Parliament the House of Commons emerged as the dominant chamber, over the House of Lords that traditionally represented the aristocracy.

Nobility

noblemannoblenobles
Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately under royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy.

Old money

wealthy and affluent American familieswealthiest and most affluent American familiesfamily money
The term typically describes a social class of the rich who have been able to maintain their wealth over multiple generations, often referring to perceived members of the de facto aristocracy in societies that historically lack an officially established aristocratic class (such as the United States).

Republic (Plato)

RepublicThe RepublicPlato's Republic
Plato describes these "philosopher kings" as "those who love the sight of truth" (Republic 475c) and supports the idea with the analogy of a captain and his ship or a doctor and his medicine.
The starting point is an imagined, alternate aristocracy (ruled by a philosopher-king); a just government dominated by the wisdom-loving element.

Tyrant

tyrannytyrannicaltyrants
It is true that they had no legal right to rule, but the people preferred them over kings or the aristocracy.

Elitism

elitistacademic elitismanti-elitism
Some synonyms for "elite" might be "upper-class" or "aristocratic", indicating that the individual in question has a relatively large degree of control over a society's means of production.

Leviathan (Hobbes book)

LeviathanLeviathan (book)Nasty, brutish, and short
In the 1651 book Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes describes an aristocracy as a commonwealth in which the representative of the citizens is an assembly by part only.
There are three (monarchy, aristocracy and democracy):

Plutocracy

plutocraticplutocratplutocrats
Modern depictions of aristocracy tend to regard it not as the ancient Greek concept of rule by the best, but more as an oligarchy or plutocracy—rule by the few or the wealthy.

Greek language

GreekAncient GreekModern Greek
Aristocracy (Greek ἀριστοκρατία aristokratía, from ἄριστος aristos 'excellent', and κράτος, kratos 'rule') is a form of government that places strength in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class.

Hereditary monarchy

hereditaryhereditary monarchieshereditary monarch
In practice, aristocracy often leads to hereditary government, after which the hereditary monarch appoints officers as they see fit.

Aristotle

AristotelianAristotelesAristote
However, the term was first used by ancient Greeks such as Aristotle and Plato, who used it to describe a system where only the best of the citizens, chosen through a careful process of selection, would become rulers, and hereditary rule would actually have been forbidden, unless the rulers' children performed best and were better endowed with the attributes that make a person fit to rule compared with every other citizen in the polity. Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Xenophon and the Spartans considered Aristocracy (the ideal form of rule by the few) to be inherently better than the ideal form of rule by the many (Democracy), but they also considered the corrupted form of Aristocracy (Oligarchy) to be worse than the corrupted form of Democracy (Mob Rule).

Socrates

SocraticSokratesSocrate
Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Xenophon and the Spartans considered Aristocracy (the ideal form of rule by the few) to be inherently better than the ideal form of rule by the many (Democracy), but they also considered the corrupted form of Aristocracy (Oligarchy) to be worse than the corrupted form of Democracy (Mob Rule).

Xenophon

Xenophon of AthensXen.Constitution of the Lacedemonians
Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Xenophon and the Spartans considered Aristocracy (the ideal form of rule by the few) to be inherently better than the ideal form of rule by the many (Democracy), but they also considered the corrupted form of Aristocracy (Oligarchy) to be worse than the corrupted form of Democracy (Mob Rule).