Oligarchy Pros and Cons List

An oligarchy is defined as any form of government where a small amount of people are able to wield control over the larger majority. In order to develop a true understanding of this form of government, it is important to examine the pros and cons, so that an informed decision can be made about its effectiveness.

While this form of government has caused its fair share of controversy, there are a number of advantages, in addition to the obvious disadvantages. Keep reading to learn more.

List of Pros of Oligarchy

1. Decisions Happen Rapidly
While other forms of government may offer additional autonomy to their citizens, under an oligarchy, decisions are made much more rapidly, since there are less people whose approval is needed. Coming to a consensus on the issues that matter most does not take as long as it would under a more democratic government.

2. Women Are Able To Ascend To Positions Of Power
In oligarchies, women actually have a far greater ability to ascend to a power position than they would in a normal form of government. Once they have climbed the ladder and made their way into the decision making group, their thoughts and feelings hold far more sway than they would typically.

3. Debate Still Exists
Many confuse oligarchies for monarchies or tyrannies. While most of the debate happens between the people who are in left in charge, the potential for debate still exists in the oligarchy. Instead of a monarchy or a tyranny where all decisions are made by just one person, an oligarchy relies upon the opinions of a few.

List of Cons of Oligarchy

1. No Change To The Status Quo
When the system that is in place benefits those who are in power, they have very little motivation to make meaningful changes, especially in situations where the system in place benefits the elite. Government systems like these are typically used as a tool to allow the rich to become even richer and the poor are left in the dust.

2. Free Speech Falls By The Wayside
In oligarchies, the average citizen has very little say over what takes place on a daily basis. Not only do they have a limited say, but their rights to free speech are often taken away, as well. This is a means for the elite to silence any uprisings before they have a chance to take place.

3. Middle Class Is Squeezed Out
An oligarchy allows the rich and powerful to become more rich and powerful, while preventing the poor from being able to improve their lot in life. As a result, the gap between the rich and poor widens and the middle class ends up being squeezed out in the process.