|acracy||government by none; anarchy|
|adhocracy||government in an unstructured fashion; an unstructured organization|
|albocracy||government by white people|
|anarchy||government by none|
|androcracy||government by men|
|anemocracy||government by the wind or by whim|
|angelocracy||government by angels|
|antarchy||opposition to government; anarchy|
|argentocracy||government by money|
|aristarchy||government by the best|
|aristocracy||government by the nobility|
|arithmocracy||government by simple majority|
|autarchy||government by an absolute ruler|
|autocracy||government by one individual|
|barbarocracy||government by barbarians|
|beerocracy||government by brewers or brewing interests|
|bestiocracy||rule by beasts|
|biarchy||government by two people; diarchy|
|binarchy||government by two people; diarchy|
|bureaucracy||government by civil servants|
|cannonarchy||government by superior firepower or by cannons|
|capelocracy||government by shopkeepers|
|chiliarchy||government by one thousand people|
|chirocracy||government by physical force|
|chromatocracy||government by rulers of a particular skin colour|
|chrysoaristocracy||government by the wealthy; plutocracy|
|chrysocracy||government by the wealthy; plutocracy|
|corpocracy||government by corporate bureaucrats|
|cosmarchy||rulership over the entire world, esp. by the devil|
|cottonocracy||government by those involved in the cotton trade|
|decadarchy||government by ten individuals; decarchy|
|decarchy||government by ten individuals|
|demarchy||government by the people; popular government|
|democracy||government by the people|
|demonarchy||government by a demon|
|demonocracy||government by demons or evil forces|
|despotocracy||government by despots or tyrants|
|diabolocracy||government by the Devil|
|diarchy||government by two people|
|dinarchy||government by two people; diarchy|
|dodecarchy||government by twelve people|
|doulocracy||government by slaves|
|duarchy||government by two people; diarchy|
|dulocracy||government by slaves; doulocracy|
|dyarchy||government by two people; diarchy|
|ecclesiarchy||government by clerics or ecclesiastical authorities|
|ergatocracy||government by the workers or the working class|
|ethnarchy||government over an ethnic group|
|ethnocracy||government by an ethnic group or race|
|exarchy||government by bishops|
|foolocracy||government by fools|
|gerontocracy||government by the aged|
|gunarchy||government by women; gynarchy|
|gymnasiarchy||government over a school or academy|
|gynaecocracy||government by women; gynarchy|
|gynarchy||government by women|
|gynocracy||government by women; gynarchy|
|hagiarchy||government by saints or holy persons|
|hagiocracy||government by holy men|
|hamarchy||government by a cooperative body of parts|
|hecatarchy||government by one hundred people; hecatontarchy|
|hecatontarchy||government by one hundred people|
|hendecarchy||government by eleven people|
|heptarchy||government by seven people|
|heroarchy||government by heroes|
|hetaerocracy||government by paramours|
|heterarchy||government by a foreign ruler|
|hierarchy||government by a ranked body; government by priests|
|hierocracy||government by priests or religious ministers|
|hipparchy||rule or control of horses|
|hoplarchy||government by the military|
|hyperanarchy||condition of extreme anarchy|
|iatrarchy||government by physicians|
|idiocracy||personal rule; self-rule|
|infantocracy||government by an infant|
|isocracy||equal political power|
|jesuitocracy||government by Jesuits|
|juntocracy||government by a junta|
|kakistocracy||government by the worst|
|kleptocracy||government by thieves|
|kritarchy||government by judges|
|landocracy||government by the propertied class; timocracy|
|logocracy||government of words|
|matriarchy||government by women or mothers|
|meritocracy||government by the meritorious|
|merocracy||government by a part of the citizenry|
|mesocracy||government by the middle classes|
|metrocracy||government by mothers or women; matriarchy|
|millionocracy||government by millionaires|
|millocracy||government by mill owners|
|mobocracy||government by mobs or crowds|
|monarchy||government by one individual|
|moneyocracy||government by the monied classes|
|monocracy||government by one individual|
|myriarchy||government by ten thousand individuals|
|narcokleptocracy||government by those who profit from trade in illegal drugs|
|navarchy||rulership over the seas|
|neocracy||government by new or inexperienced rulers|
|nomocracy||government based on legal system; rule of law|
|ochlocracy||government by mobs|
|octarchy||government by eight people|
|oligarchy||government by the few|
|paedarchy||government by children|
|paedocracy||government by children; paedarchy|
|panarchy||universal rule or dominion|
|pantarchy||government by all the people; world government|
|pantisocracy||government by all equally|
|paparchy||government by the pope|
|papyrocracy||government by newspapers or literature|
|parsonarchy||government by parsons|
|partocracy||government by a single unopposed political party|
|patriarchy||government by men or fathers|
|pedantocracy||government by pedants or strict rule-bound scholars|
|pentarchy||government by five individuals|
|phallocracy||government by men|
|philosophocracy||government by philosophers|
|phylarchy||government by a specific class or tribe|
|physiocracy||government according to natural laws or principles|
|pigmentocracy||government by those of one skin colour|
|plantocracy||government by plantation owners|
|plousiocracy||government by the wealthy; plutocracy|
|plutarchy||government by the wealthy; plutocracy|
|plutocracy||government by the wealthy|
|polarchy||government by many people; polyarchy|
|policeocracy||government by police|
|pollarchy||government by the multitude or a mob; ochlocracy|
|polyarchy||government by many people|
|polycracy||government by many rulers; polyarchy|
|popocracy||government by populists|
|pornocracy||government by harlots|
|prophetocracy||government by a prophet|
|psephocracy||government resulting from election by ballot|
|ptochocracy||government by beggars or paupers; wholesale pauperization|
|punditocracy||government by political pundits|
|quangocracy||rule of quasi-autonomous non-governmental organizations|
|rotocracy||government by those who control rotten boroughs|
|septarchy||government by seven rulers; heptarchy|
|shopocracy||government by shopkeepers|
|slavocracy||government by slave-owners|
|snobocracy||government by snobs|
|sociocracy||government by society as a whole|
|squarsonocracy||government by landholding clergymen|
|squatterarchy||government by squatters; squattocracy|
|squattocracy||government by squatters|
|squirearchy||government by squires|
|squirocracy||government by squires; squirearchy|
|statocracy||government by the state alone, without ecclesiastical influence|
|stratarchy||rulership over an army|
|stratocracy||military rule or despotism|
|strumpetocracy||government by strumpets|
|technocracy||government by technical experts|
|tetradarchy||government by four people; tetrarchy|
|tetrarchy||government by four people|
|thalassiarchy||sovereignty of the seas; thalassocracy|
|thalassocracy||sovereignty of the seas|
|thearchy||rule by a god or gods; body of divine rulers|
|theatrocracy||goverment by gathered assemblies of citizens|
|theocracy||government by priests or by religious law|
|timarchy||government by the propertied class; timocracy|
|timocracy||government by the propertied class|
|triarchy||government by three people|
|tritarchy||government by three people; triarchy|
|tritheocracy||government by three gods|
|whiggarchy||government by Whigs|
|xenocracy||government by a body of foreigners|
A form of government (or lack thereof) with no ruling hierarchy, instead decisions are made at a directly democratic level: laws are created by citizens alone, although they may be enforced by institutions that are not publicly controlled.
A stateless society composed of sovereign individuals living within the constraints of a free market.
Anarchy is lack of a central government, as there is no one recognized governing authority; in anarchy there is no effective government (as opposed to an "ineffective government") and each (rugged) individual has absolute liberty. It is important to note, however, that the lack of a government to enforce laws does not automatically imply that there are no laws; anarcho-capitalism in particular posits a form of anarchy with a body of explicit laws.
Aristocracy (from the Greek "rule of the best") is government rule by a few elite citizens. In Europe, the elite consisted of the nobility and higher clergy, often drawn from noble families. Usually the "elite" positions in question are hereditary. It was one of the six forms of government identified by Aristotle, and he said it was the second best, after monarchy but before constitutional government. Moreover, if corrupted, it resulted in only the second worst form of government, oligarchy.
The United Kingdom's system of aristocracy is probably the canonical one for the English speaking world. Until 1999, everyone who held a hereditary title of nobility higher than baron or baroness was automatically a member of the upper house of the British legislature, the House of Lords. Since 1999, the members of this class elect 90 representatives who sit as the legislative body of the House of Lords. The title of baron/baroness were also hereditary. In addition to these aristocrats, members of landed families entitled to a heraldic coat of arms are generally considered part of the gentry, without regard to their ranks or titles. And people designated by the British monarch as Life Peers also belong to the House of Lords, but these peers do not pass their titles to their progeny by descent.
Aristocracy has been abolished by many nations, sometimes with some violence. The French Revolution is the most notorious instance of such an overthrow.
Even in places where noble titles carry no special political rights or consequences, a conventional social distinction is drawn up between "old money" and a class of nouveaux riches or parvenus. Old-money families inherited their wealth from relatively distant ancestors. It was formerly considered a more prestigious sort of wealth. Besides the money, nobility involved many other markers of social class: language or accent, dress, social connections and parental expectations. Many political dynasties in the United States, including the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the Tafts, represented this kind of wealth.
The Aristocracy refers to the social class that is doing the ruling.
A form of government in which the political power is held by a single, self-appointed ruler. This should be distinguished from monarchy, which involves some traditional basis for that power, usually birth, and is often weakened (especially in modern times) by the presence of countervailing institutions, like a Parliament. Which is not to say that dictators who've awarded themselves the position of king or emperor or president-for-life are exempt from being categorized as autocrats, of course.
In practice, it is almost impossible to be a real autocrat, because every state must rely on an array of lesser officials to enforce the dicta of the autocrat. Moreover, any given autocrat will have to appease certain factions, most notably the military, to avoid the Praetorian treatment.Wikipedia's W.svg At a bare minimum, the autocrat will need the threat of force to compel obedience, which necessitates some willing underlings to carry out that threat.
Autocracy, though, is one of the most overused words in the foreign policy lexicon, as it is often used to simply mean "authoritarian" or "totalitarian" governments. For example, many writers will refer to Chinese "autocrats", not understanding that the mere fact that there is more than one person making decisions means it is not an autocracy.
Some examples are:
USSR (well, Uncle Joe was certainly an autocratic leader, but
totalitarian is probably a better description of Stalinism in
The Putinarchy in modern day Russia.
North Korea under three generations now. Legally, the actual 'leader' of the country is Kim Il Sung, despite being dead for 21 years.
A government ruled by goat or goats. Without a doubt, this is the most superior form of government known to any creature ever.
A hypothetical stateless entity that follows after socialism as according to Marxist theory.
A form of government where a corporation, a group of corporations, or government entities with private components control the direction and governance of a country. The U.S. is falling towards this direction.
A hypothetical political system run by randomly selected deciders decision makers who have been selected by sortition (drawing lots). Think selecting a legislature or executive in the same manner that a jury is presently selected.
Refers to a broad range of types of government based upon the "consent of the governed". In its purest form it is the same thing as mobocracy, but it is usually practiced in the form of a republic or constitutional monarchy, which provides checks and balances and an establishment that is able to tap an unruly mob on its collective head. In the US, "democracy" is often mistakenly assumed to mean direct democracy as opposed to representative democracy (see also Republic).
Rule by an all-powerful individual. A less polite term for "autocracy."
Rule by a
dictator instead of a despot. Political science is very nuanced.
Technically, a dictatorship is where the executive holds a disproportionate
amount of power, so an oligarchy (see below) can be a dictatorship,
as in the case of South American juntas.
A utopian type of society and government in which people of rank, including those holding political office, are those who possess epistemic humility.
A form of government where representatives of a particular ethnic group hold a number of government posts disproportionately large to the percentage of the total population that the particular ethnic group(s) represents and use them to advance the position of their particular ethnic group(s) to the detriment of others. In Nazi Germany ethnic groups Hitler supported held all the power, and the Nazist ideology insisted homogeneity in culture and ethnicity was required for a strong, functioning government and nation.
There are no official modern ethnocratic states; however, it could be asserted that Israel is a type of modern ethnocracy, given the history and nature of the country.
Neo-Nazis often accuse Jews of possessing an ethnocracy in the person of the U.S. government, which they call the Zionist Occupation Government.
A form of government, usually theocratic or monarchic, that is established and constituted for rule over an ethnic or religious diaspora rather than over the place of origin whence the diaspora originated.
Rule by a totalitarian and corporatist government.
Government by a usually hereditary class of military landowners, who exact goods and services from a peasant class in exchange for protection. Usually features complex webs of loyalties and ranks.
System of government proposed by economist Robin Hanson based on the idea of voting on a certain outcome and then figuring out how to achieve it.
A system of government first proposed by Rael (leader of the International Raëlian Movement) in 1977, which advocates problem-solving and creative intelligence as criteria for regional governance. Not, unfortunately, rule by genies, which would be much more awesome.
A state, society or group governed exclusively by geezers old farts elders. Gerontocracies form councils, comprised of men over the age of 60, who exercise control. This form of government was popular with the ancient Greeks. It can be used more generally of any government whose members are significantly older than the national average, which applies to many regimes (see Strom Thurmond), but was particularly common in the latter days of Communism in Eastern Europe. The rarely-found opposite is infantocracy or paedocracy.
Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled people, "Government by the worst."
Rule by those who are strong enough to seize power through force or cunning.
Kritocracy or Krytocracy
Rule by judges. See also judicial activism.
Rule by women, or a government which regards female humans as entitled to rule and to exercise power over men. MRAs believe this to be the case in most of the Western world.
A government wherein appointments are made and responsibilities are given based on demonstrated talent and ability, usually encouraging "merit".
ideology which maintains that the state's only legitimate function
is the protection of individuals from aggression.
Mobocracy or ochlocracy
Rule by mob or a mass of people, or the intimidation of constitutional authorities; think Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail "witch/duck" mob.
Rule by an individual for life or until abdication, often hereditary. On a positive note, a monarchy usually possesses more checks and balances than an autocracy or dictatorship. On a more negative note, in biblical scripture 1 Samuel 8:6-18 possibly implies the institution of hereditary monarchy as a punishment for the governed.
A government that operates under the rules of a dead ruler. The Incan Empire in Peru was a weird example of this, since the dead "rulers" didn't actually pass laws, but their mummified bodies had attendants who "interpreted their will." (Sure...) See also North Korea.
A form of government in which power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society distinguished by royal, wealth, intellectual, family, military or religious hegemony. The term dates back to Aristotle, who considered oligarchy to be the corrupted form of aristocracy, and worse than mob rule, but better than tyranny. Historically, it was common in societies such as the Renaissance Republic of VeniceWikipedia's W.svg and Republic of FlorenceWikipedia's W.svg which restricted elected offices to members of a small ruling class. No modern country identifies itself as an oligarchy. The term is used by scholars to describe various societies, historical and modern, or thrown around as a pejorative epithet.
A political philosophy emphasizing each individual's right to freely join and leave the jurisdiction of any governments they choose, without being forced to move from their current locale.
Rule by men, or a government which regards male humans as entitled to rule and to exercise power over women.
Rule by the wealthy, or power provided by wealth.
and international definition: Any of a wide variety of non-monarchical
governments where eligibility to rule is determined by law. US
definition: Rule by elected individuals representing the citizen
body and exercising power according to the rule of law.
Socialist republic or people's republic
A state run by a communist party, with a centrally controlled economy and resources distributed by "need" and produced by "ability", where workers, or the Party, control the means of production. Prime examples: the People's Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. However, there are states which don't fit this bill coughPortugalandIndiacoughcough yet still self-identify as Socialist republics.
A system of government in which there is no distinction between the military and the civil power. the ancient Greek city state of Sparta is an example. See stratocracyWikipedia's W.svg in Wikipedia. No modern state is a pure stratocracy, but North Korea and Myanmar have stratocratic tendencies, as their militaries have constitutional authority usually reserved to civilian rulers.
A form of government in which engineers, scientists, and other technical experts are in control of decision making in their respective fields. Plato might approve! Or maybe not, as today the term is debased and generally means government by economists, bankers, and bureaucrats rather than career politicians, as with the Monti governmentWikipedia's W.svg in Italy.
A realm which primarily exercises power over the sea via naval power, as opposed to a tellurocracy which rules land.
A form of government in which a god or deity is recognized as the state's supreme civil ruler. Since said god or deity is usually absent from decision making, a self-appointed or elected leader or leaders of the religion of said god or deity will rule instead through personal interpretation of the laws commanded by the god in that religion's (usually written) law. Saudi Arabia and Iran are examples.
A political system theorized by Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement (Mormons). As the name implies, theodemocracy was meant to be a fusion of traditional republican democratic rights under the US Constitution combined with theocratic elements.
Either a state where only property owners may participate in government, or where rulers are selected and perpetuated based on the degree of honor they hold relative to others in their society, peer group, or class; from the Greek t?µ?="price, worth". For Aristotle, who borrowed the concept from Solon, it lay in between aristocracy (rule by the best and wisest) and oligarchy (rule by the rich).
Rule by a selfish or otherwise bad single ruler. Prime example: North Korea.
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