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
cryptarchy secret rulership
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
endarchy centralised government
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
hyperarchy excessive government
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
synarchy joint sovereignty
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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4]

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:

Stalinist USSR (well, Uncle Joe was certainly an autocratic leader, but totalitarian is probably a better description of Stalinism in general)
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.[5]

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[6] 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.[7][8] The rarely-found opposite is infantocracy or paedocracy.[9]


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".


A political 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[10] possibly implies the institution of hereditary monarchy as a punishment for the governed.[11]


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.


Historical 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.[12]


A realm which primarily exercises power over the sea via naval power, as opposed to a tellurocracy which rules land.[13]


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).[14]


Rule by a selfish or otherwise bad single ruler. Prime example: North Korea.