What exactly is an oligarch. I’ve never heard this term before this week and I’m having a hard time understanding exactly what it is?


What exactly is an oligarch. I’ve never heard this term before this week and I’m having a hard time understanding exactly what it is?

In: 30

What about it don’t you understand?

It is mostly rich business people who run the government. You could argue that the US is also an oligarchy.

The Soviet Union was a communist state. Which meant that there was very little, if any, private industry. In a capitalist society like the US, we have CEOs, boards, and shareholders, all private citizens privately owning and operating their business within the laws established by the state. In the Soviet Union, they had unelected state officials owning and operating all industries like oil and gas. When the Soviet Union collapsed, there was a transition period to private ownership of businesses and different industries, but there was no real established process for changing the economic model from communism to something else. There’s a long and complicated story about how the new Russian government took these state run industries and issued stock in those companies for private sale – it’s really fascinating and covered in detail in the book Red Notice by Bill Browder.

What basically happened though is that control of all industries was handed over to a handful of people who were well connected with the old Soviet government officials. Or, people who were savvy enough to understand what an opportunity these stock issues were. These well connected individuals ended up owning most of the economic assets the country had to offer. These individuals are insanely wealthy, but they also owe all their wealth to the current Russian government and are expected to play ball. It’s really not too far removed from the old Soviet model where these now “private” industries are really owned by people who are subservient to the state. They’re effectively the ruling class of Russia, hence why they’re called oligarchs.

It is an ancient Greek term which is used for someone who is a member of a oligarchy. An oligarchy is a way to organize a government where a small number of privileged people (oligarchs) are in control. Power is more divided then in a dictatorship but not among all the people like in a democracy. The accusations of Russia being a oligarchy is based on observations that the democratic elections and official democratic impact on the politics of the government. However a small group of powerful people seam to have regular meetings with the top politicians and the political decisions seams to fall in their favor most of the time. So it seams these people are the ones in charge of the Russian government and not the democratically elected politicians or even the President.

Oligarchy means “government by a few”. An oligarchy is where the government is controlled by a small group of powerful individuals representing their self interests and working to advance their personal wealth and influence.

In Russia, the government is effectively in service to a group of individuals connected to the old soviet intelligence services and organized crime who have seized control of major industries and fund their enterprises indirectly through taxation.