Our new installment in the ‘Matrix of Terms’ series is the offbeat term Finance Oligarchs.
Since 2008 we have been inundated with information regarding the economy, banking, debt, and a host of other related issues. If we can draw one good thing out of this crisis, is that it has put a spotlight on the system and awoken people to the utter corruption that has been beneath the surface for decades.
Most people understand what or who ‘finances’ and ‘financiers’ are but most do not know or remember what the term ‘oligarch’ means. To grasp oligarch we must look into the word ‘oligarchy’. The best way to approach oligarchy is to break it down into its Hellenic roots.
The term comes directly from the Greek word ‘oligarkhia’ which can be broken down further as ‘oligos’ meaning “few” and ‘archo’ meaning “to rule or command”. When we reconstruct this term it could be simply defined as “being ruled by a few”.
An oligarchy is a system in which the power lies within the hands of a small group of people. The historical context of this word is interesting.
Aristotle actually used this term as a synonym for “being ruled by the rich”; i.e. a plutocracy. As the reader can probably deduce an ‘oligarch’ is “one of the rulers within this system of governance.”
An oligarch is usually from a certain social class like royalty or connected to wealthy families. But an oligarchy can also be comprised of educational institutions or formed within corporate and military sectors.
These rulers typically like to keep a successive power structure within their own group and pass this from one generation to the next.
Although oligarchic governance can be relatively harmless, the historical evidence and the very nature of such a system show that it can very quickly become tyrannical.
Oligarchs depend heavily on the servitude of the public and often install an oppressive feudal system to meet their goals. A rather dark, but eerily true, portrait of this form of governance is the fictional work by George Orwell titled “1984”.
At this point we can move forward to the meat of this entry, which is the definition of a ‘finance oligarch’. Basically ‘financial oligarchy’ is a form of governance that rules through the control of money and the manipulation of the markets.
Obviously in a scholastic realm this system mirrors closely with another form of rulership called ‘corporatocracy’ which is merely “a form of governance that is ruled by corporations”.
In many ways these rulers, ‘Corporate Oligarchs’, are in fact synonymous with ‘Finance Oligarchs’. It is key to note that this oligarchic system is ruled by educational institutions, economic entities, banks, commercial entities, and lobbyists.
Typically when people speak of finance oligarchs they are usually referring to those within banking institutions and economic entities.