Quick Guide to Political Rule

Athens

So, here is a quick guide to all those “cracy” systems. What is a “cracy?” Well, the suffix means “rule of” in Greek. So anything with the suffix “cracy” is a rule of.

Here are some of the most-common governing systems:

Timiocracy: Rule of those with exclusive status; property ownership. So all rulers here own property.

Ethnocracy: Where one ethnic class holds a disproportionate amount of power (very common in Africa or the Middle East).

Democracy: Rule of “the people, ” generally the people is considered to be people who consent to governance. Not rule by the mob.

Theocracy: Rule of theology (divine rule).

Autocracy: Rule of a self-appointed, single ruler.

Krytocracy: Rule of judges.

Meritocracy: Where merit rules. Jobs, appointments, and rule are given based on the demonstration of competency.

Monarchy: Rule of a monarch. Not as harsh as an autocracy, but decisions are made by one individual, usually for life, but (s)he usually gets some input from others on decisions.

Aristocracy: Rule of aristocrats. Rule is usually inherited by “good blood,” and only a very select few make decisions.

Oligarchy: Rule of the few. Those in charge are either wealthy, religious elite, military, or some other distinguishing group. Not exclusive to “high society” like an aristocracy is.

Plutocracy: Rule by the wealthy.