What is aristocracy

What aristocracy is called the system in which political power is exercised by a privileged class, composed of the nobles and the highest and wealthiest social classes. Hence the word aristocracy can also refer to nobility of a nation or region.

In European countries, for example, the aristocracy It is made up of families with royal lineage (kings, princes, dukes, counts, barons), or who have acceded to it due to their military services (advanced, admirals, marquises).

In Latin America, on the other hand, predominated the creole aristocracya social group descended from the first settlers and the landowning families that administered the political power of the nascent nations after independence.

In the Ancient Greecethe aristocracy designated the form of government where political power was exercised by the bestthat is, those with greater capacity and virtue.

Hence its etymological origin, which comes from the Greek ἀριστοκρατία (aristocratía), a word that is made up of the roots ἄριστος (áristos), which means ‘the best’, and κράτος (krátos), which translates ‘power’, ‘government’.

For philosophers like Plato Y Aristotlethe aristocracyunderstood in its original sense, was the ideal form of government, since it would be the most notable citizens due to their moral and intellectual conditions who would be in charge of the political administration of the State to attend to the interests of their governed.

The aristocracy It was, therefore, a way of combating the excesses of tyranny and the injustices of the oligarchy.

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Aristocracyon the other hand, can also be used to designate the group of people whose merits or excellence make them stand out in their respective areas: the mercantile aristocracy, the academic aristocracy.

Advantages and disadvantages of the aristocracy

Understood in its classical sense, the aristocracy It is an ideal political system, where the most prepared citizens with the most appreciated moral virtues are the ones who exercise political power in an ethical manner, in accordance with the laws and in attention to the needs and interests of the people, without class distinctions. race, sex or religion.

The problem with the aristocratic model is that, by reserving access to power for a select group of citizens, and these in turn for their descendants, it tends to monopolize power based on the interests of the ruling classes, segregating the majority of the population, all of which results in a political system that has been called oligarchy, where the group that holds political power governs only for the groups that have economic power.

Difference Between Aristocracy and Oligarchy

The aristocracy and the oligarchy they are similar concepts in the sense that they refer to select groups of individuals who hold political power.

They differ in that the aristocracyin its original meaning, designates the government of the best to serve the interests of the people, while the oligarchy refers to the form of government where a privileged class serves only the interests of a few. Hence, when you want to attribute negative connotations to the aristocratic system, it is called oligarchic.

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