The plutocracy ( ancient Greek πλουτοκρατία plutokratía "wealth domination" of πλοῦτος Pluto's " wealth " and κρατεῖν kratein "rule") or Plutarchie ( ἄρχειν archein 'lead') is a form of government in which assets the decisive precondition for participation in the rule is, thus the rule of money ( rule of money ; similarly also called " money nobility "). It can be institutionalized (e.g. through the census suffrage ) or it can be exercised indirectly through the dependence of the elected decision-makers on the oligarchs, namely the plutocrats and their lobbyists . The plutocracy is thus a sub-form of the oligarchy .
In a plutocratic system there is a high degree of social inequality with little social mobility . In a plutocracy, offices are usually only available to the haves. There is a census suffrage that excludes the dispossessed from political civil rights , whereby political power is mainly exercised for the benefit of the power holders. Linked to this is that the financial power of individuals or companies circumvents the constitutional order of a state , steers the state self-interested and manipulates democratic elections as far as possible .
In 1817 Adam Weishaupt already spoke of “plutocracy or rule of the rich” at the expense of the increasing dependence of the poor, as the cause of every great revolution.
Battle term in the Third Reich
Under National Socialism , “plutocracy” was a term that was often used by the Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda under Joseph Goebbels to portray Great Britain and the USA negatively and to accuse them of malicious plans against the Nazi state . In his propaganda Goebbels basically equated democracy and plutocracy or represented democracy as a sub-form of plutocracy. In connection with anti-Semitism (including alleged Bolshevik plans for world domination ), he claimed that there was a pact of the plutocracies against Germany that allowed would lead to a submission of Europe to the Soviet Union. The enemy image propaganda was also used to gloss over the situation of workers (including Eastern workers ) in Germany, who allegedly are doing much better in the Nazi state.
- Jens Jessen : On the way to plutocracy - unrestrained wealth, betrayed citizens: the unleashed market puts democracy in danger
- Meyer's Large Pocket Lexicon in 24 volumes. Volume 17, Bibliographisches Institut Mannheim / Vienna / Zurich, 1981, p. 166
Adam Weishaupt: On the State Expenditures and Editions , 1817, p. 69 :
“The fact that some become too rich, while the greater part becomes impoverished, creates a plutocracy or rule of the rich, which forces the poor into the arms of the rich throw in order to seek a living from them. This, and no other, is the cause of all great revolutions; and one can rightly claim that every change of power is the result of a previous change of money or goods. "
- Cornelia Schmitz-Berning: Vokabular des Nationalsozialismus (2007), p. 471.
- Sabine Omland: Nazi propaganda in the teaching of German schools 1933–1943. 2 volumes: Longitudinal studies in the publication period 1933–1943, 2014, pp. 88–89.
- Cornelia Schmitz-Berning: Vokabular des Nationalsozialismus (2007), pp. 470–471.