For centuries, oligarchs were viewed as empowered by wealth, an idea muddled by elite theory early in the twentieth century. The common thread for oligarchs across history is that wealth defines them, empowers them and inherently exposes them to threats. The existential motive of all oligarchs is wealth defense. How they respond varies with the threats they confront, including how directly involved they are in supplying the coercion underlying all property claims and whether they act separately or collectively. These variations yield four types of oligarchy: warring, ruling, sultanistic and civil. Moreover, the rule of law problem in many societies is a matter of taming oligarchs. Cases studied in this book include the United States, ancient Athens and Rome, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, medieval Venice and Siena, mafia commissions in the United States and Italy, feuding Appalachian families and early chiefs cum oligarchs dating from 2300 BCE.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - brleach - LibraryThing
I'm not sure his distinction between those who have enough wealth to engage in wealth defense and those who do not stands up. There are plenty of people who he does not seem to be counting as ... Read full review
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actors Akbar Tanjung American argues armed forces Athenian Athens average capital century challenges citizens civil oligarchy coercion coercive capacities command concentrated wealth conflict country’s decades democratic deploy disarmed domination drachmae economic elections electoral democracy elite theory enforcement estates families feud feudal fortunes garchs Golkar hoplites impersonal important Income Defense Industry income tax individual Indonesia inequality institutions Jakarta KPMG landed oligarchs legal system mafia major Marcos mass affluent material power resources material resources military million offshore oligarchic power oligarchic theory oligarchs and oligarchy party percent Pertamina Philippines political population president pribumi property claims property defense property rights regime rich role Roman Rome rule of law ruling oligarchy secure Singapore Singapore’s slaves society stratum Suharto Sukarno sultanistic oligarchy tamed Tanjung tax havens tax rates tax shelters threats trierarchic U.S. Senate violence warlords warring oligarchs wealth and property wealth defense Wiranto writes