The Wikipedia entry on Plutocracy begins:
Plutocracy (from Greek πλοῦτος, ploutos, meaning “wealth”, and κράτος, kratos, meaning “power, dominion, rule”), also known as plutonomy or plutarchy, defines a society or a system ruled and dominated by the small minority of the top wealthiest citizens. The first known use of the term is 1652. Unlike systems such as democracy, capitalism, socialism or anarchism, plutocracy is not rooted in an established political philosophy and has no formal advocates. The concept of plutocracy may be advocated by the wealthy classes of a society in an indirect or surreptitious fashion, though the term itself is almost always used in a pejorative sense.
As befits theoretical virgin territory, this definition provokes a few rough-cut thoughts.
(1) Assuming, not unrealistically, that Plutocracy designates something beyond a fantastic idea, it is immediately obvious that its identification as a type of political regime will almost inevitably mislead. Plutocratic power does not begin in the political arena, and its political expression is unlikely to capture its nature at the quick. Insofar as the image of a ‘Plutocratic government’ associates Plutocracy with a cabal, it is not only insensitive to the real phenomenon, but positively falsifying.
(2) If there have been plutocrats, worthy of the name, they were the ‘Robber Barons’ of mid- late-19th century America. Progressivism has so thoroughly re-written the history of this period, that it is hard today to appreciate what took place. The destruction of their epoch was no less foundational for what followed than the ideological decapitation of kings was for the subsequent age of popular government.
(3) Plutocrats were monopolists because they created entirely new industrial structures roughly from scratch. Their monopolism was the effective rule of the new, and demonstrably achieved. There was no ‘oil industry’ before John D. Rockefeller brought one into being — making it exist was the foundation of his economic sovereignty.
(4) Between the plutocrats, which is in fact to say between the sovereigns of distinct industrial sectors, relations were ultra-competitive, to an extent unmatched in history. Intra-sectoral competition, of the kind considered normal by progressive-influenced market theorists, was dramatically over-shadowed by the inter-sectoral competition of the plutocrats. (To conceive ‘normal’ economic competition as a dynamic restricted to the domain of inter-changeable commodities is already to succumb to progressive-statist domestication.)
(5) The plutocrats waged economic war across the entire sphere of production, innovating opportunities for competition where these were not already evident. Opening new fronts of economic conflict where they did not already exist was among the most profound drivers of dynamic, radically transformative change. Plutocratic economic conflict created competition. (Rockefeller invented the oil pipeline to compete with the railroads — an outflanking maneuver that was not predictable, outside the conflict in process.)
(6) Plutocrats exemplify the natural right to rule in modernity. Their right is natural because it is earned — or really demonstrated — a fact no monarch or mob can match. Within plutocracy, power is creation. Outside the tenets of theology, can this be illustrated anywhere else?
ADDED: “It bothers me that Elon Musk, Paul Graham, and others like them do not have official title as nobles.”