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Corporatocracy or Corpocracy is a form of government where a corporation, group of corporations or entities run by corporations, control the direction and governance of a country.

Though there are no true corporatocracies in the world, there are a number of people who have criticized governments for being de facto corporatocracies. However, thoroughly proving this would likely be difficult at best and the idea of a corporatocracy is mainly discussed in the circles of left-wing thinkers.

Many Western governments based on a capitalist system have been accused of being corporatocracies. In fact, many corporations contribute abundantly to certain political candidates and causes. This creates a dependency of the politician on the corporation. In order to keep his power and wealth (i.e. continue receiving support for re-election bids), he might be obliged to "pay back" to the corporation using his political influence.

Adding to this mindset is the fact that many corporations often give to both political parties and major political party candidates. This is seen as a corporation hedging their bets on the outcome of an election and trying to get on the good side of whichever candidate is elected into office. Some say this is one of the hallmarks of a corporatocracy.

Some say the term "corporatocracy" has no real place in the lexicon, adding that corporations are primarily fictional entities possessing no real power. In fact, it is the people behind those corporations that hold the power. In that sense, a corporatocracy is nothing more than a democracy where the class which owns the means for producing wealth is fighting for its best interests.

Those who dismiss the idea of a corporatocracy often say the only way one may be possible to have one is if a government makes it legal to buy a politician's vote. In such a way, the corporation would, in fact, have a direct vote on major policy matters. However, all true democracies have seen the dangers in that and have made vote buying illegal. However, per the terms of at-will employment, the politician himself may not be allowed to buy a vote, but the heads of corporations can require their employees to vote a certain way in exchange for (continued) employment. Such a policy is technically legal because it's not illegal.

However, for those who believe there may, indeed, be corporatocracies, they argue that no one individual, and perhaps no other groups of individuals, would have that much power, money or influence. Further, they argue the decisions on what to push for and who to support are made by a relatively few from inside the corporation. Therefore, while thousands of people may make up a corporation, only a few have the power to speak for the corporation and advocate issues on behalf of the corporation. That provides those corporations with a substantial amount of power, leading to a corporatocracy.

Further, they argue that it does not take an overt effort to buy a politician's vote. Making a substantial donation to a certain politician's campaign could be seen as sending a signal to that politician that the money is there if they vote in a way the corporation desires. Conversely, the money could be donated to an opponent if the vote does not go the corporation's way.

In his 2004 book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins writes; "corporations, banks, and governments (collectively the corporatocracy)".

The concept of a government run by corporations or instances where governments are actually weaker (politically, financially, and militarily) than corporations is a theme often used in both political fiction and science fiction. In these instances the dominant corporate entity is usually dubbed a megacorporation.

[edit] Notes

1. John Perkins, "Confessions of an Economic Hitman," page xiii, Berrett-Koehler Publishers (November 9, 2004)

[edit] See also

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