Corporate republic

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A corporate republic is a theoretical form of government run primarily like a business, involving a board of directors and executives, in which all aspects of society are privatized by a single, or small groups of companies. The ultimate goal of this state is to increase the wealth of its shareholders, and the government acknowledges its status as a corporation. Utilities, including hospitals, schools, the military, and the police force, would be privatized. The social welfare function carried out by the state is instead carried out by corporations in the form of pensions and benefits to employees.

Board of directors body overseeing an organization

A board of directors is a group of people who jointly supervise the activities of an organization, which can be either a for-profit business, nonprofit organization, or a government agency. Such a board's powers, duties, and responsibilities are determined by government regulations and the organization's own constitution and bylaws. These authorities may specify the number of members of the board, how they are to be chosen, and how often they are to meet.

Corporate titles or business titles are given to company and organization officials to show what duties and responsibilities they have in the organization. Such titles are used publicly and privately held for-profit corporations. In addition, many non-profit organizations, educational institutions, partnerships, and sole proprietorships also confer corporate titles.

Within economics the concept of utility is used to model worth or value, but its usage has evolved significantly over time. The term was introduced initially as a measure of pleasure or satisfaction within the theory of utilitarianism by moral philosophers such as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. But the term has been adapted and reapplied within neoclassical economics, which dominates modern economic theory, as a utility function that represents a consumer's preference ordering over a choice set. As such, it is devoid of its original interpretation as a measurement of the pleasure or satisfaction obtained by the consumer from that choice.

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Corporate republics do not exist officially in the modern history and modern competition laws help prevent such a company from gaining much power. Historical states, such as post-classical Florence and the East India Company, might be said to have been governed as corporate republics. Political scientists have also considered state socialist nations (criticised as state capitalist) to be forms of corporate republics, with the state assuming full control of all economic and political life and establishing a monopoly on everything within national boundaries - effectively making the state itself equatable to a giant corporation.[ citation needed ]

Modern history era from ca. 1500 until present

Modern history, the modern period or the modern era, is the linear, global, historiographical approach to the time frame after post-classical history. Modern history can be further broken down into periods:

Republic of Florence city-state on the Appenine Peninsula between 1115–1532

The Republic of Florence, also known as the Florentine Republic, was a medieval and early modern state that was centered on the Italian city of Florence in Tuscany. The republic originated in 1115, when the Florentine people rebelled against the Margraviate of Tuscany upon the death of Matilda of Tuscany, a woman who controlled vast territories that included Florence. The Florentines formed a commune in her successors' place. The republic was ruled by a council known as the Signoria of Florence. The signoria was chosen by the gonfaloniere, who was elected every two months by Florentine guild members.

East India Company 16th through 19th-century British trading company

The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC) or the British East India Company and informally as John Company, Company Bahadur, or simply The Company, was an English and later British joint-stock company. It was formed to trade in the Indian Ocean region, initially with Mughal India and the East Indies, and later with Qing China. The company ended up seizing control over large parts of the Indian subcontinent, colonised parts of Southeast Asia, and colonised Hong Kong after a war with Qing China.

Corporate republics are used in works of science fiction or political commentary as a warning of the perceived dangers of capitalism. In such works, they usually arise when one or more vastly powerful corporations depose a government either over an extended time period via regulatory capture or swiftly in a coup d'état.

Science fiction genre of fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction, typically dealing with imaginative concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations, and has been called a "literature of ideas".

Political criticism is criticism that is specific of or relevant to politics, including policies, politicians, political parties, and types of government.

Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system, and competitive markets. In a capitalist market economy, decision-making and investment are determined by every owner of wealth, property or production ability in financial and capital markets, whereas prices and the distribution of goods and services are mainly determined by competition in goods and services markets.

Examples

The typical examples of corporate republics throughout history are typically the imperial East India Companies during the early modern era, such as the VOC, or the Honorable East India Company. Lesser known examples are the Congo Free State, the British South Africa Company, and the Langfang Republic

The East India Company, also known as the English East India Company, the British East India Company, and the Honourable East India Company was an English company founded in 1600

The Dutch East India Company was an early megacorporation founded by a government-directed amalgamation of several rival Dutch trading companies (voorcompagnieën) in the early-17th century. It was originally established on March 20,1602 as a chartered company to trade with India and Indianised Southeast Asian countries when the Dutch government granted it a 21-year monopoly on the Dutch spice trade. The Company has been often labelled a trading company or sometimes a shipping company. However, the VOC was in fact a proto-conglomerate company, diversifying into multiple commercial and industrial activities such as international trade, shipbuilding, both production and trade of East Indian spices, Formosan sugarcane, and South African wine. The Company was a transcontinental employer and an early pioneer of outward foreign direct investment. The Company's investment projects helped raise the commercial and industrial potential of many underdeveloped or undeveloped regions of the world in the early modern period. In the early 1600s, by widely issuing bonds and shares of stock to the general public, the VOC became the world's first formally-listed public company. In other words, it was the first corporation to be listed on an official stock exchange. The VOC was influential in the rise of corporate-led globalization in the early modern period.

Congo Free State Area in Central Africa under Belgian control (1885–1908)

The Congo Free State also known as the Independent State of the Congo was a large state in Central Africa from 1885 to 1908. It was ruled personally by Leopold II and not by the government of Belgium, of which he was the constitutional monarch. Leopold II was able to procure the region by convincing other Eurasian states at the Berlin Conference that he was involved in humanitarian and philanthropic work and would not tax trade. Via the International Association of the Congo, he was able to lay claim to most of the Congo basin. On 29 May 1885, i.e. after the closure of the Berlin Conference, the king announced that he planned to name his possessions "the Congo Free State", an appellation which was not yet used at the Berlin Conference and which officially replaced "International Association of the Congo" on 1 August 1885. The Congo Free State operated as a corporate state privately controlled by Leopold II. The state included the entire area of the present Democratic Republic of the Congo and existed from 1885 to 1908, when the government of Belgium reluctantly annexed the area.

The British East India Company in India

Starting in 1757 after the Battle of Plassey, the Company under Major-General Robert Clive was able to enthrone a puppet ruler in Bengal and was awarded the diwani, the right to collect revenue in Bengal and Bihar. Under subsequent Governor-Generals and their Presidency Armies, the Company was able to establish British Rule in the Indian subcontinent until the revolt by the Sepoys (native Indian mercenaries) in 1857 forced the British Government to establish direct colonial rule in India.

Battle of Plassey battle

The Battle of Plassey was a decisive victory of the British East India Company over the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies on 23 June 1757, under the leadership of Robert Clive. The battle consolidated the Company's presence in Bengal, which later expanded to cover much of India over the next hundred years.

Robert Clive British East India Company military officer

Major-General Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive,, also known as Clive of India, Commander-in-Chief of British India, was a British officer and privateer who established the military and political supremacy of the East India Company in Bengal. He is credited with securing a large swath of South Asia and the wealth that followed, for the British East India Company. In the process, he also turned himself into a multi-millionaire. Together with Warren Hastings he was one of the key early figures setting in motion what would later become British India. Blocking impending French mastery of India, and eventual British expulsion from the continent, Clive improvised a military expedition that ultimately enabled the East India Company to adopt the French strategy of indirect rule via puppet government. Hired by the company to return a second time to India, Clive conspired to secure the Company's trade interests by overthrowing the locally unpopular heir to the throne of Bengal, the richest state in India, richer than Britain, at the time. Back in England, he sat as a Tory Member of Parliament in London.

Presidency armies

The presidency armies were the armies of the three presidencies of the East India Company's rule in India, later the forces of the British Crown in India, composed primarily of Indian sepoys. The presidency armies were named after the presidencies: the Bengal Army, the Madras Army and the Bombay Army. Initially, only Europeans served as commissioned or non-commissioned officers. In time, Indian Army units were garrisoned from Peshawar in the north, to Sind in the west, and to Rangoon in the east. The army was engaged in the wars to extend British control in India and beyond.

The VOC Empire

The other classic example of out of control corporatocracy, the Dutch East India Company (aka, the VOC) was chartered by the Dutch Republic in order to monopolize trade in the East Indies and ensure the collective prosperity of the Republic. With the powers to conclude treaties, wage wars, imprison and execute convicts, [1] strike its own coins, and establish colonies, [2] the VOC created a vast corporate empire that set the standards for future transnational corporations.

Corporatocracy (, from corporate and Greek: -κρατία, translit. -kratía, lit. 'domination by', short form corpocracy, is a recent term used to refer to an economic and political system controlled by corporations or corporate interests. It is most often used as a term to describe the economic situation in a particular country. This is different from corporatism, which is the organisation of society into groups with common interests. Corporatocracy as a term is often used by observers across the political spectrum.

Dutch Republic republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795

The Dutch Republic or United Provinces was a republic that existed from the formal creation of a confederacy in 1581 by several Dutch provinces until the Batavian Revolution in 1795. It was the predecessor state of the modern Netherlands and the first nation state of the Dutch people.

Multinational corporation large corporation doing business in many countries

A multinational corporation (MNC) or worldwide enterprise is a corporate organization which owns or controls production of goods or services in at least one country other than its home country. Black's Law Dictionary suggests that a company or group should be considered a multinational corporation if it derives 25% or more of its revenue from out-of-home-country operations. A multinational corporation can also be referred to as a multinational enterprise (MNE), a transnational enterprise (TNE), a transnational corporation (TNC), an international corporation, or a stateless corporation. There are subtle but real differences between these three labels, as well as multinational corporation and worldwide enterprise.

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Crony capitalism is an economy in which businesses thrive not as a result of risk, but rather as a return on money amassed through a nexus between a business class and the political class. This is done using state power to crush genuine competition in handing out permits, government grants, special tax breaks, or other forms of state intervention over resources where the state exercises monopolist control over public goods, for example, mining concessions for primary commodities or contracts for public works. Money is then made not merely by making a profit in the market, but through profiteering by "rent seeking" using this monopoly or oligopoly. Entrepreneurship and innovative practices, which seek to reward risk are stifled, since the value-added is little by crony businesses as hardly anything of significant value is created by them, with transactions taking the form of "trading". Crony capitalism spills over into the government, the politics and the media, when this nexus distorts the economy and affects society to an extent it corrupts public-serving economic, political and social ideals.

Corporation separate legal entity that has been incorporated through a legislative or registration process established through legislation

A corporation is an organization, usually a group of people or a company, authorized to act as a single entity and recognized as such in law. Early incorporated entities were established by charter. Most jurisdictions now allow the creation of new corporations through registration. Corporations enjoy limited liability for their investors, which can lead to losses being externalized from investors to the government or general public, while losses to investors are generally limited to the amount of their investment.

Stock exchange organization that provides services for stock brokers and traders to trade securities

A stock exchange, securities exchange or bourse, is a facility where stock brokers and traders can buy and sell securities, such as shares of stock and bonds and other financial instruments. Stock exchanges may also provide for facilities the issue and redemption of such securities and instruments and capital events including the payment of income and dividends. Securities traded on a stock exchange include stock issued by listed companies, unit trusts, derivatives, pooled investment products and bonds. Stock exchanges often function as "continuous auction" markets with buyers and sellers consummating transactions at a central location such as the floor of the exchange. Many stock exchanges today use electronic trading, in place of the traditional floor trading.

State capitalism is an economic system in which the state undertakes commercial economic activity and where the means of production are organized and managed as state-owned business enterprises, or where there is otherwise a dominance of corporatized government agencies or of publicly listed corporations in which the state has controlling shares. Marxist literature defines state capitalism as a social system combining capitalism with ownership or control by a state—by this definition, a state capitalist country is one where the government controls the economy and essentially acts like a single huge corporation, extracting the surplus value from the workforce in order to invest it in further production. This designation applies regardless of the political aims of the state and some people argue that the modern People's Republic of China constitutes a form of state capitalism and/or that the Soviet Union failed in its goal to establish socialism, but rather established state capitalism.

Conglomerate (company) two or more corporations that fall under one corporate group

A conglomerate is the combination of two or more corporations operating in entirely different industries under one corporate group, usually involving a parent company and many subsidiaries. Often, a conglomerate is a multi-industry company. Conglomerates are often large and multinational.

Big business involves large-scale corporate-controlled financial or business activities. As a term, it describes activities that run from "huge transactions" to the more general "doing big things". The concept first rose in a symbolic sense after 1880 in connection with the combination movement that began in American business at that time. United States corporations that fall into the category of "big business" as of 2015 include ExxonMobil, Walmart, Google, Microsoft, Apple, General Electric, General Motors, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase. The largest German corporations as of 2012 included Daimler AG, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, and Deutsche Bank. Among the largest companies in the United Kingdom as of 2012 are HSBC, Barclays, WPP plc, and BP. The latter half of the 19th century saw more technological advances and corporate growth in additional sectors, such as petroleum, machinery, chemicals, and electrical equipment.

<i>Zaibatsu</i> industrial and financial business conglomerate in the Empire of Japan

Zaibatsu is a Japanese term referring to industrial and financial business conglomerates in the Empire of Japan, whose influence and size allowed control over significant parts of the Japanese economy from the Meiji period until the end of World War II.

Public company Company that offers its securities for sale to the general public

A public company, publicly traded company, publicly held company, publicly listed company, or public limited company is a corporation whose ownership is dispersed among the general public in many shares of stock which are freely traded on a stock exchange or in over the counter markets. In some jurisdictions, public companies over a certain size must be listed on an exchange. A public company can be listed or unlisted.

Corporatization is the process of transforming state assets, government agencies, or municipal organizations into corporations. It refers to a restructuring of government and public organizations into their administration. The result of corporatization is the creation of state-owned corporations where the government retains a majority ownership of the corporation's stock.

Joint-stock company business entity which is owned by shareholders

A joint-stock company is a business entity in which shares of the company's stock can be bought and sold by shareholders. Each shareholder owns company stock in proportion, evidenced by their shares. Shareholders are able to transfer their shares to others without any effects to the continued existence of the company.

Corporate capitalism is a term used in social science and economics to describe a capitalist marketplace characterized by the dominance of hierarchical and bureaucratic corporations.

Megacorporation

Megacorporation, mega-corporation, or megacorp, a term popularized by William Gibson, derives from the combination of the prefix mega- with the word corporation. It has become widespread in cyberpunk literature. It refers to a corporation that is a massive conglomerate, holding monopolistic or near-monopolistic control over multiple markets. Megacorps are so powerful that they can ignore the law, possess their own heavily armed private armies, be the operator of a privatized police force, hold "sovereign" territory, and even act as outright governments. They often exercise a large degree of control over their employees, taking the idea of "corporate culture" to an extreme. Such organizations as a staple of science fiction long predate cyberpunk, appearing in the works of writers such as Philip K. Dick, Thea von Harbou, Robert A. Heinlein, Robert Asprin, Andre Norton and David Weber. The explicit use of the term in the Traveller science fiction roleplaying game from 1977 predates Gibson's use of it.

Euronext Amsterdam Stock exchange located in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Euronext Amsterdam is a stock exchange based in Amsterdam. Formerly known as the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, it merged on 22 September 2000 with the Brussels Stock Exchange and the Paris Stock Exchange to form Euronext.

A statutory corporation is a corporation created by the state. Their precise nature varies by jurisdiction, thus, they might be ordinary companies/corporations owned by a government with or without other shareholders, or they might be a body without shareholders that is controlled by national or sub-national government to the extent provided for in the creating legislation.

The Dutch East India Company had a presence in the Indonesian archipelago from 1603, when the first trading post was established, to 1800, when the bankrupt company was dissolved, and its possessions nationalised as the Dutch East Indies.

Pieter Gerardus van Overstraten Dutch colonial governor

Pieter Gerardus van Overstraten was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1796 until 1801. He was the last Governor-General of the Dutch East India Company, which was dissolved, bankrupt in 1799, but he remained in post as the Dutch state took over ruling its territories in the Indies. In that sense, he was also the first state appointed Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies.

Anti-corporate activism holds that the influence of big business corporations is a detriment to the public good and to the democratic process.

References

  1. Pressley-Sanon, Toni (April 2014). "Young Nic and Kennedy Joe, dirs. Slave Ship Mutiny. 2010. 60 minutes. English. U.S. PBS. $24.99". African Studies Review. 57 (01): 253–255. doi:10.1017/asr.2014.37. ISSN   0002-0206.line feed character in |title= at position 6 (help)
  2. Gascoigne, John (2013-09-01), "The Globe Encompassed: France and Pacific Convergences in the Age of the Enlightenment", Discovery and Empire: the French in the South Seas, University of Adelaide Press, pp. 17–40, ISBN   9781922064523 , retrieved 2019-02-15
  3. ISBN   978-0-349-11762-1