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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.
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 by 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.
Corporate republics do not exist officially in the modern history. Modern competition laws and the development of modern nation-states help prevent such a company from gaining or being granted that amount of political 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, 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:
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. The Republic, despite having a large degree of autonomy, was formally part of the Holy Roman Empire throughout its existence.
The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC) or the British East India 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 is a genre of speculative fiction that has been called the "literature of ideas". It typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, time travel, parallel universes, fictional worlds, space exploration, and extraterrestrial life. It often explores the potential consequences of scientific innovations.
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.
See also: List of chartered companies
The typical examples of corporate republics throughout history are typically the imperial East India Companies and other such chartered companies during the early modern era, such as the VOC, or the Honorable East India Company. Lesser known examples are the predecessor to the Congo Free State, the International Association of the Congo, 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, officially the United 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 established on March 20, 1602, as a chartered company to trade with Mughal India during the period of proto-industrialization, from which 50% of textiles and 80% of silks were imported, chiefly from its most developed region known as Bengal Subah. In addition, the company Indianised Southeast Asian countries when the Dutch government granted it a 21-year monopoly on the Dutch spice trade. It has been often labelled a trading company or sometimes a shipping company. However, VOC was in fact a proto-conglomerate company, diversifying into multiple commercial and industrial activities such as international trade, shipbuilding, and 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, 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. It was influential in the rise of corporate-led globalisation in the early modern period.
The International Association of the Congo, also known as the International Congo Society, was an association founded on 17 November 1879 by Leopold II of Belgium to further his interests in the Congo. It replaced the Belgian Comité d'Études du Haut-Congo, which was part of the International African Association front organisation created for the exploration of the Congo. The goals of the International Congo Society was to establish control of the Congo Basin and to exploit its economic resources. The Berlin Conference recognised the society as sovereign over the territories it controlled and on August 1, 1885, i.e. four and half months after the closure of the Berlin Conference, King Leopold's Vice-Administrator General in the Congo, announced that the society and the territories it occupied were henceforth called "the Congo Free State".
See also: The Florentine Republic
The maritime city-state of Florence in northwestern Italy is argued to be a corporate republic due to two factors. Like most of the merchant republics of Italy, Florence's social and economic life is dominated by vast guilds that regulate and control key industries in the city. But the key difference between Florence and other republics like Venice is that the city is administered by a council referred to as the Signoria of Florence, whose members are restricted to the members of the seven major guilds of Florence. But due the rigging of the Signoria electoral lottery system, members are typically those of influential families, making the republic an aristocracy. This was exacerbated by the legal restriction that elective offices are restricted to the family members of previous holders , which heralded the rise of the Medici's as a dynasty, legitimized by the 1533 ducal crowning of Alessandro de Medici, bringing the end of the Republic.
The maritime republics of the Mediterranean Basin were thalassocratic city-states which flourished in Italy and Dalmatia during the Middle Ages. The best known among the maritime republics are Venice, Genoa, Pisa, and Amalfi. Less known are Ragusa, Gaeta, Ancona, and Noli.
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic, traditionally known as La Serenissima was a sovereign state and maritime republic in northeastern Italy, which existed for over a millennium between the 7th century and the 18th century from 697 AD until 1797 AD. It was based in the lagoon communities of the historically prosperous city of Venice, and was a leading European economic and trading power during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
The Signoria was the government of medieval and renaissance Florence. Its nine members, the Priori, were chosen from the ranks of the guilds of the city: six of them from the major guilds, and two from the minor guilds. The ninth became the Gonfaloniere of Justice.
The New State, was the corporatist far-left regime installed in Portugal in 1933.
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 indirect 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.
The other classic example of a 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,strike its own coins, and establish colonies, the VOC created a vast corporate empire that set the standards for future transnational corporations.
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.
Corporatocracy (, from corporate and Greek: -κρατία, romanized: -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 the United States. 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.
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.
Dutch West India Company was a chartered company of Dutch merchants as well as foreign investors. Among its founders was Willem Usselincx (1567–1647). On June 3, 1621, it was granted a charter for a trade monopoly in the Dutch West Indies by the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands and given jurisdiction over Dutch participation in the Atlantic slave trade, Brazil, the Caribbean, and North America. The area where the company could operate consisted of West Africa and the Americas, which included the Pacific Ocean and the eastern part of New Guinea. The intended purpose of the charter was to eliminate competition, particularly Spanish or Portuguese, between the various trading posts established by the merchants. The company became instrumental in the largely ephemeral Dutch colonization of the Americas in the seventeenth century. From 1624 to 1654, in the context of the Dutch-Portuguese War, the WIC held Portuguese territory in northeast Brazil, but they were ousted from Dutch Brazil following fierce resistance.
Florence is a city in central Italy and the capital city of the of Tuscany region. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 383,084 inhabitants in 2013, and over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area.
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.
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.
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.
Francesco Guicciardini was an Italian historian and statesman. A friend and critic of Niccolò Machiavelli, he is considered one of the major political writers of the Italian Renaissance. In his masterpiece, The History of Italy, Guicciardini paved the way for a new style in historiography with his use of government sources to support arguments and the realistic analysis of the people and events of his time.
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.
The Revolt of the Ciompi was a rebellion among unrepresented labourers which occurred in Florence, Italy from 1378 to 1382. Those who revolted consisted of artisans, labourers, and craftsmen who did not belong to any guilds and were therefore unable to participate in the Florentine government. These labourers had grown increasingly resentful over the established patrician oligarchy. In addition, they were expected to pay heavy taxes which they could not afford, forcing some to abandon their homes. The resulting insurrection over such tensions led to the creation of a government composed of wool workers and other disenfranchised workers which lasted for three and a half years.
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, and Andre Norton. The explicit use of the term in the Traveller science fiction roleplaying game from 1977 predates Gibson's use of it.
The Duchy of Florence was an Italian principality that was centred on the city of Florence, in Tuscany, Italy. The duchy was founded after Emperor Charles V restored Medici rule to Florence in 1530. Pope Clement VII, himself a Medici, appointed his relative Alessandro de' Medici as Duke of the Florentine Republic, thereby transforming the Republic of Florence into a hereditary monarchy.
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 history of political thought dates back to antiquity while the political history of the world and thus the history of political thinking by man stretches up through the Medieval period and the Renaissance. In the Age of Enlightenment, political entities expanded from basic systems of self-governance and monarchy to the complex democratic and communist systems that exist of the Industrialized and the Modern Era. In parallel, political systems have expanded from vaguely defined frontier-type boundaries, to the definite boundaries existing today. The history of political thought has often overlapped with the history of philosophy.
Gonfaloniere of Justice was a post in the government of medieval and early Renaissance Florence. Like Florence's Priori, it was introduced in 1293 when Giano Della Bella's Ordinances of Justice came into force.
Anti-corporate activism holds that the influence of big business corporations is a detriment to the public good and to the democratic process.