Megacorporations Make Poor Governments | Incoming

Megacorporations Make Poor Governments | Incoming


All across the world, the power of the national
governments dwinded, in their place rose the megacorporations. Where once there had been senates, parliaments
and the electorate there were now only shareholders. Citizens became employees. Have you heard this story before? Probably. The idea of a megacorporation or group of
megacorporations taking over the responsibilities of a government is one that’s been around
for a while, and there are plenty of examples across alternate worlds. But is it believable, and more importantly,
does it make for an interesting setting? In my opinion, the answer to both of these
is “not really”. Megacorporations definitely have a place in
worldbuilding, but as soon as that corporation becomes what’s known as a “Corporate Republic”
I lose interest pretty quick. So before we get into it, just so there’s
no confusion, allow me to explain exactly what I’m talking about here. As with most things related to political structures,
the exact nature of a Corporate Republic can be nebulous, but for the purposes of this
video, I’m going to define it as the following. A form of government run like a business in
which all aspects of society are privatized by a single, or small group of companies. The ultimate goal of this state is to increase
the wealth of its shareholders. The government acknowledges its status as
a corporation. So lets start first with why I think this
type of nation isn’t very believable. In our own world various corporations have
reached an almost unprecedented level of economic power, but this still pales in comparison
to Earth’s most powerful nations. Long before a corporation ever approached
the ability to compete with the of the United States for example, it would have been crushed
under the weight of various antitrust laws. These type of laws have been around since
the time of the Roman Empire and they’re now a global standard of international trade. It’s not likely that they’re going anywhere. But let’s assume for the moment that somehow
this balance of power shifted dramatically and a corporation was able to buy control
of a country. Either an impoverished, corrupt state, or
even a modern developed nation. Now, I am not an economist but I do know the
the world’s economy is tremendously globalized. It would be outright impossible for any powerful
nation or corporation to exist without a constant influx of resources, capital and talent from
across the planet. A corporation taking over a country sets a
dangerous precedent and I imagine that other major nations across the world would be more
than willing to embar go the new corporate state until it collapses. Or at the very least strengthen their own
anti-monopoly laws to prevent it from spreading. But even if a corporation was somehow able
to get away with this, controlling a nation is probably just a giant waste of money. Diversifying is one of the riskiest corporate
strategies and there’s no guarantee a company would even be able to effectively manage a
country, let alone make any sort of profit. In 1982 Colgate launched a line of frozen
dinners, it went so badly that even sales of their toothpaste plunged. Take the complexity of producing and marketing
frozen dinners, multiply it by a few trillion and that’s probably somewhere in the neighborhood
of the difficulty of running a national government. So while Weyland Corp might be able to buy
an island in the Pacific, by the time they developed the necessary infrastructure, paid
for all their employees to relocate and attempt to keep all of this organized, they’d probably
be bankrupt. So while dominating a country through economic
means is probably out, what if a corporation somehow was able to establish its own private
military, one powerful enough to force the surrender of a major nation state. Well, private military corporations do exist,
and many continue to support major militaries in various peacekeeping roles and others have
even proved decisive in winning civil wars. But the key factor here is that in each instance,
these companies were fighting a poorly equipped and trained opposition and they didn’t need
tremendously powerful and expensive hardware. Against a Russian armoured column or US Navy
battle group, even the most powerful PMC would last all of two minutes. Russia can afford to maintain thousands of
tanks and the United States can operate 10 aircraft carriers without either country worrying
about their profitability. A corporation by contrast would have tremendous
difficulty doing the same, even if they somehow managed to justify the expense to their shareholders. There just isn’t a lot of profit to be found
in showing up to the United Nations and declaring war on everyone. Nobody with a stake in the company would agree
to it. Now the last major opposition I have to the
believability of a corporation taking control of a government has to do with national identity
and ideology. Nations are typically founded on great principals
and values and regardless of how well a country does at living up to these, the fact that
they are often enshrined in declarations and constitutions is a very powerful motivating
factor. Across history, hundreds of millions have
fought, bled and died for abstract concepts like freedom, democracy, communism and many
others. But a corporation by its very nature exists
solely to make a profit for its shareholders and I think it would be very hard to find
anyone willing to put their life on the line so their CEO could become a little richer. If OMNI Consumer Products declared war on
the United States tomorrow, how many of its own employees would side with the company
over their country? Not enough for them to win at the very least. So now that I’ve finished talking about
how completely unlikely it is that a megacorporation could ever take over part of the world, I
should probably mention an example of where basically that exact thing happened. At its height, the British East India Company
ruled over much of the Indian subcontinent, maintained its own private army twice the
size of the British military and its wealth was measured in the trillions, far more than
even the largest modern conglomerates. So does this prove everything I’ve said
is completely wrong? Well I don’t think so, in fact it’s probably
the opposite. Despite its size, the East India Company was
only sporadically profitable and required frequent government intervention to stay afloat. Corruption was widespread and its armies were
forced to put down almost constant insurgencies. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, which
would see the collapse of the company, many of its own armies were the first to revolt. When the British Empire decided to assume
direct control, the East India Company, for all its power was helpless to stop it. But for the sake of argument, let’s just
say that some amazing new technology has allowed future corporations to amass unthinkable wealth,
power and private armies. Through some brilliant political and economic
maneuvering that perfectly manages to sidestep all my concerns, it somehow manages to take
control of a major nation or even the entire world. I still don’t find this very interesting. And it all goes back to my ideology argument. When coming up with a world and storyline,
whether for games, movies, books, whatever, I prefer that opposing factions have different
philosophies and different principals. In Warhammer 40,000 the Tau Empire and Imperium
of Man, to put it mildly, have very different ideas on how the galaxy should be run. This makes them great antagonists. In The Mutant Chronicles, or MERCS, why should
I care which Megacorporation defeats the others? They all want basically the same thing and
aside from a few superficial details, are basically identical to one another. Lastly, a Megacorporation can be counted on
to act in its own self interest, which is always profit. This makes them kinda spineless. The Rebel Alliance will endure sacrifice and
hardship to liberate the galaxy, no matter the cost, while the Interstellar Manufacturing
Corporation will immediately give up on taking over the Frontier the second it starts affecting
the bottom line, that’s not very intimidating. So are there any exceptions? Well I can mention a couple. I find the Caldari State from Eve Online somewhat
interesting in that it’s not a single megacorporation but a coalition that operates their government. This addresses many of my issues, but raises
many more questions? How is this government run, how is this system
stable? How do organizations like the armed forces
operate? There many be answers to these questions,
but I’m not knowledgeable enough in Eve lore to answer them. There’s also the Helghan Corporation from
Killzone, although I’m slightly cheating here because the Helghan Corporation completely
abandoned any pretense of being a company the moment it transitioned into the Helghan
Empire. So I’ll end this video by saying that while
I don’t think Megacorporations make particularly believable governments, they can still be
a captivating element in any setting. A megacoporation that acts behind the scenes,
manipulating governments rather than trying to control them is not only more realistic,
but more interesting in my opinion. Weyland Yutani, the Tyrell Corporation, the
Iron Bank, these are all examples of Megacorporations done right. But that is just my opinion, which means that
it is an undeniable fact because I and I alone sit atop a fortress of unassailable truth. But if you still think I got it all wrong,
let me know in the comments below. Can a Megacorporation work as a government? Is fighting for profit just as interesting
as fighting for communism or the Kaiser? Could Omni Consumer Products take over the
United States? I’ll be very interested to hear your thoughts. But if you’d rather yell at me in person,
more or less, the Templin Institute does have a discord server! Follow the link in the description below and
join the conversation. Thanks for watching! Templin Institute Discord Server

100 thoughts on “Megacorporations Make Poor Governments | Incoming

  1. Yes, you heard correctly! The Templin Institute has a Discord server! Join Marc (the diamond with the okay voice), Larissa (the occasional diamond with the better voice) and hundreds of other Institute members for discussions of science fiction, fantasy and worldbuilding.

    https://discord.gg/Ct9mEAq

  2. I mean the VOC did do a good job for a while of creating wealth at first after big investments. It just got more corrupt over time. Note: the idea was instead of having many companies just create 1 big monopoly together.

  3. i would agree that it is unlikly that a megacorperation would ever rise on earth however i find the concept intressting and in an alternate world or in a alien nation (not humanity or earth) it is possible, basicly should coperations have been started and gained power early in such a nations history it is possible. however i would agree it´s more unlikly then a ordinary nation but it´s still a intressting idea i think

  4. How about General Resource and Neucom in Ace Combat 3? They aren't so much governments as they are megacorporate entities presiding over the recovery, stabilization and future prosperity of the Usean Continent, especially in the wake of the apparent failure of even the world superpower Osea to do just that as of Ace Combat 7.

    Mediating between the competing companies is the so-called Neo-United Nations and its military arm, the UPEO, which means sovereignty is still a factor in the aforementioned Corporate Era.

  5. There's one definitive problem with your arguments-examples like Omnicorp or Weyland Yutani are far more common than what you listed. Usually Megacorporations don't directly rule governments, and instead they simply have enough influence over the government that they can act with impunity. Often modern images of megacorporations have members paid off all across the Senate, Congress, Etc… and might even have their own political party. The idea is that the government is a tool to them, to better pass laws that favor their economics, and to have somebody to sell their products to exclusively. The moment a corporation can establish taxes, they've suddenly obtained the wealth of an entire country and many of those problems you listed don't become as big of a deal.

    However national identity is usually a huge player in dystopian megacorporation stories, because they usually center around people resisting these megacorporations explicitly.

  6. Templin: "Corporations wouldn't make good governments"
    Dutch East India Company: laughs doubtingly

  7. Idk man I worked for a corporation that ran private airports and rented out private jets. This corporation was a subsidiary of a larger one that acts as one of the largest arms dealers for the US and several other militaries around the world. One of the benefits we had while working there was use of their private security force. I shit you not, we were told that if we were ever kidnapped, taken hostage, or a war broke out and we were trapped behind enemy lines, a team of ex special ops would move in to extract us from anywhere in the world. Not saying they'd just go conquer a nation but you're really underestimating how much power they can hold even with anti-trust and anti-monopoly laws. I mean when your top execs are constantly moving back and forth between being a senator and sitting on your board, who's really going to call you out as long as you don't screw up in a big public way?

  8. it all started in 1871 to United States of America . only 6 or corporations own the United States ….The Act of 1871 formed a corporation called THE UNITED STATES. … THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is the constitution of the incorporated UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. It operates in an economic capacity and has been used to fool the People into thinking it governs the Republic. It does is not! ther the fallowing ………. ABC , COMCAST , DISNEY , MICROSOFT , Federal Reserve , U.S. armed forces In other words, about half of our armed forces is outsourced to private military contractors. These contractors, to include the company formerly known as Blackwater, are now increasingly owned by private equity firms. Thus, American and international security is largely in the hands of private equity partners.

  9. Megacorp that paternally take care of their employees lives and thoughts from cradle to grave (and see that as their mission, almost as much as making money) could inspire a lot of loyalty. The similar profit-grabbing motives of Renraku, the Azzies, SK and so on meaningful illustrates to me the real stupidity of fanatical conflict between brands, companies or real nations.

  10. You may not find it interesting and that's fair but I don't think that invalidates it. Our current nation-states are essentially the result of history's most successful megacorps, we just didn't call them that back in the day. They provided food and shelter for people in exchange for labour and money. They motivated the populous through ideology but the rulers were usually quick to change their narrative once it was hurting their bottomline, which in their case was support and willingness to pay taxes, rather than employee productivity and consumer's interest in buying from them.

    I used to work at a large factory in a small town that employed the vast majority of the population. They may not officially be the government, but they had more say and influence over what happened in the town than the mayor did and if there was an initiative to do something infrastructure wise in the town, nothing happened until the CEO got involved and there was sponsorship money given.

  11. I think what we are actually heading for are governments who act as corporations, while maintaining the idea of ideology and identity. Not in a way that all citizens are employees, but in the way of everything having to make a profit and if it doesn't it gets cut. People the state has to pay for get expatriated, regions that are unprofitable are put under direct control until they are, militaries and public services are privatized to become profitable – all at the price of ideology and identity.

  12. The thing with corporations is that they operate beyond nation state borders.
    This allows them to selectively give nations the finger because they are not confined by the same rules and modus operandi as nation states.
    It allows them to get away with more and spreads out their risk while reaching a very large demographic.

    Advertising and marketing are just another way of brainwashing people and force feeding them ideas, similar to an ideology.
    They do sell you abstract concepts like satisfaction, happiness and fulfillment for example, they link them to their services and products through that same marketing,advertising and public relations.
    To sell a product successfully you have to believe in it, I've seen cult like behavior working for certain multinationals.
    You'll not fight for profit, you'll fight for the ideals and beliefs they try to sell you.

    They control our institutions,politicians and governments by buying or bribing them without even taking the direct responsibility.
    This gives them near direct control without any of the accountability.
    Privatized profits and publicized losses, which is already happening.

    Private military corporations are a risk because it muddies the waters who hired them and who operates them with endless webs of shell companies and R&D departments fueling them.
    You don't know who to retaliate to.
    With the advent of drones and soon autonomous weapons that accountability gets muddied even further coupled with easily made military might that doesn't require the population of a nation state, just the means of production which they have.

    Now think of the next big thing, space.
    Governments are going to scramble for habitable planets and like any nation or ruler you can't rule alone.
    You will need your keys to power to enforce your will on your behalf, companies with money.
    But what happens when space travel is slow and tedious and it takes 500 years to travel to one planet to the other, it would be hard to enforce such a government and or feel connected to it.
    Now you get private companies who will scramble to colonize planets and build infrastructure and basically be the spill of survival for the colonists for maybe a good couple of hundred years.
    That is enough to set up a powerbase easily where the citizens/consumers are indoctrinated for generations.

    No need to rebel when they control your information, which basically already happened.
    He who controls your information controls your perspective.
    Look at the media doesn't matter if it's left or right it is owned by a handful of media companies with many shell companies to muddy that informational water as well.
    Both sides of the argument are made by the same group of people and good propaganda lets you come to your own conclusion.

    It is definitely possible for a megacorporation to take hold, it all stands or falls with dependency like nation states.
    In fact the only reason nation states have their power to begin with is because they have a monopoly on violence, if megacorps can get that all hope is lost.
    Sure it starts out with idealism and stuff like that but make no mistake that the vested interest of the keys to power bind the ruler to their whim.

    As long as they pay our politicians to make the rules as they see fit they have already won the game.
    He who decides the rules is the one who rules and it's currently not the people already.
    It's the rich corporations who are able to bend the powers of our institutions and weaken the faith in them.

  13. Personally, I think that the idea that corporate states being such poor governments is what makes them kinda spooky to think about. If one had the ability to have a standing army, take land, and even declare war, and have a nifty sponsorship from a powerful government that gave it the independence of a sovereign state much like the East India Companies of old then it could spell disaster. Since to me what makes it so dangerous and somewhat compelling is the just how incomparable a corporation's bottom line is with statehood. A corporate state wouldn't have nearly as many of the same responsibilities as a country does, and thus spell disaster for the people who's lives the company affects.

  14. It's somewhat realistic to think of a megacorporation existing for like a few decades or something as initially they could convince people they'll do the right thing. But eventually they'll be overgrown cause of people and their desire for freedoms. Same could be said for any despotic type of government though.

  15. What about East India Company? Hudson Bay Company? Dutch East India Company? Some had larger armies than nations, more wealth than many nations. And if Megacorporations make poor governments, then how come United States of America is pretty much a Corporation and ran like a corporation, yet is one of the best governments on the planet?

  16. If you wonder how a megacorporation could gain amazing amount of wealth by some future technology… Well how do you think governments get money? They steal it from their people with taxes. Think about megacorporation that would use already OLD technology to do this same, they could just have digital money and have a fee on every transaction like paypal and all other companies. Then more money your people have and spend, the more money you get. This would be even more ethical than what governments do, because government steals it, there is no way around it and you might receive no service for your payment, but in this case you do receive immediate service, money transfer. This way it would be the corporates interest to have people as productive as possible, having access to as many goods as possible, because it would make money for them.
    Saying corporations only exist to make profit, is naive and sounds also evil. Corporations have to look at things long term, only if the corporate leaders/shareholders have no touch to their only country (They would be living elsewhere, which would make them big targets to opposing nations) would it serve them to just milk the thing dry. No corporation so blind and short sighted could rise to be a ruler, profits can be made easy by being somewhat ethical and creating good service and wealth to people. Democratic, Dictatorship and other types of Governments we have seen in real life on the other hand are almost exceptionally lousy, corrupted, short sighted and ran by stupidest people (Kakistocracy). Corporation that would run up to be a ruling element of society, would most likely have the merit to rule, because the real vote is cast by dollars. Sure there are ways to make money without being good or giving good service but such a corporation would collapse sooner or later. (This is what happened to east india company, being unethical, basically a group of thieves and having all the parliament and people be addicted to it's profits).

  17. What comes to the ideology part in corporations, the Templars where running a business of banking in the holy land and they sure as hell had an ideology which united them. Apple can bring together more people than many of the nations on this planet. Many companies today are run by religious people, who says the company has to make up some "materialistic" ideology for people to follow? I like the video and it did raise many ideas in my head so thumbs up for it, but I do think the view you present here is based on a very "child like" image of a corporation and humans themselves. Most of the scenaries view corporations as McDonald's type of companies that are visible serving people shit and care only about profits and have bad business plan in a changing market. Obviously if this is the picture painted for corporations, then, yes they make lousy governments. I surely think a corporation could do a better job at running a government than people who have actual consequence for their actions. If you work full time as a corporate employee, you are usually better off than if you lived in a country where the country takes care of your healthcare and all other matters.

  18. In addition to the East Indian Company, "Banana Republics" ran a decent portion of South/ Central America

  19. The only realistic setting for a mega corporation is to run things from the shadows, like Central America's banana republics. Trying to take over like EIC or VOC is unviable.

  20. I totally agree! The thing about megacorp nations is that companies and countries are fundamental different things: Countries collect funds to provide services, while corporations provide services to acquire funds; why would a company want to run a public healthcare system or an IRS? My favorite example of megacorps in storytelling is the Shadowrun universe, where the corps basically rule the world, but do they try and found nations? No! They take a bunch of the benefits of nationhood like extraterritoriality and the ability to run military-grade security forces, but they don't try and actually become a nation; it just isn't profitable, and it's far easier to acquire wealth in a stable, government regulated economy, as long as the corporations can control just how and when those regulations are enforced.

  21. Never covered Caldari State to this date yet… Highly disappointed.
    CBD Corp., Ishukone Corp., Kaalakiota Corp., Lai Dai Corp. List goes on that you could cover. Interesting lore and background too. Not as well known i guess obviously evident haha.

  22. This is honestly a opinion piece. Corporations colonizing space is a way around your first point. But that aside plenty of countries have survived indefinite embargos Cuba for example. Corporate republics are basically a modern take on feudalism and there were plenty of people back then that died for feudal lords. The East India Company is a real life example of this in practice.

  23. I believe Chrisjen Avasarala, a high level UN offical in the Expanse puts it the best.
    "Good. And, please, let them know that if they can't I will rain hellfire down on them all.I will freeze their assets. Cancel their contracts. Cripple their business. And I have the power to do it, because I am the fucking hero who helped save Mother Earth from the cataclysm that Jules-Pierre Mao unleashed. Tell his children that government is more powerful than any corporation. And the only reason they think it tilts the other way is because we poor, public servants are always looking for some fat, private-sectors payoff down the road. But I'm not looking. And by the time they can pull the strings to force me out, it'll be too late. Their family will be ruined. Their mother, the children, their children, all of them, pariahs. Outlaws. Hunted and on the run for the rest of their days until we find them, and nail each and every last one to the wall. Make sure you tell them that."
    here it is all in her glory.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBFJGz5P_G8

  24. I think you kinda hit the nail on the head with the IMC. They aren't some evil empire hellbent on exerting their will over humanity, and aren't motivated by ideology or emotion to put down the militia and control the frontier. They are uncompassionate. The Titanfall 2 campaign makes this pretty clear, as there are no propaganda posters, no dramatic monologues, no epic last stands, just a company eliminating an obstacle in the way of their profits, indifferent if that obstacle is pesky wildlife or human lives.

    They also were never any form of real government. They did enforce a military government in Angel City, but for the most part, we're a company who thought they could monopolize the frontier, but now are trying to desperately salvage the situation, which leaves me curious as to what makes them so desperate. Maybe the Earth and inner colonies are collapsing, running dangerously low on resources they need to extract from the frontier. Makes me want Titanfall 3.

  25. In my Stellaris game/worldbuilding lore "EdenCorp" a huge corporation was able to get all the governments in the world so in favor of them that all government control was handed over. This occured through the defense systems contracts that EC was hired to help with, data from government programs made by EC, which allowed EC to get government secrets, trade access, stakes in governments etc. Essentially EdenCorp saw the power they had and oppurtunistically took over governments one by one through threats of leaks of gov. data they obtained (they could do this as they had a private army), and through the EdenCorp slowly became the world government. Eden Corp even had a hand in UN decisions at the time as well through corruption and representatives. Essentially, EdenCorp in the year 2450 has colonized about 1/4th of the galaxy, shown to be an economic and military powerhouse able to defeat precursor and fallen empires. Corporations in the capitalist society of EdenCorp must pay "corporate tax", which essentially is a way for Eden Corp to allow corporations to run their businesses, along with giving EdenCorp a decent cut of profits. Eden Corp does have consumers, but most of their consumers are the elite, as other services are all through the other corporations under EdenCorp. So essentially EdenCorp has become a government-corporate hybrid.

  26. 2:46 The Irving familly is the perfect counter-argument and the corporation that is the more close to become a quasi-megacorporation in Quebec

  27. How about the United Fruit Company. Also if your a government you can print your own money so making a profit is not really necessary

  28. Project Veritas revealing Google’s desire to meddle in the political sphere makes this just a little less than fiction

  29. I heard a story like this once – it was super realistic, the megacorporations had names like “Google” and “CNN” and they even formed monopolistic alliances with payment processors like Visa and PayPal to enforce their agenda despite the laws of the nations in which they operated.

    It was a scary glimpse into a nightmare dystopia

  30. Norilsk in Russia is kind of an example of this.
    They're run by a Corp and its basically just as depressing as those sci-fi's showing space colonies led by a megacorp are.

  31. I think you hit upon why capitalists tend to side with globalism over nationalism with your point on ideology. Easier to make a profit if no one has any ideological opposition to your practices, products, or services.

  32. megacorporation is the future i belive, when homo sapiens or our other cousins have evolved we have started to create groups to survive, than tribes, then cities, than the elites' power have grown and they have created governments and governments became empires and then empires collapsed… now this is the next evolution level of our society, megacorporation. it can not be collapsed, it can not be invaded, it can not be revolved against, best suitable form for ruling the people and making them slaves without notice. nice work, rich elites, nice work

  33. A single corporation is extremely unlikely to succeed, but a huge conglomerate of companies seizing power is very believable

  34. A Private Interest with mega funding and a goal beyond profitability…would be very interesting. Profitability as a goal is primitive when the imagination is infinitely engaged

  35. I could imagine Megacorporations to instead offer their services to participating nations or empires in a war, or in a cold war like state.

  36. 1:28. "The ultimate goal of this state is to increase the wealth of it's shareholders." In other words, the exploitation of the productive members of society for the benefit of a parasitic ruling elite. How is this different from any other form of government?

  37. A Corporate Government would essentially function as a feudal monarchy, with the owner of the estate more than likely passing ownership to the next of kin and the owner (king) having absolute rule and dividing up underneath power amongst the board of directors (landed gentry).

  38. Interestingly enough Caldari state in Eve online is pretty fachistoid … they are very nationalistic about caldari state and its imagery. Its more akin to Mussolini's Italy than a corporate state. Corporations are the state but also kinda state owned, imagine if Chinese mega-corporations sponsored by the state are also holding the state together with a board of directors on top.

  39. "What do you mean forcing employees to become shareholders and dumping trillions of dollars into their health, welfare, and security makes us a 'nation' instead of a 'corporation'?"

  40. A nitpick, but I think the Dutch East India Company would have been a better example to use. It was arguably more powerful than the British version; it could mint its own currency, declare war, and negotiate its own treaties with foreign powers, as well as controlling a powerful Army and Navy.

  41. I understand your concerns but you need to check out the world of Shadowrun, that setting has the best done Megacorp society that I have ever read, and most of them Do have their own corporate identity and culture. It pretty much addresses all of your concerns.

  42. 01:45
    … But a megacorporation doesn't have to match the biggest nations, some corporations have surpassed plenty of real world nations !!

    Anti trust laws is not a thing world wide, and curruption is a thing. Plenty monopolies does exist !!

    The existence of Amazon then counters every argument you made after this !!

    Also, invest some time in the use of privatized militaries by the East India Company !!

  43. At this point the gov and many large corps are almost the same thing, they just hide it all well enough so most ppl are too distracted w dumb crap like Kardashians and etc to see what's happening and even when caught they just claim it never happened and the horde of retards believe them.

  44. I propose a governement where corporation allied themselfes to discretely allow lobbying, put down antitrust law,use combined monopolies to kill concurence, control mainstream medias to make sure they're still well-liked , and corrupt scientific organisation to make sure the problems of their products don't get reported.
    Beside, some company like Apple do have a work identity and a great support from their customers, and some MLM are sect-like, so this should not be too much of a problem.

  45. You're wrong.
    People would fight and die for megacorperations because they're shareholders themselves. Their armies would work in a fairly democratic manner. The amount of shares you hold, determines your rank. But you won't be able to order a group of soldiers whoms collective shares outweigh your own. Soldiers that die on the battlefield have previously negotiated an insurrance where their next of kin receive more shares. There's a near religious drive within the megacorp to increase your family shares, so that the head of your family can sit in on the board of directors. The primary enemies of the megacorp nations would be succesful expansive communist movements that erradicated poverty within their society. They would seek to abbolish the very concept of personal property, directly going against the very ideal of the megacorperations. Families whom have struggeled for generations to gain shares can't imagine a greater horor then to see all their work lost. Even though deepdown they could see life would be better under the communist regime.

  46. I disagree with your stating of anti-trust laws. It didn't stop Marcus Crassus buying up about 25% of all Roman properties in times of crisis. In relative terms he was richer than any of the richest men today.
    The fact that individuals could become that fucking rich on their own enabled Julius Caesar to transform the Roman Republic into an empire. (He took Crassus's properties for himself.)
    Imagine Trump owning half the US.
    Also the East-India Trading Company existed.

  47. The (oh so) Honorable East India Trading company is not the best example IMO (unless we are talking about a wide Megacorp in stellaris with no branch offices). Megacorps in stellaris, at least, are based on ME and Renaissance Italian City states. We're talking Venice, Genoa, Pisa, Florence, etc. These states wielded enormous power and while the governments pursued profitable trade agreements, they were also fine with using their wealth to maneuver politically and were far from spineless in warfare. I see the problem for Stellaris on this as two-fold:

    1) Militarily, these merchant republics really were powerful partly because their trading ships were viable in warfare (or for Florence, they had effective mercenaries and political connections). This is something that comes and goes in history. Obviously, modern cargo ships are worthless in combat, even if guns were mounted on them, because they are just too slow and weak. Similarly, in Stellaris, millitary vessels are enormously expensive and the trading fleets in the galaxy show minimal combat ability (although they do have some). Therefore, as you say, in this context it isn't financially viable to maintain a large military. I just want to point out that this isn't true throughout human naval history.

    2)Stellaris, in particular, has you start alone. This means that the trading republic took over the planet and started to explore the galaxy to find new markets. This makes basically zero sense, but is necessary for gameplay reasons. If we wanted a more realistic approach, a megacorp or trade league could only be formed after meeting enough alien civilizations and trading with them. The irony here is that Megacorps are balanced in the opposite direction, they are basically OP early game but you are incentivized to switch to a normal empire in the mid game. A 'real' merchant republic would want to be normal ->republic-> normal (if they take lots of territory).

    Anyways, I think that a "Megacorp" that is actually a joint venture from many trading fleets could make sense. The civil government wouldn't be 100% run by the private entities, but they would direct the lion's share of foreign and domestic policy. If the people of this interstellar state rely on trade to sustain their economy and feel a connection to home, I do think they would 100% risk their lives to protect their interests. Basically, an interstellar Megacorp state makes the most sense if it isn't in charge of everything, but rather an influential player in the great game.

    I think that you should consider this in a future Stellaris Invictus campaign. Reform into a trade league and make the galaxy a nice (and profitable) place to live!

  48. The idea of having a group with an army of money hungry mercenaries with no ideology or philosophy to stop them from being extremely efficient and ruthless is very interesting.
    The mega corporation or corporations would have a proper government to back them up, but their influence would be dug in to the point it is a symbiotic relationship.

  49. If you believe there is such a thing as rule of law in your country you dont have a handle on history. Deluded mate, we are living it now!

  50. I think the most realistic way of doing the "megacorporation is the government" idea would be to base it on the "company towns" of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Companies would buy a shit-ton of land, build entire towns on it, and essentially control the entire economy of the town by being literally the only land owner. This meant that they were the only ones with the motive and the money to fund mayoral or sheriff's campaigns; many of these companies managed to get their security teams deputized by the sheriff, so when the workers tried to unionize, the company had personnel with the legal authority to arrest or even shoot the strikers. If the security guards weren't equipped to deal with the strikers, then the company-owned sheriff of police chief could always call on reinforcements from the state militia or national guard (since the battle was, ostensibly, between unionists and law enforcement). The towns were still a part of the United States, but the company owned the whole thing anyway.

  51. I think you might be right but not for the reasons you state. I think the most significant hurdle for a purely for-profit megacorp that seeks to be a world government would be monetary policy and central banking. If you're the only one printing money, words like profit and wealth start meaning different things to different people. I'm saying, the corporate model might inform how society will be structured but, just in terms of scale and function, it won't be a corporation anymore. It's probably not the most exciting story but it's hardly a dysfunctional system of government. More like a transitory one.

  52. "How many people would side with a company, over their own country…?" Tory Govt: "Hold my monacle whilst I get out my Guide to Surpression of popluations by finance by pretending public ownership when we're running the country like a private piggy bank: The Years From the British East India Company to Capita/G4S, volume 1"

  53. I feel like megacorporations
    ambition would make them a bigger threat though. It would make them more brutal than normal.

  54. One of the larger points you never mentioned is that at least in the sense of a single planet scale or even a single star system scale what's the point of a megacorporation anyways? If they control the entirety of the planet/system and their goal is profit, what profit and to what goal? If they already own everything isn't that their end game? In a situation like Eve the Caldari have 3 other major empires and many other factions which they can still profit off of, but in some of these situations, once a megacorp owns the planet what else is there to profit off of? This would naturally mean that any sufficiently powerful megacorp would be similar to the helghan empire in that they would transition to some form of dictator/imperial/oligarch/feudal system of governance since as they own everything it's simply about dividing it up.

  55. In EVE, from what I remember, the armed forces are a Corporation among others, which ask to be payed by all other companies for it's protection … It's a just a part of the state which has gone private … Actually, even the Caldari didn't totally eradicate the state. It is not possible.

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