Corporate republic

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A corporate republic is a theoretical form of government occasionally hypothesized in works of science fiction, though some historical nations such as medieval Florence might be said to have been governed as corporate republics. While retaining some resemblance of republican government, a corporate republic would be run primarily like a business, involving a board of directors and executives. 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 benefits to employees. Although corporate republics do not exist officially in the modern world, they are often used in works of fiction or political commentary as a warning of the perceived dangers of unbridled capitalism. In such works, they usually arise when a single, vastly powerful corporation deposes a weak government, over time or in a coup d'état.

Some political scientists have also considered state socialist nations 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.


The Imperial Trading Companies such as the various East India Companies should possibly be considered corporate states, being semi-sovereign with the power to wage war and establish colonies. Singapore has often been presented as a nation which exhibits many characteristics of a corporate republic today, especially with regard to its hybrid governmental model, status as an financial centre and as a prominent international port of call.[citation needed]

In popular culture

  • Robocop: Omni Consumer Products (OCP) is a modern example of the longstanding trope of the evil corporate republic in science fiction.
  • In the turn-based strategy game Civilization: Call to Power, a corporate republic is one of the futuristic government types available in the Genetic Age.
  • Shinra: one of the antagonists in the RPG Final Fantasy VII could be considered an example of a corporate republic due to its encompassing scope and massive power in planet affairs.
  • Max Barry's 2003 novel Jennifer Government portrays a world in which everything but the courts, police and military functions of government have been privatized, as has actually been proposed by minarchist libertarians.[1]
  • Continuum: a new system of corporate republics, the North American Union, dominates a dystopian future, instituting a high-surveillance, technically advanced police state and removing certain social freedoms, specifically criticism of the "Corporate Congress".
  • Cloud Atlas: Papa Song no longer needs employees, only slaves which cannot leave the premises and only eat once a day.
  • Prodigy, Marie Lu. There is a government in which everything is controlled by 5 large companies.
  • The Teladi Space Company from the X Computer Game Series is possibly another example of a corporate republic and is dominated by a near-religious lifestyle of profiteering. The Company is led by a mysterious figure only known as Ceo.
  • The Caldari State in the popular space MMORPG EVE Online is portrayed as a corporate republic governed by intertwined mega-corporations.

See also