Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is there a word to describe a coup of the government led by corporations?

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

Part of the definition of a coup is that it relies on military force of some kind. That is generally out of the direct reach of most companies, at least since the heyday of the East India Companies in the 17th and 18th centuries. Corporate interests being indirectly responsible for coups is so common an occurrance, it is hardly worth its own word.

If you are talking about a peaceful transfer of political power from one person or group to another that is more friendly to some corporate interest, I don't know that we have a word for that exact concept. Coup is sometimes used for such things, but usually semi-ironically. There are words for political parties or countries that primarly serve commercial interests (Corporatocracy, Facsist, etc), but not for the act of such a person or group assuming power.

The best I can think of would be to refer to it as a "corporate takeover". This is kind of a pun, as the term is usually reserved for companies taking over other companies. However, its a descriptive one, and most folks familiar with the politics of the situation would know what you are talking about.

share|improve this answer
    
I like "corporate takeover". In the U.S., they just call it lobbying (haha). –  Alex W Mar 10 at 19:37
    
Even then, the usage of "corporate takeover" would be unfamiliar to most people in that context. The idea of a corporation running/controlling/taking over a government is a historical incident, not a modern-day one, but even then it was always something done via proxy. This is because no corporation has its own private army for such adventures. –  FeliniusRex Jun 3 at 2:17
    
@FeliniusRex - Back when it was done, yes indeed the corporations in question had their own private armies and navies. –  T.E.D. Jun 3 at 13:32
    
That's why I said "historical incident." –  FeliniusRex Jun 3 at 22:54

Even if the coup is funded and organized by corporations, it is still essentially the same and is usually done using military power (typically mercenaries). As such, the word to use is just coup or coup d'etat.

Example from Wikipedia:

To this end, the mercenary army of the Cuyamel Fruit Company, led by Gen. Christmas, carried out a coup d'état against President Miguel R. Dávila (1907–11).

share|improve this answer

You could call it a corporatocracy coup

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.