The following excerpt is taken from a best-selling vocabulary workbook: Check your English Vocabulary for IELTS
page 52, Q7. The Cornucopian government made this sudden decision to dissuade / rescind / sever diplomatic relations with their neighbouring countries.
The answer is sever.
I admit I had to look up the adjective, Cornucopian. Although I knew what cornucopia meant: the basket or container shaped like a horn (from the Latin cornu copiae, ‘horn of plenty’) filled with the fruits of the land, a symbol representing fertility, prosperity, and abundance, I had never seen the expression Cornucopian government before.
It seems that a Cornucopian government (it is capitalized in the workbook) believes that mankind is the single most important element in the world; animals and nature exist in order to be exploited by humans. It sustains there can be no shortage of natural resources and any problem that presents itself, e.g. food shortage, can be resolved through either technology or the free-market. The ingenuity of mankind has always met and overcome environmental and social issues.
In order to explain its meaning to my private students, could I say that the USA is currently governed by Cornucopian ideas?
Why is the adjective capitalized in “Cornucopian government”? Should it be? Is the term C/cornucopian used by British or American TV newsreporters, how well-known is it? Does it largely have positive or negative connotations? What would be a more common, more easily understood, equivalent term?