Imagine a world two or three hundred years in the future, starting from now, in which some corporations (or groups of them) become independent states with sovereign territories. I’m aware this is very unlikely to happen in the today's world, that’s why I’m giving three hundred years for political, sociological and legal changes to develop. Some conditions are:
- Cession must occur from one of today’s most developed countries with strong democratic tradition, like the US or somewhere in Europe, which also houses the most powerful corporations and most of the wealth in today’s (and future) world.
- The country from which the cession has occurred is relatively “stable”. There are no civil wars or revolutions; there are political scuffles and corruption, but no government has been deposed in centuries. Everything occurs through legal changes or democratic voting (again, like in today’s US or Europe).
- There are social classes: A majority of underpaid manual workers, a middle class of educated and highly-skilled workers, and an exceedingly rich minority in charge of the mentioned corporations and with significant political power.
- The most important: Society has changed, but the world has become neither a dystopia nor a utopia. The purpose of these writing is to explore the political and sociological changes the world must go through to make that kind of things possible and I am not trying to explore the morality and beneficial or negative consequences of such changes.
My reasoning goes like this: Corporations progressively take control over social matters in their headquarters and small surrounding territories, providing employment, security, education, health, roads, transportation and a long etc., like a company or college town with significant financial muscle. With time, corporations stop lobbing and make their own candidates run for office, which then get elected. Corporation-appointed politicians and public officials acquiesce to reduce corporative taxes if the corporations do a good job in running their “territories”, progressively taking over the responsibilities of financially-strained governments. These responsibilities can start as things like the mentioned social services, but progressively span to more complex affairs, like issuing passports, managing their own international relations and establishing a judiciary. And the cycle continues, the corporations progressively cut bonds with its parent country until they become independent through a popular referendum or signing a treaty. Also, in the process, the corporations develops its own complex-inner government, probably a mix between management and democracy. Am I missing any tipping point here? What would you add to this theory to make it more plausible? Starting from the current state of affairs in the world, how could a corporation become a country in two or three centuries?