"Corporatocracy” (corporation + democracy) means a government run by (usually large and global) corporations. The term has been cited in print since at least 1974 and 1990, but has been used most frequently since 2004, when it appeared in print in several books and newspaper articles.
Corporatocracy is an imprecise pejorative term describing a situation in which corporate bodies interact with sovereign power in an unhealthy alignment between business and political power.
It describes an elite, sometimes termed the “1 percent”, which maintains ties between business and government, sometimes by lobbying efforts or funding political advertising campaigns, or providing bailouts when corporations are seen as too big to fail, for the purpose of controlling government and dictating policy to serve its financial interests.
It is a negative term, likened pejoratively to cancer, fascism, and Orwellianism, perhaps because, according to this view, business-government ties are seen as secretive, lacking transparency and accountability.
The term has been used to describe what some see as economic exploitation, and has been used to explain bank bailouts, excessive pay for CEOs, as well as generalized complaints such as the plundering of national treasuries, people, and natural resources.
It has been used by critics of globalization, sometimes in conjunction with criticism of the World Bank or unfair lending practices, as well as criticism of free trade agreements which, according to these claims, move high-paying jobs overseas.
Corporatocracy is viewed as anti-democratic or opposed to democracy or used to describe situations in which democracy has been manipulated negatively, sometimes resulting in a passive citizenry and subservient media.
No formal definitions
As of January 4, 2012, there were no formal definitions for the term corporatocracy in Webster’s Dictionary, Dictionary.com, or Cambridge Dictionaries Online. There are indications that the term first came into usage during the middle of the first decade of the 2000s. One evolving definition in an online source suggested that the term meant a “social and economic class of rulers” who own and manage large corporations, as well as identification of corporatocracy as a system with economic structures permitting this to happen. In 2011, the term is used only irregularly in the media, although there are indications that usage is becoming more prominent.
While there appears to be no definitive evidence of who coined the term corporatocracy, the term was used by author John Perkins in his 2004 book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, where he described corporatocracy as a collective composed of corporations, banks, and governments. Since then, the term has been used as an umbrella term for discontent for issues ranging from globalization, lobbying, economic inequality, and other issues, and it continues to evolve in everyday parlance. The term has been used by protesters in the 2011 Occupy movements in Washington and Boston and elsewhere.
11 May 1974, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Business Drains Teachers” by Dave McNeely, sec. AA, pg. 16, col. 4:
GOVERNMENT, AND its marriage to corporatocracy, have hekoed influence universities to turn away from their main business of teaching students and lean more toward producing results for the nation’s defense and business establishments, Dugger said.
(Ronnie Dugger, publisher of The Texas Observer—ed.)
Photographs & interviews with peacemakers in the United States
By Arthur H. Dahl
Kansas City, MO: Sheed & Ward
If we could get out from under control of this corporatocracy, which puts all sorts of impediments in the way of solving problems of energy and a lot of other problems that interfere with their manufacturing and distribution and profits at the present rate.
Environmentalism for a New Millennium:
The challenge of coevolution
By Leslie Paul Thiele
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
Brent Blackwelder of Friends of the Earth has warned of the “corporatocracy” that emerges as Western multinationals gain “carte blanche to the world’s resources and have become the economic engine that is driving a growing and unsustainable global marketplace.
Are Elections for Sale?
By David Donnelly, Janice Fine, Ellen S. Miller, Joshua Cohen and Joel Rogers
Boston, MA: Beacon Press
(California Public Interest Research Group, Elections, Inc.: How Democracy Has Become Corporatocracy in California, 10 September 1996, p. 3.)
31 January 2002, Akron Beacon Journal (OH), “Government by Corporation” (editorial), pg. A10:
If we continue to live in a corporatocracy, we will soon discover how low our living standard can go.
OCLC WorldCat record
Things to do
Author: Angie Karp; Vanity Press (Musical group)
Publisher: [Ottawa] : Vanity Press, 
Edition/Format: Music CD : CD audio : Popular music : English
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
By John Perkins
San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
In the long run, the trauma of those few months served to strengthen the corporatocracy; its three pillars — big corporations, international banks, and government—bonded as never before. That bond would endure.
8 March 2004, Concord (NH) Monitor, “Corporate relief” by Philip Mead, pg. B5:
The path that this country is on leads to corporatocracy, a democracy of convenience for the leisure class.
OCLC WorldCat record
Teaching for Democracy in an Age of Corporatocracy
Author: Christine E Sleeter
Publisher: Teachers College, Columbia University. P.O. Box 103, 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 212-678-3774; Fax: 212-678-6619; e-mail: ; Web site: http://www.tcrecord.org
Edition/Format: Article : English
Publication: Teachers College Record, v110 n1 p139-159 2008
Database: ERIC The ERIC database is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education.
Other Databases: British Library Serials; Elsevier
Summary: Background/Context: A challenge for teachers who support teaching for and about democracy is doing so while being pressed into directives rooted in corporatocracy, a political manifestation of neoliberalism. The accountability movement today, particularly No Child Left Behind, is rooted in much more firmly in corporatocracy than democracy.
OCLC WorldCat record
Corporatocracy rules : a Diana Hunter thriller
Author: Joan Francis
Publisher: [Tehachapi, Calif.] : Lobathian Publishers, ©2010.
Edition/Format: Book : Fiction : English
Summary: When PI Diana Hunter accepts a case from corporate titan, Maude McCollvoy, she goes undercover as a homeless woman to check up on Maude’s crusading son, Robby McCollvoy. The case leads Diana from the dark streets of Los Angeles to the corporate towers of the super rich where she discovers an international financial conspiracy involving hidden money, hidden profits, mortgage fraud and tax fraud. She is confronted by a cabal of such power that the perptrators are immune to civil and criminal justice. In their rarefied world things are done, not by law, but by Corporatocracy Rules. With both justice and her life on the line, Diana abandons legal procedures and resort to desperate measures for extracting justice in an extraordinary fashion.
OCLC WorldCat record
Corporatocracy A Revolution in Progress.
Author: Dimin, Lee S.
Publisher: Iuniverse Inc 2011.
Edition/Format: Book : English
February 21, 2012
Corporatocracy: Ron Paul Says US ‘Slipping Into Fascism’
by Katerina Azarova
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul slammed America’s system of governance at a rally in Kansas City, saying businesses and government are pushing the country into twenty-first century fascism.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Monday, February 20, 2012 • Permalink