Silent Coup:

Silent Coup:

Contemporary Muslim World

Silent Coup:
How Corporations Overthrow Democracy

Author(s): Matt Kennard & Claire Provost

Reviewed by: Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, London, UK

 

Review

Reviewed by: Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, London, UK

Published by – London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2023, 222pp. ISBN: 978-135027000.

The history of corporations overthrowing democracies is a relatively modern phenomenon, but the drive to accumulate power and control, initially in the guise of trade based on mercantilist manipulation principles, is much older and contributed to the creation of European empires. Perhaps the finest example of these early multi-national corporations was the East India Company (EIC). In order to gain a foothold in India and improve their fortunes, various European nations formed their own ‘East India Company’, giving rise to an amazingly long list, the British East India Company (EIC) was established in late 1600, the Dutch EIC in early 17th century, the French EIC in 1664, the Swedish EIC in 1731 and the Portuguese EIC in 1633. All took the name East India Company, and by East India they meant Bengal and the adjoining provinces, the richest part of India.

Then, as now, these multi-nationals made their way into countries and resourcerich markets silently wearing an innocent camouflage of trading entity, soon to shake off that pretention and grab full control of the territory in question. As one author (Ferguson) notes, by the end of the eighteenth century, Britain had “robbed the Spaniards, copied the Dutch, beaten the French and plundered the Indians.” In today’s world, multi-national corporations are exercising the same “grab and loot” strategy by toppling governments through what the authors describe as “silent coup”.


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