But, they arguably are on the brink of more power now than even when they had them.
Companies in the past ruled de-facto empires:
1. The Dutch East India Company controlled Indonesia and the spice trade from there. Defeating local governments in the process.
2. The English East India Company effectively colonized India and extracted resources before the British government overtook it.
3. Cecil Rhode’s British South Africa Company bruttaly expanded north from the south of Africa in search gold and diamonds.
The fact that today’s companies don’t wield armies is because governments of one sort or another have been installed throughout the world.
The power vacuum that private enterprise exploited isn’t as visible.
But, this will return as soon as colonizing other planets (or the moon) becomes a viable alternative.
Government, although extremely powerful due to its taxing power, takes a while to organize. In the meantime, individual enterprises will fill in the gap and exploit new resources.
^Day 195/90 175 words