The Corporation Who Would be King

Montana Flag

…if a firm, partnership, company, or corporation owns real property within the municipality, the president, vice president, secretary, or other designee of the entity is eligible to vote in a municipal election…

Montana Bill Would Give Corporations The Right To Vote by Ian Millhiser for Thinkprogress

A broader version of this law passes, leading to an explosion of algorithmic corporations owning nominal fractions of land to meet the real property requirement.

Eventually, the corporate hordes overrun their human voter counterparts. A ballot measure is introduced allowing corporations to stand for election. It passes. Now, their dark work begins. 

The new King of Montana is elected by a margin of thirteen trillion votes. Only three biological person incumbents retain their seats in the legislature. The election is not without controversy. Losing candidates file suits alleging that the pace of automated corporate registrations on the Secretary of State’s website acted as an effective DDOS, shutting down competitors by preventing them from registering before the deadline.

A rapid period of reform follows MT.King’s election. As the suit drags through the courts, the newly united legislature acts to consolidate the MT.King’s power. A minimum size is set for corporate person landholdings, freezing out new registrants and effectively putting a ceiling on the number of possible new voters. Radical restructuring of Montana’s healthcare, education, and unemployment regimes alongside a sustained public relations assault leads to a mass emmigration by biological persons.

The value of the land in Montana begins to shoot up and down based on the market’s assessment of MT.King’s rule. Remaining biological person landholders find themselves sitting on great reserves of power as the owners of the last unsubdivided territory. An enormous amount of text is produced on the subject of whether Montana is in the midst of a governance bubble or not.

Two rich secondary markets develop. One in MT.real_estate and the other in MT.voter shares. Occasionally, a hostile takeover is attempted but MT.King is able to fend them off. Rumours abound that some of these are in fact MT.King pump’n’dump schemes to keep Montana’s leadership well resourced.

Radical environmentalists trumpet MT.King’s reign. Montana has always had a low population density. Now, with a population made up primarily of immortals free of material needs and a dwindling biological person population, Montana is re-wilded.

A stand-off is brewing between the federal and state governments over the upkeep of the Interstate system. With no tax income to speak of and hardly any workers, Montana is simply unable to contribute to the upkeep. The MT.spokesenators argue for rerouting the system.

The ownership of MT.King and the MT.voters block that elected it remain shrouded in mystery. The underlying networks of board and shareholding membership remain unclear, as does the motivation of whomever is directing them.

With all apologies to Charles Stross.