Could a government's standing military forces be entirely hired away by private interests?


Say, for example, a corporation obtains enough money to pay all the military (which isn't hard- investment banks manage trillions, the military salaries are a fraction of that).

Then, the military takes the higher salaries, the government collapses and Corporations defeat liberalism.

What stops this from happening?

To be clear I'm not talking about building their own military, just hiring the military away so it collapses.


Posted 2019-09-18T18:01:08.267


Question was closed 2019-09-18T20:59:00.083

2You may want to rephrase this question. Right now it's hard to understand what exactly you're asking. You say hypothetically, but this example seems to shift the focus of the question, if the point is just a more philosophical query about the compatibility between freedom and state conceptually? I'm confused. – inappropriateCode – 2019-09-18T19:19:52.817

2Higher salaries is not self interest. Self interest would be a military coup, if they thought that the result would be stable – None – 2019-09-18T19:25:38.310


I suspect this is related to this question, which had the same title until it was edited.

– F1Krazy – 2019-09-18T19:35:18.990

Well.. Can it happen? Yes. It has happened before, not too long ago. Not an entire army, but pretty much whole units switched sides,.

– dolphin_of_france – 2019-09-18T21:52:47.710

1A military with no equipment is just a bunch of people you need to pay to stand around - yes, you could hire away the people, but that doesn't mean they would be able to bring the equipment they need to fight a war with them. – Moo – 2019-09-18T23:03:58.870

The short answer is (since this question is closed): corporations need someone to protect their butt, militarily, say from other countries. If they cause the collapse of the military (in their own country) that would not be in their interest. What you describe here would only begin to make sense if a corporation managed to simultaneously subvert the armed forces of all countries. And that's really far fetched. – Fizz – 2019-09-19T02:13:12.050

In fact, things that Trump demand from US allies - payment for US bases is transforming US army into mercenaries. – user2501323 – 2019-09-25T05:57:42.467



Let's work back from your conclusions:

"...the military takes the higher salaries, the government collapses..."

Okay, so we're starting off with a government that's entirely propped up by the military -- take away the military and the government collapses. This isn't unreasonable to assume, as there's lots of countries like that around the world today -- but also lots of countries that are not like this at all, of course.

If a corporation has enough money to try this, and they do try it, it's very likely that the military junta will nationalize that corporation. It also seems likely that any military personnel suspected of being in cahoots with these sorts of schemes would be in serious danger of reprisal.

In short, there's easier ways for corporations to maximize their returns on investments.


Posted 2019-09-18T18:01:08.267

Reputation: 3 910


Investment banks manage trillions, but those trillions don't belong to them. If an investment bank tried to use those trillions for a purpose contrary to the interest of their stakeholders, they would be stealing the money and violating many laws.

Even assuming US military personnel would be willing to trade out the flag of their country for some corporation, you can't just buy out their contracts. They are obligated to serve a set enlistment period or face desertion charges. You can't just buy military hardware and facilities.

It would take years to start to get a military force to rival that of the US, even with trillions to spend. In that time, law enforcement would arrest the bankers for fraud, freeze their assets, and shut down the whole scheme. Banks can't spend trillions of dollars they don't own without anyone noticing.


Posted 2019-09-18T18:01:08.267

Reputation: 10 254

I'm not talking about training their own military, just neutralizing the state – None – 2019-09-18T18:45:37.140

Have you ever looked at a balance sheet of an I bank? A P&L? How about a FCF statement? Attend a shareholder meeting where they direct RE? – K Dog – 2019-09-19T00:09:31.397


Any government is a collection of people with self interest aplenty.

And it is precisely because of this that no government has ever been able to police itself. Every government that has ever existed tried or pretended to try.

But none has ever succeeded, regardless of its form (imperialism, communism, liberalism, democracy, republic, socialist, strongman rule). Eventually, corruption will eat through all the nation's reserves, run up the debt, and then the desperate and corrupt will try to forcibly take from the powerless.

And eventually the result is revolution

All it takes is time.

It is human nature, we are fighting against


Posted 2019-09-18T18:01:08.267

Reputation: 1 326

why do you people think ... all the governments are running enormously unsustainable deficit. and where do you think it will end up? – dolphin_of_france – 2019-09-19T13:28:54.337