I suspect this is a huge question with more than one answer, but…
It has been decades since I read a book (article?) that laid out a theory of (let’s call them) epochs in civilization where the predominant force governing people’s lives were/are church, then state, then corporations.
The idea was that the church played a central role in people’s lives during, say, the Middle Ages and up through the Reformation (?), which influence gradually was supplanted by the state (ownership and, later, human rights, compulsory regulation, taxes). Bringing us to more-or-less recent history, where the corporation struggles for supremacy over the state (and people’s lives) via, to give just two examples, the harnessing of labor in the production of capital and lobbying.
The other thing I seem to remember is that the subsiding authority always partners with the rising authority, ostensibly shoring up its declining influence while, in fact, hastening its own demise.
Naturally, the lines are blurred. As Bertrand Russell said, “Generally speaking and ignoring many exceptions….”
Does this ring any bells? Is the model considered accurate today?
What brought my question to mind was today’s Guardian article, How Capital Captured Politics