In 1861 John Stuart Mill published Considerations on Representative Government to discuss the justifications of democracy. The third chapter of this book explores why a government run by a good despot is unacceptable. In this article we revisit Mill's critique of the good despot to problematize the contemporary exercise of authority and influence by multinational companies especially in foreign countries. Inspired by Mill, we move away from the preoccupation of contemporary literature on privatization with the identity the actor (the question whether certain governmental functions must remain the province of public authorities) or the outcome of privatization (how it influences human rights or causes environmental damage) and shift attention to the democracy losses associated with the privatized decision-making process of the corporation. We identify the growing influence of private, particularly foreign actors, as a democratic problem of exclusion of persons from decision-making processes on issues with constitutive influence on their lives, and explore the different aspects of what we regard as an acute problem of democratic deficit.