The Reality of Cyberpunk Dystopian Power
In most dystopian Cyberpunk settings, the evil overlord tends to be some big mega corp. The government has fallen and mega corps climbed to dominance via merger and lack of any oversight. In the real world, you tend to see two political sides and each have their preferred power stronghold. For the left it tends to be government while the right tends to protect the corporation. Since most authors writing dystopian stories tend to come from the background of the left, they choose to see their side being the underdog and the mighty corporation as the heavy hand of authority. But let's pull this back into the real world here. In reality, you have government and the corporations locked in a sick symbiotic relationship. Each power props the other up and protects the other regardless of political dogma. Right and left don't matter to the government/corporate machine. That's just something to distract the little voters that each side uses to their whim.
Corporations, under the table, give perks to government officials, even if it is illegal. Contracts and big business is awarded and paid handsomely with tax payer money. In many cases, the best bid is still overpriced by market terms. Government officials then have hooks in the corporations. Does any corporation really want to lose a massive contract? Well, not unless another government is giving them something even bigger (such as Google dropping a $10 Billion government contract for the US over "values," while still working on a major Chinese contact to implement a censored search engine to track the next Billion users. Values indeed...). (Full Disclosure: I use and like Google products but I can call out any company for transgressions, even ones I like).
Another side of this is the people being used as pawns. The people are promised things by government to get their votes, yet the government time and time again is mainly looking out for their corporations, who these days, tend to take political sides. Also, the people not only choose political sides but they also choose mega corp sides as well. People will defend their favorite company into the ground. As for me, I'll cheer on a company when it is doing right but I'll turn on any company that starts going downhill. In effect, smaller companies and the individual are constantly drowned out by big government policy. Policy the mega corps often create themselves, so that they can steer through the minefields, they have created. The whole time, the people are more in tune with their favorite company or political side over taking in the big picture, which is to say, they are only pawns in the government/corporate chess game for power and control.
Sadly, I don't see this dynamic changing at all. Not as long as power is in play and we all should know by now that power is something that drives human greed. It is highly doubtful that a majority of individuals would ever wake up and step back from their favorite corporations or political ideologies and actually see the bigger picture. After all, they feel that if their side "wins" then they also win. It's a small feeling of power they grasp in that win, that will keep them under government/corporate control.
A small change in the dynamic is the mob mentality for issues that are fostered through social media. On first glance, this seemed to be a good a thing, until the mobs that were created started to demand that heads roll with no due process. Guilt was mob determined and innocence was never an outcome. Corporations and government seized on this and now utilize the various social mobs in order to foster more support for themselves. It's true, the companies and politicians are being manipulated into decisions based on mob mentality, but again, the individual is left to suffer and the mob is just a third (albeit smaller) arm of a corrupt power play. Companies can now censor information, for a political side, because a mob has decided that they are right in their opinion and they will drop an "offended card" if not listened too. So corporations and government comply but if you look closely, this just consolidates the power of the government and the corporations over more groups of people. The government/corps really don't care about the mob's issue as much as using the power that mob has for their own power plays.
I have a feeling that the reality of dystopia will be much worse than the fantasy Cyberpunk dystopian world's we have read of for so long. It will get much worse from here on out.