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This 51% attack is an issue for consensus models.  A few nodes from the entire network take care of the overall governance. These delegates could collude with each other and bend the entire network to their will.

The term Cartel is much older than DeFi and Crypto. It describes any group of powerful actors that work together to influence the outcome.
This is how Merriam Webster defines it:

A cartel is an organization of a few independent producers for the purpose of improving the profitability of the firms involved. This usually involves some restriction of output, control of price, and allocation of market shares.

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