What is Corporatism?

2:43 AM Justin Bread 0 Comments

Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power. -Mussolini
Corporatism is the corner stone of the Fascist nation, or better still, the Fascist nation is corporative or it is not fascist. -Mussolini
This first quote is actually fake, but the second quote is real. The problem is that there is absolutely no context and neither give any clues as to the definition of the term "Corporatism." In the United States, a corporation is a business organization but in Europe and elsewhere, the corporation is simply any group of individuals. In fact, many syndicalist writers used the term interchangeably with labor unions.
In Fascism's earliest form (Fiume in 1920), d'Annunzio defined the corporations as fields of occupation. There was one intellectual corporation (artists, musicians, students, etc.), one workers corporation, one technical corporation (managers, technical advisors, etc.) and a few others.

In Mussolini's Italy, the corporation was defined as a field of production. They created manufacturers corporations, agricultural corporations and several others. Each corporation encompassed both the workers and the employers/managers of these production fields.
Fascism was a semi-Syndicalist state rather than a Capitalist state. The Italian Fascists introduced a variety of labor laws that provided protection for Fascist labor unions, although independent unions were excluded from receiving these benefits. The Fascist unions were known as corporations but they were not restricted to the working class.

The Fascists strived for national unity and as a result they opposed all forms of class warfare. This is why they were opposed to both Capitalism and Socialism. The Capitalist system exploited the workers while the Socialist/Communist system tried to eliminate the capitalists entirely. By perpetuating class conflict, these two groups were undermining the state, so the Fascists had to force them to cooperate. This is why the Corporate State became vital to Fascism.

Rather than being a set of policies, Corporatism was a complete restructuring of the political and economic system. By eliminating political parties, the Fascists abolished Parliamentary Democracy, yet by introducing the corporations they were implementing a Syndicalist Democracy.

It seems that the interpretation of Fascism being a State dominated by Big Business is unique to American/English observers. This is incorrect. In fact, the idea that Free Market economics naturally evolves into State Capitalism (Corporatocracy) was expounded by Mussolini as an argument for the State intervention in the economy and the abolishment of liberty.

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