The roots of corporatism certainly derive from the nineteenth century Catholic Church, going back to figures like Ozaman. It is from there that the Italian fascists got it and from them the rest of the fascists and also the Nazis, those especially egregious fascists.
However, there is another variety of corporatism, call it "liberal corporatism," that one finds in places like Austria, the Netherlands, and many of the Scandinavian countries, closely allied with Western European social democracy. The civil societies and the macroeconomic performances of most of those countries have not been too bad over the last half century. It is voluntarist and not authoritarian and depends on a strong labor movement, not on its suppression. Barkley Rosser On Wed, 7 Oct 1998 01:50:43 -0400 (EDT) Rakesh Bhandari <bhandari at phoenix.Princeton.EDU> wrote:
> I think it was Brad who wrote:
> > >
> > > The three popular definitions of fascism I've seen are (1) authoritarian
> > > capitalism in general (from Pinochet to Thatcher); (2) the corporate state,
> > > where business, labor, and government meet in tripartite bodies, with labor
> > > as a subordinate in the trio, having lost its right to go on strike; and
> > > (3) a fascist or authoritarian mind-set, as in the Frankfurt school's "F
> > > scale" (which measures degrees of fascist mentality).
> To an audience of Canadian businessmen, Schumpeter recommended number 2 as
> a putative alternative to fascism. He promulgated a corporatism based on
> the teachings of the Catholic Church; of course many who left the talk can
> be forgiven for thinking that Schumpeter had spoken in favor the fascist
> project (see Richard Swedberg's Schumpeter bio). The best discussion I
> have found of the philosophy of corporatism is in Abram Harris, Economics
> and Social Reform. Another volume of Harris' writings has been put
> together by William Darity, Jr.
> This so called communitarian philosophy espoused by the Michael Lerner's
> and Michael Sandel's seems to be infested with this creepy crawly stuff.
> You hear it from all political sides nowadays, and I don't have to like
> best, rakesh
-- Rosser Jr, John Barkley rosserjb at jmu.edu