Corporate state: definition, essence

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Corporate state: definition, essence
Corporate state: definition, essence

Regarding the genesis of the corporate state, a fairly stable stereotype has formed in society. And, as a rule, the formation of this model of social structure is strongly associated with the time of fascist-dictatorial regimes. Countries such as Spain, Italy and Nazi Germany are considered to be the historical cradle of this phenomenon, although this is not entirely true. The corporate state has a complicated history both in the socio-political outlook and in the significant practice of mankind.

Term Definition

Ever since the beginning of time, due to different types of activities and living standards, people have been constantly divided into professional and estate groups. Analyzing this phenomenon, Plato put forward the hypothesis that if the government of the country is entrusted to these groups, then the decisions made will no longer be determined by the interests of individuals, but by the needs of all classes, as a result of which all disagreements between the particular and the general will be exhausted. In his famous work "The State", the philosopher embodiedthe idea of ​​corporatism, projecting a model of social structure on its principle.

According to most dictionaries, the term "Corporate State" is used to define a form of state authoritarian regime in which the executive authorities are formed from the main representatives of professional corporations, allocated by the government. The list of such corporations includes trade unions, various human rights organizations, business unions, religious communities and other large associations. At the same time, the state sets quite stringent requirements for issuing licenses to such organizations, thereby controlling their number and activities. It is interesting to note that in the "corporate" states noted in history, in all, without exception, the regime of the "leader" was established.

concept of the corporate state

The origins of corporatism

One of the first to talk about corporations were the German thinkers of the 18th century. In their convictions, they diligently argued that order in society should be built only on corporate foundations. For I.G. Fichte (1762-1814) saw the state as the top of such a social structure, taking responsibility for the reasonable distribution of obligations, rights and incomes among citizens.

Corporate ideas were widely developed in the works of G. Hegel (1770-1831), where he first began to use the term "Corporation". According to the philosopher, only with the help of this institution is it possible to put into practice group andprivate interests. A little earlier, corporatist views were covered in their publications by T. Hobbes, J. Locke and J.J. Rousseau. They managed to substantiate the existence of political institutions and prove the need for coordinated coordination of state and public interests.

class society

Christian concept

The Roman Catholic Church had a huge influence on the formation of the corporate model of the state, offering it as a solution to individualism and class struggle. In an 1891 speech, Pope Leo XIII stressed the mutual dependence between all divisions of society and encouraged class complicity to regulate conflicts.

A little earlier, the German politician, theologian and bishop W. von Ketteler distinguished himself with his contribution to the formation of a new concept. He paid attention to the study of the social position of social groups, especially the working class. Ketteler proposed estate democracy instead of liberal democracy, which would become the basis of social well-being and stability. In his doctrine, the core of democracy is a corporate system that can warn against class divisions and problems, in which all groups will be involved in social and political life, and each individual, being connected to work in a corporation, will take care of his social and political rights.

Leon Dugui

Corporate State: Dougie Doctrine

In the late XIX - early XX century, the ideas of solidarism gained considerable popularity in Europe, while having their owndistinctive features in each state. The French lawyer Leon Dugui (1859-1928) developed the theory of social solidarity, where the basic message was the idea of ​​dividing society into classes, each of which has its own purpose and function to ensure social harmony. Dugi believed that the corporate state would be a worthy replacement for the public power of the state, where the cooperation of classes would help overcome negative social manifestations. According to the theory, the concept of corporations (syndicates) was introduced, with the help of which the relationship between labor and capital would be realized.

In Russia, Dyugi's views received a positive response among such prominent jurists as M.M. Kovalevsky and P.I. Novgorodtsev. Some Soviet lawyers of 1918-1920 also favorably referred to the ideas of "class functions", including Master of Laws A.G. Goichbarg.

Republic of Fiume

Republic of Fiume: first attempt

In 1919, the port city of Fiume, led by the poet Gabriele D'Annunzio, proclaimed its sovereignty to the world and made the first attempt to establish a corporate state. In reality, it was a dispensation of fascist rule with all its specific manifestations: militant slogans and songs, mass processions in black shirts, original ancient Roman greetings, daily performances by the leader. The Italian adventurer and reveler seriously undertook to conduct an experiment in building totalitarianism in a single area.

The basis of the new statethe Italian system of guilds, which successfully existed in the Middle Ages, acted. The entire population of Fiume was divided along professional lines into ten corporations that represented certain classes of society and had legal status. For a citizen of the Republic, membership in one of them, depending on the type of occupation, was mandatory. It is curious that the leading corporation, in accordance with the constitution, was represented by "supermen", to which D'Annunzio and his entourage attributed themselves. In the future, the experience of Fiume was used by Benito Mussolini during the formation of the Nazi doctrine.

fascist regime

Fascist model

In the classical sense, the essence of the corporate state is the concept that all relations between labor and capital are coordinated by the state through professional-industry corporations, and the parliament is represented by the corporate council. The countries with the fascist regime tried to implement this idea with particular care.

In 1920s Italy under Mussolini's dictatorial rule, independent trade union organizations were overthrown by syndicates under government control. Syndicates gathered in corporations and, having received certain powers from state bodies, developed regulations to regulate production and labor relations. In 1939, the "Chamber of Fasces and Corporations" took the place of the Italian Parliament, consisting of the leadership of the Fascist Party, ministers and members of the corporate council.

Another striking example of corporateof the state in the fascist format is Portugal under the regime of António de Salazar (1932–1968). Having established a ban on the work of trade union organizations, Salazar tried to reduce social tension by uniting workers and employers in the context of a corporate mechanism. In each type of economic and cultural activity, only one professional association, the lowest level of the established government, was allowed.

The concept of corporate government was most fully implemented in Spain under the rule of Francisco Franco (1939-1975).

welfare state model

Corporate Welfare State

In subsequent years, L. Duguit's syndicalism, or rather its fruits, began to be regarded as a form of democracy. Under it, the key role in ensuring the interests of all social groups of society was assigned to united professional organizations, public unions and the state.

The corporate model of the welfare state implies a system of obligations and responsibilities of corporations (companies) for the material well-being of their employees, which is based on social insurance. Funded primarily by contributions, insurance services may vary by occupational group. All employees are provided with mandatory social guarantees, including pensions, paid leave, medical supervision and partial payment for medical services, additional benefits, and more.

This model of the state assumes the presence of the three mostmain corporate groups: the state, trade unions and the business community. It is between these groups that the main power blocks are distributed, which determine the structure and form of the political structure of the welfare state. Laws and economic guarantees are given by the state, but it is not their executor. This pattern is typical for countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Belgium and Austria.

corporate state


For a long time, a correct understanding of the corporate state, thanks to the verbal balancing act of all its supporters and opponents, was difficult. Society showed an ambiguous attitude towards this phenomenon, and sometimes it was negative. However, if we turn to the origins of the concept itself, it did not assume any oppression and injustice, overcoming class hostility was to be achieved through the correct distribution of rights and duties. The state must provide its citizens with equality before the letter of the law and the same opportunities, while further inequality will no longer be based on privileges associated with origin, but on individual qualities of the individual and work.

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