Corporatism vs. Syndicalism54.69

Corporatism vs. Syndicalism

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Corporatism vs. Syndicalism

Post by RedSun on Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:14 am

As far as I can tell, the only difference between fascist corporatism and socialist syndicalism is that corporatism refuses to abolish the capitalists' control of the workers. Can someone explain the differences to me?

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Re: Corporatism vs. Syndicalism

Post by Celtiberian on Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:26 am

Corporativism is an economic theory wherein labor and capital are essentially organized into unions which—along with assistance from various industrial experts, economists, and so forth—work together to plan production in a manner which is supposed to benefit both parties equally. The state, according to the theory, is to act as a sort of objective arbiter in whatever disputes may arise during the process; thereby ensuring that class collaboration, for the sake of "national interests," takes precedence over all else.

In reality, of course, a pure example of corporativism never manifested. Whenever it was attempted (e.g., Fascist Italy), the state invariably acted at the behest of the bourgeoisie, which is to be expected due to the typical rent seeking behavior of bureaucrats. The fascist intellectuals who formulated the corporativist theory understood that class conflict is a feature of capitalism, but their aim was to construct a model which could solve that problem without necessarily undermining the fundamental characteristics of capitalism—namely, private ownership of the means of production, wage labor, and generalized commodity production. They failed.

Syndicalism, on the other hand, is an economic system whereby the working class controls the means of production and distribution itself. Syndicalists understand that class warfare is endemic to the capitalist mode of production, and the contradictions of capital cannot be resolved by anything short of outright proletarian revolution, followed by the collectivization of the means of production.

Several notable Italian syndicalists (Angelo Olivetti, Paolo Orano, Sergio Panunzio, etc.) actually joined the Fascist Party because they viewed corporativism as something of a suitable transitional stage between capitalism and socialism. Others among them came to reject syndicalism altogether and joined the Fascist Party because they embraced corporativism as a desirable end in itself.

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Re: Corporatism vs. Syndicalism

Post by RedSun on Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:13 am

Alright, thanks.

This may diverge from the topic somewhat, but a syndicate is entirely run by the workers. In which case, does that mean that there would be workers trained for labour jobs trying to do management work? If not, where is the line drawn between the 'workers' and the 'bosses'?

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Re: Corporatism vs. Syndicalism

Post by Celtiberian on Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:52 pm

RedSun wrote:Alright, thanks.

No problem.

This may diverge from the topic somewhat, but a syndicate is entirely run by the workers. In which case, does that mean that there would be workers trained for labour jobs trying to do management work? If not, where is the line drawn between the 'workers' and the 'bosses'?

In relatively basic firms, workers would indeed collectively manage their enterprises. More complex industries, however, will obviously require specially trained professionals for certain positions, including managerial roles. In capitalist firms, bosses are those who either own the firm outright (particularly in petit-bourgeois businesses) or they are managers who represent capital (corporate executives, etc.). What distinguishes syndicalism from other modes of production is that firms no longer feature bosses, since ultimate authority rests with the workers themselves.

In the aforementioned case of complex industries, each firm would possess a democratically elected workers' council, responsible for hiring and dismissing members of the firm, monitoring management, and establishing shop floor policy in accordance with the will of the workers. Every firm would operate under the principle of self-management—in other words, workers would participate in decisions in proportion to the degree they're affected by them.


Last edited by Celtiberian on Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:38 am; edited 1 time in total

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"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
—Mikhail Bakunin Red Star

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Re: Corporatism vs. Syndicalism

Post by Xanthochroid on Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:27 pm

Ok, new question. Difference between fascist corporatism (ala Giovanni Gentile) and national syndicalism (ala Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera)

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Re: Corporatism vs. Syndicalism

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:23 pm

Xanthochroid wrote:Ok, new question. Difference between fascist corporatism (ala Giovanni Gentile) and national syndicalism (ala Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera)

Italian Fascism and Spanish Falangism shared many of the same ideological commitments (e.g. imperialism, authoritarianism, etc.), but they differed slightly with respect to economics. As opposed to the corporativist system I outlined above, Spanish national syndicalism was far less developed or coherent. Stanley Payne, an authority on the history of Spanish fascism, explained the FE de las JONS economic program as follows:

"The only really radical point in the Falange's economic program was a proposal to nationalize credit, an operation which José Antonio thought could be accomplished in fifteen days. He thought it would 'humanize finance.'

"In a big meeting at Salamanca on February 10, 1935, and again before Madrid's 'Círculo Mercantil,' on April 19, 1935, [José Antonio Primo de Rivera] stressed that national syndicalism did not propose a socialized economy but only a certain amount of state socialism for vitally needed reforms
."
Payne, Stanley G. Falange: A History of Spanish Fascism, p. 79 (emphasis added).

The reforms José Antonio had in mind were merely the aforementioned nationalization of financial institutions and land redistribution.

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"The dogma of human equality is no part of Communism . . . the formula of Communism: 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs', would be nonsense, if abilities were equal."
—J. B. S. Haldane Hammer Sickle

"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
—Mikhail Bakunin Red Star

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Re: Corporatism vs. Syndicalism

Post by RedSun on Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:53 pm

Another, related question. Would it be possible or sensible to create a syndicalist version of the fascist 'corporate state', where the nation is run by a council of syndicates (and, presumably, members of the governing party)?

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Re: Corporatism vs. Syndicalism

Post by Celtiberian on Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:34 pm

RedSun wrote:Another, related question. Would it be possible or sensible to create a syndicalist version of the fascist 'corporate state', where the nation is run by a council of syndicates (and, presumably, members of the governing party)?

Emulating the fascist corporate state would certainly not be desirable. First of all, according to fascist theory, the corporations would be headed by non-elected technocrats appointed by the party. Secondly, a head of state would remain whose authority would be absolute. Allowing a dictator and a class of technocratic elites to control public policy would be disastrous, and such a form of governance is fundamentally incompatible with revolutionary socialism.

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"The dogma of human equality is no part of Communism . . . the formula of Communism: 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs', would be nonsense, if abilities were equal."
—J. B. S. Haldane Hammer Sickle

"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
—Mikhail Bakunin Red Star

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Re: Corporatism vs. Syndicalism

Post by RedSun on Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:16 pm

Alright. I wasn't clear on that point of corporatism. I'd be interested to see what kind of government people think is compatible with revolutionary socialism, but I'll bring that up in another thread.

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Re: Corporatism vs. Syndicalism

Post by Iron Vanguard on Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:52 pm

I would not place the syndicates in a position of control over non-economic political issues. That would likely cause fracturing and schisms within the economy and state. It is best to have a separate state run by the vanguard party to administer law & order, defense, and public works, while the syndicates administer the economy, welfare, and production of state goods. In this way, the state and economy are fundamentally and ideologically linked without subverting each other's sphere of influence. Sort of like a socialist separation-of-powers system to prevent state or economic interest weakening the Motherland from within.

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Re: Corporatism vs. Syndicalism

Post by unhortodox on Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:09 pm

I'm italian and I know the story of my country...so i can tell you what corporatism was and what was not

Corporatism is a form of "state capitalism" (nothing to do with the soviet degeneration) where the worker's interests must converge with the capitalist's interests. If it does not happen the "ethical state" (the fascist state, I mean) try to seek a compromise between the two parts.

In most cases the solution was in favor of the capitalists. So we cannot define corporatism as a form of socialism.

A little bit different was the argentinian corporatism (under J. D. Peròn regime) 'cause the justicialist doctrine was more "working class oriented". In fact justicialism can be considered a mix between fascist corporatism and socialism. And, believe me, Justicialism was better than Italian and Spanish fascism.

A part of revolutionary syndicalists , in Italy, refused the fascist corporatism (I think about Alceste De Ambris) because their conception of corporatism can be described more "libertarian" and "democratic" than the fascist one. Also the spanish national syndicalist R. Ledesma Ramos, in some cases, criticized Mussolini for his bourgeois positions.

Personally I'm 30% pro-state economy and 50% pro-socialization. I'm also pro-small form of private property until it will not generate exploitment or poorness. But corporatism is an old and not revolutionary system.

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Re: Corporatism vs. Syndicalism

Post by unhortodox on Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:36 am

Iron Vanguard wrote: It is best to have a separate state run by the vanguard party to administer law & order, defense, and public works, while the syndicates administer the economy, welfare, and production of state goods. In this way, the state and economy are fundamentally and ideologically linked without subverting each other's sphere of influence. Sort of like a socialist separation-of-powers system to prevent state or economic interest weakening the Motherland from within.

I totally agree with your political view.

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Re: Corporatism vs. Syndicalism

Post by TheocWulf on Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:37 pm

unhortodox wrote:I totally agree with your political view.

I second that emotion.

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Re: Corporatism vs. Syndicalism

Post by Egalitarian on Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:30 pm

I believe the following is relevant to the topic at hand:

THE NAZI ECONOMIC SYSTEM:
In the six years between the Fascist victory in Germany and the outbreak of war, Nazism erected a system of production, distribution and consumption that defies classification in any of the usual categories. It was not capitalism in the traditional sense: the autonomous market mechanism so characteristic of capitalism during the last two centuries had all but disappeared. It was not State capitalism: the government disclaimed any desire to own the means of production, and in fact took steps to denationalize them. It was not socialism or communism: private property and private profit still existed. The Nazi system was, rather, a combination of some of the characteristics of capitalism and a highly planned economy. Without in any way destroying its class character, a comprehensive planning mechanism was imposed on an economy in which private property was not expropriated, in which the distribution of national income remained fundamentally unchanged, and in which private entrepreneurs retained some of their prerogatives and responsibilities in traditional capitalism. All of this was done in a society dominated by a ruthless political dictatorship.

From the point of view of this study, the most important single change was the abolition of the traditional system of autonomous markets in which demand and supply meet, coordinating the economic activities of millions of individuals. In spite of the decline of competition and the growth of government intervention, no single agency regulated the economy in pre-Nazi Germany in terms of a specific, well-defined purpose. The Nazi government substituted conscious, over-all direction of the economy for the autonomy of the market mechanism and subordinated the economic system to a predetermined objective, the creation of a war machine. A vast network of organizations was erected to embrace individuals, corporations, manufacturers, farmers, dealers, small business and large business - in short, every factor of production, distribution, and consumption. By dominating this organizational structure through which orders could be issued to every businessman, and by insisting upon strict obedience from all, the government obtained complete control over the economy. Commodity prices, interest rates, and wages were not only fixed by the government, but they lost completely their traditional significance as regulators of economic activities. The government decided and ordered what and how much should be invested, produced, distributed, consumed, or stored. A system of "direct" controls was substituted for the mechanism of prices which regulates economic activities "indirectly" in traditional capitalism. No institution in the economy remained unaffected by the fundamental change that German Fascism brought about.

Source: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c9476.pdf

Any comments?

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