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Ancient Greece developed early concepts of corporatism.

Plato developed the concept of


atotalitarian and communitarian corporatist system of natural-based classes and natural social
hierarchies that would be organized based on function, such that groups would cooperate to achieve
social harmony by emphasizing collective interests while rejecting individual interests.[6]
Aristotle in Politics also described society as being divided along natural classes and functional
purposes that were priests, rulers, slaves, and warriors. [20] Ancient Rome adopted Greek concepts of
corporatism into their own version of corporatism but also added the concept of political
representation on the basis of function that divided representatives into military, professional, and
religious groups and created institutions for each group known as colegios[20](Latin: collegia).
Absolutist corporatism[edit]
Absolute monarchies during the late Middle Ages gradually subordinated corporatist systems and
corporate groups to the authority of centralized and absolutist governments, resulting in corporatism
being used to enforce social hierarchy.[21]
After the French Revolution, the existing absolutist corporatist system was abolished due to its
endorsement of social hierarchy and special "corporate privilege" for the Roman Catholic Church.
The new French government considered corporatism's emphasis of group rights as inconsistent with
the government's promotion of individual rights. Subsequently corporatist systems and corporate
privilege throughout Europe were abolished in response to the French Revolution. [21] From 1789 to
the 1850s, most supporters of corporatism were reactionaries.[5] A number of reactionary corporatists
favoured corporatism in order to end liberal capitalism and restore the feudal system.[22]
Progressive corporatism[edit]
From the 1850s onward progressive corporatism developed in response to classical
liberalism and Marxism.[5] These corporatists supported providing group rights to members of the
middle classes and working classes in order to secure cooperation among the classes. This was in
opposition to the Marxist conception of class conflict. By the 1870s and 1880s, corporatism
experienced a revival in Europe with the creation of workers' unions that were committed to
negotiations with employers.[5]
Ferdinand Tnnies in his work Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft ("Community and Society") of 1887
began a major revival of corporatist philosophy associated with the development of Neomedievalism and increased promotion of guild socialism, and causing major changes of
theoretical sociology. Tnnies claims that organic communities based upon clans, communes,
families, and professional groups are disrupted by the mechanical society of economic classes
imposed by capitalism.[23] The National Socialists used Tnnies' theory to promote their notion
of Volksgemeinschaft ("people's community").[24] However Tnnies opposed Nazism and joined

the Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1932 to oppose fascism in Germany and was deprived of
his honorary professorship by Adolf Hitler in 1933.[25]
Corporate solidarism[edit]

mile Durkheim.

Sociologist mile Durkheim advocated a form of corporatism termed "solidarism" that advocated
creating an organic social solidarity of society through functional representation.[26] Solidarism was
based upon Durkheim's view that the dynamic of human society as a collective is distinct from that of
an individual, in that society is what places upon individuals their cultural and social attributes. [27]
Durkheim claimed that in the economy, solidarism would alter the division of labour by changing it
from the mechanical solidarity to organic solidarity. Durkheim claimed that the existing
industrial capitalist division of labour caused "juridical and moral anomie" which had no norms or
agreed procedures to resolve conflicts resulting in chronic confrontation between employers and
trade unions.[26] Durkheim believed that this anomie caused social dislocation and claimed that by
this "[i]t is the law of the strongest which rules, and there is inevitably a chronic state of war, latent or
acute".[26] As a result, Durkheim claimed it is a moral obligation of the members of society to end this
situation by creating a moral organic solidarity based upon professions as organized into a single
public institution.[28]
Liberal corporatism[edit]

Portrait of John Stuart Mill

The idea of liberal corporatism has also been attributed to English liberal philosopher John Stuart
Mill who discussed corporatist-like economic associations as needing to "predominate" in society to
create equality for labourers and give them influence with management by economic democracy.
[29]

Unlike some other types of corporatism, liberal corporatism does not reject capitalism

or individualism, but believes that the capitalist companies are social institutions that should require
their managers to do more than maximize net income, by recognizing the needs of their employees.
[30]

This liberal corporatist ethic is similar to Taylorism but endorses democratization of capitalist
companies. Liberal corporatists believe that inclusion of all members in the election of management
in effect reconciles "ethics and efficiency, freedom and order, liberty and rationality". [30] Liberal
corporatism began to gain disciples in the United States during the late 19th century.[5]
Liberal corporatism was an influential component of the Progressivism in the United States that has
been referred to as "interest group liberalism".[31] In the United States, economic corporatism
involving capital-labour cooperation was influential in the New Deal economic program of the United
States in the 1930s as well as in Keynesianism and even Fordism.[22]
Fascist corporatism[edit]
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See also: Preussentum und Sozialismus

Fascism's theory of economic corporatism involved management of sectors of the economy by


government or privately controlled organizations (corporations). Each trade union or employer
corporation would, theoretically, represent its professional concerns, especially by negotiation of
labour contracts and the like. This method, it was theorized, could result in harmony amongst social
classes.[32] Authors have noted, however, that de facto economic corporatism was also used to
reduce opposition and reward political loyalty.[33]
In Italy from 1922 until 1943, corporatism became influential amongst Italian nationalists led
by Benito Mussolini. The Charter of Carnaro gained much popularity as the prototype of a
"corporative state", having displayed much within its tenets as a guild system combining the
concepts of autonomy and authority in a special synthesis.[34] Alfredo Rocco spoke of a corporative
state and declared corporatist ideology in detail. Rocco would later become a member of the Italian
Fascist regime Fascismo.[35]
Italian Fascism involved a corporatist political system in which the economy was collectively
managed by employers, workers and state officials by formal mechanisms at the national level.
[36]

This non-elected form of state officializing of every interest into the state was professed to reduce

the marginalization of singular interests (as would allegedly happen by the unilateral end condition
inherent in the democratic voting process). Corporatism would instead better recognize or
"incorporate" every divergent interest into the state organically, according to its supporters, thus
being the inspiration for their use of the term totalitarian, perceivable to them as not meaning a
coercive system but described distinctly as without coercion in the 1932 Doctrine of Fascism as thus: