The People and the Mob: The Ideology of Civil Conflict in Modern Europe

By Peter Hayes | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
Fascist and Democratic
Corporatism

Corporatism can be defined as an ideology that attempts to realize in practice the theoretical reconciliation of business and labor through its aim of organizing a state structure that allows their interests to be harmonized. Corporatism deliberately pursues a "third way" between liberal capitalism and socialism, typically through the development of tripartite political structures--composed of workers, their employers or managers, and the state--that are designed to limit or supersede industrial conflict. The history of this ideology in Europe since World War I presents a puzzle. On the one hand, it is associated with the rise of fascism and kindred movements and regimes between the wars, while on the other hand, it has influenced the development of institutions in West European democracies. This chapter explains the differences between these two types of corporatism by examining how the fascist form of corporatism has been structured around the distinction between the people and the mob, whereas democratic corporatism has been opposed to such a dichotomy. This examination extends the discussion of fascism found in the previous chapter and makes it possible to address the more general question of which forms of ideology are prone to distinguish between people and mob, and which are not.

Before entering into this analysis, however, it is necessary to justify my understanding of corporatism, which, while hardly unique, has been challenged by at least two well-known analyses. One is the Marxist contention that corporatism is the ideological expression of the petit

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The People and the Mob: The Ideology of Civil Conflict in Modern Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Part I Ideology 1
  • Chapter 5 Fascist and Democratic Corporatism 85
  • Part II Democracy 109
  • Bibliography 147
  • Index 159
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