What Kind of Corporatism?

A commenter on this post writes,

corporatism is the only game in town (http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2012/07/crony-capitalism-the-only-capitalism.html). The question then is what KIND of corporatism?

Libertarians who say that regulation = corporatism and who shrink back from any effort to regulate end up de facto enablers for the worst kind of corporatism from a progressive POV: the kind that makes the public in public/private partnership the junior partner.

I believe that you get the benefit of markets when businesses are allowed to fail. The worst evil of corporatism is its protection of incumbent businesses. What disturbs me about the progressive vision is that it seems to involve regulation of a static business environment rather than encouragement of a dynamic market with creative destruction.

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4 Responses to What Kind of Corporatism?

  1. Les Cargill says:

    It is as if we so fondly remember the snake-infested swamp that was the world described by John Kenneth Galbraith’s “Modern Industrial State” all the while actively pursuing every action we can to implement Schumpeter’s vision. Oooh, there’s a sale at Penny’s….

  2. R Richard Schweitzer says:

    Is “Corporatism” actually an “-ism”? Does it have an objective; or, is it, like Capitalism, a resulting condition? Is it not *describable* as the results of interactions amongst *aggregations* of particular interests (social, political and economic), rather than *definable* in terms of an operating system with specific objectives? Do these particular kinds of interactions of aggregations of particular interests, and the factors giving rise to the aggregations, not fall within Mancur Olson’s thesis?

    Capitalism is *not*an “ism” in the same sense as Political Positivism, Socialism, Historicism (and its excrescences of “Marxisms”), Communism, Fascism, Totalitarianism, and various Collectivisms.
    All of those other isms can be defined in their concepts or systems, all having specific objectives.

    Capitalism can be described, but not defined because it has no objectives, it is not a system. In its various forms it is a resulting condition; as feudal capitalism, mercantile or commercial capitalism, industrial capitalism, financial capitalism, and today’s managerial capitalism.

    Capitalism is a condition resulting from the emergence, exercise and interactions of individuality. That was the actual perception of Adam Smith as he inquired into his previous observations in “A Theory of Moral Sentiments” (dealing with individuality and the regard of individuals for one another and for themselves) as the essential part of the *nature* of, and probable **causes** of, the Wealth of Nations.

    Historians and scholars have conjectured from their research that individuality has had periods of the emergence and recession, recorded as far back as the 12th century in northern Italy, and similarly reflected (particularly as shown by land transactions) in English records of the approximate era.

    In social conversations, one may hear it said that capitalism has the objective of “profits” or “greed.” But those of course are the objectives of individuals; and individual objectives are moderated by the interactions with the objectives of other individuals – which produces the resultant condition designated as capitalism.

    Capitalism has taken on its varieties and cultural differences in various societies in accordance with the degrees of freedom of interactions of individuality and open access to the formation of facilities for cooperation or for mitigation of conflicts.

    We may now be witnessing one of those periods of the recession of individuality (in Western Civilization). A plausible argument can be made that the trends of subordination of individual interests and direct individual interactions to aggregations of interests is evidence of the recession of individuality and its expressions.

    “Cronyism” is a form of aggregation of interests. As a resulting condition from the increases in trends toward interactions amongst aggregated interests rather than interactions amongst individuals exercising individuality, the characteristics of what we designate as capitalism is affected. However, those effects are not necessarily the result of specific objectives.

    Capitalism is not a system; it is a resultant condition.

  3. Andrew' says:

    If I have to choose between my megacorp employer smashing the individual or the government smashing the individual, then yeah, I’m gonna side with the megacorp. Whatever corporation makes the drones that the president is using for untargeted killings wouldn’t be making them at all if not for the president’s untargeted killings. Or, they’d be eking out a profit delivering burritos.

  4. Lord says:

    If conservatives spent half the time creating viable markets that they do pretending they already exist and only have to be unleashed, the world would be a better place.

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