C is for Corporatism.
“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”
― Benito Mussolini
Corporatism, (noun); the most popular method of political organization among modern, industrially developed societies.
Corporatism is a long-standing popular alternative to representative democracy, which has shown itself to be uniquely adapted to existing in purportedly fascist, communist and liberal-democratic states.
Corporatism suggests that the best method of organizing society is not one based on proportional equality, regular voting and representation at the local, county/state and national level, but instead one where society is divided among certain professional and expertise-based groups, which reduce the role of the citizen to that of a secondary observer, as the groups and state consult amongst themselves, ostensibly on behalf of the citizen about how best to run the country.
Historically, this method was introduced by the Catholic Church and influenced the Italian city states – such as Venice, where guilds and merchant princes and consortiums.
It is a mistake, however, to think of corporatism as meaning corporations. Hegel was rather revealing in the way he talked about them as "Estates", which brings to mind the Three French Estates of Aristocrats, Church and, well, everyone else. Therefore groups such as academics, lobbyists political parties and unions can form part of the corporatist state and indeed corporatism is far more ideologically flexible than most corporations are capable of, flexibility requiring a certain amount of imagination that BUSINESS SCHOOLS tend to beat out of their alumni.
A key indicator of a corporatist bent is a group which proclaims to be more disinterested in political outcomes, and so more objective, and yet spends the vast majority of its time agitating (successfully or otherwise) for laws, regulations and deregulation which benefits the corporate group. Other key indicators include an obsession with "efficiency" and decrying the emotional, ineffective and corrupt systems of representative government. Mediation and contracts are of paramount importance to the corporatist entity.
Interestingly, corporatism has made strong use of populist sentiment, often by attacking the outcomes of democracy as described above and claiming some kind of mythical direct link with the citizenry (which is of course entirely rational). This method is common to the likes of Ross Perot, Hugo Chavez, Silvio Berlusconi and Sarah Palin. Such people tend to attack democracy on behalf of The People, then rule via special advisors and private interest groups, when they achieve political power.
World War II can be seen as a titanic struggle between authoritarian corporatism and liberal democracy. It is not immediately clear who actually won.