In January of last year, this Party took a giant leap of faith in deciding to cut our ties with the past and abandon the label of "fascist" in favor of National Reformationist, a name much more representative and applicable to not only what we believe, but also in terms of addressing contemporary problems. As much as that decision was the correct one, it was also incomplete. There was a huge gap left outstanding that we failed to address, the Corporatism issue.
For those who study history with an eye to historical accuracy, there is no issue to be had. "Corporatism" as a word has its roots in the Latin "Corpus", or "body", usually a human one. Corporatism is an economic model based upon the idea that society resembles the human body, each organ having a separate function but all existing because the other parts continue to function as well, and all operating within the same body, serving the same purpose of sustaining it through accomplishing separate functions. Like the human body, individuals are different parts, and through those differences work in separate occupations, and, like bodily organs, all exist and work towards the betterment of the whole. Unfortunately, however, the society in which we live is one of short attention spans and abuse of language. Politicians and people of influence not being scholars or individuals of integrity gratuitously take advantage of the abundant ignorance within society to keep themselves in power. Hence, taking a term which represents an unpopular element within society such as "corporate", from which is derived "corporation" and tacking on to the end of it "ism". "Corporatism" (capital "c") is not the liberal's outcry against large corporations and their abuses. Herein, the word is upper case, applied to the philosophy and structure emerging in the early 20th century.
"Corporatism" is a strawman to tear apart for critics. It creates the perception of an “us versus them” dichotomy, and if you choose the side of the slanderer (which in reality is the only side that can be chosen) you’re on the side of good. This sophistry has been used so effectively that even a government as openly hostile to free-market capitalism as Fascist Italy has been described as "crony capitalist" due to its association with the word "Corporatist". When attempting to speak to people on political topics, similar problems are encountered. Any and all attempts to explain Corporatism usually come to nothing, as the negative impressions of the word are so ingrained in the subconscious that no amount of reasoning can awaken them to the truth.
Before making the obvious assumption that this change was simply opportunistic, there is another aspect here at play. The decision made last year to abandon the "Fascist" label, other than giving us a name more conducive to modern politics, gave us a freedom and leeway we never before experienced. Much more goes into a name than just an image. A name signifies who you are and the values you’re expected to live up to. In our case the ABP signified a historical movement from Fascist Italy; much of our time, therefore, was composed of trying to fit into the ideal we had established of ourselves for that movement during that period of history. For every move we made in that direction we encountered a challenge from those holding alternate interpretations, lobbing accusations that we were betraying Mussolini’s ideals or that we weren’t real fascists. The problem we had was that those accusations were difficult to defend against, due to the sheer number of different groups and individuals claiming to adhere to fascist principles. While we believed we were correct in our interpretations, the very nature of the problem we encountered put us constantly on the defensive. Instead of constructing our own identity in the minds of the public and focusing on a constructive program, we were constantly fighting a rearguard action to decide who were the true fascists. We were slaves to our own image and identity. What wasn’t clear at the time, but which progressively became so afterward, was that any kind of adherence to a historical doctrine prevents a positive dynamic program of political action. Historical doctrines by their very nature restrict original thought, already having a clear set of ideals they’re expressed through. When choosing to abide by one you tacitly agree to articulate those ideals, to somehow fit within contemporary society. The problem then encountered is when revisions are needed and don’t fit within the doctrinal framework, one runs the riskof defining one’s self outside of that same ideology you identify with. In many ways, the adoption of historical doctrines for contemporary politics becomes a religious matter. The doctrine becomes holy writ, which if one veers away from, leads to accusations of heresy. American politics is a good example of this, with our deification of the Constitution, founding fathers, and the ideals connected with them.
The transition to the NRP was a liberating move. While most of our doctrine stayed the same, the shackles which kept us tied to fascism loosened, and we were able to communicate our message more effectively. The one huge advantage, other than not adhering to a historical doctrine, was that National Reformationism was ours alone. There were no alternative interpretations; it was purely a product of this Party and couldn’t be claimed by others. Moving forward, when flexibility is called for and change necessitated, doctrine can be adjusted to fit changing circumstances and environments. The binding nature of history was gone, and the process of positive construction could begin. In many ways, the doctrine of National Reformationism is more of a process and way of thought than it is a concrete set of ideals which we adhere to. Hence, we are not ideologues, persons holding to a set of ideas without question or critical thinking.
With the name change, National Reformationism was free to develop. However, the economic side of the spectrum was not, as we still defined our economic ideals as Corporatist in orientation. The basic premise of Occupational Organicity is still aligned with Corporatism as defined above. Yet, the society in which Corporatism would have to exist differs radically from the model we use as a guiding reference. So, what role does history play within a contemporary political/economic ideal? Traditionalists and reactionaries declare traditions and prior forms of society and government as somehow divinely inspired and attempt to recreate with as much accuracy as possible those prior forms for contemporary societies, while liberals tend to disregard the past as lacking in relevance and use reason alone as a guide from which to build social norms. In reality, however, both points of view are incorrect as they ignore the inherent value of the other. As somewhat of an aside, science extrapolates from the past and projects to the future with its methods. Look at your own life, the mistakes made, the successes. Digging deep into your own history, what you’ll find is a balance between the two tendencies. Ignoring your own past while making decisions or trying to live out the past while ignoring a changing present more often than not leads to failure. The path to success and happiness is found in a combination of the two. To remember what came before is to give the present context and meaning, while using reason and ideals to evaluate current conditions gives the ability to adjust and change when needed. The fault of politics in multiparty systems is ignoring the place of the self and the experiential nature of reality in the larger picture and applying a separate morality and ethics to government, which inevitably leads to a governing by extremes and social fracturing.
Occupational Organicity takes the basic philosophy of Corporatism in viewing society as being much like the human body with individuals and groups serving diverse functions but all existing within a single whole and finding their meaning and place within that whole. However, as times change so must ideals, just like scientists must to accommodate new discoveries. Look at Einstein and Newton, relativity versus "absolute" space.
Historically, occupations were insular in nature, having contact with other occupations only through the buying and selling within the marketplace. Corporatism was built upon this model. The Italy of Benito Mussolini organized its Corporate bodies so that employer and employee would belong to the same Corporation; and while in many cases this model still applies, the increasing technological sophistication of the economy and size of many business interests calls for greater flexibility when it comes to application. Take companies like Amazon, for instance, which employ everyone from accountants to delivery drivers and much more in between. If we were to throw all of these individuals into the same occupational group, the group would lose all meaning as the nature of what they do is radically different, with the only tie binding them together being employment under a common employer. Think of a leg trying to function as a pancreas, for example. "Organicity" means specialization, but that only works in the context of the whole (and vice-versa).
For the system to work, occupational unity is a must, and while there are many instances where an employer and an employee would belong to the same occupational group, there are many others where they would not. This contradiction can only be solved by centering the occupation more inside the occupational group than with the employer. Whereas previously wages and benefits were paid directly from the employer to the employee, with the evolution of technology, the system will have to evolve so that individuals will be employed full time by the occupational group. Wages and benefits would be provided by the group, with the business interest contracting out to the group when workers are needed. This maintains occupational integrity along with promoting the idea of collaboration between different spheres of business life. No longer would employees be in a subordinate position vis-à-vis the employer, having to accept whatever conditions are provided to them. But security and a relative degree of comfort would be guaranteed, as the contingent aspect of wage employment would disappear. Those occupational groups composed primarily of workers would still be forced to interact and work with those concerned with capital accumulation through the political sphere, i.e. the State, and within Corporations, where the well-being of all would be reconciled and conflicts resolved.
Much like the move from Fascism last year, the move from Corporatism shouldn’t be considered a rejection of the doctrine but a growing process, where we take what came before and build upon it to create a better, more functional ideal, one suited to contemporary America and the unique problems we face. The past will always be there to give us context and guidance, but it cannot be copied and used out of its proper time and place. The outline of Occupational Organicity above comprises only a few ideas we feel will build upon Corporatism. Much more is to come in the future.