At one time or another, we have all wondered what are we here for or what life is all about. The answer to this question must be a spiritual one. This does not explicitly imply that the answer for everyone must at all times be to serve God. While this certainly is my own point of view there are others who want something that in their mind is a bit more tangible. No one could blame a person for wanting a real, present, and concrete reason to exist. The fact that we must ask ourselves this question should in and of itself be a cause for consternation. It means that a basic facet of our human existence is missing or perhaps rather has been taken from us. The answer to the question must be spiritual at the very least by default because of what the answer is not; material. Materially we are more well off than ever before. Debt and all other pitfalls that explain why this is the case aside, as far as the sheer amount of stuff goes, human beings have never had so much. The wealthiest among us wonder the same questions if they have a shred of thought in their brains. Somehow as a people we have always known this. Who among us has never heard the saying “money doesn’t buy you happiness”? The proverb is universally known and yet so many today are satisfied with a political and economic system of government that only focuses only on the material. This vexation of the soul is a proof that our system is denying us the very thing that makes us human.
Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend concerning money, politics, and the way things are in general, as is our wont. As the conversation progressed it became clear to me that when discussing the positives and negatives of any political system, the conversation always revolved around money and otherwise things. The only aim of these conversations ever being what gives you the most of it. It occurred to me then that we have been so conditioned to think only of material things that the topic of economics means little else to us in the end. I realized that this is a very real way in which National Reformationsim differs from Communism or Liberalism. Communism and Capitalism/Liberalism concern themselves solely with material wealth. National Reformationism however, has much more in mind.
Among the many difficulties National Reformationism's growth faces in modernity and America more specifically is helping the general population understand that the old way of things must pass away. Running the daily rat race just to put food to mouth is neither desirable nor is it natural and yet this is what we as Americans accept as the only practicable method of operating a national economy. Indeed running the rat race just to survive is viewed as the acceptable means and end of it all. Not only does the established economic mode operate within the confines of this template but so does its counterpart socialism/communism. Both systems are completely consumed solely with materialistic concerns. Americans have never known anything else outside of these two spheres. It is time for National Reformationism to present an alternative way of looking at things.
National Reformationists occupy a very awkward position in modern day America where the term is loosely used and flung at opponents as a pejorative by both sides of the political spectrum to paint the other side as monstrous totalitarian despotic maniacal persons who obviously cannot be given the chance at occupying political office lest the entirety of the American population be marched off to a death camp archipelago somewhere due north of the arctic circle in Alaska. Such rhetoric to us in truth is in many ways laughable but in many other ways quite disheartening because of the lack of intellectual integrity and honesty found in the political discourse today which is fleeced upon the public who for some reason or the other by and large still trust politicians whether they say they do or not. Be that as it may it is the playing field we find ourselves on and it is this game that we must shoulder and strong arm our way into. It is also the public we have to explain to that, contrary to what they have been taught their whole lives, perhaps there is more to life than just running the rat race to survive. Yet more challenging is making them see that it is in fact accomplishable in a very real way. The means by which this can be accomplished is an economic system we refer to as corporatism.
To the casual observer this assertion, I have found, comes across as utopian in the marxist sense. A fairy tale that could never actually work in practice. I would immediately reply and submit without even a hint of hesitation just the opposite. That corporatism is not only workable in theory but also the most heuristic system by which the modern economy and industries can be coordinated and administered. The current system operates on the basic principles of self interest. The idea being that so long as everyone pursues their own interests then economic darwinism will produce the best businesses and goods and will do so in the most efficient manner. To an extent this is true insofar as it is equitably applicable to all persons within the economy. We know however that this is not the case and never has been. All too often and increasingly so it is the firms who have already amassed the most wealth that can use their influence to manipulate laws, regulations, to buy out patents when one does come along that could derail their monopoly and many other such practices. Thus we can plainly see that the system does not really encourage competition but rather culls it out. Once this truism is firmly established it is understood that capitalism is a poor system for ensuring the welfare of the nation or of anyone really save those who have already cornered a market so to speak. The most optimistic and idealistic among us will however, still give the system the benefit of the doubt and will reply without fail that capitalism may not be perfect but it has pulled more people out of poverty than any other system in the history of man and that the workers of this country have more things than any people ever before in the history of the world. Ignoring the many logical fallacies inherent in this argument we could retort that capitalism has also sent many more plunging to the depths of poverty than ever before as well. The fact that owning more things does not equal wealth can no longer be ignored as a matter of fact. Things can only be considered wealth when they take the form of a tangible asset. That is a physical thing that either now or in the future will bring the owner money. This only exists within the confines of private property as in the type that is used to create revenue. The things that the average American owns are neither assets nor are they capable of generating revenue. They are by and large a one time expenditure and depreciates over time. Not only are they worthless in generating revenue but they cost the buyer on the front end as well. Therefore they cannot be considered an investment. We can plainly see then that this argument by the proponent of the capitalist system is a slight of hand and therefore deserved to be treated at some length here. Finally, there is a last ditch effort to save the face of capitalism commonly utilized against its detractors. This argument boiled down to the essence of its message goes something like “well it is the best system available so suck it up and shut up.” But we ask could it really be the case that a system that is so incredibly wasteful and produces such appalling levels of wealth disparity really be the best that humankind is capable of though we be made in the image of God himself? Is it really the argument of the capitalists to say that it is beyond the reach of the greatest country the world has ever known to achieve a more equitable and better coordinated system? When confronted with this question it will become plain that they do not believe it is beyond our reach but that they simply don’t want it to be and certainly don’t want the general population to be of the mindset that it is. We cannot sit on our hands and blithely accept this poor excuse for an argument as fact simply because those benefiting from it the most tells us to.
With the basic arguments for capitalism effectively defanged we can now turn to why it is we have a better system and where it fits into the broader picture of economic and sociological designs that Americans are more accustomed to. On more than not a few occasions, after having expounded the basic tenets of corporatism, the listener who is of a more conservative bent almost always replies in knee jerk reaction fashion that it sounds like socialism. Some have gone on to ask in what meaningful way it differs from the economic model practiced in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The answer to this question, as with anything in the sphere of economics, is a complicated one. However, there are a few defining aspects that needs examining for our more generalized purposes here. The wording that confuses almost everyone unfamiliar with the system we advocate for is without a doubt “planned economy”. This dredges up thoughts of the old clunky soviet model. The tertiary issue that compounds this confusion is the fact that both National Reformationism and the USSR was authoritarian or illiberal in nature. These two likenesses in appearance only tends to confuse the audience and they could be forgiven for thinking this. The very cornerstones of corporatism and socialism of the marxist type are however completely different. Once this is understood then the rest falls into place. The Soviet Union in many ways ended up practicing a form of state capitalism. Even idealistically communism is much different than corporatism. Marxist socialism/communism advocated for the abolition of private property and underneath it all this would be the key reason the model failed. Because communism abolished private property due to it being the means of oppression of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie it had to be held in common i.e. by the state. Therefore everything in the economy was planned by the central government. As previously stated, National Reformationism also believes in a planned or coordinated economy but the aim is to eliminate waste both in materials and in labor. Because the communist ideology demands the abolition of private property the planning was by bureaucrats. This caused the economy to be slow to adapt and unresponsive in general. It is true that in the early days the planned economy was able to reshape Russia from a backward agrarian nation to a heavily industrialized and largely modern one in an incredibly short amount of time, the human cost it took to accomplish this was in fact abhorrent. For communism the end always justified the means. National Reformationism however, saw that the spiritual health of mankind as well as the proper functioning of an economy required the retention of private property so long as it was not used to the detriment of the nation. This tenet along with the grouping of industries in corporations or syndicates would allow for central coordination by the best and brightest in each industrial walk of national economic life and many of the functions usually reserved for the state devolved to the corporations to in effect affect industrial self governance.
In the end, the implementation of corporatism would realize the full ability of the rational human mind to scientifically coordinate the economy in such a way that the worker need no longer fear rationalization in the form of machinery or artificial intelligence taking his job. Furthermore, and more importantly, the effective coordination of the economy means that the productive forces of society could be arranged in such a way that technological advances should never mean the laying off of workers but rather a reduction in work hours. In “The Coming Corporate State” by A. Raven Thompson it is here noted that a problem of leisure will arise. The problem of leisure must be solved by each corporation but ideally if all of the nations needs can be met in the factories and other places of business with 6 hours of work then this leaves the skilled tradesman time to produce a superior product by hand for his own benefit. Furthermore, each corporation would provide sports teams to be part of and provide exercise facilities. And this is the practical crux of how corporatism under the umbrella of National Reformationism is much different than capitalism or socialism. As mentioned earlier these two systems only care about the materialistic matters. Corporatism for National Reformationism is quite different in that corporatism is not the means and ends in and of itself but rather is simply the means by which the individual may finally free himself in a real and practical way from the worries of simply putting food to mouth. This allows the citizen to finally come to his or her full realization as a member of a nation which means nothing else than being grafted fully into their community. Corporatism is the means by which the individual may be infused into that something that is greater than himself. Giving that individual the meaning to life as a social creature. And it is exactly this that I spoke of when I said that everyone asks what is the meaning of life. The meaning of it in the here and now is to be part of something greater than yourself. What this adventure is the National Reformationist does not pretend to know or define unlike the liberal who wants to define everything. Because to define is to limit and the great national adventure will know no limit.