Corporatism is to Capitalism as Collectivism is to Socialism. This might be startling or even very radical to some people, but there really is no practical difference between collectivism and corporatism. I have heard some people call the current system in the United States “Corporate Communism” because we bail out corporations when our system is supposed to be designed to let the most efficient thrive and the least competitive fail. That’s a good phrase, and I have used it myself many times, but I believe we need something more accurate, which, by the way, turns out to be even more shocking.
The only real difference between collectivism and corporatism is the platform system from which each develops, and the status of the elite who benefit from it. In the former Soviet Union, they called their system “socialism” and created methods which benefited only their Communist Party elite. In the United States today, we call our system “capitalism” and have methods which benefit only the corporate elite. In both instances, the labor and resources of the many are forcibly taken from them and handed over wholesale to the few, who then use them for their own selfish ends.
The system by which this was accomplished under the former Soviet Union was called collectivism. A practical barebones definition of which is: The forced taking from a group of people (workers) for the benefit of the state. In practice, one would hope that the “state” would include the group from which goods and services are taken, but that is not required under this definition. What happened in the Ukraine under Stalin was a particularly brutal example of collectivism, which actually led to mass starvation of populations forced to serve the state.
The system we use in the United States to accomplish the wholesale taking is called corporatism. A practical definition of which is: The forced taking from a group of people (taxpayers) for the benefit of corporate stakeholders (a very small group of people). While it would be a stretch to compare today’s corporatist American state with the collectivism of Stalin, we do have people homeless and hungry because of the economic collapse caused by the corporate elite and the government’s inexcusable response in fretting only about how to protect corporate interests in its wake.
In the United States, we have bailed out corporations with no strings attached by forcing the American taxpayers to underwrite (and sometimes just directly assume) the debts, obligations, and risks of private for-profit companies, while leaving the management of these companies unchanged—complete with the promise of private profit—all with no guarantee that any benefits will accrue to the public who saved them. That may be a slight exaggeration because there was one hoped-for benefit: The hope of preventing another Great Depression, the conditions for which were created by the very private companies we prop up and keep in business at enormous taxpayer expense.