Thesis 9: The system of democratic corporatism is the only way for to the power of the nation in its country.

The people are a sovereign and unifying element in the functioning of an effective democracy. The goal of a democratic system is the common good of the people. Without a nation, there is no true democracy, because there is no basis for the common good: such a pseudo-democracy becomes a cover for an oligarchy that uses the state to its advantage. This is a fundamental political clash that runs through the entire history of civilization – clash between the power of the people and the power of money.

Only the people can unite the various interest groups, allowing them to cooperate and act for the common good of the people, giving democratic institutions their true meaning. In National Democratism, the nation and its democratic self-government are inseparable concepts – democracy is not just one of the models of government according to “international recommendations”, but an organic form of people’s self-organization characteristic of our culture and historical experience. Such democracy based on the interests of the people also requires a certain social and economic system that would prevent the abduction of state institutions in the interests of the local or international oligarchy.

It is the system of democratic corporatism that can ensure the economic self-determination of a nation, without which democratic self-determination is not possible. Unlike state-led corporatism, such as in the regime of Kārlis Ulmanis (1877-1942) or the power of transnational corporations, which have nothing to do with historical corporatism, National Democratism advocates self-organization of the people – a bottom-up creation of system that gives the people more protection from the oligarchy. Such a system already existed at a time when Western society was self-organizing around guilds. The negative associations associated with pseudo-corporatism of the 20th century cannot be a reason to reject economic order inherent to Western culture.Our nation, which has “enjoyed” both the anarchy of unrestricted “prihvatization” and the poverty of Marxism, has a possibility for alternative based on organic community relations, solidarity and the widespread private property. Marxism recognizes only the power of state bureaucracy and political commissioners, but the experiment of liberalism was the industrial revolution based on the individual. This made Western civilization an exception, because in the rest of the world it was the traditional corporate and community-based institutions that organized the new social forces and formed a modern culture.[1]

Latvia’s historical experience with modernization is twofold. On the one hand, it was linked to industrialization by the example of Western Europe, but on the other hand, there was also a strong tradition of voluntary associations, especially in rural areas. It was the early Latvian corporatism that formed the basis of the establishment of the Latvian state, as a wide network of Latvian interest associations had already been established in the 19th century, which proved to be crucial in the aspirations for an independent state at the beginning of the 20th century. Our historical tradition of democratic corporatism was completely destroyed during the occupation of the USSR. The failure to restore a functioning civil society independent of the state or individual oligarchs, such as George Soros, proves that the ability of the people to self-organize and defend their interests is not to the advantage of those centres of power that have largely subjugated state power. There is little left of the rich traditions of association of the first stage of independence – the strongest are folklore societies, choirs and student corporations. There are almost no strong credit unions that would be an obstacle to the impersonal power of foreign banks.[2]

Corporative system means defence of human dignity. In industry, it is a way of reconciling the interests of workers and owners, and in agriculture – interests of farmers and producers, thus preventing exploitation. Corporations create a sense of identity – a sense of the value, honour, duty and solidarity among those of their profession. An example of a democratic and modern corporation is Mondragon. This corporation is one of the largest companies in Spain, employing almost one hundred thousand people in the Basque Country who are also co-owners. This is an example of maintaining organic community relations in the 21st century without sacrificing any of today’s technological advances. A stark contrast to this business that has grown out of community is Monsanto corporation in the United States, which deals with the genetic modification of agricultural products. By securing its patent rights to genetically modified grains and at the same time pushing unmodified crops out of circulation, company has deprived countless farmers of their freedom of management, effectively making them not owners or partners, but workers. What the Bolshevik Commissioners did with violence against farmers is being done by today’s large capitalist and neo-Marxist authorities in much more cunning ways.

The solution of improving the situation of small farmers and entrepreneurs is the Corporate Congress. Just as Parliament represents citizens as consumers in the economic sense, the corporate congress would represent citizens as producer-owners, including financial institutions such as credit union central bank and municipal banks. The work of the agricultural bloc of the Corporate Congress would prevent the influence of socially harmful large companies, as well as the influence of excessively large cities in the formation of state policies, situation which has developed because of the existing proportional electoral system.

If one thinks that the Corporate Congress would disproportionately merge the business with the state power, then he deserves only pity for this naivety, which suggests that these sectors have not already merged. The difference is that the business lobby is currently secretive, and only a limited number of wealthy people have a significant impact. Meanwhile, small businesses are struggling with bureaucracy and oppressive tax policies created in the interests of these few wealthy people to drive new competitors out of the market. The Corporate Congress would create fair rules for all producers by coordinating their interests in a way that protects the common good of the people, such as maximizing the country’s exports and also pursuing protectionist policies in a smart way. Thus, the Corporate Congress would not only fight for the realization of the economic interests of its members, but also form economic and financial policy in accordance with the interests of the nation.

One of the biggest tasks of the Corporate Congress would be to use the opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the purposes of national revival. The development of artificial intelligence, robotics and 3D printing technologies will reduce the need for cheap labour. For consumers, proximity to suppliers will become more important than scale of production, leading to processes of deglobalisation of production chains.[3] Nation will be able to strengthen its internal market and gain a strong foothold in the 21st century economy without sacrificing the well-being of its people in competition for cheaper labour. Likewise, expanding citizens’ property rights by making them part-owners or shareholders (with the original owners holding a majority of the shares) would provide the real social security cushion needed for the ever-increasing job losses that are predictable as an inevitable consequence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The decentralization of power at community level and existence of de facto two Parliaments must be combined with centralization at the highest decision-making level, by creation of the State Council. The State Council would be coordinated by the president elected by the people, whose task would be to reconcile the interests of the representatives of producers (the Corporate Congress) and consumers (Parliament), coordinating them and subordinating them to a certain national vision and long-term goals. The biggest problem development strategies of our country so far have been that, because of coalition compromises, everything becomes a priority and therefore nothing… A larger role for the president would overcome this lack of focus that is scattering our resources and potential. The term of presidency would also cover the phase of Parliamentary re-election, thus ensuring sustainability of national vision regardless of the election cycle. It is important to emphasize that the Corporate Congress must grow from the people themselves, gradually moving up the ladder of the pyramid of power – it cannot be introduced by a mechanical decision of government. Thus, it is not the state that runs corporations, but the citizens participate in the governance of the state through corporations. This mixed politically and economically elected government means strengthening interests of the people, because it is strong enough to break the selfish interests of economic groups, which threaten the common good of the people. The representation of citizens is being expanded without falling into the trap of authoritarianism and totalitarianism, but strong and effective executive bodies ensure the sovereignty and decision-making power of the state, in close connection with democratic corporations and local centres of power. State power is the natural centre of this grassroots system of the people, representing it and its common good.

The State Council, the Parliament, the Corporate Congress, strong local communities and families will form a multi-level structure that will ensure the necessary balance between maximum personal freedom and the conditions essential for the nation’s existence and prosperity. Of course, political reform of the system is not enough. There is a need for a breaking point in social consciousness that would make us aware that competition in society is only secondary to the principle of cooperation. Competition has its place and its tasks, but it cannot serve as the basis for a sustainable state. To enable compatriots to become partners in companies, credit unions or cooperatives, thus strengthening common social solidarity and self-sufficiency, is a much more difficult step than the revolutionary slogans of “destroying the system”. But that is the real courage and threat to anti-national centres of power. For it to happen, there must be an organization that serves as a micromodel for the possibility of such a model of cooperation and as a basis for building a system of democratic corporatism “from below”.

[1] Wiarda, J. Howard. Corporatism and Comperative politics. The Other Great “Ism”. Routledge, New York, 2015., P. 98

[2] The example of Lithuania is much more successful in this respect: our brother nation has succeeded in creating a strong network of credit unions, which also motivates compatriots to return from abroad and start living in rural areas.

[3] Āboliņš, Mārtiņš. Pasaules tirdzniecības sistēmas nākotne un Latvijas perspektīvas. From: Latvijas ārlietu simtgade. Scenāriji nākotnei. Red.: Andris Sprūds, Valters Ščerbinskis, Kārlis Bukovskis P.p. 147-148.

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