Corporativism

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Ideological current that regards the corporation (an association of persons belonging to a profession, or form of activity) as the basis of society, and the corporate regime as the ideal system. The corporative system of organization of society was imposed in its most explicit and definitive form in fascist Italy, the Portugal of Salazar, and Brazil under Vargas (Estado Novo, 1937–1945). In this system, corporations of interests (industrialists, merchants, bankers, farmers, etc.) had official representation in legislative bodies at the expense of the parliamentary representation proper to democracies. In turn, ideological and political control over the corporations tended to turn them into instruments of totalitarian power. N.H. sees in c. a danger to the dignity and liberties of the human person, because this system attempts to substitute human rights for corporative rights, dissolving people into the corporation as if it were a superhuman entity.