John Ralston Saul on Corporatism:
lack of democracy and legitimization of corruption

Nipawin - Sunday, December 16, 2001 - by: Mario deSantis


"Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power."

--Benito Mussolini, Italian Duce



hole in

We have Canadian public health care defender Roy Romanow traveling around the country and abroad to come up with a new vision for health care in Canada. We need a another expert's health vision as much as we need another hole in the ground. The problem is not that we spend too much in health care, the problem is not even about the debate of public, or private health care, as the most important problem I have come to realize is the corporatism mentality of our leadership.




Yes, I have been trying to rationalize what was wrong in the Saskatchewan health care system and I found out that the most important problem was a leadership focused on drilling holes in the ground as long as there was unanimous consensus within the health leadership. Earlier in 1991, I implemented the first in house microcomputer health care payroll system in Gravelbourg, yet the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO) misused millions of dollars in the Stargarden payroll system, then they misused other millions of dollars in the SAP-ping payroll system, and who knows what kind of health payroll system they have today. The Saskatchewan Government with the participation of SAHO have misspent dozens and dozens of millions of dollars in the Saskatchewan Health Information Network (SHIN), yet nobody is speaking out about the continuation of drilling holes in the ground.




Disappointed of the managerial ineptitude of the Saskatchewan leadership, I turned my attention to national and international matters and I couldn't believe my experiences, they were the same as the ones I found in Saskatchewan, lack of democracy and more drilling of holes into the ground. I have just recently come across the work of Canadian philosopher John Ralston Saul and I have become excited to learn about his use of the term "corporatism."




This is what is wrong in our society 'corporatism,' and as usual we find our explanations of our language not in the artificial language of corporate copyrights but in our history. This is Saul's understanding of corporatism:
"First there is the continual confusing of industrialization with capitalism with corporatism; the sort of confusion that ought to drive a modern economist crazy, but doesn't because all three fit together in a comfortable, flexible way... They are now seen to be about organization and capital. Remember: the origin of corporatism in the second half of the nineteenth century lay in two things the rejection of citizen-based democracy and the desire to react in a stable way to the Industrial Revolution. These original motives would evolve into the desire for a stable managerial, hierarchical society."


We can be happy to day to have discovered a new term and an experiential truth, that is the meaning of corporatism as the desire of our elitist leadership for a stable managerial, hierarchical society. As the digging of holes in the ground by our health care governmental and non governmental leadership are concerned, well they can be perceived under the concept of corporatism as examples of legitimization of corruption.


Therefore, if we want to eradicate corruption in our health care system and in our society at large, we have to go beyond the ideologies of our political parties as they all embrace the corporatism mentality.
  Pertinent articles published in Ensign
  The Unconscious Civilization. FROM CORPORATISM TO DEMOCRACY, John Ralston Saul , Penguin Books, 1995, 1997
  His Excellency John Ralston Saul, C.C.
  Editor's note: John Ralston Saul is the husband of Canada's Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson
  Additional resources:
  1997 reviews of his book "Reflections if A Siamese Twin"
  John Ralston Saul's lectures in Australia, this site has the text and audio of this series of lectures on Globalisation, Democracy, Competition and Captialism, Competition and deregulation, free trade and protectionism and much more.
  Source and information about John Ralston Saul's many books.
  Quotes from "the Unconscious Civilization" by John Ralston Saul