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INTRODUCTION

As Philippe Schmitter points out in his article Reflections on Mihail Manoilescu and the

Political Consequence of Delayed-dependent Development on the Periphery of Western Europe, it is

rather difficult to analyze the cosmopolitan thinker Mihail Manoilescu’s works in order to

understand the problems early twentieth-century Roamania was facing.1

In order to understand Manoilescu’s work we first need to understand who he was and what

role he played in Romanian history. It is also important to underline the fact that he is the most

known Romanian economist of the twentieth century and he brought some Romanian realities in the

core of important international debates.2

Manoilescu was born on December 21, 1891 in Tecuci. His father was a teacher with

socialist sympathies and his mother, Natalia Grigoreanu, was the inheritor of the old Tăutu family

of boyars.

Between 1902 and 1910 he followed with exceptional results the Iaşi National High school

where he was classmate with Cezar Petrescu and Victor Iamandi. After graduating high school, he

had to give up juridical studies due to lack of money and opted for a military career which he

considered surer. He studied at the Polytechnique in Bucharest between 1910 and 1915.

In 1913 he took part in the military campaign in Bulgaria during the Second Balkan War and

in 1914 he participated at public manifestation in favor of Romania’s entering in the First World

War as an ally of Entente.

After the ending of the First World War Manoilescu was immediately named (at the

recommendation of Tancred Constantinescu) sub director at the Industry and Commerce Ministry.

In the same year he was promoted to director and then general director of the ministry.

1
SCHMITTER Philippe C.”Reflections on Mihail Manoilescu and the Political Consequences of Delayed-Dependent
Development on the Periphery of Western Europe”, in Kenneth Jowitt, ed., Social Change in Romania: A Debate on
Development in a European Nation, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1978,p. 117
2
PAIUSAN Robert, Mihail Manoilescu: repere biobibliografice, Bucuresti, Editura ASE, 2005, p. 5

1
Between 1926 and 1927 Romania was governed by the Government formed by A.

Averescu. After being elected Member of Parliment, Manoilescu was named sub secretary of state

in the Finance Ministry and elaborated a number of laws such as the harmonization of salaries,

monetary stability etc. In 1927 he made an official visit in Italy in order to sign a commercial

bilateral treaty and to obtain Italy’s recognition of Bessarabia’s unification. He was greeted by

several fascist personalities, among them Mussolini.

After the fall of the Averescu Government and the forming of a new Liberal Government

Manoilescu joined the Restoration movement, whose main goal was to bring Carol on the

Romanian throne after he had lost his rights. He met with Carol several times in France and he was

trusted with different missions.

In the fall of 1927 Manoilescu had to face an intensely meditated process. He was arrested

on October 23, on his arrival from Paris with some confidential letters from Carol. He was charged

with carlist complot but he was later that year acquitted. On November 18, he was thanking G.

Taşcă threw a letter for his help. The letter ended with the rhetorical question: your gesture and the

value of your action, will I ever be able to forget them?3

In 1929, Manoilescu becomes a member of the National Peasant Party after being asked to

do so by Carol. The following year, he had numerous encounters with Carol, who was ready to

regain his rights. Manoilescu elaborated a governing program which included a reformation of the

democratic state (by giving more authority to the monarch, limiting the powers of the Parliament

and so on).

Carol came back on the throne in June, 1930 and he demanded the Government ruled by

Iuliu Maniu to name Manoilescu Minister of Communication and Public Works. During the

Mironescu Government Manoilescu became Minister of Commerce and Industry and kept this

portfolio during the Iorga Government.

3
Paiusan, p. 17

2
In 1931 he became governor of the National Bank and got involved in the Blank Deal, being

dismissed after refusing to support Carol’s attempts to save the bank using money from the state

budget (the bank was no longer able to pay its debts).

One year later he became senator of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry college and

started a magazine called Lumea Noua (New World) whose aim was to make known his ideas.

In 1933 he participated at the Economic Pan European Conference, organized at Vienna

where he demanded an introduction of the corporatist system. In the same year he founded the

National-Corporatist League (Liga National- Corporatista).

In 1936 he met several important personalities such as Antonio Salazar, Alfred Rosenberg

and Walter Funk (he met the last 2 at a Nazi congress in Nurnberg where he was guest of honor).

In 1938 he attended, in Rome the manifestations organized by the fascist party in order to

celebrate 2000 years since the birth of the Roman emperor Octavian August. After the starting of

the Second World War he sustained the fascist and Nazi cause.

In 1940 Manoilescu became minister of Foreign Affaires during the Ion Gigurtu

Government. Although he was popular in both Germany and Italy this did not help Romanian

foreign policy. As a result, on August 30, 1940 Manoilescu and Valer Pop were signing the Vienna

Award which stated that Maramureş, Bihor and Transylvania were now the territory of Ukraine.

Manoilescu blamed Carol for his disastrous image in Romania and said that he was responsible for

the “complete ruining of his moral position in the soul of the people and of the army”.4

Between October 1944 and December 1945 he was held in detention and accused of being

the main cause of the country’s disastrous state. The accusation was later on dropped.

In 1948 Manoilescu was imprisoned for political reasons and he died in Sighetul Marmaţiei

on December 30, 1950.

Manoilescu was a “plurivalent personality”5. He was a politician, the author of many

economic books, a political thinker, an editor and a teacher.

4
Paiusan p. 25
5
Paiusan p. 63

3
He was a very active man, full of ideas and eager to set them in practice. He is described by

Schmitter as being “ more an ideologue than a theorist in the simple sense that he tended to deal

“projectively” with social, economic, and political relationships as they should be-or, better put as

they should become- rather than with the realistic analysis of how and why they actually were”.6

Perhaps the two most important ideas of Maihail Manoilescu are corporatism and

monopartidism to which he dedicated a significant number of his works.

CORPORATISM

As Schmitter had so accurately underlined, Mihail Manoilescu is best known for his lifelong

passion or better expressed “obsession” for what he believed to be the ultimate solution to all the

social and economic problems of the early XXth century State: corporatism.

Manoilescu had predicted in his “Le Siecle du corporatisme” that “the twentieth century will

be the century of corporatism just as the nineteenth was the century of liberalism”.

But what Manoilescu referred to as corporatism had in fact little to do with the traditional

meaning of corporatism as being “universitas personarum”, according to which people of the same

profession may associate and create a body meant to protect their common interests.

He understood corporatism as being “an institutional-political response to a particular process

of transformation that the world political economy and its attendant of international stratification

were undergoing”7. As such he denies the concept of natural harmony, approving the change that

liberalism and capitalism had brought in the XIXth century. Moreover he argues that corporatism

will integrate the individual into society but do it through more capitalist rules and regulations.

Lastly Schmitter understood that Manoilescu believed corporatism to be more than just a temporary

and class depended solution, he thought of it as being appropriate regardless of the fact that

corporatism was in fact class related and had to maintain the status quo.

6
Schmitter, p. 118
7
Schmitter, p. 124

4
Manoilescu had in “Theorie” stated the end of territorial expansions. His views were

Eurocentric as Schmitter puts it, but he did manage to clearly observe the fact that all the borders

were becoming fixed and thus made territoriality a constant further enhancing in Manoilescu views

the need for the society and the economy to be organized differently.

The ideology needed to promote such a change was shaped due to the events of the 1920’s

and 1930’s such as: “the collapse of the prewar liberal economic order, the rising demand for

equality of benefit and status among nation-states, the definitive demarcation of territoriality”8.

Manoilescu believes that corporatism would first appear where these tensions had more accurately

asserted themselves: the southern and South-Eastern part of Europe, and from there on they would

manage to impose change throughout the whole of Europe.

But seeing such a determined attitude towards corporatism can easily make one ask why

would Mihail Manoilescu choose this in the first place? He had many arguments some of which

quite alluring and convincing:

-Firstly corporations would provide the common individual with ranks and loyalties and

would be able to resolve all the complex problems that society has because of its attributes.

-Secondly corporations would allow the state to grow from an economical point of view as

the national economic planner and international economic bargainer.

-Thirdly corporations would be responsible of solving ”essential” matters such as internal

security, external defense, foreign affairs and national propaganda in total disregard to

“nonessential” actions like welfare or health.

The state becomes the most solicited arbitrator, being obliged to recognize all conflicts

emerging from these tensions and solve them. Moreover the state should foresee these conflicts and

through its own power of initiative act in national interests above all other.

-Last but not least corporations would extinguish the “spirit of class” and replace it with

national solidarity. Thus social conflicts and upheavals would disappear and a harmonious

8
Schmitter, p.125

5
organization of society would replace them.

Manoilescu believes social differences will be a thing of the past and that solidarity and

organization will ensure the survival of civilized society.

As to how corporatism would be implemented Manoilescu leaves a lot to be imagined. He

states it would be created first by the periphery through an incredible burst of group consciousness

and later transmitted to the central area where its adoption would be quite natural and harmonious.

The owning class and the working class would unite forces as to ensure survival, both of them

acting in response to being threatened by the diminishing of their industrial superiority.

Therefore the best way to make social differences disappear was to recognize their existence

and provide the individuals with separate but equal representation as Manoilescu said: “There is

nothing more natural than every man being able to contribute to the state through the professional

group he is a part of. Nothing is more logical than that in Parliament the peasants be represented by

peasants, the industrial workers by industrial workers, the industrial owners and merchants by

industrial owners and merchants”9

In the Romanian case Manoilescu wished to end ethnic minority classes not class difference.

“We are not a multinational state: we are a Romanian national state with foreign minorities. That is

why national corporatism creates a system of institutions which will assure a just balance between

Romanians and minorities in each category of labor, and will reestablish equilibrium wherever

minorities exist in exaggerated or disproportionate numbers…Just as in Italy equilibrium between

classes is produced inside the corporations. So will they in Romania create equilibrium between

minorities”. 10

Manoilescu believed that the XXth century would bring a change in the psychological manner

in which people perceive moral and social values and these would as a consequence shift from

individualist and liberal ideas to ideas that promote the achievement of collective goals, based on

the functional importance of each and every person in society. The highest of these goals remained

9
MANOILESCU Mihail, “Romania: Stat national-corporativ”, Bucuresti, 1938, p. 4 [our translation]
10
MANOILESCU Mihail, “Romania: Stat national-corporativ”, Bucuresti, 1938, p. 27[our translation]

6
that of the national interest and well being, an aspect that obviously asserted in an indirect manner

the totalitarian nature of corporatism much as it functioned in fascist Italy.

Mussolini, the true creator of corporatism believed that it was the only normal, regular and

natural manner of organizing a state and although he rejected liberalism and socialism he wished to

keep the positive aspects that they both had: he promoted the solidarity and equality that socialism

had but did not wish to create an ever present state; he guarantees freedom of initiative just as

liberalism did but worked towards ensuring the elimination of unjust and free competition. This

synthesis was made at the price of suppressing individualism totally.

Corporations become bodies of representation and are responsible for every member they

have and all the legal and social actions they perform obliging the state to become no more than an

arbitrator, the holder of national interest, to which if any corporation goes against is forced to

intervene and correct.

Corporatism in Italy was entirely dependent on the way Mussolini organized the state as

Manoilescu himself observed: “Fascism of the pure Italian style presupposes a Mussolini. That

however, is not something which can be created on command” 11

His admiration for Mussolini and his ever growing totalitarian tendencies to express

corporatism led to a shift in his perception which ultimately defined his politicology: the single

party.

MONOPARTITISM

Le Partie Unique (1936) founded his politicology.

In this book Manoilescu changed his vision about the best route to state corporatism.

“While the nineteenth century was the era of political pluralism, the twentieth century will be the

era of political monism”.

11
MANOILESCU Mihail, “Corporatism romanesc” in Lumea Noua, I, 3, June 1932, p. 6 [our translation]

7
Between the two works, Siecle du corporatisme and Le Parti unique, his view changed a lot.

The single party became the “indicated tutor” of corporatism, but finally it is not clear if this

tutor is only temporary or definitive.

A single-party system is a type of party system government in which a single political party

forms the government and no other parties are permitted to run for election.

In his book, Le Partie Unique, Manoilescu explains which are the steps for establishing a

single-party system in a state and presents some examples of monopartitism.

Le Partie Unique (the book):

“Ce sont deux institution qui, au moins sous leur forme contemporaine, présentent une

originalité et une nouveauté incontestables et qui seules parviennent à donner un relief au paysage

politique de nos jours.

Ce deux institusions sont: la corporation et le partie unique.12”

In the first part he speaks about the necessity of establishing a single-party system instead of

a liberal system that he considers to be a regime of discontinuity, irresponsibility and confusion.

For him it is a system that divides the nation, and in order to underline this point he cites

Goebbels: “tout ce qui pouvait séparer les hommes de la meme patrie, constituent normalement une

base pour former un parti”13.

Another advantage of the single-party system is the rationalisation of the state, and in order to

explain it Manoilescu presents, the example of the Oriental agrarian countries that are well

organised and have no problem with discontinuity. This is the main point of this part. The

hierarchical organisation of the single-party is, for him, the best way of granting the order and the

coordination of the state.

12
trad. ’’it is these two institutions that, at least in their contemporan form, present incontestanle originality and novelty
and are the onlt ones that manage to model today’s political peysage. These two institutions are corporatism and
monopartidism’’ [our translation] MANOILESCU Mihail, Le Partie unique, Les Oeuvres Francaise 1936, p. 1
13
trad. ’’everything that can separate the people of the same country constitues normally a base for forming a party.’’
[our translation] GOBBLES M., Angriff of 20 August 1928

8
The slogan of Manoilescu is “l’ordre, la probité, la continuité” 14.

Manoilescu’s idea is that there are clear steps that a revolutionary party has to take before and

after becoming a single party system. He divided those steps in Temporary functions and

Permanent functions.

The temporary functions are:

- the preparation of public opinion

- the conquest of power

- the political unification of the state

- the elimination of other parties

- the absorbption of secondary parties

- the education of the new generation

The permanent functions are:

- the defence of the regime

- the leader function and the necessity to have an élite

- the elaboration of new institutions

Finally the single-party is like a superior entity that has the rule of organising a corporatist-

state. He made the difference between pure corporatism an partial corp, the first is an utopian idea,

and so the partial corporatism is the only one possible, but this means that a single-party is

necessary in order to control all the corporations.

Finally Manoilescu spoke about a “force commune”, a common force that is the main

characteristic of all new parties, that is necessary for taking power, but is not clear if this force is a

popular force or a party force.

In the second part of the book Manoilescu analyses some parties that he considers the most

succesfully single-parties of that period.

14
“ordre means order, continuité means continuity and probité is “vertu qui consiste à observer scrupuleusement les
régles de la morale sociale” Dictionary Le Petit Robert, Paris 2004.

9
In this he speaks also about “les parties uniques embryonnaires”, (the embryons of single

parties) meaning the new parties that have the possibility of creating a single-party regime. He

considers in his analysis all the parties that have in their program the objective of abolishing the

multy-party system, in order to become the only rulers.

Regarding Romania, this part is very short and very superficial, he speaks about the Iron

Guard and about his organisation “Liga national-corporatista”.

The Communist Party of URSS

Is the first one to emerge hystorically, but the paradox is that all the other successive single-

parties became right wing regimes. This is the only single party based on a single social class, the

proletarians, all the others are based on a “aware minority”15.

Manoilescu consider the communist party an exception between the others single-party, for

him “la dictature du proletariat n’est qu’un nouvel absolutism avec changement de maitres”16.

He speaks about the Russian population like a numerous, inconsistent, apolitical and

amorphous group of people and in this conditions it is simple for a minority (the Bolshevik party) to

take the power.

In Russia there were no political parties that could be a real problem for the single-party, this

is the reason why the Bolshevik didn’t have problems with the liquidation of adversaries and with

the constitution of a new order in the state organisation.

Regarding the re-education of the population, Manoilescu considers the Russian system of

propaganda very good organised: Russian people don’t receive any information from others

countries and in this is way they don’t want to change their conditions.

The Popular Republican Party in Turkey

15
MANOILESCU Mihail, p. 32
16
trad. “the dictatorship of proletarians is a new absolutism that only change arguments” [our translation]
MANOILESCU Mihail, p. 32

10
This is the party founded by Kemal Ghazi in 1919. Manoilescu considers this an atypical

exempt of single party, but he says: “l’originalitè meme de ce partie souligne le caractére universel

de l’institution du partie unique qui, malgré les différences morphologiques, realise toujours les

memes fonctions politiques nouvelles, imposes par les impératifs de notre siècle”17.

The first difference is that in Turkey the single-party is not a reaction against liberalism,

because there, the concept of liberalism is not well known. The necessity of a single-party came

from the necessity of having a political unity of the nation in order to face the problems coming

from the disaggregation of the states.

Secondly this party became a single-party only because there weren’t other parties, it was a de

facto situation, it wasn’t decided by a constitutional reform.

Finally Manoilescu notices that in Turkey they organise a system based on liberalism but with

a single-party.

The national-Fascist party in Italy

In Italy the Fascist party was born as a reaction against the liberalism and the multy-party

system. After the Treaties of Paris the majority of Italians were unhappy and were afraid of

communism; these are for Manoilsecu the two reasons way fascism was very successfully in Italy.

Before taking power, the fascists had already eliminated the contrary ideologies and prepared the

public opinion.

For granting the political stability of the regime the party organised a civil guard that had to

defend the regime and to maintain contact with the population, that means to re-educate people.

But only in 1925, after Matteotti’s affaires the fascist party became the backbone of the new

system. The legal monopole arrives in 1928, but it was only a formality because the party was

already the only one.

17
trad. “it is the originality of this party that evidence the universal caracteristic of the single-party, that finally arrive in
any situation to reach his objectiv” [our translation] MANOILESCU Mihail, p. 52

11
A difference between the situation in Italy and in the others countries is that in Italy there was

already a King that, in Manoilescu’s vision had the role of representation and that, finally,

sanctioned the fascist party like a constitutional organ. For him the reaction of the Italian crown is

“une prouve de souplesse et de la perennité de son principe”, and he continuing “les regimes

changent; la monarchie subsiste. Voilà la grande lecon du fascisme”18.

The National Union of Portugal

Also the Portugal situation is a particular one. The liberals’ idea was introduced in an artificial

way against the people’s will. In Portugal the role of conscious élite was taken by the army that

play the same role as a revolutionary party.

The National-Socialist Party in Germany

This was the first party of this type in all Europe to emerged historically.

For Manoilescu this party has two advantages. The first is that it is not the first party that tries

to become a single party, in fact the Italian fascist party had already resolved all the technical and

juridical problems. Secondly they fought a lot for power: “il a accédé au puvoir après la lutte la

plus longue et la plus dure que l’histoire des parties uniques connaisse”.19

Also for them, like the Italian fascism, “the social nationalism is not an item that we can export”20.

The National Renaissance Front

It was a fascist-inspired Romanian political party created by King Carol II in 1938 as the

18
trad. “regimes change, the monarchy still exist, this is the gratest lesons of fascism” [our translation] MANOILESCU
Mihail, p.67
19
trad. ’’he gained power after the longest and hardest battle in the history of unique parties’’[our translation]
MANOILESCU Mihail, p.67
20
GOBBELS M., discours au Congrés de Nuremberg, 9 September 1936.

12
single monopoly party of government following his decision to ban all other political parties and

suspend the 1923 Constitution, passing the 1938 Constitution of Romania.

It was the party of Prime Ministers Armand Călinescu, Gheorghe Argeşanu, Constantin

Argetoianu, Gheorghe Tătărescu and Ion Gigurtu, whose regimes were associated with corporatism

and antisemitism. Largely reflecting Carol's own political choices, the FRN was the last of several

attempts to counter the popularity of the Iron Guard, itself a fascist and antisemitic movement.

Renamed the Party of the Nation (Partidul Naţiunii or Partidul Naţiunei, PN) in 1940, it largely

ceased to function the following year when the Parliament of Romania was dissolved.

In 1938, King Carol II, banned the Iron Guard, which he had supported in the 1930s.

Carol also sought to build up his own personality cult to counter the growing influence of the

Iron Guard, for instance by setting up a paramilitary youth organization known as Straja Ţării in

1935.

The Iron Guard

It is the name most commonly given in English to a far-right ultra-nationalist antisemitic,

fascist movement and political party which functioned in Romania from 1927 into the early part of

World War II.

Originally founded by Corneliu Zelea Codreanu on July 24, 1927 as the Legion of the

Archangel Michael ("Legiunea Arhanghelul Mihail"), and led by him until his death in 1938,

adherents to the movement continued to be widely referred to as "legionnaires" and the organization

as the "Legion" or the "Legionary Movement" ("Mişcarea Legionară"), despite various changes of

the organization's name.

In March 1930 Codreanu formed the "Iron Guard" ("Garda de Fier") as a paramilitary

political branch of the Legion; this name eventually came to refer to the Legion itself.

Later, in June 1935, the Legion changed its official name to the "Totul pentru Ţară" party,

13
literally "Everything for the Country", but commonly translated as "Everything for the Fatherland"

or occasionally "Everything for the Motherland".

Its members wore green uniforms (meant as a symbol of renewal, and the origin of the

occasional reference to them as the "Green shirts" - "Cămăşile verzi"), and greeted each other using

the Roman salute. The main symbol used by the Iron Guard was a triple cross (a variant of the triple

parted and fretted one), standing for prison bars (as a badge of martyrdom), and sometimes referred

to as the "Archangel Michael Cross" ("Crucea Arhanghelului Mihail").

For or against the single-party?

Supporters of a single-party state often appeal to a sense of unity, strength and commonality

that a single-party government can lend a state. They argue that multi-party systems introduce too

much division and are unsuitable for economic and political development.

Another advantage of a single-party state is the tendency to adopt long-term policies while

multi-party states tend to favour short-term policies for the benefit of periodic elections.

A common counter-argument is that one-party systems have a tendency to become rigid and

unwilling to accept change, which renders them unable to deal with new situations and may result

in their collapse.

Finally, one-party states have often been criticized for their disrespect of human rights;

however, this is more a reflection on the ideology of the party in power, rather than on the system

itself.

14
CONCLUSIONS

Corporatism is a movement that appeared in Italy in the context of the rise of the fascist ideas

under the rule of Benito Mussolini. What Mihail Manoilescu tries to emphasize in many of his

works is that there is a difference between Romanian and Italian corporatism and of course, a

difference between fascism and corporatism. Each corporatism movement should be original, based

on national identities and on some general principles of universal value.

According to Manoilescu, Romania’s political regime after World War I has not organized

anything and destroyed everything, democracy has not done anything to protect the peasantry, thing

that would have been only normal given the fact that it represents the majority of the country. What

is more, he thinks that in a country in which the main occupation of the people is agriculture, it is

indeed agriculture that is less represented in the Parliament. In this unjust context created by unfair

representation, corporatism has the aim and the possibilities to build a frame in which the social and

economic life should develop and reach a higher standard.21

In the new created corporatist state, rationalization of economic activities will be fulfilled by

economic centralization accompanied by political and administrative decentralization.

The Romanian spirit has also an important role in the creation process of the corporatist state.

This “spirit” has a strong national character closely related to Germany’s Nazism and Italy’s

fascism but still different and born in the after-war context. The Romanian spirit is important

because it offers not only the social cooperation formula but also protects the economic

independence-autarky, which in its turn is the “sine qua non” aspect of national independence.

The corporatist state will function based on corporations, associations between owners,

entrepreneurs and employees having the purpose of bringing and assuring social harmony and the

general good of each social category.

21
MANOILESCU Mihail,’’Romania,stat national corporativ,de ce si cum trebuie transformat statul nostru’’,Tipografia
Ziarului Universului,Bucuresti,1934.

15
Manoilescu proves that corporations have a past in our national history, when they were called

guilds.

Manoilescu makes his point on the fact that society was well organized during that period (the

end of the 16th century) because of four important aspects: autonomy, judicial, legal personality,

monopoly over production and allocation of the products and complete professional jurisdiction.22

Corporations can be analyzed from different points of view, having different missions:

economical, social, political.

The economic mission of corporations is to organize and coordinate national productivity. The

social mission is to solve in a peaceful way, based on mutual agreement and understanding, all

problems and disputes between entrepreneurs and employees.

Finally, the political mission of corporations is to politically integrate the local, regional and

national life, by forming in those areas a stable political regime under responsible leaders.

Together with the state, the corporations are meant to be the only political powers and as

Mussolini states, no political life is possible outside the borders of the state; the state is formed from

corporations, therefore even if one is not a member of the corporations, one is controlled by them.23

Thinking that the 20th century will be the century of corporatism just as the XIX century was

that of liberalism, Manoilescu made his case on materialist grounds: properly constructed

corporations would provide the answer to modern man’s moral and spiritual malaise by integrating

him into society.

Corporatism was the institutional political response to the process of transformation that the

world political economy and its attendant system of international stratification were undergoing.

The 20th century would see the exhaustion of both open internal frontiers and manifest external

imperialism. Borders and loyalties were becoming fixed: from being a variable, territoriality had

become a constant.

22
IBIDEM,pp 8-9.
23
ALEXANDRESCU George,’’Corporativismul mussolinian’’,Bucuresti,1940.

16
Finally, corporatism will permit a state to fulfill the new functions which were being trust upon

public policy to external exigencies. It would emerge first where those imperatives and tensions

were the strongest, it would compel similar transformations in the organizational structure and

policy practices of the earlier developed liberal-pluralist systems.

These were Manoilescu’s hopes, dreams and desires.

Philippe Schmitter enlights the fact that Manoilescu was right but also wrong in many ways as

the future of the world would demonstrate it.

State control over export commodities, sectoral policies of import substitution, attempts to exert

greater influence in international economic negotiations has been associated with State Corporation.

But there also existed strong differences between what corporatism was and what was meant to be.

First of all, the single ruling party was not the primary or exclusive tutelary agent of the state.

Rather it was controlled by state executive and administrative bodies.

Secondly, although corporatism was meant to help the peasantry, the main beneficiaries have

been national industrial capitalists (who had seized the opportunity afforded by protected markets

and invested in new productive activities), and the victims were peasants and agriculture in general.

Furthermore, Manoilescu’s specific functional hypothesis were wrong too: class inequalities in

access and benefits were not erased, but were institutionalized and augmented, the decision-making

load on the state was not lightened but on the contrary burdened by the proliferation of dependent

functional hierarchies.

The total lack of confirmation of Manoilescu’s assertion was most striking: he hoped that

corporatism from above will result in a secular decline in the rate of profits, a diminution of the

power of private property. Also Manoilescu’s fantasies about European single party ruling regimes

and their permanent function proved to be wrong.

One can easily see that state corporatism in Romania has produced exactly the contrary of

what it was intended.

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Philippe Schmitter offers at the end of his work a comparison between Romania and Portugal

and the reasons for which the situation of state corporatism was the opposite in Portugal.

Corporatism and single party rule have been much successful in Portugal than Romania

because of the time and circumstances.

Even though they both started in the same year, 1930, during the World War II, corporatism

disappeared from Romania (in 1940).Even coupled with the exercise of monarchic authoritarism,

the imposition of a single official party proved unsuccessful.

On the other hand, four aspects of the practice of state corporatism made the difference: the

extent to which state corporatism was preemptive (sought to set out from structures of associability

and channels in anticipation of efforts by affected classes).

The second one was the extent to which corporatist state was preventive-almost prohibiting

alternative uses of the state. The defensive mode of interest representation encouraged associations

to act primarily in the protection of special corporate rights. The fourth aspect-the compartmental

one managed to prevent the creation of alliances.

State corporatism has not accomplished very much in a positive sense. Aspects of class and

ethnic relations, the distribution of benefits, the allocation of state resources and the outcome of

public policies would likely have been quite different if pluralistic interest politics and competitive

party conflict had been tolerated or encouraged.

Despite the fact that his theories were wrong in the case of Romania, Mihail Manoilescu was

the pre-communist Romanian political author who enjoyed the widest areal most enduring

international reputation. Not only was he the leading European theorist of corporatism in the very

age of corporatism, but also his thinking is considered to have provided general orientation to direct

involvement in research policies, programs, planning, tools, methods and teams.24

24
BARBU Daniel,’’From the politics of science to the science of politics’’.Studia Politica.Romanian Political Science
Review,volII,no.1,2002,pp 273-275.

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