‘The Coming Corporate State’ contains the blue-print or master plan for the complete restructuring of the British economy that would have followed the advance to power of the British Union of Fascists led by Oswald Mosley. It would have involved the greatest redistribution of wealth ever to take place in Britain.
The author of this book, and architect of the British Corporate State, was Scots-born Alexander Raven Thomson: the Director of Policy and leading intellectual of the British Union. Raven describes how all businesses above a certain size would pass into the common ownership of a corporate body comprising workers, managers and consumers. The profits of each business would go directly to the people who worked in that business – rather than to absentee shareholders (as with capitalism) or to the state (as with orthodox socialism). All major decisions would be determined by a Board comprising the three groups of stakeholders already described. This policy drew on the syndicalist tradition long popular in southern Europe but developed and refined to serve the needs of British working people.
The British Corporate State would also have been a key element in British Union’s proposed system of electoral reform based on a vocational franchise. As communism, state socialism and capitalism have become increasingly discredited as economic role models for the 21st century, the syndical ideas of Raven, Sorel, Orage and Arthur Penty demand closer examination.