Thayer Watkins
Silicon Valley
& Tornado Alley

Japan During the Fascist Era

The discussion of this topic usually devolves into quibbles about the nature and definition of fascism. That is not the central emphasis here. Fascism in Japan with its idiosyncratic culture would of course be quite different from fascism in Europe. But nevertheless there is a common thread of nationalism in the goals of the state and state command and control of the economy. In these matters there are not too many differences in practice from what occured in the so-called socialist states. Socialism, communism and fascism are collectivist ideologies. Fascism differs from the other two primarily in that formal ownership of the means of production is not vested in the State even though de facto control of those resources is.

Japan evolved during the Meiji Era the Zaibatsu system in which the Japanese government granted special rights to private, family businesses in return for their promotion of government objectives. This corporatist structure was like a two-headed person. Business and government appeared to be two separate entities but fundamentally they were merely parts of the same creature.

(To be continued.)


HOME PAGE OF applet-magic
HOME PAGE OF Thayer Watkins