Point 139. Corporate activities

1. The first activity of corporative life is of a religious, moral and human order. The personalisation of professional life restores honesty to relationships among members of the same professional community. It encourages mutual aid and disinterested service and, consequently, honest external relationships in buying and selling, for which the corporation stands guarantee. The policing of the profession is ensured by the corporation itself and its industrial tribunals, with simplicity, rapidity, discretion, moderation and justice. It prevents disorders more often than it cures or sanctions them, as is the benefit with any personal and communitarian authority.

Now, it is a great moral virtue and a capital value for economic life to be governed by honesty of service, work and product (quality), which leads in turn to honesty in allocating salaries and distributing profit.

2. The second corporative activity is of an economic order. Through the corporations, the economic life is “ self-directed ” (Salazar). The elected corporative councils – made up of people from every level, aided if necessary by economic advisers, and at the highest level always in the presence of a representative from public authority – discuss production plans and programmes, their time scale and placement. They discuss the creation, ordering, restructuring and restoration of business, their number and diversification; their mode of finance and capital investment; their conditions of employment, salaries and profit-sharing; the constitution and running of the communitarian bank and of the corporative patrimony.

They are all things that employers wrongly thought were their reserved domain and which, for that reason, were totally lost on them to the advantage of higher powers that trifled with their interests and their persons, as yesterday they trifled with their salaried personnel, and even with their most eminent collaborators. Standing halfway between utopian, democratic self-management and state control, corporative self-regulation is a marvel of freedom, dialogue and flexibility in order, thus of effectiveness.

3. The third corporative activity is of a social and charitable order. In addition to the natural savings of families, their organisation will be able to assume at a lower cost a large part of what the monstrous, irresponsible, anonymous and bureaucratic social security of our modern democratic States underwrites with the lamentable results we all know too well. Everything will be organised as fast, as simply and as suitably as possible, firstly at the level of the social fund of the enterprise and then at the highest level by drawing on the corporative patrimony at national and regional council level.

Thus it is that the corporation is a remarkable tool to ensure the harmonious development of the various trades and of economic life, to free enterprises from powers of money and from political unionism, finally to manage social services the most efficiently and to the best of the beneficiaries’ just interests.