In political science, statism is the belief that the state should control either economic or social policy, or both, to some degree.[1]

While the term "statism" has been in use since the 1850s, it gained significant usage in American political discourse throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Ayn Rand[2] made frequent use of it in a series of articles in 1962.[3][4]

Forms of statism

Statism can take many forms from minarchism to totalitarianism. Minarchists prefer a minimal state such as a night-watchman state to protect people from aggression, theft, breach of contract and fraud with military, police and courts.[5] Some may also include fire departments, prisons and other functions.[5] The welfare state and other moderate levels of statism also exist on the scale of statism.[6][7] Totalitarians prefer a maximum, all-encompassing state.[8][9]

State, society and individuals

Authoritarians view a strong, authoritative state as required to legislate or enforce morality and cultural practices.[10][11] The ideology of statism espoused by fascism holds that sovereignty is not vested in the people, but in the nation state and that all individuals and associations exist only to enhance the power, prestige and well-being of the state. It repudiates individualism and exalts the nation as an organic body headed by the supreme leader and nurtured by unity, force and discipline.[12] Fascism and some forms of corporatism extol the moral position that the corporate group, usually the state, is greater than the sum of its parts and that individuals have a moral obligation to serve the state.[12]

Economic statism

Economic statism promotes the view that the state has a major, necessary and legitimate role in directing the economy, either directly through state-owned enterprises and other types of machinery of government, or indirectly through economic planning.[13]

State interventionism

The term "statism" is sometimes used to refer to market economies with large amounts of government intervention, regulation or influence over a market or mixed-market economy. Economic interventionism asserts that the state has a legitimate or necessary role within the framework of a capitalist economy by intervening in markets, regulating against overreaches of private sector industry and either providing or subsidizing goods and services not adequately produced by the market.

State socialism

State socialism broadly refers to forms of socialism based on state ownership of the means of production and state-directed allocation of resources. It is often used in reference to Soviet-type economic systems of former Communist states.

In some cases, when used in reference to Soviet-type economies, state socialism is used interchangeably with state capitalism[14] on the basis that the Soviet model of economics was actually based upon a process of state-directed capital accumulation and social hierarchy.[15]

Politically, state socialism is often used to designate any socialist political ideology or movement that advocates for the use of state power for the construction of socialism, or to the belief that the state must be appropriated and used to ensure the success of a socialist revolution. It is usually used in reference to Marxist–Leninist socialists who champion a single-party state.

State capitalism

Statism may be used to refer to state capitalism. State capitalism refers to forms of capitalism that feature high concentrations of state-directed commercial enterprises.

In some cases, state capitalism refers to economic policies such as dirigisme, which existed in France during the second half of the 20th century; and to the present-day economies of the People's Republic of China and Singapore, where the government owns controlling shares in publicly traded companies.[16] Some authors also define the former economies of the Eastern bloc as constituting a form of state capitalism.

See also

Contrasting views
Related concepts


  1. ^ * Levy, Jonah D (2006). The State After Statism: New State Activities in the Age of Liberalization. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. p. 469. ISBN 978-0-674-02276-8.
    • Obadare, Ebenezer (2010). Statism, Youth, and Civic Imagination: A Critical Study of the National Youth Service Corps Programme in Nigeria. Dakar Senegal: Codesria. ISBN 978-2-86978-303-4.
    • Kvistad, Gregg (1999). The Rise and Demise of German Statism: Loyalty and Political Membership. Providence [u.a.]: Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-1-57181-161-5.
    • Bakunin, Mikhail (1990). Statism and Anarchy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-36182-8.
  2. ^ "The term "statism" was tirelessly promoted by Ayn Rand. A computer search of her published works for "statism" or "statist" gives over 300 hits. She described statism as the idea that 'man’s life and work belong to the state—to society, to the group, the gang, the race, the nation—and that the state may dispose of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own, tribal, collective good'". — Harry Binswanger, Forbes, November 13, 2013.
  3. ^ Rand, Ayn, “Introducing Objectivism,” The Objectivist Newsletter, Aug. 1962, p. 35
  4. ^ Rand, Ayn, “War and Peace,” The Objectivist Newsletter, Oct. 1962, p. 44
  5. ^ a b Machan, T (2002). "Anarchism and Minarchism: A Rapprochement". Journal Des Economistes et Des Etudes Humaines. 12: 569–88. ISSN 1145-6396.
    • Block, W (2007). "Anarchism and Minarchism; No Rapprochement Possible: Reply to Tibor Machan". The Journal of Libertarian Studies. 21 (1): 61–90. ISSN 0363-2873.
    • Long, Roderick (2008). Anarchism Minarchism: Is a Government Part of a Free Country?. Aldershot, England: Ashgate. ISBN 978-0-7546-6066-8.
    • Parker, Martin (2010). The Dictionary of Alternatives Utopianism and Organisation. London, England: Zed. ISBN 978-1-84972-734-1.
  6. ^ Friedrich, Carl (1974). Limited Government: a Comparison. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-537167-1. OCLC 803732.
  7. ^ Marx, Herbert (1950). The Welfare State. New York: Wilson.
  8. ^ Arendt, Hannah (1966). The Origins of Totalitarianism. New York: Harcourt Brace & World.
  9. ^ Cernak, Linda (2011). Totalitarianism. Edina, MN: ABDO. ISBN 978-1-61714-795-1.
    • Friedrich, Carl (1964). Totalitarianism. New York: Grosset & Dunlap.
    • Gleason, Abbott (1995). Totalitarianism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-505017-2.
    • Schapiro, Leonard (1972). Totalitarianism. New York: Praeger.
  10. ^ "authoritarian"., LLC. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  11. ^ West, Robin (1988). "The Authoritarian Impulse in Constitutional Law". Georgetown University Law Center. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  12. ^ a b Rocco, Alfredo (1926). "The Political Doctrine of Fascism". Carnegie Endowment For International Peace. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  13. ^ Jones, R. J. Barry. "STATISM." Routledge Encyclopedia of International Political Economy. 1st. Volume 3. New York, New York: Taylor & Francis, 2001. Print.
  14. ^ Michie, Jonathan (January 1, 2001). Reader’s Guide to the Social Sciences. Routledge. p. 1595. ISBN 978-1579580919. State capitalism has inconsistently been used as a synonym for ‘state socialism’, although neither phrase has a stable denotation
  15. ^ Bertrand Badie; Dirk Berg-Schlosser; Leonardo Morlino (2011). International Encyclopedia of Political Science. SAGE Publications, Inc. p. 2459. ISBN 978-1412959636. The repressive state apparatus is in fact acting as an instrument of state capitalism to carry out the process of capital accumulation through forcible extraction of surplus from the working class and peasantry
  16. ^ Leviathan in Business: Varieties of State Capitalism and Their Implications for Economic Performance, by Musacchio, Aldo. 2012.

Anti-authoritarianism is opposition to authoritarianism, which is defined as "a form of social organisation characterised by submission to authority", "favoring complete obedience or subjection to authority as opposed to individual freedom" and to authoritarian government. Anti-authoritarians usually believe in full equality before the law and strong civil liberties. Sometimes the term is used interchangeably with anarchism, an ideology which entails opposing authority or hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations, including the state system.


Anti-statism is opposition to state intervention into personal, social and economic affairs. Anti-statism means opposition to the state and any artificial form of government and it differs from traditional anarchism which means the opposition not only to the state, but to any form of rulership.

Corporate statism

Corporate statism, state corporatism, or simply corporatism, is a political culture and a form of corporatism closely related to fascism whose adherents hold that the corporate group which is the basis of society is the state. The state requires all members of a particular economic sector to join an officially designated interest group. Such interest groups thus attain public status, and they participate in national policymaking. The result is that the state has great control over the groups, and groups have great control over their members.As with other political cultures, societies have existed historically which exemplified corporate statism, for instance as developed by Othmar Spann and Benito Mussolini.

Corporate statism most commonly manifests itself as a ruling party acting as a mediator between the workers, capitalists and other prominent state interests by institutionally incorporating them into the ruling mechanism. Corporatist systems were most prevalent in the mid-20th Century in Europe and later elsewhere in developing countries. According to this critique, interests, both social and economic, are so diverse that a state cannot possibly mediate between them effectively through incorporating them. Social conflicts go beyond incorporated dichotomies of labor and capital to include innumerable groups. Furthermore, globalization presents challenges, both social and economic, that a corporate state cannot sufficiently address because these problems transcend state borders and approaches. It therefore differs from Corporate nationalism in that it is a social mode of organization rather than an economic nationalism through private business corporations.

Democratic Alliance (Italy)

The Democratic Alliance (Italian: Alleanza Democratica, AD) was a social-liberal political party in Italy.

AD was founded in 1992 with the intent of becoming the container of an alliance of centre-left forces, , the project did not succeed, thus AD acted as a minor social-liberal party, proposing economic liberalism, criticism of the Italian left's statism, and a shake-up of the political system.

AD members were mainly former Republicans and former Socialists, while its founder and leader, Willer Bordon, was a former member of the Italian Communist Party and the Democratic Party of the Left.

The party ran in the 1994 general election within the Alliance of Progressives and obtained a mere 1.2% of the vote, due to the uneasy alliance with the traditional left and the competition by Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia, which embraced most of AD's policies. In the 1995 regional elections AD was part of the Pact of Democrats electoral alliance with the Segni Pact and Italian Socialists. Most AD members continued to be part of the centre-left, with the notable exceptions of Ferdinando Adornato and Giulio Tremonti, who would eventually join Forza Italia.

In the 1996 general election AD was a minor member of The Olive Tree, and evolved into the Democratic Union (UD) with the entry of other Republicans like Antonio Maccanico, and some Socialists like Giorgio Benvenuto. The UD would be merged into The Democrats in 1999, and Bordon would serve as minister in 1999–2001.


Integralism or Integrism (French: Intégrisme) as a political term designates theoretical concepts and practical policies that advocate a fully integrated social and political order, based on converging patrimonial (inherited) political, cultural, religious and national traditions of a particular state, or some other political entity. In the 20th century political history, integralism was often related to traditionalist conservatism and similar political movements on the right wing of a political spectrum. However, contemporary discussions of integralism, beginning in 2014, often involve anti-capitalist or "Aristotlean Marxist" critiques.As a traditionalist political movement, integralism emerged during the 19th and early 20th century polemics within the Catholic Church, especially in France, The term was used as an epithet to describe those who opposed the "modernists", who had sought to create a synthesis between Christian theology and the liberal philosophy of secular modernity. Proponents of Catholic political integralism taught that all social and political action ought to be based on the Catholic Faith. They rejected the separation of church and state, arguing that Catholicism should be the proclaimed religion of the state.


Kemalism (Turkish: Kemalizm), also known as Atatürkism (Turkish: Atatürkçülük, Atatürkçü düşünce), or the Six Arrows (Turkish: Altı Ok), is the founding ideology of the Republic of Turkey. Kemalism, as it was implemented by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, was defined by sweeping political, social, cultural and religious reforms designed to separate the new Turkish state from its Ottoman predecessor and embrace a Westernized way of living, including the establishment of democracy, secularism, state support of the sciences and free education, many of which were first introduced to Turkey during Atatürk's presidency in his reforms.Many of the root ideas of Kemalism began during the late Ottoman Empire under various reforms to avoid the imminent collapse of the Empire, beginning chiefly in the early 19th-century Tanzimat reforms. The mid-century Young Ottomans attempted to create the ideology of Ottoman nationalism, or Ottomanism, to quell the rising ethnic nationalism in the Empire and introduce limited democracy for the first time while maintaining Islamist influences. In the early 20th century, Young Turks abandoned Ottoman nationalism in favor of early Turkish nationalism, while adopting a secular political outlook. After the demise of the Ottoman Empire, Atatürk, influenced by both the Young Ottomans and the Young Turks, as well as by their successes and failures, led the declaration of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, borrowing from the earlier movements' ideas of secularism and Turkish nationalism, while bringing about, for the first time, free education and other reforms that have been enshrined by later leaders into guidelines for governing Turkey.

Liechtenstein Homeland Service

Liechtenstein Homeland Service (German: Liechtensteiner Heimatdienst, LHD) was a political party in Liechtenstein that advocated corporate statism and the abolition of party politics.Established in the autumn of 1933, the party's positions began to radicalize and move toward National Socialist ideas within a few months of existence. By December 1933, this radicalization caused some members (such as co-founder Eugen Schafhauser) to abandon the party.LHD merged with the Christian-Social People's Party (VP) in 1936 to form the Patriotic Union (VU).

New Azerbaijan Party

The New Azerbaijan Party (Azerbaijani: Yeni Azərbaycan Partiyası, YAP) is the ruling political party in Azerbaijan. It was formed on 18 December 1992 by the former President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev, who led it until his death in 2003. It is now led by his son, Ilham Aliyev, who succeeded his father as the party leader and as President of Azerbaijan since 2003.

Night-watchman state

In libertarian political philosophy, a night-watchman state is a model of a state whose only functions are to provide its citizens with the military, the police and courts, thus protecting them from aggression, theft, breach of contract and fraud and enforcing property laws. The nineteenth-century UK has been described by historian Charles Townshend as standard-bearer of this form of government among Western countries.

Planned economy

A planned economy is a type of economic system where investment and the allocation of capital goods take place according to economy-wide economic and production plans. A planned economy may use centralized, decentralized or participatory forms of economic planning. Planned economies contrast with unplanned economies, specifically market economies, where autonomous firms operating in markets make decisions about production, distribution, pricing and investment. Market economies that use indicative planning are sometimes referred to as planned market economies.

A command economy or administrative command economy describes a country using Soviet-type economic planning which was characteristic of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc before most of these countries converted to market economies. These terms highlight the central role of hierarchical administration and public ownership of production in guiding the allocation of resources in these economic systems. In command economies, important allocation decisions are made by government authorities and are imposed by law.Central planning has been used in the majority of countries adopting socialism including those based on the Soviet model, though a minority have adopted some degree of market socialism, such as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Non-market socialism replaces factor markets with direct calculation as the means to coordinate the activities of the various socially-owned economic enterprises that make up the economy. More recent approaches to socialist planning and allocation have come from some economists and computer scientists proposing planning mechanisms based on advances in computer science and information technology.Outside the Eastern Bloc, a different form of planned economy operated in India during the Permit Raj era from 1947 to 1990. Government planning of the economy can also happen under other political philosophies, such as under fascism and other forms of authoritarianism. The unusually large government sector in countries like Saudi Arabia means that even though there is a free market, central government planning controls allocation of most economic resources. In the United States, the government temporarily seized large portions of the economy during World War I and World War II, resulting in a largely government-planned war economy.

Pournelle chart

The Pournelle chart, developed by Jerry Pournelle in his 1963 political science Ph.D. dissertation, is a two-dimensional coordinate system which can be used to distinguish political ideologies. It is similar to the political compass and the Nolan Chart in that it is a two-dimensional chart, but the axes of the Pournelle chart are different from those of other systems. The two axes are as follows:

The x-axis, "Attitude toward the State" (labeled statism), refers to a political philosophy's attitude toward the state and centralized government. The farthest right is "state worship" and the farthest left represents the state as the "ultimate evil", preferring individual freedom.

The y-axis, "Attitude toward planned social progress" (labeled rationalism), refers to the extent which a political philosophy is compatible with the idea that social problems can be solved by the use of reason. The top indicates complete confidence in planned social progress and the bottom represents skepticism of such methods, often considering them as naively utopian. Those at the top of the axis would tend to discard a traditional custom if they do not understand what purpose it serves (considering it antiquated and probably useless), while those at the bottom would tend to keep the custom (considering it time-tested and probably useful).Pournelle arranged American liberalism, socialism, and communism, in the upper right-hand quadrant of high state control and high rationalism. Conservatism, fascism, and Nazism are placed in the lower right hand quadrant of high state control and low rationalism. Classical anarchists are in the lower left hand corner of low state control and low rationalism. Libertarians (including anarcho-capitalists) and Objectivists are placed in the upper left-hand corner of low state control and high rationalism. Each diagonal axis contains natural political allies.

Rashidi Kawawa

Rashidi Mfaume Kawawa (27 May 1924 – 31 December 2009) was the Prime Minister of Tanganyika in 1962 and of Tanzania in 1972 to 1977. He was the effective ruler of the country from January to December 1972 while Julius Nyerere toured the countryside. Kawawa was a strong advocate of economic statism. He later served as Defense Minister from 1977 to 1980.

After his retirement, Kawawa remained a behind-the-scenes influence in Tanzanian politics. Kawawa died on 31 December 2009 in Dar es Salaam at the age of 85.

Regulatory state

The term regulatory state refers to the expansion in the use of rule making, monitoring and enforcement techniques and institutions by the state and to a parallel change in the way its positive functions in society are being carried out. The expansion of the state nowadays is generally via regulation and less via taxing and spending. The notion of the regulatory state is increasingly more attractive for theoreticians of the state with the growth in the use and application of rule making, monitoring and enforcement strategies and with the parallel growth of civil regulation and business regulation. The rise of the regulatory state in the Industrial Revolution can be traced to network regulation first instituted by William Gladstone in 1844 . The co-expansion of state, civil and business regulation at the domestic and the transnational arenas suggests that the notions of regulatory governance and regulatory capitalism are as usefully theoretically as the notion of regulatory state.

Republicanism in Turkey

An important influence of Republicanism in Turkey formed a new republic in 1923 after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. In the Ottoman Empire an inherited aristocracy and sultinate suppressed republican ideas until the successful republican revolution of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in the 1920s. Atatürk preached six basic principles. His Six Arrows were Republicanism, Populism, Secularism, Reformism, Nationalism, and Statism).

In the 21st century Turkey has sought admission to the European Union on the grounds that it shares common political values with the nations of Europe. This concept shares some of the same classical roots as European republicanism and in modern times this form of government is called "republican" in English, but in pre-modern times it is not generally called republicanism.

Statism and Anarchy

Statism and Anarchy (Russian: Государственность и анархия, Gosudarstvennost' i anarkhiia, literally "Statehood and Anarchy") was the last work by the Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin. Written in the summer of 1873, the key themes of the work are: the likely impact on Europe of the Franco-Prussian war and the rise of the German Empire, Bakunin's view of the weaknesses of the Marxist position, and an affirmation of anarchism. Statism and Anarchy was the only one of Bakunin's major anarchist works to be written in Russian and was primarily aimed at a Russian audience, with an initial print run of 1,200 copies printed in Switzerland and smuggled into Russia.Marshall Shatz writes that Statism and Anarchy: "helped to lay the foundations of a Russian anarchist movement as a separate current within the revolutionary stream."

Statism in Shōwa Japan

Shōwa Statism (国家主義, Kokka Shugi) was a political syncretism of Japanese extreme right-wing political ideologies, developed over a period of time from the Meiji Restoration. It is sometimes also referred to as Shōwa nationalism or Japanese fascism.

This statist movement dominated Japanese politics during the first part of the Shōwa period (reign of Hirohito). It was a mixture of ideas such as Japanese ultranationalism, militarism and state capitalism, that were proposed by a number of contemporary political philosophers and thinkers in Japan.


Territorialism can refer to the following:

Animal territorialism, the animal behavior of defending a geographical area from intruders

Environmental territorialism, a stance toward threats posed toward individuals, communities or nations by environmental events and trends

Jewish Territorialist Organization, a Jewish political movement in the early 20th century advocating settlement in a number of territories outside of the Holy Land as an alternative to Zionism

Territorialist School, a contemporary Italian approach to urban and regional planning

Land tenure, the legal regime in which land is owned by an individual

Feudalism, a legal and military system of hierarchical land holding

Statism, the belief that the state should control economic or social policy, or both, to some degree

Statism in Shōwa Japan


Totalitarianism is a political concept of a mode of government that prohibits opposition parties, restricts individual opposition to the state and its claims, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is regarded as the most extreme and complete form of authoritarianism. Political power in totalitarian states has often been held by rule by one leader which employ all-encompassing propaganda campaigns broadcast by state-controlled mass media. Totalitarian regimes are often marked by political repression, personality cultism, control over the economy, restriction of speech, mass surveillance and widespread use of state terrorism. Historian Robert Conquest describes a "totalitarian" state as one recognizing no limits to its authority in any sphere of public or private life and which extends that authority to whatever length feasible.The concept was first developed in the 1920s by both Weimar jurist (and later Nazi academic) Carl Schmitt and, concurrently, by the Italian fascists. Italian fascist Benito Mussolini said "Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state". Schmitt used the term Totalstaat in his influential 1927 work on the legal basis of an all-powerful state, The Concept of the Political. Later, the concept was used extensively to compare Nazism and Stalinism. The Economist has described China's recently developed social credit system to screen and rank its citizens based on their personal behavior as "totalitarian".Totalitarian regimes are different from other authoritarian ones. The latter denotes a state in which the single power holder – an individual "dictator", a committee or a junta or an otherwise small group of political elite – monopolizes political power. "[The] authoritarian state [...] is only concerned with political power and as long as that is not contested it gives society a certain degree of liberty". Authoritarianism "does not attempt to change the world and human nature". In contrast, a totalitarian regime attempts to control virtually all aspects of the social life, including the economy, education, art, science, private life and morals of citizens. Some totalitarian governments may promote an elaborate ideology: "The officially proclaimed ideology penetrates into the deepest reaches of societal structure and the totalitarian government seeks to completely control the thoughts and actions of its citizens". It also mobilizes the whole population in pursuit of its goals. Carl Joachim Friedrich writes that "a totalist ideology, a party reinforced by a secret police, and monopoly control of [...] industrial mass society" are the three features of totalitarian regimes that distinguish them from other autocracies.

Welfare state

The welfare state is a form of government in which the state protects and promotes the economic and social well-being of the citizens, based upon the principles of equal opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for citizens unable to avail themselves of the minimal provisions for a good life. The term is associated with the comprehensive measures of social insurance adopted in 1948 by Great Britain, with sociologist T. H. Marshall having described the modern welfare state as a distinctive combination of democracy, welfare, and capitalism.As a type of mixed economy, the welfare state funds the governmental institutions for healthcare and education along with direct benefits paid to individual citizens. Modern welfare states include Germany and France, Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as the Nordic countries, which employ a system known as the Nordic model. The various implementations of the welfare state fall into three categories: (i) social democratic, (ii) conservative, and (iii) liberal.

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