YOU AND YOUR BELIEFS
When we say that 'Social Credit is the Policy of a Philosophy' we mean that every action we take towards a certain policy is the result of a philosophy. There are two basic philosophies in the world, and, because these philosophies are diametrically opposed to each other, they give rise to conflicting policies. The first philosophy is one which conceives of all power and authority arising from a point EXTERNAL to the individual. The second philosophy conceives of all power and authority from WITHIN the individual. The first philosophy gives rise to policies which necessitate a certain type of organisation in order to IMPOSE certain conditions upon the individual. This philosophy results in the individual being subordinated to the State, the System, or some other abstraction. It can be termed a false philosophy, because it gives rise to policies which conflict with the natural desires of the individual. This false philosophy is helped by many people who may be opposed to one another. For example there is the alleged conflict between Communism and Fascism. We must learn to look beyond labels to find the reality behind the labels.
The second philosophy, which conceives of reality as an environment in which the individual can make the greatest progress towards self-development, gives rise to a social structure in which there is the greatest possible decentralisation of all policies, including financial policies
C. H. Douglas stated:
"Social Credit is the policy of a philosophy. It is something based on which you profoundly believe -what at any rate, I profoundly believe, and hope you will -to be a portion of reality. It is probably a very small portion, but we have glimpsed a portion of reality, and that conception of reality is a philosophy, and the action that we take based upon that conception is a policy, and that policy is Social Credit. It is in fact a policy based upon a philosophy, which is, incidentally, why, in many cases, it is no use arguing with many people about the technics of Social Credit, because they don't agree with your philosophy; often they don't even understand it, and, therefore, what you say in regard to policy and technics sounds like a loud noise to them, chiefly without any sense; and the best thing to do in the circumstance is, of course, to agree to differ."
Social Credit philosophy rests on a perception of reality which embodies the belief in the necessity for both economic and political democracy. In the first instance there should be a democracy of consumers, properly financed to ensure that they have the ability to obtain the results of their association, together with the sanction of withdrawing their support for goods and/or services which do not provide those results. In the second instance there should be a political democracy which allows the individuals in society to obtain the results of policies which they, the people, have determined, together with the ability to apply their sanction of withdrawing their support for the administration to which the people have charged the responsibility of administering their affairs.
YOU AND YOUR IMPORTANCE IN SOCIETY
C.H.Douglas in the Third Chapter of 'Social Credit ' , says:
"One of the first facts to be observed as part of the social ideal ... is the elevation of the group ideal and the minimising of individuality, i.e. the treatment of individuality as subordinate to, e.g. nationality. The manifestations of this are endless. We have the national idea, the class or international idea, the identification of the individual with the race, the school, the regiment, the profession, and so forth. There is probably no more subtle and elusive subject than the consideration of the exact relation of the group in all these and countless other forms, to the individuals who compose the groups ... The shifting of emphasis from the individual to the group, which is involved in collectivism, logically involves the shifting of responsibility for action. This can be made, it would appear, an interesting test of the validity of the theory.
"For instance, the individual killing of one man by another we term murder. But collective and wholesale killing, we dignify by the name of war, and we specifically absolve the individual from the consequences of any acts which are committed under the orders of a superior officer. This appears to work admirably so long as the results of the action do not take place on a plane which they can be observed: but immediately they do, the theory obviously breaks down. There may be, ex hypothesi, no moral guilt attributable to the individual who goes to war; but the effect of intercepting the line of flight of a high-speed bullet will be found to be exactly the same whether it is fired by a national or a private opponent. Nations are alleged to have waged wars, but the casualties both life and property fell upon individuals. There is no such thing as an effective national responsibility - it is pure abstraction, under cover of which, oppression and tyranny to individuals, which would not be tolerated if inflicted by a personal ruler, escape effective criticism.
" We do not know what is the automatic reaction consequent on the killing of one individual by another, as distinct from the non-automatic and artificial reaction involved in the trial and punishment of a murderer in a court of law. But we do know that over every plane of action with which we are acquainted, action and reaction are equal, opposite and wholly automatic. Consequently, there is nothing to indicate that the automatic consequences of a given action will exhibit any difference if committed under the orders of a superior officer, or not."
The individual is the most important part of society. Without individuals there would be no society.
YOU AND THE INSTITUTIONS THAT CONTROL YOU
This cannot be stated any more precisely than the statement by C.H. Douglas in Economic Democracy:
"Systems were made for men, and not men for systems, and the interest of man which is self-development, is above all systems, whether theological, political or economic".
"Accepting this statement as a basis of constructive effort, it seems clear that all forms, whether of government, industry or society must exist contingently to the furtherance of the principles contained in it. If a State system can be shown to be inimical to them - it must go; if social customs hamper their continuous expansion - they must be modified; if unbridled industrialism checks their growth, then industrialism must be reined in. That is to say we must build up from the individual, not down from the State".
YOU AND YOUR CULTURAL INHERITANCE
The Cultural Heritage is the accumulated knowledge of past generations. This accumulated knowledge of how to do this and how to do that, the utilisation of tools, and the use of resources which have been developed over past generations has been passed down from one generation to another, and is a cultural inheritance which belongs to every member of society. No one individual has the right to prior claim. It may be stated that there are two kinds of inheritance which come to man. The first can be described as the natural inheritance which consists of form and structure, such as the natural environment and its natural assets, minerals, etc., and tools etc., and the use to which they may be put. The second is the nurtural inheritance, i.e., the knowledge which has been passed down through generations. The sum of these is the cultural inheritance.
YOU AND YOUR FREEDOM
Social Credit is concerned with the voluntary association of individuals to achieve the objectives they desire. If the Individual is not obtaining from any association the objectives he desires, he must be free to leave the association. He must be free to contract out. Under totalitarianism the individual is not free to contract out from undesirable associations. The Philosophy which conceives of all power as external to the Individual results in compulsion of the Individual. (see You and the Law) The basic agenda of any election is the increase of government power, under the guise, these days of increased efficiency or greater competence. Society is conceived not as a mutually beneficial association of individuals, but as a semi-military organisation geared for the maximum production, irrespective of the nature or destination of that production. Production for an export surplus - now being transmuted into production for aid to under-developed countries - is pure economic loss. Accelerated capital development is the sacrifice of present generations for the hypothetical benefit of succeeding generations; or, as Douglas put it, the chief effect of improvement of process is not to shift the burden of work from the backs of men to machines, but to enable the worker to do more work. And as national capacity for production outstrips the national capacity for consumption, the problem becomes international, calling for World Government. Just as all federations of States lead inexorably to domination by the Federal Government over the States, so the emergence of the organs of World Government will lead to the end of national sovereignty.
C.H.Douglas summarised the basics of Social Credit philosophy very succinctly in November 1924 as follows:
"The financial system, in its control over production, stands to the works or factory system of the world, considered as an economic unit, in the same relation as the planning department of a modern factory does to that factory."
The distribution side of the financial system exercises a function no dissimilar to that of the progress department of a factory.
No discussion of the financial system can serve any useful purpose which does not recognise:
(a) That a works system must have a definite objective.
(b) That when that objective has been decided upon it is a technical matter to fit methods of human psychology and physical facts, so that that objective will be most easily obtained.
In regard to (a) the policy of the world economic system amounts to a philosophy of life. There are really only three alternative policies in respect to a world economic organisation.
The first is that it is the end in itself for which man exists.
The second is that while not an end in itself, it is the most powerful means of constraining the individual to do things he does not want to do; e.g. it is a system of Government. This implies a fixed ideal of what the world ought to be.
And the third is that economic activity is simply a functional activity of men and women in the world; that the end of man, while unknown, is something towards which most rapid progress is made by the free expansion of individuality, and that, therefore, economic organisation is most efficient when it most easily and rapidly supplies economic wants without encroaching on other functional activities.
You cannot spend too much time in making these issues clear to your minds, because until they are clear you are not in a position to offer an opinion on any economic proposal whatever.
In regard to (b) certain factors require to be taken into consideration.
1. That money has no reality in itself. That in itself it is either gold, silver, copper, paper, cowrie shells, or broken tea cups. The thing which makes it money, no matter of what it is made, is purely psychological, and consequently there is no limit to the amount of money except a psychological limit.
2. That economic production is simply a conversion of one thing into another, and is primarily a matter of energy. It seems highly probable that both energy and production are only limited by our knowledge of how to apply them.
3. That in the present world unrest two entirely separate factors are confused. The cry for democratisation of industry obtains at least 90% of its force from the desire for the democratisation of the proceeds of industry, which, is, of course, a totally different thing.
This is assisted by the objective fact that the chief controllers of industry get rich out of their control.
"I do not, myself, believe in the democratic control of industry any more than I should believe in the democratic control of a cricket team, while actually playing, and I believe that the idea that the average individual demands a share in the administrative control of industry is a pure myth.
"The present world financial system is a Government based on the theory that men should be made to work, and this theory is considerably intermixed with the even stronger contention that the end of man is work. I want you to realise that this is a statement of fact, not a theory. More than 95% of the purchasing-power actually expended in consumption is wages and salaries.
"It will therefore, be seen that there are two standpoints from which to examine its mechanism. The first considered as a method of achieving some other political end - for instance, the third alternative already mentioned.
"Considered as a means of making people work (an aim which is common both to the Capitalist and Socialist Party Politics) the existing system, as a system, is probably nearly perfect.
"Its banking system, methods of taxation and accountancy counter every development applied science, organisation, and machinery, so that the individual, instead of obtaining the benefit of these advances in the form of a higher civilisation and greater leisure, is merely enabled to do more work. Every other factor in the situation is ultimately sacrificed to this end of providing him with work, and at this moment the world in general, and Europe in particular, is undoubtedly settling down to a policy of intensive production for export, which must quite inevitably result in a world cataclysm, urged thereto by what is known as the Unemployment Problem.
"To blame the present financial system for failing to provide employment is most unfair; if left alone it will continue to provide employment in the face of all scientific progress, even at the cost of universal world-war, in which not only all possible production would be destroyed, but such remnants of the world's population as are left, will probably be reduced to the meagre production of the Middle Ages.
"Considered as a mechanism for distributing goods, however, the existing financial system is radically defective. In the first place, it does not provide enough purchasing power to buy the goods which are produced.
"And the second feature of equal importance is that considerably less than the available number of individuals, working with modern tools and processes, can produce everything that the total population of world, as individuals, can use and consume, and that this situation is progressive, that is to say, that year by year a smaller number of individuals can be usefully employed in economic production.
"To summarise the matter, the principles which must govern any reform of the financial system, which will at one and the same time avoid catastrophe, and re-orientate world economic policy along the lines of the third alternative, are three in number:
1. That the cash credits of the population of any country shall at any moment be collectively equal to the collective cash prices for consumable goods for sale in that country, and such cash credits shall be cancelled on the purchase of goods for consumption.
2. That the credits required to finance production shall be supplied, not from savings, but be new credits relating to new production.
3. That the distribution of cash credits to individuals shall be progressively less dependent upon employment. That is to say, that the dividend shall progressively displace the wage and salary."
YOU AND THE LAW
A government that has been formed by those who have obtained a majority in the ballot-box process, although not accepted by Social Credit as a true democratic process, nevertheless has the responsibility of enacting laws on behalf of the people as a whole for their mutual benefit.
Such actions invoke what is known as the Rule of Law which if used correctly ensures that the individual retains the greatest possible freedom to manage his or her own affairs without interference, so long as he or she does not impinge upon the legitimate rights of other individuals.
In his book, 'The Road to Serfdom', Professor Hayek defines the rule of Law as follows:
"It means that the government in all its actions is bound by rules fixed and announced beforehand - rules which make it possible to foresee with fair certainty how the authority will use its coercive power given circumstances, and to plan one's individual affairs on the basis of such knowledge ... Within the known rules of the game the individual is free to pursue his personal ends and desires."
Let us take an excellent example of the Rule of Law. We all know and understand our road laws - travel must be on the left-hand side of the road. There are lights at certain cross roads. Sign boards indicate where different roads go. Every individual is free to go where he likes on the roads so long as he obeys the rules laid down. He knows that if he crosses a main intersection against a red light, he will have action taken against him. It will be noted that this rule of law is not restrictive. It is designed to protect every individual. It increases his freedom of action and makes for greater individual security. Now it is obviously quite legitimate for individuals to use their political system to obtain a Rule of Law for their roads, but it would be interference with the individual's rights if the political system were used to try and compel individuals to travel on the roads only at a certain time, to lay down where the individual could go, and what route he could take. This would be what is often described as Arbitrary Law.
There are two kinds of Law. One is Natural Law and the other is Man Made Law.
The Man made Laws are agreement associations, i.e. they constitute agreements which have been drawn up for a purpose beneficial to individuals either as individuals or individuals together as a group called society.
We have seen that Natural Law is an Absolute, in that, if violated there is an immediate consequence. That is the Reality. With respect to Man made laws they can be seen to differ from society to society. In some societies a concept of the Rule of Law exists, whilst it is admitted that the Ideal of the Rule of Law is an ideal to be attained. As Social Crediters, we are concerned with Reality, that which is, not what ought to be. The reality of Natural Law is the immediate penalty which is applied on violation. In what is called scientific law we have what is in reality the 'law of the scientists'. They are discoveries on which are based theories inductively arrived at and tested deductively. To the extent that they have stood the test they are postulated as 'Laws'. They can be used as an instrument for short cuts, they are a 'formulae'. If the formula does not work, it is the formula, not nature which is wrong.
Social Laws which cover a wide range of man made laws for the purpose of assisting individuals in society, i.e. providing an increment. They may also provide a decrement. To find a definition which would cover the Rule of Law it would be necessary to determine the values which could be placed on the service provided by the institutions which are (as Social Crediters state) at the service of the individual. Values cannot be measure or standardised; the value of a Beethoven, or Brahms or a piece of popular music have different values for each individual. It may be that the basis for the existence or the reason for the existence of the institution be it Government, Church, School or Club needs to have a set of principles to ensure that they serve the individual. In addition, there needs to be a set of rules or administrative procedures which guarantee that the institution serves the individual..
Man made laws may be made with the acceptance of the view that they should apply equally to all men and therefore, be seen to be fair. Natural law applies equally and is immediate, there is no question of 'fairness'.
It can be said that the difference between 'Laws' of nature and man made 'Laws' can be identified by two distinctions.
1. The laws of nature apply to everything that is known in the universe, whilst man made 'laws' apply only to man.
2. The former, as absolutes, are inviolable and therefore, lay down the necessary requirements of behaviour, whereas the latter because they are violable, or capable of being broken, imply a certain freedom to the individual or those to whom they are addressed.
The laws of nature cannot be broken. In so far as science discovered these 'laws', they can be learnt or taught and each individual may know the requirements and the consequences of disobeying the 'laws'. The 'laws' cannot be broken, but the truth of the law can be demonstrated by disregarding its requirements.
One cannot disobey the so-called Law of gravitation, or Newton's three Laws of Motion, in the same sense that one may disobey a man made law. With the former there is an immediate penalty applied. With the latter, it is an agreement association which attaches certain duties and obligations which calls for obedience and pertains to moral significancies. These moral significancies may differ between individuals, within countries, races and nations, but the laws of nature apply to everyone, everywhere. There is no moral significance attached to Natural Law. Disobey them and the penalty applies. If a man slips and falls off a cliff and dies the truth has exacted its penalty. It is neither good nor bad with respect to the 'Law'. A man may jump to commit suicide, the result is the same, but again, the 'Law' is neither good nor bad. Someone may push someone over the cliff. Same result. However, man made laws would treat each case differently.
The very existence of Natural 'Laws' or Absolutes, has provided the basis for the development of man made laws. We need not concern ourselves here with Natural Law, but we do need to look at Human Law.
Again Douglas made a considerable contribution to the understanding of the problems associated with human laws and the effects upon the individual. Remember we are not expressing an opinion and we are limited again by our definition of Social Credit, 'the power to produce an intended result, measured in terms of human satisfaction, of human beings in association'.
To quote Douglas again, "... the end of man, while unknown, is something towards which most rapid progress is made by the free expansion of individuality ..."
In an address given in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, on 9th March, 1937 and later published in a pamphlet entitled, 'Security -Institution and Personal' Douglas said:
"The first step towards the security of the individual is to insist upon the security of the individual. I hope that is not too difficult to understand. If you place the security of any institution before the security of the individual, you may prolong the life of that institution, but you will certainly shorten the lives of a great many individuals. Institutions are a means to an end, and I do not think it is too much to say that the elevation of means into ends, of institutions above humanity, constitutes an unforgivable sin, in the pragmatic sense that it brings upon itself the most tremendous penalties that life contains."
. " It is without doubt that the Common Law of England is one of the great civilising forces of the world". (The Inheritance of the Common Law - Richard O'Sullivan, Q.C.)
In his Address to the constitutional Research Association, 8th May, 1947, entitled 'Realistic Constitutionalism', Douglas said,
"... it is my opinion that the restoration of the supremacy of Common Law, the removal of encroachments upon it, and the establishment of the principle that legislation by the House of Commons impinging upon it is ultra vires, is an urgent necessity. The locus of sovereignty over the Common Law is not in the electorate, because Common Law did not derive from the electorate and indeed ante-dated any electorate in the modern sense. In the main, it derived from the Mediaeval Church, perhaps not directly, but from the climate of opinion which the Church disseminated. There is, of course, nothing very novel in what I am saying; much of it is in Magna Carta, which is not so widely read as it should be ... ". He also stated, "Common Law is something which, if it changes at all, ought to change very slowly indeed, and the greatest difficulty should be placed in the path of an attack upon it ... ."
The establishment of certain laws were of Biblical descent and even today form the basis of many of our laws. Nevertheless, the dynamic force of change has altered the concept of many. Social Crediters should recognise that these are 'agreement associations', sometimes entered into for the benefit of all individuals who comprise society, and sometimes for the benefit of the few.
If there exists in a society a set of rules for the election of a government, and if it is expected that governments so elected are to make laws for the benefit of all individuals in society, does this provide the government with a mandate to do as it wishes with respect to laws?
Firstly, it would be necessary to examine the set of rules for the election and secondly, it may require a further set of rules to govern the conduct of the government. In our society (Australia) we may refer to these two points as:
1. Ballot Box Democracy
2. Constitutional Control
Majority rule is not democracy. Mob rule is not democracy. So called popular democracy as in certain third world and underdeveloped countries is not democracy. None of these conditions should be taken to suggest that the rule of law exists. Any discussion relating to law and its use should take into consideration the philosophy of the participants. The rule of law as accepted by a totalitarian centralist government would be at the other end of the spectrum as seen by a Social Crediter.
Douglas described history as 'Crystallised Policy'. To look at the development of the rule of law one must look at the development of individual behaviour and the dynamic process of agreements among men. That is to say that behaviour and attitudes towards 'common' acceptance of behaviour among men has crystallised into a rule of law which is acceptable to individual people who comprise our society. This is not to say that the acceptance of the rule of law which is applicable at any one time is definitive. It is a dynamic process of development.
The development of these agreement associations must be examined in the terms of our definition of Social Credit. This is our limiting factor. People must be satisfied and accept the law for it to work. If it does not provide acceptable requirements for society the law must be altered. Or, to put it another way - new agreement associations must be arranged.
The history of the development of the 'Common Law' is such that some detractors have rejected the concept because it originated in a 'feudal' society. This is not quite true, the Magna Carta may have provided a great emphasis to the development, but its roots lay with Alfred the great. Magna Carta was the culmination of events which had occurred which differed from the ideas laid down by Alfred and the abuse of power. The Magna Carta may have been produced in a feudal atmosphere but it was also produced by the contribution of not only the barons and the Church, but also from the townspeople and merchants and others not of noble rank.
Irrespective of all of this, Common Law has developed to the extent where Justice Oliver Wendel Homes, regarded as one of the greatest judges of the Supreme court of the United States declared that the Common Law is, "a far more developed, more rational and a mightier body of law than the Roman Civil Law". (The Inheritance of the Common Law -Richard O'Sullivan, Q.C.)
To conclude here on certain aspects of law, it might be appropriate to quote the conclusion of the above book.
"The spirit and the tradition survive, in the courts and the community that gave the world the inheritance of the Common Law." "Hence, it may be, the temporary decline of the things which (as we know from history) go with that Light: a certain decline of Conscience and of Freedom and of the Sanctity of the home, and a weakening of the Commons control of the political community. To know the cause is not in this case to be able to command the remedy. Yet we who are called upon in war and peace to defend the Christian civilisation of the West, may hope for a renaissance of faith and freedom; and a restoration of the old Integrities of the Common Law; The Political Community. Let me end with a sentence from one of the greatest of the Common lawyers who has been called 'the authentic voice of the English character', Sir John Fortescue: 'Freedom is a thing with which the nature of man has been endowed by God. For this reason if it be taken away from man it strives of its own energy always to return'." See Recommended Reading.