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Social Credit: An Impact

Ezra Pound in the 1920s

6,248 words

“The earth belongs to the living.”
– Thomas Jefferson

Definitions

Increment of association: Advantage men get from working together instead of each on his own, e.g., crew that can work a ship whereas the men separately couldn’t sail ships each on his own.

Cultural heritage: Increment of association with all past inventiveness, e.g., thus, crops from improved seed; American wheat after Carleton’s researches; a few men hoisting a locomotive with machinery.

An epic is a poem including history.

No one can understand history without understanding economics. Gibbon’s History of Rome is a meaningless jumble till a man has read Douglas.

My generation (that born in the 1880s) was dragged up in black ignorance of economics, an ignorance in part the product of malice, in part sheer sloth and incompetence.

To say that “every man in high office in England is a thieves’ accomplice, and that they are mostly too ignorant to understand what I mean by this term,” would lay me open to the charges of intemperate language. Yet how many men knowing really, the facts, can draw gentler conclusion?

II.

In our time, everything we eat, use or wear, has become cheap, cheap with an unspeakable cheapness if its cost be measured by the physical effort needed to produce it, or the material difficulty in procuring it, as compared with such difficulties in earlier epochs.

Douglas’ “just price” is a recognition of this material cheapness. The parts of his system, all those details which deal with price adjustment are, fundamentally, a recognition and registration of realities, of the real cost (in effort) of forks, spoons, automobiles, grain fit to eat, eggs promptly delivered, and not carried liquid from China.

III.

A thousand volumes a year ooze from dead minds all rendered dull, tangled, useless by the failure to make a few rudimentary dissociations, to distinguish, that is, between capital and property, between gold as deposit, and gold as measure, between demand meaning wish for, and demand meaning power to get it.

Property is not capital. The increment of association is not usury.

Historians have been too lazy to seek the facts, and too bull-witted to understand them.

The state has credit. Distribution is effected by little pieces of paper. The best facts of history are not in the school books. The job of this generation is to teach growing children; to make it impossible for any child to arrive at the threshold of manhood, ignorant as my generation arrived there.

The state has credit.

Distribution is effected by little pieces of paper.

If you don’t WATCH these, you will be slaves. If you don’t know how they are made, who makes them, who controls them, you will be diddled out of your livings, as millions of dead men have been diddled, and as millions of live ones are being. The sword can “protect the furrow” etc. against foreign invasion, but not against the usurer’s cunning. Against usury it has availed never at all.

Usury and sodomy, the Church condemned as a pair, to one hell, the same for one reason, namely that they are both against natural increase.

Dante knew this and said it. It is registered in the Merchant of Venice, where Shylock wants no more shinbone or elbow, but wants to end Antonio’s natural increase. You can find it in Lombard Chronicles, the laws against making eunuchs.

Van Buren’s memoirs, the records of the American bank war, the death struggle between the bank and the people, were written in 1861, and never got printed till 1920.

The knowledge of true coining, the principles of honest issue of money have been known, over and over again, and forgotten. It is our generation’s job so to hammer a few simple truths into the human consciousness that no Meyer Anselm can efface them.

Certain facts must stand in the common tongue. These root facts must go to the PEOPLE, they must go into the one everlasting repository, the MIND of the people. They must go into the folklore, into men’s proverbs.

The necessities of mankind are now cheap. Effort can be unbounded only in dimension of quality. In that road there is room enough for all discipline. No man has outdistanced Homer. But for everything that is not great art, participant in that form of undyingness, for all that is used and used up, all that is worn, worn out, dwelt in, we must know the new cheapness, we must now that its cost in effort, in toil, in sweat, in difficulty, has dwindled, and dwindles.

We must let no man cozen us out of this knowledge.

“And all this costs the Khan nothing,” said Marco Polo of Kublai Khan’s stamped paper money. Peter Simple prints touching poems about the poor old soldier, neglected, dank, cold in the gutter for want (Peter doesn’t quite say), of a few pieces of PAPER.

The English are degrading their empire, murdering their home population for the sake of a fixed idea as to the nature of money.

The American New Deal to date (December 1934-January 1935) has shown no comprehension of fundamentals, no perception of the basic relations of currency system, money system, credit system to the need and purchasing power of the whole people.

Coffee in France, gone to hell; coffee offered free by Brazil — too expensive for the poor in Vienna. Wallace ploughing grain under; Perkins too bull-witted to know that work is not a commodity.

Work is not a commodity.

Money is not a commodity.

The people of two populous countries tolerate rulers too whey-headed to understand or say this.

IV.

Amoral technocrats have gathered the statistics of production. Gesell observed that Marx found no fault with money; “nothing to criticize in money”; just took it for granted.

Fascism has saved Italy, and saving Italy bids fair to save part of Europe, but outside Italy no one has seen any fascism, only the parodies and gross counterfeits. Douglas for seventeen years has been working to build a new England and to enlighten England’s ex- and still annexed colonies. The corporate state has invented a representative body that should function in the age of correlated machinery better than the old representation of agricultural districts.

No man without knowing his printing date can set down the number of social creditors, Gesellites, believers in the corporate state, rebels against a dead and decaying order, insisting on a new Occident.

The opposition is daily more cowardly, their evasions more trivial. There are between honest economists, sincere differences of opinion as to policy, but against the underlying fact there is no intellectual answer. You cannot borrow yourself out of debt.

The increment of association exists. It is affirmed in every fascio clamped onto a public building; in every bundle of rods set up as a symbol.

The cultural heritage, in Douglas’ sense of the term, is an extension of the increment of association; a hook-up with the accumulation of all past inventiveness.

The earth belongs to the living. Chattel slavery has gone. Slavery to a printed fetish, to stamped paper and embossed discs of metal must follow it. There is an increment of statal well-being over and above the well-being of the individual. “Over and above” does not mean “counter to” or “against.”

Money is a form of agreement; it implies an agreed order. It implies an honesty and an ability. “Fiat money” is a poor term, it is camouflage made of half Latin. The old Este mandates were valid. “Give to” or “I promise” or “we promise to give to” is the correct reading of the inscription, whether spelled out or implied.

“Fiat” is bad only if it means “let there be grain, or wood, where grain is not, or where there is nothing.”

Intended in that sense, fiat money would be an evil. Like every other economic term it has been used as a scarecrow, and used with two or more meanings.

You can issue valid money against any commodity (or against services) up to the amount people WANT. The commodity must be THERE; services must be available.

You should not confuse a bill with a mortgage. You cannot soundly monetize land, but only its produce.

Two kinds of banks have existed. The MONTE DEI PASCHI and the devils.

Brother Warburg says I have a grouch against bankers when I suggest they should all learn their own history, and purge their minds of black ignorance.

If the bankers have obscured their own history, they deserve the present world contempt for their status. God or no God, soul or no soul, no man can hide for ever or for all time avoid the decision between the good and the evil.

Banks differ in their INTENTION. Two kinds of bank stand in history: Banks built for beneficence, for reconstruction; and banks created to prey on the people.

Three centuries of Medici wisdom went into the Monte dei Paschi, the only bank that has stood from 1600 to our time. (Banca di Napoli was reorganized.)

Siena was flat on her back, without money after the Florentine conquest.

Cosimo, first duke of Tuscany, had all the Medici banking experience behind him. He guaranteed the capital of the Monte, taking as security the one living property of Siena, and a certain amount of somewhat unhandy collateral.

That is to say, Siena had grazing lands, down toward Grosseto, and the grazing rights worth 10,000 ducats a year. On the basis of taking it for his main security, Cosimo underwrote a capital of 200,000 ducats, to pay 5 per cent to the shareholders, and to be lent at 5 per cent; overhead kept down to a minimum, salaries at a minimum and all excess of profit over that to go to hospitals and works for the benefit of of the people of Siena. That was in the first years of the 17th century, and that bank is open today. It outlasted Napoleon. You can open an account there tomorrow.

And the lesson is the very basis of solid banking. The CREDIT rests in ultimate on the ABUNDANCE OF NATURE, on the growing grass that can nourish the living sheep.

And the moral is in the INTENTION. It was not for the conqueror’s immediate short-sighted profit, but to restart life and productivity of Siena, that this bank was contrived.

The hell banks have, from as far as the record takes us, started as gangs of creditors, associated to strangle the last ounce of profit out of their debtors. This they have done with splendour, boasts and parade. They have stood for exactitude in accounting. Once the dice have been loaded, they have counted up every point, every decimal. Chief and most glorified was the Banca S. Giorgio, the pitiless company of Genoese creditors, the model bank among bankers, against which I am, for all I know, the first to utter detraction.

“About the year 1200 there existed in Genoa, diverse societies. . . .

“In 1252 they united . . .

“In 1451, 9th April. The commune of Genoa vested in perpetuity its dogana (That is the collection of all import tax), in the Banca S. Giorgio.” That means that the bank got all the proceeds.

“1539. The Doge, governors and procurators confirmed and anew conceded and assigned to the protectors of S. Giorgio all the proceeds of the salt tax . . . approving the addition of the taxes on oil and grain, meat, wine, etc. . . . with the right to sell the same if they chose.

“1749 the bank got the right to tax church property also, but at a fourth less than the secular.

“The revolution of 1797 disorganized its collection of taxes, the provisional government leaving the bank (of S. Giorgio) provisionally its internal administration and the collection of customs, took from its directors their absolute civil and criminal jurisdiction as incompatible with unity of the republic, and the sovereignty of the people.” — Memorie sulla banca S. Giorgio, Genoa, 1832. Compiled by their keeper of archives, Antonio Lobero.

Lobero seems rather indignant at this infringement of bankers’ omnipotence, his spirit appears reincarnate in our day of Paul Einzig.

This shows what bankers will placidly do if you let ‘em. The great company of St. George could be both plaintiff and judge in a civil or criminal suit against its interests.

The arts did not flourish in Genoa, she took almost no part in the intellectual activity of the renaissance. Cities a tenth her size have left more durable treasure.

V.

You can issue sound money to express the will of the people, which amounts to saying you can issue it against services wanted. You cannot issue sound money against land, or against anything undeliverable. You cannot issue sound money save against something wanted.

The soundness of money is not limited to being state money. Countless examples of valid private and valid local money exist: Scovil metal dollar, 1842; Lockport Mills,[1] 1851; my grandfather’s money against “lumber or merchandise”; Larkin & Co. “merchandise bonds” issued before the recent American bank holiday. States fail or fall into hands of ignorant men or of scoundrels. The banks have tried to throttle communities over which they have bloody and armed power of militia or police armed with machine guns, fore-hoses and gas-bombs; sane men and free merchants have issued their own paper or metal implements of exchange and accountancy, and will do so wherever the light of reason penetrates or the spirit of manhood co-exists with a minimum of necessary knowledge.

“Peace on his lying lips, and on his hands Blood.”

“They make a wilderness and call it peace.”

“Avenge, O Lord.”

No rhetoric and no denunciatory poem launched against a military tyrant is too strong for the devils of finance, in whose hands lie the tyrants and for whose fist military prowess is merely a knuckleduster.

They make a desert. The American Secretary of Agriculture sits cowering before his own miserable ego. “Free coffee too dear for Vienna”; Austrian Charity League asks for Brazilian surplus, but finds it will cost three shillings and ninepence a pound even if Brazil GIVES ‘em the coffee instead of destroying it. This situation is the glory and boast of Messrs. Norman and Rothschild. It is the certificate of efficiency. Deterding, Herbert Lawrence, Duff Cooper, Sarvazy, Sieff, De Wendel, Robert Protot, the brothers Schneider of Creusot, and ten thousand fatted bankers proclaim the virtues of “orthodox” economics, assisted by 500 curs, and titled straw men, waiting for something to break.

There will be no red revolution in England. Englishmen will go on patiently dying, they will go on as they have gone on for 200 years on progressively pejorated diet. France is losing its bread and wine, its coffee went to hell after the war. The Germans have been fed on Ersatz, having been broken to it during the war, and are thankful for an occasional let up.

Schacht, the prize tailor’s dummy, has gone out with a begging box, to stimulate Xmas spirit. The dregs of German farce comedy can attain no deeper bathos.

Well-meaning Englishmen assure me that they personally “cannot attack the banks.” Douglas for seventeen years has been showing them how not to annihilate banks. Freedom has been used to camouflage almost every known form of folly and infamy. The local cry for freedom (Rapallo), is specifically for the right to tubercules free in the milk. By God, they just won’t keep any cows, if they can’t have the ancient right of poisoning the consumers of cow-juice, which is a mild and intelligent desire if compared with the acts of contemporary commerce in its assault on English and American provender. With millions spent on medical research, we find that the biologists in the fight against pellagra, searched for years for a “medicine cheaper than food.”

Work is not a commodity.

Money is not a commodity.

The state HAS credit. “Just as I have credit at the Albergo Rapallo. I could eat there for three months without the proprietors presenting a bill or feeling any uneasiness. I do not have to go to the Bank of Chiavari and borrow money and pay the bank usury on that money, in order to lunch and dine.”

For a hundred years states have done little with their credit save sabotage it, save its use for less than its value, save pay private companies tribute. A government of hypnotized rabbits could not behave with greater imbecility, and there can, in the long run, be no greater treason to the people. All this is known, all this has been known ten times over. It was known to Jackson and Van Buren. The American Civil War shelved the knowledge. Not only did the Americans pay with their blood (a million dead) for Negro freedom, but they paid with the death of knowledge. America paid by her loss of memory, she came out of her Civil War with unspeakable shell-shock, and a dead loss of cultural heritage of which she was utterly and unspeakably unconscious. The war of the 1830s is not to be found in the school books. Jackson is regarded as a tobacco-chewing half-wit, or a tuppeny militarist, the murderer of a few Indians, and the victor of New Orleans; Van Buren either vilified or forgotten. Only abnormal Englishmen have even heard of such presidents.

No system of inter communication exists. Lights, as they are considered, of the American intellectual world, pass their days shut in a village, and get their news fifteen years late, faded and colorless.

The intelligentsia, or a part of it, delayed in Marxism, tries to start a “union,” on the supposition that writing is a commodity, and not a system of communication; failing to recognize that the value of a printed page depends not on the amount of its verbiage, but on its efficiency as communication. Both speed and clarity count; both reliability and exactness.

VI.

We need in economics:

1. Simplification of terminology;

2. Articulation of terminology (“distinguish the root from the branch”).

We need:

3. Less intolerance towards converging movements;

4. To hammer on root ideas;

5. Speakers and writers should bear in mind the black ignorance of the public and tell each separate audience that:

1. Money is not a commodity;

2. Work is not a commodity;

3. The state has credit;

4. The increment of association exists;

5. Cultural heritage is the increment of association with all past inventiveness, the FOUNT from which all state dividends are payable.

Prosperity comes of exchange; a high standard of living comes of exchange of goods; a monetary system, a banking system which also sabotages exchange, and impedes it, is evil. Its sustainers are enemies of the people.

No day passes without my coming on pages that are foolish lack of simple disassociations, already cleared in my ABC [ABC of Economics, by E. P. (Faber and Faber)].

Four things are necessary in any modern or civilized economic system: 1., the labor, 2., the product, 3., the means of transport and 4., the monetary carrier. Inadequate monetization has made inaccessible islands of fields lying adjacent one with the other; it has erected barriers between garden and factory.

Two men have ended the Marxist era. Douglas in conceiving the cultural heritage as the great chief fountain of value. Gessell in seeing that “Marx never questioned money. He just took it for granted.”

Property has never done any harm, it is the devil capital, sheltering himself behind property, the lien on other men’s services, that has played hell with the world.

To reward another man for NEEDED help, we must give him something more useful than a noose around his neck.

And when we give help to our neighbour we must show more intelligence than to stick our own head through a halter.

You cannot monetize land, but only its deliverable products. All the errors regarding land have parallels in industry. Many men have been land poor; they can now be factory poor, “plant poor.”

The nature of property is radically (at the root, in the root), different from the nature of capital. The inherited terminology of false economics has served both fools and devils. All such phrases as “capital in the form of” are misleading.

Properly understood capital is liquid. The great division is between whatever is a LIEN on the other man’s services, and what is either completely neutral or passive, or constitutes a potential responsibility, whereof the weight leans on the owner.

Land can lie fallow, houses decay at various speeds, industrial plants depreciate both from decay and from standing still while invention goes past them.

The increment of association is not usury. To see clearly, one must divide CAPITAL from everything that is not capital.

The moment money is spent, whatever thing is purchased is no longer capital, it is property; it has but three possibilities: You may keep it, use it, or lose it.

The problem that faces us (as Douglasites), is no longer that of understanding either the problem or its solution, it is a problem of education the public. In that campaign Gesell seems to me boundlessly useful especially where one meets superstitious Marxists and of single-taxers. Gesell progressed from whatever had been thought in these groups. He did not, however, provide, as Douglas does provide, and uniquely, a means of getting the purchasing power into the places where it is MOST needed.

Gesellism is feasible in the form he left it, as an expedient, it becomes a part of serious thought and idealism for the year 1935; that is to say, susceptible to constructive thinking and planning of CONSUMPTION, when one begins to think of the possibilities inherent in calculating a relation between fixed and labile money, from which calculation it seems to me that the active mind will make the transition to the two main Douglas propositions.

Such transition will not be made by muddlers who think that they refute the A plus B theorem by restating it in four pages of algebra. The eminent Einstein shows himself no better logician than Mrs. Jones, he has had the oriental effrontery to “object to Gesell,” by unconsciously quoting Gesell. If he is not careful he will be given a job in some nation’s cabinet.

I.

WORK is not a commodity.
Money is not a commodity.
The state HAS credit, and does not need to rent it from banks.

II.

“Marx found nothing to criticize in money.” — S. Gesell.

Many vast and heavy books have ended in muddle from failure to see that property and capital are radically different.

Property does not imply the enslavement of others.

There is a difference between durable and perishable goods, in fact there are all degrees of durability, from that of fresh-plucked fruit to that of the art works of Chaldera.

III.

The reason for growing food is to feed the people. The reason for weaving cloth is to clothe them. The function of a monetary system is to get the goods from where they are to the people that need them.

A man’s understanding of any subject should be like a city with enough cross-streets. He should be able to get about it in any direction, and without traffic blocks.

“Intellectuals” do not have any ideas, they only get spare parts of ideas (Rome broadcast, January 11, 1935).

“The indifferent have never made history, they have never even understood any history.” (idem) Economics are like Euclid or like physics in that if you don’t understand a few simple principles you will fall into error after error, but if you have a few very simple perceptions you can construct soundly without any very great learning.

Property is not the same thing as capital.

Goods have differing durability.

Money has been treated not only as if it were goods, but it has been given privileges above all other goods. This was flagrant injustice. Free men will not tolerate it for one hour after they understand it.

Men living under the domination of catchwords live in a hell of their own making.

Terms like “fiat money” scare people blue. If the printed paper means “let there be wheat or goods, where there is none,” it is a bluff and unsound. The Este “mandati” were of a different nature, as I have emphasized in my Cantos. These slips of paper were oders; GIVE TO a man something that exists and is there in charge of the agents.

If the American government OWNED crops sufficient to order their destruction, it owned them quite enough to order their delivery.

Free coffee too dear for Vienna, Brazil would have GIVEN the coffee for the Viennese poor. Because of brute habit, Austria saw no way to get it without paying IMPORT tax.

Naturally every tax on imports is paid by the consumers, the citizens INSIDE the country who are thus slashed by their own knife.

England that could provide fresh eggs, imports “dead” eggs, liquid in barrels, from China, in order to be able to send goods OUT Of England, she subsidizes shipping companies to maintain this imbecility.

The objection to one chief feature of Douglas, namely the just or adjusted price has been proved false, false up to the hilt here in Italy.

Douglasite theory of fixed price is proved feasible here daily and weekly.

It is no more impossible to conduct a credit office than to conduct a tax office.

The way out of the further twists of IMPASSE, that I, the way to solve the discrepancy between the goods on sale and the purchasing power of THE WHOLE PEOPLE, is by the issue of purchasing power DIRECTLY to the people, equitably, and per person, and not by hand-outs to particular organizations.

IV.

SERIOUS and Studious economists have of late and at other times expended considerable ingenuity on the maintenance, or in the calculations for the maintaining, of the fixed value of a monetary unit. Stability of value is a convenience, and beyond a certain point it is very probably an illusion. It is desirable. It eases the life of calculators and accountants. Nevertheless I care much more that my beefsteak should be adequate. If my beefsteak is big enough, sufficiently tender and succulent, and if it is sold at a price that I can easily afford, I do not care greatly whether it is priced at 2/9, or 2/4 or 3/1.

First: the public’s purchasing power must be ADEQUATE.

The poor in mind, the sidlers and avoiders of truth, the confused economists fail to see problems in their proper order and ratio. Let the purchasing power be first adequate. After that, the letchers after total security can calculate their decimals and their millesimals.

“Inflation” occurs when you issue more money than can be honored in WANTED goods or in wanted services. When prices are fixed by government the value of a unit of money does not decline until you print it against more goods than people want or against more services than they want.

The safest place for reserve purchasing power is in the pockets of the people.

Agglomerates of protoplasm, listed as professors in the ‘phone book, still bleat that money is just false teeth, metal and spectacle frames. They get paid for this sort of thing. Professors! They started as boys who said “yes” to their teachers, 30 years ago, and therefore got taken on as assistants. Nice soft, incompetent, low-voiced nonentities deficient in perceptive faculty. Once a professor always a guide to the young. In purely decorative branches they do little save discourage the reading of the classics, but in questions affecting the vitality, the whole health of a nation, we have no right to let ourselves be blind-led by men who dare not meet the intelligent members of their own decade, who form habits of authority because they are, by the very condition of their profession, kept predominately in contact with the immature. The self-professed opponents of Douglas provide comic relief, but this is no time for idle pleasantry or for incompetent algebra.

The strength of Douglas’ position comes from the fact that he was not drifting about in vapid theory, or trying to get himself noticed in the papers or in order to get a better job as an economist. He observed a concrete fact on the books of the airplane factory which he was running and for which he was responsible. He observed that that company was creating prices FASTER than it gave out the power to buy. Having the concrete case before him, he considered its consequences. And if that happens in every other factory, every other industry?

It needs no fancy algebra to prove that the purchasing power of the whole people can never catch up with the price of the goods that they bring into being.

There is one way for the serious man to refute this, he can show us the books of two, three or one prospering company where such is not the case.

As to the percentage of company failures, Dexter Kimball has printed some interesting figures. During the sixteen years that I have been Douglasite I have never met ANY serious argument against Douglas’ analysis.

There is perhaps a little serious difference of opinion as to the details of remedy. But even there the serious economists are inclined to believe that if you don’t cure it with Douglas’ system you will have to cure it with something so like Douglasism that the difference is not worth wrangling about, at least, until some government shows a serious desire to take action.

Roosevelt’s entourage are nearly as vapid, and stuck in village-horse-collar superstition as was the complete and utter idiot Sinclair in California. They would rather be members of a cabinet than take the trouble of learning any thing they didn’t mug up as undergraduates. If any one of them has learned anything during his tenure of office, the fact has lamentably failed to reach public print. As they went into the Washington dung hill so they have stayed. Fixed and fussy as a district probation officer or soft as some theosophist seance, bleating of universals to avoid concrete, immediate fact.

As to your English high-gangsters, all I know is that no foreigner has respected any English cabinet minister for a decade. No English political name has any present connotations outside England higher than those of the traditionally fishy French parliaments or even on a level with Herriot’s (which I cite as an indication of level and not in trusting naïveté.) Duff Cooper’s remarks on investigation of the English Monetary system would lead one to suppose that he is a nice ignorant trusting young Englishman stuck up to say what he has been told to, and unaware of what he is doing.

Japan and Italy, the two really alert, active nations are both engaged in proving fragments of the Douglas analysis, and in putting bits of his scheme into practice. Why England should be the slowest and last country to utilize ideas invented in London must be left to your local pathologists. As a benevolent foreigner I can do little but hope you will CURE IT.

Ninety-seven sects and cliques and sub-divisions of social creditors, fussing and fuming like lily-livered Bloomsbury pinks, or Chelsea pansies do not inspire the historian with any more respect than he already had for the brawn of old England.

The foregoing does not mean that Italy has “gone to Social Credit.” And it does not mean that I want all Englishmen to eat macaroni and sing Neapolitan love songs. It does mean or ought to mean that Englishmen are just plain stupid to lag behind Italy, the western states of America and the British Dominions. And if you hadn’t the lousiest press in Europe with the exception of the French which is flagrantly and blatantly OWNED by the Comité des Forges (the link-up of war profiteers and gun-bastards), it wouldn’t have taken ten years for news of Cursitor Street to reach Chancery Lane.

Grant that the British Black Shirt is an annex to the Gaiety Chorus, English Freedom, especially the traditional freedom of the English Press is a music hall memory in comparison with the de facto actual freedom one has for printing and thinking in Italy.

As to your “democratic principles,” the next ten years will show whether your groggy and incompetent parliament “represents” the will of the English people half as effectively as the new Italian Consiglio of the Guilds, where men are, at least in terms of the program, represented by men of their own trade.

An institution cannot be eternally judged by its high hats and Eton collars, it will be judged by what gets DONE.

I never make out what Englishmen think their government is. I believe it is a constitutional accumulation of indefinite hand-me-downs. But if a man were a royalist he would believe (I mean the theory he would think he believed would imply), that the KING is boss of the coinage. If he were a “democrat” he would believe that the power to issue money is delegated by the people to its representatives.

Neither of their beliefs can sanction the mere leaving it in the hands of men, who , if judged by their record are the persistent murderers of the people, miners of the health of the people, unrepentant and putrid in mind, insensible to fact, deniers of the truth, with no answer to public reason save a “mysterious carriage of body” and such phrases as “is not the Government practice.”

No one but a “governor” would have the crust to imply that a “practice” qua practice was inviolable chiefly because it produced distressed areas, and a level of health so low in England that your officials dare not print the results of their findings.

I don’t suggest that any Englishman should do violence to his own sensibilities. I once heard a Briton express at least 65 per cent of his race by saying “I don’t believe ideas.”

I myself don’t much like ideas, if you mean abstract generalities. I am constantly scrapping with the Major because I think he still shelters an illusion about the “Homo economicus,” the economic man moved by reason, instead of the human man.

I think Mussolini’s efficiency is due to the mental quality which causes him to yell that the “economic man” is all bunk, that there “ain’t no such animal,” that nobody ever saw “Hominem economicum“; and that when you talk to 99 per cent of humanity you’ve got to use just rough horse sense.

Cromwell says the same thing. “Got to talk to these men in their own language,” he said to “Cousin Waller,” the fancy poet, speakin’ as two gents about the vulgar Roundhead fightin’ men. Shorten the workin’ day! SHORTEN it!

It’s got to come. After they get the work all divided up there’ll STILL be the brawny old LACK of purchasing power, until you start looking at MONEY. What is it? Who makes it? How much do they make? How does it get where?

And how the hell are you going to get it to where it will do the most work quickest, namely to the people who will spend it quickest because they simply can’t wait?

That means DOUGLAS; it don’t mean the half-way house of Gesell (which is a bully half-way house), with a lot more eats than the pore bully. Workin’ man now gets under the bank bastards who dare not print the facts of Gesell.

“Marx found nothing to criticize in money.” Tell that to the half-masted socialists. They need it. They need tellin’; They need an awful LOT of telling. There is nothing less capable of mental notion than a socialist, unless it is his side-kick, the bolo.

I firmly believe, and more’s the pity, that the stupidest set of men in England (apart from those of them that are just slimy and crooked) are the British “leaders” of Labour. And I equally believe that the Tories will stick where they are, until Labour kicks out its dead clogging executive and starts yelling for sane economics.

Perhaps it is only an American who could write like this to the English without insulting them. We Anglo-Saxons are the tamest and most prominent race on the planet. We have a common shame, there is not a ha’p’orth to chose between us. We Americans tolerated the infamy of Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover (of Kensington, W.8); you English have put up with MacDonald and Simon. We deserve every skunk deal we have had.

The most manly speech I have seen reported in the British Press for a twelve month, was made by Lord Melchett.

Naturally foreign stock will come in and rule if you don’t stand by your heritage.

Note

1. I am not advocating a “return” to private money in place of Government money. There are indubitable advantages in having a uniform money for the whole nation, backed by the whole nation. But the nation should learn from the history of the private monetary issues. Neither banks nor governments are a necessary preliminary to the existence of money. Banks have not produced a uniform or stable currency. In fact they have done their utmost to destroy such uniformity and stability for the sake of their own paunches and moved by intemperate greed, gross ignorance and an inhuman callousness to every human need, to every form of human misery and in contempt for every amenity, for every art and for every science. The last half of the nineteenth century in America saw the gross mug of the profit-seeker predominate. Papers with vast circulations defiled literature and cried down every human motive save avarice, every human ability save that of absorption.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Engaging, but hard to understand. To think that in his time Harding and Coolidge passed as deplorable!

  2. Stronza
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Rationalwiki has a surly, hostile description of Social Credit, saying it’s cranky, and – quel horreur – supported by “religious right activists and worse”. Maybe somebody here could kind of translate the above article into a kind of “Social Credit for Dummies”. You’d have the everlasting gratitude of, well, me, anyway.

  3. Simon Lote
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Greg interesting you should post that because I remember a year ago disagreeing with you on your points with the basic libertarian assumptions i.e. gold standard good, fiat money bad. Giving government direct control of the printing press = hyperinflationism. (even though I ceased to be a libertarian many years ago – old habbits die hard I guess).

    I have spent some time in the last 12 months working my way through essays and books on money and banking to find some way to refute the ideas of social credit presented in your essay. Given that there really is no serious informed counter-argument to it I have come to be cautiously in favour of it. (The best attempt by Oliver North’s booklength ‘Salvation through Inflation’ is just burning a straw man in my opinon.)

    For those recovering libertarians out there I can only describe my own ‘aha’ moment is the realisation that the system of social credit is merely monetarism without Milton Friedman’s tribe of middlemen getting a percentage via the banking system.

    The treasury of any ethno-state should ultimately have the interests of monetary stability at its heart. This means that the money supply should increase in line with the ethno-states expansion of its productive economy. The prices of goods and services in the ethno-state economy should not rise and fall because the money supply has fallen behind or exceeded the productive capacity of the economy, rather any price fluctations ought to be solely due to the supply and demand of the individual goods and services. This means gold is out and prudently managed fiat money is in.

    The ethno-state treasury committee therefore creates money to ensure that the money supply hits a sweet spot between deflation and inflation (both of which are damaging to the economy). Whereas before the new money is injected into the economy as debt consequently creating a larger class of debtors, it is now spent directly by the government which could be for anything such as a universal credit system, infrastructure to paying the salaries of government employees.

    It is worth pointing out that those who champion social credit tend to focus on the secondary by product of the social credit system which is debt free money entering the economy and tend to make grandiose claims on the impact that it will have on society. However, if an ethnostate is going to have an economy that doesn’t collapse because over zealous social creditors have been creating more money than the economy actually needs, then by neccessity the social credit dividend is going to be limited in scope.

    I do not beleive that social credit dividend would be large enough to fund a universal credit system alone, or that it would be able to provide interest free mortgages to everyone who desired one – the ethnostate would ultimately have to make the shortfall good out of general taxation.

    Yet perhaps rightly or wrongly, my own reading of the social credit material led me to conclude that these grandiose projects could only be funded by mass inflation of the money supply. Social Creditors in my opinion should dial down their rhetoric when it comes to the benefits of the social credit system and be a bit more humble about the expected results. They should also devote more time in addressing the fears of those more concerned with the soundness of the money itself.

  4. Stronza
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Maybe social credit, like barter, can work only in smaller societies. I can’t see it going hand in hand with an international global economy, can you? We have to stop thinking in terms of quantity all the time and realize that quality is the basis of all things.

    • Fourmyle of Ceres
      Posted November 3, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Stronza in blockquote:

      Maybe social credit, like barter, can work only in smaller societies. I can’t see it going hand in hand with an international global economy, can you?

      Barter worked beautifully for NS Germany. Argentinian beef was exchanged for German finished metal products, on a barter system. It worked. If you think about it, under such systems of trade “money” – i.e.; currency – only acts as a bookkeeping tool, in an SC system. For transactions in a “currency,” the ECB’s recent report on Bitcoins as an alternative currency bears review. They do have an agenda, but the possibilities are fascinating from an accounting perspective in an SC framework.

      As money dies, we see, in our own country, the rise of institutional barter systems, through such systems as Time Dollars and ITHACA HOURS. No “dollars” need exchange hands.

      We have to stop thinking in terms of quantity all the time and realize that quality is the basis of all things.

      Defining the qualitative aspects of “all things” is challenging enough. Focusing on quality of life – fulfilling the Purpose for which you were placed on Earth – seems to be a good place to start.

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