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Social Credit & Association

C. H. Douglas, the British Social Credit pioneer.

1,146 words

There is drawn no boundary,
No hard, wretched earth-clod bars our way,
And we sail across the sea,
And we wander countries far away.

–“Human Pride,” Karl Marx

When President Trump issued an executive order temporarily banning immigrants from seven countries, he quickly found out that the ability to associate with people of one’s choice was not so easy – even for the denizens of a superpower. His order was quickly challenged in court and worldwide demonstrations demanded the right of entry to America for all, even if the Americans don’t want to associate with particular people.

Paraphrasing a Social Credit icon, President Trump tweeted, “When a country is no longer able to say who can, and who cannot, come in & out, especially for reasons of safety & security – big trouble.” His tweet echoed the words of L. D. Byrne, who at the National Dividend Club of London in 1936 said, ”If the individuals within the group find they are not getting what they want then there will be the danger of the group disintegrating and the disintegration of a community is a pretty terrific affair.”[1] The ability to associate with those of one’s choosing is one of the main tenets of the Social Credit philosophy, which opposes compulsion in favor of voluntary association for the express purpose of achieving the objectives that a group desires.

C. H. Douglas said that Social Credit involves a true conception of the relationships between individuals and their association in groups and nations. “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.”[2]

Nations are, or once were, a haven for kindred families that had come together for mutual protection and to develop a civilized way of life in order to achieve their goals. As Gregory Hood pointed out, “Any nation, by definition, excludes,”[3] which is a power long lost to the nations of the West. They are now becoming more like Canada, whose Prime Minister Justin Trudeau infamously boasted that Canada is the world’s “first post-national state,”[4] and then went on to say, “There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada.” To paraphrase Gilbert and Sullivan, this makes him the very model of a very modern politician. But as L. D. Byrne pointed out, “This sabotage of our inheritance has come to be one of the chief activities of governments.”[5]

The trend is against Social Credit and the right to associate. We can see this in the example of the prolific English writer, H. G. Wells, who was a member of the Fabian Society, which was quite successful in helping to establish socialism in the Anglo-Saxon world. As a fine example of the prevailing elitist sentiment of the time, Wells gave some interesting insight in his The Future in America, which was published in 1906, when the British Empire was at its height and America was gaining traction to become the next empire. The confidence of those days, when God had been dethroned and man was in ascendancy, motivated Wells to ponder how the grandchildren of the Americans would live side-by-side with “the unpopular Jews,” the “growing multitudes of Roman Catholics,” and the “colored population.” In Russia, the serfs had been emancipated, and in the United States, the slaves had been set free. “Never was there so much good will in the world as now when the task of twenty-five hundred years is almost completed.”[6] Wells’ optimism was in evidence everywhere. The new world was dawning.

Putting his brilliant mind to work on a problem from an American perspective, he was quickly put in his place, as he tells it, by a charming Southern lady who said to him, “You have to be one of us to feel the question at all as it ought to be felt.”[7] However, Wells, the Fabians, and the socialists thought they knew better for the British at the time, just as Lederer’s “ugly American” does today. Besides, said Wells, “[w]e English a century ago said all these things about the native Irish.” And if the English could successfully accept the Irish, then the Americans could eventually accept their aliens. Nevertheless, the response to this proposed multiculturalism was negative. “You don’t know the real nigger,”[8] said one American to Wells after he had praised the colored people he had seen.

Perhaps as time went by, the races could have successfully dwelt together like Huck and Jim on their raft floating down the Mississippi, but as we have been herded into ever-bigger and overcrowded cities that are increasingly unpleasant to live in, that possibility seems to be fading. The massive influx of the intolerant and uncompromising Muslims is, in my opinion, the final nail in the coffin of a successful multicultural state in the West. Not all our dreams work out, for, as the American Isabel said, I believe, in Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge, “By 1930 we shall be the richest nation on Earth.”

The centralization of power and credit continues today, which likewise means the concentration of directive power. The philosophy of Social Credit holds that society must be built from the individual up, and that all power arises from the individual. Directive power may be useful in times of war and national emergencies, but not in everyday life. The opposing philosophy, which is much more common, is that power arises from a point external to the individual, so that the individual is subject to the state. When Douglas said this, the main global conflict was between Communism and Fascism, both of which desired state control over the individual and were opposed to the freedom offered by an organic society where power stemmed from such. The purpose of the national dividend was to give more freedom to the individual. However, “[y]ou will realize that it is important there should be a clear understanding as to the social objective – what it is that people want.”[9]

Social Credit posits that the present, pyramidically-organized economic system has rendered the governmental system ineffective. The establishment of true political democracy would automatically lead to the establishment of economic democracy, which would be the order of Social Credit. This is to say that “society would then be organized on the basis of its inherent belief that its individual members in association can get what they want.”[10]

 

Notes

1. L. D. Byrne, The Nature of Social Credit (Edmonton, Alberta: The Social Credit Board, 1936), p. 3.

2. C. H. Douglas, Economic Democracy (Epsom, England: Bloomfield Publishers, 1974), p. 29.

3. Gregory Hood, Waking Up from the American Dream (San Francisco: Counter-Currents Publishing), p. 37.

4. Douglas Todd, “The Dangers of a ‘Postnational’ Canada,” Vancouver Sun, March 11, 2016.

Vancouver Sun March 13, 2016 Douglas Todd,

5. Byrne, The Nature of Social Credit, p. 6.

6. H. D. Lloyd, Man the Social Creator (Miami: Hardpress Publishing, 1906), p. 90.

7. H. G. Wells, The Future in America (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1987), p. 141.

8. Ibid., p. 143.

9. Byrne, The Nature of Social Credit, p. 3.

10. Ibid., p. 14.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Posted April 2, 2017 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    This is an outstanding article. I have articulated what I think is an appropriate 21st Century vison of what Social Credit can look like in the modern age. Check out http://www.economiccures.com if interested.

  2. R_Moreland
    Posted March 23, 2017 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    One thing I find fascinating about the first half of the 20th century is in the many movements which arose to deal with political-economic power in an industrial state: Social Credit, Technocracy, Autarky … there was real intellectual room to maneuver.

    In 2017, that’s all gone. What remains is the transnational capitalist system of globalism. The map has become the terrain.

    Well, time for new maps…

    • K R Bolton
      Posted March 23, 2017 at 5:09 am | Permalink

      During the 1930s understanding of the economic system was pervasive. The Labour Government in New Zealand was elected in 1935 precisely on its policies on state credit – which worked and got NZ out of the Depression, using a similar system to that of NS Germany and later Italy and Japan.

      The USA missed out on its chance of peaceful revival due to the assassination of Huey Long, and the silencing of Fr. Coughlin; Long wanted to join forces with Coughlin. The combined movement would have been unstoppable. Instead the USA got a total flop – the New Deal, and recovery was only achieved through Lend-Lease and war expenditure.

      NZ was a hive of banking reform. The NZ Legion greenshirts who adopted social credit and corporatism gained 20,000 members within a year. The farmer’s union adopted social credit advocacy. Now we’re a retarded backwater.

      • Sartor
        Posted March 28, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        You are so right Kerry and it is unfortunate that nobody has written a serious history of the Social Credit movement in New Zealand. All I am aware of is some lightweight journalism and possibly a couple of minor academic articles. Social Credit was far bigger in the Dominions than in Great Britain because the economies were newer and more debt-ridden. There are several serious studies of Douglas/Social Credit in Canada where it had its largest impact. Not sure about Australia where it was also enduring. Looks like a worthwhile project for a talented writer such as yourself. Presented the right way, it could even make the mainstream press.Worth thinking about?

        I was however surprised by your statement that NS Germany adopted Social Credit style policies before Italy. I always understood that Mussolini was the pioneer and this was the principal reason Pound found the Fascist Revolution so appealing. Strangely when I mentioned this to an old Social Creditor years ago, he was greatly offended by the suggestion, but then many Social Creditors were social /cultural conservatives. At the time we were discussing an old BUF pamphlet by Chambers-Hunter, Social Credit and British Union and I regret I never got to retain a copy. Just googled it and found it’s available from Steven Books for anyone interested.

        • K R Bolton
          Posted March 28, 2017 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

          Hello Sartor

          Surprisingly, Italy did not have radical banking reform until later. You’ll have to read my book The Banking Swindle to see about that and Japan’s reforms. Italy succeeded regardless because of the corporatist structure which harnessed banking to a national plan, but Italy does not seem to have used state credit until much later.

          However, orthodox Douglas Crediters are VERY dogmatic about the distinction between state banks, which they regard as Bolshevism, and what they want as a Credit Authority independent of the state. That is why the Social Crediter you mentioned would have been outraged by the comparison with Fascism. Another key point is that they are adverse to any form of party politics including Social Credit parties.

          Another banking reformer was Arthur Kitson, who advocated what seems to have been fiat money. Kitson started prior to Douglas and was associated with The Britons and taught Arnold Leese. Interestingly, New Zealander A N Field, the worldwide banking reform authority, and quite an influential voice in NZ during the 1930s, did not support Douglas, but Kitson. Fiat money has a bad reputation because it is usually circulated through the private banks instead of being directly spent into circulation by the state., or as in Zimbabwe is issued without regard to an increase in production.

          • Sartor
            Posted March 29, 2017 at 1:13 am | Permalink

            Thanks Kerrry. Must get your book.

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