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Social Credit is not a political party

Written by Louis Even on Wednesday, 15 January 1958. Posted in Economic Democracy (book), What Do We Mean By Real Social Credit?

What Do We Mean By Real Social Credit? - Chapter 2

To rely on a party is a delusion

The implementation of Social Credit would institute true democracy: economic democracy, by making each consumer capable of ordering from the country's production the basic neces­sities of life; political democracy, as long as the people can make known to their elected representatives, to their governments, what they expect of them and to demand results. (Demos, people; kratein, to reign. — Democracy: the people's sovereignty.)

Any Social Crediter, even slightly informed, knows very well that, today, supreme power is exercised neither by the people nor by their governments, but by a financial clique. States­men like Gladstone, Wilson, and many others, declared it explicitly. Mackenzie King was promising, in 1935, the greatest battle of all times "between the financial powers and the people." A battle in which he did not engage, no doubt because he considered the financial powers too strong and the people too weak.

The people are weak indeed; and it is understandable that they are weak when, in the first place, they know nothing about public matters and what goes on behind the scenes; weak, secondly, when, instead of teaching them about these things, those who are stir­ring in front of them divide them into political factions that are fighting each other. It is not one more faction that will create unity, the unity which would make up their strength, whereas division increases their weakness.

Clifford Hugh DouglasClifford Hugh Douglas

It is a man of genius, C. H. Douglas, who discovered the great truth that Social Credit is; it is he who founded the Social Credit school. He most certainly knew better what Social Credit meant, as far as democracy is concerned, than those little fellows of our homeland who would like to make out of Social Credit the instrument of their race to power, or at least a platform for their jigging about in search of a seat in Parliament.

Now, Douglas declared, in a lecture given in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on March 19, 1937, that there is, in England, two major obstacles to true democracy, and the first of these obstacles is the system of parties.

The same goes for Canada, and the solution does not consist in feeding the system of parties, but in weakening it. That is to say, to make the parties in existence inoffensive, not by making another division within the people, but on the contrary, by uniting the citizens, all citizens, without party distinctions, to express their common will to their Members of Parliament, whoever these Members of Parliament are, and whatever their political colours. To put the emphasis on what happens between elections, when the fate of the citizens is at stake, more than during elections when the politicians' fate is at stake.

To unite the citizens. And for this, to begin by making them understand that they all want the same fundamental things; then to convince them that by thus insisting together to get what they all want, they would inevita­bly get it.

It is still Major Douglas who, on another occasion, in Liverpool, October 30, 1936, said

“The people's sovereignty, i.e., their effective ability to give orders, would increase with their unanimity, and if people all wanted a uniform result there could be no possibility of parties, and there could be no possibility of parties, and there could be no resistance to their demand.”

That is, it seems to us, a very good line of conduct, perfectly in keeping with common sense.

You will never be able to put everybody in agreement around a ballot box. But you could fairly well put everybody in agreement on the results to request from politics, if you make it a point to set these results in the order of their universality and urgency: economic security, a sufficient amount of goods today and guaranteed for tomorrow, the freedom for each one to choose his occupation and lifestyle. Everybody wants these things; and, as Douglas points out, even those who do no want them for others, want them for themselves.

Why then centralize attention and turn activities toward the ballot box, toward the thing that divides, instead of applying oneself to effectively uniting everybody around requests over which everybody can be in agreement?

Never was an important reform obtained by the formation of a new political party. Most of the time, the party established in view of a major reform dies because of electoral failure; and if, by chance, it comes to power, it finds so many obstacles that it finally stands still and has no other objective than to stay in power without doing any more than the traditional parties. To overcome the obstacles, it lacked a strength: that of a people sufficiently enlightened, and sufficiently formed in the political field.

Besides, a reform cannot come out from an election. It results from a natural and democratic way, from the maturation of a well-cultivated key idea; it results from its acceptance, its request, by a sufficient number of people to create a general will, expressed without being tied up to the hazards of electoral results.

Social Credit will enter into the country's legislation when it will have become the object of a general request, asserted so much that all political parties will welcome it into their programs. To confine it into a political party is to link its fate to the electoral fate of that party. And it can mean moving backward instead of forward. Thus, in New Zealand, the party called "Social Credit", which got 11 per cent of the votes in the 1954 elections, got only 7 per cent in the following elections. One could certainly give many explanations to this tumble; they will only serve to prove that to tie up the fate of Social Credit to the ballot box is not to put the cause of Social Credit into a very reliable train.

A new idea is spread through propaganda, it takes roots through study. The newer the idea and greater its repercussions, the more its propagation and implantation call for efforts, usually for time also, but always for perseverance. The cause that propagates this idea has much more need of apostles than members of parliaments.

There is no need to look outside of the country, nor to go back very far into history, to fend the failures of parties conceived in view of a reform or reforms. The Province of Quebec supplied several examples in less than one generation.

In all these adventures, the founders relied on a fast electoral success. The people's political education mattered little or none at all. From the people, one sought the vote, that is all. And because the expected electoral success did not come about, they stopped all activity.

It was the fate of the "Action Liberale Nationale". It was the fate of the "Bloc Populaire". There were a few other attempts also, of less importance except in the minds of their authors.

The instigators of new parties no doubt consider that the people's political education would take too much time, if however they ever thought about it. A quick vote seemed to be a more normal method and, especially, a faster one to them. The result: tombstones, which are not even visited by those who supported these defunct parties. A fair number of these gentlemen have since kindly settled down under the wings of traditional parties that they had yet eloquently denounced.

One must build up the people's strength, so that their weight on the governments exceeds the strength of the financial powers. It is not in a parliament that one builds up the people's strength. It is where the people are — outside of parliaments. And it is the place of a true Social Credit Movement.

 


 

The Social Crediter in front of an election

(Taken from “Vers Demain”, March 1, 1958)

Where is the importance of an election in comparison to the importance of the work we are dealing with?

We, of the Pilgrims of Saint Michael, bustle about the whole year round, and fruitfully, being busy improving the conditions of the multitude. And we have to do it, not only without the support of politicians, but often frustrated by them. When an election comes along, would we be stupid enough to give even a fragment of our time, or spend one sole penny, to deal with the fate of politicians? Our activities are too sacred to debase them for such a mean work: it would be sheer prostitution.

There are too many people who content themselves with watching us take action, when we devote ourselves wholeheartedly and without looking for a material reward. If these people, all of a sudden, find themselves a pair of legs and a tongue when an election comes along, they can use up all their energies into it, but they most certainly cannot expect us to follow them.

Our Social Credit Movement, because it stands for real Social Credit, wants to redistribute power to individuals, those who make up the people. Individuals are found outside of parliaments. We will not depart from our mission and waste our energies to put some individuals on seats in parliaments where, paid by the people, they totally forget them and do nothing for them.

The Members of Parliament themselves admit that they do nothing. They are the first ones to tell you, when you go to request things for everybody: "Sorry, I am not able."

Then, is it really worth getting all excited for this joke, sending someone to sit down on a seat of incapability ?

It is not the members of parliament who can mark out the government's way. It is marked out by the invisible government, not subject to elections. Only a major, steady and increasing pressure can cause the government to escape from the powers which dominate it today.

The only strength capable of effectively putting this pressure on is the strength of an informed, united and determined people that imperatively requests results.

Who can build up such a strength? Those who are working at it, the active Social Crediters. Where can they build it up? Outside of the Parliament, since it is outside of the Parliament that the people are.

Therefore, during the election campaign, the Social Crediters, the true ones, carry on with their day-to-day work, next to the people and for the people. If a candidate goes by, let us shout our program to him, and let us refuse to listen to his. It is not for the one who is paid to decide what he will do: the orders must come from those who pay.

But, above all, let us not forget that it is the politicians' fate, and not that of the people, that is at stake during the election campaign. Let us let the politicians thrash about: it is their turn. And they can thrash about without us. As for us, let us keep up our noble mission.

 


 

Douglas and electioneering

(Taken from “Vers Demain”, November 1, 1958)

The Social Credit Secretariat, an organism founded by Major Douglas himself, has republished an address given by the founder of Social Credit, on March 7, 1936. That day, Douglas was not speaking to the general public, but to Social Crediters.

In that address, Douglas recommends a policy of pressure, and strongly condemns the methods of political parties, especially that of a "Social Credit" party. He condemns this method, not only because it is doomed to failure before it starts, but also because it is to link the beautiful thing which Social Credit is to politics and the ballot box. Douglas goes as far as to say:

“If you elect a Social Credit party, supposing you could, I may say that I regard the election of a Social Credit party in this country as one of the greatest catastrophes that could happen.”

The proper function of a Member of Parliament, explained Douglas, is to receive and pass on to the government the expression of the legitimate will of its constituents. The proper function of a government is to receive this demand and order the experts to follow it up (the experts, therefore the financiers for financial matters). One must not tell these experts how to go about it, but point out the result to achieve and demand this result.

And the people's role is to become aware of objectives that they commonly want and to express this will to their representatives. It is where it must begin, from where it must be set off, with the electors. Therefore, instead of put­ting the importance on the elected representative, one must put it on the electors.

In Douglas's words:

“If you agree that the object of sending a set of men to Parliament is to get what you want, then why elect a special set of men, a special party at all? The men who are there should get you what you want — that is their business. It is not their busi­ness to say how it is to be got. How things are done is the responsibility of the expert.”

The experts must be told what the citizens want, and this demand must come from the citizens themselves.

Electioneering has perverted the sense of democracy. All the political parties can do is to divide people, weaken their strength and lead them to disappointments. To add a new party can only add another disappointment under another name. A disappointment all the more disastrous if the adventure drags with it the term of an excellent cause like that of Social Credit.

Douglas also wrote in 1951:

“Incompatibles (with Social Credit): Collectivism, Dialectic Materialism, Totalitarism, Masonic Philosophy and Policy. Ballot­box democracy embodies all of them.”

 


 

A “party”, the opposite of Social Credit

(Taken from “Vers Demain”, January 15, 1962)

A true Social Crediter cannot be a party man. Party and Social Credit are two terms which exclude one another, by their very nature and definition.

Thirst for power

A political party organizes a group around politicians to try to come to power. Social Credit views power redistributed to the individuals: economic power, by the guarantee of a dividend allowing each individual to order from production the goods he needs; political power, in making the State the property of the individuals, instead of the individuals the property of the State.

The party system leads the citizens to put their confidence in a group of politicians. Social Credit teaches the citizens to take on their responsibilities and, in politics, to make themselves the governments' supervisors and conscience.

A political party divides the people, by forming a group to struggle against other groups that seek the same power; and any division weakens. Social Credit unites the citizens around common, fundamental aspirations, and invites them to unite their demands so that the governments may implement these demands, whatever the party in power. If the people are not strong enough to put a government at the service, it is not the government that must be changed, but the people that must be made more powerful; this certainly cannot be achieved by dividing, but by uniting.

With power, constraint

A political party wants power, therefore the right to use force, because power is exercised by administrative, legislative, executive measures which compel under fear of punish­ment. It is the opposite of Social Credit, which loathes compulsion, and advocates inducement. Social Credit loathes what is compulsory, and stands for freedom of choice; now, everything which comes from the government is compulsory.

The Social Crediter who pledges allegiance to a party, of whatever denomination, for the conquest of power, shows by this that he is not really a Social Crediter, even if he bears the name and even though he would know the monetary propositions of Social Credit very well. He is somewhat like a Christian who, while knowing the teachings of the Gospel very well, even to the point of being able to present them to others, would behave according to a spirit exactly contrary to it.

For the candidates or the people?

No, it is not a party, it is not election campaigns that will ever make people Social Crediters. The parties exist to try to put their members into parliaments, therefore to make election campaigns. And the election campaigns are made for the candidates, not for the people. During an election campaign, it is not the politicians who are working for the people, it is the people who are made to work for the candidates seeking power. The election campaigns can bring something to the candidates, they give nothing to the people. Election campaigns are not a concern of the people, they are a concern of the politicians.

For a powerful people

The financial power did not come about suddenly, and it will not disappear suddenly. It is firmly established today; and it is certain­ly not X's written on ballots every three, four or five years that will dislodge it from its entrenchments. Only one strength can face it that of a whole people, of a people sufficiently informed and united to demand the change that is essential in the financial system.


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