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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), The True Meaning of Social Credit

The True Meaning of Social Credit? - Chapter 2

To rely on a party is a delusion

The implementation of Social Credit would establish a true democracy: An economic democracy that would give each consumer the right to order, from the productive system, the products he requires to satisfy his basic needs. And a political democracy insofar as the people could express to their elected representatives, to their governments, what they expect of them and demand results. (Demos, people; kratein, to reign. — Democracy: the people’s sovereignty.)

All Social Crediters, even the least informed, know that supreme power is, at present, not exercised by either the people nor by their leaders, but by a financial clique. Statesmen such as Gladstone, Wilson, and others have said this explicitly. In 1935, Mackenzie King promised the greatest battle of all times “between the financial powers and the people.” A battle he did not engage in, no doubt because he considered the financial powers were too strong and the people too weak.

The people are weak indeed; and it is understandable that they be 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 matters, those who are stirring before them divide them into political factions that fight one another. Adding a faction will not create unity, the unity they need for their empowerment, whereas division increases their weakness.

 

Clifford Hugh DouglasClifford Hugh Douglas

 

 It is a man of genius, Clifford Hugh Douglas, who discovered the great truth that is Social Credit; it is he who founded the Social Credit School. As relates to democracy, he must have known the meaning of Social Credit far better than our own intellectual midgets who want to use Social Credit as a banner in their quest for power, or at least as a platform for their wiggling in their sarch for a seat in Parliament.

In a lecture given in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on March 19, 1937, Douglas declared that there are, 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 party system, but in weakening it. To render the parties that now exist inoffensive, not by creating another division within the people, but by uniting the citizens, all of the citizens, irrespective of party, so they might express their common will to their elected representatives, whoever they may be or whatever their political color. The focus must be placed on what goes on between elections, when the fate of the citizens is being decided, rather than during election time when it is the politicians' fate that is at stake.

To unite the citizens, and for this to happen, to begin by making them understand that they all want the same basic things; then to convince them that by joining together to obtain what they all want, they will inevitably get it.

It was Major Douglas who added on another occasion, in Liverpool, on October 30, 1936:

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 resistance to their demand.”

This appears to be a very good line of conduct, perfectly in keeping with common sense.

You will never bring people to agree around a ballot box. But you should be able to bring them to agree on the results to be expected of politics, if you make it a point to set these results in the order of their universality and urgency: economic security, i.e the guarantee that one will get enough goods today as well as tomorrow, the freedom for everyone to choose an occupation and a lifestyle. Everyone wants these things; and, as Douglas points out, even those who do no want them for others, will want them for themselves.

Why then centralize attention and turn activities toward the ballot box, toward the thing that divides, instead of applying ourselves to effectively unite everyone around requests over which everyone can agree?

Important reforms were never obtained by starting a new political party. Most of the time, the party established in view of a major reform dies because of electoral defeat; and if, by chance, it comes to power, it finds so many obstacles on its path that it finally grinds to a halt and has no other objective than to stay in power, without having done any more than the traditional parties. To overcome the obstacles, it lacked a power, the power of a people sufficiently enlightened and sufficiently formed politically.

Besides, a reform cannot come out of an election. It results, in a natural and democratic way, from the maturation of a well-cultivated key idea; it results from its acceptance, from its being requested, by a sufficient number of people to create a general demand, which is expressed without being bound 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, so widely asserted that all political parties will welcome it into their programs. To confine Social Credit to 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, only got 7 per cent in the following election. One could certainly give many explanations to this tumble; they will only serve to prove that to tie the fate of Social Credit to the ballot box does not put the cause of Social Credit in very reliable hands.

A new idea is spread through propaganda, it becomes rooted through study. The newer the idea and greater its range, the more its propagation and implantation call for efforts, for time also, but for perseverance, always. The Cause that propagates this idea is in greater need of apostles than it is of members of parliament.

There is no need to look outside of the country, nor to go back very far into history, to find 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 rapid electoral success. The people's political education mattered little or none at all. From the people, only their vote was sought, nothing more. And because the expected electoral success was not ahieved, they foiled.

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 they ever gave it any thought. For them, a quick election seems to be a more normal and faster method. The result: tombstones that 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 they had previously denounced with much eloquence.

The people's power must be increased, so that the pressure they exercise on governments might exceed that of the financial powers. It is not in parliaments that people will be empowered. This can only happen outside of parliaments. And this is where a true Social Credit Movement must be found.

 

The Social Crediter Before an Election

(“Vers Demain”, March 1, 1958)

What is the importance of an election when compared to the the work we do?

We, the Pilgrims of Saint Michael, keep busy year round — having some results— at improving the conditions of the whole population. And we have to do so, without the support of politicians, and often opposed by them. When an election comes along, would we be stupid enough to give a minute of our time, or spend a single penny to improve the fate of politicians? Our activities are too sacred to debase them with such menial work: it would be sheer prostitution.

There are too many people who are satisfied with watching us take action while we devote ourselves wholeheartedly and without lseeking a material reward. If these people should grow a pair of legs and a tongue when an election comes along, they can get involved to their heart’s content but they certainly can’t expect us to follow in their wake.

Our Social Credit Movement, because it truly stands for Social Credit, wants power to be redistributed to the individuals who make up a people. These individuals are found outside of parliaments. We will not depart from our mission and waste our energy to find some seats in parliament for some individuals who will take the people’s money and then forget that they ever existed.

The Members of Parliament readily admit that they can do nothing. They are the first ones to tell you, when you ask them something that would benefit everyone: "Sorry, I can’t do anything."

Is it really worth getting excited for such a farce: to send someone to sit on the seat of someone who is not capable?

It is not the members of parliament who can stake out the government's path. It is staked out by an invisible government that is not subject to elections. Only a substantial, a steady and increasing pressure can cause the government to escape the powers that dominate it today.

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

Who can build up such a power? Those who work at it, the Social Crediters who are active. Where can this power be built? Outside of Parliament, since it is outside Parliament that the people are found.

Therefore, during the election campaign, the Social Crediters, the true ones, carry on with their day-to-day work, amongst the people and for the people. If a candidate crosses our path, let us hand him our program, and let us refrain from listening to his. Orders must come not from the one who gets paid, but from the ones who do the paying.

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 the politicians thrash about: it is their turn to do so. But let them thrash about without us. As for us, let us keep up our noble mission.

 

Douglas on Electioneering

(“Vers Demain”, November 1, 1958)

The Social Credit Secretariat, an organization founded by Major Douglas, re-edited a speech he gave on March 7, 1936. On that day, Douglas was addressing a group of Social Crediters.

Douglas recommends a policy of pressure and strongly condemns the political party method, especially that of a “Social Credit” party. He condemns this kind of effort, not only because it is doomed to failure from the start, but because it binds the beautiful thing that Social Credit is, to ballot box politics. Douglas goes so 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, Douglas explained, 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 up on it (the experts, meaning the financiers for financial matters). One is not to tell these experts how to go about it, but to point out the result to be achieved and insist that the result be reached.

And the role of the people is to become aware of the objectives that they collectively want met, and to express this will to their representatives. This is where things must begin. This is where the process must originate, at the electors level. Instead of giving the elected representative all the importance, it must be given to 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 meaning of democracy. The only thing political parties can achieve is to divide the people, to weaken them and to lead them to disappointments. To add a new party can only add another disappointment under a new name. A disappointment all the more disastrous if the adventure drags down with it the name 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

(“Vers Demain”, January 15, 1962)

A true Social Crediter cannot be a party man. Political parties and Social Credit are two expressions that exclude each other, by their nature and meaning. 

Thirst for power 

A political party organizes a group of people around some politicians to try to gain power. Social Credit conceives power as being redistributed to the individuals: Economic power is to be guaranteed by a dividend that allows each individual to order the goods he needs, from production; political power, by making the State the property of the people rather than people being the property of the State.

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

Political parties divide the people, by forming a group that fights against other groups to gain the same power; but all divisions weaken. Social Credit unites the citizens around common, fundamental aspirations, and invites them to unite their voices so that the governments may implement their demands, whatever the party in power. If a population lacks the strength to make a government serve the people, it is not the government that needs to be changed, but the people that must be empowered; this will not be achieved by dividing, but through uniting. 

With power, comes constraint 

A political party seeks power, therefore the right to compel, because power is exercised by administrative, legislative, executive measures that compel under fear of punishment. This is the opposite of Social Credit, which loathes constraints and advocates inducement, according to Douglas. Social Credit loathes what is compulsory and stands for freedom of choice; but everything that comes from government is compulsory.

The Social Crediter who pledges allegiance to a party, whatever its denomination, in its quest for power, shows by this that he is not really a Social Crediter, even if he bears the name and whether he might know well the monetary propositions of Social Credit. This reminds us of a Christian who, while knowing very well the teachings of the Gospel, even to the point of being able to teach them to others, would behave according to a spirit that is their exact opposite.

For the candidates or for the people?

No, it is not a party, it is not election campaigns that will ever make people become Social Crediters. Political parties exist to try to put some of their members in parliaments, that is, to run 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 bring nothing to the people. Election campaigns are not concerned with the people, they are concerned with politicians.

For an empowered people

Financial power did not come about all of a sudden, and it will not disappear all of a sudden. Today, it is firmly established; and crosses made on ballots every three, four or five years will certainly not suffice to dislodge it from its entrenchments. Only one power can stand up to it, the power of a whole people, of a people sufficiently informed and united to demand that changes be made to the financial system. 

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