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What is Social Credit? Practical Christianity!

on Wednesday, 01 May 2002. Posted in Social Credit

Geoffrey DobbsHere are excerpts from a booklet published in 1981, written by Geoffrey Dobbs, of England, an early follower of the late Clifford Hugh Douglas, who was the first to explain the Social Credit Philosophy:

Please explain in simple terms, “what is Social Credit?”... Couldn't I sum up the gist of it in a single sentence? Certainly I could — even in two words: practical Christianity!... But let me expand it a little. Social Credit is a name given to a certain movement of the human mind and spirit (not an organisation) which stems originally from the mind and writings of a man of great insight and genius, the late Clifford Hugh Douglas. Its aim is to “bind back to reality” or “express in practical terms” in the current world, especially the world of politics and economics, those beliefs about the nature of God and man and the Universe which constitute the Christian Faith, as delivered to us from our forefathers, and NOT as altered and perverted to suit current politics or economics, which stem from a non-Christian source.

What is religion?

It is often the best Christians who are the most chary about getting involved in politics or economics, because experience has taught them that this commonly means putting «Caesar» before God, i.e. in modern terms giving some passionately held political or economic belief or “ideology” precedence over Christianity. Thus, if we define «religion» as that fundamental belief about the nature of things which determines and directs a man's life and behaviour (his life-policy so to speak), in such cases it is the “ideology”, whether of Left or Right or Centre, of this Party or of that, which is the man's actual religion; his Christianity is a secondary matter, a mere opinion which he favours but does not “bind back” (re-ligare) to the real world.

It was Douglas who wrote: “Christianity is either something inherent in the very warp and woof of the Universe, or it is just a set of interesting opinions.” To those who “adapt” the Faith to fit their politics or their economics, it is clearly the latter.

The pit of Social Credit Parties

I am not denying that some people who call themselves social crediters have fallen into this pit, notably those who have used the name to promote the interests of a political Party, with a certain petty success in Canada and New Zealand. The aim of a Party is «power and status for us and our group» which is quite incompatible both with Christianity and with Social Credit. It is significant that so-called «Social Credit Parties» always end by denouncing Douglas and departing further and further from anything resembling Social Credit policy...

There is all the difference in the World between changing Christianity to fit the “realities» of an artificial and man-made World, and changing the World to fit the ultimate reality of the Kingdom of God. Social crediters attempt the latter. They sometimes stray from the way, which is one reason why they need your help.

The social credit

This movement has been influencing the World for sixty years. Its effects have been widespread, but unpublicised. One of its gifts to the human mind and at least the English language is the term: the social credit (without Caps.) which is the name of something, which exists in all societies but which never had a name before because it was taken for granted. We become aware of it only as we lose it.

“Credit” is another word for «faith» or «confidence», so we can also call it the Faith or Confidence which binds any society together — the mutual trust or belief in each other without which fear is substituted for trust as the “cement” of society... Though no society can exist without some social credit, it is at its maximum where the Christian religion is practised, and at its minimum where it is denied and derided.

The social credit is thus a result, or practical expression, of real Christianity in Society, one of its most recognisable fruits; and it is the aim and policy of social crediters to increase it, and to strive to prevent its decrease. There are innumerable commonplace examples of it which we take for granted every day of our lives. How can we live in any sort of peace or comfort if we cannot trust our neighbours? How could we use the roads if we could not trust others to observe the rule of the road? (And what happens when they don’t!)

What would be the use of growing anything in gardens, farms or nurseries if other people would grab it? How could any economic activity go forward — whether producing, selling or buying — if people cannot, in general, rely upon honesty and fair dealing? And what happens when the concept of the Christian marriage, and the Christian family and upbringing, is abandoned? We see, do we not? — that Christianity is something real with desperately vital practical consequences, and by no means a mere set of opinions which are «optional» for those to whom they happen to appeal.

Of course, social crediters are not the only people who are trying to promote the social credit. Most decent, sane people instinctively do so, including many God-fearing people of other religions, and even some atheists who were brought up in Christian homes and are living on the moral capital of their parents or teachers. But social crediters are the only people who are consciously engaged in it, and know where they are going, so that they can point the way to those who are unconscious. (...)

Social Discredit

Just as there are social crediters, conscious and unconscious, trying to build up the social credit, so there are others — social discrediters — trying to destroy it and break it down, at present, with all too much success. The conscious ones include the communists and other revolutionaries, who quite openly seek to smash all the links of trust and confidence which enable our society to function until the Day of the Revolution dawns... But it is the unconscious social discrediters who are responsible, in the West, for the present success of the conscious ones....

Why do the shops and the manufacturers foist upon us so many shoddy, rubbishy, throw-away things, at outrageous prices, and trick us into buying them with clever packaging and advertising? Why are most repair services so scandalously slow, expensive and inefficient, and so many small services which made life easier now unobtainable? And above all, why do millions of decent working people of all classes take part in ironically named «industrial action» (strikes), deliberately designed to damage services to their fellow men?

Just think of the damage that has been inflicted on the public in recent years by dockers, firemen, railwaymen, miners, teachers, garbage men, ambulance drivers, hospital workers, etc. They can't be all com- munists or callous criminals! What on earth can make normal decent people descend to this spiritual level? We all know what it is. There is one common factor running through all this destructive and discreditable action: the compulsive need for more money to meet the ever-rising cost of living.

Money and the Experts

So now at last I have come to the question of money, which is what some people think that Social Credit is all about; but it isn’t! Social Credit is an attempt to apply Christianity in social affairs; but if money stands in the way, then we, and every Christian, must concern ourselves with the nature of money, and just why it stands in the way, as it surely does. There is a dire need for more people to look deeply into the operation of our monetary system, though that is not everyone's job. But when the consequences are so desperate, everyone can at least grasp the outline of what is wrong, and could be put right, which will enable them to act accordingly...

The specialist and the expert (economists and bankers) must be held responsible for devising the correct methods, while the sphere of the consumer and the public is to insist upon the results required and to replace the experts who do not deliver them, or require that our representatives do so. This works well until we come up against a monopoly of experts (probably paid by a bigger Monopoly such as the State or Big Business) who decide that they know best what we ought to have, which is invariably what we do not want, and assure us that what we do want is ridiculous or undesirable or technically impossible, even when we have had it before and know it is possible. We then have to look for honest experts, who will look into the matter technically, advise us whether it really is possible, and if so propose effective means of obtaining the desired objective.

Douglas, an honest expert

Clifford Hugh DouglasClifford Hugh Douglas

In a sense, Douglas himself was the first of these honest experts, as he used his expert knowledge of engineering, including pioneer work in automation, and in industrial accountancy, to put his finger on the defect in the financial system, and to propose effective means of correcting it... He started by simply assuming that the purpose of production was to produce what people as consumers wanted as exactly as possible with as little waste of materials, energy or human effort as was practicable.

Having drawn attention to a failing in the way money was issued and controlled which prevented this purpose from being achieved, Douglas expected that it would be honestly investigated and put right if confirmed.

Instead he found that those who controlled the economy through finance were well aware of the situation, but had quite other purposes in mind, mainly the full employment of the working lives of the whole population as hired labour, forced by the need for «pay» to carry out the purposes of those who issue and direct the flow of money (i.e. bank credit).

As Douglas pointed out, the two policies are wholly opposite and incompatible, but he soon found that in economics one is not permitted to raise questions of such a fundamental nature as «What is money, and what are industry and commerce for?» Such questions are answered, not by economics or science of any sort, but by religion, and the answers are most revealing as to the type of religion which they express. It was in this way that social crediters discovered that the plain common sense which they were trying to bring to reality was in fact Christian in origin.

What is money for?

The first point about money is that it has now ceased to consist of a material commodity, such as gold, a part of the reality of this planet, given to us freely by the Creator... As the productive power of our technology increased, there was less and less sense in restricting the distribution of its products in relation to the amount of one particular metal which was found. The substitution of a system of pure accountancy — simply numerals on paper, and nowadays, magnetic charges on computer tapes — was an enormous advance without which our industry and commerce could never have expanded as they have.

But notice the changes which have occurred! The new money, commonly called bank credit, is entirely artificial, written into existence by certain men, who have a centralised monopoly of its issue and direction. Being purely symbolic it is subject to no natural limits whatever. It is as easy to write a million as a hundred pounds. And it does not come freely into existence, but always as a debt, i.e. a loan repayable to those who issue it...

Make no mistake! Money is the means to the most complete dictatorship over human lives which has so far existed. Just consider the power that it exercises over every aspect of our society, including our own lives, and all the media and the influences and institutions that press upon us. Perhaps now you will understand why Douglas and his followers who exposed these facts about the monopoly of credit are not «acceptable» to the political parties or to the university schools of economics, or given any hearing or publicity on the national media.

If you will think it over, you will see that an economy entirely dependent upon debt-money issued in this way cannot possibly repay the debt without bringing itself to a standstill in chaos and starvation and revolution, unless, of course, it borrows more and more. That is, we are caught in a trap of irredeemable debt from which there is no escape within the rule of the present money system, that all new «credit» must be issued as debt...

It has been said that Money is the God of this World, and also that the love of money is the root of all evil (not money itself). Also that the test of loving God is that we obey His commandments. So which God do we obey most?...

golden calf

 

Plenty of God-given resources

When Our Lord was asked a trap money question; offering phoney alternatives: «Is it lawful to pay tribute to Caesar?» he refused to fall into either trap of partisanship, but re-thought it so that it could receive a true answer, and that is what we should do when confronted with the political choice between more unemployment or worse inflation. What, then, is owing to God in His created world of more than ample economic resources for all our needs and vast technological know-how inherited freely from the past inspiration of scientists and inventors by the Spirit of Truth?

Surely, it is that the choice freely offered by Him shall not be withheld or distorted by a man-made system of accountancy which ought to facilitate that choice. It should reflect, not dictate, the choices made by people, as in fact it does in a very partial and imperfect fashion.

The creation of useless jobs

There is immense confusion of thought about this, much complicated by the puritan idea that it is wrong for anyone to receive “something for nothing”, even, it seems, the gracious gifts of the Creator, handed on to us through our cultural inheritance. We should all “merit” what we receive, through our «honest sweat» for the common good in some «job», but if our labour is not needed because some technical device will do the work better, then it is demanded that useless or redundant jobs should be created in order to cheat us into a feeling of self-satisfaction and righteousness, because we imagine that we can “hold up our heads” as we are “pulling our weight” and “earning our living”.

Although in fact probably about half the “employed” population would be making a bigger economic contribution if they stayed at home, drawing the same income, and abstained from interference with the economic process, except, maybe, to look after their house and family, dig their garden, and give their neighbours or anyone else who needed it, a helping hand with those little services which have been priced out by the «employment» system; without, incidentally, flattering themselves that they were thereby «meriting» all that they were receiving...

Despite all the efforts made recently to convince us that the Earth is a poor, barren place, already grossly over-populated by a mass of witlessly proliferating humanity, in dire need of draconic regulation and control by a central World Government and a vast bureaucracy, it is abundantly clear that wherever people are free to produce without interference, and their efforts are financially rewarding, ample produce becomes available, which may become «burdensome surpluses» when purchasing power is restricted. Natural catastrophes apart, the extreme poverty and starvation in the Third World, of which we hear so much, are man made, and where not due to war, revolution or civil chaos, are due to the maltreatment of nature under financial pressure. Conservation, restoration and diversification, which offer the true, long-term economies, are always too expensive for the poor, and impossible for the debt-ridden...

Debt-free money and dividends

Debt-free credit, applied to price reduction, is the only way in which the progressive inflation inseparable from our present system of debt-financing can actually be brought to a halt without strangling the economy.

In the same way, the only possibility of liberating people from the soul-destroying burden of useless routine labour or mechanical work better done by machines, and the even more soul-destroying burden of unemployment, is by distributing the «wages of the machine» to all, not on our «merits» but as our share in the cultural inheritance. This again would require the use of debt-free credit, not in unlimited amounts, but precisely to the amount required for the cancelling of debts, and which would otherwise be met by borrowing, or by «cuts» and unemployment....

The alternative is to continue living in this money-dominated world of wholly loan-financed «employmentism» until either hyper-inflation, or mass-unemployment, drives us into desperation, revolution and the totalitarian wage-slave State. The ultimate consequences, however, are far deeper than the political or the economic.

Faith and works

How then can our aims ever be implemented — especially as Party politics or other means of imposing them upon other people are quite incompatible with them? Seek first the Kingdom — and that means returning to God's reality, and comparing it with the all-too-pressing pseudo-reality of man's money-dominated world, and taking the trouble to understand how much the Christian religion, which is in fact a part of the «warp and woof of the universe», has been corrupted and turned from its path by the implicit, unconscious acceptance of the domination of «money» with its false values, as a part of the «reality» — of the «modern, changed situation» to which, it is constantly urged, our religion must adapt itself.

Until that is put right, Christians cannot even start to restore the social credit — the faith of society; they may even be helping to destroy it. But after that, a great vista opens of hope and faith, thought and study and action. Hope, because we are not frustrated by «the nature of things», only by the corruption by power of certain men, and we know there is a way out. Faith, because it is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen; and we have the hope, and have studied the evidence; but faith without works is dead, and ours is very much alive. So that leads on to action... Every social crediter is a focus for such action among his fellow citizens, helping them and showing them how to defend or increase the social credit... There is a place for you in this adventure!

Geoffrey Dobbs