For twenty years now the Social Credit movement as represented presently by the Union of Electors, has been striving, by word of mouth and through its publications, to eradicate, from the minds of people the idea that elections are the alpha and omega of democracy, that without elections it is impossible to realize Social Credit.
It is quite true that, under the influence of a number of election-minded individuals in the ranks of our movement and egged on by the political party which had been founded in the West under the name of "Social Credit"; we did put forth a valiant effort to seat Social Crediters in the federal house at Ottawa and to elect Crediters to the Quebec legislature in 1948. The unhappy results are well known. Not only did we go down to a resounding electoral defeat but our movement was weakened to a point where it took several years to testore it to its previous vigor. And there are adherents of the election group who are still sunk in the depths of discouragement after the defeat, lamenting that Social Credit will now never become a reality.
True enough, Social Credit will never become a reality through the election method. Not here in Canada nor anywhere else, for that matter. Many years ago we could lend our ears to the arguments in favor of the electoral method. However we have not lost sight of the end in the means; we have put to use the experience we have gained during twenty years of varied and incessant endeavors. Thus it is that we have definitely turned our backs upon a method of procedure which in itself is completely useless as far as a reform movement of the scope of Social Credit is concerned; a movement whose amplitude we have never ceased probing and exploring, since we are not blinded by greed for honors or material gain.
And the results have justified our policy. Since we have taken a very definite stand with respect to elections and since those who weakened our movement through their political ambitions have removed themselves from our ranks — not without considerable noise and tumult — we have been strengthened immeasurably and have made great progress in our activities, always in complete conformity to the philosophy of Social Credit.
— But then we must have some means of choosing those who will administer the country as a whole as well as the provinces!
— So, you must have elections!
—Elections or some other equivalent procedure. Whether we employ elections with universal suffrage or with a selected, restricted suffrage; whether all the people vote or only an elected college of electors, the method is not of great importance. All that is necessary is to decide upon some means whereby the administrators will be selected.
— Well, aren't the administrators important. enough? Why not get Social Crediters elected to the posts of administrators?
— Precisely because it is a question of administration and not of reform. Social Credit is a reform, reform on a vast scale, and not just administration.
— Yes, but it is parliament that makes the laws. Consequently you must have a Social Credit parliament, if you are going to legislate Social Credit laws.
— Social Credit is not a matter of laws; it does not arise from laws. Social Credit is a concept of economic life. It is a concept bearing upon the distribution of wealth; a concept looking upon money and other such instruments as means and not as ends in themselves. Now, a concept or an ideal can never be realized, can never prevail until it has thoroughly penetrated into the collective mind and heart of society. It must become a part of the way of thinking. It cannot be legislated into existence. It is a part of culture, a way of looking at life. It is the application of this philosophy to the facts of life, and to the relationships between all men. It is propagated by men among men.
Those individuals who call themselves Crediters and yet are continually seeking political power, go diametrically against the philosophy of Social Credit. They might possibly have a certain knowledge of the economic and financial techniques proposed by Social Credit (the national dividend, the compensated price) as means to realizing the end of Social Credit philosophy. But a knowledge of the philosophy itself they have completely missed since they think in terms of acquiring power. The true Social Crediter thinks like an apostle; he conceives of Social Credit activity as an apostolate whereby the philosophy of Major Douglas is diffused far and wide thus infusing society with a true Social Credit culture. Those obsessed by elections and the acquisition of power are not living like Crediters but like politicians. In effect they are politicians and hence cannot possibly be true Social Crediters.
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We might do well to consider how the Church brought the barbaric peoples of Europe from a state of paganism to Christian civilization. This was not accomplished by passing a law. The Church had to put forth prodigious, and unrelenting efforts over a long period of time, not only to make the gospel known to the people but to bring them to live a social life in accordance with the precepts of this gospel.
To achieve this end the Church was not satisfied merely to preach and to teach. It had to plant the seeds of Christian morals and a Christian way of life in this pagan society. To this end it formed, among other things, in the centers of populations, groups of men and women who practiced Christian virtues. They were the yeast which leavened the masses.
We firmly believe that it is in this manner that a new concept of economic order, in perfect accord with the spirit of Christianity, will eventually make Social Credit a reality, impregnate the manners and ways of thinking of men with its philosophy and regulate the relations between men in accordance with what is noblest in man. When Social Credit philosophy has sufficiently permeated the mass of mankind and resulted in the formation of a Social Credit culture, then will come legislation which will bring into effect the monetary and financial techniques of Social Credit.
This is the aim of the Institute of Political Action which directs the Social Credit movement known as the Union of Electors. The movement that it has originated and which it fosters and makes to grow, is a lay organization but there are overtones of the spirit which animated and gave greatness to the religious orders which were the hard core of Christianity. "A political brotherhood setting before itself the principle of respect for the human individual and for the spiritual force of evangelical charity" (L'Humanisme Integral by Jacques Maritain, p. 288 and following); its members striving to realize in their lives, as much as this is possible in a world such as we live in, the Social Credit principles which they teach.
The active members of the institute of Politicat Action — that is, those men and women who give themselves to some degree or other to laboring for the specific ends laid down by the Institute are more and more convinced of the efficacy of this manner of working to advance the cause of a Social Credit civilization. In a way they form one great family. During their frequent get-togethers either in congresses, Institute-days, reunions in private homes, local assemblies, or in their sorties as teams to solicit subscriptions from door to door, this spirit is manifest. It is a spirit which they attempt to make felt in their respective milieus, and it is this spirit which has brought more than one new recruit into the ranks of our active workers.
This is the life of a Crediter. This is the Social Credit civilization which Crediters are building up, slowly but surely.
Those who, under the name of Social Credit, work directly contrary to the idea of Social Credit philosophy in that they pursue their own ambitions for power, working to divide the people to their own interests by forming another political party are not builders but destroyers! These are adversaries of true Social Credit. And they are its worst adversaries for they cover themselves with the mantel of Social Credit and seek to entice those who belong to the authentic movement into following them in their wildgoose chase.
For too long now, the people have placed all their confidence in elections instead of in themselves, in their attitude towards and their activity in politics between elections. Our movement — the journal, The Union of Electors, the Institute of Political Action, our formula of the Union of Electors — works to rid the people of this obsession for elections. Those who, under the guise of Social Credit, work to retain and accentuate this obsession are traitors, traitors to the people they pretend to serve by taking power for themselves, and traitors to the cause of Social Credit.