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"Democracy Begins with Me"

on Wednesday, 01 December 1954. Posted in Social Credit

The author of this article is a 13 year old Canadian boy, Richard Yvonne, son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Yvonne, now living at Stratford, Ont. He came first in a Canadian Legion's public speaking for children. The Yvonne family, as far as we know, is in no way connected with the Social Credit movement. But the Christian education received and absorbed by young Richard makes him meet the Social Credit philosophy, which, like Christianity, affirms the value of the individual. The boy is a Maritimer, being born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, where he attended St. Joseph's School until Grade three. He is presently a student at Stratford's St. Basil's School.

These notes on Richard Yvonne and the text of his article, reproduced here, are taken from the May 29, 1954, issue of the Canadian weekly "The Ensign":

There is an old saying: "The proof of the pudding is in the eating." And the proof that a system of government is good is this: all the citizens enjoy freedom and security.

What do we mean by freedom and security? We mean that a man is regarded as an intell. igent, reasonable, and responsible human being, who therefore has the right to run his own life with as little outside interference as possible.

There is no sense in saying that man is free and secure if he can't make a move without an elaborate array of planners, expert counsellors and welfare officials pouncing on him to decide the work he should do, the place where he should live, the kinds of food he should eat, the provision he should make for his old age, or the type of education he should give his children.

A free man has rights which antidates the State. Such rights are freedom to worship God, freedom to rear and educate his own children, freedom to choose his own trade or profession, freedom to own his own little plot of land. That is, he has a right to be protected from the whims and tyrannies of ruling parties or powerful interests. He is considered to have enough common sense and native ability to attend to the business of life with reasonable success.

Democracy is the system of government that most nearly achieves this ideal. It regards the individual as the heart of society. But the heart must be sound if the body is to function properly. So a society that is good must be made up of good men, of men who know their ultimate goal and how to achieve it and who, therefore, are capable of moulding a society which will serve the real needs of humanity.

If I want to do my part in making Canada a fit dwelling for free men, I have to become the sort of man who will be strong in defence of the right and ever ready to fight against the wrong.

How can I achieve this high destiny?

In the first place, it is plain I must know the difference between right and wrong. How can I make the good choice unless I have a permanent standard by which to judge my actions? I need religious instructions, so that I can govern my conduct by the law of God.

Not so long ago, Churchill and Roosevelt gave us eight points by which to remake the world. Who remembers these eight points to day? Would Churchill himself uphold them with his life? But where God's law is recognized, man's rights are secured.

The Ten Commandements can still keep the universe running straight. Their violation still upsets the good order and happiness of the world.

In the second place, I must be ready to accept responsibility for my actions. How can I be free without free-will? In order to exercise this God-given gift, I must have liberty of action. For if the welfare State, the trade union, the educational experts, the controlled press, move me here and there like a puppet, will I be concerned about the results of my actions? Will I even have any say in them?

But liberty of action demands self-discipline, otherwise my activities could become a menace to myself and others. Therefore, I have to develop the habit of saying "no" to pleasant things which would harm myself or others, and the habit of saying "yes" to things which go against the grain, but which are good and useful.

Thirdly, I have to develop my power to think, to sift the true from the false, to form good judgments. This is the only way I can safeguard myself and my country against propaganda and indoctrination of false ideals. I must see that I get the education which will make it possible for me to improve the world, and not just the sort of training which will lead me to find a comfortable place in things as they are. This means that I will have a proper understanding of Canada's glorious past, and will try to build Canada's future on the achievements of these sturdy pioneers who carved the first homes out of the Canadian wilderness. For States are not made out of stone and wood, of wheat fields or uranium mines, but out of the characters of their citizens.

So ours for a greater Canada, through greater Canadians?


War for Peace?

From "Unconditional Hatred", by Capt. Russell Grenfell:

"The former strong American instinct for the strict avoidance of foreign entanglements seems to have given place to the almost opposite urge for the United States to push its way into any outside trouble, wherever in the world it may occur.

"Thus, although American troops are garrisoning Europe and campaigning in Korea, there seems to be an anxiety in American governmental quarters for them to be fighting in Indo-China and Malaya as well. But it is hard to see what vital American interests require such action in the latter areas; or, for that matter, in Korea either.

"It cannot be overemphasized that national interests are the only valid factors to justify going to war. Unfortunately, once involved in any wor, even a cold war, democratic politicians tend to be carried away by idealistic rhetoric which turns them into champions of humanity and world reformers..

"World reform is, however, the very worst of all objects to be sought by war. For major war never makes the world better, but always worse.

"Therefore, to seek the'betterment of the common man'and such like beatific concepts by getting masses of common men, women and children killed, maimed, and rendered homeless, is nonsensical.

"That is one reason why the slogan often heard since 1939, that nations have a duty to fight for this or that cause, is so deplorable. No country has a natural duty to fight anywhere or to kill anybody. If there is any moral duty at all in this connection, it is not to fight and not to kill." (Emphasis added.)

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