In the twentieth century, in an era of progress, man has made tremendous strides in the field of technique, but has lagged far behind in the field of ideas and philosophy. We have lost our sense of purpose. That is, we have lost sight of the true end of things; the end of politics, of economics, of life together in society, the end of governmental institutions — in fact, even of man's existence on earth, and we have turned our heads elsewhere.
Whereas in justice, everything ought to be ordered and directed towards the end of developing fully the individual human being. In fact, this individual is subjected to conditions which straitjacket him, which nail him to the hard bed of worry and care for his temporal needs, even though all about him there is a superabundance of all that he requires.
In 1941, in a radio message on Pentecost, His Holiness Pope Pius XII recalled, to a world which had forgotten it, the destination of all the temporal goods created by God for humanity as a whole and individually:
“Material goods have been created by God to meet the needs of all men, and must be at the disposal of all of them.”
And to stress that these goods are for all men, and not for simply small-privileged groups such as the owners of capital or those employed in production, His Holiness added:
“Every man, inasmuch as he is endowed with reason, has by the fact of his nature, the fundamental right to use the goods of earth... Such an individual right cannot in any way be suppressed by the exercise of other rights, certain and acknowledged, over material goods.”
But how are we to arrange the distribution of goods so that they will achieve this end? That, says the Pope, is the affair of individual human communities which must, through their legislation, achieve “the realization of the individual right of each person to a share in material goods.” The realization, and not the ignorance nor the suppression of that right.
Social Credit, especially through its proposal of a periodic dividend for each citizen, with no other condition attached to it than that the individual be born and not yet dead, has made the most concrete and practical suggestion whereby each citizen will be assured of a sufficient share in the material production of his country. This dividend, in a country which is actually or potentially wealthy, as is Canada, should be large enough to insure the individual a decent living.
And this, as Major Douglas, the Scottish engineer who founded the school of Social Credit, says, would simply be placing economic policy at the service of a philosophy. Of what philosophy? Of a philosophy born of Christianity itself!
Two opposite philosophies
We can say that there are two philosophies confronting one another in the world today: a spiritual Christian philosophy on the one hand and, on the other, a materialistic pagan philosophy.
The Christian philosophy teaches us that God is our Creator. He is, therefore, our Father since we are His creatures.
Now, God calls us to the supernatural life. He calls us to participate, through grace, in His divine life. Thus, by another title, do we become children of God, members of the Mystical Body of Christ.
From this belief, it should logically follow that the relationship between men as individuals and as groups of individuals should be dominated by a philosophy of brotherhood.
Now, a civilization is nothing more than the incarnation of the ethical and metaphysical values which exist in the customs and the institutions of society. A philosophy of brotherhood, based upon Christianity, if it enters into, if it is incarnated in, the habits and institutions of a society, makes of this society a truly Christian civilization.
Do we live in one? Do our economic institutions, among others, reflect this philosophy of brotherhood? And what about our financial institutions? Does our financial system, which dominates our economic life rather than serving it, reflect a spirit of brotherhood? Or is it not true that far too often we see in it all the elements of a pagan and materialistic philosophy?
Materialism does not concern itself with that which is the noblest, the most enduring, the immortal in man — his soul. Materialism sees in a man, as it does in everything else, matter, which perhaps evolves and progresses, but which passes away with time. It considers man only as a producing unit whose value is to be gauged by his ability to produce — like an animal or a machine. He is an instrument to be used by society, to be sacrificed if necessary. Institutions do not exist for man, but rather man exists for institutions. Atheistic Communism is the most advanced expression of this materialism.
Such a pagan and materialistic philosophy cannot possibly give rise to respect for the individual nor to the spirit of brotherhood among men.
The case of our civilization
We are living in a Christian country. There will scarcely be found anyone in this land who will deny that our society here in Canada is based upon and supported by Christian principles. So, at least, the majority of Canadians profess.
Consequently, we must believe that we are all brothers, since we are children of the same Father, God. The ministers of God recall this fact to our minds constantly. Their ministry is devoted in great part to attempting to make this philosophy of the brotherhood of men under God a part of our way of life. And perhaps as far as individuals are concerned, they achieve a certain degree of success.
But what about our institutions? What about our economic life? What about our political, economic, and social relationships? Is there any sign in these of this divine fraternity?
We are taught to fight for a living — like the wild animals in the jungle. The strong devour the weak, and survive. Dog eats dog. Success must be reached, regardless of what the cost may be to others.
There is a savage fight to wrench from circulation a little of the money which has actually never been put into circulation. And if someone gets something, he automatically ruins someone else.
The rules under which we live require that a human being be employed in production before he has any right to share in its products. Progress, which liberates men from the necessity of working, also liberates them from the right to a share in production. They must find a job somewhere. Hence another savage struggle for employment.
For every advance we make in the perfecting of production techniques, we must create new jobs, that is, create new forms of production, and hence give rise to new needs among men. Instead of permitting man to be liberated from the care and worry of finding his daily bread and lodging, thus leaving him free to follow nobler pursuits which will make possible the full blossoming of the individual, we busy ourselves creating new needs and appetities; we build a purely materialistic civilization — all the time calling it “Christian”. And all because we refuse to distribute freely the immense production of our system which has less and less need of human hands in order to maintain its high level of output.
This is the materialistic civilization. This is the civilization of the jungle law. This is the civilization of wolves who find themselves best served by their monopoly of money and credit when there arise bloody strifes between nations. Then, and then only, does society get something for nothing — the instruments of death which rain down from the skies!
And in our political life, which one predominates: the spirit of fraternity, or the spirit of division and quarrels? Political parties by their very nature exist for dissension and fighting rather than for collaboration and charity. The candidate who succeeds only does so at the expense of the others.
As for true Social Credit...
How different is the formula adopted by our Social Credit movement; the politics of brotherhood rather than of party politics! This is a brotherhood where all unite for the success of each. Thus, all succeed without anyone suffering in the slightest degree. Those who do the best help others to achieve their best. Each success of an apostle of our Movement makes so much easier the task of the other members of this brotherhood dedicated to the political education of the people.
But those who, under the name of Social Credit, attempt to build and push ahead a political party, fall into that very philosophy of disunity, of the dividing of the people, of the rending of the political fabric of our society. They cease to be Social Crediters. They do not serve the same philosophy as does authentic Social Credit.
The vocation of a Social Crediter is a grand vocation. As a Christian, his vocation is the same as other Christians, namely, to make Christianity a part of our habits and customs, to live the Christian policy of brotherhood. As a Social Crediter, he must work to incarnate this same philosophy of brotherhood in our political, economic, and financial institutions and, in fact, in all the institutions which comprise the body politic of our nation.
The Social Crediter understands the importance of this vocation, for in the existing economic order, individuals are obliged to practice the law of the jungle which is in direct opposition with the philosophy which they should practice — the philosophy of the brotherhood of all men under the Fatherhood of God.
It is only logical that a concept which is pagan and materialistic should lead to a pagan and materialistic economic system.
But having erected, on a Christian concept of life, a financial, economic and political order which is pagan, brutal, materi- alistic, leaving its victims strewn all along the way of life, this is a denial of that Christian concept; this is apostasy!
The Social Crediters refuse to have any part in this apostasy. They are determined to continue the fight with all their energy, helped by the grace of God, to the end that the light spread abroad by their unselfish efforts will eventually result in the building of a truly Christian civilization in which the rule of life will be the brotherhood of all men under God the Father.