"Full Employment" — a materialistic policy

on Sunday, 01 July 1956. Posted in Social Credit


Pope Pius XII, 1950:

"Men have only exaggerated mass production and exploitation to the point of exhausting all ressources above, below or on the surface of the earth... In the face of the pressing duty in the field of social economy of balancing production and consumption, wisely measured according to the needs and dignity of men, the problem of the ordering and establishment of this economy, in so far as production is concerned, is today of prime importance. We must not look for a solution... in the equally artificial formalism of 'full employment'...".

The Anglican Bishop of Oxford, in a statement with which a number of Anglican Bishops have associated themselves, as reported in the November 5, 1955, issue of "Voice", journal of the Christian Campaign for Freedom in England:

"... Providing that enough work is done to sustain the common life of the nation, I do not see any reason to regret these changes, insofar as they have brought more leisure to more people.

"Work for work's sake is not a Christian maxim. We work in order to live. To reverse this principle, would be to suggest that man is a mere producing or organising machine, which must indeed have a rest sometimes, but merely as a biological necessity, in order once again to go to work efficiently. Man's life, in any Christian view, is something far greater and more profound than his capacity to produce goods or organise their production.

"Freedom from unnecessary work is something to be welcomed and even extended as far as possible. But this, like all forms of freedom, brings its responsibilities. If leisure may be defined as the time we have free from prescribed duties, we have to give some thought to how this time is to be used. Our time is given us on trust; there is a limited amount of it; this is one of the conditions of our life here as God has given it. Perhaps the danger today is that so many people are thinking of life solely in terms of work and amusement..."

Dr. Rumble, well-known Roman Catholic of Australia (in a report in "The Catholic Weekly" of November 3, 1955):

"What is meant by automation is that, by means of machines, there will be more and more production with less and less personal work required of men. If such labour as is required — and always there will be some required — is suitably distributed, one can imagine an age coming in which a two-hour week will replace a 48-hour week. I say that one can imagine such a state of affairs, however exaggerated such a conjecture may be.

"It would mean, of course, an enormous increase of leisure for the mass of humanity, no longer needing to be fully employed in producing essential goods. Financially, some kind of national dividend would have to be made to enable all to buy at least a sufficient share of the automatically-produced goods to provide a living.

"Now there is no particular moral principles opposed to such a prospect. From the moral point of view, all that can be said is that people would have to devise for themselves healthy mental and physical occupations to fill in the additional leisure such freedom from necessary employment might make possible...

"Undoubtedly one basic law of Christianity is self-denial. But such self-denial is possible always and everywhere, in many different ways, whether in personal self-discipline, or self-sacrifice on behalf of others... Christians are bound, of course, to forms of self-denials in various ways, but work is not necessarily one of those ways."

Daniel Rops, famous French historian and a catholic, writing in "Christianity and Freedom":

"We find ourselves, thanks to the machine revolution, presented by a hitherto undreamed-of opportunity, a chance unique in all human history. It is the opportunity to free man from all brutalizing labour, from all his most painful material tasks. Shall we be able to seize it?...

"Christian teaching presupposes a very definite organisation which I might characterize thus: a regime that is wholly directed to the human. I feel very deeply that if the human person is to be truly free, the whole system of economy must be directed in the interest of man.

"Yes, the aim of an economic regime, is not to increase production for production's sake, nor to increase capital; nor is it to give special advantage to this or that trade union. Its aim should be to make it possible for man to dwell on this earth at ease, in harmony and brotherhood; in the language of the economist, that means a consumer's regime... If freedom is now withering and threatened with extinction, we know the reason. It is because it is impossible for it to live in a materialistic climate where there are no moral principles."

"The New Times", a fortnightly paper of Australia, has published in a brochure form the statements of which the above are quotations, and adds:

"... God's bounty is as much expressed in man's inventiveness as in nature's harvest. Both are God's creation.

"We hold services of harvest thanksgiving, but we do not pray that God in his harvest bounty shall consider only the 'working class'... Someday, perhaps, we may recover from our present blindness and ingratitude and hold services of thanksgiving for God's-bounty in man's inventiveness.

"Someday — but not today. Today the 'work' mentality holds sway, as is only too well justified in a society which insists that unless a man obtains a paid job, he shall only eat bread as a concession. Everyone is in the grip of the "fear of unemployment and 'insecurity of old age'. And so long as the 'work' mentality persists, we have no right to blame Trade Unions for their restrictive practices, bureaucrats for discouraging enterprise and initiative, or even the armament trusts for their plentiful provision of 'paid jobs'. Without such 'make-work', how would our population find 'empayment'?

"Work for work's sake is not a Christian maxim", says the Bishop of Oxford. But it is a Marxist, Communist maxim. A sane Christian society would regard automation as yet another proof of God's bounty and account it a further addition to its national credit — a further increase of its cultural inheritance, from which its people, as lawful heirs, had a right to receive financial incomes additional to and outside the wage and salary system. The 'unemployed' would then cease to be the disinherited, and education could be focused as much upon creative leisure as upon technical efficiency...

"The Churches should be the voices of authority in this matter. The whole Christian community should give this matter the utmost prominence. No one else will do it. If it is not done, and the 'work for work's sake' mentality continues unabated, a Communist dictatorship is a certainty in the not too distant future.

"Communism will come upon us will appear to be inevitable — not through the machinations of spies and traitors, but through our own rejection of God's gifts and our perversion of God's Law. And the greatest possible perverision of that Law is the turning of man, made in the image of God, intended for the glory of God and the relief of man's estate, into an instrument of power policies."

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