This article was written by Louis Even in 1941. It is even more relevant today:
Man’s economic activities have always tended towards producing, for his use, the goods needed to maintain and to embellish life.
Unlike the animals, man has always sought to maximize his production while limiting his efforts. In doing this, he draws benefits not only from his arms.
Through the centuries, food shortages, famines, have afflicted mankind. Communications, the means of transportation were limited. Some regions might suffer from drought and remain unable to gain access to the surpluses of the more favored regions. And, it was only yesterday that man discovered the secrets by which energy can be transformed. Prior to the invention of the steam engine, he received little help except that of his own power, of the domesticated animals, the wind and the water mills.
In times past, the problems encountered were related to production: scarcity of products. Real scarcity. Real poverty.
Nowadays, who would dare say that the world production is unable to feed, clothe and shelter all of mankind?
The world has entered into an era of plenty: an abundance that already exists or that can be made available at a moment’s notice. There is a surplus of manpower required for the production of the goods needed to sustain our temporal life.
If abundance does not reign in the homes, it is because it is destroyed on purpose. It is held back. Large numbers of workers are kept unemployed. Production is impeded. It is sabotaged both in times of peace and in times of war.
Among many other things, war teaches us the manifest, the immense and the potential abundance that can be had in countries all over the world. With armies equipped for destruction, with our best young people enlisted, and with the most advanced tools removed from the production of useful goods, shortage has yet to appear; people are even being paid to refrain from producing.
And what do we do today when there is no war and when production is displayed before the consumers? Mobilization is long gone; it is replaced by immobility while privation is being preached.
The old mentality of scarcity has remained in people’s minds. In the face of abundance, of true wealth, the money controllers have maintained the scarcity of money. And mankind, stopping in front of a symbol, has kept itself from drawing upon its wealth.
Those who thought they were the lights that would guide the crowds, have cried out to the crowds that they must save. Save what? Bread? But there is too much wheat! On clothing or shoes? But those who make these products are unemployed because no one buys their products! On coal? But miners only work two or three days out of the week!
No. Saving a symbol, saving money, is to accept that the scarcity of money is something worthwhile. It is to bow down foolishly before the decrees of those who barbarously starve the people. And our ruling classes are guilty of this ignorance or of this cowardice.
Modern facts call for an economy of plenty.
The problems of production and transportation now come after the problem caused by distribution.
Distribution. Not with the thought of allocating or of rationing that would befit a universe of scarcity. But easy access to the overflowing granaries. There is more than everyone needs. Why dwell upon the old socialist struggles that tend to take away from one man what he owns so as to give it to his neighbor?
You can leave the millionaire his million and give the poor an income. Will the fact that the poor eats his full take anything away from the millionaire’s table! The only effect it will have is to prevent bread from growing mouldy, and fruits from rotting.
Without exiting a country we know well, what is there lacking in Canada for each family to be properly fed, clothed, sheltered, medically tended to? Who would dare say that if each family had the right to have its basic necessities met, that there would not remain enough to fill the rich man’s stomach as much as today, to furbish and to heat the rich man’s house as well as today, to treat his fever and to teach his children as efficiently as today?
We continue thinking as though the earth was still covered with thorns and spines. It has been some twenty centuries since God made man, and His whole Church ever since, have asked the Eternal Father for their daily bread. The Eternal Father bestows abundance, and we insult Him by locking away the abundance that is kept under key by Satan’s henchmen, while the children of men are hopelessly deprived!
It is therefore an economy of plenty that is called for. It is also a social economy, an economy that guarantees that each and every member of society will receive his share of the earthly goods.
A social economy will also be a new economy, since today’s economy is not social.
A life-sustaining minimum guaranteed by legislation, as a birth right, to any man who now enters the world. Today’s abundance is mostly the result of the accumulation of human discoveries through generations. The science that is transmitted and increased accounts for more than the workers’ labor. The knowledge that is transmitted and increased is a common good.
“That each person, upon being born, might actually benefit, in some way or other, from the condition of his being the heir of previous generations”. (Jacques Maritain).
“There can be no social order until such time when the right to existence will be equal and absolute for all men; where a man, simply for being born, is owed by society an amount that has yet to be determined, but whose principle appears to be just, since it will in fact distribute the immense effort made by millions of men who have preceded us on earth, who have conquered, exploited and dominated the world of inventions.” (Daniel-Rops).
“Each person, by simply belonging to the human race, must, by one way or the other, profit from the advantages derived from the common destination of material goods in guaranteeing the well-being of all men.” (Jacques Maritain)
“For then only will the social economy be rightly established and attain its purposes when all and each are supplied with all the goods that the wealth and resources of nature, technical achievement, and the social organization of economic life can furnish.” (Pius XI)
“The goods created by God for all men must, by whatever means, reach every man.” (Pius XII).
In all of the above, it is «each and every member of society» who must obtain his share. And this share, adds Pius XI, must “be large enough to guarantee an honest subsistence.”
These texts do not specify the means to be used. “Some way or other, by one way or the other, by whatever means,” do they say.
But this does not mean to say that it must in no way be done. Social Crediters, for their part, have a clearly defined way of achieving this goal: the right to a minimum of products, recognized by placing in everyone’s hands a minimum of money, since it is money that gives access to products.
The reception of this minimum of products by each and every one will deprive no one of what he now receives, at least not in Canada. This would only stimulate a production that is at present hampered because of a lack of effective demand.
It would also give production an orientation: towards answering the needs of the families, and no longer to satisfy the designs of monopolies. With modern machinery, with modern motorization, what need is there to work on Sundays, for night-shift work, to provide the products required for an honest subsistence?
Those who, in using an artificial poverty that they themselves have created, concentrate in their hands a discretionary power upon men’s lives, will stand in the way of a movement that fosters a new economy.
Whether knowingly or not, statesmen, rhetoricians, short-sighted moralists play into the hands of the powers that be which the Pope has denounced. Too many among the elite adopt the way of intelligence instead of embracing the way of love. This might explain why, as a punishment for their behavior, their very logic sadly fails.
We firmly believe that the Social Crediters’ logic and charity will prevail.
Moreover, their method is well suited. To establish a new economy, they know the matter of money must be settled. They know also that this question can only find an answer at the political level, since it is not the use that we make of money that is at stake, but the volume of money and how it is distributed from the moment it is created.
Once they know what they need to know, the citizens of our country will agree on the goal to attain, and they will insist on being listened to. Let them agree, for example, on the following point: Let it be decreed that a basic minimum, that each man, woman and child in the country will receive a guaranteed income.
The manager they have chosen, the government, will have two choices: To implement this, or else to step down. But the government should be happy to comply. Giving everyone a basic income would be more gratifying than to mortify everyone, and a lot easier than to look for taxes where there is no money.