This article, by the late C. Barclay-Smith, was written during the second world war, and first published in "The New Era", 19th March, 1943.
Personally, I have always felt myself under a great sense of limitation in writing or speaking on this subject. I have found it impossible to do more than scant justice to the magnitude and magnificence of such a theme, which outstrips the powers of the imagination.
The nearest parallel I can give to the philosophy of Social Credit is that of a well-cut diamond of many facets. As we turn it in our hands it reveals ever new beauty and brilliance.
And so it is when we turn over the subject of Social Credit in the mind. Its implications are of infinite possibility, giving rise to a philosophy of life that will enable a Social Credit civilisation to transcend the present one as the present one transcends the Dark Ages — that is, assuming that the present civilisation does transcend the Dark Ages.
For the Freedom of the Individual
To reduce the subject to more specific terms, the philosophy of Social Credit has to do with the freedom of the individual. Not the inverted notion of freedom so popular over those ten shameful years — the freedom to starve, the freedom to subsist on the dole, or the freedom to immolate oneself as a sacrificial offering to the God of War.
No. The freedom of the individual, in the Social Credit, sense, means something quite different. The freedom to be better bred and better fed. The freedom to develop one's powers until each one of us stands his full height, erect; proud, full-fledged and unafraid.
When we talk about the financial technique of the Social Credit proposals, we see only the ultimate beneficiary — the individual: his health, his freedom in security, his initiative, his leisure, his opportunity to grow to full perfection, his abundant life, his happiness.
It is precisely at this point that the philosophy of Social Credit differs so basically from the philosophy of socialism or communism, or capitalism or fascism. In the socialist-fascist conception of society the importance of the individual is completely dwarfed by the importance of the State. The State is the Great Panjandrum and the individual is a very small potato indeed.
Under Finance Capitalism the individual is nobody's business, except that the Salvation Army looks after the drugs.
Under the present system, the individual is merely the hapless victim of the vagaries of unhappy circumstances.
He is a defenceless target for exploitation, in his labour and in the price of the goods he buys.
The Sanctity of Human Personality
When we Social Crediters speak of the sanctity of human personality and the liberation of the human spirit we are not merely using phrases of empty rhetoric.
Those two phrases probably summarise the conception of life which we insist is so physically possible. Those two phrases provide the great contrast with all other philosophies of living.
The sanctity of human personality! Just recall how it was degraded in the days of the depression. Just notice how it is degraded today when Finance Capitalism again plunges the world into war so that there will be work for all, regimentation for everybody — and abundance and leisure for none!
In the post-war era the sanctity of human personality will either be the overriding purpose of statesmanship or civilisation will perish from the earth.
Similarly, the post-war era, to be worth living in, must witness a great liberation of the human spirit. What do we mean by this fine phrase? Simply this: every factor which now confines the human spirit, debases it, harshly disciplines it, enslaves it or crucifies it — every such factor must be removed after the war if men and women are to give of their best, achieve their better selves and grow to their full stature.
If the human spirit is bowed down, it is negative and unlovely. But if it is exalted, the latent genius and capacity for happiness of men and women are fully and freely expressed.
That is the Social Credit philosophy, of life as I see it, and for which we owe eternal gratitude to the vision and genius of C. H. Douglas.
That is the design for living which appeals to me as transcending all other conceptions.
And that is the end to which I, personally, will work until it becomes the philosophy of everyday life.