We doubt if there is anyone today thinking more deeply or writing more lucidly and crisply on the subject of the philosophy of Social Credit than Mr. Eric Butler of Melbourne, Australia. The article below is an excerpt from an address delivered by Mr. Butler to Melbourne Social Crediters on March 31, 1959. In this excerpt Mr. Butler outlines the role of the individual in the work of a Social Credit civilization -Ed.
Most reformers throughout history have been a curse because they have sought to impose their particular ideal upon other people. Social Credit is not concerned with reform, but with the establishment of correct relationships between individuals, and between individuals and institutions with "the release of reality', as Douglas put it. Social Crediters should therefore consider themselves primarily as Social Engineers, seeking to establish their integrity in their own community. Far too many Social Crediters have isolated themselves from their own community by their own false conception of Social Credit and their presentation. Social Credit is going to come only through re-generation and re-growth, starting first with the individual, then in every local community, and spreading from the local community to the whole community: the nation. One competent and dedicated Social Crediter in every community would be sufficient to transform a nation's life.
I am convinced that once we clearly realise that the true role of Social Crediters is to help their fellows — "to love one another" — to contact reality, and not to try and reform them, we will not only be more readily accepted in our communities, we will not experience the frustrations, often leading to pessimism and cynicism, so obvious in many Social Crediters.
When Douglas was once asked what would bring Social Credit to reality, he replied: "Events". It is the impact which Social Crediters can make upon events which will be decisive. This statement is not contradicted by the fact that there is no reasonable prospect of Social Crediters either shifting the balances of concentrated power or of by themselves breaking up this power. The development towards centralisation has reached such momentum that rather than exhaust ourselves in a hopeless endeavour to halt the momentum by a head-on collision, we should be seeking allies who may assist in bringing order out of the inevitable break-down which must develop as a result of present policies.
Social Crediters know that present policies are rooted in a philosophy of unreality, of untruth; and that they must produce increasing disintegration. Now it is under pressure of the events resulting from this disintegration, that a large number of people are going to become more receptive to the advice of Social Crediters. One of our major tasks is to ensure, therefore, that we have a sufficient number of Social Crediters throughout the community who are competent to provide advice and guidance as the present crisis worsens.
Once we grasp the full significance of Douglas famous comment that a small number of people who know what to do and how to do it will save civilization from complete collapse, we will cease to share the contemporary mesmerism concerning size and nunbers, but will give greater attention to quality and individual integrity. We will become more discriminating in presenting Social Credit policies consciously seeking those who, because they have not surrendered to the philosophy of materialism, are most likely to respond favourably to policies designed to make their philosophy real. We will cease to waste our time and create unnecessary controversy by presenting our policies to those who accept materialism or collectivism in one form or another.
Before these people can accept Social Credit policies, they must be "born again" in a very real sense. This means individual conversion and while the work of converting people to accept our philosophy should be encouraged, we must not lose sight of the fact that we must, because of lack of time in a situation that worsens daily, concentrate our attention upon those already philosophically sound and urge them to join our ranks and to equip themselves to help play a decisive role in shaping the future course of history.
It is not the Social Credit Movement which will bring to birth a new civilization, but the acts of individual Social Crediters, all developing and using their own particular talents, and because they are acting in the furtherance of a common policy, all contributing towards a growing increment of association.
We often hear the question, sometimes, asked in a despairing tone : "But what can the individual Social Crediter do?" And the answer is that the real Social Crediter, who has grasped the significance of translating faith into action, will seek every possible means of advancing the Social Credit idea.
There are unlimited opportunities for the Social Crediter as a member of a ratepayers' association, a Church group, or any similar organisations. The individual who has any capacity for writing can develop his talents by suitable letters to the press. All Social Crediters should be endeavouring to bring the Social Credit point of view to those whom we have already mentioned: those whose philosophy is still essentially Christian. A trial subscription to a selected person may be responsible for a man of great influence accepting and using the Social Credit idea. The New Times trial subscription scheme is one activity designed to bring the knowledge of Social Credit to those members of the community most likely to respond favourably.
A wide range of suitable literature is available for helping to make realities of the present state of the world. The Social Crediter who finds that he can do little more than deal with the Social Credit idea in personal conversation with his fellows, or make a regular financial contribution, however small, to keep a headquarters functioning full-time, is also serving.
Social Crediters today may well be compared with early Christian Fathers who, looking out on a dark and pagan world, went forward only because their faith was so strong that nothing daunted them in their endeavours to advance their faith by appropriate policies. Their actions were evidence of things not seen, the policy of a philosophy. And so it is with Social Crediters today. Although small in numbers, they can successfully lead the fight against organised evil, the true anti-Christ, if they will but deepen and strengthen their understanding and faith, and neglect no possible opportunity of effective action in the critical days ahead.