Here are excerpts from a talk given by Louis Even at the Congress of the Pilgrims of St. Michael in Trois Rivières , Quebec, in 1957, commenting on Pope Pius XII’s Radio Message of June 1st, 1941:
Dear Social Crediters,
If we are to expect a year of achievements, then we must be prepared to embark upon a year of hard labor, keeping in mind the importance of this effort that we are undertaking. We are constantly asking our Social Crediters to make more efforts, to work harder, to make more sacrifices...they would need to be convinced fully that Social Credit is as wonderful as it seems. To do this, we could go on for days, speaking about the many wonderful aspects of Social Credit. But, for this afternoon, I will try to focus on only one main point of Social Credit, and touch only lightly on some of the other aspects in passing.
Social Credit is the re-establishment of human rights; the restoration of all persons to their lawful rights. That, in itself, says a lot! What this means is: that each person must be given what is his due; not as a group, not as a nation, not as a class of people, not as a labor union! To each person his lawful rights! Each person!
For the one reason that, each and every one of us has a destiny to fulfill, a destiny that will endure throughout all eternity. But, while each person is here upon the earth, it is important that he/she finds a climate conducive to the fulfillment of his/her destiny. What concerns us then, as Social Crediters, lies precisely in this domain; to establish an order, whether political, economic or social, which favors a climate that fosters the development of each human person, in their pilgrimage towards each of their own destinies.
Each of us has an eternal destiny. Each of us is called to live the divine life of God by His grace for all eternity. But to do this, we need a favorable environment. Consequently, we must look after our temporal needs, keeping in mind our eternal destiny. For this we must not get caught up in materialism, or allow ourselves to be deceived by Communistic or Socialistic ideas, which put down the individual rights of a person in favor of the State!
What exactly are the rights of the human person? In the radio broadcast given by Pius XII on June 1st, 1941, Pentecost Sunday, the Pope outlines the precise rights of every human being in each his own particular domain:
“The things God has created were for all men and should be available to all, according to the principles of justice and charity!”
When the Pope says “all”; this excludes no one! So, for anyone who does not want Social Credit, but who desire the rights of “each and everyone”, let them give us their formula, that we may obtain this for everyone!
Proponents of full employment, for example – could they tell us in what way that little baby will be hired in order to obtain his rights? In what way that elderly person is going to be hired? In what way the woman working in the home while raising her children will be hired so as to receive a salary?
To expect to resolve this social problem simply by giving a salary to everyone is not the way. We cannot give wages to everyone! Even more so today, when modern technology progressively reduces the need for employees! The other day I was reading a word from Dr. Monahan, who is presently the director of the Social Credit Secretariat (1957), and second successor to Major C. H. Douglas, he said: “It is the conflict between progress and the search for full employment, which is at the root of inflation, today!”
As soon as we make some progress in order to lessen the need for employment, we seek to create more jobs by manufacturing weapons, building factories, extracting minerals (that are not presently needed) — doing all this in order to supply jobs to everyone. None of this will be used for the building of homes, but it must be calculated into the cost of the home, in this way, adding to the price that we pay for a home. This is the basic cause of inflation. Instead of giving us more leisure time for cultural advancement, and to prepare ourselves for our eternal life, they are creating more jobs to keep us fully employed! Even some very good Catholics will say to us: “Man must be employed at all times! He must work at the sweat of his brow, otherwise he will not deserve to eat his bread!”
I continue to quote Pope Pius XII (It is a wonderful text!): “Every man, as a being endowed with reason...” this is what distinguishes man from animals; man has reason. The Pope does not say “as a Christian”, he does not say “as a Catholic”, he does not even say “as someone called to the supernatural life”. He says, “as a being endowed with reason”. This is true Humanism!
Every man, as a human being endowed with reason. Not as an employee, but as a being, endowed with reason. In fact, it is by his very nature that man has the fundamental right to use the material goods of the earth. Every man! Any man who has a soul, has reason, has he not? Reason is what makes the human soul what it is; it is what distinguishes us from animals. Every man has a fundamental right to the goods of the earth just because he is man; not for any other reason. — Because he is man he has a fundamental right to the goods of the earth. What is my right to my daily bread? My first right is that I am a man, that I was born!
And the Pope adds to this something that has not yet been done: “Although this is left to the human will and to the legal forms of nations”. The legal forms are the laws; this is left up to the man, the community. It is left to the legislators to establish more in detail the practical realization of this right. But it is never allowed for them to deny man this right, nor to prevent him from exercising it.
Legislators who do not recognize the right of every person to the earthly goods, who set barriers to prevent anyone from having access to them, these legislators are going against the fundamental rights of man, and they are not worthy of their mission. They are usurpers, thieves! In our code of national law, or in our code of provincial (State) law, I would like to see the section that guarantees these rights to every human being of our country. In our Catholic provinces and our neighboring provinces (Canada), where is the section of law that guarantees that every person may exercise his fundamental right to use the goods of the earth?
Cardinal Leger founded a hospital in Montreal for the underprivileged. This is a beautiful work, and there are many other such works for the poor.
But why are there so many disadvantaged (disinherited) people, and why do we call them “have-nots”? The reason being, that they have lost their “inheritance”, their rights to the goods of the earth which God has created for all men. Man has a twofold inheritance; the goods of the earth, and, progress. We have already spoken about the goods of the earth, now let us take a look at progress. Progress is what has been made, and passed on to us through all the past generations, up to our present day. Our generation did not invent all those things which we rely on today in order to invent new things. These have all come down to us from past generations. These are also part of our inheritance, a gift to us from past generations! Then how can there be groups of men on this earth who claim a control over these benefits from past generations? And, what right have they to stingily distribute them back to the people together with conditions?
|At our 1957 Congress, a diploma is given to Mrs. Gilberte Cote-Mercier, co-foundress of MICHAEL with Louis Even, for her 25 years of full-time apostolate. The two ladies who surround her, Florentine Seguin (left) and Therese Tardif (right) are still full-time Pilgrims with our Movement.|
Pope Pius XII mentions, “the principles of justice and charity”. There is an injustice in stealing the goods of others! There is an injustice in stealing from everyone his right to the goods of the earth. Charity must only come after justice; to fill in the small holes, so to speak, that justice could not fill. If everyone, as with Social Credit for example, would have most of his income by a dividend entitling him to a share of the earthly goods, there would still be a few, because of illness, bad luck (as having their house burn down, or because of an accident), who will be in need of extra help. This is when charity must come in to complete what justice has not been able to do.
But what about those who preach charity, while supporting injustice? How do you explain that? We are told that charity is a theological virtue and therefore of its own, higher than justice. This is a truth. But, in the order of things, when it comes to the distribution of the goods of the earth, justice must always come first!
The Pope tells us that this right to the goods of the earth by everyone is an imprescriptible right. What does imprescriptible mean? Ask any lawyers and he will tell you the meaning of “ imprescriptible “: inalienable, not subject to prescription. After a certain time: five years in some cases, one year, in the case of an automobile accident, thirty years for a property, etc.; the right becomes inalienable. In other words, it cannot be taken away.
Pope Pius XII tells us that, the right of everyone to the goods of the earth is inalienable; it cannot be taken away after so many years. It cannot be erased by centuries, or by human laws! Though there may be human laws that deny these rights, or prevent us from exercising them; they cannot prevent that right to exist, this right always exists!
This is what we ask for through Social Credit: that each person have the right to fulfill his/her destiny with dignity as a child of God. One cannot do so when he/she does not have the heart to live. Saint Vincent de Paul said it well: “Before we can tell someone to save their soul, to work for their salvation, we must first ensure that their material conditions are such that they are able to discover that they even have one.
When people’s physical conditions are no better that those of a stable or worse, how can we expect to talk to them about their souls? I know that in any prison, or in cases of poverty, even abject poverty, one can save his soul, the Good Lord gives his graces there also, but it is more difficult! It is more difficult to attain salvation in these conditions and the Pope has said it well.
We do not have the right to create difficult conditions for people! We do not have the right to put them in these conditions, telling them to: “Become heroes! Save yourself all the same! Pull yourself up!” We do not have the right to do that! If such conditions happen inevitably, we are forced to suffer them, but we do not have the right to accept them without an effort to change them! A Christian has no right to be resigned to disorder, even when he suffers it!
“This individual right of each person,“ the Pope furthermore affirms, “cannot be suppressed, not by the exercise of other definite and recognized rights on material goods.” Here is a good example: A person has a definite claim to his house, another to his farm, another to his factory; these are clear-cut and certain rights. They are definite, they are recognized and they will not be abolished. But, this does not preclude the other fundamental right; the right of each individual to share in the goods of the earth! First of all, how do we see this as Social Crediters? Do we demand that the property be taken away from owner in order to give it to the one who has nothing? Not at all! The homeowner can keep his home, the farmer can keep his farm, and the factory owner can keep his factory. What we do demand is that each and every person have the right to be able to procure for himself, the products coming from the factory, and the goods from the farm. The factory owner, as well as the farm owner will be very happy that their products are being bought, they will be the happiest of all.
Social Credit is a marvelous formula that respects private ownership, and the means of production, and at the same time recognizes the rights of everyone to the immense resources created by God and developed by man. ‘’Usufruct’’ is a word that means: “the legal right of using and enjoying the fruits or profits of something belonging to another.” People have this right in view of the order of society. We cannot just obtain anything, anytime, at will. In our modern world, we must submit a printed, or written “right” on a sheet of paper called money. This money, in turn, is what represents our true rights, as bestowed on us by God. We receive this money according to our needs and according to our country’s capacity to produce and to respond to our needs.
Clifford H. Douglas made two important distinctions in Social Credit between the real credit (what countries are capable of producing to meet the needs of the people), and financial credit (the money that expresses these needs). Douglas wrote: “We need a relationship of equality, a relationship of proportion, a relationship of permanence, of stability between financial credit and real credit.”
Who makes the real credit? Where does a country’s capacity to produce come from? The first major factor; this great agent and author of the real credit, is God!
If He had not made the earth with everything that is on it — the trees of the forests, the rivers, the sea, their waters, the sun which draws the water to the clouds, the mountains which allow the existence of waterfalls that can be harnessed... all these forces already known to man, as well as the unknown ones which it is his mission to find... if God had not created all these things, then man would not be able to use them for his needs. Such is the mission which God gave to Adam, even after his sin: “Dominate the earth, you have sinned, but dominate the earth, do your best to dominate it nonetheless! “ (…)
Politicians acclaim the country’s prosperity by producing “production statistics”. They do not figure into these statistics the suffering that exist in homes. There is no statistician to do that! But you, Social Crediters, as you go from door to door throughout the many regions of Quebec, Ontario, and the other provinces of our beautiful country, Canada, you have seen much misery and suffering.
Are human beings being considered in all that? No, it’s laws, and regulations! And the care of humanity? No, the laws do not provide for the needs of humanity! But, there are laws for the rights of money. If you do not meet your financial obligations, your creditor will bring you to court, and the court will side with him. He will foreclose on your property, if you have any, he will confiscate your wages, if you earn any, in order that the rights of money be met. I do not criticize these procedures. What I am saying though, is that there are laws to protect the rights of money, but none to protect the rights of the individual to the goods of the earth, that are his due. For these people, there is nothing, it is about time that we create laws to protect them!
The Pope, the Vicar of Our Lord on earth, and the first representative of Christ, is head of the Universal Church in Rome, and takes the place of Christ here on earth. He speaks with authority, and he does not say that a country is prosperous only because there are many goods in the country. What he does say on this subject is that: “The economic wealth of a people is not strictly in the abundance of goods measured according to an outright material computation of value.” (This is worth so much, totals so much, therefore the country is rich.) On the contrary, he says that the real wealth is not in that kind of measurement, “but rather in that such an abundance represents and provides in a real and effective way, a material basis for the suitable personal development of the members of society.” Prosperity that is not distributed is not prosperity! Real prosperity is distributed prosperity. I look forward to the day when politicians extol a distribution of prosperity to each person, to each family! It has not yet been done.
The Pope adds: “If such a just distribution of goods were not to be effected or just imperfectly ensured, the true end of the national economy would not be achieved, opulent though the abundance of available goods might be, since the people would not be rich, but poor, as it would not be invited to share in that abundance.”
We have been witnesses of the poor, opposite an abundance of wealth! As long as the wealth is not distributed, and the people remain poor, then we have no right to say that prosperity reigns! Is this a wealthy country? Yes! Very well then, this should be considered a judgment against the government. The people are poor, and the country is rich, the government is guilty!