Our regular readers know that every issue of this journal contains articles about the Social Credit financial proposals, which are more timely than ever to solve today's economic problems. This Social Credit idea may raise many questions among our new readers, and one article is certainly not enough to answer all these questions, or to give a clear understanding of the whole concept of Social Credit. Besides, most people simply do not have the time to read long books on the subject.
So, here is the solution: the Social Credit proposals explained in 10 lessons, each one being the logical continuation of the previous one. The first lesson begins with principles, and from there, we lay the foundations to have a full knowledge of all that Social Credit implies. Here is the list of the ten lessons:
Lesson 1: The end of economics — to make goods join those who need them;
Lesson 2: Poverty amidst plenty — The birth and death of money;
Lesson 3: Banks create money as a debt;
Lesson 4: The solution: debt-free money created by society;
Lesson 5: The chronic shortage of purchasing power — The dividend;
Lesson 6: Money and prices — The compensated discount;
Lesson 7: The history of banking control in the United States, and famous quotes on money;
Lesson 8: Social Credit is not a political party, but a sound and effective financial system;
Lessons 9 and 10: Social Credit and the social doctrine of the Church (which explains, among other things, the four basic principles of the social doctrine of the Catholic Church and the study of Social Credit by nine theologians).
The first two lessons are published in this issue, and the eight others will published serially, in our next issues. For those who cannot wait to read them all, we have made a 100-page booklet that contains the 10 lessons, that you can order from our office at $8 each (postage included) in you live in Canada, $11 for the U.S.A., and $13 for overseas. Good reading!
Social Credit is a doctrine, a series of principles expressed for the first time by Major and engineer C. H. Douglas in 1918. The implementation of these principles would make the social and economic organism effectively reach its proper end, which is the service of human needs. Social Credit would neither create the goods nor the needs, but it would eliminate any artificial obstacle between the two of them, between production and consumption, between the wheat in elevators and the bread on the table. The obstacle today — at least in the developed countries — is purely of financial order, a money obstacle. Now, the financial system neither proceeds from God nor nature. Established by men, it can be adjusted to serve men and no more to cause them problems.
To this end, Social Credit presents concrete propositions. Though very simple, these propositions nevertheless imply a real revolution. Social Credit brings the vision of a new civilization, if by civilization one can mean man's relationship with his fellow men and the conditions of life making easier for each one the blossoming of his personality.
Under a Social Credit system, we would no longer be struggling with problems that are strictly financial, which constantly plague public administrations, institutions, families, and which poison relationships between individuals. Finance would be nothing but an accounting system, expressing in figures the relative values of goods and services, making easier the mobilization and coordination of the energies required for the different levels of production towards the finished good, and distributing to ALL consumers the means to choose freely and individually what is suitable to them among the goods offered or immediately realizable.
For the first time in history, absolute economic security, without restrictive conditions, would be guaranteed to each and everyone. Material poverty would be a thing of the past. Material anxiety about tomorrow would disappear. Bread would be ensured to all, as long as there is enough wheat to make enough bread for all. Similarly for the other goods that are necessary for life.
Each citizen would be presented with this economic security as a birthright, as a member of the community, enjoying throughout one's life an immense community capital, that has become a dominant factor of modern production. This capital is made up of, among other things, the natural resources, which are a collective good; life in society, with the increment that ensues from it; the sum of the discoveries, inventions, technological progress, which are an ever-increasing heritage from generations.
This community capital, which is so productive, would bring each of its co-owners, each citizen, a periodical dividend, from the cradle to the grave. And seeing the volume of production attributable to the common capital, the dividend to each one ought to be at least sufficient to cover the basic necessities of life. This dividend would be given in addition to those who personally take part in production, without prejudice to wages, salaries, or other forms of reward.
An income thus attached to the individual, and no longer only attached to his status of employee, would shield him from exploitation by other human beings. With the basic necessities of life guaranteed, a man can better resist being pushed about, and can better take up the career of his own choosing. Freed from urgent material worries, men could apply themselves to free activities, which are more creative than commanded work, and strive towards their own development by the exercise of human functions superior to the purely economic function. Getting the daily bread would no more be the absorbing occupation of their lives.
Note: The text of the following 10 lessons is essentially taken from Louis Even's writings: In This Age of Plenty (a 410-page book), What Do We Mean by Real Social Credit? (a 32-page brochure); and A Sound and Efficient Financial System (a 32-page brochure).
The full text of these three books are available on our website (www.michaeljournal.org), and you can also order them from our office in Rougemont: $25 for the book "In This Age of Plenty", and $3 for each of the two brochures. (All prices include shipping and postage.)
Alain Pilote has been the editor of the English edition of MICHAEL for several years. Twice a year we organize a week of study of the social doctrine of the Church and its application and Mr. Pilote is the instructor during these sessions.