Because the control of capital has given power, the effect of the operation of the will-to-power has been to accumulate capital in a few groups, possibly composed of large numbers of shareholders, but frequently directed by one man; and this process is quite clearly a stage in the transition from decentralised to centralised power. This centralisation of the power of capital and credit is going on before our eyes, both directly in the form of money trusts and bank amalgamations, and indirectly in the confederation of the producing industries representing the capital power of machinery. It has its counterpart in every sphere of activity; the coalescing of small businesses into larger, of shops into huge stores, of villages into towns, of nations into leagues, and in every case is commended to the reason by the plea of economic necessity and efficiency. But behind this lies always the will-to-power which operates equally through politics, finance or industry, and always towards centralisation...
We are therefore, faced with an apparent dilemma, a world-wide movement towards centralised control, backed by strong arguments as to the increased efficiency and consequent economic necessity of organisations of this character, and, on the other hand, a deepening distrust of such measures bred by personal experience and observation of their effect on the individual. A powerful minority of the community, determined to maintain its position relative to the majority, assures the world that there is no alternative between a pyramid of power based on toil of ever-increasing monotony, and some form of famine and disaster; while a growing and evermore dissatisfied majority strives to throw off the hypnotic influence of training and to grapple with the fallacy which it feels must exist somewhere.
Now let it be said at once that there is no evasion of this dilemma possible by the introduction of questions of personality — a bad system is still a bad system no matter what changes are made in personnel. The power of personality is susceptible of the same definition as any other form of power, it is the rate of doing work; and the rate at which a given personality can change an organization depends on two things: the magnitude of the change desired, and the size of the organization. As it is hoped to make clear, the effect of a single organization of this pyramidal character applied to the complex purpose of civilization produces a definite type of individual.
Pyramidal organization is a structure designed to concentrate power, and success in such an organization sooner or later becomes a question of the subordination of all other considerations to its attainment. For this reason the very qualities which make for personal success in central control are those which make it most unlikely that success and the attainment of a position of authority will result in any strong effort to change the operations of the organization in any external interest, and the progress to power of an individual under such conditions must result either in a complete acceptance of the situation as he finds it, or a conscious or unconscious sycophancy quite deadly to the preservation of any originality of thought and action.
It cannot be too heavily stressed at this time that similar forms of organization, no matter how dissimilar their name, favour the emergence of like characteristics, quite irrespective of the ideals of their founders, and it is to the principles underlying the design of the structure, and not to its name or the personalities originally operating it, that we may look for information on its eventual performance.
Brief on Social Credit submitted to Australian bishops by a group of Australian Catholics.