No one — except perhaps for the present system’s exploiters and privileged few, would argue that the present state of affairs in the world is satisfactory. On the contrary, it could be said that the greater part of the population of most countries is in revolt, a revolt that takes many shapes and forms.
Employees revolt against the conditions under which they work. Employers revolt against financial restrictions, against government interference, against the difficulties through which they have to conduct their business. Taxpayers balk at the ever-growing burden of taxes which is laid upon them. The unemployed, the needy, the penniless revolt against the hopeless situation they find themselves in.
Revolt, reacting against conditions that irritate us, is not a bad thing. It is the reaction of men who will not allow themselves to be belittled or destroyed by unhealthy conditions that hinder the development of their personality. Revolt against such an environment is the first step in deciding to take the means to modify it. Revolt is the forerunner of a major upheaval or, at least, the heralding of a major change.
Today, revolt is generalized and growing. This leads us to the conclusion that fundamental changes are unavoidable. It has become a common place to say that a new world is in the making. What remains to be seen is what it will be made of. Will it be revolution and chaos, leading to dictatorship? Or shall we see well ordained changes lead us, slowly but surely, to overall satisfaction?
A common social objective
The end of any association is to allow each and every member to satisfy their needs, more easily than they would if they went at it alone. This is the case with workers and farmers unions, business associations; with corporations, co-ops, sport clubs, etc. Each association pursues the particular goals sought by its members upon their joining. Otherwise it would fall apart.
The objective, the social objective, sought by the greater association to which all citizens belong, is to facilitate the procurement of all the goods that the citizens have, together, agreed they want.
People’s needs are certainly multiple and varied. Among the individuals who make up a society, some will desire things that will leave others completely indifferent. And the social order would be most imperfect if it satisfied the demands of a few while the vast majority was to endure frustrations in the pursuit of fundamental objectives.
Now there are, without any doubt, two things that every individual seeks from the society to which he belongs. These two things are:
1. Economic security;
2. Personal freedom.
By economic security we mean access to the things necessary to life, the means of satisfying the essential needs of the individual. This includes food, clothing, lodging, medical care, and such education as is necessary in modern society.
Theoretically, personal freedom is of greater importance than economic security. But in practice, freedom cannot be achieved until man’s fundamental needs are met. The needy is a slave to the conditions imposed upon him so he may have the right to live. He is not free, unless he renounces to live.
On the other hand, once he has acquired the basics, once he is living decently, the individual who has a sense of freedom may refuse to take part in programs that would shackle him, though they might make him wealthier. He would cherish his freedom as though it were a wealth greater than money or greater than an increase of his material comfort.
As for he who is insatiable, he who seeks to gather an ever-larger fortune, he who runs after money, after more money, and still more money, he is a slave: a slave of money.
It might be said that freedom begins with the satisfaction of our basic needs and ends as we start chasing the superfluous.
When discussing economic security, politicians, economists and sociologists maintain that guaranteeing economic security requires our surrendering part of our personal freedom. They are in this way upholding, unconsciously perhaps, the precepts of the Socialist School. They may succeed in quoting examples where existing legislation is applied; but it is precisely because today’s governments, whatever their name, have been seeking improvements along these lines instead of facing up to a financial system that forces them to do so.
|Once he has acquired the basics, the individual who has a sense of freedom may refuse to take part in programs that would shackle him. As for he who is insatiable, he who runs after more and more money, he is a slave: a slave of money.|
Socialists promise everyone will have economic security, but not without state intervention, plans, state-run economies, with added bureaucracy, inspections, investigations, regimentation and so on. A society where citizens are registered, harnessed, nourished, the way domestic animals are.
The Social Credit School wants no part of this kind of economic security. Social Credit wants each citizen to have the security of a capitalist who does not have to be set to work, inspected and investigated in order to receive the dividends that are owed to him because of his capital. He does not put his capital to work; the producer does. The producer is rewarded (through his wages or profit) and the capitalist receives his dividend.
Well, Social Credit teaches that each citizen is the coheir of a social capital that society’s workers are busily turning into products. Therefore it maintains the reward given to the workers, but it introduces a dividend to all, whether they be employed or not in production.
The purpose of an economic system is to provide goods and services that answer human needs, in the quantity needed, when they are needed, and where they are needed.
Today this goal can easily be reached. It is characteristic of our times: We can easily make in abundance the different goods we need. And we can do it with an ever-decreasing need for human labor.
Man has always endeavored to satisfy his needs with a minimum expenditure of time and energy so that he might have more time to engage in other human activities other than purely economic ones. Today, the goal – of producing in sufficient quantity, in abundance even, with decreasing efforts – has been reached; enough goods can be provided to everyone without the need for everyone to be employed in production.
No one can deny the fact that our modern production capacity can globally answer everyone’s needs, provided it is not impeded financially or otherwise, and that goods are distributed as they should be.
There remains to be decided whether or not each individual, by reason of his being a member of society (and for no other reason) has a personal right to share in this abundant production. Let us see if this right is well founded.
Modern production is due in part to the existence of natural resources that were created by God for the use of all men. It is due also to scientific discoveries and their application to industry, to the perfecting of inventions and to the improvement of industrial methods, to a social organization that allows for the division of work. All of these turn the production system into a huge and fruitful production cooperative.
Now all of these factors — scientific acquisitions, perfected techniques and methods added to one another, all forms of progress — are not earned by those who are presently employed by the production system. Nor are they the fruit of the work of existing scientists and technicians who take past research a step forward and who further develop the techniques and methods of production. Nor are they the fruit of progress of the last three or four generations. They are rather the result of centuries of struggle to vanquish want; centuries of efforts, of studying the forces of nature so as to master them, of researches, of discoveries, of inventions, of the perfecting of inventions that lead to newer inventions and further perfecting of methods. It is a legacy of acquisitions that are added to one another, a legacy that is transmitted and increased from one generation to the next. And it is the existence of an organized society, to which we all belong, that has allowed this transmission to take place.
Our generation is heir to the past generations, as were the preceding generations. It is a common legacy, an immense legacy, to which no one can claim an overriding right. This legacy belongs to all.
Each member of society is, together with the other members, coheir of this treasure, of this immense capital that has become the main factor of modern production.
It is obvious that this vast common capital must be put to use. But each and everyone has a right to a share of the result, as coheir, as co-capitalist, without denying those who take part in setting this capital in motion, their share for doing so.
If only one per cent of the population was needed to draw modern production while using this immense real capital, more real than the pieces of paper or the numbers we call dollars, would it be logical to say that only one per cent of the population should share in this production? The same argument holds if, instead of 1 per cent, we say 40 per cent. The other 60 per cent cannot be excluded from the right to a share of the products. They still hold their title as coheirs to this immense capital that is being applied to production by the other 40 percent. The 40 per cent are likewise coheirs and as such must receive the part owed to all coheirs on top of the part they receive for being employed in production.
The efforts of the producer must be rewarded. But the greater part of production is owed to the enrichment that is derived from association and from the social heritage. This represents an unearned increment of association whose fruits must be distributed to all members of the association, of society.
This share ought to be large enough to answer everyone’s basic needs. The universal dividend, to each and every member of society, must therefore guarantee that everyone will have the bare necessities, and it will increase gradually as progress further replaces the labor of individuals in the country’s global production.
Not only must we admit that abundance is at hand, but that unrestricted economic security and therefore the safeguarding of our personal freedom are the birthright of every man, woman and child of this country.
Today’s financial rules disregard this right. Socialism ignores it. The application of the Social Credit financial proposals would bring about its realization.