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From Week to Week

on Thursday, 01 September 1955. Posted in From Week to Week

"Freedom is everywhere in full retreat. In the majority of nations public liberties are trampled underfoot by states afflicted by the disease of totalitarianism. The very idea of individual freedom, built up by centuries of slowly advancing civilization, is to-day belittled, perverted or even repudiated... it is only by rediscovering the Christian message in all its purity that Westerners will find the necessary strength for a new and creative advance..."

From the Introduction to Christianity and Freedom (London: Hollis & Carter, 1955).

"There is only one conclusion, and it is clear and simple; we find ourselves, thanks to the machine-revolution, presented with a hitherto undreamed of opportunity, a chance unique in all human history. It is the opportunity to free men from all brutalizing labour, from all his most painful material tasks. Shall we be able to seize it? Technical progress is not enough; something else is needed. Liberation by the machine must become a living freedom, organic and truly human, which simply means that this freedom must have a moral and spiritual basis...".

Daniel Rops: "Towards a Truly Christian Society," in Christianity and Freedom.

"It is suggested that the primary requisite is to obtain in the re-adjustment of the political and economic structure such control of initiative that by its exercise every individual can avail himself of the benefit of science and mechanism; that by their aid he is placed in such a position of advantage, that in common with his fellows he can choose, with increasing freedom and complete independence, whether he will or will not assist in any project placed before him.

"The basis of independence of this character is most definitely economic; it is simply hypocrisy, conscious or unconscious, to discuss freedom of any description which does not secure to the individual, that in return for effort exercised as a right, and not as a concession, an average economic equivalent of the effort shall be forthcoming..."

C. H. Douglas: Economic Democracy (1920).

Initiative is a purely spiritual quality.

"An "average economic equivalent" may be broadly defined in terms of the machine-power/ man-power ratio discussed in this column in our previous issue. The same notion was referred to by Douglas when he compared the industrial system to a lever, ever being lengthened by progress, and enabling the burden of Atlas to be shifted with ever increasing ease.

If anything in economics is 'scientific', it is this conception of the power-ratio, and the lever. Although it finds no place in 'official' economics, it is a conception which one would suppose would be instantly grasped by engineers. 'Automation' is essentially the field of the engineer, who must, in consequence, become of increasing importance in practical, as opposed to 'official' economics.

The leading principle of engineering is efficiency, in the technical sense. To set "Full Employment" as the objective of industry amounts to the same thing as designing a machine primarily for the maximum consumption of energy.

*This From Week to Week column is reprinted from The Social Crediter (Sydney, Australia), August 20, 1955,

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