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Disarmament

Major C.H. Douglas in "The New Age." June 25th, 1931

· If there are still people who suppose that the disasters, anxieties, and disillusionments from which we are suffering, are the result of unco-ordinated forces, such persons must find the world a very depressing spectacle.

· We stagger from one crisis to another, while prelates and politicians vie with each other in demanding still more sacrifices from a world, which is but one continual sacrifice.

· From this point of view and with such widely varying defects in society no reasonable space of time could be expected to produce a better state of affairs.

· It would appear to be a hopeless situation.

· Fortunately, evidence accumulates daily that this in not the case!

· There is in existence at least one definite policy which is being pursued with great ability, and over a world wide area. This policy is responsible primarily for most of the troubles with which the world is suffering, although secondary troubles have grown out of it.

· The main outlines of this policy are familiar, and its objective, the establishment of a world hegemony.

· There is probably an immense illusion at the base of the idea of world power -- by the centralisation of administration you obtain more control over an organisation. It has dawned upon a good many people, in widely differing spheres of influence, that exactly the opposite is the truth:

· The centralisation of administration results in the organisation obtaining more control over the administration.

· In other words, the larger and more centralised an organisation is, the more impossible it becomes for its so-called "head" to deflect the organisation from a policy which arises out of its inherent constitution.

· The strategy being pursued is becoming sufficiently plain, and the first constituent of it is disarmament, not merely of a military character, but in every plane of human activity.

· Arms are a special form of tools - they increase the power of the individual over circumstances.

· There is no essential difference between the disarmament of an individual and the taking away from him of any other tools.

· Disarmament is simply dis-empowerment. If there is anyone who finds such prospect attractive, then (the former) Soviet Russia, or Fascist Italy, are the spiritual homes for him.

· There is this idea that everybody knows better what is good for a man than the man himself. And that any external organisation, such as the United Nations, is a better repository for the control of a nation than the nation itself.

· On the face of it, the idea bears a strong resemblance to the fable of the fox, which, having lost its tail in a trap, proclaimed the transcendent advantages of a tail-less existence.

· The idea lends itself to presentation in a form very attractive to the idealistic mentality.

· The very financiers who condemned Soviet Russia in public, while endeavouring to organise loans to her in private, are very enthusiastic about centralised planning of production.

· The centralised planning of production, means that some central authority shall decide:
What the individual wants
Whether he is to have it
Who is to make it for him
And on what terms he is to get it.

· It is even suggested it is the only way by which the individual can rapidly acquire material prosperity

· Yet, the complaint by the same people made against what remains of the decentralised control of production -- is that it has produced too much!

· This policy has gained such momentum (remember, this was originally written in 1931!) we are condemned to witness its pursuit to its inevitable and catastrophic conclusion.

· In the meantime a little plain speaking may not be out of place: Those who are endeavouring to weaken such independent centres of power, such as sovereign nations, by propaganda for disarmament of a military nature, or active or disguised action for the reduction of her power in men and tools, (industries, manufacturing, food, clothing, shelter) are either the victims of muddle-headed illusion, or are dangerous criminals.

· The way to stop wars is not to institute a centralised tyranny worse than war -- it is to take away the reason for war. When that has been done, armaments will go out of fashion.




DISARMAMENT
Major C.H. Douglas in "The New Age." June 25th, 1931


If there are still people who suppose that the disasters, anxieties, and disillusionments from which we are suffering, and the greater trials with which we are plainly threatened, are the result of unco-ordinated forces, such persons must find the world a very depressing spectacle. A situation in which the threat of war grows daily, in which the stock markets of the world stagger from one crisis to another, while prelates and politicians vie with each other in demanding still more sacrifices from a world which is but one continual sacrifice, would, if its condition were fortuitous, be the best possible excuse for universal suicide. There would from this point of view be so many and such widely varying defects in modern society that no reasonable space of time could be expected to produce a better state of affairs, even if there were any signs of progress in that direction. It would be a hopeless situation.

Fortunately, evidence accumulates daily that this is not the case. There is in existence at least one definite policy which is being pursued with great ability, and over a world wide area. I suppose this policy is responsible primarily for most of the troubles with which the world is suffering, although secondary troubles have grown out of it, and its defeat will have results as widespread and far reaching as the troubles which proceed from it.

The main outlines of this policy are familiar, and its objective, the establishment of a world hegemony, has been recognised in many quarters. In passing, it may be observed that, in addition to any fundamental question as to its desirability, there is probably an immense illusion at the base of the idea of world power that by the centralisation of administration you obtain more control over an organisation.

I suppose it is beginning to dawn upon a good many people in widely differing spheres of influence that exactly the opposite is the truth, that the centralisation of administration results in the organisation obtaining more control over the administration. In other words, the larger and more centralised an organisation is the more impossible it becomes for its so-called ''head'' to deflect the organisation from a policy which arises out of its own inherent constitution.

However this may be, the strategy which is being for the attainment of this world hegemony is sufficiently plain, and the first constituent of it is disarmament, not merely of a military character, but in every plane of human activity.

Arms are merely a special form of tools -- they increase the power of the individual over circumstance. If this be recognised, it will easily be grasped that there is no essential difference between the disarmament of an individual and the taking away from him of any other tools, and that, fundamentally, the desirability of such a line of action depends very much on whether you believe that the individual or the nation can desirably relinquish all specialised action in favour of some exterior organisation.

Disarmament is simply dis-empowerment. If there is anyone who finds such prospect attractive, then (the former) Soviet Russia, or Fascist Italy, are the spiritual homes for him.

This idea that everybody knows better what is good for a man than the man himself, and that any external organisation is a better repository for a nation's power than the nation in question, would seem on the face of it to bear such strong resemblance to the fable of the fox, which, having lost its tail in a trap, proclaimed the transcendent advantages of a tail-less existence, that one would not expect it to attract much support.

But, in fact, it seems to lend itself to presentation in a form very attractive to the idealistic mentality.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, refreshed by his three months' cruise with Mr. Pierpont Morgan, is asking for our prayers in favour of it. By a curious coincidence, American banking circles are firm in their contention that no reduction of the debts of Europe to America can be contemplated without corresponding reduction in European armaments.
Contemporaneously, we have a blast of propaganda for what can only be described as "programitis."

The very financiers who condemn (former Soviet) Russia in public, while endeavouring to organise loans to her in private, are enthusiastic about the desirability of the centralised planning of production. The centralised planning of production, if it means anything at all, means that some central authority shall decide both what the individual wants; whether he is to have it, who is to make it for him, and on what terms he is to get it.

It is suggested that, however unpalatable superficially such a state of affairs might appear, it is the only way by which the individual can rapidly acquire material prosperity. Yet, curiously enough, the complaint by the same people made against what remains of the decentralised control of production, is that it has produced too much. In other words, whatever happens in the world at the present time, which is a world increasingly in the control of finance, is an argument for taking still further control out of the hands of the individual and transferring it to the power which is demonstrably responsible for the trouble.

I suppose that this policy has obtained such momentum that we are condemned to witness its pursuit to its inevitable and catastrophic conclusion. But in the meantime a little plain speaking may perhaps not be out of place. Those who, in the present state of the world's business, are endeavouring to weaken such independent centres of power, as, for instance, Great Britain, by propaganda for disarmament of a military nature, or active or disguised action for the reduction of her power in men and tools, are either the victims of muddle-headed illusion, or are dangerous criminals.

It is to he hoped that some effective method of presenting this point of view to them will be devised. The Long Gallery of the Tower might be considered.

The way to stop wars is not to institute a centralised tyranny worse than war -- it is to take way the reason for war. When that has been done, armaments will go out of fashion. Perhaps the Archbishop will take another holiday with Messrs. Morgan, Mellon and Stimson, and put it to them.

© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159