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A Memorandum from Geoffrey and Elizabeth Dobbs
Bodifyr, Bangor, Caernarvonshire
CONSERVATISM IS NOT ENOUGH
We are gravely concerned about the permanent survival, growth, development, and application, as a balanced, coherent whole, of the body of ideas originated by C. H. Douglas. This concern is brought to the point of action by the publicly announced political alignment of the Social Credit Secretariat with the John Birch Society, an American group which occupies a very definite position on the political spectrum. The nature of this alignment, as declared in an article entitled “NO CO-EXISTENCE” in The Social Crediter of May 9, 1964, carries with it certain implications for us and for other social crediters.
We are now confronted with situation in which the Social Credit Secretariat, set up by Douglas to conserve the body of ideas called Social Credit, has taken up the position which is implicit in the following extracts from the article mentioned above:
As for the type of politics pursued by the John Birch Society, this is of less importance than the fact that it is not Social Credit politics, although, as with any political movement not divorced from reality, it may have a component in our direction, which may, at this particular time, be judged to be important. As it happens, the John Birch Society is probably the best known and most vigorous of the Right-Wing, anti-Communist American groups, which seems to have had considerable success in using Communist tactics, such as the Front method, in reverse, against the Communists and their allies.
Also, if one judges by the articles by Professor Revilo P. Oliver, a prominent John Birch member, reprinted in The Social Crediter in recent months, its tactics include the use of violent or abusive epithets as applied to its political opponents, e.g. parasites, degenerates, criminals, vermin, rabid rats; not to mention, foul brute, bloody beast, unspeakable thing, and purulent blob of antihuman protoplasm, as applied to prominent Soviet communists.
Although one may well sympathise with the urge to express the fury which is daily aroused by the continual betrayal of one’s country, this strikes us as a singularly ineffective way of attempting to ‘overthrow’ a Conspiracy which already controls most of the organs of publicity. Indeed, it is hard to imagine anything which could give more aid and comfort to the Communists and their allies, or do more to push uncommitted people towards the Left, or to ensure that even sympathisers remain neutral.
It is a free gift to the other side, and offers an opportunity which naturally has been fully taken for stigmatising the John Birch Society as a Right-Wing extremist hate-group, and so forth, and of restricting its appeal to those who sympathise with this sort of approach.
All this would be irrelevant were it not for the recent alliance of the Social Credit Secretariat with the John Birch Society, and the enthusiastic approval given to its methods, as well as the reprinting in The Social Crediter of the articles mentioned above.
Whether we agree with this or not, it has the inevitable consequence that the Social Credit Secretariat, instead of, as hitherto, remaining on its own plane above or detached from the political arena, has now descended into it, and will be known henceforth as a Right-Wing organisation, which can remain a channel for Social Credit ideas only for those who can see things from this particular political viewpoint.
A further unavoidable consequence to be that the task of maintaining the universality and independence of Social Credit as a body of thought and action, apart from and on a different plane from the whole political spectrum from Left to Right, can now be undertaken only by social crediters who are not associated with the Secretariat, or have contracted out from it.
There need be no dissension about this among social crediters. The Administration of Social Credit has always had two strings to its bow: Hierarchy, and Contracting Out Mechanisms. Properly operated, these should ensure the pursuit of variations in policy having a different emphasis, with the minimum of internal friction or mutual interference.
If we refer to Douglas’s ‘specification’ of 1951 – What is Social Credit? (See Appendix) – it is clear now that the Secretariat puts the emphasis on the defeat of the Incompatibles, at the bottom of the Chart; whereas we have always regarded this as secondary to the maintenance and development of Social Credit as a living policy in the world as it now exists, and as a coherent, balanced, independent body of thought and action; in other words, our main pre-occupation has always been with the top of the Chart, with the philosophy, economics and politics of Social Credit, and their practical application as opportunity arises, on a scale strictly compatible with the resources available.
We are concerned with growth rather than with warfare, with culture rather than with purification, that there should be some wheat among the tares rather than that the tares should be cut down; and if from time to time we are forced to fight, it is always unwillingly (though not always without enjoyment!) and on as limited a scale as possible.
To our minds, the answer to Communism is not anti-Communism; it is Social Credit; and if this answer should cease to exist, there would be nothing worth fighting for.
If we accept Clausewitz’s definition of War as the pursuit of policy by other means, this implies that there are means other than those of warfare for the pursuit of policy; and since War is the ultimate denial of Social Credit, it is these means which we seek increasingly to use. This no doubt is, in some degree, a matter of temperament, and we do not mean to imply that this is the only tenable view, and that all who disagree with us are therefore necessarily wrong. But we do insist that this is a view which must be held, and an aim which must be pursued, by some group of people in the world, if Social Credit is to survive as a living, whole and independent policy.
The Social Credit movement, stemming as it did from the peculiarly catholic and detached mind of Douglas, has made its appeal to, and drawn its strength from, a wide range of people with a wide range of background, education, class, income, political tendencies and Christian beliefs. What was common to them all was the integrity, the honesty of purpose, which enabled them to see that the particular problems and difficulties which confronted them, or impressed themselves most deeply on their minds, could be solved only by Social Credit. And this has normally led to some degree of escape from the particular tramlines of thought in which their problems appeared insoluble, into the different dimension of Social Credit ideas.
As Douglas said, when confronted with the statement that no-one is indispensable: “On the contrary, everyone is indispensible.” It is equally true that social credit is indispensable for everyone. This need not be taken as a contradiction of the principles of administration: centralised direction (hierarchy) and contracting out. It does not imply that the Social Credit Movement is a free-for-all for people with conflicting aims and policies, all pulling together in all directions! But it is an important counter-balancing factor to bear in mind when applying those principles.
It is true that, as the world is continually driven in the direction known as Left, Social Credit, existing as it does on a different plane which is unaffected by this ‘trend’, appears to move correspondingly towards the Right. That is one reason why it seems to us necessary to make it clear that this is only an appearance; that we are not of the Right Wing, or the Left Wing, or of the Centre, or any compromise between them.
It is salutary to remember that when Douglas’s proposals were first published they appealed mainly to the radical mind, to socialists who were getting dissatisfied with socialism and were looking for something better. Social Credit was, in fact, the sole surviving issue which emerged from all that turmoil of intense mental activity and discussion which centred around Orage and the New Age in the early years of the century.
This Committee rejected the Scheme as was inevitable from its membership which included Sidney Webb, G.D.H. Cole, Hugh Dalton and Sir Leo Chiozza Money. As Douglas commented at the time: “The Labour Party does not wish to abolish poverty. It wants to continue to represent it.” The Webbs, in particular, early realised the menace of this new movement to socialism, and the New Statesman, which had been founded and heavily financed very largely with a view to smashing the circulation of the New Age, ultimately succeeded in doing so.
Meanwhile, the conservatives never paid Social Credit the compliment of serious consideration, but rejected it out of hand as some new sort of cranky socialist nonsense. Their typical reaction to the idea of the national dividend was to say that it would ruin the working class, who would never do a stroke of work if they could get money for nothing.
As a consequence, after several decades of socialistic full employment, mainly under ‘conservative’ auspices, we seem well on the way towards creating a proletariat of whom it is true to say that they cannot be trusted with leisure, or with an unconditional income, and whose experience has taught them that the only way to get more money, to meet, an ever rising cost of living, is to refuse and to obstruct any form of constructive activity – a clear result of an earlier choice of policy acting on human weakness rather than of the inevitable wickedness of man.
As for the ‘diehard’ minority of genuine conservatives who want to stick to their anti-socialist principles, there is still no sign that they have learnt anything from the past. They continue to exhibit the virtues of courage, integrity, and persistence in that patriotism which has shown itself to be not enough, and are determined to die in the last ditch for their beliefs rather than to recognise that Social Credit offers them an alternative to socialism and a solution to their difficulties.
It remains as true today as it was when Douglas wrote it about thirty years ago (Social Credit, 3rd Edn. pp. l97-8) that:
So long as the diehards are obsessed with the idea of defeating the communists at their own game, rather than with finding a viable alternative to communism, one can see little reason for hope in them.
With these political warriors, whether of the Left or the Right, it is always jam to-morrow, never jam to-day, “Don't you know there’s a War on!” When Capitalism has been defeated, and the State has withered away, then we shall have the happy, classless society of free, responsible citizens.
When the Communist Conspiracy has been overthrown, then we shall have less Government, more responsibility, and a better world (the declared aims of the John Birch Society) – or perhaps even Social Credit! But meanwhile, seek ye first the defeat of those human vermin who stand in the way, and the Kingdom of God and His righteousness shall later be added unto you!
Is this really the nature of the Universe, in its political aspect; and are the injunctions to seek first the Kingdom of God, and to overcome, evil with good, mere pious unrealities? In the pseudo-world set up by monetary policy it would seem to be so, and only the social crediter can see through to the reality beyond, because his imagination has grasped the sort of ‘good’ which can overcome ‘evil’, and the sort of ‘constructive effort’ which is needed to ‘regenerate Society’. Without this binding back to reality, which we have learnt from Douglas alone, the things hoped for lack substance, and the faith necessary for effective action fails.
It is not, of course, that the ideas of social crediters, taken separately, are unique or, exclusive. The ingredients of Social Credit, as an effective body of ideas, exist in fragmented form everywhere – on the Left, on the Right, and among the non-political, but only among social crediters are they combined into a coherent whole. Social Credit is rooted in the past: in our religion and our cultural inheritance, and thus fulfils the requirements of the genuine Conservative; it is what Conservatism should have been if the control of policy had never been usurped by the financier and the producer. But it is also a radical movement of new ideas which bear a close, though inverted, relationship to Socialism.
It is what Socialism should have been if it had never been perverted, if the common good had never become the Common Good, and democracy had not become “Demockracy” (the domination of the majority). It is also, in its realistic policy of freedom with responsibility, in both the economic and political sphere, of the very essence of genuine, undegraded, Liberalism.
We dare not attach our tremendous heritage to any one faction in the political arena. Our primary function in Society is not that of fighting, but the resolution of those conflicts which make possible the policy of ‘divide and rule’, without which there can be no overthrow of the Conspiracy which owes its power to the success of that policy.
The Social Crediter (May 9 1964) claims that the economic front of the Conspiracy is invulnerable – that the vulnerable front is the political — and reminds us that Douglas, from 1939 onwards, emphasised with increasing urgency that the ‘international gangsters’ must be exposed and overcome before any progress towards a better world through economic realism could be achieved.
Moreover, Douglas himself moved on to the responsible vote, the Constitutional issue, the Realistic Position of the Church of England, and the ‘Specification’ of Social Credit (See Appendix), of which the world has heard practically nothing.
There has been a tendency, we think, for some social crediters to remain in the Anti-Conspiracy phase, without moving on to the more constructive and deeper level of the post-War period, just as, at an earlier stage, many found it difficult to shift their attention from economics to politics.
What Douglas actually wrote on the defeat of the Conspiracy is perhaps put most concisely in Programme for the Third World War, 1943, pp. 42-43:
Notice that it is the Money Power, not merely the communists, which has to be defeated, and it is society, not the Social Credit Movement, the John Birch Society, or any other minority group, which has to defeat it. Douglas never confused the Social Credit movement with society in general.
Our function is to be ‘catalysts’, to precipitate correct action by the diffusion of correct ideas, and with genuine, practical, working examples of their effectiveness on the scale which is within reach of our resources. Our function in society is to exert authority, not power, – the authority which accompanies the glimpsing of a portion of reality, perhaps a small portion, which other people have not seen.
Before any society can defeat the Money Power it will have to be substantially united, permeated with Social Credit ideas (though not necessarily by that name), and possessed by implicit faith in reality rather than in money, a faith which at present is notably inadequate.
This is no pessimistic conclusion. It is always more hopeful to face the realities of the situation. If ever there was a chance of a quick or early ‘victory for Social Credit’ on a national or a world scale, it is by now long past. But the credit of Society is not a Utopian dream for the future, it is a reality which exists now, and demonstrates its existence every time an inroad is made upon it.
There are many limited objectives which are within reach of our society as it exists now, and towards which social crediters could ‘precipitate’ effective action. Who knows what tremendous results might be achieved in ten years!
If we take the title of social crediter, we are claiming to be experts on the faith of society. Fortunately for us, corruption and internal conflict are inherent in Monopoly, and most of the fighting of the Conspiracy can be left to the conspirators themselves, as there is room for only one at the Top.
It is a Law of the Universe that a greater power cannot be overcome by a lesser one, of the same sort, at the point of impact. It follows that the Money Power cannot be overcome by money, nor the Great Conspiracy by a counter-conspiracy. In the unlikely event that we could appear to have achieved such a thing, it would be an illusion, because if we could exert greater money power than the Money Power, it could only be because we had become the Money Power ourselves, and if we could out-conspire the Conspiracy, it could only be because we had ourselves become the Top Conspirators. This, indeed, is the process which is going on all the time, and far from overthrowing the Conspiracy, it continually rejuvenates it.
All this is a doctrine of despair only for those who do not believe that there is a greater power operating in the world than the Money Power. For them, literally, there is not a hope in Hell!
The problem, we know, is soluble; the task, we are sure, can be done, like every other major task, piecemeal, on the scale in which we live, the nearest bit first. But tackled first upon the world scale, it is insoluble, and for ever beyond our reach.
To return to where we started – it seems to us that some fresh initiative is needed, and we propose, therefore, to circulate from time to time, as when we can manage it, a series of essays or memoranda, of which this is the first, relating to Social Credit.
We invite readers to circulate these memoranda among those of their acquaintance, especially the younger generation, who might be interested; and also to supply us with the names and addresses of other potential subscribers.
Further copies of this memorandum may be obtained from Mrs. C. G. Dobbs, Bodifyr, Bangor, Caernarvonshire, Great Britain.
We hope to be able, a little later, to resume the Social Credit House Parties which we used to hold at Bangor.
In conclusion, our aim is constructive, to fill a vacuum which no one else seems willing to occupy. We claim no exclusive knowledge, or delegated authority (in any case, authority cannot be delegated); but, like most people, we have severe limitations of time and energy. Without help we cannot accomplish much. The future of this small enterprise will depend upon the response to this memorandum.
OBJECTIVE: Social stability by the integration of means and ends.
INCOMPATIBLES: Collectivism, Dialectic Materialism, Totalitarianism. Judaeo-Masonic Philosophy and Policy. Ballot-box democracy embodies all of these.