All of nature is reminding us that this is the time of year when we prepare ourselves to come before God and reflect once more upon the Life, Death and Resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ and what the Incarnation meant for mankind.
Israel Shamir’s letter to his readers on the celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation was particularly moving. He wrote of the Russian Church’s celebration, describing it as “a beautiful feast” and saw himself as extremely lucky to join in the service at the Annunciation Cathedral in the Kremlin.
The Cathedral is opened on just one day of the year and usually serves as a Museum. The service was led by the Russian Orthodox Patriarch, ending with the Patriarch freeing birds into the air– a charming old custom now regained.
The Cathedral has been lovingly restored and once a year now “goes back to its rightful function”, informed Shamir, continuing “People whispered that M-me Medvedev was there, too – she is a devout Christian. But the majority were just ordinary churchgoers”.
The Feast of the Annunciation is Shamir’s favourite service at this time in the Christian calendar. “This is the New Testament version of the Creation of the world. I always preferred it to the Old Testament’s one with Eve being fashioned out of Adam’s rib. No, rather, Heaven and Earth unite, and a God-Man is being brought forth; not even created, for he was there from the beginning.
And so, with that Introduction, our thoughts go back to what is known of the beginnings of the early Church, and draw on the work of Scotsman theologian William Barclay. In the “Commentary on the Gospel of John” he relates:
“The Fourth Gospel was written in Ephesus about the year
A.D. 100. By that time two special features had emerged in the
situation of the Christian church. First, Christianity had gone
out into the Gentile world. By that time the Christian church
was no longer predominantly Jewish; it was in fact overwhelmingly gentile. The vast majority of its members now came, not
from a Jewish, but an Hellenistic background.
“That being so, Christianity had to be restated. It was not that the truth of
Christianity had changed; but the terms and the categories in
which it found expression had to be changed. Take but one instance. A Greek might take up the Gospel according to St. Matthew. No sooner had he opened it than he
was confronted with a long genealogy. Genealogies were familiar enough to the Jew but quite unintelligible to the Greek.
He would read on. He would be confronted with a Jesus who
was the Son of David, a king of whom the Greeks had never heard, and the symbol of a racial and nationalist ambition
which was nothing to the Greek.
The question was asked: “Must the Greek who wished to become a Christian
be compelled to reorganize his whole thinking into Jewish
categories? Must he learn a good deal about Jewish history and Jewish apocalyptic literature (which told about the coming of
the Messiah) before he could become a Christian?
As E. J.
Goodspeed phrased it: "Was there no way in which he might
be introduced directly to the values of Christian salvation
without being for ever routed, we might even say, detoured, through Judaism?" After all, “The Greek was one of the world's great
thinkers. Had he to abandon all his own great intellectual
heritage in order to think entirely in Jewish terms and categories of thought?
Barclay continued: “John faced that problem fairly and squarely. And he found
one of the greatest solutions which ever entered the mind of
man… We touch on it
The Greeks had two great conceptions.
(a) They had the conception of the Logos. In Greek logos means two things - it means word and it means reason. The Jew
was entirely familiar with the all-powerful word of God. "God
said, 'Let there be light;' and there was light" (Genesis 1: 3).
Greek was entirely familiar with the thought of reason. He
looked at this world; he saw a magnificent and dependable
order. Night and day came with unfailing regularity; the year
kept its seasons in unvarying course; the stars and the planets
moved in their unaltering path; nature had her unvarying laws.
What produced this order? The Greek answered unhesitatingly,
The Logos, the mind of God, is responsible for the majestic
order of the world. He went on, What is it that gives man power
to think, to reason and to know? Again he answered unhesitatingly, The Logos, the mind of God, dwelling within a man
makes him a thinking rational being.
John seized on this. It was in this way that he thought of
Jesus. He said to the Greeks, "All your lives you have been
fascinated by this great, guiding, controlling mind of God. The
mind of God has come to earth in the man Jesus. Look at him
and you see what the mind and thought of God are like."
had discovered a new category in which the Greek might think
of Jesus, a category in which Jesus was presented as nothing
less than God acting in the form of a man.
(b) They had the conception of two worlds. The Greek
always conceived of two worlds. The one was the world in
which we live. It was a wonderful world in its way but a world
of shadows and copies and unrealities. The other was the real
world, in which the great realities, of which our earthly things
are only poor, pale copies, stand for ever. To the Greek the
unseen world was the real one; the seen world was only
Plato systematized this way of thinking in his doctrine of
forms or ideas. He held that in the unseen world there was the
perfect pattern of everything, and the things of this world were
shadowy copies of these eternal patterns. To put it simply, Plato
held that somewhere there was a perfect pattern of a table of
which all earthly tables are inadequate copies; somewhere there
was the perfect pattern of the good and the beautiful of which
all earthly goodness and earthly beauty are imperfect copies.
And the great reality, the supreme idea, the pattern of all
patterns and the form of all forms was God. The great problem
was how to get into this world of reality, how to get out of our
shadows into the eternal truths.
John declares that that is what Jesus enables us to do: He is
reality come to earth. The Greek word for real in this sense is
alëthinos it is very closely connected with the word altëthës,
which means true, and alëtheia, which means the truth. The
Authorized and Revised Standard Versions translate true; they would be far better to translate it real.
Jesus is the
real light (1: 9); Jesus is the real bread (6: 32); Jesus is the real
vine (15: 1); to Jesus belongs the real judgment (8: 16). Jesus
alone has reality in our world of shadows and imperfections.
Something follows from that. Every action that Jesus did
was, therefore, not only an act in time but a window which
allows us to see into reality. That is what John means when he
talks of Jesus' miracles as signs (sëmeia).
The wonderful works
of Jesus were not simply wonderful; they were windows opening on to the reality which is God. This explains why John tells
the miracle stories in a quite different way from the other three
The Christianity which had once been
clothed in Jewish categories had taken to itself the greatness of
thought of the Greeks…”
The rise of heresies: “The second of the great facts confronting the Church when
the Fourth Gospel was written was the rise of heresy. It was
now seventy years since Jesus had been crucified. By this time
the Church was an organisation and an institution. Theologies
and creeds were being thought out and stated; and inevitably
the thoughts of some people went down mistaken ways and
heresies resulted. A heresy is seldom a complete untruth; it
usually results when one facet of the truth is unduly
We can see at least two of the heresies which the
writer of the Fourth Gospel sought to combat.
(a) There were certain Christians, especially Jewish Christians, who gave too high a place to John the Baptist… In Acts 19: 1-7 we come upon a little group of twelve men
on the fringe of the Christian Church who had never got
beyond the baptism of John.
Over and over again the Fourth Gospel quietly, but definitely, relegates John to his proper place. Over and over again
John himself denies that he has ever claimed or possessed the
highest place, and without qualification yields that place to
(b) A certain type of heresy which was very widely spread in
the days when the Fourth Gospel was written is called by the
general name of Gnosticism. Without some understanding of it
much of John's greatness and much of his aim will be missed.
The basic doctrine of Gnosticism was that matter is essentially
evil and spirit is essentially good. The Gnostics went on to
argue that on that basis God himself cannot touch matter and therefore did not create the world. What he did was to put out a
series of emanations. Each of these emanations was further
from him, until at last there was one so distant from him that it
could touch matter. That emanation was the creator of the
By itself that idea is bad enough, but it was made worse by
an addition. The Gnostics held that each emanation knew less
and less about God, until there was a stage when the emanations were not only ignorant of God but actually hostile to him.
So they finally came to the conclusion that the creator god
was not only different from the real God, but was also quite
ignorant of and actively hostile to him. Cerinthus, one of the
leaders of the Gnostics, said that "the world was created, not
by God, but by a certain power far separate from him, and far
distant from that Power who is over the universe, and ignorant
of the God who is over all." The Gnostics believed that God had nothing to do with the
creating of the world.”
That is why John begins his gospel with
the ringing statement:
“All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that was made" (John 1:3)
That is why John insists: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son " (John 3:16)
Ancient and Modern Heresies
"The traditional Utopia is essentially a Christian heresy… The motive idea of our Utopians was that of imposing moral and ideal justice through the compulsory institution of a new social order. They were heretical, not Christian, because they blamed the Creator instead of the defective human will, and ignored the warning that 'My Kingdom is not of this World' hence Utopian aspirations all too easily have become identified in practice with ruthless destruction and terrorism, for it was found that to create a new world you must destroy the old world and to do this root out by terrorism all possible agents of counter-revolution."
- - - Sir David Kelly in “The Hungry Sheep”
Geoffrey Dobbs in his 1980 “The Church and the Trinity”, had much to say about ancient heresies that had taken modern forms - and were unrecognised as such by Christians today. But first he spoke of the importance of grasping what Jesus did for us all on the Cross: “If the ultimate reality of love is that it requires
the sacrifice of someone else, then the Universe is quite a different place,
and the belief in this is quite a different religion from Christianity, and
ought not to masquerade under the same title.”
Man has moved a long way from the concept of a created world in order and of God who sent his only Son to show just how much love He had for his creatures. We surely need to find our way back to where we went so terribly wrong. For me there have been a number of inspired 20th century writers who not only warned us of the dangers awaiting us if we continued in the direction we were taking – or being herded - but also pointed to a way forward.
Readers already know of the importance of such writers as C.H. Douglas, Eric D. Butler, Jeremy W. Lee and Ivor Benson and Douglas Reed, but I want to introduce some who are relatively new to me. How about this one?
Owen Barfield and “Saving the Appearances”: Barfield urges his readers to do away with the assumption that the relationship between people and their environment is static. He draws on sources from mythology, philosophy, philology, anthropology, science and history to challenge the assumption that the relationship between people and their environment is or was static. In his books including “History in English Words” he chronicles the evolution of human thought, with its corresponding development of human language. He challenges us to study how language has preserved for us the inner living history of the soul, how it reveals the evolution of consciousness of man.
H.J. Massingham and “The Tree of Life”: The chapter The Rural Christ: Peasant Galilee and the Roman Slave Farms presents to the modern reader the events of the life of Christ in their historical setting. Not for him the modern urbanised city-dweller scenario popular among unthinking Christians today.
Massingham’s faith-based sense of ‘the integral wholeness of nature in a local setting and community’ is very revealing. He poses the following:
“If the birth of Christ be the meeting place of man and God, the farmyard is the meeting place of man with nature. The farmyard setting of the infant Christ is not only natural but organic; his mother is a peasant woman married to the village carpenter.
Homage in Luke is paid to the Infant Child by unlettered shepherds “keeping watch on their flocks by night” and in Matthew by the Magi, the repositories of learning and wisdom in the Syriac culture, as though by pictorial illustration to draw together the two extremes of labour in the fields and transcendental kingship, the
Heavens and the earth. The Bethlehem region, a rural area of peasant population within the orbit of a highly sophisticated and urbanised world witnessing the decline of the Hellenic city-state and entering upon the first phase of (Roman) Caesarism – that which Toynbee described as the age of the Dominant Minority.”
And continues: “The eternal “I AM” made his temporary home with the most immemorial of all human settlers upon the cultivated earth since man had left his primitive childhood… He made his home among the great home-makers of all civilised nations in all periods, and who alone maintain that personal intimacy with the earth from which one civilisation after another releases itself to its final destruction… The Parables are indeed saturated in ruralism, using the commonest experiences of home-keeping man to throw a blinding light upon universal truths, infinite realities. They appear to be based upon a deep principle – that any ‘law of nature’ and anything fundamentally characteristic of human conduct (even in bad men) is a revelation of the divine. God and his ways are to be looked for in nature and in anything fundamentally human…”
“There are two symbols, bread and money; and there are two mysteries, the Eucharistic mystery of bread and the satanic mystery of money. We are faced with a great task; to overthrow the rule of money and to establish in its place the rule of bread. Money divorces spirit and world, spirit and bread, spirit and labour. In the symbol of bread, spirit becomes one with the flesh of the world. It is completely wrong to base the spiritual life on the old antithesis of spirit and flesh”. - - Nicolas Berdyaev
Enter the British Church
The available evidence points to the Christian Gospel coming to Britain in the first century through merchants, sailors and soldiers. “The faith grew up amongst the Celtic people and the Church began to flower,” wrote Canon Arthur Fellows in “The Christian Roots of Representative Government”.
Massingham continues the tale:
“The records of the British Church disclose two inter-woven strands of attachment to nature. The first is a unique passion for the wild and the
elemental as though to break through the crust of artificial convention
down to the very roots of sheer being and through the primal earth-life to
strain towards the Divine Craftsman who said, "Before Abraham was, I
AM." It is a kind of expeditionary search to find not El Dorado but the
Lost Paradise, when nature was virgin and unblemished, fresh from the
Of the two examples of early Celtic Christian communities, one is to be found at Skellig Michael, site of an ancient monastery. The Skellig Islands are rocky crags off the shore of Ireland. 1500 years ago, a monastery was founded high on the top of the largest rocky crag, Skellig Michael.
Video to watch can be found here:
The other community was on the Scottish island of Iona. Iona (Scottish Gaelic: Chaluim Chille) is a small island in the Inner Hebrides off the western coast of Scotland. It was a centre of Irish monasticism for four centuries. Its modern Gaelic name means "Iona of (Saint) Columba" (formerly anglicised "Icolmkill"). From Wikipedia.
The Book of Kells: example of early Celtic Christian art: “The Book of Kells (Irish: Leabhar Cheanannais) sometimes known as the Book of Columba) is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables. It was created by Celtic monks ca. 800 or slightly earlier.
The text of the Gospels is largely drawn from the Vulgate, although it also includes several passages drawn from the earlier versions of the Bible known as the Vetus Latina. It is a masterwork of Western calligraphy and represents the pinnacle of Insular illumination. It is also widely regarded as Ireland's finest national treasure. The manuscript takes its name from the Abbey of Kells that was its home for centuries.” From Wikipedia.
"Paradise, wrote Berdyaev in the Destiny of Man” continued Massingham, "exists not merely in men's memories, dreams and creative imagination. It is promised in the beauty of nature, in the sunlight, the
shining stars, the blue sky, the virgin snow of the mountain peaks,
the seas and the rivers, the forests and cornfields, the precious stones
and flowers and the splendour of the animal world. My salvation is
bound up with that, not only of other men, but also of animals,
plants, minerals, of every blade of grass - all must be transfigured and
brought into the Kingdom of God."
“The resemblance between this passage of a modern religious philosopher and that of St. Patrick's words to the daughters of Loegaire needs no
emphasis. Again: "Love for the creature in general, for animals, plants, minerals, for
the earth and the stars, has not been at all developed in Christian
ethics. It has not worked out an ethics of love for the world, for all
created things and all living beings,” wrote Massingham quoting Berdyaev, and lamenting “If the British Church had survived, it is possible that the fissure
between Christianity and nature, widening through the centuries, would
not have cracked the unity of Western man's attitude to the Universe…”
The Alliance of Money and Intellect
- - - Continuing Ivor Benson’s article, “The
Source and Technology of Illegitimate Power”
Benson noted the fundamentally changed western values and beliefs resulting from socialist doctrine, which however, he insists “was only one of the symptoms of something much deeper with profound metaphysical implications, a condition better represented by the “idealism” and “humanism”. Socialism is, in fact, only idealism with an economic and political programme of sorts.”
So it is this “idealism” which we need to understand, an attitude to existence that responds readily to any plausible programme or ideology proposing the betterment of the world and of mankind. Such ideologies have included anarchism, nihilism, syndicalism, socialism, communism, etc. This idealism supplies the psychic foundation for a system of secular belief which acquires the force and intensity of the religion which it has replaced.”
And the organised Christian Church, being ‘weighed in the balance and found wanting’ could not rise to the challenges before it. Too often its own leaders had accepted such utopian belief systems.
Whilst a correspondent in Soviet Russia, Malcolm Muggeridge wrote of observing Christian priests and pastors visiting the godless museums (often former churches) and expressing admiration for what the Soviets had accomplished.
“There is a fundamental and most important difference between a metaphysical or religious system of belief, and a secular or humanist system of belief,” wrote Benson.
He continued; “Yet it is this idealism, this attitude and this plausible kind of thinking, which has given the world a century of conflict and tragedy without precedent in recorded history. It is the belief that the end ‘justifies’ the means”.
Eric Butler dealt in detail with these matters and the hidden forces behind the events, often referring to the small ‘l’ liberal thinking which led on to Fabian Socialism that became the substitute religion for the western world.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn lamented that “Men have forgotten God” and tried to warn western man he was wrong about socialism and was sleepwalking to his own disaster.
“We (the Russian people) are living your future” he cried.
Social Credit looked to the Created World
It was to the created world that early Social Crediters directed people’s attention. In “Elements of Social Credit: An Introductory Course of Lectures” compiled by the Deputy Chairman of the Social Credit Secretariat Tudor J. Jones, Sc.D., M.D., (Glasgow) F.R.S.E., the created world is brought to life for us. In chapter IV, Dr. Jones in dealing with the work of English art critic, author and social thinker, John Ruskin, (1819-1900) had this to say:
“John Ruskin, in the preface to "Unto this Last ", wrote that “the real gist of these papers, their central meaning, and aim, is to give, as I believe for the first time in plain English, ... a logical definition of WEALTH: Such definition being absolutely needed for a basis of Economical Science."
In this context Wealth and Life are not interchangeable terms:
Ruskin's comment that "metaphysical nicety, we assuredly do not need; but physical nicety and logical accuracy, with respect to a physical subject, we as assuredly do" was questioned by Jones: “Such a need for "physical nicety and logical accuracy" was met in Ruskin's opinion by the statement that "there is no Wealth but Life. Life, including all its powers of love, joy and admiration."
“This is doubtless an admirable definition to those who know the work in which the words appear, but open to some misunderstanding by others. Ruskin scarcely meant to assert that wealth and life were interchangeable terms, e.g., in the statement that a man in danger of his wealth escaped from captivity among Cossacks, leaving all that remained of his life among them. Ruskin went on to say that "that country is richest which nourishes the greatest number of noble and happy human beings."
It does not matter much here whether the riches lie in the number, the nobility or the happiness. The people of a country can hardly be numerous, as well as noble and happy, without something to nourish their numbers, nobility and happiness upon.
Bringing the matter down to nourishment: “And so Ruskin understood it: and bringing the matter thus down to various kinds of nourishment it is at once brought down from the abstract to the concrete…
He is properly nourished in Ruskin's sense (and his own) when these needs are supplied at will.
Wealth is, strictly speaking, not the source from which the needs are supplied but the supplying of the needs. In other words, a nation's wealth is what its citizens consume. An individual's wealth is what he consumes. Apart from wealth a community or an individual may have assets, but these are not wealth. No nourishment results from the meat in the pantry; but only from the consumption of the meat in the pantry…
The greatest poetry is usually printed on ordinary paper with ordinary ink and cannot become wealth but through the medium of the printed book. Similarly the greatest music cannot become wealth but through the
medium of a large variety of material instruments made of steel, brass, silver, copper, wood, gut, horse-hair, ivory, etc. Stone, linen, oil, paints and varnishes are items in the medium for conveying
through the visual sense, and spiritual wealth is characteristically associated with special and elaborate buildings, mural and other decorations, and other things of a material kind.
“It will be observed that the wealth made available through such media is relatively intangible, and that the vehicles are either relatively permanent, like
the instruments of production, or are transient, like the sound
if the sound be regarded as a source of wealth…”
And Dr. Jones asks us to note that when examined the availability of wealth is dependent upon the establishment of all kinds of ASSOCIATION. Examined in detail, every instance of wealth is traceable to a number of antecedent associations; the cultural heritage, industry and process, mental association, mass association, the agreement associations, material associations, all yielding their characteristic increments. Throughout, each effective element in association has been effective in its own way…”
TRANSITION MAPPING FOR LOCAL AUTHORITY
by Frances Hutchinson
The following article is taken from “The Social Crediter” Volume 87, No 1 Spring 2011. Economist Frances Hutchinson is the present Chair of the Social Credit Secretariat. She writes:
The present owners of the Monopoly copyright
are marketing local variations of the game. There
is even a blank version designed to allow local
people to customise their own game by filling
in the familiar place names of their city, town or
village. Reviewing the origins of Monopoly (see
"The Land Question" in The Social Crediter,
Winter 2010), it is but a short step to envisage
local towns, villages and communities going back
to the drawing board and mapping out the land
usage of their immediate locality. Who owns the
land? How is it being used? Who decides what is
undertaken in the institutions on each particular
site? Who actually carries out the work? Who
benefits, and how? This type of question could
provide solid factual information as a guide to
practical local activism.
The Money Economy
Most interesting of all, through this exercise the
relationship between the real economy and the
money economy can emerge. The real economy
consists of people working on the land, in cooperation with each other, to produce goods
and services, using skills and knowledge built up
over countless generations. The money economy,
on the other hand, is now virtually entirely a
series of blips on computer screens. There is no
necessary relationship between the real economy
and a money economy which has no enduring
With the notable exception of the Goshawk
Trilogy, none of the dystopias explore the most
crucial aspect of the twentieth century, which
is the role of finance in shaping all economic,
cultural and political institutions in the
'developed' world. The money economy operates
very much on the same lines as the game of
Monopoly'. Players are inexplicably given sums
of money which they can use according to the
pre-determined rules of the game. Players do not
need to draw up the rules for themselves, nor do
they even consider who drew up the rules in the
first place. Still less do they need to know what
money is or how it operates. They just need to
play the game.
The ordinary person's ignorance about money,
beyond the desire to have more in order to spend
more, is not, perhaps, surprising. We enter adult
life by being presented with a set of rules about
the ways we can relate to society through money.
No attempt is made to explain what money is, or
how it works. We simply assume that somebody
high up the pyramid of power, some benign Big
Brother, knows what it is all about and is steering
a sane course for local communities and the world
It comes as rather a shock, therefore,
to note a comment on money by the distinguished
former banker Johann Philipp von Bethmann:
"I reflected on money because I felt that we
didn't know enough about it. It seemed to me
that money is one of the products of human
civilization which has escaped from human
grasp and which we no longer understand,
like the magic broom in Goethe's 'Sorcerer's
In the same series of discussions with the leading
German artist Joseph Beuys, von Bethmann describes money as 'amoral', nothing but a very useful man-made tool, "a product of the human spirit and the social context". It is the
task of the people and their politicians to ensure
that knowledge of what money is, and how the
money system works is based upon fact rather
than opinion.' Until now, however, mainstream
thinking has fostered growth in the money
economy, regardless of social and environmental
Ultimately, however, as Wendell
Berry points out (see "Higher Education and
Home Defence" in this issue of The Social
Crediter (douglassocialcredit.com/) all decisions on land use by the
professional careerist experts impact on a
particular locality, and hence on the people who
have made their home there. Ironically, it is the
people evicted from their own land who are
recruited as waged labour to further desecrate the
land by building and manning mines, factories,
chain stores and agribusiness farms. Displaced
from their traditional place in the domestic economy of the indigenous farming household,
mothers struggle to bring up their children as best
Home and Household
In the urban settlements of the 'developed' world,
adults emerge from households to man (sic) the
various employing institutions, returning home
for rest and care. It is in the home that people
find the love and care they need to be human.
Babies and young children are normally cared
for in the home. Adults are cared for, and care for
each other in the home. And the chronically sick
and elderly may receive care in the home. The
hours of work involved in running an efficient
home may well at least equal those spent in
paid employment. Nevertheless, the formal
economy takes no account of this vital resource.
Rather, the household is regarded as the non-
productive sector of the economy. Production is
regarded as taking place in firms and businesses.
Consumption, meanwhile, takes place in the
household. Since it costs money, it is seen as a
drain on scarce resources.
Throughout the history of industrialisation the
household has invariably been managed by
women. The multi-tasking involved in the various
household jobs provides the next generation of
women with role models which enable them
to develop the right-hemisphere of the brain.
It may be that the facility for seeing the whole
is exactly what is needed to be applied to a
critical examination of the complex relationships
between institutions operating in the same
Monopoly and Real Life
The early twentieth century attempt to bring
the tyranny of money under community control
resulted in the various versions of The Landlords'
Game, which in turn evolved into Monopoly.
Comparison of the board of the UK version of
The Landlords' Game (Brer Fox an Brer Rabbit)
with the Monopoly board reveals some interesting differences. On the earlier Landlords' Game,
sites represent actual institutions with definable
functions; the farm and the cathedral can be
visited in real life.
The sites on the Monopoly
board, however, represent nothing more than
financial transactions bearing no discernible
relationship to the land and its peoples. In
real life, properties housing businesses where
people live and work are bought and sold on
consideration of financial profitability.
a company with its headquarters in Berkeley
Square, London, bought Keighley Town Centre as
a speculative venture, putting up rents so that only
national and international chains can survive. At
the same time small, independent businesses are
rendered 'uneconomic' and forced into closure.
It follows that as Keighley people go about
their daily business, buying and selling in their
own town, a share of the wealth they produce is
creamed off by speculators who have no interest
in the people of Keighley.
The sites on the hundred-year-old Brer Fox and Brer Rabbit board can be divided, according to
their function, into three categories (a) economic,
(b) political/rights, and (c) cultural.
(a) Economic institutions produce the goods and
services required by the people. In days gone by,
virtually all economic provision came directly
from the land. On the Brer Fox board, the Farm
and the Market Garden are the lowest valued
properties, while the new phenomenon of a department store, Selfridges, is highly valued, as
is the Bank of England.
(b) Political/rights sites including the House of
Lords and 'Imperial Taxes', mediate between
people. In the present day the Town Hall
represents local democracy.
(c) Cultural sites include the Museum, the Zoo
and Westminster Abbey. These offer learning,
leisure and spiritual uplift (although the inclusion
of the Abbey as one of the highest-valued sites
would suggest a close link is implied between the
values of the Abbey and the Bank).
Ironically, this would-be reforming game goes
along with prevailing assumptions about money
as a sign of status and value. Thus financial
institutions rate high, while food producing
institutions rate low. Institutions of learning,
caring and the arts are noticeable by their
Throughout the world, local communities are
battling with the impacts of corporate incursions
on their locality. Finance flows to households
directly, to employees of multi-national
corporations, or through businesses, media,
educational and medical institutions endorsed
by the corporate world. Thus highly-paid wage
slaves make corporate decisions as described
by Wendell Berry,' spending their money by
commandeering the land, goods and services
they desire from local economies regardless
of the needs of the local people. Local people,
meanwhile, are only too glad to work for the rich
servants, for the corporations, for the small and
medium-sized enterprises that supply them, or
for the health, communications and educational
services which support the corporate edifice.
We cannot put the clock back. But every
local community in the world can review the
development of the situation which it presently
faces. By dusting off some old maps and
photographs, it is possible to build a picture of the
community as it was a century ago, order to see
the potential for local control over local cultural, political and economic resources. Over the
intervening century, new technologies and means
of communication have brought great potential
benefits, alongside a general feeling of the
powerlessness of individuals over their everyday
lives and local spaces. In each town, village and
community people are leaving their households
to take up their roles as workers, consumers and
citizens. It is not unreasonable to suggest that
the vast majority of individuals living in the UK
today are operating their daily lives in a spirit of
ignorance about their duties and responsibilities
to the wider world, an ignorance which is
unprecedented in human history.
By building up a picture of the institutions
occupying sites in a town today, and comparing
them with those of a century ago, (when 'The
Machine Stops' was written), it is possible to
assess how authority has been centralised by
the State and the corporate bureaucracies. By
tracking local changes over the last century it
becomes possible to plot alternative courses into
the future. However, in order to do so effectively,
some searching questions need to be asked.
A crucial question relates to the relationship
between physical spaces and the people who live
and work in those spaces. It is not absolutely
necessary, in the overall scheme of things,
for farms, homes and commercial properties
to be controlled by the rules, regulations and
restrictions of the international banking system.
Still less is it necessary or desirable that local
educational ventures and cultural activities be
deemed 'uneconomic', whilst a vast army of
people are engaged in the design, advertising
and production for sale of all manner of fashion artefacts, including processed food products,
products which can be justified solely on grounds
of financial profitability. As for political control
over local real estate, the Local Government
Reform Act of 1972 has resulted as, predicted, in
the further reduction of local autonomy.
The first step in the process of reform is to compare the two boards, Monopoly and Brer Fox and Brer Rabbit, (the UK version of the
Landlords 'Game), making comparisons with
one's own local town, past and present. Within the UK alone, the character of each town varies
enormously. Between Stroud and Keighley, for
example (the towns between which there have
been some preliminary discussions) there is very
little in common.
Nevertheless, in all towns the
common features of both boards will emerge.
Workers are endlessly passing Go (Mother Earth),
working through the day, the weeks and the year
as wage/salary slaves to the system.
the Bank hands out the money to the players who,
without the money cannot stay in the game. In
real life, very few people indeed own the massive
corporations which dominate their lives: they
merely work for them in order to pay their bills.
In this very brief introduction to the notion of
Transition Mapping some reference has been
made to the vast literature on food, farming,
finance and related issues. As things stand,
alternative thought and practice is studiously
ignored by a mainstream educational system
which amounts to little more than in-service
training for wage/salary-slave operatives of an
economic system designed to wreck the earth.
Over the past century the loss of local personal
authority over the production of goods and
services has been bemoaned but accepted as
the inevitable price of progress. Now that the
comforts of our 'brave new world' are giving way
to the harsh realities of 1984, it is time to dust off
our local maps to see where we are. Only then
can we determine how best to set about bringing
the wonders of the technological revolution under
the authority of the local community.
1. All details of The Landlords Game (AKA Brer Fox n'
Brer Rabbit) are available on the Poetic Licence page of
our website: www.douglassocialcredit.com
2. See article on "The Land Question" in The Social
Crediter, Autumn 2010
2. Joseph Beuys What is Money? A Discussion
(November 1984), Clairview, 2010.
3. The story is now available in the Penguin Classics
series, £3 (UK).
Bishop Richard Williamson wrote of modern man’s arrogant attitude to Life:
In Comments CLXXXVIII (19/2/2011) he said:
“I make no apology for quoting a remarkable paragraph from a reporter of the prestigious Wall Street Journal who relates how in the summer of 2006 he was rebuked by a senior adviser of then President Bush for having written an article critical of a former communications director in the White House. He says that at the time he did not fully comprehend what the adviser was saying to him, but afterwards he saw it as getting to the very heart of the Bush presidency.
Here are the adviser's own words, as quoted by the reporter:
People like the reporter, the adviser said to him, are "in what we call the reality-based community, meaning people who believe like you that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." The reporter should forget about yesterday's principles of respecting reality. "That's not the way the world works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality - judiciously, as you will - then we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do." (See www.321 gold, Feb 2, "We are Victims of a Financial Coup d' Etat", by Catherine Fitts.)
“The classical Greeks were pagans with no knowledge of the revealed God” wrote Williamson, “but they had a clear grasp of that reality which is the moral framework of his universe, governed, as they saw it, by the gods. Any man, even hero, who defied that framework, like the Bush adviser, was guilty of "hubris", or of rearing up above his proper human station, and he would be crushed accordingly by the gods…”
Film director Peter Jackson in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” has his young hero Frodo - who is on his way to that ‘other world’ - finish with his understanding of Samwise Gamgee’s future earthly life: Here at the end of all things comes the Days of the King, the 4th Age of Middle Earth has begun, and, in the Days of the King mortal Sam who has returned to his own loving family is to “BE and to DO”.
A blessed Holy Week to you all.
'The ‘Rural Christ – the Living Water’
William Barclay gives us the historical significance behind Jesus’ timing, action and words at the Festival of Tabernacles as outlined in John 7: 37-44: “On the last, the great day of the festival, Jesus stood and cried:
"If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. As the scripture
says: 'He who believes in me - rivers of living water shall flow
from his belly.'"
It was about the Spirit, whom those who
believed in him were to receive, that he said this. For as yet there
was no Spirit because Jesus was not yet glorified…
Festival of Tabernacles - Historical and Agricultural:
During the Festival the booths sprang up
everywhere, on the flat roofs of the houses, in the streets, in the
city squares, in the gardens, and even in the very courts of the
Temple. The law laid it down that the booths must not be
permanent structures but built specially for the occasion. Their
walls were made of branches and fronds, and had to be such
that they would give protection from the weather but not shut
out the sun. The roof had to be thatched, but the thatching had
to be wide enough for the stars to be seen at night”. The
historical significance was to remind the people that once they had been homeless
wanderers in the desert without a roof over their heads (Leviticus 23: 40-43).
Its agricultural significance:
“It was supremely a harvest-thanksgiving festival… The people called it "the season of our gladness," for
it marked the ingathering of all the harvests, since by this time
the barley, the wheat, and the grapes were all safely gathered in.
As the law had it, it was to be celebrated" at the end of the year
when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labour"
(Exodus 23: 16); it was to be kept "when you make your
ingathering from your threshing floor and your wine press"
(Deuteronomy 16: 13, 16). It was not only thanksgiving for one
harvest; it was glad thanksgiving for all the bounty of nature
which made life possible and living happy.
dream of the new world it was this festival which was to be
celebrated everywhere (Zechariah 14: 16-18). Josephus called it
"the holiest and the greatest festival among the Jews "(Antiquities of the Jews, 3: 10: 4).
It was not only,; a time for the rich; it
was laid down that the servant, the stranger, the widow and the
poor were all to share in the universal joy”. Amen….