A Blessed 2012 Holy Week to our Readers
Whereas the People: A Threefold Common Wealth
May the Lord bless you and keep you,
May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you;
May the Lord lift up His favour upon you and give you His peace.
- - Numbers 6: 24-26
In May 1947 C.H. Douglas addressed the Constitutional Research Association at Brown’s Hotel, Mayfair and the title of his address was: “Realistic Constitutionalism”. He referred to the importance of the English Common Law noting that the “locus of sovereignty over Common Law is not in the electorate, because Common Law did not derive from the electorate and indeed ante-dated any electorate in the modern sense. In the main, it derived from the Mediaeval Church, perhaps not directly, but from the climate of opinion which the Church disseminated.”
Professor Andrew Fraser noted that fact in last month’s NTS: “My research into the long course of English and American history led me to rediscover the Old Faith of the Anglo-Saxon peoples. I was very much struck by the fact that it was the early Christian Church – not the State – which created the English nation…”
I might add, a search of British history reveals the early Christian Church was the Churtch IN England and not to be confused with the Church OF England that came out of the reign of Henry VIII.
Suggesting there was nothing very novel in what he had to say on the subject of Constitutionalism and the importance of the trinity-in-unity balance in human affairs, C.H. Douglas saw that “much of it is in Magna Carta, which is not so widely read as it should be, and I am not sure that it cannot be found in an older document, the Athanasian Creed, a far more profound political document than is commonly realised”, he went on to refer to a paper written about 25 years earlier by the Austrian anthroposophist,* Dr. Rudolf Steiner: “The Threefold Commonwealth”. (For those who are not aware of the fact, biodynamic farming has its roots in the teachings of Dr. Steiner.) * (spiritual philosopher)
Douglas cautioned: “For my own part, Dr. Steiner did not appear to contribute anything very helpful to the practical solution of the problem, while recognising its nature… The main point to be observed is that to be successful, Constitutionalism must be organic; it must have a relation to the nature of the Universe. That is my understanding of “Thy Kingdom come on Earth, as it is in Heaven.”
It was to the practical solution of the nature of the problem that men such as C.H. Douglas devoted most of their lives. Douglas wrote this at a time when Fabian Socialist Professor Laski of the London School of Economics linked his plans of centralised political power to statements such as ‘Christianity had failed and Russia (Soviet Russia…ed) was the hope of the world’.
Douglas warned: “A Constitution is either an organism or an organisation. All organisation is what used to be called magic, and a good deal of it is black magic - the manipulation of metaphysical forces for questionable materialistic purposes. We all know what happens if you put copper wires into a wrong relationship with a powerful electric current, and there is ample evidence to show that our ignorance or disdain of everything but materialism is causing a spiritual "short-circuit." The real British Constitution - not Professor Laski's - is an organism. The Russian (Soviet) Constitution - attributed to the Fabian Society and Mr. Sydney Webb - is an organisation.”
So, what did Rudolf Steiner have to say about the nature of the problem? The New York Times published a review by Raymond G. Fuller of “The Threefold Commonwealth” in its 14 January 1923 edition:“New Scheme of Social Organization”.
An authorised translation by S. Bowen-Wedgwood, pp.206. New York: Threefold Commonwealth Publishing Association.
“The spiritual life, as Dr. Steiner sees it, is neither a collection of instincts nor a collection of ideas and ideals, but an entity that transcends the life of man and yet works in and through man and gives life all the reality it has. It is life itself. The comparative impotence of this spiritual life, its relative frustration, is the fundamental cause of the working class movement.
Let the author (through his translator) speak:
“The man of today who is obliged to live the life of the worker** - needs a spiritual life from which power can come - power to give his soul the sense of his human worth. For when the capitalistic economic order of recent times caught him up into its machinery, the man himself, with all the deepest needs of his soul, was driven for recourse to some such spiritual life. But the kind of spiritual life which the leading classes handed on to him as ideology left his soul void. Running through all the demands of the modern working class is this longing for some link with the spiritual life other than the present form of society can give; and this is what gives the directing impulse to the social movement today.
* *At present, the worker thinks that he has struck the main force in his soul when he talks about his "class consciousness." But the truth is, that ever since he was caught up into the capitalist economic machine* he has been searching for a spiritual life that could sustain his soul and give him a "human consciousness" - a consciousness of his worth as a man - which there is no possibility of developing with a spiritual life that is felt as ideology.
*‘caught up in capitalist economic machine’ is such an apt description of what happened to the worker in the 20th century and is happening to the worker in the 21st century!…ed.
“This "human consciousness" was what he was seeking. He could not find it; and so he replaced it with "class consciousness" born of the economic life. His eyes are riveted upon the economic life alone, as though some overpowering suggestive influence held them there. And he no longer believes that elsewhere, in the spirit or in the soul, there can be anywhere a latent force capable of supplying the impulse for what is needed in the social movement. All he believes is, that the evolution of an economic life, devoid of spirit and of soul, can bring about the particular state of things which he himself feels to be the one worthy of man.
“Thus he is driven to seek his welfare in a transformation of economic life alone. He has been forced to the conviction that with the transformation of economic life all those ills would disappear that have been brought on through private enterprise, through the egoism of the individual employer, and through the individual employer’s powerlessness to do justice to the claims of human self-respect in the employee. And so the modern worker was led on to believe that the only welfare for the body social lay in converting all private ownership of means of production into a communal concern or into actual communal property. This conviction is due to people’s eyes having been removed, as it were, from everything belonging to the soul and spirit, and fixed exclusively on economic processes.
“Society and social institutions–the state and the school in particular– are dominated by the economic life, with consequences many and various. The economic life extends its influence far beyond its own proper sphere. The modern capitalist system of economy, says Dr. Steiner, recognizes nothing but commodities, and in the capitalistic process something has been turned into a commodity which the worker feels must not and can not be a commodity–namely, his labour power.
He has much to say about the loathing which the worker feels at being obliged to barter his labour-power to the employer, as goods are bartered in the market; his loathing at seeing his personal labour-power play part as a factor in the supply and demand of the labour market, just as goods in the market are subject to supply and demand.
“We have had from other writers much criticism of the capitalistic system as affecting legislation and education, to the neglect or subordination of human values and as outraging the worker's sense of personality; but Dr. Steiner does not blame capitalism, he believes that any social system based primarily on economics must necessarily produce similar results. It is not reform of the economic system that he advocates; it is reform of the whole social system. Liberty is not to be found by changing to some other form of industrial economy than capitalism. It is not to be found in Marxism or neo-Marxism…”
“At times Dr. Steiner sounds like many another critic of capitalism, at times like many another critic of socialism. He does not want capitalism. He wants the social order completely revised and changed, and that, as he carefully explains, is precisely why socialism will not answer; for socialism is an economic remedy. He does not want anything between capitalism and socialism. He does not want social legislation or Government ownership, or, as solutions, such things as profit-sharing and employee representation. Least of all does he want anarchism. All talk of socialization he regards is futile, in whatever sense the term "socialization" may be used – whether as meaning the common ownership of property or the triumph of humanitarianism. Futile so far as a solution of the social problem is concerned, socialization will prove no cure, but only a quack remedy, possibly even a fatal one for social life; that is, "unless in men's hearts, in men's souls, there dawns at least an instinctive perception of the necessity for a threefold division of the body social.
"If the body social is to function healthily, it must develop three organic divisions; must become tri-organic. The economic life must have its separate division; so must "the life of rights," and so must the spiritual life – three autonomous divisions, functioning apart, yet bound together. Hard to conceive? But that is the conception of the Threefold Commonwealth…”
“The second branch of the Threefold Commonwealth is the "rights-state," with legislative and administrative machinery for the expression and effectualisation of the "life of rights." Here is the sphere of politics, but politics divorced from economics. Here is the realm of social ethics, of human relationships. In the rights-state, "built up on those impulses in human consciousness which go by the name of 'democratic,'" men's rights and duties are adjusted. … Dr. Steiner does not elucidate; throughout his book he leaves a good deal to the imagination of the reader, and that, no doubt, is the method of true art.
“The third division of "the body social" under the threefold plan has to do with "all those things which are connected with mental and spiritual life." But that phrase is not very clear, Dr. Steiner admits, and "spiritual culture" is not satisfactory, either. Perhaps, he says, one might more accurately express it as "everything that rests on the natural endowments of each single human being – everything that plays a part in the body social on the ground of the natural endowments, both spiritual and physical, of the individual."
Definitions and descriptions of the spiritual life are difficult, partly because language itself is under the domination of forces and influences, habits and modes of thought that are primarily economic; the bondage of the spiritual life is shown in the limitations of language….”
“In this book, in the picture of the Threefold Commonwealth, there is much vagueness, a plentiful lack of detail, but Dr. Steiner says that he is not trying to describe a Utopia, a task of particularization; he is merely setting forth principles and presenting a general outline…”
Policies and Philosophies
In “Releasing Reality” (1979) Eric D. Butler, explained that as a young man he was a keen student of history, but only when he came to read Clifford Hugh Douglas did much of that history make sense. He wrote: “Douglas observed that a problem correctly stated is already half solved. The starting point for solving problems of human beings must be to ask the question: “What is the purpose of man himself, and of his activities?” The basic problem is, therefore, philosophical” and in “the first book on what has since come to be known as ‘social credit’, “Economic Democracy” (1918), Douglas was concerned almost wholly with the proposition that centralisation of power over initiative as opposed to individual freedom is a persistent and conscious policy… (and) every effort has been made to obscure this fundamental issue.”
In its basic Social Dynamics Course, the League explains the meanings of words as used within social credit teaching as well as the fundamental importance of the concepts discussed. As an example:
• PHILOSOPHY: Man's concept of his own nature and the Universe; his concept of Truth.
• POLICY: Action taken to obtain desired results, based upon philosophy. Concrete evidence of that which is unseen (i.e., ‘making the word flesh’, ‘incarnating the word’, practical Christianity, putting the ‘word’ into practice).
• ADMINISTRATION: The implementation of policy. As all Policies Are Rooted In Philosophies (Figs Are Not Obtained From Thistles),
Conflicting Philosophies Produce Conflicting Policies. ("By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them.")
• SOCIETY: A complex form of association. Human beings are social beings, therefore family, community, nation are important concepts to grasp.
THREE MAJOR DIVISIONS OF SOCIETY:
Economic, Political, Spiritual/Cultural
• National housekeeping
• Private ownership
• Competitive enterprise
• Consumer control of production
• The "Money Vote"
• True profit and dividends
• Limited Constitutional Government
• Decentralised political units
• Division of powers
• Constitutional safeguards
• Rule of law
• Justice. Independent Judiciary
• Defence and foreign policy
• Cultural activities.
• Sporting associations.
Frances Hutchinson in her “Breaking New Ground” DVD series has enlarged upon the trinity-in-unity concept.
Economic System: Mutuality, economic well being through profitable production, distribution and consumption of goods and services by mutual exchange and association in the market. Business/the market.
Political System: Equality, Governance and citizenship for equity, justice, entitlements and security through law, human rights and regulation. Polity/state.
Cultural System: Freedom, individual growth through health, the arts, sciences, sport, leisure, spirituality and education. Civil society.
Social Credit is as old as Man
There are folk who think that the League of Rights should ‘move on’ and take up ‘new ideas’ instead of dwelling on Clifford Douglas’ ‘out of date’ social credit concepts. All I can say to these folk is that you haven’t grasped the true nature of the social credit concepts, and that is sad.
On the very active social credit internet-forum one of those persons wrote recently:
“It seems that the most vocal users of this list want to live in a fish pond of old ideas. And those that don't comment presumably want to go along with that. I respect that and will move on to other pastures. …H.N.
Another participant responded thus:
H.N.: You may think that this is a fish pond of old ideas - I think it depends on the perspective of the observer. Personally, I think the ideas being discussed here are very significant compared with what passes for debate elsewhere. This is a social credit forum - and there are some basic precepts relating to that.
I think it's fair that what Major Douglas had to say must have some bearing on what Social Credit is understood to be.
The precepts of social credit more relate to Christian constructs than anything else. There's more to SC than just money - and it is absolutely not just a monetary reform scheme. It's more about the relationship of the individual to the group - and the sanctity of the individual. Douglas mentioned that Christianity is the warp and woof of the universe. SC is practical Christianity. To my mind - there's a philosophical foundation to embrace and agree on first. From this, one would expect general agreement with ideas derived from that philosophical foundation. So the ideas may be "old" - but they should relate to the basic precepts.
I believe that many of the disagreements on this forum could be reduced back to an underlying clash of basic precepts.
In fact, I suggest that some participants don't even know what their own basic precepts are, or they think it doesn't matter.
Anyhow, all the best with the quest for new ideas. They usually end up being old ones in new clothes. And I think there are really only two ideas in the world. In the end - only whatever that which is truth will endure. If you are moving on - take care. It is good to ask questions - and also be able to hear the answers. … P.
The Real Conflict is a Conflict of Philosophies
“Ye cannot gather figs from thistles” -
The author of “Social Credit is as Old as Man” encouraged his readers to consider some of the principles of a Christian philosophy which are common to Social Credit, and the following passages and Gospel sayings have been taken at random from Social Credit literature - and (he) will try to show how Douglas used the Gospels, as he frequently did, to illustrate his writings, speeches, and books.
"Out of the heart the mouth speaketh" -
We fought two desperate wars, hard won to destroy the threat to our National and Individual Sovereignty, exemplified and implied in these philosophies and the Policies which are their natural result. Major Douglas foresaw this many years ago, when his first and great work was published in which he solved the problem the orthodox economists had failed to do.
In "Economic Democracy" he wrote:
"…the real antagonism which is at the root of the upheaval with which we are faced is one which appears under different forms in every aspect of life. It is the life-long struggle between freedom and authority… This antagonism does, however, appear at the present time to have reached a stage in which a definite victory for one side or another is inevitable - it seems perfectly certain that either a pyramidal organization having at its apex supreme power, and at its base complete subjection, will crystallize out of the centralising process which is evident in the realms of finance and industry, equally with that of politics, or else a more complete decentralisation of initiative than this civilisation has ever known will be substituted for external authority…"
"Ye are of more value than many sparrows" -
In the Christian philosophy, the individual is of the deepest importance.
"The rain falls on the just and on the unjust" -
There must be no distinctions - on King as on peasant, on rich as on poor, on sinner as on saint; and as all have contributed to the social credit all must share it (the National Dividend).
"I came that ye might have life and that more abundantly" -
In this there is nothing said about work or that he came to ensure that paradise of so many today, at the instigations of Governments, the "policy of making employment universal, not of producing wealth with a minimum of work." (You noticed perhaps that this represented the tenets of the Laval-Nazi policy prior to the Second World War). Work is of course a means to an end and not an end.
We, as Social Crediters, are careful not to exalt means to the place of ends and so be led astray in our thinking, for as Douglas reminds us "Daemon est Deus in versus" or, the Devil is God upside down.
"The Kingdom of Heaven is within you" -
His Kingdom is not to be found in this or that Plan or in this or that Institution invented by the well-meaning for what is considered by them to be for another's good, "It is within you." Though this gives to each of us a responsibility, it frees us from well-meaning (no doubt) thralldom, it lets us go free.
We pray, "O God, in knowledge of Whom standeth our eternal life, Whose service is perfect freedom…", but according to some, the "new freedom" will not be freedom from dependence, (on others), or from interference, (from others), no, it is to mean "freedom of opportunity", and of "lesser freedom" so as to enjoy the "greater".
As to "freedom of opportunity" we may well ask: For what? To know God "in knowledge of Whom standeth our eternal life"? - "No", we are told, "but freedom of opportunity to work." - "As far as I am aware, the slave was always free to work," comments Douglas.
"The sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath" -
Surely this is a plain injunction that institutions should serve man, that man should be master of the machine, of his institutions, for he is greater than they.
There is only one commandment - Love. And I will quote from "The Social Crediter" of January 18, 1941:
"The difficulty is to present our philosophy as a whole. It is so easy to magnify one aspect of it out of relation to the rest. When for instance we observed the tendency of the 'Parents' Association' to 'put things right,' and their assertion that loving your neighbour means 'working for him' according to your own ideas of what is good for him, we should remember that these amiable intentions are closely linked with a belief in the 'innate tendencies to barbarism' in the human race. This idea is incompatible with Social Credit."
"Love thy neighbour" -
There is no suggestion in this commandment of Planning for my neighbour, rising to power over my neighbour, applying sanctions to my erring neighbour; all of which are excused by the well-intentioned as being for our good. When Major Douglas spoke at Buxton on "Democracy" (the word so often misapplied) he there proclaimed his belief in the innate goodness of man, and he would refuse to accept as truth "the innate tendencies to barbarism" which a certain set of people today would have us believe are common to man, and on which they would have us base our philosophy and so, our policy today.
"He that is greatest among you let him be your servant" -
I will again quote from "The Social Crediter"
"Perhaps the greatest difficulty we have is to show that our philosophy is not just a stunt. We cannot make it too clear that loving your neighbour does not mean working for him in the sense understood by the Parents' Association. It may mean taking orders from him. And it certainly does mean leaving him alone with his personality, leaving him free. For those who aspire to be great there is of course open, to humble ourselves to be servants, and this means taking orders and carrying them out to the best of our ability. It means accepting and implementing the policy of the people, not preparing an agenda and placing it before them."
"The sabbath was made for man" -
yes, and those words imply not only man's importance above his institutions, but that his institutions are only justified in so far as they serve him. This Social Credit philosophy then, is based on the importance of the individual, and this embraces what Douglas calls "man's immanent sovereignty"; his in-dwelling right to rule himself , which must be preserved if he is to reach that end which although unknown, he feels to be his crown! The preservation of the dignity of the individual is of vital importance, for his "author and maker is God."
Now while there is a place in the social economy for all, it is not suggested that "the man in the street" shall decide how the hole in the street is to be mended, but he wants it mended, and the expert who is engaged must produce the result desired, or go. To decide policy is not the function of the management; the expert. The aristocracy or hierarchy of management should give the desired result - that is, to carry out the policy of the democracy - of the people. This is how a democracy should function, and in it we have a simple example of the aristocracy of management serving the People.
"I came that ye might have life and that more abundantly" -
Can we if we are Christians avoid criticisms of anything, which hinders a free, dignified and fuller life for all? For such is possible. The Social Credit philosophy claims it for all - the Kings, the people, the peasant, the publicans and the sinners.
The Douglas Financial Proposals for instance, are an example of the policy of the philosophy underlying them, because, they are not confiscatory proposals, they do not rob Peter to pay Paul, they are not Debt and Taxation proposals, but are in keeping with Social Credit teaching. The results will be in keeping with Social Credit philosophy.
The proposals claim for us our inheritance of the social credit, the reward of long ages of toil: simply it claims for us our credit.
Banal as it sounds, there is no Liberty without Economic Freedom, and Douglas has defined Liberty as "freedom to choose or refuse ONE thing at a time."
The National Dividend which is claimed for all would end for most their material disabilities and limitations - while such remain there is no freedom in the Social Credit sense.
* On the League’s website is a summary by Victor Bridger of how a National Accounting and Balance Sheet would be set up.
National Dividend…. Cultural Inheritance:
We can only touch here on the evils brought about by a non-Christian philosophy, but it is now well-known if not acknowledged - that a faulty-no-good, won't-work-system of Economics which of course includes Finance, is one of the causes of War if not the chief. It is a cause of war in every village, of trouble in every workshop. The trend today is for centralisation - its brand is everywhere - and this is incompatible with Social Credit philosophy, which favours the individual and encourages his initiative. For the much better results, which come from such a free mind, we have evidence today and on the battlefields of the last two wars.
Which of us has not seen many examples of this divine quality of personal initiative, divine spirit, of man's creative impulses unrealised, discouraged, trodden down, frustrated till it was quenched, and the men in whom it once dwelt saddened, dispirited, often ruined in calculated and quite unmerited ruin.
We call for a policy built on the living foundations of the bountiful and beneficial laws of Nature, in Economics and Finance, the way the Universe works, the way the Engineers, the bridge-builder the Architect has to.
We are led to believe that rather than correct the faulty functioning of civilized life to reflect Reality - and the teachings of Jesus has shown us the way - the only alternative to repeated war or the astonishing and unnecessary paradox of poverty amid plenty, to be found in schemes such as Federal Union, The Police State, United Nations Organisations, each of which is instituted "to put things right", the fundamentals of which is the intensification of centralised government, and "the sacrifice of our National and individual sovereignty", and, to a "central Authority", (but who this is or to whom answerable is not stated.) These are grave threats. They are totally incompatible with Social Credit.
Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect (1867-1959) wrote: "I believe man's nature is still sound, and recognise that science has done well, but I know that science cannot save us. Science has given us miraculous tools but what use are they unless we have mastered the cultural use of them in man's relation to man? We do not want to live in a world where the machine has mastered the man, we want to live in a world where man is master of the machine." And Major Douglas would add "and of the institution which should serve him."
AN AFTER THOUGHT
Bearing in mind the definition of Social Credit is:
"The power of human beings in association to produce the result intended, measured in terms of their satisfaction"
That definition is taken from "Elements of Social Credit" along with the comments: "You may decide now whether human beings have or have not any such power: whether two or more persons can help each other to produce a result they intend to produce. If they have no such power, Social Credit does not exist: if they have it does.
What do we decide? We cannot study something that does not' exist,' and if we decide that human beings inevitably help each other to produce a result which they do not intend and do not find satisfactory, we had better give up, for we have nothing to study..."
Many years ago I decided to consciously 'put it to the test', thereby both proving the truth of it and demonstrating the truth of it, at a personal-family level. That way my children, grandchildren, and those to come after, would be consciously taught and witness the principles in operation and experience them working out within our little family/community. I would refer to what we were about as 'working as a team' and the results being the 'increments of the association'.
At the same time, I have spent most of my adult life promoting Social Credit on a wider level - I first came in contact with its teachings in 1963. (Now, gentle reader, you are not going to be so ungallant as to guess my age - are you?)
That way, I have passed on the outlines of Social Credit (the knowledge will not be lost) and those who have grasped the truths of it, will in turn, live it out and demonstrate the truths of it.
It has been my observation that many folk who have associated with the movement I work within, did not pass on the knowledge of the truth of Social Credit to those around them- and maybe they did not demonstrate it either - leaving me to believe it was really just an intellectual exercise for them.
Geoffrey Dobbs once wrote: "Social Credit is a movement of the human mind and spirit." I think it can be seen everywhere if one has 'eyes' to see. Douglas referred to the importance of "organic community life". Another writer put it along these lines: 'Organic life is not the product of matter (materialism) but is the constant expression of spirit, as life and form, in the medium of matter'.
As for the wider community at the national and international level, the task continues.
The great Disciple wrote: "Prove all things" and his Master said: "The truth shall make you free."