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22 March 2013 Thought for the Week:

RIP: Douglas Hewson Christie, April 1946 - March 11, 2013

“I am heart-broken to say that Doug passed away this afternoon in Victoria Hospice. Daughter Kalonica, 20, and son Cadeyrn, 22, Doug's sister Jane, and I were all with him and able to say all that was in our hearts to say before he let go of the pain and suffering to leave us with the immense gifts of his love for us and the lessons of his life.”

- - Keltie Zubko 11 March 2013

“Who I Am” Doug Christie on Youtube speaks

Doug Christie on BBC

Douglas Christie comments on "Ann Coulter, Watch Your Mouth!"


REMEMBERING DOUG CHRISTIE’S 1991 VISIT TO AUSTRALIA

Canadian barrister Doug Christie, visited Australia with his wife Keltie and baby son in 1991. The League of Rights invited Doug to speak on his experiences whilst acting as defence lawyer for Imre Finta the first person charged with war crimes in the English-speaking world. Those who heard Douglas Christie in 1991 will not have forgotten the man.

He courageously visited Eastern Europe before the Iron Curtain came down, in preparation for the defence of the first Hungarian-Canadian charged with war crimes. He demanded a Canadian Government guarantee of protection before he went to Israel to take evidence.
Doug’s presentation was filmed and is still available on DVD. The quality is not as good as one might expect of a 2013 production, but the sterling quality of the man Douglas Hewson Christie shines throughout the film. DVD $10.00 + postage.

As Queenslander Charles Pinwill observes in his introduction at the National Seminar 5th October 1991: “Douglas Christie is a very rare and special servant of Truth and of Freedom of Speech.”
Later, commemorating the Australian visit, a book was published on the historic Finta war crimes trial - which was won for his client. There is an introduction by Doug and a fascinating outline of the trial, together with the final part of Christie's moving summary to the jury.
Read further The New Times Vol. 55, No. 11. November 1991

A splendid permanent reminder of Doug Christie's Australian visit, the booklet “The Path of Legal Warfare” is still available for $6.00 + postage.  


THE NEW CLASS AND RIGHTS COMMISSIONS

by Ian Wilson LL.B.
Journalist Nick Cater has produced some good articles defending freedom of speech and in May, Harper-Collins will publish his book, “The Lucky Culture and the Rise of the Australian Ruling Class”. In his article “Think What You Like But Keep it To Yourself” (The Australian 5 March 2013, p.14), he points out that it was only in April 1966 that Harold Holt signed Australia’s first international human rights agreement, the UN Declaration on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination.

God Gough put this into action in the form of the Racial Discrimination Act in October 1975 and Al Grassby (remember him?) was put in charge of a new commission that grew into the Human Rights Commission. Now it has a budget of $27.5 million and states have their own anti-discrimination commissions, chewing up more taxpayers’ money.

Cater documents how all this turned into an express train of “rights” with the Racial Hatred Act, the Bolt case, and more recently Nicola Roxon’s attempt to push anti-discrimination to a new level. He seems to think that this Bill is dead in the water, but I have noted that the new Attorney General is more cautious but just as enthusiastic about promoting a modified Bill.

As I see it, what is needed is the elimination of the Human Rights Commission. Then all the laws inspired by the UN need to be repealed. We need to get back to the freedoms we had in May 1966.  


ANTI-CHRISTIAN, ANTI-FREE SPEECH - CANADIAN COURT DECISION

Writing in the National Post Rex Murphy had this to say: Welcome to Canada, land of never-speaking-ill-of-a-marginalized-group free-ish speech. You can say what you like in Canada — to yourself, in a low voice. According to our Supreme Court, free speech is secondary to the right not to feel offended. I join with Andrew Coyne in expressing bewilderment at one particular statement from this week’s decision in the case of Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission v. Whatcott — the one where the Justices write: “truth may be used for widely disparate ends.” What an eerie caution.

The court wants to make sure that disreputable forms of truth can’t serve to get Canadians off the hook for hate speech. After all, truth is such a wily, insidious, sly concept. Allowing Canadians to use it any way they please … why, that way lies anarchy and uncomfortable dinner tables.

Four hundred years ago, the great Francis Bacon described this relativist attitude: “‘What is Truth?’ said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.” His contemporary, Montaigne, wrote: “Truth for us nowadays is not what is, but what others can be brought to accept.”

Truth is either the centre of law and life, or law and life both are the worse for its not being so. The term “self-esteem” might have been foreign to Montaigne and Bacon. But they would have lamented how self-esteem — or its group equivalent — now gets more play than truth. There’s a fair dollop of therapeutic chatter in the Whatcott ruling, a resort to vague nostrums, such as the idea that “hate speech” might “oppose the targeted group’s ability to find self- fulfillment?”

So might bad weather, or bunions. What, really, is that phrase supposed to encompass? Moreover, how can group “self-fulfillment” be measured? Is self-fulfillment a legal right? There have been, in recent decades, any number of commentators pointing out the follies and failings of our human rights commissions and tribunals. In rendering their judgment on Whatcott — which arose from the machinations of this same human-rights industry — could not the Justices have offered some view on the often outrageous manner by which this industry operates?

The Court was silent on the manner by which human rights tribunals stack the deck in favour of the offendee against the alleged offendor. The victim-complainant is given all manner of succor and support from bureaucrats. The “offending” party, on the other hand, is left to bear the time and burdens of hearings and rulings. Often, he must go out and get a lawyer, at his own expense.

Nor did the Court offer any real guidance on why our tradition-tested and tradition-hallowed rights — such as freedom of speech and religion — now must be displaced or diluted in favour of new more politically correct axioms. Moreover, why does the overbearing modern notion of tolerance seem to involve so much … intolerance? And why do some Canadian citizens — the “designated groups” we hear so much about in human-rights jurisprudence— now effectively enjoy more rights and more protection than other Canadian citizens? Lady Justice is not blind. She’s now winking at subsets of the population, while pretending to be fair to all.


COURT TWISTS CHARTER OF RIGHTS IN HASTE TO LIMIT FREE SPEECH

Andrew Coyne: Supreme Court twists the Charter of Rights in its haste to limit free speech

The very first line in the Supreme Court’s calamitous decision in the case of Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v. Whatcott gives a clue to where it is going. “All rights guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” it declares, “are subject to reasonable limitations.”

This is a legal truism, but as always it is as important what the Court did not say. It did not choose to begin a ruling on an important freedom of speech case with a ringing affirmation of the importance of free speech, or what an extraordinary thing it is to place restrictions upon it. Indeed, in its haste to get on with the limiting, it did not even pause to properly quote the section of the Charter that grants the state such authority.
The Charter “guarantees” the rights set out in it, Section 1 declares, “subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.” The limits don’t just have to be reasonable. They have to be “demonstrably justified.”

Where the Court’s view of such limits is expansive and approving, the Charter is grudging (“only”) and cautious (“demonstrably”). That’s as it should be. If we accept the bedrock premise of a free society, that government is its servant and not its master, then it is up to the state, always, to ask the citizens’ permission before it intrudes on their liberty, and to prove its necessity: it is never the citizen’s obligation to show why he may remain unmolested. That spirit is lamentably absent from the Court’s reasoning.  


WHY SCHOOLS OF ECONOMICS, POLITICAL SCIENCE, SOCIOLOGY, ETC SHOULD BE CLOSED DOWN

by James Reed
John Papworth has written a magnificent little booklet “Why Schools of Economics and Political Science Should be Closed Down” (Arbuckle Books, 2011). I was immediately attracted to the title of the book which appeals to my conclusions that much that is taught in the modern university is evil. Papworth is an Anglican priest, and apparently an old one, who has much experience and wisdom. Most importantly Papworth goes, I think, to the philosophical heart of the globalisation debate.

Aristotle put the case for small-scale in these words: “The best limit of the population of a state is the largest number which suffices for the purposes of life, and can be taken in at a single view.” In more modern times Leopold Kohr, “The Breakdown of Nations” and Fritz Schumacher, “Small is Beautiful”, have argued for the same point. Papworth though goes further and argues that human scale/small scale is now necessary for survival. Systems are collapsing because of excessive growth.

Economics though aspires to the ideology of growth and globalism and thus also threatens our survival. That is why economics departments in universities need to be shut down, i.e., because the discipline is socially harmful. It is a degenerating paradigm which has not even solved one of its central problems because of its view of the market as a controlling entity, divorced from social considerations.

Worse, social development is now determined not by the moral consensus of society, but by what the market wants – as if the market was some sort of mythical monster in a fictional story – but one which has suddenly become real. Worse, orthodox economics is basically wicked; it begins with the assumption that the “factors of production”, land, labour and capital are capable of being substituted for each other. To this Papworth says: “Individual human beings, made if you will in the image of God, are of no more or less account than a share certificate or a cabbage patch.” (p.12)

Common sense, let alone more weighty theoretical reasoning (demonstrating that these factors are not infinitely substitutable), shows that this is nonsense, and yet this is the fundamental basis of orthodox economics. The creative individual is reduced to the level of an object by this so-called “science”. Creative capabilities, prized throughout the generations, are lost. Work, which once gave meaning to human life, has become demeaning and mass production has reduced people to the level of passive consumers. Today we do not create beauty – we disfigure it: One consequence of economic tyranny displacing man’s higher powers is that baser powers came to dominate.

Following a theme discussed by Prince Charles, although Papworth does not mention him, he observes that even with our technological powers, we have made an ugly world, composed of ugly cities: “Today we do not create beauty, we destroy or disfigure it; we trample upon the lessons of scale and proportion our forbears studied and practised with such consummate skills, so today our urban skylines are raped with monster apartment or office blocks which acknowledge no principle but that of profit, which squander energy and other resources with mindless abandon, which disregard the need for harmony between man and environment, and which create insoluble problems of human alienation and urban disruption.” (p.17)

Economics has helped produce an alienating mass society. Politics in this mass society has produced a sham democracy where elections “can never be other than exercises in manipulation, indoctrination, misinformation, and a general sabotaging of citizen’s powers of independent judgement.” (p.25)
The money power decides election issues. Democracy might be called democrazy.

Economics is thus not a science but is a “gigantic and complex conspiracy concerned simply with the mechanics of making money.” (p.25) However even this may be self-defeating, Papworth argues, because the Earth is fast approaching the limits of greed and growth. From the polluted waters, to land erosion to ozone layer depletion, humanity is destroying the environment which sustained Life. Consequently, morality must be restored to central place in economic thinking – orthodox economics pretends to be “value-free” but actually follows the sole value of greed.

There is a need to go back, to realise that globalism is a wrong road and that local self-reliance is the way of preserving Traditions, community, and Life itself. Economic schools need to be shut down “because their teaching assumptions betray truth and help enormously to spread falsity.” (p.35)
This is a highly readable and important booklet that cuts to the basic issues.
It is fully consistent with social credit philosophy and would be a good “first book” for anyone beginning to question the evil religion of modern economics. Once again, I loved the title and I am glad that someone felt strongly enough to say this. A job well done John Papworth!

John Papworth, from Purton Today
“One of the infuriating features of modern life is the way it has opened the doors of knowledge to an extent enabling everyone, yes everyone, to become expert in almost any aspect of learning. Do you want to know all about the conditions of the Arctic winter? The vegetation of tropical rainforests? The breeding systems of multi-legged caterpillars? The chemistry of solar rainbows or the religious convictions of Australian tribal systems? It’s all there nowadays for the taking on our TV programmes; we can become profoundly learned on any subject of our choice which former generations would only make available as an exclusive privilege to senior classes of scholarship.

Today the world can become one vast university of which we can all become its students and professors. Yet instead we bury ourselves by the millions in triviality, in organized games involving players flying across the entire world in pursuit of a leather ball or some trophy, or in similar inanities involving the diminution of our human stature.”  


DOWN TO EARTH: HISTORY AND THE THREE SPHERES OF SOCIETY

by Frances Hutchinson (From The Social Crediter Spring 2013)
Chapter 1: History is like a spring morning, impossible to describe from a single perspective. Many different individuals recorded events in their various times and different places. Others interpreted and distilled those accounts, often under the patronage of successful players in the game of politics, so that it becomes all too easy to dismiss the whole subject as a boring irrelevance. It can be argued that now is the time to get on with planning the future. Forget the past.

On the contrary, however, the stark reality is that without an understanding of the past there is no possibility that the social institutions under which we live at present, can be adapted purposefully to alternative ends. The entire social framework of the present has been inherited from the past. Individuals work together through an interlocking network of institutions, none of which can be reformed without distorting the entire edifice. The first essential, therefore, is to take a long hard look at various versions of the evolution of the social framework of global corporatism.

The Myth of Progress
The version of history commonly taught in mainstream educational establishments across the globe today can be viewed from three perspectives: political, economic and spiritual. Political history tells the story of urban settlements such as those of ancient Greece and Rome, with their wars and conquests of lands, kings and emperors. After the Dark Ages in Europe more leaders emerged to fight over control of lands, building and destroying urban settlements until eventually geographical areas were united to form the nations of Europe. In due course the European Union came along. But that, after all, it is nothing but an economic union.

Economic history is the story of the technological progress which has made possible the modern Machine Age. In the bad old days (so the story goes) everyone had to dig the soil in all weathers, day in and day out, grubbing about for a living. They went about in rags, and what little food they managed to procure was forcefully seized by the aristocracy. Nobody lived long, and children died off in droves from hunger and disease. Along came the new agrarian technologies, opening up the possibility of mass production and mono-cultural farming. Freed from having to work on the land, people could now leave their homes to work in factories where the ‘division of labour’ operated (see Adam Smith).
New inventions followed one another in dazzling array – canals, mills, mines, potteries, textiles, railways, roads, steel mills, coal mines, electricity, air travel, electronic communications, and of course bombs, armaments and tanks. Under the division of labour, underpinned by the wages system, everyone does a little bit, and there’s plenty for everyone. All can enjoy the benefits of health and safety, hygiene and the internet – if they just keep right on working (for money).
Spiritual history is merely alluded to indirectly within the formal educational institutions. In ancient times each generation was taught the story of their past in terms of divine interventions guiding the deeds of their ancestors. These teachings involved guidelines on good practice, fair dealings, justice, loyalty and respect, and their counterparts of evil, malice and betrayal. There were right and wrong ways of doing things.

Furthermore, there was some ridiculous notion that the person who became king, whether by conquest or heredity, was so placed by a divine being, in which case he was expected to rule over his people in justice and equity, according to the laws of the land. The Divine Right of Kings, if taught at all, is presented as one of the more ridiculous notions of the pre-modern political economy.

Modern educational institutions convey the impression that the story of economic history, as they present it, is all there is to know. According to this recently invented myth, material progress is the only yardstick with which to evaluate social action. Economic progress makes everybody better off. If more and more things are made, it won’t be long before everybody has enough. Then each individual will be able to make his or her choices about political and spiritual matters in perfect freedom from dogma, superstitions and all the paraphernalia of moral philosophy. For the time being, just keep working for money under the orders handed out to you, so that when we reach the end of history – which is just around the corner – you can sit back and enjoy it. There is nothing beyond the material, so talk of justice, peace, fair dealings and rights balanced by obligations, is so much hogwash.

Rural and Urban Economies
Historians of politics, economics and society have so far failed to account the existence of two parallel economies – the rural and the urban. Throughout human history, the rural economy could have existed perfectly well without towns, cities, fortifications, roads, railways, sea-going galleons, armies, warfare, new electronic means of communication and all the paraphernalia of so-called ‘civilisation’.

The same cannot be said for the urban economy. No civilisation, however sophisticated, can survive in complete independence of the rural village economy. For the small-scale city states of the type described by Leopold Kohr1, the dependence of the urban upon the rural could be taken as read. Accordingly, respect for the rural hinterland was built into the political-economic institutions of the city-state.
Large-scale empires such as that of the Romans, appeared to be able to pluck slaves, soldiers and skilled servants from the rural village economies of the lands they conquered. Indeed, they could also take land directly into latifundia cultivation, using forced labour, whilst creating wastelands.

The political economy of the Machine Age, for all its apparent sophistication, fails to take into account the need to manage the physical resources of the planet using the ages-old principles of sustainability and returns to the soil.
As Aristotle (384-322BC) recognised so long ago, two forms of political economy can be distinguished. ‘Oikonomia’, the word from which the term ‘economics’ is derived, is household management designed to increase its use value to all members over the long run. As Daly and Cobb explain: “If we expand the scope of household to include the larger community of the land, of shared values, resources, biomes, institutions, language, and history, then we have a good definition of ‘economics for community’.”2 (Daly and Cobb 1990, p138).

Aristotle used the term ‘chrematistics’ to describe a political economy motivated by a desire to enrich oneself at the expense of others, the claiming of rights without responsibilities, the maximisation of short-term personal gain regardless of the needs of others or the natural world. It is concerned with the personal ownership of property, and its manipulation so as to maximize the short-term monetary exchange value to the owner.
As Daly and Cobb explain, the modern economist: “is convinced that the great discovery of modern economics is that chrematistics is the same thing as oikonomia, thanks to the invisible hand as described by Adam Smith3.

The academic discipline of economics is at once the study of the manipulation of property and wealth so as to maximize short-term monetary exchange and the study of how the people as a whole gain from this manipulation. Chrematistics thereby intends to assimilate oikonomia.
There is then no need to cultivate concern for the wider community or any of the virtues associated with that. Rational self-interest suffices.” (Daly and Cobb p139)
Senior economic advisors and academics have gone so far as to suggest that a free market can reduce “the need for compassion, patriotism, brotherly love and social solidarity,” arguing that material self-interest is all that is necessary to secure the common good.

Chrematistics and the Worker Class
The corporate urban world of chrematistics relies upon its cultivation of the worker class. The old ‘working class’ has been replaced by a new class of the experts, those who know a lot about some bits of science, technology and the workings of the political economy, but who cannot connect into the whole picture. In his seminal work “The Breakdown of Nations” (1957)4 professional academic economist Leopold Kohr made the following observation:

“In a large state we are forced to live in tightly specialised compartments, since populous societies not only make large-scale specialization possible but also necessary. … Instead of experiencing many different things within surveyable limits, as did our enviable ancestors, we experience only one thing on a colossal plane. But this we experience innumerable times. Mechanics now meet only mechanics, doctors doctors, commercial artists commercial artists, garment workers garment workers, journalists journalists. … It is considered snobbish, indecent, or treasonable to mix with anyone not of one’s kind. If a historian knows a psychoanalyst, he is suspected of being a lunatic. If a business man knows a sculptor he is suspected of being a sex pervert. If an engineer knows a philosopher he is suspected of being a spy. If an economist makes a pronouncement on a question which, by definition, belongs to the field of political science, he is considered a fake.
One of my own students accused me in open class of fraud when I ventured to correct a statement made by him concerning a fact of English political life. He rejected my correction by stating sternly that an economist could not possibly have authoritative knowledge in a field outside his own. If he claimed this nevertheless, he was either a genius or an imposter, indicating strongly that he considered me the latter.
And he was right, of course. Even as an economist I am a fraud. The only field in which I really know something concerns the documentation of international customs unions. There, I know everything, and, meaningless as it is, am probably the world’s foremost authority. In every other field I have to trust what other specialists have dug out.” (Kohr p121-3)

The above passage indicates the common dilemma of the Machine Age – size and centralisation. Specialists have come to know more and more about less and less, able to cite with authority some details of a narrow field of research, but with no inkling about how the myriad separate parts might fit together in theory, still less in practice.

Perhaps Graham Green has best captured the spirit of the age. His vacuum cleaner salesman in Our Man in Havana has no idea what is happening on the world stage. Wormald’s teenage daughter has expensive tastes, so when he is approached to be recruited as an agent by the British Secret Service in their Caribbean network during the Cold War, he fabricates a series of agents and events, including drawings of secret weapons which bear a remarkable resemblance to the body and fittings of a vacuum cleaner.
When the deception is eventually detected, and can no longer be denied by the senior officers in the Secret Service, Wormald is awarded a sinecure and an OBE. Green’s portrayal of chrematistics in the twentieth century is entirely convincing and true to the life of the times.

In the industrial age humanity has forgotten that its roots lie in the soil. Up to this point in time, the industrial world has been supported by the surviving vestiges of the traditional, rural, peasant cultivation. Ancient knowledge of the soils and seasons, of the cultivation of plants, the tending of livestock and forms of human cooperation based upon trust and responsibility, has been developed and handed down through generation after generation.
All the varieties of the skills, aptitudes and essential human qualities could, until recent decades, still be found in pockets of farming communities where individuals grew to maturity on the land. It is an illusion to imagine that the ‘worker’ or ‘fraud’ class, trained purely to follow instructions on the basis of rational self interest, can create a sane society for their children.

Peasant Houses and Households
Throughout history urban developments – cities and civilizations, with their armies and fortifications – have depended for the means of subsistence upon the enduring knowledge of peasant cultivators. Within the peasant household knowledge of soils, seasons, and all the necessary practical skills for survival have been handed down in unbroken line from generation to generation since time immemorial.

No civilisation has ever survived in complete independence from its roots in the soil. Human communities can live in a wide range of environments, eating a vast range of foodstuffs. But we remain dependent upon a bedrock of peasant knowledge of the natural world in specific places and times. In 1984 a small book was published entitled Romanian Peasant Houses and Households.

Written by a Romanian academic, Georgeta Stoica, it lays the facts starkly on the kitchen table. For millennium after millennium, the household hearth has been the place where the baby is born. Within the household the child learns the practical crafts of farming, building, carving, creating fabrics, weaving, cooking, caring, tending plants and animals, of obtaining sources of food, of decoration, story telling and knowledge of the spiritual world.

The young couple settle – in the old house or in a new one built to last by the community as a whole, taking full responsibility for the natural, physical, intellectual and spiritual resources under their command. In time, the old take their seat by the fireside before joining the ancestors. Studies of peasant households can be found in books and museums all over the world. The records of ‘First Peoples’ have far more than mere curiosity value, nostalgia for a bygone age. They may, very likely, provide the essential lifeline enabling humanity to survive beyond the Machine Age.

Spiritual Life, Civil Rights and Industrial Economy
The quest for reform of the economic and political systems under which humanity lives at this point in time hangs on the crucial question of the motive force behind the quest. If we, the worker class, are merely worried about losing the perks offered by the industrial machine, the goodies offered to us for serving the industrial machine, we may as well save our breath to blow our porridge for as long as the porridge keeps coming. For any realistic reform to take place, a revolutionary change of heart and mind is essential.

Fortunately, we do not have to reinvent the wheel. Progressive thinkers provide the serious inquirer with food for thought and coherent action. In The Threefold State, published in English in 1920, Rudolf Steiner presented the case for thinking in terms of a threefold state or ‘commonwealth’. He observed three aspects of a society:
(1) An economic system having to do with everything necessary for man’s regulation of his relationship with the material external world.
(2) A political or equity system dealing with the social rights and relationships between man and man.
(3) A spiritual or educational system covering all that must come from the individual person, all that proceeds from the human personality and makes its way into the structure of the society.

Arnold Freeman, well-known educationalist and student of Steiner observed:
“Reconstruct our political and economic machinery as we will, unless it be set going it will not be able to satisfy human needs. There is only one way to make driving force available, and that is by liberating science, religion and art – education in all its forms – from dependence upon industry and politics.”5

In 1946 Charles Waterman further amplified Steiner’s thoughts on the threefold commonwealth:
“For the purposes of analytical description we are compelled to speak of the spiritual, political and economic spheres as though they were separate: rather as a lecturer on physiology has to single out the nerve system or the vascular system. But this he does only on the conceptual level; he cannot go to an actual living body, isolate part of it and say, ‘Here is the nervous system’, or ‘Here is the vascular system’.

For almost everywhere in the body he will find nerves and veins conjointly present. Similarly, although on the conceptual level we can and must speak severally of the spiritual sphere, the political sphere, and the economic sphere, we never encounter one of them alone.
They interpenetrate always, and must do so; for it is the activities and relationships of human beings which constitute the three spheres; and wherever we find human beings living in society, there we find, inseparably interwoven, a spiritual life, a political life, and an economic life.”6

As far as I know, Leopold Kohr never came across the teachings of Steiner. Nevertheless, his vision of the self-governing, autonomous city state provides an intriguing alternative to the business-as-usual corporate model, manned at all levels by the worker class. Dreams of a return to an idealised peasant village society of the past are at once impractical and undesirable. A version of the city state, decentralised and on a human scale, would seem an attractive starting point for discussions on viable alternatives.

The City State
Leopold Kohr was born in 1909 in Oberndorf, a village of 2,000 situated fifteen miles from the Austrian city of Salzburg. The cultural climate of the once-independent city state of Salzburg formed a model which influenced his thinking throughout his life.

As he was later to describe it:
“The rural population that built this capital city of barely more than 30,000 for its own enjoyment never numbered more than 120,000. . . . Yet, single-handedly they managed to adorn it with more than 30 magnificent churches, castles, and palaces standing in lilied ponds, and an amplitude of fountains, cafes, and inns. And such was their sophisticated taste that they required a dozen theatres, a choir for every church, and an array of composers for every choir, so that it is not surprising that one of the local boys should have been Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. All this was the result of smallness, achieved with not an iota of foreign aid. And what a rich city they made it into."7

The City of Salzburg was very much like the city-state Kohr came to admire and advocate. Today, however, the global chain stores and fast food outlets litter the ancient streets of the old town. Designed, managed, manned and patronized by the worker class of waged and salaried workers, these retail establishments bear witness to the cultural climate – the spiritual values - of the Machine Age.

The population that built the City of Salzburg maintained contact with its rural roots. Until well into the twentieth century the mountains, fields and forests surrounding the city provided food, fuel and the natural materials for building and furnishing homes according to ages old traditions and customs. The natural setting of the city was also a common cultural inheritance, the setting for the folk stories of the mountains, forests, fields and villages surrounding the City of Salzburg.
During the ‘Dark’ or ‘Middle’ Ages city states were built all over Europe. The scale of each political entity was such that the economic management of natural and human resources, the body politic and the cultural sphere could be comprehensively reviewed and participated in by the ordinary citizen. Large scale specialization was neither possible nor desirable. Hence all three spheres related to each other comprehensively.

In one corner of Europe, in the English-speaking British Isles, the new culture of the Machine Age emerged and took shape. The cottage economy of William Cobbett, and the village economy of Tolkein’s Shire, were swept aside to make way for the modern political economy which would allow the new technologies of the industrial age to be developed. History cannot be set aside or changed. That is the way things happened. However, if change is to come about in the future it is essential to understand what gave rise to the institutional framework under which we now live.

Two Philosophies of Life
The worker class mentality of fear (of failing to secure a livelihood) and greed (for the goodies of materialism) is cultured by mainstream education. Trained not to question the underlying philosophy of consumerism, workers and consumers rest content to serve the institutions of big business, politics and academia. In recent decades, the alternative culture of the commons, of the common cultural inheritance and the acceptance of the natural world as an entity to be worked with and respected, has been forced to the very fringes of serious debate. It is therefore to texts published in the early twentieth century that we must turn for renewed understanding that there are, indeed, alternatives.

In the 1940s Massingham wrote:
“(T)he real, fundamental division of our times … is not between political parties nor between conflicting ideologies nor even between nations … The real division is between rival philosophies of life. The one believes in exploiting natural resources, the other in conserving them; the one in centralized control, the other in regional self-government; the one in conquering and the other in co-operating with nature; the one in chemical and inorganic methods imitated from those of the urban factory and the other in biological and organic ones derived from the observation of nature as a whole; the one in man as a responsible agent with freewill to choose between the good and the bad, the other in man as a unit of production directed from above by an elite of technologists and bureaucrats; the one in the divine creation of both man and nature, and the other in man as self-sufficient in himself, with nature merely as the means for extracting wealth for himself. The one philosophy is dominant and possesses all the power but the other is in possession of the truth” (emphasis original).8

Notes:
1. Leopold Kohr, The Breakdown of Nations, RKP, 1957.
2. Herman E Daly and John B Cobb, For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy Towards Community, the Environment and a Sustainable Future, Green Print 1990.
3. See Frances Hutchinson Understanding the Financial System, Jon Carpenter 2010, pp60-62.
4. Leopold Kohr, The Breakdown of Nations, Routledge and Keegan Paul, 1957.
5. Foreword to reprint of article by Rudolf Steiner entitled “Spiritual Life, Civil Rights, Industrial Economy”, Rudolf Steiner House, 1922.
6. Charles Waterman, The Three Spheres of Society, Faber and Faber (1946).
7. Cited by Kirkpatrick Sale in his Introduction to the 1978 edition of The Breakdown of Nations.
8. H.J. Massingham, cited in Patrick Wright The Village that Died for England: The Strange Story of Tyneham, Vintage, (1996), p245.

Source:

Frances Hutchinson’s New Home Economics CD
Titles include:
• The Flat Earth Economics of the Circular Flow
• Your Money or Your Life
• Galileo and Flat Earth Economics
• An African Education
• The New Home Economics
• Institutions
• The Theory of the Leisure Class
• The Wages System

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