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Edmund Burke
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Political Democracy

Thought for the Month:

"There is no human freedom (the right to possess and transmit property, to engage in enterprise and to think) which Christianity has not served to stimulate; and this vast hatching of freedoms… constitutes the very soul of that western civilisation the decline of which fills us with deep anxiety tempered by hope. The human person, delivered by Christ, has been able to develop his loftiest potentialities; we see the results in culture, in the economic and juridical and the political order. This civilisation is infinitely creative because it is founded on freedom… The absence of creative power is common to all totalitarian regimes…"
- Gustave Thibon on "The Decline of Freedom," in the symposium "Christianity and Freedom".

"Genuine democracy can very nearly be defined as the right to atrophy a function by contracting out."
"Freedom is - the right to choose or refuse one thing at a time."
- Clifford Hugh Douglas.


- There are only two basic philosophies

There are two basic philosophies in the world and, because these philosophies are diametrically opposed to each other, they give rise to conflicting policies.

· The first philosophy is one which conceives of all power and authority arising from a point EXTERNAL to the individual.

· The second philosophy conceives of all power and authority arising from WITHIN the individual.

The first philosophy automatically gives rise to policies which demands a certain type of organisation in order to impose certain conditions upon the individual. This philosophy results in the Individual being subordinated to the State, the System, or some other abstraction. It can be termed a false philosophy, because it gives rise to policies which conflict with the natural desires of the Individual. This false belief system is helped by many people who may even be opposed to one another. For example there is the alleged conflict between Communism and Fascism. We must learn to look beyond labels to the reality behind the labels.

The second philosophy which conceives of reality as an environment in which the Individual can make the greatest progress towards self-development, gives rise to a social structure in which there is the greatest possible decentralisation of all policies including financial policies. Jesus of' Nazareth stated the Christian - the realistic philosophy - when he said:-"The Kingdom of God is within you."

- Human Societies
These two philosophies, and the policies arising from them, result in two different types of organisation; and all human organisation has to do with the association of individuals.
C.H. Douglas wrote in "The Tragedy of Human Effort":
"The general principles which govern association for the common good are as capable of exact statement as the principles of bridge-building, and departure from them just as disastrous. Human society is essentially an organisation, and to be successful, organisation cannot be a haphazard affair."

- Why do individuals associate?
In answering this question it is essential that we draw attention to the fact that what is termed civilisation was unknown at one time in human history. Mankind, at one period lived the life of wanderers. The only unit was the family, or possibly the tribe. Civilisation resulted from the nomadic life being exchanged for the settled, permanent community life. Various historians have given slightly different versions of the ways Civilisation began, but they are all agreed that it was from the result of individuals discovering that by living in permanent communities, they could obtain results which were otherwise impossible of attainment.
The historian Elliot Smith put it thus: "True civilisation began when man adopted a settled mode of life based upon the practice of agriculture. The realisation of the possibility of obtaining a secure means of sustenance without giving up his whole time to the daily search for food, induced man to settle in a definite place, which he made his home. It also provided him with the leisure and the inducement to devise arts and crafts and a social organisation, the need for which was now felt by simple nomads".

- Society is clearly a device
Although obscured by the complexities of modern civilisation, the primary objective of social life remains what it was originally: to obtain greater security and freedom for the individual.
It is of fundamental importance that we realise clearly that society is a device which exists for the benefit of individuals; society is built up from the individual, and all organisations which have been evolved through social life are for the purpose of' serving their requirements.
The reason individuals associate is in order to gain some common objective which would be more difficult, or impossible for them to attain if they worked for it separately. The conviction that by association they can gain the objective they desire, brings them together as a group, co-operating to a predetermined end.
This is true of any association of individuals. It is true of a factory, of a cricket or football club, of a community or a nation; of society as a whole. To the degree that the individuals forming such associations are convinced that they obtain the objective, or objection, for which they are associating, the group will function vigorously. It will progress and be successful. But if it fails to yield to its individual members the results which they expect from their association, they will become dissatisfied and the group will tend to break up.

It is the operation of this ever-increasing dissatisfaction with the results of the present social system - which we are witnessing at every hand - which is leading to the rapid disintegration of our communities, societies and civilisation.

We have been describing a typical voluntary association. Individual members are free to leave if they are not satisfied with the results being obtained. In such associations organisations are designed specifically to get members of the association the results which they desire.
We can perhaps contrast the types of organisation we are studying by picturing them diagrammatically.

- A Cricket Club Analogy
The voluntary organisation can be pictured as a circle with a centre. In such an organisation, which, let us recall is the result of a philosophy which conceived of all power as arising within the Individual, there is decentralisation of power.
In our diagram we can visualise people forming the circumference of the circle and bringing pressure upon their various institutions at the centre, to get them the results desired.
We can examine this matter further by using the analogy of a cricket club. Individuals are free to join the club or to leave it.
They associate for the purpose of playing cricket. They next elect a committee, which is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the members can play cricket under the best possible conditions.

We can note here that the members don't tell the Committee how to get them the results they want; they simply judge by results.
Now if the Committee feels that cricket is an inferior game to golf and tries to insist that all members of the club shall play golf, obviously the members will protect their rights by simply leaving the club - i.e., contracting out.

- Freedom to Choose or Refuse
The most effective control that the individual can have over any organisation is the freedom to withdraw his support of that organisation if it does not give him what he wants.
Clifford Hugh Douglas has commented as follows in "The Big Idea":-
"Genuine democracy can very nearly be defined as the right to a atrophy a function by contracting out. It is essentially negative, although contrary to the curious nonsense that is prevalent about 'negativeness,' is none the less essential for that reason… The power to contract out is the first and most deadly blow to the Supreme State."

- The Pyramidal Organisation
Where there is compulsion of individuals, compelling them to do things they do not want to do, we get a different type of structure. This type of organisation can be shown diagrammatically as a pyramid. In this structure a few people at the apex of the pyramid have all power and authority. There are various stratas in the pyramid, all comprised of groups of people who are controlled by the strata above.
At the base of the pyramid we have the great majority of the people, and their only chance of furthering themselves in this type of organisation is by intrigue and corruption.
Every strata in the pyramid must maintain its position by controlling all those below it and by making itself subservient to those above. In such an organisation the worst in human beings is developed, not the best.

Further Reading:
"Social Credit," by Clifford Hugh Douglas. Price: $15.00 posted.
"Human Ecology & Social Credit: the Legacy of Tom Robertson," by Michael Lane. Price: $9.50 posted.
"The Foundations of Liberty," by Rev. Canon Arthur Fellows. Price: $3.00 posted.
"Social Credit & Catholicism," by George-Henri Levesque, O.P. Price: $9.50 posted.

Available from all League Book Services. Prices quoted are for within Australia.

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