The Approach to Reality
by C. H. DOUGLAS
I believe that the fate in history of the Church
of England depends very largely upon your Chairman.* I have often
said to him that, without pretending to be an authority on these
matters, I am fairly confident that the persecution which was the
lot of Christianity in its earliest years was by no means because
it was concerned with something purely transcendental - something
that we call the world to come.
Taking the merely material implications in it, I have little doubt
that what was recognised and persecuted in early Christianity was the
economic implications of its philosophy.
Only when Christianity became, as it did, purely transcendentalist,
was it felt to be fairly respectable and fairly safe.
Now you may say that the Dean, in his introductory remarks talked about
economics and that I am talking about religion.
Really I am not talking about anything of the kind. What is plain to
anyone who looks at the matter coldly and dispassionately is this
- that it is not of the technique of Social Credit that the powers
- that - be are afraid;
it is of the fundamental change it would make in the whole
problem of economics and human life.
This address is primarily for Social Crediters, and those who are not
familiar with the technical details of what is commonly known as Social
Credit will not hear a great deal about money. But I would assure them
that what I have to say tonight is interwoven with the money question.*Dr.
Hewlett Johnson, Dean of Canterbury. At that time (1936)
"The Red Dean" was Director of Revenue to the Social Credit Secretariat
and an avowed Social Crediter. His conversion to Communism (a doctrine
which, however baffling when a precise definition is sought, is certainly
the direct and probably the only true opposite to Social Credit)
was not then contemplated - unless by Dr. Hewlett Johnson himself. As
I conceive it, Social Credit covers and comprehends a great deal
more than the money problem. Important as that is, primarily important
because it is a question of priority, Social Credit fundamentally
involves a conception, I feel a true conception - but you must enlarge
upon that for yourselves - of the relationships between individuals
and their association in countries and nations, between individuals
and their association in groups.
Where Truth Lies To Social Crediters it is a fairly commonplace saying
that what we are trying to do with the money system is to make it reflect
facts, but what we are also trying to do is to make the relationship
between individuals and their institutions reflect facts.
To borrow from the Dean of Canterbury's vocabulary, what Social Crediters
have in mind is to know the truth in order that the truth shall make
you free, and I have no hesitation in saying that the opposition is
concerned to keep from you the truth so that you shall not be able
to see the truth even when it is before your eyes.
Truth is said to lie at the bottom of a well, and the opposition is
concerned with keeping truth at the bottom of the well, and it will
do its utmost to see that it does not get out.
We Social Crediters say (and we are all Social Crediters, although
we may not all be talking very much about Social Credit at the moment)
that the monetary system at present does not reflect facts.
The opposition says it does. Well, I put it to your common sense. How
was it that a world which was apparently almost feverishly prosperous
in 1929 - or alleged to be so, judged by orthodox standards - and certainly
capable of producing tremendous quantities of goods and services and
distributing a considerable proportion of them, could be so impoverished
by 1930, and so changed fundamentally, that conditions were reversed
and the world was wretchedly poor?
Is it reasonable to suppose that between a single date in October,
1929, and a few months later, the world would change from a rich one
to a poor one? Of course it is not.
I can perhaps give you some conception of the sort of things with which
we have to deal in this problem of making the world a closer approach
to reality if I draw your attention to a book, which has just been
published, by the chairman of a large financial institution, and who,
I understand, has a large financial interest in that humorously named
journal, the New Statesman. An Example of the Just Price
I have noticed in my journeys round the world, in which it has been
my lot to be more scurrilously attacked than most people, that the
organisations which attack the theory of Social Credit always adopt
one of the first technical suggestions of Social Credit, that is to
say, they begin to sell below cost, and the thing they try to sell
below cost is literature on their views of economics.
The amazing amount of literature you could get for nothing in Australia
and New Zealand when I passed through was a complete demonstration
of the principle that if you make things cheap enough you can find
a sale for them. The book to which I refer, finely printed and published
by one of the most famous publishers in the world, is sold at the bargain
price of 5s. (as against a probable cost of production more like lOs,
a most notable example of the Compensated or Just Price.
I should not refer at such length to this book if it had not provided
a very interesting demonstration of what it is really intended we should
believe about the economic system. The conclusions at which this book
arrives are obviously erroneous, so the techniques upon which they
are based are not of much interest.
Mr. J. M. Keynes states that the outstanding faults of the economic
society in which we live are its failure to provide for full employment
and its arbitrary and inequitable distribution of wealth and income.
That is a very typical instance of what I am referring to as misrepresentation
- a tendency to draw a picture which is not a true picture of things
as they are.
It suggests that the perfect economic system should provide full employment
and absolutely equitable distribution of wealth and income. Now that
sounds very attractive, doesn't it? Work
for All or Goods for All
But suppose you say that the object of the economic system is not
to provide employment at all, then what importance can you attach
to a statement that the job of the economic system is to provide
full employment for all? The job of the economic system is not to
provide employment at all. It is to provide and distribute goods
and services with the minimum amount of inconvenience and loss of
time to everybody.
That, of course, is quite fundamental. Let us look for a moment at
this idea of an equitable distribution of income. That on the face
of it sounds extremely fair and sane but let us go a little bit further.
Let me use an example I have often used before. I used it in Canada
about 15 years ago at the Parliamentary enquiry in 1923.
Suppose you had ten men crossing the Sahara Desert and they had a
long way to go and had only so much water. It would obviously be
a matter of great importance to all concerned that everybody should
have exactly the same amount to drink. Take the same ten men and
put them in a boat in the middle of Lake Superior with 250 miles
of fresh water all round. If one of them said that they should have
only so much water each, for anything else would be "thoroughly unsound,"
the obvious reply would be, "Go jump into the lake and have all the
water you like! "
Well, that in the economic world is the position at which we are
now arriving. There was a time, no doubt, when ethically - I will
not say pragmatically - something might have been said for equality
of income for everyone. And at that time they certainly did not have
it. But now when we are at the point where there is so much potential
wealth - such enormous quantities of potential wealth actually destroyed
- we are supposed to devote our attention to details so that everyone
may have the same amount.
What Social Crediters say is that everyone should have as much as
he wants, and it is our belief that he can have it without taking
it from anybody else. It's Your Money They Want
Now this book of Mr. Maynard Keynes to which I have referred, represents
apparently a sudden conversion on the part of the author to the monetary
theories of Silvio Gesell, the originator of the idea of "disappearing
money," that is, money that loses its value month by month unless
spent (as if money did not disappear fast enough already).
The idea is that if you have got a lOs. note today you have to put
a penny stamp on it a fortnight hence to keep it worth lOs., and
another penny stamp in a further fortnight's time so that it shall
still remain at the value of lOs. Gesell's theory was that the trouble
with the world was that people saved money so that what you had to
do was to make them spend it faster.
Disappearing money is the heaviest form of continuous taxation ever
The theory behind this idea of Gesell's was that what is required
is to stimulate trade - that you have to get people frantically buying
goods - a perfectly sound idea so long as the objective of life is
When a lOs. note becomes worth only 9s. 11d. tomorrow, a man will
go and buy something and so stimulate trade. In fact you have exactly
the same state of affairs as existed at the time of the stupendous
German inflation of the mark.
When a waiter received payment in millions of marks he hardly waited
to throw down his napkin before dashing out to buy something, because
the value was disappearing so rapidly that what he bought one minute
would require a billion marks ten minutes hence. Government by
These taxation schemes - I am not now talking of any particular theory,
I am talking of conceptions of life - all these schemes are based
on the assumption that you have to stimulate something or other.
They are an attempt to produce a psychological effect by means of
the monetary system. In other words, the monetary system is regarded
not as a convenience for doing something which you decide yourself
you want to do, but to make you do something because of the monetary
I am not going into Social Credit technique tonight; I merely want
to repeat that our conception of a monetary system is that it should
be a system reflecting the facts, and it should be those facts, and
not the monetary system that determine our action.
When a monetary system dictates your actions, then you are governed
by money, and you have the most subtle, dangerous and undesirable
form of government that the perverted mind of man - if it is the
mind of man - has ever conceived. Shall Britons be Slaves?
Now I said that the objective of the present system, and also the
objective of many of the more unusual proposals which people are
discussing to replace the present system, are consciously or unconsciously
based upon this idea that the individual must be kept in a condition
of economic dependence.
This matter is of considerable importance because the objective of
leaving things as they are - and not as most people would desire
them to be is that the individual shall always be economically dependent.
What is happening at the present time is that more and more people
are becoming economically dependent. It is quite astonishing what
a much greater proportion of economically independent people there
was about 150 years ago than now.
Every attack on inequality of income has been made the excuse for
making people who have obtained a certain degree of independence
less economically secure than they were before.
The question of land is an outstanding case.
The landlord is often said to be the cause of all our troubles. He
may or may not be, but those who agitate that the land should go
to the people have only made it perfectly certain that the land should
go to the banks and the insurance companies.
The modern machine with its marvelous capacity for utilising power
is capable of releasing man from much of his human labour and providing
for his economic independence so that he can be set free for other
ends. Yet people's ideas have been so perverted that they have become
slaves of the machine ever more definitely riveted to an invisible
slavery. The Social Significance of Plenty
The abolition of poverty in the midst of plenty, important as that
is, is not the core of the problem. It is conceivable that people
might be provided for as well-fed slaves. It is fundamental that
the freedom inherent in things should be conditioned only by the
nature of the world, as one might say.
The moment that conditions are made about making people wealthy,
you are not making them wealthy in accordance with the wealth they
might have from the free play of invention and progress and organisation.
You are making them wealthy only according to somebody's conception
of what should be the conditions under which they should be allowed
to be wealthy.
That is quite a different thing.
Of course you must have a certain amount of organisation in the world
and just as in regard to the economic system you must make money
reflect facts, so that you can choose what to do instead of being
forced into doing what you do not want to do, so with your governmental
system. It should reflect the fundamental relationships of human
beings to each other.
When you receive a sheaf of buff papers at the beginning of the year,
followed by blue ones and then a little later on, red ones, all of
them stating you have received a lot of money you have never seen,
and that further money must be produced, or unpleasant things will
happen, the gentleman who signs these notices signs himself, on the
first two at any rate,
"Your obedient servant."
What I am proposing is that he should be exactly right.
There is only one sane objective of government and that is to make
it easier for everybody to do those things that are possible. That
is the only justification for government - that by organisation and
doing things according to certain rules you can do things more easily
To imagine that we are born into the world to be governed by something
not inherent in the cosmos is one of the most astonishing pieces
of hypnotism that has ever afflicted the world. Faith Without
Works is Death
At this point we get to the relationship between the Social Credit
theory and action. Once again I am going to borrow from the Dean's
vocabulary, because I believe it to be a fundamental, pragmatic,
practical and sound vocabulary. I am using it in that sense, not
in the transcendental or religious sense. I know he will forgive
"Faith without works is death."
It is a matter of no consequence whatever that a large number of
people believe in the truth of Social Credit.
The question is - what are they going to do about it?
Now what you can do is just as much inherent in the nature of things
as the trouble about the monetary system. The key to an undertaking
of this slightly subtle matter is that the question of works as opposed
to faith depends obviously upon ability.
Nobody can be held responsible for something they don't understand
or cannot do. I want you to keep that in mind. Social
There is at the present time an idea that we should have a Social
Credit party in this country. I can quite understand and sympathise
with that idea, but it is a profound misconception. It assumes
that the government of the country should be a government of experts.
Let me show you that it does assume that.
If you elect a Social Credit party, supposing you could, I may
say that I regard the election of a Social Credit party in this
country as one of the greatest catastrophes that could happen.
By such an election you proceed to elect, by the nature of it,
a number of people who are supposed to know enough about finance
to say what should be. done about it.
Now it is an axiom of experience that no layman can possibly direct
the expert in details, and in normal things no layman is fool enough
to try to do it.
If you had a Social Credit government, it would proceed to direct
a set of very competent experts - the existing financial authorities,
for example - how to do their job. The essential thing about that
situation would be the responsibility for what was done.
Now no set of 500 or 600 men whom you could elect in this country
could possibly know as much about finance as the people they would
presume to direct.
You know, in all that I have said about financiers, I have never
at any time said that they were incompetent, nor are they, within
the limits of their own philosophy. But to elect a Social Credit
party in this country would be to elect a set of amateurs to direct
a set of very competent professionals.
The professionals, I may tell you, would see that the amateurs
got the blame for everything that was done It
is Results That Matter
What the layman should say is: "I am not an expert in this thing,
but I know what I want;" and if you agree that the object of
sending a set of men to Parliament is to get what you want, then
why elect a special set of men, a special party at all?
The men who are there should get you what you want - that is
their business. It is not their business to say how it is to
be got. The Parliamentary system of this country is a delegation
of laymen to represent the wants of laymen, and not to tell the
experts how to do it. Unless you take up the attitude that the
responsibility for how a thing is done is neither that of the
laymen nor that of the government, you will be perfectly certain
to get a state of affairs in which failure and disappointment
are absolutely inevitable.
How things are done is the responsibility of the expert.
What the expert gives as a result, is the business both of the
government and of the people, and they are going to get what
they want. The blame - and if you like, the praise - rests with
those people who arrogate to themselves, possibly correctly,
the position of experts.
But the right thing for you is to say what you want and see you
get it. It is what you get that matters.
It is only possible to have a governmental system - a democratic
governmental system - that works that way.
You can only get the greatest common factor of the general population
to produce a majority, and you are pursuing a fatal course in
getting a majority for a misconception. The moment that a majority
begins to vote for something that it does not understand, it
is perpetrating a lie. It is saying,
" I want something I do not know the nature of, and this is its
nature." Unemployment or War
Now, that is why you have all this careful suggestion that what
we want is a reduction of unemployment, and we are so badly trained
in the nature of the possibilities of democratic government,
that we say,
"Yes, what we want is a reduction of unemployment."
Yet the urge towards a reduction of unemployment is the direct
cause of the coming war. The moment you say you must have everybody
employed, you have to find somewhere to which the goods you produce
can go - the goods that you cannot use yourselves. You must find
export markets, and the competition for export markets is the
direct cause of war. That is what comes of arguing over technical
details when what you want is results.
You are right in saying,
"We want the disappearance of these terrible things, these depressions
which accompany unemployment;"
but you are not right when you say that we want the abolition
of unemployment, because with the abolition of unemployment,
as things now are, you get something you do not want, which is
That is only one - but a very fundamental one - of the reasons
why it is essential that you should get control of your Members
of Parliament. Pressure Politics
There is an idea that when you have an election, the implications
of which, in nine cases out of ten, you do not understand, you
have disposed of the matter of government. That is unworkable
democracy. It sets the government mechanism at the mercy of those
people who apply pressure all the time.
One leading Social Crediter in the United States who had many
talks with President Roosevelt, complained bitterly that - what
is perfectly true - President Roosevelt had all along the line
given way to the pressure of the financial interests. President
Roosevelt made the correct and proper reply. He said, "It is
my business to yield to pressure."
Unless you have a dictatorship, it is the business of government
to yield to pressure. Either a government is supreme over the
people or else it must yield to pressure, and it is your business
to exercise that pressure. Petitions
a Denial of Democracy
Now I want you to consider another of the proposals that are
being advocated at the present time; I refer to those Social
Crediters who propose to petition the King for a judicial enquiry
into the monetary system. A petition assumes that you have
to ask somebody for what you want.
As a matter of fact a petition is generally not merely for
what you want but for how you think it should be given to you,
as for instance, when the petition asks for an enquiry. This
means the passing to a higher authority of the responsibility
for the decision that the people should make for themselves.
You have no right - apart from anything else -to abdicate from
your responsibilities; your business is to see that you get
what you want yourself, not ask somebody else because you are
afraid or because you are too lazy.
The assumption underlying the petition is that the centre of
gravity of power is somewhere where it is not.
The centre of gravity is with the people.
These ideas are perfectly well understood by the opposition;
the difficulty is to make them understood by the people I am
referring to. That the opposition has no objection is indicated
by the fact that neither the petition theory nor the Social
Credit party theory are ever attacked.
So far as I am aware no attack from financial sources against
either suggestion has been made.
On the contrary, although the two or three candidates who put
up at the last Election did not call themselves Social Credit
candidates, the opposition did so and advertised them, so far
as possible, as Social Credit candidates. Liberal
Party For Sale
As a matter of interest I may tell you that after the last
Election, the agent of one of the candidates - who has since
attacked the ideas which I have been trying to put before
you tonight - came to me and offered to sell me the whole
Liberal Party for a quarter of a million pounds. I said I
had not that sum about me at the moment, and anyway I considered
the price too high.
But that sort of thing indicates the objectionable incidents
that are associated with the old form of party politics,
no matter what label is used.
Now, I will let you into a secret. Nobody for any practical
purpose is going to produce a Final Social Credit plan. I
will tell you who is going to bring in Social Credit, and
that is the bankers; and we are going to make them do it.
Just so long as they do not do it, just so long is the responsibility
of the present state of affairs going to be piled up upon
What the people have to do is to recognise that
it is the reality and not the label that is wanted.
If the people get control of their own government and get
the distribution of the goods our modern industrial system
can produce, then they will have got what I am interested
in. I am so confident of the soundness of the general propositions
which I have spent twenty years placing before the world,
that I am reasonably certain that these fundamental ideas
will be part of what will ultimately be done.
They are, at the present time, a part of what is being done.
Apart from economic literature, the compensated price is
cropping up all over the place. I do not care the traditional
celluloid cat in Hades whether my name is ever associated
with a single one of these measures or not. The Irresponsibles
I have recently had a number of letters asking me to deal
at this meeting with various schisms and schismatics in the
Social Credit Movement. I have no intention of doing so,
for several reasons.
So far as these schisms involve attacks on me personally,
I am very much inclined to agree with David Harum that it
is good for a dog to have a certain number of fleas; it keeps
him from brooding over the fact that he is a dog. Apart from
that, I do not myself think that any of these schismatics
do half as much harm as they think they do, and in addition
to that, they demonstrate to other people, if not to themselves,
their complete unsuitability to deal with any matters of
For these reasons, I feel they can safely be left to the
judgment of the general mass of Social Crediters and the
general public; and to their tender mercies I commit them.Our
As I came here tonight I bought an evening paper on the front
page of which were the words, "Germans in the Rhineland."
We are back in 1914 where the financiers said they would
get us. Do not imagine that I am suggesting that the financiers
want war. I look on them as being of the same nature as a
patient suffering from delirium tremens - he will
do everything to avoid it, except give up drinking.
I cannot see, short of the intervention of a higher power,
any human possibility of avoiding another great world conflagration.
Whether any considerable proportion of civilsation will survive
only time will show, but I am confident of this, that what
survives of the world after the next war, will reach a state
either in which there will be no monetary system at all,
or one that has been radically reformed in our favour. That
is the highest note of hope I can end upon.
We have done our best in the past twenty years to warn the
world not only of what was coming, but how the mechanism
works that makes it come. I do not believe that that work
will be lost whatever happens. I would ask you to realise
that the only thing that would have prevented this war, could
it have been produced, was action.
And it is EVEN NOW action that is our only hope. Major
Douglas Answers Questions The Coming War
Question. - Major Douglas has said that action was necessary.
Would he kindly specify what action would save us at present?
Answer. - I think the questioner means: What would save us
from the coming war? It is quite possible that nothing will
save us. There is always a point at which you must bear the
consequences of your acts or omissions to act. When something
acquires a certain momentum practically nothing can stop
it. I have myself frequently stated that the latest date
at which the threatened war could have been prevented was
1923; but I am assuming, in order to answer the question,
that the world will survive this next war, though a great
many of us will not.
Now, nothing can be more absurd and more unscientific than
to assume that things right themselves. They do not. They
are just as likely to wrong themselves, and when I said that
the only thing that would save us was action, I meant, assuming
the coming war to be inevitable, the only thing that would
save the world will be action.
I said that I was sanguine that what remains of the world
would be delivered from the curse under which we labour at
the present time. I am very certain of that, because I believe
that any set of ideas which are fundamentally sound inevitably
come out into the realm of action. If they do not, it is
because they are not sound, and in that case it is better
they should not. I believe profoundly that what I have been
haltingly trying to tell you tonight is fundamentally sound
and will be realised in action.
Had we had the background, had we had the atmosphere we have
now, in 1921 when I began to talk to fairly large audiences,
we could have stopped this coming war; but unfortunately
we had not that background. But I do not believe that the
effort of all these years will be wasted; I am convinced
that it has produced a state of affairs which will at any
rate prevent the next war.
Although I know the phrase stinks this coming war will
probably be the last great war and that perhaps is something
to be thankful for. The League of Nations
Question. - If it is the present financial system that
causes war, should it not be the duty of the League of Nations
to change it - for the British public is behind the League?
Answer - I began my address tonight by saying that we are
engaged in a war for truth. It is one of the curious phenomena
of that war that most of the soldiers on both sides do not
know what they are fighting for. This applies both to soldiers
on the side of lies and soldiers on the side of truth.
The war to a large extent is a war to capture public opinion,
and public opinion is very often captured by something which
is more of a fundamental lie than even the thing from which
the people think they are flying.
The League of Nations provides just one of those instances
of the overwhelming importance of priority in this world.
There are probably millions of things which are equally sound
and good and important in the cosmos (such as the abolition
of capital punishment - you can make a catalogue for yourself).
The question is, what are you going to do first? A RAT is
not the same thing as TAR although composed of the same letters
- priority of the letters is obviously important. The idea
of the League of Nations, of course, on the face of it is
attractive and is meant to sound attractive. Had we got a
reformed financial system, one which did not force exports,
one which did not really place everything under the control
of finance, one which did not produce frustrations caused
by the working of financial institutions: if these things
were not so - if, I repeat, we had a reformed financial system
- the right kind of internationalism would be fairly sound
But not first, not before the financial system is rectified.
The only safeguard against a world governed by international
finance is nationalism. Whatever may be said about the inception
of the League of Nations - and some very queer things are
being said - there is no doubt whatever that it has been
the sport of international financiers from its very beginnings;
and while it may be thought the duty of the League of Nations
to reform the financial system. I do not think that the League
of Nations has either the power or, so far as it is at present
concerned, the desire to do so; but rather so to strengthen
itself that it may become a world government of Finance -
which it is rapidly becoming at the present time. Futility
of a Social Credit Party
Question - Why does Major Douglas believe that a Social
Credit Party and Social Credit parliamentary candidates would
not be perfectly capable of making experts do their job -
or face a firing squad?
Answer - It seems very difficult to make this, to me, rather
simple point. The essence of it is whether or not you regard
the Member of Parliament as an expert. If you assume that
he is an expert then you are electing a second-rate expert
to control a first-rate expert. If you agree that the Member
of Parliament should not be an expert, then why tie a label
The proper attitude of the people is,
"We don't care what your alleged name is - the essential
thing is that you should do as you are told."
The idea that you cannot get Parliament to give you what
you want unless you have a Social Credit Party, means either
(a) that the ordinary Member of Parliament will refuse to
agree to take the instructions of his constituents, or
(b) that you can more quickly get a majority in Parliament
which is labelled Social Credit than you can get a majority
in Parliament which has merely agreed to do as it is told.
Now that is very largely a matter of experiment, and I am
fortunately provided with facts. There were at the last General
Election three candidates who stood on various adaptations
of a Social Credit platform. They all of them lost their
deposits. They all put up a perfectly good fight, but the
fact is that they lost their deposits.
With far less concentrated organisation than these candidates
had, we went along the lines of forcing the parliamentary
candidate or the Member of Parliament to agree to take the
instructions of his electors on all occasions if they were
properly conveyed to him by a majority of his constituents
in regard to anything they might want.
Now, though all the Social Credit candidates lost their deposits,
we succeeded in getting 17 Members of the House of Commons
committed to do as they are told by their electors.
Which of these two has been proved to be the more
You have to take human nature just as you find it. There
are lots of people who will say,
"I don't know anything about this Social Credit
business. It may be all right,
but I don't understand it and I am not going to
vote for it.
Besides, everybody will say I am a crank."
There is nothing repugnant, nothing novel about asking people
to insist that their Member of Parliament shall do as they
tell him, more particularly if it is pointed out to them
that in this way they can get an amelioration of their conditions.
What they are, in fact being asked to do is to assume the
functions of real democracy.
It is very much easier to get people to do that than it is
to get them to vote for a Social Credit candidate.
Apart from its undesirability, I do not believe that there
is the slightest practical chance of getting a Social Credit
majority. The moment you label a party Social Credit you
get a wrangle about the technique of Social Credit, and that
is exactly what you must avoid.
You must not send candidates to Parliament to be technicians.
You must send candidates to Parliament to impose your will
upon the technicians who already exist.
That is the very essence of the problem. Force or Pressure?
Question - Does Major Douglas think that, if the coming
war is averted long enough for the Social Credit Movement
to grow to great force, the goal for which we are working
can be achieved on feasible democratic lines, and that there
is no danger of experts refusing to act, and so producing
chaos? Can we achieve our aim without resort to force ?
Answer - I have no doubt whatever that the right sort of
pressure, invisible pressure, but nevertheless irresistible
pressure, can be brought to bear once people are aware of
what we are driving at.
The whole strength, not merely of finance, but of its type
of democracy - or if you like of an outworn Governmental
system - lies in the unconsciousness of the average individual
as to its nature. If you can make him conscious of its nature,
you can rouse his will in regard to it, and he will undoubtedly
prevail. To Petition - or
In answer to a question about a Petition to the King, Major
Douglas said:- I think the question may be put thus:
Is the petition method - if a petition is so framed as
to ask for the reference to the High Court of Justice of
whether or not the present financial system is in the interests
of the nation, and if it gets 10,000,000 signatures to
it - is that an effective way of getting the financial
system changed ?
The questioner interpolated that the second form of the
Petition to the King had been drafted by lawyers in such
a way that the duty was laid on the High Court of Justice
to determine for the guidance of the Government whether
or not certain things were in accordance with public
There are two things involved. We will let go the idea
for the moment that there does exist in this country machinery
by which the people can exercise their will, that this
is the machinery which should be employed, and that to
use other machinery is obviously to bring upon yourself
the suggestion that you do not believe the constitutional
machinery for the purpose of exercising your will can be
made to work.
If that is so, then the first thing to do is completely
to abolish Parliament.
I want to get this clear. Your ancestors and mine fought
a series of bloody battles in various parts of this island
for the purpose of obtaining political democracy. They
set in operation a mechanism.
Now, I am perfectly confident that the working of that
mechanism at the present time is perverted, but I am also
perfectly confident that it is not necessarily ineffective
for our purpose, and it seems to me that to abandon without
endeavouring to rectify the working of the mechanism which
has been obtained by us amid blood and tears, is a very
dangerous thing to do.
I am also perfectly certain, incidentally, that it is the
set purpose of the financial powers to discredit Parliamentary
Government in order that they may say, "See what comes
of the interference of Governments in business," and so
That is the first comment I want to make on the situation.
Let us come to the next proposition.
It is said that it is impossible to win a case against
an Urban District Council. I do not know whether this is
true or not, but it is commonly said so. Now a petition
to examine and rectify the financial system asks, first
of all, that somebody shall prepare a case to go before
the High Court of Justice, and then that the judges who
try that case should make the most stupendous pronouncement
on their own responsibility against the most stupendous
power that the world has ever known.
(I am assuming it to be a fact that if you have 10,000,000
signatures you can get your petition to the High Court
At this point I will express my own opinion that, first
of all, the case would not get to the High Court of Justice
in its original form, or, if it did, it would be thrown
out on some technicality.
If, however, it did arrive there, the matter would be involved
in interminably long legal processes in which its sponsors
would have the source of all money against them (and therefore
questions of cost would not come in at all), and that the
whole matter would either be buried or transformed.
As a method of getting a basis for action I am confident
a petition would be absolutely futile.
In brief I do not believe that the High Court of Justice
is the right place to get a statement on a question of
this sort, and even if it were, the question would never
get to it, or be decided in any form which would lead to
a radical modification of the monetary system. A
Question of Method
Question - Major Douglas has said that we should tell
Members of Parliament what we want, but not how to get
what we want.
In his opinion, can the results we want be obtained
by any other methods than those associated with his
Answer - I certainly should not like to state a negative
to that. I do not know of any other methods by which
they can be obtained except these. That is why I am perfectly
willing to leave it to those who are forced to produce
results to decide whether they use them or not.
My feeling about it is, "If you know of a better 'ole
- go to it! The Bank of England
Question - Would Major Douglas and the Dean of Canterbury
accept seats in the Court of Directors of the Bank of
Answer - The real trouble, even in the Bank of
England, is not a matter of technicalities at all.
I believe that the divisions of opinion upon technicalities
between myself and what you might call orthodox economists
are narrowing - that many so-called orthodox economists
are coming around largely to my views. Where such a
division of opinion does exist, I am most anxious to
believe that it is because we are starting from different
Now I start from different premises from those which
activate the Bank of England.
Even if you assume for the moment that the Bank of England
is a British institution - which, of course, it is not
- it is an international institution in the control of
international forces which are fundamentally not interested
in Great Britain at all - there are people in the Court
of the Bank of England most decidedly concerned with
what they consider to be the interests of the British,
but that means, in their case, furthering what they call
trade or reducing unemployment - not freeing individuals
from economic shackles.
While I should be delighted to join the Dean in the Court
of the Bank of England, I don't think that even that
would radically alter its course. The Power of the
Question - Would Major Douglas outline a practical
plan to bring home to people a sense of their power?
Answer - When a poacher gets a young whippet he always
takes it out when there is a lot of easily caught game,
which he lets it catch. This gives it confidence. That
indicates a way to give people a sense of their power.
First encourage people to try small things. Don't necessarily
tackle the financial system straight away - tackle the
local district council because there is a hole in the
road and make them put it right.
When you have got a number of people to see they can
get a hole in the road put right, they can set out to
get a new road, and so on. The principle is to try it
on the dog! Exchange
Question - Is the correct object of the monetary
system to facilitate the interchange of goods and services?
Answer - The modern productive system does not primarily
involve interchange of goods and services. The fundamental
factor in production is power-driven machinery, and
you cannot exchange services between power-driven machinery.
That is why it is incorrect to say that money is, primarily,
a medium of exchange. Money is primarily a demand system,
so that the individual can demand from the productive
system those things which he does himself contribute
to it. The Object of
Question - Would Social Credit increase employment
at first ?
Answer - Yes - although, of course, it is not our
objective to provide employment - I think that for
a short time probably there would be increased employment.
What certainly would happen quickly would be a complete
difference of emphasis on what is produced. Without
going into technicalities, I want to stress this
We are often told that it is obviously absurd to
say that the financial system does not distribute
sufficient purchasing power to buy the goods that
are for sale. We never said it! What we do say is
that, under the present monetary system, in order
to have sufficient purchasing power to distribute
goods for consumption, it is necessary to make a
disproportionate amount of capital goods and goods
Sweden is held up as a wonderful example of how well
the monetary system can work. Sweden is producing
about three times as much as she is actually consuming,
but owing to vagaries of exchange she is able to
export the remaining two-thirds. She has to take
three times as much trouble as is really necessary
in order to make the monetary system work.
That is, broadly speaking, the situation.
In this country, and in every modern country, in
order to make the present monetary system work at
all, you have got to make a whole lot of things that
are not immediately bought in order to distribute
what is already available.
Although you may not require lathes and may have
enough bread, the employees of the lathe-maker cannot
get bread unless they make lathes; and so they make
lathes to make shells to make war to get bread which
is already available.
Under Social Credit the emphasis on what is produced
would be different. Only what was wanted would be
Efficiency of Unforced Labour
Question - Do not most people prefer to be employed rather than
Answer - Perfectly true. Most people prefer to be employed -
but on the things they like rather than on the things they don't
like to be employed upon. The proposals of Social Credit are in no
sense intended to produce a nation of idlers - and would not.
There never was a more ridiculous piece of misrepresentation than to
say that as a class the rich are idle.
They may be wrongly employed, but they are not idle.
The danger to the world does not come from the idle rich - it comes
from the busy rich.
No. Social Credit would not produce idlers; it would allow people to
allocate themselves to those jobs to which they are suited. A job you
do well is a job you like, and a job you like is a job you do well.
Under Social Credit you would begin to tap the amazing efficiency inseparable
from unforced labour,
and the efficiency of the whole industrial system would go up.