C.H. Douglas Out of Print ...... Mondo Politico
Social Credit, by
Major Clifford Hugh Douglas

Part I: Philosophy



IT has perhaps by now become possible to obtain some sort of mental picture of the policy controlling the world in which we live, and having done this it should be easier to make some comparison of this policy with one to which more general acquiescence might be obtained. It must be recognised that the great elementary human emotions, desire and fear, are employed with great skill by the Invisible Government, in the guise of rewards and punishments, to obtain certain results. These results, it would appear, might not have been obtained, had not a large majority of the world's population been cajoled or forced into doing a great deal of work which momentary necessity did not, in point of fact, render inevitable. In this way have been produced enormous reserves of real capital, by which is meant plant, buildings, tools, and still more important, the knowledge, organisation, and processes necessary to their application; and only by this building up of capital, it would seem, has further progress become possible. In the earlier centuries of the present era, even war seems to have been justifiable in a broad sense, both as an elimination test, and as a stimulant to invention and initiative. It is also difficult to conceive of any plan by which the possible advantage of the individual could have been advanced so rapidly, as by his temporary submergence in large groups, to which we give the name of nations or races. All this may be admitted as being applicable to within comparatively recent years, let us say to the middle of the last century, just as we may often be prepared to admit that a statesman who, under post-war conditions has become a hindrance to progress, rendered vital service under circumstances suitable to his talents.

But because a thing was once sound and desirable, it is by no means necessary to admit that it is permanently advantageous. Largely because of the progress in the industrial arts, but not less as the result of a general spread of education, a system of world organisation which is based on the deception of the general public, the practical necessity or expediency which might perhaps be excused in the past, has now become both undesirable and actively and practically vicious.

The reaction of a threat on the highly-strung human product of modern civilisation is dissimilar from that which was obtained a few hundred years ago. War has become definitely dysgenic. So far from killing off the weakling and the slow-minded, it has a strong tendency to remove these, together with the shirker, to a point distant from the field of conflict, and in many cases to place them in a position of subsequent advantage both financially and otherwise, as compared with bolder and more enterprising compatriots. And human intelligence has progressed to the extent that a method of stimulating industry similar to the holding of a carrot continuously in front of a donkey's nose to produce progress, has ceased to function effectively. Even an ass has a rudimentary sense of proportion between miles walked and carrots achieved. If the principal objective to which humanity might reasonably be directed, were the same as that existing five hundred years ago, it is nevertheless clear from the general unrest, that the methods by which general co-operation can be obtained require considerable and early modification. But this objective is not the same.

It seems indisputable that the maintenance of a unit of human life involves a process of metabolism, or, in other words, the breaking down and building up of form through the application of energy. When men maintained themselves by manual labour, this process was very nearly a closed cycle, that is to say, it took a large portion of the energy which mankind acquired through food, to maintain life. There is inductive support for this line of thought in the consideration of such civilisations as those of India and Persia, which were at a substantially similar stage less than one hundred years ago, to that which they had reached three or more thousand years ago. Even to-day, there are thousands of square miles in the Middle and Far East, in which both the habits of thought, and manner of life, are indistinguishable from those recorded in the earliest literature with which we are acquainted. The cycle was, in all probability, not quite closed, or under the law of the conservation of energy, which can be assumed to apply in some form, no progress would have been possible; and it is reasonable to argue that the slight increment of energy which permitted the upward spiral of evolution, was derived by direct absorption of the energy of the sun's rays.

But the inductive or experimental method of attack on the problems of life which may be said to be the outstanding feature of the Renaissance in the West, resulted in a profound disturbance of the premises of human existence. From the moment that the first crude steam-engine pumped the first gallon of water, if not before, the metabolic cycle contained a factor, a new method of entrance for solar energy, which was bound to result in a much steeper spiral of ascent. And at the present time it seems reasonable to believe that we have reached a point at which we are within sight of a considerable release of human energy from the mechanical drudgery of existence by toil.

The outcome of this must surely be obvious. So far from the mere sustenance of life through the production of food, clothing, and shelter from the elements being, with reason, the prime objective of human endeavour, it should now be possible to relegate it to the position of a semi-automatic process. Biologists tell us that the earliest known forms of life devoted practically the whole of their attention to the business of breathing. Breathing is not less necessary now than it was then, but only persons suffering from some lamentable disease pay much attention to the process.

It is not relevant to the purposes of this book to indicate the new objective to which human energy will in all probability redirect itself. It is merely intended to suggest the possibility of the re-orientation, and the methods by which at the moment it is being hindered, in order that those hindrances may be removed.

Now it is quite probable that a recognition of the truth of the foregoing ideas, although not formulated, underlies a great deal of the opposition to any sort of reform, on the part of the more favourably situated individuals in society. These persons recognise that they have, in their fortunate position, something worth retaining. Whether a satisfactory use is always made of the opportunity which is theirs, is for the moment, outside the argument. Until recently, every proposal for a change has attacked their position. They have replied, and with reason, that they have just as much, or if it be preferred, as little claim to consideration as those persons who have attacked them, and, in any case, there they are, and there they mean to stay. This incidentally demonstrates the futility of abstract justice when in opposition to the solid facts of life.

In thus opposing claims for a general levelling down of the amenities of modern civilisation, such persons were probably on sound ground, although the tactics adopted by them may have been of dubious sagacity; but it is to be feared that, in many cases, this opposition to a bad change, has become crystallised into opposition to a change of any kind. It may, therefore, be of practical value to emphasise the fact that at the present time the alternative is not between change and no change, but between a change for the better, or a change for the worse. If the present system, with its sanctions of rewards and punishments, were working satisfactorily or even tolerably, nothing could be more academic than the discussion of more desirable alternatives, even though the logic applied to such proposals might demonstrate with crystal clearness that an advantage was thus to be obtained. But the facts are wholly otherwise. It is almost certain that, were there no proposals of any sort, good, bad, or indifferent, Socialistic, Communistic, or Imperialistic, being pressed forward at the present time, by every means and sanction which can be applied to them, the present social and industrial system would no longer work. As we shall shortly see, there are quite definite mechanical defects in it, and the result of those mechanical defects is to produce a psychological reaction, which can only result, if allowed to proceed to its logical conclusion, in a state of affairs which will involve both the temporarily fortunate and the temporarily unfortunate, in a common chaos.

For at least forty years the doctrine of Sabotage, i.e. the conscious restriction of output, has permeated all sections of Society and is a logically, and in a restricted sense, a perfectly proper method of obtaining the best results for the individual under the rules by which business and Society is at present conducted. Not to admit that, is to shirk facts. And not to see that this restriction of output (using the phrase in its broadest sense, to include all descriptions of unspecified activity at present widely outside the range of economics), is nothing but social suicide, is equally to shirk facts. The test of a natural law is that it is automatic and inexorable, and the proof of the contention which is advanced in this book, that as soon as Society ceases to serve the interests of the individual, then the individual will break up Society, is proved by the course of events at this time; and those persons who wish to preserve Society can do no worse service to their cause, than to depict their idol as an unchangeable organisation whose claims are to be regarded as superior to those of the human spirit.

The stage is set for a change of mechanism; in place of a Society based on restraint, a Society based on the conception of assistance, of co-operation, is overdue. Let us be clear that the only assistance which is tolerable or acceptable is that which can be declined if it is not wanted.