Social Credit

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Social credit is an interdisciplinary distributive philosophy developed by C. H. Douglas (1879–1952), a British engineer, who wrote a book by that name in 1924. It encompasses the fields of economics, political science, history, accounting, and physics. In January 1919, A Mechanical View of Economics by C.H. Douglas was the first article to appear in the New Age, edited by A.R. Orage. In her book, Social Discredit: Anti-Semitism, Social Credit and the Jewish Response, Janine Stingel claims, “Douglas's economic and political doctrines were wholly dependent on an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory."

Names associated with Social Credit include C.M. Grieve, Charlie Chaplin, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Herbert Read, Aldous Huxley, Storm Jameson, Eimar O’Duffy, Sybil Thorndyke, Bonamy Dobrée, Eric de Maré and the American publisher James Laughlin. Hilaire Belloc and GK Chesterton espoused similar ideas. In 1933 Eimar O’Duffy published Asses in Clover, a science fiction fantasy exploration of Social Credit themes. His Social Credit economics book Life and Money: Being a Critical Examination of the Principles and Practice of Orthodox Economics with A Practical Scheme to End the Muddle it has made of our Civilisation, was endorsed by Douglas. More recently, Richard C. Cook has written several articles relating to Social Credit and monetary reform at Global Research. [wiki

A Marxist article written in 1934 notes:

"The Social Credit scheme of Major Douglas, an English engineer, is the most popular monetary panacea among the middle classes of the British Empire...

"They find the scapegoat in “the money power”, the credit monopoly of finance capital. They quote from the fake Protocol of the Elders of Zion to prove the existence of “the banker’s conspiracy”. They insinuate that bankers deliberately create panics and crises by contracting credits or withholding them. They do not know that the calling of credits is simply evidence that the crisis is already under way, instead of being the fundamental cause of its occurrence, and pass over the fact that bankers, like other capitalists, can only invest money where there is the prospect of profit.

"The fountain-head of their errors is the belief that money is not (or should not be) a commodity, but a system of worthless tokens. They mistake the superficial forms of modern money (its paper dress as currency or its phantom bookkeeping existence as checks) for its inner nature. They completely fail to comprehend the function of money in a commodity producing society, and particularly under capitalism, the most developed form of a commodity producing society. As the general equivalent of value, money is not only a commodity but the king among commodities, destined to reign so long as capitalism endure...

"The Social Creditors, however, have no quarrel with any other form of the power of private property but “the money power”, and, above all, they fear a communist revolution. They therefore are forced to conceal their class interests by evading all questions that involve them and taking cover in meaningless abstract phrases. For example, they charge the banker with converting “the communal wealth into financial debt”, although that process is only a special case of the continuous transformation of social wealth into private property under capitalism. They speak of “the communal credit” as though such a thing existed in a social system based upon the institution of private property. Marx disposed of such nonsense once and for all with the remark that “the only thing which enters into the collective possession of the people under capitalism is the national debt”...

"Like all typical Fascist programs, Social Credit is radical in form and reactionary in substance. Its propaganda panders to all the confused antipathies of the infuriated petty bourgeois, providing a pseudo-socialist covering for their outspoken hatred of finance capital, their nationalism, anti-communism and anti-semitism. It would be a mistake, however, to say that the Social Credit movement is Fascist in its present form. It is still in an adolescent stage of Utopian illusion. The Douglasites walk with their heads in the clouds, filled with rosy dreams of the future Economic Democracy in which, by their financial feat, there is enough of everything for everybody, God’s in his heaven, and all’s right with their world.

"The small sect of Social Creditors in this country has so far devoted its energies to propaganda and persuasion of key men in government and industry. Their propaganda has found a welcome among the influential inflationists at Washington and elsewhere. Father Coughlin, the Sweet Singer of Michigan, has used Social Credit ammunition in his latest broadsides from the radio pulpit. Several Senators have been captivated by Major Douglas’ siren song, and Senator Cutting of New Mexico has already prepared a bill for the nationalization of currency and credit. Social Credit seems to have the charms of a femme fatale for the economic illiterati. Archibald MacLeish and Ezra Pound, the admirer of Mussolini, are two of its more celebrated advocates among the intelligentsia.

"The Social Creditor’s hope to dislodge the money power in the country, the stronghold of monopoly capital, is doomed to disappointment. It is even doubtful if they can muster enough mass support among the middle classes to become a political force, particularly when they must enter the political arena in competition with such outright Fascist demagogues as William Dudley Pelley, Der Führer of the Silver Shirts. Pelley has stolen the most attractive features of the Social Credit program, including the Incorporated State and the National Dividend of eighty dollars a month.

"In England the Social Credit movement is more advanced politically. There its oracle, A.R. Orage, hobnobs with the Tory die-hard, Lord Lloyd, who is being groomed as the Von Papen of British Fascism. A green-shirted youth movement, the Kibbo Kifft, has declared for Social Credit and may be seen on street corners, agitating for the Economic Democracy of Major Douglas. Social Credit propaganda has even affected certain sections of the labor aristocracy, who substitute speeches about “the banker’s ramp” and the nationalization of the Bank of England for a revolutionary program.

"Whether the Social Creditors will wither into a hole-and-corner sect like the Single Taxers, or be sucked into the whirlpool of a Fascist movement depends upon the course of the class struggle in the English-speaking world. As the class struggle approaches a crisis, and the proletariat prepares for decisive battle, hard historical facts will dispel the intoxicating effects of such fantastic schemes. Social Credit, like its contemporary counterparts in Germany and Austria, will then expire in a miserable fit of the blues." [1]

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