In attempting to communicate Social Credit ideas to a wider public, one often encounters hindrances and barriers of various sorts. One of the difficulties that tends to be characteristic of the contemporary Christian milieu in particular, is the belief, more or less unconscious in most cases, that engaging with questions of money, economics, finance and so forth is ‘mundane’ and therefore of no interest to Christianity, which is ‘otherworldly’. There is, in the minds of some people, a strict separation between the religious/spiritual/supernatural sphere and that of profane concerns, a separation which is somewhat analogous to the liberal democratic principle of ‘separation between Church and State’.
This is the first professional animated presentation of one key aspect of the Douglas or British Social Credit case (not to be confused with Chinese 'Social Credit'): the folly of 'favourable' trade balances under the existing financial system, where physical loss and inefficiency are financially rewarded.
We are often told that people should not ‘live beyond their means’, that is, that no individual person, nor any corporate entity like a business or a government, should spend more money during a given period than they take in as income or as revenue. Doing so is judged to be profligate, irresponsible, and only setting oneself up for pain in the long run. For countless centuries, if not millennia, the balanced ‘budget’ has been regarded as the sine qua non of fiscal prudence and ‘sound’ finance.
And yet, if we look at our economies over any given period of time, it is quite normal for individual consumers, considered in the aggregate, to spend more than they receive in income, for governments at all levels to spend more than they take in viataxes, and even for businesses, considered again as a whole, to spend more money (thanks to long-term capital investments), than they simultaneously receive as revenue. How can this be? How can we explain the conflict between the common theory (i.e., what should be the case: balanced budgets) and what we observe as a fact in the real world (i.e., unbalanced budgets)? Is it the general tendency of human beings to be congenital spendthrifts? Are humans innately vicious when it comes to the getting and spending of money?
Quite irrespective of such questions concerning human nature, there is actually a technical economic reason why consumers, governments, and business typically spend, in the aggregate, more money than they receive and do not, therefore, ‘enjoy' balanced budgets.
"The money creation process employed by the Bank of Canada is quite simple and mirrors the money creation process which, through the private banking system, is responsible for the greater majority of our money supply.Contrary to what many people assume, banks are not borrowers and lenders of pre-existing money, but are rather creators and destroyers of the money that they issue in the form of bank credit. The same holds true for the Central Bank. Whenever an auction of new government securities is held, the Bank of Canada buys a certain percentage of these securities by creating digital accounting entries in the Federal Government’s deposit account with the bank. This deposit is recorded as a liability of the bank, while the newly purchased security is recorded as an asset on the Bank of Canada’s balance sheet."
The making of markets in its broadest sense, i.e., the facilitation of existing trade, as well as the opening, invention, and conquering of new markets, is often presented as one of the prime advantages and chief features of ‘capitalism’: people with money invest in schemes to make more money by commercializing an ever-greater portion of our lives, as markets expand and offer to do more and more things for us that we were once able to do for ourselves, or didn’t even ‘know’ that we ‘needed’.This results in more, and sometimes even better, and sometimes even cheaper goods and services for the consumer, and thus we all derive some benefit. And indeed it so: the breadth and depth of what is on offer in the market of the typical Western industrialized country, and of more and more non-Western countries to boot, is astonishing and would dizzy the heads of our ancestors to no end. One feels hard-pressed to object to all of this ‘market-magic’, even if one does not personally care much for many of the particular goods and services that the market puts on offer. I submit, however, that, as with many things in life, there is a dark side to market-making. Whether, and to what extent, the ‘shadow’ of the market-making phenomenon in its present form or manifestation exceeds its genuine wonders I’ll leave it for the reader to decide.
C.H. Douglas was a British engineer who, in the 1920s, founded an international movement for monetary reform centred on his ideas which were known as "Social Credit".
Aujourd’hui je vais vous parler un petit peu de C.H. Douglas, et de ses idées pour la réforme financière et économique.
Pour commencer, je vais vous donner un peu d’historie.
C.H. Douglas était un ingénieur britannique qui, durant les années vingts, a fondé un movement international pour la réforme monétaire autour de ses idées qui s’appelait “Le Crédit Social”.
Lately I have been reflecting on the views of the conventional economic ‘right-wing’, as represented by ‘neo-liberals’, adherents of the Austrian school of economics, ‘capitalists’, economic libertarians, and so forth. It seems that whenever someone suggests that radical changes need to be made to the reigning financial or economic model – a suggestion which, in essence, must be a plea for some kind of intervention on the part of the public authority – those who are more or less satisfied with the existing system and find themselves on the ‘right’ of the economic spectrum regard the suggestion quite reflexively as an intolerable attack on the free market and an affirmation of ‘socialism.’ I have found this attitude, and the rhetoric which often accompanies it, curious for four major reasons, reasons which I will want to outline in this article. The fourth critique that I will present is the most significant from a Social Credit point of view, but the first three are by no means unimportant. By unnecessarily muddying the economic debate, free market rhetoric often obstructs the rectification of the economy’s structural problems.
In a recent paper entitled “The Scales and the Dam: Static and Dynamic Conceptions of the Economy”, Arindam Basu has introduced a brilliant metaphor that can be adapted in various ways to explain both how the economy functions under the existing financial system and how it would function under Social Credit: “A typical run-of-river hydroelectric dam, which uses a flow of water to generate a flow of electricity, may serve quite well as a metaphor for an economy that converts a flow of money into a flow of goods and services.” As Arindam notes, this analogy can be developed further in a variety of ways.