It was in 1926 that C.H. Douglas first wrote, “In war-time, therefore, civilisation does not fail. It is in peace time that it fails.” That statement was repeated in August 1940 - found here http://www.alor.org/The%20Social%20Crediter/Volume%204/The%20Social%20Crediter%20Vol%204%20No%2021%20August%203%201940.pdf)
As the world forces bring us once more to the brink of war, this time a devastating nuclear war, it is worth considering his message written so long ago:
“Those of you who have read that remarkable book by Mr. Benjamin Kidd, “The Science of Power”, may remember the following passage:
“It is a fact, the significance of which has been overlooked in the past, that Western civilization has been in a special and peculiar sense founded upon force.”
The point to which I have been endeavouring to bring you in this and the preceding address, is that orthodox finance appears to have a subtle connection with this doctrine of force—Force and Finance, if not the same things, are complementary. Quite demonstrably, force has brought one nation after another to a certain type of pre-eminence.
With that pre-eminence has come a rise of culture, arising, I think, not out of force, or finance, but out of the economic prosperity which is the bait used by Finance, and subsequent to that rise of culture, forces appear to have been set in operation to transfer the pre-eminence elsewhere. I do not suggest that this sequence of events has passed unnoticed or uncommented upon.
That well-known classic, Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” set a fashion which has had many imitators. In almost every case, and most notably in the case of the immediate pre-War German comment on these matters, the suggestion was that the type of culture to which I am referring, which involves the elevation of such qualities as kindness, mutual consideration, toleration of new ideas, dislike of aggression, in fact all that group of virtues which we call civilised, or, if you prefer it, Christian, constituted a disease of society and led to the downfall of a nation which succumbed to them. It was, in fact, assessed as pure weakness.
In the Lying Propaganda there was a Real Truth
The first negative comment which we can make upon this theory is that the fall of Germany was certainly as violent and catastrophic as any in history, and was certainly not due to the undue cultivation of a civilisation of this description. For half a century, at least, Germany had inculcated brutality as a specific principle of her system. Her fall was not due to anything that you might call softness. I believe that in the lying propaganda as to the causes and the reasons of the war, there was a real truth. It was that the world would not have German “ Kultur ” at any price. Prussian culture set in motion forces stronger than itself, which brought about its downfall. In war-time, therefore, civilisation does not fail. It is in peace time that it fails.
Now I want to put before you a totally different theory (which so far as I know is novel, although its novelty is of no importance) as to the reason for the decline of nations which become pre-eminent by force and financial policy and subsequently become civilised. I think that they are brought up to a certain point in evolution by the system that we are living under, and that at that point they are in a very favourable position to develop what I believe to be a really higher level of culture.
While in one sense brute force gave it birth, this level of culture does not rely on force of the ordinary kind. In fact, force of the ordinary kind is distasteful to it. It, and force, together with orthodox Finance, are mutually repulsive.
The result of this is to drive Finance to seek for a more congenial environment.
Get A New Idea of Great Value From It
You may say this is only a more complicated form of the old explanation. I do not think so. I think you can get a new idea of great value from it.
The danger of a decline, once this level of a new culture is reached, is not, in my opinion, due to that culture in itself. It is due to the failure on the part of that culture to develop a system of Finance, and a use of force, which is sympathetic to the general spirit of the new culture.
You may find an analogy to this state of affairs in the life history of many insects - - the may-ﬂy for instance. They are brought to a certain stage of development in water, but once that stage is reached they either escape into the air or they are drowned. It is even probable that all life on this planet is compelled by the nature of things thus to change on to a different plane on pain of extinction.
Now the characteristic of orthodox Finance is the centralisation or monopoly of Credit. I could, without much difficulty, prove to you that such a policy synthesises every Anti-Christian principle. The distribution of Credit is its antithesis.
While the details of such a system of Finance are better left for discussion until such time as they might come into the region of practical politics, I do not think there is much doubt of the principles they would be obliged to follow.
1. In the first place they must provide a financial reflection of the physical facts of the producing, distributing, and consuming systems which the existing financial system signally fails to do. I put this requirement first because from the lack of it arises that peculiar situation which can only be described as a financial bottle-neck, the control of which gives control of the very necessities of life itself.
2. Closely linked with the fulfilment of this requirement is the necessity for exalting the individual over the group. I mean by that, the exact opposite of what is commonly called Socialism.
The direct road to the emancipation of the individual from the domination of the group, is, in my opinion, the substitution, to an increasing extent, of the dividend in place of the wage and salary.
Existing Organisations Subordinate True Individuality to Them
Practically all the evils from which we suffer at the present time can be traced to the ability resident in existing organisations to subordinate true individuality to them. It must be a common experience of many people here tonight to have been obliged to acquiesce passively in transactions either of a business concern or a Government Department which transgress every canon of common decency, and which if done for the advantage of an individual would be generally condemned. The fact that they are done under the orders or for the advantage of some organisation is commonly held to excuse their character.
There is, however, another aspect of the greatest importance. Measured by civilised standards, groups are always of lower value than individuals. Conversely, individuals have qualities which are non-existent in groups.
I suppose a life-long plot on the part of one man against the well-being of another man is very rare, but a business or national vendetta is the rule, and I should say there were few exceptions to that rule. Acts of generosity without ulterior motive between individuals are common - between nations or businesses as such, are unknown.
The fixing of responsibility on the individual for acts committed by him, or decisions in which he acquiesces, follows logically from the adoption of such principles as I have been suggesting. Even if it were desirable, the time at my disposal is inadequate to deal with the technical aspect of this problem which is no doubt fairly familiar to many of those interested in it. In conclusion, however, I should like to emphasise one very important aspect of the whole problem. The desired solution has no basis in sentimentality or abstract Pacifism.
To be successful, it has to be a solution which can fight. As I have just said, and as must be only too obvious, modern scientific civilization is irresistible in war. I believe it is possible to provide a financial system which will so abolish the artificial differences of interest between individuals, that any community, nation, or continent which will successfully put these principles into operation will either compel imitation from the rest of the world, or will reduce any attack upon its principles to the relative position of a mob of bushmen armed with bows and arrows who might be so rash as to attack a modern army equipped with all the terrible weapons of modern warfare.