I recently watched Mark Latham’s interview of Bernard Gaynor and his battles with the politically correct bureaucracy which is now before the Courts. (FOUND HERE: http://www.2gb.com/podcast/mark-latham-the-outsider-16/.
(Bernard explained his SITUATION to us at the National 2014 Seminar)
I see Mark describes himself as from the mould of traditional Labor within the political spectrum of a ‘Social Democrat’. As Mark is being actively promoted by those who like to think of themselves as of ‘the conservative’ side of politics, I thought I should have a look at Mark’s background and try to determine just where he fits in to the political/media scheme of things.
Not trusting my understanding of what is a social democrat’s current belief and the policies he/she pursues, I went to the Chifley Research Centre’s website. According to Geoff Gallop, Professor and Director of the Graduate School of Government, University of Sydney who also chairs the Australia Awards Board for the Commonwealth Government who outlined what I was looking for. He asks:
What are social democratic values?
You might say that the values guiding social democrats haven’t changed much over the years. We believe in liberty, both civil and political; equality, both legal and social; and solidarity, both national and international. However, values are one thing, how they are interpreted, moulded together into an ideology and applied to the real world quite another.
For much of the 20th century these values were packaged together as a program that modified capitalism in the interests of social equality but not in a way that would undermine the incentives deemed necessary for economic growth. This acceptance of a capitalist framework is what distinguished social democracy from socialism and the planned economy.
By the end of the century it was also thought necessary to regulate and influence capitalist growth in the interests of environmental sustainability. Once again this approach distinguished social democrats from others on the left who saw science, technology, and economic growth as the keys to a future of socialist abundance.
These distinctions made political sense in the context of the Cold War but when that ended socialism was dealt a savage blow. The capitalist marketplace became more competitive and the imperative to improve productivity more pressing. Social democrats discovered the market and embraced a microeconomic reform program to ensure markets functioned properly.
Social equality was redefined as social inclusion with the role of government defined to enable its citizens to participate in the market economy rather than to protect them from its vagaries.
This social democratic assault on the regulatory and protectionist state led to the first rift within the ranks of social democracy between the traditional interventionists and the market reformers.
More strains were exposed when it became clear that climate change was real and dangerous in its implications. Dealing with the policy questions that followed revealed the close ties between social democracy and the material interests represented by the carbon economy. It is one thing to regulate growth in the interests of the environment, quite another to move to a low carbon economy and lifestyle.
This has led to a new set of divisions within social democracy on the questions of energy, growth and the environment.
Add to all of this the issues related to culture and society. For much of the 20th century social democrats held traditional or conservative views about culture, gender and sexuality. However, as the century progressed and new social movements emerged, the case for radical change in social relationships gathered pace and was taken up by many social democrats. It was a case of multiculturalism challenging national values and the freedom to choose challenging the obligation to uphold traditional institutions and practices. All of this radical liberalism fitted well with the commitment to a free market, globalisation, and internationalism.
Not surprisingly, a good deal of the discussion about these issues was linked to a debate about the continuing relevance of religion and fundamentalism. Remember it had been Christianity rather than Marxism that had played a key role in the emergence and development of social democratic values.
It’s not surprising that with all of these differences on culture, economics and the environment; it is much harder to define social democratic values today. Much of the cement that held it together in the last century – a common religious perspective, a set of national values, an economy to plan and build, a community to protect and a Cold War to be won – can no longer be assumed.
Take away religious fundamentalism, nationalism and tradition generally and you certainly have a clearly defined left-liberal set of progressive values and a political program to back it up. This clearly defined left-liberalism within the ranks has induced many party members and supporters to look elsewhere for their political sustenance either because they reject it in the name of tradition or embrace it in the name of progress. For such people there is too much compromise on values within the social democratic parties today for them to feel comfortable and energised. They are seen as either too liberal or not liberal enough, as too green or not green enough, as too rationalist on markets or not rationalist enough and as too internationalist or not internationalist enough.
This squeezing of social democratic support from right and left reminds us that values and ideas matter and cannot be ignored when developing strategy and designing policy. We can’t turn the clock back to easier times but we do need to think more about what story we are going to tell about the future.
Professor Gallop’s Ideology of Social Democrats
The good professor does acknowledge that “Much of the cement that held (this nation) together in the last century (was) – a common religious perspective, a set of national values, an economy to plan and build, a community to protect…”
Jordan B. Peterson observed: Ideologies are merely parasites on religious substructures.
I would like to know are they examining the report by Dr. Richard Werner of the power of private banks to create a nation’s credit. Surely that world-shattering news, which places the power of monetising the nation’s economy in the hands of a private monopoly needs to be examined and comes within the orbit of a political party’s policies?
The following questions were asked long ago, but political parties preferred not to examine them:
· Why the necessity for economic growth? Why has the economic policy turned from one of self-sufficiency to trade dependence?
· Why don 't we have a policy of self-sufficiency?
· Why did our politicians push for 'privatisation’ and 'globalisation’ instead?
· Why does the financial mechanism require an ever-increasing push in production - why is there not enough effective demand (in other words, purchasing power in the hands of the individual persons within the community) to distribute the production within the nation?
· Why did industrial technology fail to deliver a comfortable lifestyle for all?
· Why is there need for more and more productive output -- in order to distribute goods already produced?
· And why doesn’t the industrial revolution free Man from the long hours of labour and perpetual insecurity?
· Recognising the advantages of a modern credit economy, why do the decisions concerning its creation and circulation occur within the private banking circles?
· And why are these decisions, which affect the nation’s economy taken within banking circles?
· And why are such private banking decisions not democratically accountable to the community?
THE STORY OF NORTH AND SOUTH
The Essence of a Genuine Democracy Is…. not voting. Voting is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The traditional British system of representative government was conceived as one of representation of interests, not of numbers.
It was in 2009 that I wrote of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel "North and South" and of the BBC film version of the 1850's portrait of life experienced by the various strata of society during the second wave of the Industrial Revolution.
It provides a very good example of grasping the early industrial/financial problems that both the manufacturer and the worker were experiencing.
The story line focuses on Old Money and privilege, (the South - Helstone) and New Money and manufacturing (the North-Milton) and the Working Class in their battle for better living conditions and wages. The novel is centred on the "Second Wave" of the Industrial Revolution; that which occupied the period between the 1830's to the 1850's. A period concerned not so much with invention as with organisation of industries.
I quoted C.H. Douglas who summed up the environmental damage and social price paid for these times:
“No war ever devastated a smiling countryside so thoroughly - and for so long - as did the textile industries and their ancillary trades devastate south Lancashire."
The political balance of power had shifted to the manufacturer-exporter and the economic policy of Great Britain had changed from a policy of self-sufficiency to trade dependence. Surely, if you think about it, a balanced, whole, self-sufficient economic policy of a nation must include the trinity of production, distribution and consumption? As the word 'economics' once meant.
In the book Elizabeth Gaskell has Margaret the Churchwoman and her Father, former priest and now a Dissenter, appealing for John Thornton, the Master (manufacturer and mill owner) and Higgins the Worker (and Committee member forerunner of trade union representative), to reason together; to at least try to see the other's point of view.
As a third party not involved in the dispute, the Dissenter Father explains that “as a teacher who talks with both sides of the dispute, he can see that each has valid points of concern - and so appeals to both parties to sit down together and discuss their problems and positions. A very Christian appeal indeed!
For me, the author of the novel is exploring the possibilities embodied in the 2nd Great Commandment... which relates to human associations: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." In other words, recognise, understand, that for the relationship to work, it must be a mutual relationship, in which case, consent and agreement by both parties is the basis upon which a right relationship works.
To the very end of the story, Thornton (the Master) wished for the opportunity of cultivating some intercourse with the workers beyond the mere 'cash nexus' (wages). And, at times he goes out of his way to engage in discussions with his workers on issues and conditions for both their benefit - for their mutual benefit.
For the worker and the issue of his wages, - 'the cash nexus '- the only power he could see that he had, was to join forces with other fellow workers and strike. That was his bargaining power to obtain his 'price’ for his labour i.e., for a just or fair wage. His price was a wage sufficient for him to feed and clothe and house himself and his dependents.
As for the Master, he saw that he was bound by the 'rules of good business sense'; he had to stick to those rules or go out of business, i.e., or go bankrupt.
But neither master nor worker could see beyond the obvious antagonisms between them, that is, the Worker’s wages and for the Master, such concerns as: costs and overheads involved in the production processes, competition from other manufacturers, and finally prices obtained in the market place.
In the film story, Thornton visits London's Great Exhibition of 1851, and was enthralled to see the products, the new inventions, and the machines brought together under the one roof, from all over the Empire. And, the scriptwriter has him observing:
"Technologically, we are the envy of the world - if only there was a mechanism to let us all live together, to take advantage of the great benefits that come from industry."
But, Thornton believed, the answer to the problems of 'the cash nexus between Worker and Master, would be for future generations to find, lamenting: "We can bring back Marmosets from Mozambique, but we cannot stop Man from behaving as he always has."
Cash Nexus? Wages, Costs of production? Prices in the market place? Ah haaa! thought I.
Because we have the benefit of hindsight, we can pick up the fault in the reasoning. Thornton, according to the author, seems to think it is a moral problem rather than a practical problem. Not only that, the problem, Thornton would have us believe, is insurmountable because it originated within human nature, and, usually it is stated as:
'It is because of man 's greed.'
If the nature of the problem is a moral and spiritual one - and man 's sinful nature must always be taken into account - then we are doomed to continue making the same errors, time after time, after time. I would like a penny for every time people have said to me the problem is man's greed. But, let us continue.
It was one thing for the Dissenter to state the principle - the fundamental truth, you could say the guiding truth: 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you", it was and is quite another matter to find the right 'key’ - to the specific problem and come up with a solution!
"How so?" You may well ask
Picture the manufacturer-owner, Thornton, with his weaving looms in full throttle. The production, in comparison to human-energy output, the power of the machine’s output, is huge. The workers are not weaving the cotton, the machines are weaving the cotton, the workers are operating the machines - and the productive output now depends on the power running the machines. The more power generated - the greater the productive output.
Surely what we are now observing is a time/energy/unit accounting ratio rather than a problem of the inherent moral weakness of mankind?
What of the 'cash nexus '? Where does the 'cash originate?
It doesn't originate from either the Worker or the Master Manufacturer. The 'cash nexus’ in the 1850s already came from a third source, the banking system as is explained in the story. Without fully realising it, both the manufacturer and the worker in their working relationship - are indirectly and directly governed by financial considerations.
Nicholas' lowly wage is included in all the costs and overheads John Thornton, the manufacturer, must add together to determine the price he must obtain in the market place, if he is to be successful and not go bankrupt.
But, Thornton doesn't pay his machines wages, the ‘costs’ associated with the running of the machines is accounted into the mill’s overheads costs and finally calculated into the price charged for his products in the market place.
And yet, wages are the source of the workers' purchasing power. Surely the key to the dilemma can be found here? While Thornton could see his nation as the envy of the world with this huge potential productive capacity, he did not have the key to resolve the problem of wages, costs and prices in the market place. Ask any manufacturer or businessman if this is not so.
Were they Saints or Sinners?
With changed attitudes on both sides, (i.e., a change of hearts) working relations would have been on a more friendlier footing, but, even if the Master was the most benevolent of men, and/or the Worker the saintliest of workers, their best behaviour (human nature at its best] would not have resolved this particular problem for manufacturers in the Age of the Industrial Revolution.
It took another fifty years, along with the right circumstances and the experiences of C.H. Douglas, prior to and during World War I, to reveal the key to the problem. And we have yet to grasp its full potential if we are ever going to unlock the people's real credit so that all may enjoy the fruits of the plant of this civilisation!
The KEY to the problem said Douglas, is CREDIT!
But how so? Douglas the practical engineer turned his cost-accounting mind to the practical question of the actual relationship between finance and the real economy of resources, goods, services and the people, both manufacturer and worker, who willingly sought to co-operate to create communities fit to live in.
But, with more production, there was less purchasing power in relation to output of production, over a given period of time. And, as we now know, Douglas’ enquiries into the functioning of the banking system provided the key to the problem ... it was/it is Credit! And that is Credit always issued as a debt.
This is a problem of Accounting declared Douglas, it is even a problem of National Accounting. It is not necessarily a problem of Human Nature at all.
Douglas published his findings in such books as: 'Economic Democracy ', The New and the Old Economics and 'Credit Power and Democracy ' (found here: https://alor.org/navigation/Library1.htm)
But we need to go back a little further in history to understand what Douglas began to grasp. In 1694, the directors of the Bank of England, on the basis of their claim to having a certain amount of gold in the bank 's vaults, (and a bankrupt government needing money), agreed to issue 'credit' (money) to the government of the day. In other words, the Bank of England was given the power to create 'credit out of nothing’, issue this 'credit’ to the government and demand repayment of 'capital' with interest.
And then in 1844, under the Bank Charter Act of that year it was, you could say, officially given the power to issue the nation's credit, always issued as a debt and also to be repaid, with interest.
It is worth studying the BBC production of 'North and South" in the light of the Social Credit revelations. Anthony Cooney’s booklets (found here: https://alor.org/Triumph%20of%20The%20Past/TriumphofthePastBooks.htm) fill in many of the gaps left out of the film which deals with the further development within the nation's industrial system. But do remember the story was written in the 1850s and Cooney was writing in the 1990s with the benefit of hindsight and Douglas' revelations.
The need to 'release reality'
You will grasp that Douglas saw the need for monetary reform, but not for itself alone, but so that when it functioned as it should, and fulfilled its true purpose, the Social Credit of the various communities and nations would be released. As Eric Butler puts it so well, it would Release Reality! The Tree of Life, the Plant of Civilisation, would flourish for the benefit of all - all would be able to enjoy its fruits!
Under the present capitalist money system the world has experienced many wars including two world wars, recessions, depressions, upheaval of nations with the refugees of the conflicts fleeing to other parts of the world seeking a better life, and so on, and on and on. For centuries, there has been no long-term peace, and security, just intermittent uneasy peace, followed by wars, upheaval and insecurity. Douglas has said that under the present capitalist system he saw no way out of the boom and bust cycles.
Douglas original observations were based on his practical experiences as consulting electrical engineer to Westinghouse in India and the design of the automated Post Office tube in London (The Story of the Rail Mail) https://postalmuseum.org/discover/explore-online/postal-history/mail-rail/ before the First World War I. His experiences in the field of engineering and manufacturing had already revealed to him that under the present financial set-up, it was financial restrictions that determined the amount of production and the introduction of new technologies. And yet at the outbreak of World War I, financial constraints were swept aside. Governments found money enough to conduct the war! How was this so?