Sunday, April 28, 2019

Conservatism – Dead as a Dodo

Conservatism in its true sense is an extinct ideology. What it has been replaced with is an extreme, and in many aspects, sociopathic ideology which is called "neoliberalism." Conservatism was suspicious of extreme ideologies, and capitalism. It also had a concept of the common good, lacking in today's korporation uber alles right-wing. Below you will find excerpts from two documents. One is by a 1930s fundamentalist preacher, William Aberhart, and the other is by Pope Leo 13. Today, both men would be sneered at as "socialists" by the fake conservative neoliberal right.

1. THE SOCIAL CREDIT MANUAL by Wm. Aberhart 1935
Our Basic Premise.
It is the duty of the State through its Government to organize its economic structure in such a way that no bona fide citizen, man, woman, or child, shall be allowed to suffer for lack of the bare necessities of food, clothing, and shelter, in the midst of plenty or abundance.

The Province of Alberta is Wealthy Enough to Carry Out This Proposal.
The Canada Year Book, 1933, page 870, gives Alberta the next to the highest place with regard to her wealth pe€r capita. Her total estimated potential wealth is $2, 406, 000, 000 or that is, $3518 per person. British Columbia leads with $4012 per person. Ontario, the wealthiest province with the greatest population has $3188 per person. Nova. Scotia, the weakest of the provinces has $1769 per person.
If Alberta can not provide for the bare necessities of her people, what can the other provinces, especially Nova Scotia, do? Alberta cannot ask Ontario or Saskatchewan or Quebec to provide for her people. .That would be unreasonable. They have all they can do to provide for their own.

So the claim must be admitted, Alberta can and must feed, clothe, and shelter her own people, or they must suffer. No one else can be expected to do that which she must accomplish for herself.
In Alberta last year the total market value of all the raw products, grain, fruit, fodder... was $152, 878, 863 which is about 6% of our total estimated wealth. It is, therefore, evident that we do raise enough to care for our people. . We must not forget, however two facts about these figures: First, the value is figured .at present-day, low market prices. Two, the amount stated is for the raw products, which are often processed, increasing their value from three to fifteen or twenty times that of the raw product...
With these figures in mind it is plainly evident that we could feed, and clothe and shelter our people and still have many million dollars worth for those who are capable of earning through individual enterprise.

This should convince our readers that Social Credit is not based on any confiscation scheme by which we take the wealth of the rich or well-to-do to give to the poor. Social Credit recognizes individual enterprise and individual ownership, but it prevents wildcat exploitation of the consumer through the medium of enormously excessive spreads in price for the purpose of giving exorbitant profits or paying high dividends on pyramids of watered stock...

It is understood by those who have examined the case, that unemployment is a permanent disability of the modern state.
Social Credit points out the three great poisons at the root of our trouble:
(a) There is a Iack of purchasing power in the hands of the consumer. If one man does the work of three men for the same pay, then the two men displaced will have no purchasing power. ff a machine does the work of twenty men, at the pay of one man, then the twenty men displaced will have no purchasing power.
As the people have no purchasing power, they cannot get the goods that are piled high in the factories and warehouses. Thus there is no need to produce more, and the great factories become silent and there is much less purchasing power. So the disease becomes very bad, for we have fallen into the vicious circle.

(b) Besides this the price spread has shown by investigation, that wildcat speculation is going on. This intensifies the trouble by making the purchasing power less efficient. The dollar will not secure as much goods as it formerly did.
(c) Finally, the investment of surplus funds leaves the reaim of commerce, where huge profits are the aim, and enters the realm of bond investments where interest is the main consideration.
Thus the flow of credit is retarded so that a high rate of interest may be maintained. Today about fifty-one cents out.of every dollar taxes collected is required for the payment of interest on bonded debt. The whole country is gradually sinking into a morass of debt out of which it will be difficult to recover itself. Some are now forced to borrow to pay interest on the debt that they have already accumulated..

Social Credit As A Remedy
To understand .the Social Credit philosophy it is necessary for the individual to get the language used in Social Credit:
1. Cultural Heritage. This is the inheritance that falls to the right of the individual citizen living within the bounds of the province. The pioneering work of our forefathers and the inventive genius of scientists and others have enabled mankind to harness the solar energy and produce machinery that will do the work that was formerly done by mankind. The great wealth of our natural resources has, by this means, been brought to the very door of the individual consumer. Social Credit claims that each of these consumers has a right to a share in the production from the natural resources of the province. At the present time this great wealth is being selfishly manipulated and controlled by one or more men known as the "Fifty Big Shots of Canada." Social Credit claims that this cultural heritage is the property of the. individuals who are bona fide citizens of our province, and should ne€ver be allowed to go entirely to the control of any small group of men. We call this heritage cultural because it gives the individual an opportunity to develop his individuality.
The cultural heritage is made operative by the regular issuance of dividends from month to month sufficient to secure for the ind.individual citizen the bare necessities of food, clothing and shelter. Social Credit claims that this is the least that could be offered to .any citizen. It is wholly unreasonable to expect any person or group of persons in a province as wealthy as Alberta to exist without the bare necessities of food, clothing and.shelter. To enable each citizen to secure these bare necessities, each of them will receive a pass-book in which at the beginning of each month will. be entered the basic dividend for that month, say $25.00. This is supposed to provide for the bare necessities of food., clothing and shelter for every bona fide citizen, whether he works or does not work, and he shall not be required to pay it back or work it out. The only stipulation will be that the recipient must co-operate in every way possible. Those who work will be given their salaries, wages, or commissions over and above the basic dividends. This would at once remove all relief and dole from our land and. recover the morale of our people. Our bona fide consumers will at once have purchasing power amounting to $10,000,000 dividends, and probably in addition $20,000,000 salary, wages, and commission.
Basic dividend credit wiII be used by means of non- negotiable certificates issued in blank to each consumer.
3. Non-negotiable Certificates.
These are blank forms issued to each bona fide citizen to enable him to fiIl in the amount and signature, also the name of the recipient to whom he is transfers the credit. As it is non-negotiable, the person receiving the certificate must of necessity deposit it in the bank
or Provincial Credit House. When this is done the issuer is debited in his account and the recipient is credited in his account. The recipient, therefore, is able to issue another non-negotiable certificate of his own to pay his debts, and thus-the circulation of the credit is possible.
It is very evident to anyone who follows this thus far that this issuance of free dividends in order to prevent the province from continuously getting into debt, must be recovered in some scientific manner without introducing a hugh tax scheme. This leads us to the fourth term.

4. The Unearned Increment.
This expression means exactly what it says. There is an increment or increase in price, and this increase is not earned by the owner or the producer of the goods. The term is well known to those who have dealt in the buying or selling of land. ff a man sells a piece of property for more than he pays for it the Government claims rightly that he has an unearned increment and they proceed at once to tax him.
A Coal Mine situated far from civilization or without transportation would be of little value to anyone except in so far as it could be used for his personal needs. If ten people lived near it, it would be more valuable. If a thousand people were within reach of it, there would be that much greater demand for the coal, and, therefore it would be a greater price. Thus the price of the coal above.the cost of production is largely dependent upon the demand caused by the association of individuals in its immediate vicinity. Neither the owner nor the miner are responsible for this increased price. It is an unearne increment which accrues fronr the association of the people withiin the bounds of the Iand controlled by them.
!t sometimes goes by the name of price spread.

2. RERUM NOVARUM by Pope Leo 13
The foremost duty, therefore, of the rulers of the State should be to make sure that the laws and institutions, the general character and administration of the commonwealth, shall be such as of themselves to realize public well-being and private prosperity. This is the proper scope of wise statesmanship and is the work of the rulers. Now a State chiefly prospers and thrives through moral rule, well-regulated family life, respect for religion and justice, the moderation and fair imposing of public taxes, the progress of the arts and of trade, the abundant yield of the land-through everything, in fact, which makes the citizens better and happier. Hereby, then, it lies in the power of a ruler to benefit every class in the State, and amongst the rest to promote to the utmost the interests of the poor; and this in virtue of his office, and without being open to suspicion of undue interference - since it is the province of the commonwealth to serve the common good. And the more that is done for the benefit of the working classes by the general laws of the country, the less need will there be to seek for special means to relieve them...

The members of the working classes are citizens by nature and by the same right as the rich; they are real parts, living the life which makes up, through the family, the body of the commonwealth; and it need hardly be said that they are in every city very largely in the majority. It would be irrational to neglect one portion of the citizens and favor another, and therefore the public administration must duly and solicitously provide for the welfare and the comfort of the working classes; otherwise, that law of justice will be violated which ordains that each man shall have his due. To cite the wise words of St. Thomas Aquinas: "As the part and the whole are in a certain sense identical, so that which belongs to the whole in a sense belongs to the part."(27) Among the many and grave duties of rulers who would do their best for the people, the first and chief is to act with strict justice - with that justice which is called distributive - toward each and every class alike...

Indeed, their co-operation is in this respect so important that it may be truly said that it is only by the labor of working men that States grow rich. Justice, therefore, demands that the interests of the working classes should be carefully watched over by the administration, so that they who contribute so largely to the advantage of the community may themselves share in the benefits which they create-that being housed, clothed, and bodily fit, they may find their life less hard and more endurable. It follows that whatever shall appear to prove conducive to the well-being of those who work should obtain favorable consideration. There is no fear that solicitude of this kind will be harmful to any interest; on the contrary, it will be to the advantage of all, for it cannot but be good for the commonwealth to shield from misery those on whom it so largely depends for the things that it needs...

Rights must be religiously respected wherever they exist, and it is the duty of the public authority to prevent and to punish injury, and to protect every one in the possession of his own. Still, when there is question of defending the rights of individuals, the poor and badly off have a claim to especial consideration. The richer class have many ways of shielding themselves, and stand less in need of help from the State; whereas the mass of the poor have no resources of their own to fall back upon, and must chiefly depend upon the assistance of the State. And it is for this reason that wage-earners, since they mostly belong in the mass of the needy, should be specially cared for and protected by the government...

Let the working man and the employer make free agreements, and in particular let them agree freely as to the wages; nevertheless, there underlies a dictate of natural justice more imperious and ancient than any bargain between man and man, namely, that wages ought not to be insufficient to support a frugal and well-behaved wage-earner. If through necessity or fear of a worse evil the workman accept harder conditions because an employer or contractor will afford him no better, he is made the victim of force and injustice. In these and similar questions, however - such as, for example, the hours of labor in different trades, the sanitary precautions to be observed in factories and workshops, etc. - in order to supersede undue interference on the part of the State, especially as circumstances, times, and localities differ so widely, it is advisable that recourse be had to societies or boards such as We shall mention presently, or to some other mode of safeguarding the interests of the wage-earners; the State being appealed to, should circumstances require, for its sanction and protection...

The most important of all are workingmen's unions, for these virtually include all the rest. History attests what excellent results were brought about by the artificers' guilds of olden times. They were the means of affording not only many advantages to the workmen, but in no small degree of promoting the advancement of art, as numerous monuments remain to bear witness. Such unions should be suited to the requirements of this our age - an age of wider education, of different habits, and of far more numerous requirements in daily life. It is gratifying to know that there are actually in existence not a few associations of this nature, consisting either of workmen alone, or of workmen and employers together, but it were greatly to be desired that they should become more numerous and more efficient. We have spoken of them more than once, yet it will be well to explain here how notably they are needed, to show that they exist of their own right, and what should be their organization and their mode of action.


Blogger EUGENE PLAWIUK said...

I am sharing this on my blog, cut and paste, if you don't mind considering its relevance to Alberta politics now

7:50 PM  

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