Thursday, December 13, 2007

Is RA8484 For Me ?

14th December, 2007 ( Friday)

Dear Sir,

Today I received a letter from our friend that says about RA 8484. For me to understand what is it all about, I read and read and learned that it talked about :

a. credit card that is counterfeit, fictitious, altered, or forged;
b. access device that is stolen, lost, expired, revoked, canceled,
suspended, or obtained with intent to defraud;
c. access device that was applied for or issued on account of the
use of falsified document, false information, fictitious identities
and addresses, or any form of false pretense or misrepresentation;

I pondered and said to myself - indeed these are really against the law.

But wait, a certain clause caught my attention :

"A cardholder who abandons or surreptitiously leaves the place of employment, business or residence stated in his application ...... shall be prima facie presumed to have used his credit card with intent to defraud."

Hmmmm....When I applied for a credit card, and until now, I am still staying in the same residence as indicated in my application form, although I have now lost my job.

Did I abandoned my residence or employment?
Did I left surreptitiously these addresses?
I looked up for that meaning and found out it means "secretly", like a thief leaving your house.

The letter said I could be charged, if evidence warrants.

I am holding their letter, therefore I can be found! They are right - there is no evidence to the contrary.

Thank God. It is Friday the 14th, a day before and I'd be damned.


CC Victim

Dahil Mahaba na ang Queries, PLEASE e-mail us instead

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Am I Civilly or Criminally Liable?

Civil case
A non-criminal lawsuit involving breach of contract ( like Credit Card Agreements), property issues, divorce and other varieties of civil lawsuits. It is the individual who feels wronged or injured (the plaintiff) who decides whether to file a civil suit. The plaintiff cannot seek to have a defendant jailed unless the defendant has violated a court order.

Criminal case
A lawsuit brought by a prosecutor employed by the government that charges a person with the commission of a crime. The defendant is charged with a crime against society such as murder, burglary, robbery, or theft.

Criminal Law
complainant : the state/ government.
punishment : fine and/or imprisonment.
proof : beyond a reasonable doubt
appeal : defendant
decision : guilty or not guilty

Civil Law
complainant : anybody
punishment : The loser in a civil case cannot be imprisoned, even if he or she
cannot pay the damages.
proof : preponderance of the evidence
appeal : either party
decision : plaintiff and the defendant may be found partially right and
and partially at fault.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Credit Card Medicine

Harassed by our friendly Atty. Collector? no need to argue, nor explain. No need to pay a token amount "to show willingness to pay". There is also no need to sign anything.

Just go and ask for your detailed Statement of Account, or better yet,a Bank Certification of your outstanding obligation with them, duly signed and certified correct.Do it formally, in writing via registered mail or if done verbally, follow it up with a confirmation letter. Address it to whoever is asking you to pay.

THAT would be your defense and reply for those :
a. annoying calls and SMSs
b. threats to visit your home or office
c. threats of RA 8484
d. threats of filing a case
e. harassments from "NBI, Police, Barangay" or even the "court".

Let them prove first that you owe that much before you pay, otherwise, what debt are they talking about?

Let us not assume that everything is always true - that they are really from the bank, that they are authorized, that they are lawyers or that you owe them debts.

In God We Trust, all others, we audit.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Douglas's A+B Theorem

By: Socred - B.A., SCMP

Douglas’s A+B theorem is probably the most simple, yet most controversial, of all of Douglas's ideas. Oftentimes, too much emphasis has been placed on this theory amongst Social Crediters themselves, but the theory itself is essential for understanding Douglas’ monetary policies. The theorem is a truism; however, the controversy lies in the nature of the “B payments” which Douglas identified. The theorem is stated by Douglas as follows:

“In any manufacturing undertaking the payments made may be divided into two groups: Group A: Payments made to individuals as wages, salaries, and dividends; Group B: Payments made to other organizations for raw materials, bank charges and other external costs. The rate of distribution of purchasing power to individuals is represented by A, but since all payments go into prices, the rate of generation of prices cannot be less than A plus B. Since A will not purchase A plus B, a proportion of the product at least equivalent to B must be distributed by a form of purchasing power which is not comprised in the description grouped under A.” (C.H. Douglas, “The Monopoly of Credit”)

Douglas was an engineer, and a cost accountant.. As a scientist, he started with an observation, and formed a hypothesis. This is different than many orthodox economists who form a hypothesis, and then try to make the facts fit their theory. Douglas’ A+B theory is a simple statement of fact, and the accounts of any business will verify this fact. The confusion amongst orthodox economists lies in the nature of the B payments, and what causes them.

The critics of the theory generally fall into two categories by arguing: 1) B payments are really income, so there is no differentiation between A and B payments or 2) B payments are either past, or future, income. Let’s address both these criticisms individually.

The first criticism, which states that B payments are income, implicitly assumes the quantity theory of money. According to this theory, all money received by firms is income and can be used to purchase other goods and services. The theorem states that the quantity of transactions, multiplied by the quantity of money, equals total purchasing power. On the surface, this theory seems to make sense, but upon further investigation, it is not a reflection of reality. In reality, firms have costs that must be repaid. These costs can ultimately be traced back to bank debt because all money originates as debt. If a company receives $10 for its product, and assuming accumulated costs of $8.50 to acquire and sell this product, then only $1.50 is actually profit to the company, and potential income. The $8.50 must be used to cancel debts, or replace working capital. All of the $10 received by the company is not income. The fallacy was pointed out in "The Alberta Post-War Reconstruction Committee Report".

“The fallacy in the theory lies in the incorrect assumption that money "circulates", whereas it is issued against production, and withdrawn as purchasing power as the goods are bought for consumption. “ ( “The Alberta Post-War Reconstruction Committee Report of the Subcommittee on Finance")

The truth is that money does not “circulate” but instead operates in an accounting cycle, and B payments are monies on their way back to the bank, thus completing the cycle. Therefore, B payments do not exist as income to anyone. Income, by contrast, is flowing from the bank, and reaches individuals through the media of wages, salaries, and dividends. The argument that B payments are income is a complete fallacy based on the erroneous assumption that the circulation of money increases its purchasing power.

The second criticism, which has more credibility, will be seen to be a complete fallacy when the concept of time is introduced. Although not all B payments represent previous, or future, income (something we will touch on later), it is true that a proportion of the B payments are represented by past and future incomes. However; income and prices must be regarded as flows, and as Douglas stated:

“The mill will never grind with water that has passed, and unless it can be shown, as it certainly cannot be shown, that all these sums distributed in respect of the production of intermediate products are actually saved up, not in the form of securities, but in the form of actual purchasing power, we are obliged to assume what I believe to be true, that the rate of flow of purchasing power derived from the normal and theoretical operation of the existing price system is always less than that of the generation of prices within the same period of time.” (C.H. Douglas, “The Monopoly of Credit”)

It is obvious that future incomes cannot be used as present incomes (excluding momentarily credit from an extraneous source, which is a mortgage on future incomes). These future incomes are profits (interest on loans representing bank profit), which become future incomes via dividends paid to individuals. The fact that profits partially cause the gap between income and prices forms the supposed justification for the socialist argument against profits. However, nobody will do something unless it in some sense of the word profits him. Also, profits only represent a portion of the gap between income and prices. Douglas did not seek to eliminate profits, instead he wanted to compensate for the gap between income and prices which profits helped create.

"The essential point to notice, however, is not the profit, but that he cannot and will not produce unless his expenses on the average are not more than covered. These expenses may be of various descriptions, but they can all be resolved ultimately into labour charges of some sort (a fact which incidentally is responsible for the fallacy that labour, by which is meant the labour of the present population of the world, produces all wealth). Consider what this means. All past labour, represented by money charges, goes into cost and so into price. But a great part of the product of his labour -that part which represents consumption and depreciation - has become useless, and disappeared." (C.H. Douglas, "The Control and Distribution of Production")

Past income used for consumption represents a substantial portion of the gap between income and prices. The belief that incomes disbursed in the past for capital production are all saved up in order to defray the costs associated with those incomes as they make their way into the cost of future consumer goods is a complete fallacy. People tend to spend their income on consumer goods in a relatively expeditious fashion. This money is collected from the consumers by businesses through the agency of prices. The upper limit of prices being governed by the laws of supply and demand, or what the item will fetch. This income, recollected by businesses, forms a part of their profit, assuming they can sell their product above cost. These profits can be distributed as income in the form of dividends, but is most often re-invested back into the company, and therefore, do not exist as income to anyone.

“Consider the nature of these B payments. They are repayments collected from the public of purchasing power in respect of production not yet delivered to the public. If the wage earners in process ‘I’ use their current month’s, i.e. May’s, wages to buy their share of one current month’s production of consumable goods, they are using money distributed in respect of production which will not appear as consumable goods till October. They are in fact involuntarily reinvesting their money in industry, with the results previously explained” (C.H. Douglas, “The Monopoly of Credit”)

Therefore, it can be seen that the criticisms of the A+B theorem are based on the fallacy known as the quantity theory of money, or they fail to take into account the effect of time on income and prices (i.e. they are static). Incomes and prices are flows, and any analysis into their nature must account for the dimension of time. Since prices include all payments made to individuals as income (A), as well as all overhead charges (B), we must understand what causes these overhead charges in order to understand why prices rise faster than incomes when regarded as a flow.

"It is now necessary to see to what extent this conception of overhead charges can be extended, and I think that a little consideration will make it clear that in this sense an overhead charge is any charge in respect of which the actual distributed purchasing power does not still exist, and that practically this means any charge created at a further distance in the past than the period of cyclic rate of circulation of money. There is no fundamental difference between tools and intermediate products, and the latter may therefore be included." (C.H. Douglas, "The New and The Old Economics")

The cyclic rate of purchasing power of money can be calculated by calculating the average amount of deposits held by depositors in banks relative to the amount of clearings through the banks, minus the amount of "Butcher-Baker" transactions. Douglas referred to any transaction that broke a chain of repayments as a "Butcher-Baker" transaction. When a butcher receives money for his product from his customer, he must repay debts owed to the slaughterhouse for the meat, who in turn must pay debts owed to the farmer, who pays debts to the banker (all money originating from the bank as a debt). If the butcher buys bread from the baker with the money he has received from his customer, then he has broken the chain of debt to the slaughterhouse, farmer, and ultimately the banker; and therefore, these transactions leave a trail of debt, and must be deducted when calculating the cyclic rate of purchasing power, because the monetary cycle has not been completed. Douglas calculated the average cyclic rate of purchasing power to be approximately two and a half weeks in Britain ("The Old and the New Economics”). Therefore; any cost anterior to three weeks, must form a part of the gap between income and prices. Douglas spoke of this fact when questioned before the Alberta Agricultural Commission.

"Well, that question of course is outside what I was speaking of this morning, but I have no objection whatever to answering it shortly. The best way of understanding what the speaker has referred to as the "A plus B" theory is to look at the matter in this way: The purchasing power of the general community is practically 98 per cent, I think, taken over all products, bank money. The actual deposits in banks under what are sometimes called "normal times" (I don't know what normal times are, but they are frequently referred to so we will assume that there are normal times) the deposits remained fairly constant. For instance, in Great Britain since the war they have reached around between 16 and 18 hundred millions of pounds. Now there is quite obviously a circulation of those deposits through the agency of costs. They are distributed for wages and so forth and they come back to the same source through the agency of price. That is the way the existing financial system works.

Now all business in the world at the present time is carried on on the theory of the balanced budget, including governmental business. Therefore, you must have a right, or period of cycle through which this money which starts from the banks goes out through cost and comes back again to the banks through the agency of price; there must be a time that that cycle takes. Now we have as a matter of fact means of calculating that time, and in Great Britain the average is somewhere in the neighbourhood of around about three weeks. Now, so long as a charge is incurred and liquidated inside that period of three weeks it can be liquidated by that cycle of the flow of purchasing power, starting from the banks, going out through costs and coming back again through prices. So long as the whole transaction of costs and prices is involved in a period of about three weeks, there is no difficulty involved in the prices and the costs being equal, but any item of cost which is outside that period of three weeks we will say cannot be liquidated by that stream of credit which is constantly in circulation at a period rate, we will say of three weeks.

Now we know there are an increasing number of charges which originated from a period much anterior to three weeks, and included in those charges, as a matter of fact, are most of the charges made in, respect of purchases from one organization to another, but all such charges as capital charges (for instance, on a railway which was constructed a year, two years, three years, five or ten years ago, where charges are still extant), cannot be liquidated by a stream of purchasing power which does not increase in volume and which has a period of three weeks. The consequence is, you have a piling up of debt, you have in many cases a diminution of purchasing power being equivalent to the price of the goods for sale. It is frequently said, "Your theory must be absurd because we know that there are periods in which purchasing power is in excess of the price of the goods for sale, for instance at the end of a war." What people who say that forget is that we were piling up debt at that time at the rate of ten millions sterling a day and if it can be shown, and it can be shown, that we are increasing debt continuously by normal operation of the banking system and the financial system at the present time, then that is proof that we are not distributing purchasing power sufficient to buy the goods for sale at that time; otherwise we should not be increasing debt, and that is the situation." (C.H. Douglas, "Douglas System of Social Credit", evidence taken by the Agricultural Committee of the Alberta Legislature 1934)

If money disbursed for production makes its way to the bank before its cost can be extinguished in the price of the consumer goods it creates, then there is a corresponding gap between income and prices. If income is reinvested back into the productive system, then each time it is re-invested, it creates a new cost without creating new purchasing power (we have already seen that money does not circulate, but cycles, so money is only capable of cancelling one cost). The income I receive in terms of wages or salaries has been debited to the cost of some good or service. If I invest my income, then I expect to receive my investment back, with a rate of return. The only way the company I invested in can give me my money back with a rate of return is by charging the consumer through prices. Therefore; my income has created two costs: 1) the cost associated with the good or service that I helped provide, and 2) the cost associated with the investment that must be returned to me. However, my income can only cancel one of those costs. There is now a new cost created, without the creation of new purchasing power.

"But we also find that apart from this question of the distribution of purchasing power there is not enough purchasing power distributed to buy the goods which are for sale if the production of these goods has been financed by ordinary methods. There are many contributory causes to this situation, but it is probable that the main cause is due to the reappearance in prices of the same sum of money several times, a state of affairs which is rendered possible by the splitting up of production into a large number of processes." (C.H. Douglas, "Money and the Price System")

The reappearance in prices of the same sum of money several times creates a gap between purchasing power and prices. The re-investment of savings causes the reappearance in prices of the same sum of money, and the more production is split up into a large number of processes, the greater the probability that income disbursed in capital production will be reinvested. Douglas listed five causes of the gap between prices and purchasing power in "The New and The Old Economics":

"Categorically, there are at least the following five causes of a deficiency of purchasing power as compared with collective prices of goods for sale: -
1. Money profits collected from the public (interest is profit on an intangible)
2. Savings, i.e., mere abstentation from buying
3. Investment of savings in new works, which create a new cost without fresh purchasing power
4. Difference in circuit velocity between cost liquidation and price creation which results in charges being carried over into prices from a previous cost accountancy cycle. Practically all plant charges are of this nature, and all payments for material brought in frm a previous wage cycle are of the same nature.
5. Deflation, i.e. sale of securities by banks and recall of loans" (C.H. Douglas, "The New and The Old Economics")

We have already discussed at length reasons 1, 3, and 4. Reasons 2 and 5 are pretty much self-explanatory, both being a reduction in A, and not the creation of B costs. Add to all this the fact that overhead charges are growing in relation to income (i.e. B is increasing relative to A), due to the fact that capital is replacing the need for labour in the productive process, and it is apparent that the gap between income and prices is ever increasing, and this problem is ever worsening.

"At the moment the point to be borne in mind is that B is the financial representation of the lever of capital, and is constantly increasing in comparison with A. So that, in order to keep A and the goods purchase with A at a constant value, A+B must expand with every improvement of process..." (C.H. Douglas, "Credit-Power and Democracy")

What does this mean? If A+B must expand with every improvement of process in order to keep A, and the goods purchased with A ,at a constant value, and if A+B represent prices, then prices must expand with every improvement in process. This is why certain periods of time, when people have enough income to purchase most goods coming onto the market, are met with rising prices (i.e. inflation). Inflation is generally not caused by too much income chasing too few goods, but is caused by the ever increasing expansion of overhead costs via advancing technological processes. This means that inflation is inherent in our economic system, unless credit from an extraneous source is used to decrease, or stabilize, prices.

"Now any attempt, by current financial methods, to reduce prices (or even to stabilize them, as the phrase goes) is a mathematical absurdity unless the cost of this stabilization, or lowering of prices, is met from some extraneous source. Or to put the matter another way, the margin of profit which makes it possible for a producer to go on producing, disappears unless the financial cost, and consequently the price of production, is allowed to rise steadily in relation to direct labour cost." (C.H. Douglas, "Social Credit")

Thursday, October 4, 2007

These Children Do Not Have Credit Cards

(updated May 6,2008)

These are the street children plucked by the Love The Children Foundation,based in Davao City and being run by Sps. Tony and Cindy Chua/Directress.

My family and I spent one of my best birthdays with these kids. This year, we gave a sack of premium rice for their meals, in behalf of ALL the Diskarte bloggers who donated.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Unfair Collection Practices

Reminder : BSP Cir. 454 Series of 2004 Sec. 7

Banks, subsidiary/affiliates card companies ,collection agencies, counsels, and other agents must observe good faith and reasonable conduct and refrain from engaging in unscrupulous or untoward acts. Following conduct is a violation of this :

a) Harassment

Debt Collectors may not harass, oppress or abuse you or any third parties they contact

1. The use or threat of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation
or property of any person;
2. The use of obscenities, insults or profane language which amount to a criminal act or offense under applicable laws ;
3. Disclosure of the names of the credit cardholders who allegedly refuse to pay debts, except as allowed under Sub-sec. X320.9 and 4301N.9;
  • repeatedly using the phone to annoy someone
b) False Statements

Debt Collectors may not use any false or misleading statements when collecting a debt.

1. Threats to take any action that cannot legally be taken;
2. Communicating or threat to communicate to any person credit information which is known to be false including failure to communicate that a debt is being disputed;
3. Any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain any information concerning a cardholder;

  • falsely imply that they are attorneys or government representatives
  • falsely imply that you have committed a crime
  • falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit bureau
  • Misrepresent the amount of your debt
  • Indicate that papers being sent to you are legal forms when they are not
  • Indicate that papers being sent to you are not legal forms when they are
Debt Collectors may also not state that :
  • You will be arrested if you do not pay your debt
  • They will seize,take,garnish,attach or sell your property or wages, unless the collection agency or creditors intend to do so and it is legal to do so
  • Actions,such as a lawsuit, will be taken against you,when such action legally may not be taken or when they do not intend to take such action
  • Send you anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency when it is not
  • Use a false name
Debt Collectors MAY
1. contact you at unreasonable/inconvenient times ( before 6 a.m. or after 10 p.m.) provided:
a. account is past due for more than 60 days; or
b. cardholder has given express permission; or
c. said times are the only reasonable or conveninet opportunities for contact

Should you wish, you can either send these concerns to :

Acting Deputy Director and Head
Financial Consumer Affairs Group
Central Supervisory Support Subsector
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
Mabini, Manila

Alicia A. Risos-Vidal
National Director for Bar Discipline
Integrated Bar of the Phils.
IBP Building, No.15 Julia Vargas Avenue,
Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Philippines

Note: The numbered conditions are from the BSP guideline, the rest came from FDCPA.

Next.. The Amnesty Program

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Industry, Income and Prices

By: Socred - B.A., SCMP

The monetary system and the productive system are two distinct factors in an economy. Therefore; we must inquire how the money system and the productive system are linked? What is the purpose of a productive system? And how does the productive system satisfy our needs?

"It must be borne steadily in mind in considering this question that the object of industry is not work for its own sake; the industrial system exists firstly because society has need of goods and services." (C.H. Douglas, "Credit-Power and Democracy")

The goal of the productive system is to create goods and services. The production of goods is the transformation of matter, and its movement to where it is demanded. Services enhance the value we attribute to goods. Work is merely a bye-product of this system. Therefore, the purpose of the industrial system is not to provide work; although, some work is necessary to provide the goods and services that we desire. The amount of labour required for production is constantly decreasing through advances in technology. Man organizes himself for productive purposes because we are capable of producing far more when we work together than if we were to attempt to produce individually. The increased output achieved by working together is known as the increment of association. This increment is dependent on available physical capital (raw materials, machines, buildings etc. ), technology and processes; most of which were built, invented, and developed, by people who are long since dead. The invention of the wheel, or the harnessing of fire, have both brought great benefit to mankind, but the people who developed these technologies are long since gone. These technologies, or processes, belong to every man by birthright, and form a part of our cultural heritage. Production is mostly a function of our cultural heritage. Direct labour is constantly becoming a less important factor in production.

"The modern producer-not so much of course, the agricultural producer, although to some extent that is true by the use of harvesters, and gang plows and many other things, application of transportation and so forth--but taken over the whole world, the actual producer so called is more and more the delegate of the general community, delegated as you might say, to press the keys of an enormous productive machine which is over-whelmingly effective as a result of inherited knowledge and technique. You can prove that to yourselves if you consider the effectiveness as producers of ten men, let us say in Detroit, and ten men on a desert island. What ten men on a desert island can do, is what they can do as producers; what ten men can produce in a year in the way of wealth in Detroit is due to their value as producers plus their application of the heritage of civilization, and I suppose ten men in Detroit could probably produce ten thousand times as much real wealth in a year as the same ten men on a desert island. The difference between that productivity is due not to their own virtues but to their inheritance of this technique of civilization." (C.H. Douglas, Testimony before the Alberta Agricultural Commission)

The cultural inheritance of the technique of civilization is primarily responsible for the wealth that we are capable of producing today. The current generation of men who "press the keys" of this enormous productive machine add very little to its productivity, and as Douglas said, if someone is sceptical of this fact, they should compare the productivity of ten men on a deserted island who do not have access to the cultural heritage, as opposed to ten men in Detroit who do. Of course, the machine would not produce at all without those who "press the keys", but the productivity of those who press the keys is mostly a function of our cultural heritage.

"The industrial machine is a lever, continuously being lengthened by progress, which enables the burden of Atlas to be lifted with ever-increasing ease. As the number of men required to work the lever decreases, so the number set free to lengthen it increases." ( C.H. Douglas, "Credit-Power and Democracy")

The industrial machine acts as a lever, which allows man to free himself from the burden of Adam, by substituting solar power for human power. Progress, or advances in technology, decrease the amount of labour it takes to produce goods or services. As the amount of men freed from production increases, via advances in technology, so the amount of men available to devise technology that is labour saving, is increased. As an example, the productivity of farmers has increased dramatically since the advent of the industrial revolution, and this has led to a drastic decrease in the amount of people engaged in agricultural production.

"A factory or other productive organization has, besides its economic function as a producer of goods, a financial aspect - it may be regarded, on the one hand as a device for the distribution of purchasing-power to individuals through the media of wages, salaries, and dividends; and on the other hand as a manufactory of prices-financial values" ( C.H. Douglas, "Credit-Power and Democracy")

Companies have a dual role in the economy, because the modern economy is dependent on money for the distribution of goods and services. Firms not only create goods and services, but distribute incomes, at the same time creating price values. Income is distributed when a company pays wages and salaries to its employees, or distributes dividends to its owners, and that income is "repaid" when a consumer pays a price, thus acquiring a good or service in exchange for his money. We are now in a position to apprehend the accounting cycle of money. Money is created by banks through loans or overdrafts to businesses (excluding for the moment consumer debt), it is then distributed as income to workers, and owners, through the media of wages, salaries and dividends. It is eventually taken back in the form prices or taxes in exchange for a good or service,making its way back to the bank where the loan is repaid and, consequently, the money destroyed. Money operates in accounting cycle: it does not circulate. It is either creating costs or cancelling them. It has direction: it is either flowing from the bank and being distributed as income, or it is taken back as prices and flowing back to the bank (taxes being the government equivalent of prices) .

"It is a widely spread delusion that price is simply a question of supply and demand, whereas, of course, only the upper limit of price is thus governed, the lower limit, which under free competition would be the ruling limit, being fixed by cost plus the minimum profit which will provide a financial inducement to produce." (C.H. Douglas, "Economic Democracy")

Companies will not produce for any length of time below cost. Profit is the incentive to produce. Obviously, any price below cost results in a negative profit and a disincentive to produce. Retailers may sell some items below cost (known as "loss leaders") in the hope that they can sell other products above cost in order to compensate for that loss, but no company can produce below the total cost of production for any length of time. Hence; cost is the lower limit of price. The upper limit of price is what people are willing to pay, and the more they are willing to pay, the more profit. Often, firms will engage in "economic sabotage", or the artificial restriction of output, in order to sell at a higher price; thus maximizing their profit. This restriction is made easier when there is differentiation between products. For example, an individual farmer has no affect on the price of wheat by restricting his output, because wheat is a homogeneous product. Consequently; the price of wheat is often at or below the cost of production. However; a Mazzerati can be sold well above the cost of production by merely limiting the amount of Mazzeratis produced: creating an artificial scarcity. If effective demand is well above the ability of all producers to supply consumer goods, then the price of all goods will eventually rise regardless of the ability to create artificial scarcity. This situation is also known as inflation.

"The essential point to notice, however, is not the profit, but that he cannot and will not produce unless his expenses on the average are not more than covered. These expenses may be of various descriptions, but they can all be resolved ultimately into labour charges of some sort (a fact which incidentally is responsible for the fallacy that labour, by which is meant the labour of the present population of the world, produces all wealth). Consider what this means. All past labour, represented by money charges, goes into cost and so into price. But a great part of the product of his labour -that part which represents consumption and depreciation - has become useless, and disappeared." (C.H. Douglas, "The Control and Distribution of Production")

All costs go into price, and represent the lower limit of price. And all costs can ultimately be resolved into labour charges of some sort. However; the portion of the labour that represents past consumption and depreciation is no longer income. The problem is clear: cost forms the lower limit of price, and all costs go into prices: these prices are paid by incomes, but the portion of cost represented by consumption and depreciation does not exist as income. Therefore, total incomes are less than total costs. If every firm sold their product at cost (i.e. without profit), total incomes would be incapable of purchasing all the products that are produced. This fundamental flaw would have been exposed a long time ago if it were not for an intervening factor - credit from an extraneous source. An obvious extraneous source of credit is consumer credit, which is really a mortgage on future incomes, and only goes to exacerbate the problem as future incomes are decreased by an equivalent amount. However; the gap is mainly hidden by capital production and exportation of product. There are two types of goods: 1) Consumer goods, and 2) Capital goods. Consumer goods are purchased by consumers and their cost is defrayed upon purchase. Capital goods are purchased by businesses in order to produce consumer goods. Capital goods are raw materials, buildings, equipment etc., and their cost is not defrayed upon purchase, but transferred, and the cost ultimately ends up in the cost of a consumer good, where it is eventually defrayed upon purchase by a consumer.

"In consequence, the production which is stimulated - the production which we are asked to increase - is that which is required by the industrial machine, intermediate products or semi-manufactures, not that required by humanity." (C.H. Douglas, "The Control and Distribution of Production")

The cost of capital production showing up in the cost of consumer goods is delayed, because it takes time for a capital good to make its way through productive system in order to be consumed. This fact allows the income from capital production to cover the gap between income and prices on consumer goods. In fact, massive amounts of capital production can lead to inflation in prices of consumer goods, if the effective demand created through capital production is in excess of this gap. Alberta is experiencing this situation currently, as capital production in heavy oil upgraders is dispersing massive amounts of income leading to the inflation of prices - especially for consumer goods whose supply increases slowly (i.e. housing). However; the cost of these capital projects eventually make their way into the cost of a consumer goods (i.e. the cost of the upgraders will eventually be included in the cost of gasoline), and if the money disbursed as income for these capital goods is used on current consumption (which it most likely the case), then it will not be available to meet the price of the consumer good created at a future date. By attempting to close the gap between income and prices of consumer goods through capital production, we are exacerbating the problem, as the gap between income and prices of consumer goods only widens at a future date. When there is a lack of capital production (i.e. investment), firms find their margins decreasing, and we experience a business "slump".

"In other words, it is quite immaterial how many commodities there are in the world, the general public cannot touch them without doing more work and producing more commodities." (C.H. Douglas, "The Control and Distribution of Production")

Regardless of how many consumer goods are in existence, we are unable to purchase them unless we engage in capital production (i.e. there has to be sufficient investment to cover the gap between prices and income), or we engage in a policy of a "favorable balance of trade" (i.e. exports exceed imports) with other nations, disposing of production (i.e. doing more work than is necessary) in order to close the gap between income and prices . The more we engage in capital production, the more we are forced to seek a favorable balance of trade with other nations. This is a vicious cycle, because if we don't engage in excess capital production, or dispose of production by sending it to another country, companies find their margins decreasing, which in turn leads to layoffs, and a recession. However; it is impossible to keep following this path, because increasing investment ultimately leads to inflation as capital production makes its way into the cost of consumer goods, and all industrialized countries are seeking to continuously export their surplus production to foreign nations, which leads to ever increasing third world debt, and friction between industrialized nations, ultimately leading to war. Capitalism is plagued by periods of heavy investment, followed by rising prices, increasing interest rates in order to control prices, decreasing profit margins to businesses, unemployment, and finally a recession. In fact, some people have come to believe that this is a naturally occurring phenomenon like the rising of the sun or the law of gravity: what goes up must come down.

"By an accounting method of analysis, the conclusion is reached that the value, at the current retail price-level, of goods produced far exceeds the flow of purchasing-power from permanent sources. In other words, recurring periods of business depression are shown to be the result of present financial and business policies." (C.H. Douglas, "Social Credit")

Business cycles are simply caused by financial and business policy, and unless there is a change in our policy towards incomes and prices, this will be a recurring problem with our economic system. Attempts to close the gap between income and prices by increasing income through investment simply results in inflation: attempts to close the gap by giving surplus production to foreign nations leads to the struggle for markets, resulting in third world debt, friction between industrialized nations, and ultimately war. Attempts to reduce prices by restricting credit through increasing interest rates is also doomed to failure, because the upper limit of price is governed by the law of supply and demand, but the lower limit is governed by cost of production. It is the rising cost of production that is the primary culprit for inflation, not too much income. If effective demand is insufficient to cover the cost of production, plus the profit margin just large enough to provide incentive to produce, businesses will simply stop producing. This policy leads to bankruptcies and economic hardship.

"Now any attempt, by current financial methods, to reduce prices (or even to stabilise them, as the phrase goes) is a mathematical absurdity unless the cost of this stabilisation, or lowering of prices, is met from some extraneous source. Or to put the matter another way, the margin of profit which makes it possible for a producer to go on producing, disappears unless the financial cost, and consequently the price of production, is allowed to rise steadily in relation to direct labour cost." (C.H. Douglas, "Social Credit")

Central Banks attempts to arrest inflation through the use of interest rates to restrict the supply of money is futile, since it does not deal with the root cause of inflation, making the cure worse than the disease. The artificial restriction of credit causes margins to decrease leading to decreased production, which explains the common fallacy that there is a natural trade-off between inflation and decreased production. In reality, there is no trade-off. Prices can decrease, and production can increase, if part of the cost of production is defrayed with money that did not come from the productive system. Every debt created in the aid of production creates an equivalent cost, because the debt must be repaid. Debt is recovered in prices.

"the consumer cannot possibly obtain the advantage of improved process in the form of correspondingly lower prices, nor can he expect stable prices under stationary processes of production, nor can he obtain any control over the programme of production, unless he is provided with a supply of purchasing-power which is not included in the price of the goods produced. If the producer or distributor sells at a loss, this loss forms such a supply of purchasing-power to the consumer; but if the producer and distributor are not to sell at a loss, this supply of purchasing-power must be derived from some other source. There is only one source from which it can be derived, and that is the same source which enables a bank to lend more money than it originally received. That is to say, the general credit." (C.H. Douglas, "Social Credit")

Mankind will never have control over production, or stable prices, unless we are provided with a steady supply of purchasing power not included in the cost of goods sold. This purchasing power must be created debt free, and given to individuals in such a way that it's not derived from work, for all debt servicing charges, and labour costs, go into the cost of goods sold, and consequently, into price. In this way, improvement in processes, which decrease the real cost of production (i.e. the amount of energy used), will also reduce the financial cost of production, resulting in falling prices. By providing debt free credit to consumers in reduction of prices, and by virtue of a dividend not associated with work, not only will prices fall, but consumers will finally have control over production, and no longer will the productive system have control over mankind.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Money and Banking

By: Socred - B.A., SCMP

If the public is unfamiliar with the techniques of money and banking, then they will never understand how the current monetary system governs them. Further,if a monetary system governs individuals, then we have a system controlling men, and since men are above all systems, it is essential that we, as individuals, control the monetary system. In order to control a system, we must understand its techniques. Before trying to understand the techniques of money creation, we must first ask ourselves what is money, and what is its purpose?

"It is absolutely vital to realize that the essential part of money is the belief that through its agency you can satisfy your demands. (C.H. Douglas, "The Control and Distribution of Production")

Money is essentially effective demand. We place our money down in the faith that another will depart with a good or service in exchange for it. It allows us to carry on trade without barter. Money makes it possible for men to associate together in a manner which is beneficial to everyone. Therefore; money is essential to our economy. But, our demands can only be satisfied if money delivers goods and services. Therefore; the basis for the quantity of money, or the limit to our demand, is the ability of the productive system to deliver goods and services when and where they are needed. What does this mean? For one, it means that the basis upon which the quantity of money is determined has nothing to do with any of the physical properties of money itself.

"The best definition of money with which I am acquainted is that of Professor Walker, which is that "money is any medium which has reached such a degree of acceptablility that, no matter what it is made of, and no matter why people want it, no one will refuse it in exchange for his product." You will see that this definition rules out any physical properties in respect of money. The properties that are left, therefore, are not physical. They can be summed up in the word "credit," which is, of course, derived from "credere," to believe. The essential quality of money, therefore, is that a man shall believe that he can get what he wants by the aid of it. This is absolutely the only quality that it is required to possess, although, of course, certain minor attributes, such as convenience, have a bearing on the decision as to what particular description of money, if it fulfils the major requirements, is likely to come into the most general use. The cheque, no doubt, owes its popularity to this latter attribute." (C.H. Douglas, "Warning Democracy")

Money's value does not derive from its composition, but by the capacity of the economy to produce goods and services. This automatically rules out gold as an appropriate determination for the quantity of money. There is no real resemblance between the quantity of gold in existence, and the economy's ability to produce. Reality must reign supreme lest an abstraction have precedence over it, and money is an abstraction. Money should be a measure of wealth, and should never control our creation of it. Whatever is physically possible is financially possible.

"Money is nothing whatever but a ticket system which has nothing whatever to do with all these abstract descriptions of it such as a medium of exchange, or a storehouse of values or any of these other things. It is a ticket system and nothing else." (C.H. Douglas, Testimony before the Alberta Agricultural Commission)

Douglas compared money to a ticketing system, because it is a means of distributing production. The only real limit to the amount of railway tickets issued is the number of seats on the train. The number of railway tickets should never be a limit on the number of people who board the train, for the latter is an inversion of reality. In other words, money should never be a limiting factor on production: production should be a limiting factor on money.

"There is also a nebulous idea involved, I think, to the effect that the man who grows, e.g. a ton of potatoes, also grows the purchasing-power of a ton of potatoes. The facts are far otherwise, as no doubt large numbers of potato-growers could testify. Given a fixed amount of legal tender, and assuming legal tender to be the only purchasing-power, no amount of production would increase it. Probably a minimum of nine-tenths of the immediately available purchasing-power in the world arises out of bank loans or their equivalent in bills discounted. These loans and the purchasing-power which they create have no automatic relation to either production or consumption. " (C.H. Douglas, "Social Credit")

Many people have a vague conception that the production system somehow manufactures money, and in so doing, create enough money to liquidate all costs of production. This idea is perpetuated by the belief that firms "make money" when they earn a profit. Of course, if companies literally "made money", they would be engaged in counterfeiting. The truth is money is not created by production, but is created by the banking system. Central banks are responsible for creating cash, and commercial banks create the majority of the assets used as money. The amount of cash in existence is determined by people's desire to hold cash. As Douglas states above, probably 90% of the money supply is created by commercial banks in the forms of loans to businesses and individuals. This money is called bank credit. Below are some quotes about banks and their ability to create money:

"In the normal course of their operations, banks create money" (Blomqvist, Wonnacott, and Wonnacott, "Economics First Canadian Edition"pge. 201)

"The actual process of money creation takes place primarily in banks." (Federal Reserve, "Modern Money Mechanics")

"Commercial banks and other financial institutions provide the greater part of assets used as money through loans made to individuals and businesses. In that sense, financial institutions are creating money. " (Bank of Canada, "Bank in Brief")

"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled." (John Kenneth Galbraith)

This idea may be novel to some, so it is important to understand exactly how banks create deposits. The process is known as deposit expansion. Many mistakenly believe that banks loan deposits. They believe that when they deposit their money in a bank, the bank somehow loans all, or part, of their deposit to another. This would only be true if a bank debited the depositor's account when they made a loan. Sceptics should ask themselves if they have ever had their bank account debited by any bank because the bank loaned their deposit to someone else. In reality, banks do not loan deposits but create them. Or, as Mr. McKenna, Chairman of the Midland bank, said, "every bank loan and every purchase of securities by a bank creates a deposit, and the withdrawal of every bank loan, and the sale of securities by a bank, destroys a deposit (AGM Midland Bank, January 25, 1924.) The process is explained by the Federal Reserve below assuming that the Fed's open market operations create $10,000 in cash reserves:

"How the Multiple Expansion Process Works
If the process ended here, there would be no "multiple" expansion, i.e., deposits and bank reserves would have changed by the same amount. However, banks are required to maintain reserves equal to only a fraction of their deposits. Reserves in excess of this amount may be used to increase earning assets - loans and investments. Unused or excess reserves earn no interest. Under current regulations, the reserve requirement against most transaction accounts is 10 percent.(5) Assuming, for simplicity, a uniform 10 percent reserve requirement against all transaction deposits, and further assuming that all banks attempt to remain fully invested, we can now trace the process of expansion in deposits which can take place on the basis of the additional reserves provided by the Federal Reserve System's purchase of U. S. government securities.

The expansion process may or may not begin with Bank A, depending on what the dealer does with the money received from the sale of securities. If the dealer immediately writes checks for $10,000 and all of them are deposited in other banks, Bank A loses both deposits and reserves and shows no net change as a result of the System's open market purchase. However, other banks have received them. Most likely, a part of the initial deposit will remain with Bank A, and a part will be shifted to other banks as the dealer's checks clear.

It does not really matter where this money is at any given time. The important fact is that these deposits do not disappear. They are in some deposit accounts at all times. All banks together have $10,000 of deposits and reserves that they did not have before. However, they are not required to keep $10,000 of reserves against the $10,000 of deposits. All they need to retain, under a 10 percent reserve requirement, is $1000. The remaining $9,000 is "excess reserves." This amount can be loaned or invested. See illustration 2.

If business is active, the banks with excess reserves probably will have opportunities to loan the $9,000. Of course, they do not really pay out loans from the money they receive as deposits. If they did this, no additional money would be created. What they do when they make loans is to accept promissory notes in exchange for credits to the borrowers' transaction accounts. Loans (assets) and deposits (liabilities) both rise by $9,000. Reserves are unchanged by the loan transactions. But the deposit credits constitute new additions to the total deposits of the banking system. See illustration 3.

Expansion - Stage 1
3.Expansion takes place only if the banks that hold these excess reserves (Stage 1 banks) increase their loans or investments. Loans are made by crediting the borrower's account, i.e., by creating additional deposit money. back

Assets Liabilities
Loans....... +9,000 Borrower deposits.... +9,000

This is the beginning of the deposit expansion process. In the first stage of the process, total loans and deposits of the banks rise by an amount equal to the excess reserves existing before any loans were made (90 percent of the initial deposit increase). At the end of Stage 1, deposits have risen a total of $19,000 (the initial $10,000 provided by the Federal Reserve's action plus the $9,000 in deposits created by Stage 1 banks). See illustration 4. However, only $900 (10 percent of $9000) of excess reserves have been absorbed by the additional deposit growth at Stage 1 banks. See illustration 5.

The lending banks, however, do not expect to retain the deposits they create through their loan operations. Borrowers write checks that probably will be deposited in other banks. As these checks move through the collection process, the Federal Reserve Banks debit the reserve accounts of the paying banks (Stage 1 banks) and credit those of the receiving banks. See illustration 6.

Whether Stage 1 banks actually do lose the deposits to other banks or whether any or all of the borrowers' checks are redeposited in these same banks makes no difference in the expansion process. If the lending banks expect to lose these deposits - and an equal amount of reserves - as the borrowers' checks are paid, they will not lend more than their excess reserves. Like the original $10,000 deposit, the loan-credited deposits may be transferred to other banks, but they remain somewhere in the banking system. Whichever banks receive them also acquire equal amounts of reserves, of which all but 10 percent will be "excess."

Assuming that the banks holding the $9,000 of deposits created in Stage 1 in turn make loans equal to their excess reserves, then loans and deposits will rise by a further $8,100 in the second stage of expansion. This process can continue until deposits have risen to the point where all the reserves provided by the initial purchase of government securities by the Federal Reserve System are just sufficient to satisfy reserve requirements against the newly created deposits.(See pages10 and 11.)

The individual bank, of course, is not concerned as to the stages of expansion in which it may be participating. Inflows and outflows of deposits occur continuously. Any deposit received is new money, regardless of its ultimate source. But if bank policy is to make loans and investments equal to whatever reserves are in excess of legal requirements, the expansion process will be carried on." (Modern Money Mechanics, U.S. Federal Reserve)

Any individual bank is not concerned with what stage in the process of deposit expansion they exist when making loans, because the inflows and outflows of deposits occur continuously. The important point to note is that bank loans create deposits/money. The loan is an asset to the bank because the borrower owes the bank the amount of the loan, plus interest. The deposit is a liability to the bank because the bank must now be able to supply cash for the deposit upon demand. Commercial banks cannot create cash, but have to borrow it from the Central Bank, so there is a limit to how much money, or how many deposits, a commercial bank can create, and that limit is based upon the ratio of reserves to deposits. As to the banking system as a whole, including Central Banks, there is absolutely no limit to the amount of money, or credit, that can be created. Cash is an asset to the bank, and along with its securities, forms the banks reserves. In most nations, the government mandates, through law, the amount of reserves a bank must keep in ratio to its deposits. In Canada, changes to the Bank Act in 1992 did away with any legal obligation of Chartered Banks to hold reserves in ratio to their deposits. However; all banks keep a certain amount of reserves in ratio to their deposits for liquidity purposes. When banks are unable to meet their clients' demand for cash, this is known as a "bank run". Because of the possibility of bank runs, the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in the United States, insure deposits up to a certain limit. In order to understand how banks obtained the power to create money, we must understand the history of fractional reserve banking.

"It started with goldsmiths. As early bankers, they initially provided safekeeping services, making a profit from vault storage fees for gold and coins deposited with them. People would redeem their "deposit receipts" whenever they needed gold or coins to purchase something, and physically take the gold or coins to the seller who, in turn, would deposit them for safekeeping, often with the same banker. Everyone soon found that it was a lot easier simply to use the deposit receipts directly as a means of payment. These receipts, which became known as notes, were acceptable as money since whoever held them could go to the banker and exchange them for metallic money.

Then, bankers discovered that they could make loans merely by giving their promises to pay, or bank notes, to borrowers. In this way, banks began to create money. More notes could be issued than the gold and coin on hand because only a portion of the notes outstanding would be presented for payment at any one time. Enough metallic money had to be kept on hand, of course, to redeem whatever volume of notes was presented for payment.

Transaction deposits are the modern counterpart of bank notes. It was a small step from printing notes to making book entries crediting deposits of borrowers, which the borrowers in turn could "spend" by writing checks, thereby "printing" their own money." (Modern Money Mechanics, U.S. Federal Reserve)

The goldsmiths realized they could issue more notes than the amount of gold coin they had on deposit, because only a portion of the notes they had outstanding would be redeemed for gold coins at any point in time. This is also true with cash today. The banks realize that only a portion of the money that people have on deposit with the bank will be redeemed for cash at any point in time, so they create more deposits than they have cash. This works so long as everyone does not demand cash for their deposit.

We see from above that the productive system, and the banking system, are two distinct factors in the economy. The productive system is responsible for producing goods and services, and the banking system is responsible for creating the money necessary to act as effective demand to mobilize those goods and services. The banking system is the distributive system, and far from money originating from the productive system, like the scent from a rose; money originates from a completely separate system; as such, there is often no correspondence between these two systems. Therefore, " it is necessary to transform the basis of the credit-system entirely away from currency on which it now rests, to useful productive capacity." (C.H. Douglas, "The Control and Distribution of Production")

Money's role is to distribute the goods and services that people demand. It's an order system. Since there is no limit to the ability of banks to create money, the only limitation that should be imposed on the amount of money in existence should be the ability of the economy to deliver goods and services when and where they are required - i.e. the real credit of the community. Our ability to produce is based on the physical assets of our nation. Money's role is the monetization of those assets in order that they can be mobilized for production. Douglas created a hypothetical balance sheet for Great Britain in the "Monopoly of Credit", which is reproduced below:

Great Britain Limited


(Population. Education Morale) i.e. Human potential



Natural Resources

Developed Power

Plant (Railways, Buildings, Tools, etc.)

Public Services

Goodwill (Tradition, reputation etc.)

Work in Progress

Consumable Goods


National Debt

Bankers (Potential creators of effective demand)

Insurance Companies (Mortgage and Bondholders)

Cash at Call

Taxation for Public Services

Notice that cash is a liability, so the amount of credit created by the current banking system is based on a liability, not on the assets of the nation. However; the amount of credit created should be based on the real credit of the community, which is reflected in the nation's assets.

"We know quite well that the core of this problem is in the disparity between the real wealth available and the monetization of that wealth; that it is within the power of monetization of real wealth that this power of credit lies." (C.H. Douglas, Testimony before the Alberta Agricultural Commission)

The power of credit creation, or the monetization or wealth, has been appropriated by a monopoly of credit - the banking system - which is a body of unelected people responsible solely to their shareholders, and who have been centralizing their power since the creation of the Bank of England in 1694. This centralization process continued with the creation of Central banks around the world including the Federal Reserve Bank in 1913, the Bank of Canada in 1934, and culminating with supranational banks like the IMF and World Bank, which were created in 1944. Not only is the basis of our current money system fundamentally flawed because it is not based on the real credit of the community, but the system itself has become a form of government which has been centralizing its power to the point of being above any national power. Therefore; the real government is not the one that is elected by ballot box every few years, but is a centralized body of unelected officials which dictate monetary policy from organizations which are beyond any national law.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Systems and Social Credit

By: Socred - B.A., SCMP

C.H. Douglas claims that the self-development of man is above all systems. Therefore; any economic, political, or theological system which does not allow individuals the freedom to express themselves in a manner leading to self-development is tyrannical. Douglas believed that there exists three alternative polices for an economic system:

"In regard to (a) the policy of the world economic system amounts to a philosophy of life. There are really only three alternative policies in respect to a world economic organisation: The first is that the end in itself for which man exists. The second is that while not an end in itself, it is the most powerful means of constraining the individual to do things he does not want to do; e.g., it is system of government. This implies a fixed ideal of what the world ought to be. And the third is that the economic activity is simply a functional activity of men and women in the world; that the end of man, while unknown, is something towards which most rapid progress is made by the free expansion of individuality, and that, therefore, economic organisation is most efficient when it most easily and rapidly supplies economic wants without encroaching on other functional activities." (C.H. Douglas, "Warning Democracy")

Since Douglas did not see economic systems as an end in themselves, but only as a means to meeting the end of individual self-development, the first policy is not consistent with Social Credit. The second alternative posits a policy of the way the world ought to be, but again, Douglas claimed that, "so far as the word 'ought' has any meaning, it postulates the existence of a force so far undemonstrated", and therefore, we must conclude that an economic system as a form of government is not what Douglas had in mind. Social Credit economics is positive, and contrasts with any economic theories which are normative. Consequently; it is the third policy that Douglas extrapolates which is consistent with Social Credit. This implies that our needs and wants are best satisfied when an economic system allows the free expansion of individual activity.

"That is to say, we must build up from the individual, not down from the state." (C.H. Douglas, "Economic Democracy")

The antithesis of Social Credit policy is the exaltation of the state, together with the financial methods in which it is maintained, over the individual. This policy is fundamentally anti-Christian. When John F. Kennedy said, "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country", this was not only contrary to Social Credit policy, it is contrary to his statement in the same speech in which he said, "the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God". Individual rights come from God, not the abstraction known as the state. Therefore; it is the state that should be asking what it can do for us. John F. Kennedy's famous quote is fundamentally anti-Christian.

"The modern theory, if it can be called modern, of the totalitarian state, for instance, to the effect that the state is everything and the individual nothing, is a departure from those principles, and is a revamping of the theory of the later Roman Empire, which theory, together with the financial methods by which it was maintained, led to Rome's downfall, not by the conquest of stronger Empires, but by its own internal dissensions. It is a theory involving complete inversion of fact, and is, incidentally, fundamentally anti-Christian, in that it exalts the mechanism of government into an end rather than a means, and leads to the assumption that individuals exist for the purpose of allowing officials to exercise power over them." (C.H. Douglas, "Tragedy of Human Effort")

The exaltation of the state over the individual is an inversion of fact, because the state is merely an abstract representation of the individuals which comprise it. The individual is the basic building block from which all systems derive. Any political, economic, or theological system which represses the free expression of individuality is doomed to failure. We see this with examples such as the later Roman Empire, to the dominance of the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages, to the Soviet Union. Individuals will ultimately break free from any system which seeks to dominate them. This is a good lesson to the West in terms of its foreign policy towards the non-democratic states in the Middle East. These theocracies try to repress individual expression, and these states are doomed to failure via their own internal dissension. It is a mistake to unite them against a common enemy other than the theological system which is imposed upon them. The western world should to be a beacon of light for others to follow, not a force of darkness for others to hate. Unfortunately; a hidden form of government has led to our own fight against a system imposed upon us from above.

"When a monetary system dictates your actions, then you are governed by money, and you have the most subtle, dangerous and undesirable form of government that the perverted mind of man - if it is the mind of man - has ever conceived." (C.H. Douglas, "Approach to Reality")

Money is the most subtle form of government, because people don't realize that they are being governed by a monetary system. There are few people who comprehend how money is created, let alone, how it is used to govern them. If the public is ignorant as to the techniques of money and banking, they will never realize how the monetary system governs them. The current monetary system is dangerous, because as Douglas said, "money is an abstraction", and an abstraction should never have authority over the extant. This is an inversion of reality, and as an old saying goes, "Demon est deus in versus - the devil is God upside down " The world is being ruled by a monetary system which deprives man of the ability to achieve self-development, because it does not accurately represent the reality of the economic conditions upon which it should be based.

"Considered as a means of making people work (an aim which is common both to the Capitalist and Socialist Party politics) the existing financial system, as a system, is probably nearly perfect. Its banking system, methods of taxation and accountancy counter every development of applied science, organisation, and machinery, so that the individual, instead of obtaining the benefit of these advances in the form of a higher civilisation and greater leisure, is merely enabled to do more work." (C.H. Douglas, "Warning Democracy")

Technology, improvement in processes, and increases in the amount of physical capital are constantly reducing the amount of hours necessary to produce goods and services. This means that we can continue to produce the same amount with less labour; we can produce more with the same amount of labour, or any combination of the two. This fact has significantly increased in importance since the beginning of the industrial revolution, which resulted in the replacement of human energy with solar energy. The current economic system fails to reflect this fact. The invention of technologies such as the computer, which should have freed us from many hours of work, has simply been a tool enabling us to do more work. This is because the existing financial system, whether governed by a political party from the "left" or the "right", is ultimately governed by a policy of full employment. This policy is an inversion of the facts, and as a result, is both anti-Christian and tyrannical.

"In regard to the objective of policy, as applied to human affairs, I can say nothing to you which has not been better said by the great teachers of humanity, One of whom said "I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly." So far as I am aware, no great teacher of humanity has ever announced that he came that we might have better trade or more employment, and I am wholly and irrevocably convinced that while we exalt a purely materialistic means into an end, we are doomed to destruction. (C.H. Douglas, "Tragedy of Human Effort").

Douglas believes that most men, left to their own devices, would choose a less materialistic, and more spiritualistic existence. It is only through the efforts of anti-Christian forces that a materialistic end to man is sought. Given the freedom to choose between a materialistic existence based upon work for its own sake, or a spiritual one based upon leisure, Douglas believes that most men will choose the latter. Leisure is often confused with the concept of "loafing". The Greeks understood that leisure differed from rest. Leisure is the freedom to pursue activities that lead to self-development. The statement that "idle hands are the work of the devil" is a perversion of means and ends, and the most established form of anti-Christian propaganda today: often championed by so called "Christians" themselves. As Soren Kierkegaard said, "Far from idleness being the root of all evil, it is rather the only true good."

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Metaphysics of Social Credit

By: Socred - B.A., SCMP

The term philosophy is derived from the Greek words "philo" - to love - and "soph" - knowledge. Literally, philosophy is the love of knowledge. C.H. Douglas claims that the policy of Social Credit derives from its philosophy. He refers to this philosophy as "Practical Christianity". In order to understand the meaning of this term, we must distinguish it from other philosophies, and other forms of Christianity.

"It must be insisted that Christianity is either something inherent in the very warp and woof of the Universe, or it is just a set of interesting opinions, largely discredited, and thus doubtfully on a par with many other sets of opinions, and having neither more nor less claim to consideration." (C.H. Douglas, "Realistic Position of the Church of England").

In order for Christianity to be seriously considered, it must represent something which is inherent in the very essence of the universe; otherwise, it is merely opinion, and does not differ from any other opinion with regard to the nature of being. Why does Douglas feel that Christianity represents a system which is the very essence of the Universe? What concept, which is unique to Christianity, separates it from other religions and philosophies?

"It is not too much to say that one of the root ideas through which Christianity comes into conflict with the conceptions of the Old Testament and the ideals of the pre-Christian era, is in respect of this dethronement of abstractionism. That is the issue which is posed by the Doctrine of the Incarnation. " (C.H. Douglas, "Social Credit")

The Doctrine of Incarnation denies that God is some abstract being beyond human comprehension. The Doctrine of Incarnation teaches us that God existed in time in the persona of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30), and further "though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father." (John 10:38). A philosophy based upon reality must be rooted in existence. If God existed in time in the form of Jesus Christ, then we have a concrete building block from which to test the validity of Christianity: Jesus's word. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1), and "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father full of grace and truth" (John 1:14) The Doctrine of Incarnation is the belief that God is the Word, and Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh.

Douglas's conception of Christianity is fundamentally Trinitarian. And it is Jesus's Word which is the very "warp and woof" of the Universe. It is also essential to distinguish between what Douglas termed "practical Christianity", and other forms of Christianity. What exactly does Douglas mean by practical? In order to understand this term, it is necessary to understand Douglas' differentiation between two schools of thought - the classical and the modern.

"The classical system is the embodiment of an attractive and artistic ideal or conception of the nature of society, and the conditions under which society lives, moves, and has its being. It is above, outside, possibly in advance of, facts. The modern school, of which inductive natural science, based upon the experimental ascertainment of fact, is the backbone, has not essentially to do with ideals at all. It is realistic; its first postulate is that forces act in a similar manner when placed in a similar relation to each other. It refuses to admit, as a fact, anything which cannot be demonstrated, and as a theory, anything which does not fit the facts. For example, the classical ideal contends that men "ought" to be good, brave and virtuous. The modern, that it does not understand the meaning of goodness, that bravery and virtue are not capable of exact definition, and, that so far as the word "ought" has any meaning, it postulates the existence of a force so far undemonstrated." (C.H. Douglas, "Social Credit")

We see that Douglas believes the classical conception of nature, or the Universe, is "above, outside, possibly in advance of, facts"; whereas, the modern conception is "based upon the experimental ascertainment of fact". It is this modern school of thought which Douglas deems to be best for understanding the universe. So, in order for Christianity to be practical, it must abandon the Aristotelean conception of the universe, and replace it with a conception based on modern inductive science. However; Douglas was careful to differentiate between a Christian conception of the Universe developed with the aid of modern inductive science, and a materialistic conception of the universe.

"The tendency to argue from the particular to the general is a special case of the sequence from materialism to collectivism. If the universe is reduced to molecules, ultimately we can dispense with a catalogue and a dictionary; all things are the same thing, and all words are just sounds - molecules in motion." (C.H. Douglas, Perthshire 1945)

Materialism is the foundation of collectivism, and some believe the very foundation of the universe itself. Ultimately, materialism fails to recognize the unique characteristics of each individual, because it reduces everything to "molecules in motion". Being that we can all be reduced to "molecules in motion", it follows that all human beings must be equal. Equality means to lack quality. With this in mind, there are probably very few human beings who would proclaim to be "equal". But the power of persuasion is pervasive, and we are fed a steady diet of dialectical materialism from the time we enter our public school system. The science classroom has become the pulpit for materialism. What are the long term consequences of this phenomenon?

"It is a curious fact, which may or may not be coincidental, that the type of society which is induced or produced by this type of thinking, bears marks resembling the workings of the thermodynamic principle of entropy - the tendency of energy to deteriorate from a potential to a latent and unavailable state - to "run down." (C.H Douglas, "Brief for the Prosecution")

Many complain that this current generation is apathetic; more concerned with the level attained in some video game than what is actually going on in the world. However; if we feed them a steady diet of dialectical materialism, is it any wonder why they tend to follow this philosophy to its logical conclusion? What is there to strive for if everyone lacks quality? If I'm equal to all other human beings, what difference do I make? If I do not have free will, what is the purpose of liberty, and what is the meaning of responsibility?

In order to answer these questions, we must begin with a set of axioms, or what I consider to be "self-evident" truths. Some may disagree with these axioms, and as Douglas said, we must then "agree to disagree". These truths will form the basis for a philosophy. I believe, and I believe that Douglas believed, that these "self-evident" truths are the basic metaphysical foundations of both the Universe and of Social Credit.

These self evident truths are 1) man has free will, and within the boundaries set by Universal laws, man has the ability to choose, and 2) time flows from past to future.

These truths are not proven by reason, but form the basic axioms upon which reason can be applied.

"Reason," as I understand it, is nearly synonymous with logic, of which mathematics is a special example. It is a pure mechanism, just as a slide rule is a mechanism, and as such, is deterministic. You put into the mechanism practically anything you please, and you get out something which was inherent in what you put in, but nothing further.

If I say that (a+b)2 =a2+2ab+b2, I can apply that very useful piece of information to a number of concrete problems, but they must, on each occasion, concern similar objects. It is no use saying that the square of a apples plus b oranges gives you some information about bananas. It does not.

The whole validity of the Christian Church rests upon the acceptance of certain premises. Those premises are not provable by reason, or they would not be premises. But they are provable or disprovable by experience, and to my mind, quite a surprising number of the Christian premises will stand that test." (C.H. Douglas, "Realistic Position of the Church of England").

Therefore; axioms cannot be proven by reason, but by application of experience. Experience tells us that we have the freedom to choose, and that time exists. Some people erroneously believe that reason itself is the basis upon which a metaphysics can be constructed. This is a complete misapplication of reason, and is abstractionism in its most absolute form. Therefore; this belief, along with any other belief in deterministic philosophy or theology, is the antithesis of Social Credit. Deterministic philosophy ultimately leads to human entropy, and this is exactly what anti-Christian forces desire.

The "mass" is unsaveable, just as a mob is insane (" without health"); the object of Anti-Christ is to keep mankind in ever larger mobs, thus defeating the object of Christ, to permit the emergence of self-governing, self-conscious individuals, exercising free will, and choosing good because it is good. " (C.H. Douglas, "The Realistic Position of the Church of England" )

Douglas said, "freedom is the ability to choose one thing at a time". This implies that freedom, choice and time are all interconnected. But how are they interconnected? Jean Paul Sartre said that "consciousness is freedom, and freedom is a nothingness in the heart of being" (Being and Nothingness). Therefore; freedom and time are connected through human consciousness. Douglas does not explicitly talk about consciousness, but he does allude to it when he speaks about the connection between the physical sciences and theology.

"The Church as such, does not appear to be properly much concerned with physical science, and the incursions of Bishop Barnes would seem to confirm that view. But one subject of mathematical science does come clearly within its province - that of Time. I am sitting by my desk. It ,is five o'clock. I get up. The fact that I was sitting by my desk at five o'clock, is now what we call a memory. But, humanly speaking, I know that my desk will be there in five minutes, that is to say, at five minutes past five, so it is difficult to believe that both the desk, and five minutes past five, are not together in existence now." (C.H. Douglas, "The Realistic Position of the Church of England")

Douglas understands that the past and the future exist together now through memory and foreknowledge. Since consciousness is what relates these concepts, it is important to understand the nature of consciousness, and its involvement with time.

"Immediacy is reality; language is ideality, consciousness is a contradiction. The moment I make a statement about reality, contradiction is present, for what I say is ideality." (Soren Kierkegaard, "Philosophical Fragments")

If consciousness is both freedom and a contradiction, then freedom is a contradiction. This is exactly what we should expect to discover, since reason is deterministic. Contradiction forms the basis of movement. Movement is the antithesis of entropy, and movement, or change, forms the basis of time. It is from consciousness that freedom, movement and time derive. Consciousness brings the future and the past together by bringing together the necessary and the contingent.

What type of policy derives from these axioms? Since human consciousness is unique to each individual, policy must always exalt the freedom of individuals in order to be consistent with Christ's Word: the very essence of the Universe. The ultimate foundation of Social Credit policy is best summed up by Douglas himself when he said,

"Systems were made for men, and not men for systems, and the interest of man which is self-development, is above all systems, whether theological, political or economic." (C.H. Douglas, "Economic Democracy")

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Statement Of Account

You failed to pay your credit card billing for one (1) year. Now they are offering you a SPECIAL OFFER based on this Statement of Account.

Principal*******P*20,000.00*********This is your total
Interest**********10,221.37*********@3.5% interest per
************************************month, compounded
************************************monthly. This will
************************************amount to 51.1% p.a.
Penalty**********12,000.00*********@5% per month; will
************************************reach 60% p.a.
Total*Due********P 42,221.37********111.1% total charges
************************************for one (1) year
Collection Exp. ****10,000.00********How they incur this
************************************expense for a P20,000
************************************debt baffles me.
Sub-total********P 52,221.37*********Total charges is now
************************************161.1% and counting.
Attorney’s Fee*****13,055.34********@25% for failure to pay
Total**********Php 65,276.71********Are you crying now?
“Special Offer”******(13,055.34)*******Waiver of atty’s fee.
************************************Actually, it should not
************************************be included in the first
************************************place; there is no
************************************litigation yet.
************************************be restructured


****************************************Indian friend?
****************************************from Manila*Hotel?