IN THIS AGE of PLENTY: A New Conception of Economics—Social Credit

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    This book presents a new conception of finance and of the money system that could free society from purely financial problems. Its author, Louis Even, sets out the outlines of the Social Credit financial proposals, conceived by the Scottish engineer Clifford Hugh Douglas.

    Softcover, 409 pages

    Table of Contents


    Preface

    Social Credit: Not Socialism, Not a Political Party

    1. A Few Principles

    2. Economics

    3. The Consumers

    4. Goods

    5. Specialization - The Machine

    6. Poverty Amidst Plenty

    7. The Symbol and the Thing

    8. The Birth and Death of Money

    9. THe Monetary Defect

    10. Putting the Monetary System Right

    11. The Rights of Each One to the Bare Necessities of Life

    12. What is a Dividend?

    13. Heritage and Heirs

    14. The National Dividend

    15. Money and Prices

    16. Price Adjustment

    17. The National Credit

    18. The Monetary Mechaism of Social Credit

    Excerpt

    Social Credit: Not Socialism, Not a Political Party

    Not Socialism

    Because of the word in the term "Social Credit", some people erroneously assume it to be a form of Socialism, and automatically reject it. On the contrary, Social Credit is the best way to fight Socialism and Communism, and to protect private property and individual freedom. A Dominican father, who had studied the Social Credit proposals, even wrote: "And if you want neither socialism or communism, bring Social Credit in a row against them. It will be in your hands for weapons with which to fight these enemies."

    And in 1939, a commission of nine theologians appointed by the Bishops of Quebec found that Social Credit was not tainted with Socialism or Communism and was worthy of close attention. In fact, Social Credit wants to make every member of society a capitalist, a shareholder in the wealth of the country. If the expression "social" credit scare some people, Douglas's financial proposals can also be referred to under other names: public credit, economic democracy or New Economics.

    Not a political party

    Concerning the issue of political parties, it is true that parties called "Social Credit" existed in the past, and that is why some people may be confused: a "Social Credit" party existed on the federal scene in Canada for a while and was even in power in the province of Alberta, Canada, from 1935 to 1971, and in the province of British Columbia, from 1952 to 1991 (except for three years, from 1972 to 1975). None of these provincial parties applied Social Credit. (The very day he took office as premier in 1952, Bennett, B.C. "Social Credit" leader even said that his party would do absolutely nothing to apply Social Credit principles. Actually, there was nothing even closely related to real Social Credit in this party or its platform; it should have been more accurately called "conservative".)


    A Few Principles

    Man is a person

    Man is a person. He is not a mere animal.

    All people live in society. The more perfect people are, the more life in society is perfect. The society of angels is more perfect than human society. As for the three divine persons, they live in an infinitely intimate society, however, without merging into one.

    Moreover, this Divine society is proposed to man as a model: "That they all may be one, as you, Father, in me, and I in you." (John 17:21.)

    Since men are human persons, they also live in a society. Association responds to a need of man's nature.

    Man is a social being 4:18pm

    Life in society's responds to man's nature for two reasons:

    1. Because the human being is a universe, in God's image, and receives from the model, of whom he is the image, the tendency to give of himself, to communicate the wealth which he possesses;

    2. Because he is also a universe of indigence, in the temporal as well is in the spiritual world. The human being needs other human beings to come out of his indigence. He needs others physically for his conception, birth, and growth. He needs others intellectually, too: without an acquired education, what intellectual level would a being who is born ignorant achieve?

    We we will not speak here of his spiritual indigence, nor of the need he has for the society called the Church.

    In our studies, we will restrict ourselves to the temporal order, without, however, losing sight of the subordination of the temporal order to the spiritual order, because both the temporal and spiritual orders concern this same man, and because the final end of this man takes precedence over all intermediary ends.­­

    Louis Even was born on March 23, 1885, on the “La Poulanière” farm, in Montfort-sur-Meu, a municipality 30 kilometres west of Rennes, in Brittany, France. This municipality was also the birthplace of Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort. Louis Even inherited his great devotion to Mary from this illustrious patron saint. He became a fervent propagandist of the Rosary throughout his 89 years upon earth.

    Louis Even was the fourteenth child (out of sixteen) of Pierre Even and Marguerite Vitre. At home, he received a sound Christian education. His elementary studies were made at the school of the village.

    On August 4, 1896, at the age of 11, he entered the juvenile school of the Brothers of Christian Instruction, in Livré. On February 2, 1901, he began his novitiate in Ploërmel. In July of the same year, an antireligious campaign began raging in France, with the enforcement of the Association Law, which restricted the activities of religious communities. Then in 1903, the Brothers of Christian Instruction were notified by the French Government that they had to dissolve their Institute. Henceforth, it was forbidden in France for the Brothers to wear the religious habit and to teach.

    In Canada

    The Brothers decided to send their best students on a mission. Louis Even was part of the group. He left France for Canada in February of 1903. From there, he was sent to teach the Indians of the Rocky Mountains, in Montana, U.S.A. He stayed there until 1906. This allowed him to acquire a perfect knowledge of the English language, which was to be enormously useful to him later on when he would study Social Credit in the books of Major C. H. Douglas.

    Louis Even returned to Canada for good on June 24, 1906, the feast day of St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of the French Canadians. That same year, he taught at Grand Mère, Que. From 1907 to 1911, he was a teacher at St. Francis' School, in Montreal.

    Then he became deaf and could not teach to children anymore. He was sent to Laprairie, at the Brothers' printing shop, which was very primitive at the time. Being hard-working and very brilliant, he developed the printing shop and expanded it considerably. He acquired new machines, and to learn their workings, he had to study German, since the manuals for the machines were in German. He also studied Latin on his own. This apprenticeship of printing was to be very precious to him later on for the foundation of his Movement.

    Providentially (because he was deaf and could no longer teach children), he quit the community of the Brothers of Christian Instruction where he had acquired a sound religious and intellectual formation, for he was a man of study and reflection, always having a book in his hand. He was well prepared to carry out in the world the mission that God had destined for him. He was released from his vows on November 20, 1920.

    Garden City Press

    Immediately, he was employed in Ste. Anne de Bellevue, west of Montreal, at Garden City Press, a printing shop owned by J. J. Harpell, a Catholic of Irish descent. There too, Louis Even left an indelible mark of his genius on the firm.

    On December 10, 1921, Louis Even married Laura Leblanc, and fathered four children: François, now a lawyer; Gemma, a teacher; Rose-Marie, a teacher and a secretary; and Agnès, a teacher. Being in charge of a family himself, it helped him to better understand the financial problems of the working-class families.

    J. J. Harpell was more than just a businessman: he wanted to promote the intellectual development and general knowledge of his employees, by having them attend evening classes. In Louis Even, Harpell had found the priceless master who could make him realize his aspirations. Louis Even worked as a typographer, a proofreader, and a foreman. He translated into French the periodical The Instructor — the organ of J. J. Harpell's Gardenvale study circle. He trained new workers, and he was the teacher for the employees' evening classes.

    Social Credit

    One day, in 1934, right in the middle of the Depression, Mr. Fielding, then Minister of Finance in Mackenzie King's Liberal Government in Ottawa, said to Mr. Harpell, who was a close friend of his: “If you want to know where the financial power lies in Canada, look towards the banks and the insurance companies.”

    Then Messrs. Harpell and Even decided that the evening classes for the next fall would revolve around the study of money and credit. They set about immediately, trying to find out a book on the subject. They received several books and manuscripts; one of them was I. A. Caldwell's book, <M>Money, What Is It?, which was later translated into French by Louis Even. But it was a simple 96-page booklet that brought him the light he was looking for. It was entitled: From Debt to Prosperity, by J. Crate Larkin, of Buffalo. It was a summary of Major Douglas's monetary doctrine — Social Credit.

    “Here is a light upon my way,” said Louis Even. He then got all of Douglas's books, plus books of other authors on the same topic. He recognized in Social Credit a whole series of principles which, once applied, would make a perfect monetary system and put an end to the Depression. Immediately, he said to himself: “Everybody must know this.” From then on he only thought about the means of realizing this wish.

    The contacts established with The Instructor (and its French-language version, Le Moniteur), had given birth to new study circles, affiliated with that of Gardenvale, all over Quebec; in Sherbrooke, Quebec City, Trois-Rivieres, and Shawinigan. At the request of these new circles, Mr. Even went to give them lectures. He naturally spoke to them about Social Credit. Then he held public meetings across the Provinces of Quebec, Ontario, and New Brunswick.

    Louis Even translated into French the brochure From Debt to Prosperity. He also wrote articles on Social Credit in Le Moniteur, which was sent to some 1,200 French-speaking subscribers across Quebec, New Brunswick, Ontario, and the Prairie Provinces.

    In August of 1936, Louis Even founded another periodical, the Cahiers du Crédit Social (literally, Social Credit Brochures), which he wrote up during the evenings, still working at Garden City Press during the day, and he held conferences here and there in the region on weekends. From October of 1936 to August of 1939, a total of 16 issues of the Cahiers du Crédit Social were published, for 2,400 subscribers.

    It was during this same period that Louis Even published his great brochure, Salvation Island (now entitled The Money Myth Exploded), which he would sell for a nickel a piece to the audience after his conferences. As of today, this brochure (also published in the form of a 16-page leaflet) still remains the A.B.C. of Social Credit, for beginners. It now circulates throughout the world, by the millions, in seven different languages (English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese, and Polish).

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