3 minutes reading time (596 words)

Growth or Sanity

    Economists and politicians are pretty clear about their intentions for the economies they claim to run; growth.  Growth, in economic terms, means increasing production and consumption of goods and services. In other words, the policy of growth has the objective of always exceeding economic maximums. It is the economic policy equivalent of a rampaging snowball.

     The Social Credit is the power of individuals in association to get the results intended, measured in terms of their satisfaction. It is a real power and, if you think about it, you will see it is the legitimate basis of human society. In a very practical way, Social Credit economics induces meaningful economic activity by providing people with a secure stake in the things they want through the mechanisms of the national dividend and the compensated price.

     Contrast this with the growth approach. We must maximise employment and material throughput, to maximise financial transfers within a system of abstract accounting conventions. Douglas defined Capitalism as ‘not a system of administration at all; it is a system of fixing prices in relation to cost.1 What is the relation between this abstraction and people's satisfaction? None at all. It is in fact  the chief cause of increasing dissatisfaction and therefore the leading reason for the breakdown of associations. Baudrillard makes the connection between the failure of economics to deliver satisfaction and society’s present state of collapse:

… just as consensus would have it that material production, despite its dysfunctions and   irrationalities, opens onto an excess of wealth and social purpose. We are all complicitous in this myth. It is the alpha and omega of our modernity, without which the credibility of our social organisation would collapse. Well, the fact is, it is collapsing… 2

     The word ‘wealth’ is derived from ‘well-being’. ‘Growth’ assumes that economic activity translates directly into well-being but Douglas refutes the idea with a warning, ‘There is no more dangerous delusion abroad in the world at this time than that production per se is wealth – it is about as sensible as a statement that because food is necessary to man he should eat continually and eat everything.’3

     The Social Credit approach seeks human satisfaction by optimal consumption and tolerates no artificial interference with the individual’s access to available production. An economy seeking optimal results is one that has as its objective the material satisfaction of people with the least expenditure of energy possible. Economic systems that pursue growth, on the other hand, have as their priority not human satisfaction but the maintenance of the two pillars of modern slavery; full employment and the creation of debt. The surplus created by the interplay of these two central features of modern economies demands not optimal consumption but maximum consumption, the results of which are all around us; in the bodies of men and women, the psychological damage inflicted by stupefying public information, the garbage heaps here and abroad, the tensions that lead to our crumbling social organisations and military war.

     The policy of growth elevates production and consumption to ends. The policy of growth is the policy of a three year old to a jar of lollies and the outcome is a sick kid and nothing left.

    The beginning of the end to this insanity lies in each person seeking for themselves an answer to a question. Is the end of man commercial activity or something else?

 References

  1. Douglas, C.H. 1922. The Control and Distribution of Production. Information Council, Brunswick

  2. Baudrillard, J. 1994. Simulcra and Simulation. Michigan University Press, Michigan.

  3. Douglas, C.H. The Delusion of Super Production, Dec. 1918, The English Review

 

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