Rights of Each One
war production has proven, without a doubt, what Canada can do once it
decided to put aside the artificial obstacles, that is, the financial
having made use, to such an extent, of the country's production
capacity, will it still be permissible for millions of Canadian families
to be condemned to despicable privation, until the country is brought
into a total war?
else, will we finally demand an economic and social system which serves
its purpose? A system which carries out the conditions defined in this
sentence of the great Pope Pius XI:
then only will the economic and social organism be soundly established
and attain its end, when it secures for all and each those goods which
the wealth and resources of nature, technical achievement, and the
social organization of economic affairs can give.” (Encyclical
all and each
economic system must secure,
says the Pope. Secure, not only promise, not only display goods in shop
for whom? For everyone. For everyone? Yes, and the Pope stresses: for
all and each. All and each does not allow any exception.
what? All those goods which the wealth and resources of nature and
technical achievement can secure. In the Arctic, near the North Pole,
one could not secure anything. But in Canada? In Canada, where
production piles up in normal times much faster than it can be disposed
of, this difficulty does not exist.
goods. This means not to put some under lock and key; not to burn fruit
or throw milk into sewers under the eyes of men, women, and children who
suffer from hunger.
goods, for all and each. So each one must get his share. But what share?
What amount of goods must the economic and social organism secure for
all and each? The Pope states:
goods must be sufficient to supply all needs and an honest
supply all needs and an honest livelihood, for all and each: this is
exactly what is called for by those who demand the social guarantee of
the bare necessities of life, from the cradle to the grave, to each
citizen. An honest livelihood actually requires, at least:
food, sufficient clothing, sufficient housing, sufficient health
production, sufficient leisure time for the body to rest and to
rejuvenate the mind.
for this livelihood to be honest, should freedom — the most beautiful
privilege of the human person — be sacrificed? For this minimum income
which constitutes an honest livelihood to be guaranteed, must we first
kill one another on battlefields? Or, for the wealth and resources of
nature and technical achievement to reach the families in peacetime,
must we first have a growing proportion of citizens employed by the
State? Must we have, insofar as science places solar energy and machines
at the service of man, man thrown into the net of State Socialism?
livelihood subject to such conditions would cease to be honest. An
honest livelihood cannot mean the livelihood of a slave who becomes the
thing of his master, even if this master is called the State.
honest livelihood is the papal drawn-up objective of any soundly
established economic and social organism.
right inherent in life in society
even if the Holy Father would never have defined this objective, does
not mere common sense point it out to us? Each time men join together,
is it not to get more easily, through their association, what each
associate wants but cannot get alone without greater difficulty? This is
true of any enterprise, and it is true of the big association which is
called society. Also, in society, as soon as frustrations begin for some
members, as soon as more and more people cease to get the benefits which
must result from life in society, breakaway forces, the forces of
who will believe that aspirations common to all men, aspirations that
one finds in each individual, can be contrary to order? It is the
Creator Himself who has given man his nature. If each person lays claim
to a minimum of food, a minimum of protection from the elements through
clothing and housing, it is because his nature is such that he cannot
live without this minimum.
person born into this world has a right to life. Whether a newborn makes
his entrance into this world in a monarch's palace or in the poorest hut
of the poorest of Canadians, he has the right to live, just like anybody
else. It is not a matter of the standard of living, but of the bare
necessities to keep a person alive.
front of the right to life, therefore in front of the bare necessities
of life, every member of society, every individual of the human race, is
right to life, the right to the means of living, is a birthright. It is
a right which must not infringe upon the rights of others, which must
not lower the standard of living of others, in a country that overflows
with everything that is needed and where goods are wasted for want of
buyers. Therefore, the coming of a newborn child into a family should
not result in a breach in the honest livelihood of the family's other
yet, even with all the facilities of modern production and
transportation, does our present society guarantee to each of its
members the assurance of an honest livelihood? Where, in our civil law,
is the statute which ensures to each person being born in our country
the necessary minimum for an honest livelihood? One will find many laws
to prevent people from ill-treating animals. But there is not one line
to prevent a handful of men from holding back the distribution of the
abundance. The papal objective of an honest livelihood for all and each
is sadly ignored.
if all the goods of this world were under the system of private
property, it would not exclude the right of each person, even of the
have-nots, to life, and consequently to the bare necessities of life.
Property, even private, has a social function to fulfill. Ownership
confers on the owner an obligation to manage his property for the common
there are also many goods, many production factors, which remain common
property, of which all members of society are co-owners in the same
these goods, some are visible, concrete, as in our country, crown
forests and the powerful waterfalls, fed free of charge by the pumping
force of the sun and the configuration of mountains. To whom do these
goods belong? Do they not constitute a real common heritage, to the
benefits of which all are entitled?
there are the goods which are less visible, though no less real nor less
productive, such as the developments of science applied throughout the
centuries. We even believe that applied science becomes a preponderant
factor in today's abundant production. Therefore, who will maintain that
science is a private good? It is not a matter of ignoring the personal
efforts of those who are educated; but even the education acquired by a
person imposes on him an obligation towards society, since, to get this
education, this person has benefited from all the social organization
which allowed it.
there is also the social organization itself which, considered from the
mere standpoint of its role in the production of material goods, is a
very important factor. If each member of society had to live in
isolation and to see to his own livelihood, all by himself, the
production of each person, the total production of all, would be
immensely less than what it is under the system of division of labour,
grafted on the social organization. Therefore, the existence of an
organized society increases considerably the production capacity of
society as a whole. Is this existence of an organized society a private
good, or is it a common good from which all should benefit?
human being, being a member of a constituted society, is entitled to a
certain quantity of goods, because of the natural right to life, but
also as a heir of past generations, and as a co-owner of a common good,
of a great many common goods.
how, nowadays, does a claim to the goods offered by the producing
mechanism become valid? How, if not through the bank note or the credit
account transmitted by the buyer to the seller, through money? This
method has the advantage of making the choice of products more flexible,
and of protecting the parties involved in the transaction.
in order for this method to function without depriving any member of
society of his right to live, it is necessary, in today's world, for all
and each to possess a minimum of these claims on production, a minimum
amount of money, be it cash or bookkeeping money.
It is this minimum of claims on their country's production, ensured to each and everyone of its citizens, that the Social Credit school calls the national dividend. A dividend, because it neither represents a wage nor a salary, which is the reward for personal work, but it represents the right of an heir, the citizen's right to the income from a common capital, the right to existence, that a well-organized society must guarantee to each of its members, just because they exist.