— Minimum Security,
(The second part of a talk given by
Louis Even on Radio-Canada on January 19, 1945.)
Credit proclaims that society must exist for all citizens; it proclaims
that each and every one must be able to find, in the political and
economic organization, the means to get more easily what all of a common
accord want for themselves.
what is it that all mutually want — even if all have not gotten into
the habit of realizing and expressing their desires publicly? All
certainly want at least a minimum of economic security, with a maximum
of personal freedom.
basic necessities of life
minimum of economic security means at least the basic necessities of
life. There is no normal individual who does not want at least that: the
basic necessities of life. And one does not live in society for these
basic necessities of life to be more difficult to get, but for them to
be easier, for them to be a guarantee, in a country where exists all,
and even more than what is needed, to satisfy the basic necessities of
life. It is therefore the duty of a well-organized society to see to it
that each of its members is ensured of at least the basic necessities of
Pius XI even went much beyond this notion of basic necessities; he
requested for each and every one the guarantee of the means for an
honest livelihood. For the economic and social organism to be good and
soundly established, he said, it must secure for all and each of its
members a share in the goods of nature and industry; and this share must
be sufficient to supply them with all of their needs and an honest
negation of economic security
present society does not achieve this. Millions of witnesses could stand
up, in all parts of the country, to declare that, during the ten years
in which we were not fighting for democracy (or for a practical joke),
during the ten years in which products accumulated and rotted under
their very eyes, their country's social organism did not at all ensure
them of their share of these goods for an honest livelihood.
least 400,000 Canadian families can make this accusing testimony. Yet,
it is not against this social deficiency that we waged war in 1939!
negation of freedom
it seems that after all the killing, one has learned that one must make
postwar social-security plans. Unfortunately, while one talks about a
better tomorrow than yesterday, one continues to fortify the money
monopoly which regulates unrestrainedly man's standard of living.
Unfortunately too, each time one talks about economic security, it is at
the expense of freedom. Now freedom is as essential to the human person
as is security.
security, the assurance of the basic necessities of life, is one thing.
The human person's freedom of choice is another thing. An animal can be
satisfied with the first. A human being needs both. Economic security
can exist without freedom. Example: the cowshed, the stable, the
barracks, and the system promised by the Socialists.
to be real, first implies a minimum of economic security. Those who were
unemployed from 1930 to 1940 did not have freedom, because they did not
have, first of all, the basic necessities of life. If somebody received
some form of social security, it was under conditions that began with
cutting off his freedom. Likewise, how many wage-earners have to accept
employment or working conditions which are not at all suitable for them!
Their bread is bound to conditions contrary to their choices. They are
man who would first of all be guaranteed the basic necessities of life,
without condition, from the sole fact of his having been born in the
midst of an organized society, would not so absolutely be required to
accept such and such a job or conditions; he would be able to act more
in harmony with his aptitudes and desires; then his wage or salary would
no longer be bound to the sacrifice of his freedom of choice.
dividend, an instrument of freedom
is here that we depict the unique feature of the national dividend as a
social-security measure. It is, in fact, the only social-security
measure which does not bind nor humiliate anyone.
the same time, it is the sole economic measure which ensures the
permanency of production by complementing the consumers' inadequate
purchasing power. It is the sole supplementary distribution method which
is in step with progress in production processes. It is the sole
economic proposition which recognizes the existence of a social
heritage, transmitted to the bosom of organized society, from one
generation to the next; just as with wealthy families, there is a
heritage transmitted from parents to their children.
some might ask what is meant by a national dividend. They know what a
company dividend is; it is the distribution to shareholders of an amount
which represents the clear profits of the company during the past term.
Does a national dividend mean an amount of money distributed to all
citizens every month, every three months, every year?
a national dividend, we mean the distribution of the country's
production surplus to all members of society, who are equally entitled
to this surplus, which otherwise would not be distributed.
this distribution is made in the form of an amount of money or
otherwise, it is essential that each citizen is given a claim to his
share of the production, which really represents a surplus; and the
production which is not distributed without it is certainly a surplus.
Has it not been thrown before into the fire or into sewers?
dividend, the fruit of progress
national dividend does not take anything away from wages and salaries.
It is modernization that affects wages and salaries when machines
replace wage-earners. It is then that products accumulate. But the
dividend would come precisely in the proportion needed to make up the
deficit. The more progress would replace manpower by machines, the less
wages and salaries would be distributed to the workers, and the more,
direct or indirect, the dividends that would be distributed to
they would be distributed to everybody, and to everybody equally,
because they are the fruit of progress, and not of individual work.
Individual work is rewarded in various ways, according to the value
which it brings to production. But progress is a collective good, to
which all are entitled equally, as members of an organized society.
decreases the necessary contribution of individual work, but it does not
decrease — it actually increases — the production of goods. This is
what the dividend would represent.
thing, great effect
it is this very simple little thing — which does not disturb anything
in personal initiative nor in private property — that would make all
the difference between having a society starving in front of plenty, or
enrolled to have a ration, and a society that sets plenty at the service
of all, and which favours the free blossoming-out of each person.
is disturbed in the economic structure that is familiar to all people.
The farmer continues to cultivate, but sells better, if his products
respond to real needs. The industrialist continues his private
enterprise; he even improves it, because he sells his products, if they
respond to real needs. The wage-earner continues to draw his wages, and
his job is more secure because the products are sold, if he is in the
service of an enterprise that responds to real needs.
dividend orients the production
production to respond to real needs, it is necessary that needs be
expressed by the consumers. Now the consumers express their needs
effectively when they have money in their hands. For orders to really
come from the consumers, and not be the effects of publicity pressure
from people who are first interested in profits, money must begin on the
consumers' side, and not on the side of sources of profits by promoters.
is precisely what the dividend does. The dividend, actually representing
the country's progress, generates a corresponding increase in purchasing
power in each and everyone's hands. It is new money that will pass into
circulation by indicating the consumers' individual needs to those who
are capable of supplying the products.
would no longer be, as it is today, new money coming into circulation in
the form of a debt to be paid with interest, by individuals or
governments, to the monopoly of monopolies, to the monopoly of the
manufacturers and destroyers of money, to the bankers.
national debt is the opposite of the national dividend. Both represent
progress in the country's production capacity. But the national debt
expresses progress robbed by a few who exploit society; whereas the
national dividend expresses progress divided among all, in a society
which exists for the good of each and every one of its members.
you can see, the national dividend, a very simple but strongly equitable
mechanism, which is also very logical and social, does not change
anything in the economy, except that it finally puts the consumer first
and breaks the money monopoly.
breaking the money monopoly, you would shatter the teeth of the other
monopolies. Money, upon becoming a social service, an economic blood
being circulated continuously in the veins of the body of production and
satisfying the needs of consumers, loses its vice of being a power
instrument. Enterprises, big or small, continue to provide goods, and
consumers have access to these goods.
if certain sizeable industrial monopolies still wish to carry a lot of
weight, the government in charge of the common good is there to stop
them. Not having any longer to appear humbly at the door of the money
monopoly, with its debentures, and possessing, automatically, all the
necessary financial means to accomplish what is physically possible and
commonly wanted, the Government would be able to do with any monopoly
that wants to sabotage the economy, exactly what it does with a
housebreaker or a public criminal.
Social Credit cannot become an economic achievement without first
effecting a stabilization of politics. This is the subject of the next