— Applied Science,
(An article of J. Ernest Grégoire,
published in the December 1, 1943 issue of the Vers Demain Journal.)
one of us did not sometimes ask himself or herself — in spite of the
rat race, concerns, and worries which make meditation difficult —
questions like this one: How is it that with so much progress in all
fields of production — agriculture, the clothing industry,
construction, medicine, transportation, storage, etc. — one still
battles with worries about the future, if not with worries about today
Worries and a feverish life
that the worries in question are not brought about by war. War, on the
contrary, reduces worries about finding a means of providing daily bread
in many homes. It is a question of worries in peacetime, when grain
elevators are glutted with wheat, when shop windows display products of
all kinds, when advertisements invite us to buy the abundance of goods
that just wait to be sold.
is it that with the invention of so many sophisticated machines to serve
him, man is compelled either to sit around idly and die of hunger, or to
work frenziedly in factories, mine holes, during the day, at night, on
Sundays, to leave his home early and quickly in the morning, or late at
night, to be there at the whistle's blow; to leave the factory tired,
bewildered, embittered by the continual growing exactions of his
employers, who are themselves prey to feverish activities and
Science that punishes
is the use of science, inventions, machines, electricity, chemistry, if
all of these serve man well only in slaughters, if all of these leave
man in misery and need as soon as the large-scale destruction of men and
has become an agent of suffering and death, because the benefits of
science do not reach the consumer, the mass of consumers.
multiplies products while reducing the number of wage-earners; however,
one has not yet come up with the means to distribute the products of
science to those who do not get wages or salaries. Hence the miseries
and growing disorder in the midst of nations where shine the
applications of science. To maintain production activities, each country
seeks to push its accumulated production towards other countries,
whereas it does not want to buy anything from them; hence the frictions
which end up in wars between nations.
caused Professor Frederick Soddy (1924 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry),
one of the great learned men of the present time, to say, on October 2,
1942, at the height of the war: “Science without Social Credit is
Science with Social Credit
did Professor Soddy say “without Social Credit”? Because with Social
Credit, the products of science — all farm produce and goods issued
from forests and industry, which respond to the needs of consumers —
would go to the consumers, even if the wages and salaries are taken away
Social Crediters are of the opinion, advisedly, that it is worthwhile to
exert oneself to bring a little more joy on earth, even in peacetime,
even when one stops mobilizing men and machines to dig graves.
what novel thing is Social Credit bringing again, for science to be
serving instead of punishing? Social Credit does one very simple thing;
it recognizes that science is a common good, and that the more science
enters into production, the more claims on this production that must go
to each and every member of society.
Example: the electric current
understand this better, let us spend five minutes in front of an
electric lamp. Everybody knows what an electric lamp is, even those who
have no electricity yet in their homes.
push a button: the lamp becomes luminous and lights up the whole room.
Why? Because, upon pushing the button, I made two wires join, and an
electric current immediately runs into the filaments of the bulb, and
makes these filaments incandescent.
where does this electric current come from? Where does this so
convenient current come from, ready to light up, heat up, turn motors,
at the simple pushing of buttons? This current which travels into wires
at the speed of light, where does it come from? What is it made of?
current comes from a waterfall. Somewhere, in a forest, on a slope, or
at the bottom of a mountain, a river takes a fall in its run towards the
sea; a body of water falls twenty, forty, sixty feet.
ancestors saw these waterfalls: they were beautiful in the eyes of the
poets, but very inconvenient for the rowers who had to do portage. Our
ancestors did not take advantage of these waterfalls, except sometimes
to turn the vanes of a mill. They did not use water power to get light,
heat, or an energy transportable over great distances. Why? They lacked
science, which, accumulated and transmitted from generation to
generation, sometimes slowly, more quickly at other times, brought
forward Ampere's and Faraday's beautiful discoveries. And today, a
waterfall is a treasure.
are built, turbines installed, then pylons, wires, and the waterfall
supplies current, without growing tired, without wearing out, without
requesting a holiday, over distances of tens, hundreds of miles.
is where the current comes from which makes my electric bulb
incandescent and luminous.
waterfall — science — material — work — and there you have the
whom does the waterfall belong? Who pumps the water from the sea to
carry it in the form of rain over the summits and slopes of mountains?
Is it not the work of the sun, without one ounce of human labour? Who
moulded the mountains, the slopes, the land declivities which make the
water precipitate into waterfalls? Who, if not the forces of nature —upthrusts,
subsidence, volcanoes, erosion?
who can name himself the absolute owner of this waterfall? This
waterfall is a common good. In the Province of Quebec, it belongs to the
province, therefore to all the province's inhabitants, not to one more
than to another, but to all to the same degree.
what about science? The accumulation of inventions which allowed the
production of the electric current —to whom does it belong? To whom,
if not to all of humanity, to all men without exception? To the newborn
baby, to the elderly who can no longer work, to the sick as well as to
the healthy, to each and everyone without exception and to the same
for the material for the dam — it was bought and paid for. The work
for the dam was paid for in wages and salaries.
is private property is recognized and paid for. But has what constitutes
common property in this given an income to each and everyone, since each
and everyone is a co-owner of it?
the settler, the farmer, who is not able to electrify his farm, the poor
worker who uses a paraffin lamp as light or does not have any light at
all — ask them what share of current production, or what equivalent
share of other products, they have received in return for their claims
could go further. There is not only the waterfall which is common
property. There is not only science which is common property. There is
the social organization, without which none of these things would be
possible. The social organization, which multiplies the possibilities of
production, is a common good too.
this means that each and every one — from the sole fact of his
entrance into an organized society, from the sole fact of his birth into
a country with natural resources and into a world of applied science —
is entitled to at least something, as a co-owner of a great many common
goods. Not only is this so in the field of electricity, but also in all
fields of modern production, which more and more often borrow the fruits
of applied science, and less and less those of human labour.
us now leave the electric lamp, and come close to a newborn child's
cradle, close to a sick person's bed, close to the woman who does her
housework, close to the pioneer who cuts down trees and pulls up stumps
to build, with much difficulty and misery, a small property in a new
land, and let us ask them if an annual or monthly income on their share
of the common capital would not be good for them, if they would not use
this is the common capital that the Social Crediters recognize. They
believe in private property, and respect it. They believe in the reward
for work, and support it. But they also believe in a common property,
and they say that it is precisely because each person is denied his
share of the income from this common property, that goods are wasted,
are destroyed, under the very eyes of a multitude who are in need of
The national dividend
capitalist draws dividends when his capital produces, even if it is not
he who does the work.
each citizen, from the cradle to the grave, being a capitalist, a
co-owner of a common capital, must draw a dividend on this common
capital when this common capital produces. He must receive his dividend
in his role of capitalist, not of worker. When he works, he receives a
wage or salary; but — on top of his wage or salary if he works, and
without a wage or salary if he does not work — he should draw his
dividend on a capital which belongs to him. This capital belongs to him
in common with all of his fellow citizens; and this is why each and
every one is entitled to the same dividend as regards this common
capital that became productive.
you understand now why the Social Crediters call for a national
the facts prove them right, so right that, to maintain modern
production, one must absolutely put much of it somewhere. One fires it
into the enemies' heads in wartime, in the form of bombs and shells. One
throws it into rivers, the fire, the sea, the sewers, in the form of
destroyed products or despicable unemployment. In the first case, one
kills human brothers of another nation. In the second case, one weakens
and kills brothers at home.
Science without Social Credit is suicide for humanity. With Social Credit, it would put plenty, joy, and peace into homes and nations.