Never Did So Many
Owe So Much to So Few

'Seven Steps To Justice'
By Rodney Shakespeare & Peter Challen

Reviewed by Wayne John Strugeon

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New European Publications Ltd., 2002, ISBN 1-8724-1027-8.

THIS is a new book aimed at bringing the economic theory of monetary reform, known as social credit, into the twenty-first century with particular reference to the geo-political situation of today (hence chapters dealing with the Middle-East peace process and Kashmir etc.). The authors are activists associated with the Christian Council for Monetary Justice (Challen is actually both a reverend and canon in the Church of England and the 'Forward' is written by Peter Selby, Bishop of Worcester).

The basic thesis is that, firstly, there has to be public acknowledgement that the present banking system is an unjust monopoly that creates 97% of the present money supply as interest-bearing debt. The solution is to introduce interest-free loans for both private and public investment capital, coupled with two basic incomes of social credit independent of one's earnings (the latter should be distinguished from the Green Party's policy of 'basic income', which is derived from taxation; Shakespeare and Challen's vision is much more radical and far-reaching). Much here is obviously inspired by C.H. Douglas and John Hargrave, not to mention the distributist vision of G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc. It is basically a kind of small peoples' capitalism, universalised but with a green and social-communitarian ethos. There is some reference to Islamicist banking and also concern expressed for the social and economic status of women in the world today, but thankfully without falling into a feminist polemic.

The authors are also keen to maintain the concept of independent and sovereign nationhood, oppose mono-cultural globalisation (i.e. universalised oligarchical collectivism) and critique both 'free market' capitalism and the socialist planned economy. So, by implication, their socio-economic vision tends towards a more devalued and decentralised political order. It is very significant that, generally speaking, most socialists and Marxists have never attacked the system of usury (the fourth point of the Communist Manifesto aims to 'centralise all credit in the hands of the State with an absolute monopoly', i.e. the nationalisation of banking, which would only transfer a monopoly of credit and the creation of debt from the private sector to a highly centralised and bureaucratic State; see 'Freedom Under Socialism' by Alexander Baron, Infotext Manuscripts, London 1996). Certain researchers, like the notable Anthony Sutton, have concluded that socialism actually makes a few people very powerful under a collectivised banking economy and historically Marxist revolutions have been largely financed by wealthy capitalist industrialists (see 'Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution') and, as Simone Weil once said concerning Marx, 'it is revolution and not religion which is the opium of the people'.

One refreshing aspect of 'Seven Steps To Justice' is the lack of any concept of class warfare, which is surely just a form of working class imperialism. Leftism never really gets the point when one asks how promoting the concept of class war or class hate is in any way different from promoting race war or racial hatred (National-Socialism being similar in that it is also a very materialistic and reductionist concept). The seven steps promoted here allow for the democratisation of credit to spread widely the ownership of self-financing productive assets which close the gap between rich and poor but at the same time do not deprive the rich of fundamental human rights. So everybody wins.

The authors entitle their new vision of radical and revolutionary monetary change 'binary economics' - which, it must be said, differs on certain points historically with social credit - and this is explained at some length and in some depth. I greatly recommend this important publication, as it provides a useful tool with which to understand and analyse contemporary economics and modern banking systems, but I do think the authors could have expanded their analysis of finance capitalism to a more fundamental critique of party political democracy because their understanding of where the true power base is proves just what a sham and a lie 'democracy' is (here I strongly recommend Simone Weil's classic, 'The Need For Roots', and her advocacy of 'a public life without political parties' - i.e. their complete abolishment and the introduction of a libertarian consensus where one can have 'authority without power' and 'hierarchy without elitism'). They could have also examined the military industrial complex and asked what is going to happen when there are no more wars to fight in order to justify and consolidate international capitalist expansionism? And, perhaps more fundamentally, will the 'System' ever facilitate the reforms which the authors so passionately and convincingly seek?

Other sources for reference which concern revolutionary monetary reform include 'The Grip of Death' (a study of modern money, debt slavery and destructive economics) and 'Goodbye America' (about globalisation, debt and the dollar empire) by Michael Rowbotham, a former secretary at the Christian Council for Monetary Justice, Jon Carpenter Publishing, 1998 and 2000 respectively. And also 'What Everybody Really Wants to Know About Money' (also concerning ideas about social credit and guild socialism) by Frances Hutchinson, 1998, ISBN 1-897766-33-5.

To contact the Christian Council for Monetary Justice, please write to: Colin J. Whitmill (General Secretary), 36 Whitfield Close, Bognor Regis, PO22 8DY, West Sussex. Telephone: 01243 829749. Email: seejayw@onetel.net.uk. CCMJ website: http://go.to/ccmj