Major Douglas in the Witness Box

Sparse Reflections on the Heresies of Social Credit

ABSTRACT: Major Douglas and his proposals of Social Credit belong to a family of phantasms that inhabit recondite library stacks. They owe oblivion to the verdict of history and to their own nature. Indeed, they are often an uncouth admixture of unerring hunches and fallacious patching. Yet, because of the recrudescence of ills they sought to redress, such cranks and their bags of reforms have been capable, in the course of two generations, to resist an overwhelming tide of triumphant forecast on the part of capitalist apology. And so they keep haunting posterity in the midst of unsolved issues, such as that of money, and the just ways to effect its distribution in a cohesive community.

The purpose of the present study is to canvass the monetary tenets of Social Credit, as they were formulated by Douglas and his following before WWII.  We inquire anew into the nature of the medium of exchange, and the fashion in which it shapes economic life. The discussion is capped by a brief retrospective on the attempt to introduce Social Credit in Alberta in the 1930s.


In American Review of Political Economy, Vol. 1 n. 2 (March 2004)


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