Page 6, 29th July 1938

29th July 1938
Page 6
Page 6, 29th July 1938 — COMMUNITARIANISM NOT SOCIALISM Solution To State v. Private Property Dilemma
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COMMUNITARIANISM NOT SOCIALISM Solution To State v. Private Property Dilemma

Sue—Not only is it true, as the Holy Father has pointed out in the Quadragessimo Anna, that " Capital cannot do without labour or labour without capital" but also, that there is an element in their joint earning power which is not justly attributable to either of them, but is due to the accumulated efforts of our ancestors who developed the machinery and methods of production.

This catrunurial asset, or increment of co-operation, is the hereditary possession of the whole community, rich or poor, worker or non-worker. This asset is today neglected : it is never distributed to the community, though it is to some extent exploited by the money market. It is not a mere capital fund but an immense wealth producing asset which might be used to make free provision of public utilities and services (perhaps dispensing with local rates) together with a cheapening of the essentials of life, The State, as representing the whole community, should take into its own hands the issue and control of money, which today is only issued in the form of banker's debts.

Real wealth arises only from work, but the amount of work which we are at present allowed to perform is limited by the insufficiency of the " buying power " in the hands of the mass of the people. Stabilise • the value of the pound note so that it will buy approximately the same volume of commodities " this year, next year, or ten years hence" and then issue money, against value received, until there is work, and consequent welfare available for all. (If any banker cares to dispute this I am more than willing to meet his objections.) No government, or dictator, dare embark upon, or even suggest, so great an administrative change unless the mass of the people are prepared to accept a system which, by destroying the rule of the money-lender. will throw real responsibility upon the people themselves. We can achieve such a position when we, as individuals, can consent to abandon the distinctively protestant attitude of "Every man for himself " and accept that of " brotherly responsibility." There is but one road to the " Brotherhood of man." It lies in the acceptance of the "Fatherhood of God," of a return, in " Catholic Action," to that intimate association with the Church and the Sacraments which alone can inspire us to shoulder our personal responsibilities. Every world problem is at heart a personal problem; it is not to be solved by Prime Ministers or Princes, but by our own personal efforts. When we cease to wail for " somebody to do something," and think of doing it ourselves by becoming real Catholics instead of the " shadow Catholics" which we mostly are today, then things will begin to move and social justice once more raise its head in this long-suffering world.

The need for action, personal, individual, action, is of desperate urgency, and reform which begins in the citizen will soon become visible in the system.

IIRYVIAM OLIVER. 28, Henderson Row, Edinburgh,




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