Clifford Hugh Douglas' institutional analysis of the role of banking and finance in the social order continues to provide the missing link necessary for the comprehensive development of economic thought beyond the rational choice theories of neoclassical economics. In order to make some sense of the political economy of the twenty-first century it is necessary to understand how economic, political and cultural policies have come to be determined primarily by finance. 

Very few people can say with any certainty what money is, exactly how the financial system operates, or why finance dominates policy formation throughout the social order. This has not always been the case. During the inter-war years of the 1920s and 1930s countless ordinary men and women conducted an informed debate on the flawed economic thinking which led simultaneously to war, waste and poverty on an unprecedented scale. The worldwide Douglas Social Credit movement of this period gave rise to a practical political venture in the Canadian province of Alberta. In this meticulously researched book, Understanding the Financial System, the reasons for the systematic misrepresentation of the Alberta Experiment (1935-1948) in mainstream literature, the press and media are revealed for the first time. 

Drawing upon the writings of key twentieth-century social thinkers, including Clifford Hugh Douglas, Rudolf Steiner and Thorstein Veblen, Frances Hutchinson moves beyond negative critiques of global corporatism to suggest a transformation in our understanding of the relationship between finance and the three spheres of society: the cultural, the political and the economic.

Once upon a time people were able to provide for themselves, using the resources of the natural world and their own skills and knowledge. Now we are governed by an incomprehensible machine technology, under a dictatorial financial system. How this situation came about is explained in a in a series of texts which have been placed on this website and are made available for study purposes. 

What could happen in future will depend upon ordinary citizens coming back down to earth, in their own local environments. The choice is between fully informed debate leading to local economic democracy, or permanent subjection to Big Brother. If conventional un-wisdom and meaningless sound bites continue to stand in for informed discussion, the ordinary citizen will face increasing subjection to a faceless, centralised bureaucracy. If socially, ethically and environmentally sound farming policies are not to continue to flounder for lack of funds, finance must be converted from a dictatorial master into a useful tool. The options for reform are spelled out in Down to Earth.

Countries are governed largely by their ruling ideas, which is why the modern world is in the grip of theories which have so little relationship with reality that it staggers from one crisis to another with gathering momentum; it is now clearly out of control because the size of organisation in many spheres has become so enormous as to make it impossible for them to be controlled by anyone for any rational purpose. 

"A civilisation that genuinely reflects all that human beings long for and aspire to can only be created on the basis of each person's freely acknowledged power to decide on each of the many questions that affect his life." In the decades since he wrote those words, in the first issue of his journal Resurgence, John Papworth (1921-2020) never wavered from that belief. His book Village Democracy passionately restates his argument for radical decentralisation as the only answer to the current crises in politics, trade, ecology and international affairs. Founding editor of Resurgence and Fourth World Review, The Revd John Papworth appealed to scholars, radicals and visionaries everywhere to act whilst there is time, to establish centres of learning and teaching in subjects closest to their concerns, however modest in size, in whatever part of the world they may live, in terms of the human scale and subject to human control. He called for the creation of a global network of responsible scholarship, aware that it is as unique as the need for it is urgent and that it is helping to express the emerging global consensus of the need to create a new world of ecological sanity and spiritual vitality. His short book Why Schools of Economics and Political Science Should Be Closed Down is a most valuable introduction to his thinking.



Frances Hutchinson chairs the Social Credit Secretariat. She edited The Social Artist / The Social Crediter from 2001 until the onset of the Lockdown era in 2020. Having published a wide range of books and articles on economic thought, Guild Socialism and allied de-centralist, self-help politics, she now runs the Blog Understanding Life and Debt, and manages the Douglas Social Credit website.

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Civilization is at a critical juncture where circumstances require that each of us take greater responsibility - not only for ourselves and our close communities, but also for the common good.

We are, after all,one human family sharing one planetary home. For too long we have given our leaders the benefit of the doubt, assuming the best of intentions on their part. Good government is no substitute for self-government. 

Woodrow Wilson observed: "I want to see justice, righteousness, fairness and humanity displayed in all the laws of the United States. I do not want any power to intervene between the people and their government. Justice is what we want, not patronage and condescension and pitiful helpfulness. The corporations are our masters now. But I for one do not care to live in a country called free, even under kind masters. I prefer to live under,no masters at all." What needs to happen to reverse the destructive and despotic trends,and prevent our sliding into a modern form of materialistic feudalism? That is the fundamental question of our times.

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The Yorkshire Education Association exists to provide a contextual framework for discussion of contemporary issues with a view to strengthening local community support for local agriculture, banking, law, education, medicine, arts, crafts, finance and information flows. See Booklist on the full range of topics. The YEA continues in the adult education tradition of the 20th century.