1: Editorial:

The sub-head to the first article in this issue is a profound truth: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society”. I have been aware of the unreality of the declared aims of economists and politicians since my childhood in the 1930s, when my father introduced me to his radical ideas of the time, and taught me never to take official dogma without a large ‘pinch of salt’.

For a long time, I could not reconcile the apparent humanity of our ‘leaders’ with the inhuman, immoral policies they persued; but gradually, it became ever more apparent that we were being led by psychopaths!
More recently, a number of articles have appeared confirming this, and explaining how this comes about.

It was clear well before the Second World War that even then, the main problem with the ‘economy’ was not too little productive capacity, but too little ‘effective demand’, or in other words, too little money in the hands of those in need; inadequate total coupled with maldistribution of income. The proposed solution to this which was rapidly gaining support was the issue to all citizens of ‘National Dividends’, representing ‘the wages of the machine’, as mechanisation was displacing human labour. The money to fund this should be newly created by government to end the shortage of money in circulation. It was argued even then that everlasting ‘economic growth’ on a finite planet was an impossibility.

At that time, these ideas were widely debated, on BBC radio, in local study groups, and large public meetings. The ‘Money Power’ was being challenged; but the war cut this short.

By the end of that war, the public media had come under the firm control of the behind-the-scenes power complex of bank and industry CEOs. No more public debates on the effects of the money system – or even of this in the education of economists!

In those early post-war years, two things struck me as revealing: first, when the first post-war elections in Canada were completed, I heard in the BBC lunchtime news that British Columbia had elected its first Social Credit government with an overwhelming majority, and its aims, of money reform and Basic Incomes, wer given a few paragraphs; but in the 6 o’c and 9 o’c evening news that same day, not even the fact of the election was mentioned! This was the last mention of the subject in the public media in this country.

The second revelation was contained in an article I read in ‘Design’ magazine, about the ‘brilliant new idea’ from America, developed by its leading economists toward the end of that war: Planned Obsolesence. They realised that with the wartime development of mechanisation applied to peacetime production, markets would quickly become saturated, unless steps were taken to avoid this. US unemployment was already rising fast. Capitalism cannot survive abundance!

While the issuing of adequate Basic Incomes funded in part by new money would have removed the ‘necessity’ of ‘full employment’ (wage-slavery) and allowed industry to cut back to the level of demand, this would have limited the profits to be made, so instead, demand must be made to increase everlastingly, to keep profit growing! Keep fashions changing; make goods short-lived, unrepairable, promote persuasive advertising; and, of course, the ultimate in planned obsolescence: promote the arms industries and war.

Who but psychopaths could promote all these things?

We need to be aware of this trend, and guard against the ascent of psychopaths to positions of power. How?

Brian Leslie