The Political Economy of Social
- Together, Guild Socialism and Social Credit provided an early exploration of the potential for a cooperative, local, 'steady-state' economy in which industrial production, farming, the arts, sciences, politics, learning and the caring professions are freed from the artificial restrictions of capitalist finance.
First published in 1997, and available in paperback since 2005, this explanation of the recurrent financial crises, which have hit the nations of the world with increasing frequency since the beginning of the twentieth century, remains as topical, and readable, as ever.
Although Guild Socialism has frequently been regarded as a cul-de-sac in social and economic thought, this book breaks new ground in demonstrating the continued relevance of the re-localisation of businesses. Focusing on the Douglas social credit movement, it explores the guild socialist origins of Douglas' work, condenses the economic and social theory of the original texts into a concise exposition and documents the subsequent history. Thoroughly researched, this early approach to 'post-autistic' non-equilibrium economics reveals the extent of the incompatibility between capitalist growth economics and a socially just, environmentally sustainable political economy.
The early years of the twenty-first century have brought a heightened awareness of the limited practicality of retaining self-interested individualism, materialism and corporate power as the guiding principles for policy formation in the global economy. Fortunately, a number of coherent bodies of economic thought provide the basis for considering practical alternatives. The closely linked movements of guild socialism and social credit, outlined in this book, can be studies alongside Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Anthroposophic and other faith-based approaches to political economy, offering concerned individuals and groups the opportunity to blend alternative theorising with workable practice. Written in a style accessible to the general reader, this comprehensive guide to social credit is now available in paperback.
"The contribution of Douglas and Orage to the incorporation of the non-market sectors of the economy – health, education, social security, the environment – is crucial. The power-grab of the banking system that Douglas and his associates identified almost a century ago, has come into a lethal flowering. In the long-overdue reassessment of what passes as economic science, their ideas will require careful attention. The Hutchinson-Burkitt book is mandatory reading for preparing ourselves for the task." William Krehm, COMER.