Politics for Peace
defines the duty of government in terms of obligation and limitation. Its obligation
is: the formulation and enforcement of legislation which will ensure that in the exercise of their liberties citizens do not harm, exploit or infringe the liberties of one another. Its limitation
is that the law is restricted to the protection of the individual from identifiable aggression, and must avoid oppressive or intrusive law which itself constitutes government aggression.
Applied in the area of economics and commerce, Politics for Peace gives a policy approach, not of unregulated free enterprise on the one hand, nor of socialist takeover by the State on the other, but a policy falling between the two, a policy of socially responsible free enterprise.
The basis of economic policy is to allow enterprise, initiative, business and industry to get on with the job of creating prosperity, of identifying and supplying the many and varied products and services the economy needs. The specific role of government is to observe economic activity in all its aspects, and to intervene when necessary – and only when necessary – to establish a regime of fair rules and justice as between all participants: investors, managements, workforces, consumers, and the environment. Fair rules should ensure fair rewards and quality in products and services, while overall supervision of infrastructural facilities would ensure that investment priorities create employment opportunities in communities, regions and the nation as a whole. When enterprise is balanced by appropriate laws, the nations economic potential can be fully realized, providing a rewarding, productive job for everyone who wants one.
Though blatantly obvious, the relationship between world peace and unemployment seems to be little recognized. A job is fundamental to life itself. We need to consume, therefore we need to produce. A job provides income which provides the necessities of life, and gradually increasing prosperity as skills and experience develop. A job gives pride in self, and a stake in society. And those who have a stake in society are unlikely to disrupt it. A peaceful society is a prosperous society, while widespread poverty gives rise to civil disturbance and violence which can easily develop into war with neighbouring or competing territories.
Poverty itself is so often regarded as an Act of Nature, an inevitable human condition which only a Miracle in the form of International Capital can solve. There is much talk about world poverty, for it nags at the worlds conscience. But in truth the potential for prosperity exists and will always exist as long as people have mental and physical capabilities and the desire to use them. This is their wealth, and with a small plot of land and some ingenuity one can feed oneself and provide something for trade with others. Much of Africa and rural Russia lives on this level.
In order to advance to more sophisticated levels of work, earnings and prosperity however, an exchange medium is required, sufficient for trade and an initial investment if material stocks or capital equipment is needed. This is one of the most important infrastructural services of any civilized society, yet even in developed nations, the credit facility is not used to its full potential, and worse still, it is abused by the private banking system which has charge of it. The ideal of a peaceful, prosperous society is not achieved by dreaming about it or praying for it (though neither can do any harm), but by introducing specific measures to ensure fair play between all participants and the competence of essential infrastructure services.
One of the most important duties of governance must be to ensure that credit is provided so that full employment can be achieved and maintained, together with the maximization of quality throughout industry and commerce, and especially in the supervision of those commanding heights of the economy which by their nature are monopolies or near monopolies. Financing Full Employment.
Peace is not won by arguing and doing battle, yet at present, this is how pay and prices are established. A peaceful society requires fair rules for establishing Pay, Prices and Profits.
The responsibility of government for the overall planning and use of natural resources has always been accepted. How does Britain rate today? On the one hand, local and national government appears to have little or no notion of overall national resources strategy, and urban growth seems to happen haphazardly mainly at the instigation of developers for whom profit takes precedence over the economic and visual environment. Yet on the other hand, try to put an extension or a conservatory on your house and it seems as if the nations entire bureaucracy descends on the unfortunate supplicant.
An established national strategy of rural preservation, urban enhancement and controlled development combined with principles of good environmental stewardship can provide a middle way and a clear sense of direction: the creative preservation and enhancement of our Green and Pleasant Land. A renewed focus on public transport services can enhance both countryside and urban centres while reducing environmental pollution. Forward planning is essential in this process. The interests of the environment as an identifiable entity must also be taken into account.
The importance of a clearly defined guiding principle lies in the discipline it exerts over government. People know what theyre voting for, they know what to expect, and government is obliged to deliver. A Policy of Peace is defined in terms of absolute precision, thus obliging government to do its utmost to protect liberty without creating the intrusion of excessive regulation or the trappings of a police state.
Government also becomes subject to strict disciplines in its own operations. Government loses its dictatorial right to tax at will; taxes become charges which need to be justified in terms of services rendered, not an arbitrary levy exercised as of right. Government is a service to its customers like any other, and the laws applicable to industry and commerce, especially those pertaining to productivity and strict accounting practices, must also apply equally to government, which cannot place itself outside the law. The aim of government should be the same as that of any well-run private sector industry or service: to provide Good Government at Less Cost.
Yes, it is all possible. There is no mystery to it. If government is honestly and productively conducted, providing a framework of fair and just laws ensuring that people work together rather than against one another, a just, peaceful and prosperous society will come about naturally, as a product of human ingenuity disciplined by laws reflecting natural justice.