Capital College

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Michael Lane:

"The capital college is the brainchild of Charles Ferguson, who coined the term social credit. It is presented in a pamphlet, The Technarchy and the Capital College (1924); in seven articles in the American News, an English-language newspaper published in Hamburg (1923-24); and in a paper called "Self-Sustaining Educational System" (1930).1 C. H. Douglas may have been alluding to the Technarchy in his January 25, 1934 speech in Sydney when he said that his anticipation of an age of plenty "was confirmed by the more responsible side of what is called the Technocracy Movement in the United States."2

What the term capital college means is: capital, a means of production; college, using the arts and sciences to mobilize capital. Its general character can be gleaned from the following:

As things stand every business concern has three principal parts: One to get capital, one to produce goods and one to sell the goods. Getting capital and selling goods are difficult and wasteful processes in proportion to the smallness and specialization of the business. It should have been discovered long ago that a general financing and selling agency can serve a hundred or a thousand production-units immeasurably better than they can serve themselves. . . . The general financial and selling agency will offer to underwrite the production costs and sell the products of self-directing industrial organizations for a fixed share, say one-tenth of their net earnings. (AN 5.3)

Anybody that under the most favorable conditions could produce a little more than he consumes, is invited to enter into a life-sustaining system in which he can develop to the maximum his service-ability and earning power. This system does not deal directly with individuals but with working organizations. It gives such groups, each in its own special occupation--capitalization, information, and appreciation. That is to say it underwrites their credit; it furnishes advisory management with reference to natural opportunity and economic demand; and it guarantees such publicity regarding services and products that they can be absorbed by the market at their real values. (AN 3.3)

Any responsible service-unit can become a constituent of the college. . . . As social intermediary, the college enables its constituents to get the tools and materials they require; it also enables them to market their products at their just valuation. The college keeps the service-abilities of its constituents in continual and sensitive correlation with effectual market demands. It also gives advice of a technological character—calling to its assistance the existing engineering societies and technical schools. But the emphasis of its function lies wholly in the field of social relationships. (TCC 12f.)

The college stands sponsor for the group in all its commercial relations with the community at large. They become members of a respected family. The College underwrites the credit of each group. It certifies to the business community that tools and materials used in the group's productive processes, shall be paid for out of the product. The college furnishes advisory--but not mandatory--management. It commands agencies of salesmanship and publicity. It markets the goods. (TCC 16)

"The primary requirement is not money but personal credibility" (AN 2.3). The college

may grow from an already-existing organization like a woman's club or a church, or it may be a new organization if well respected members of the community put their names to it.

The capital college offers certain services to other businesses for a tithe of their net earnings. These services may be roughly grouped as follows: (1) financing, (2) procuring, (3) technical advice, (4) selling, and (5) land allocation." (