The power of co-creative learning

A couple of endorsements of Critical Thinking’s analysis from Twitter

What is paramount in co-creative learning is its collaborative nature, drawing and building on the work of many others. Critical Thinking’s conclusions are the culmination of millions of man hours, worked by hundreds of thousands of people, shared by thousands more and filtered through the Critical Thinking community to be re-shared via email, the website, conversations, books, articles, videos, podcasts and Twitter. Critical Thinking’s motto is:

Thus no individual or group can claim “ownership” of what Critical Thinking has produced – knowledge is one of the most important commons. Theft of the commons is one of the three fundamental flaws in the political economy.

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Beyond Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking at the Free University has just published the 7th and final iteration of its accumulated research and analysis of political economy, How we live – who rules, how and why?, which explains:

we are at a crossroads and faced with a choice; the choice will differ depending on where people are on their personal journey of discovery. Many have yet to reach the limits of critical thinking in exploring political economy to realise that there lies a world of possibilities beyond;

– events are coming to a head; dramatic changes to the fabric of global society are accelerating. The “powers that shouldn’t be” are preparing for the Cull.

How we live – Who rules, how and why? at archive.org

Below is the Abstract of the final iteration:

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Critical Thinking at the Free University

Posted 26th January 2014

Only from the weight of evidence provided by comparative study of many information sources, can one hope to reach a convincing conclusion.

Born of the Bank of Ideas and the Occupy movement, Critical Thinking is a collaborative research project to understand contemporary affairs in the context of financial markets, commerce, media, government and public institutions. It is a process by which we are continuously learning and refining our world view in the light of new information – learning never ceases. The narrative is never settled.

The work of Outersite.org continues at http://freecriticalthinking.org

The Century of the Self

Posted 30th November 2013

Edward Bernays sold America’s entry into WW1 on a message of spreading freedom and democracy (a practice followed by US administrations ever since). He persuaded women that cigarettes were a penile symbol of power and aligned smoking with the suffragette movement.

The same techniques are used today to sell wars, economic repression and the theory of man-made global warming which survives in the face of historical experience and contemporary observation.

Our world view has been choreographed through concentrated media (particularly the BBC). Anyone who missed The Century of the Self (which is, ironically a BBC production), would be well advised to watch it. It explains how our decisions are no longer based on rational thought but appeals to emotion and base instincts.

Bernays’ uncle Siegmund Freud was concerned with the study of individuals. Bernays was focused and grew rich on manipulating the masses.

Economics to Save our Civilisation

Posted 5th May 2013

In Critical Thinking we’ve been developing ideas for a new economy and communicating these ideas to other groups to expand the debate on how we may escape the rolling economic crises. This video (53 minutes) is of a presentation to the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) in London.

The accompanying slides contain links to the information sources on which the presentation draws

Economics to Save our Civilisation (video presentation)

“Somewhere in our history we took a wrong turn and today we are reaping the consequences. If we don’t step back to evaluate the root causes of the rolling economic crises, our civilisation is in danger of collapse.”

Deja vu – the flaws in our banking and monetary system were well understood in 1933

Posted 20th July 2012

The SOUTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE – REPORT OF THE Economic Crisis Committee 1933 accurately identified the fundamental flaws in our banking and monetary system but like all other threats to the monopoly of banking interests, was buried.  It is not widely available on the internet (although it should be) and it has been reproduced on the Critical Thinking website. The problems described are eerily familiar to those are living through the current financial crises.

Capitalism: A Ghost Story

Posted 22nd March 2012

This article appeared on Information Clearing House on 21st March 2012 – it is posted here in full just in case it gets removed which would be a tragedy.  Arundhati Roy writes incisively and in beautiful prose.  It is long but it is well worth persevering to the end:
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30877.htm

Rockefeller to Mandela, Vedanta to Anna Hazare…. How long can the cardinals of corporate gospel buy up our protests?

By Arundhati Roy

March 21, 2012 “Outlook India” – – Is it a house or a home? A temple to the new India, or a warehouse for its ghosts? Ever since Antilla arrived on Altamont Road in Mumbai, exuding mystery and quiet menace, things have not been the same. “Here we are,” the friend who took me there said, “Pay your respects to our new Ruler.”

Antilla belongs to India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani. I had read about this most expensive dwelling ever built, the twenty-seven floors, three helipads, nine lifts, hanging gardens, ballrooms, weather rooms, gymnasiums, six floors of parking, and the six hundred servants. Nothing had prepared me for the vertical lawn—a soaring, 27-storey-high wall of grass attached to a vast metal grid. The grass was dry in patches; bits had fallen off in neat rectangles. Clearly, Trickledown hadn’t worked.

But Gush-Up certainly has. That’s why in a nation of 1.2 billion, India’s 100 richest people own assets equivalent to one-fourth of the GDP.

The word on the street (and in the New York Times) is, or at least was, that after all that effort and gardening, the Ambanis don’t live in Antilla. No one knows for sure. People still whisper about ghosts and bad luck, Vaastu and Feng Shui. Maybe it’s all Karl Marx’s fault. (All that cussing.) Capitalism, he said, “has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, that it is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells”.

In India, the 300 million of us who belong to the new, post-IMF “reforms” middle class—the market—live side by side with spirits of the nether world, the poltergeists of dead rivers, dry wells, bald mountains and denuded forests; the ghosts of 250,000 debt-ridden farmers who have killed themselves, and of the 800 million who have been impoverished and dispossessed to make way for us. And who survive on less than twenty rupees a day.

Mukesh Ambani is personally worth $20 billion. He holds a majority controlling share in Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), a company with a market capitalisation of $47 billion and global business interests that include petrochemicals, oil, natural gas, polyester fibre, Special Economic Zones, fresh food retail, high schools, life sciences research and stem cell storage services. RIL recently bought 95 per cent shares in Infotel, a TV consortium that controls 27 TV news and entertainment channels, including CNN-IBN, IBN Live, CNBC, IBN Lokmat, and ETV in almost every regional language. Infotel owns the only nationwide licence for 4G Broadband, a high-speed “information pipeline” which, if the technology works, could be the future of information exchange. Mr Ambani also owns a cricket team. Continue reading

Revolution or Evolution?

Posted 19th November 2011

We stand at an inflection point in history and western civilisation faces a critical choice: Revolution or Evolution.

Jared Diamond’s “Collapse” analyses factors which caused civilisations to collapse in the past.  The factors are relatively few (environmental challenges, external threats or loss of a supporting neighbour, internal disintegration etc.) but what distinguished civilisations which collapsed from those which survived, was the reaction to these threats.  Universally, those that collapsed were led by an elite which became increasingly remote from the majority and instituted selfish, short term policies to protect themselves from the perceived threats.  Meanwhile the populace suffered hardship, famine, and increased suppression.  Sound familiar? Recent, less acute examples, are the French, Russian Revolutions and the rise of China’s communist party (Stalin’s headcount of victims was some 30 million and Mao Tse Tung’s 35 million).

This is what we’re heading for and whether or not you are a short term beneficiary of the current economic system, it would be wise to understand the fundamental root cause of economic turmoil and other global problems. Continue reading

Interest and Inflation Free Money – extracts

Posted 29th October 2011
Margrit Kennedy: Interest and Inflation Free Money (Published by Seva International; ISBN 0-9643025-0-0; Copyright 1995 by Margrit Kennedy)
http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~roehrigw/kennedy/english/

The following extracts are useful in providing quantitative context for why a new interest free money system is needed and the existing monetary paradigm is unsustainable.  The full paper proposes an alternative interest free monetary system.  It describes what a new money system could look like and the benefits.

The numbers relate to Germany prior to 1995 when the paper was written. The inequality of wealth distribution and the interest burden/benefit is even greater today and particularly acute in the privatised Anglo Saxon economies.

First Misconception :

THERE IS ONLY ONE TYPE OF GROWTH

fig1
Curve A represents an idealized form of the normal physical growth pattern in nature which our bodies follow, as well as those of plants and animals

fig2
Even at 1% compound interest, we have an exponential growth curve, with a doubling time of 72 years.

Figure 2 shows the time periods needed for our money to double at compound interest rates:

at 3%, 24 years;

at 6%, 12 years;

at 12%, 6 years.

Story: Persian emperor who was so enchanted with a new chess game that he wanted to fulfill any wish the inventor of the game had. This clever mathematician decided to ask for one seed of grain on the first square of the chess board doubling the amounts on each of the following squares. The emperor, at first happy about such modesty, was soon to discover that the total yield of his entire empire would not be sufficient to fulfill the “modest” wish. The amount needed on the 64th square of the chess board equals 440 times the yield of grain of the entire planet.

That is exponential growth!

The solution to the problems caused by present exponential growth is to create a money system which follows the natural growth curve. That requires the replacement of interest by another mechanism to keep money in circulation. Continue reading

Who owns the Federal Reserve Banks?

Posted 29th October 2011

The Federal Reserve Banks (which make up the Federal Reserve Board) are privately owned but the Federal Reserve Board website gives the misleading impression that it is owned and controlled by the US government.

Ownership is stipulated in the Federal Reserve Act and the capital of the Federal Reserve Banks is subscribed by member banks. The member banks receive a 6% dividend annually. The Act also provides for money to be paid over to the government but this in no way means that the Federal Reserve isn’t under the bank member/owners’ control. Continue reading

A New World Beckons

Posted 23rd October 2011

Fractional reserve banking is legalised fraud. The issuing of money, by central banks, is theft from the 99%, aided and abetted by leveraged bank lending.

Money as Debt, a 45 minute video, is an introduction to banking from its origins and describes the process by which the 99% are enslaved in debt and the 1% end up with all the power and wealth.

Circulate it to everyone you know. When the 99% understand how they are being robbed, the pressure for change will be irresistible.

Our debt based money system:

finances the military industry complex which depends on perpetual war for its development;

corrupts politics, media and our public institutions, leading the 99% into slavery with their lies;

underpins an economic system which is raping the planet of its resources at an exponential rate and relies on us consuming stuff we don’t need. Continue reading