Critical Thinking’s analysis has evolved since its inception in January 2012, since when, there have been five iterations of its Model of the political economy:
1st iteration 2013 Economics to Save our Civilisation
2nd iteration 2014 Concentrated Power and Consequences – Report
3rd iteration 2015 The time for Critical Thinking is now!
4th iteration 2016 Hierarchy and the Political Economy
5th iteration July 2017 Reform Proposals in the Monetary System for Attaining Global Economic Stability (this was a refinement of the 4th iteration in the context of monetary reform and in that sense, an interim iteration)
This is the 6th iteration of Critical Thinking’s analysis.
Critical Thinking outlined its objective in 2012 as: to understand the political economy to identify levers for change. This 6th iteration reveals one lever for change which is universally applicable and beneficial, the means to co-create a shared understanding of the reality of the human condition - that we are farmed as domesticated animals - and what we can do about it.
We are shackled and chained by beliefs and deference to authority, inculcated since birth; our liberation awaits in CoCreative Learning.
CoCreative Learning in Action
Our plight is revealed progressively through iterations of Critical Thinking’s Model of the political economy which has yet to be seriously challenged or verified by established academia, although there are academics who have made substantial contributions to elements of the Model.
Critical Thinking’s co-creative research and analysis reveals that usury, theft of the commons and institutional hierarchy have denied us access to our birthright (the means to life) unless we enter into the Faustian pact with the political economy. To live, we don the shackles and chains of own enslavement.
Impediments and obstacles to learning
There are many reasons why our analysis goes unchallenged in any serious manner but a major impediment is the way we’ve been trained to learn and absorb information. Concepts or information which contradict our beliefs or way of thinking are rejected.
We’ve been programmed to think the way we think. We don’t all think the same because we’ve been programmed into believing layers of lies and misinformation, to divide families, communities and nations into multiple factions or “identities”, while being subjected to “tribal” conditioning, thereby ensuring that we never engage with the “other” to understand why our beliefs and attitudes differ.
We need to move out of the comfort of our social circle to explore other perspectives to gain deeper understanding of reality.
We are like the blind men of Indostan trying to describe an elephant but each "sees" (by touch) a different part of the beast.
We're not listening to the "other" to understand the nature and effect of the political economy from their perspective before deciding we know how the world works. Once we've made up our minds, we brook no argument. We are engaged in multiple levels of binary groupthink telling each other, we have the answers!
Another reason our perspectives are so narrow is that we can only absorb so much information, particularly if we attempt look beyond “authorised” sources. No one mind can absorb, sift, analyse and synthesise sufficient information to get a grasp of part of the system, let alone the whole because there are numerous hidden influences and connections at work. To “see” the political economy, we need multiple perspectives to understand the nature and workings of the political economy. The only way to cover sufficient ground to gain these perspectives is through self-organised, co-creative learning.
Trained into subservience
Co-creative learning comes naturally to humans and underpinned thriving, preliterate societies within which co-operation was key to survival. Before the establishment of civilisations, co-creative learning was the way we lived. However, as civilisations developed, emerging knowledge became the preserve of the ruling elites in societies and those in their service (priests, scribes. tax collectors etc.). Later, the establishment of compulsory schooling segregated and trained humans to fulfil different roles in the political economy but not to question authority nor what we are taught.
The Ultimate History Lesson: A Weekend with John Taylor Gatto (Intro + Hour 1 of 5) (1 hour 18 minute video)
The Promise of CoCreative Learning
What the internet offers is the unprecedented means to co-create an ecology of CoCreative Learning to synthesise a shared understanding of the political economy and what we can do about it through CoCreative Learning.
CoCreative Learning is a free, open source project, drawing on a wide body of accumulated understanding and practice, to share proven techniques to learn co-creatively - ie. CoCreative Learning isn't hampered or fettered by the incentives, penalties and limitations of established education practice. CoCreative Learning makes explicit, what is implicit in much human activity. CoCreative Learning removes the shackles and blinkers of orthodox learning to unleash human creative potential.
The CoCreative Learning wiki page explains the Process and Principles behind Critical Thinking’s methodology and offers a step by step guide to unleash human potential through co-creative learning.
Our servitude (as domesticated cattle) is self-imposed through fear and ignorance; we scoff at the beliefs of “primitive” peoples, ignorant of what made those societies thrive – the glue of co-creative learning. We are divided and conflated through ignorance of the “others”’ perspective. We may scoff at others but we’re in the same or even worse state than Etienne de Boetie’s contemporaries when he wrote Discourse on Voluntary Servitude500 years ago.
Competition is the founding principle of the current political economy and, for us, it starts with compulsory education - standards, testing and grading - and continues throughout our lives.
Control of how we think is the primary “domesticating” force. In the same way as we train pets and working animals, we are incentivised and penalised to yield to authority in many ways. Thought is the last kernel of freedom that the political economy seeks to expunge from humanity using the levers of power controlled by the few – see 4th iteration, Hierarchy and the Political Economy.
Some time ago, Critical Thinking agreed to refer to the “few” as the Structural Elite because it is the structure of the political economy which has evolved to cement and grow their power. These are the farmers of human cattle and we are their livestock. The Rothschild family are probably the dominant force although whether they answer to a higher power is an open question but the levers of power are primarily in their hands and their power can be rendered impotent, without violence, by us. Because it is our compliance with and support of their system which enslaves us.
We defer to authority, oblivious to its criminal nature. The elevated cattle, doing the bidding of the Structural Elite, are controlled through sex, money and drugs. We are ruled by the very worst in society – a kakistocracy.
We are complicit in their crimes because we embrace their ideologies and are in awe of their authority.
The 5th iteration of Critical Thinkings analysis confirms the previous iterations but focuses on the power of money. Simply put, global banking is a criminal cartel or mafia gang hidden behind a facade of respectability which crumbles with ease when we look beyond officially sanctioned narratives.
Critical Thinking can tell people, and point to evidence, that banking is a criminal enterprise. We can also show them the web of global banking controlled by the Rothschilds and seven other families. But will they listen? In the main, no because they already believe the official narratives and are penalised for thinking differently.
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair.
In the current political economy, it is more than your salary at stake, it is the future of your family, friends and community, your liberty and possibly your life.
In truth, we can’t “tell” or “teach” anybody anything; learning is the key to understanding. Critical Thinking, through its co-creative learning process, has identified Usury, theft of the Commons and institutional Hierarchy as root causes of our problems but unless people learn how and why this is so, these are no “silver bullets” to set humanity free.
With the benefit of hindsight, the postcard should read, “Now form your own CoCreative Learning group to explore these”
Paradigm shift in human consciousness
What is needed is a paradigm shift in human thinking – away from competitive dialectics to co-creative learning.
Groupthink abounds in the current political economy, often polarised between two opposing ideologies. Our current political economy is founded on competition and, in academia, on competing ideas. Issues are "argued" between two polarised standpoints: true/false, right/left, right/wrong etc.- binary thinking. This is why political discourse is often a dialogue of the deaf and debate deteriorates into name calling.
But life is infinitely nuanced and often ambiguous, yet there is limited time or room for subtlety or ambiguity in academia and, as a result, even less in the political economy. Glaringly obvious contradictions and lies are hidden within this cage of binary groupthink; most are unaware of the irreconcilable differences and "ominous continuities" in official narratives but many succumb to wilfully blind hypocrisy in promoting them.
The internet is the catalyst for that paradigm shift in human consciousness
Never before have we had the ability to explore information without limit (sifting the wheat from the chaff). Until the arrival of the internet, it was almost impossible to see how the world works. Those researching and analysing the current political economy wouldn’t have moved beyond “first base”.
We’ve unprecedented means to communicate with anyone, anywhere. It is this communication and sharing of information, bypassing “authorised” hierarchical institutions, which makes CoCreative Learning possible on a global but human scale. It is the means to co-create a distributed network of learning across the world, straddling geographic and other boundaries. We can communicate with the "other" to find common ground and explore the reasons for our differing understanding and beliefs.
The internet is (or was) a distributed, non-hierarchical information and communication network – “was” refers to the increasing threat to “net neutrality” and colonisation of large swathes of the internet by vested interests.
The internet and the free software movement flourished and fuelled creativity because of their decentralised, non-hierarchical structures. Free software is an exemplar of how ecosystems of human co-creativity can evolve to solve large complex problems. A program is free software if the program's users have the four essential freedoms:
- The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).
- The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1).
- The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbour (freedom 2).
- The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3).
These same freedoms apply to information, analysis and ideas developed through Critical Thinking and the CoCreative Learning Project
Many are surprised to learn that more than 50% of the internet runs on free software.
The internet and the software which runs it are arguably as complex as the political economy. Free, open source, co-creative learning is the key to unlock the secrets of the political economy and its effects on humans and the planet. The promise of CoCreative Learning is no more or less than this.
From modest beginnings, we hope to encourage others to develop and agree a shared understanding, one conversation at a time. This doesn't require large numbers. There is much evidence of the power of co-creative learning and it is to do with resonance. Jazz Razool has created a "resonance engine" to harness the power of co-creative learning. Sugata Mitra's SOLE experiment shows the power of co-creative learning among "uneducated" slum children in India. Critical Thinking has co-created a viable model of the global political economy, supported by copious evidence from a widely distributed network of information sources.
What we hope, is to create space for a globally distributed conversation. Margaret Mead said: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." which may be true, as far as it goes, but many changes have worsened our chances of survival as a species, because they invariably address symptoms rather than the underlying disease: ignorance of how the world really works. Co-creative learning is the bedrock on which to hold a global conversation to understand how we work together for a better world for everyone.
To learn in depth about the CoCreative Learning Project and how to start learning co-creatively, visit the wiki:
Unleashing our power to evolve through CoCreative Learning to reach a shared understanding of the global political economy
The main elements of CoCreative Learning are the principles and process which power Critical Thinking’s methodology. The Principles apply to Self-Managing Organisations derived from Frederic Laloux’s Reinventing Organisations and Thinking and Evaluating Information from Bertrand Russell’s Liberal Decalogue. Diversity of “voices” and information sources is key, in order to obtain as wide a perspective on the political economy as possible and to build overlapping circles of trust founded on human relationships.
While co-creative learning is best conducted on a scale which fosters close relationships (in small groups), digital media enable such groups to co-create a distributed network (global community) to supercharge learning and develop understanding within a wider context. Below is an illustration of overlapping learning groups co-creating a co-creative learning ecosystem, which can be replicated and integrated through CoCreative Learning.
B. S.O.L.E. is the self-organised learning centre at Newcastle University; Debian is a popular, free, open source software distribution based on Linux co-created by the Debian community; Free University evolved from Occupy London’s Tent City University and gave birth to Critical Thinking.
It is the co-creative filtering and synthesis of relevant information from diverse sources which is so powerful
MindMaps to develop a Model of the political economy
MindMaps are fundamental to Critical Thinking’s process and were the foundations upon which the CoCreative Learning Project “materialised”. MindMaps are essential to develop a pictorial or diagrammatic view of the world which can be easily translated into a visual map or model of the political economy. It doesn't require computer skills, just a notebook, pencil and eraser. The wiki explains how to use MindMaps and of their value in developing a Model for the political economy.
We invite experts (and anyone else) to challenge or verify Critical Thinking’s analysis by using the power of co-creative learning.
We rely on experts to make important decisions on our behalf. These experts are only expert in their field and have little understanding of the political economy as a system; they don't foresee the consequences of their decisions and actions on others and the system itself. Experts take on trust, information from other experts who are similarly confined. Consequently, we are denied the means to verify whether what we are told is true and supported by all the evidence available.
We need experts to delve into the depths of their specialism but they need to co-create their learning to unleash the power of co-creative learning for themselves and humanity. But experts are trapped within an environment which inhibits co-creation with incentives and penalties to compete and cement cherished beliefs into the psyche.
Fortunately for us, there are “maverick” experts and independent minds sharing valuable primary and secondary research and analysis but they too need to co-create their learning to unleash the incredible power of CoCreative Learning.
However, in the final analysis, it is up to all of us, the non-experts (ie. humanity because nobody is expert in everything) to co-create a clear vision of the reality within which we live.
Co-creative learning conceived and implemented the CoCreative Learning Project in less than a month. It has been the foundation of our methodology for 6 years, since the inception of Critical Thinking, but our evolutionary purpose hadn’t crystallised this concept into anything tangible until a month ago - the CoCreative Learning Project had been taking shape in discussions and occasional Daily Pickings during the summer of this year but not identified or articulated as an objective. Most of the materials and outline for the wiki had been accumulating within Daily Pickings and MindMaps, making implementation swift and relatively easy – CoCreative Learning created itself - autopoiesis.
There are numerous, available “solutions” to our problems which have been developed by people around the world. Once we have a shared understanding of the reality of our condition, we can use the same CoCreative Learning process to evaluate and implement solutions.
If that shared understanding recognises the validity of Critical Thinking’s analysis, there is plenty of accumulated wisdom within the diverse Critical Thinking community to be shared. As long as the three fundamental root causes (usury, theft of the commons and institutional hierarchy) of today’s problems are absent from the solutions, a new political economy can be co-created to meet family, community and global needs within an ecology of CoCreative Learning.
Welcome and thank you
If you are new to Critical Thinking, welcome.
To all those, within the wide Critical Thinking community who interact via the website, Daily Pickings, Twitter and the numerous groups and individuals we meet and correspond with, thank you. It is the co-creative learning within the Critical Thinking community and beyond which evolved into the CoCreative Learning Project.
Take it, use it and share it freely, it may hold the key to our future.
The CoCreative Learning Project is now yours
The Wiki is now open for people involved in co-creative learning to share their practices, tips and ideas and develop the beginnings of an ecosystem of CoCreative Learning. Such an ecology will expand the nascent, global conversation to reach a shared understanding of how and why the world is the way it is and to lay the foundations for a self-organising, non-hierarchical political economy to serve everyone’s needs and desires.
Currently, incentives and penalties in the political economy ensure that established "wisdom" remains unassailable until such time as sufficient contrary evidence penetrates public consciousness to overwhelm the previous understanding. Co-creative learning is already doing this work, in spite of the obstacles and impediments. In the early years of Critical Thinking, we were exploring topics, issues and ideas that were never discussed in the mainstream but more of these are now seeping into public consciousness.
The CoCreative Learning Project removes the incentives, penalties and limitations of orthodox learning, to set us free.
The choice is the Red Pill (to wake us up) or the Blue Pill of wilful ignorance.
If you take the Red Pill, CoCreative Learning is a journey of discovery through layers of lies and deception. We must apply "tentative conviction" to our work which means we assert our analysis is correct at the last iteration of our understanding but recognise, as we dig deeper, new information or evidence may emerge to overturn our previous conviction.
Like nature and the universe, co-creative learning is fluid, dynamic and circular, not static and linear. In a world that is constantly changing and evolving, our learning too must evolve if we are to adapt and thrive. And remember… nothing is impossible!
Daily Pickings is a blog on issues and events related to the work of the Critical Thinking project and invariably references videos, articles, books and academic papers. Accumulation of these materials adds to the "Critical Thinking reference library".
We welcome comments and interaction on Daily Pickings via Comments for which you need to be logged in as a User. Critical Thinking is a collaborative, educational project relying on contributions from diverse sources.
To find out more about the Critical Thinking project go to freecriticalthinking.org
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Wednesday, 18 October 2017
One Way of Thinking?