Critical Thinking is a non-hierarchical, apolitical, collaborative research and education project that analyses the current political economy to identify fundamental flaws and potential levers for change. The organisation aims to understand the historical context of issues from different perspectives and explore their current and future impacts on social cohesion, inequality, individual liberty and civilisation as we know it. Critical Thinking has developed a unified theory of political economy and proposes action to create a freer, fairer world.
The term Political Economy has been expunged from contemporary discourse; politics and economics are regarded as separate, specialist subjects. However, like wealth and power, the two are inextricably linked. This was well understood in the past when many great thinkers were polymaths, eg. Aristotle, Archimedes, Claudius Ptolemy, Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen), Leonardo da Vinci, Nicolaus Copernicus, Michelangelo, Étienne de La Boétie, Gottfried Leibniz, Sir Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin and Bertrand Russell.
Today we have “specialists” and information is siloed, compelling us to take information on trust.
Critical Thinking's research and analysis is a collaborative work of thousands of individuals and groups, both contemporary and historic, and draws on data and understanding from the current and previous civilisations. Critical Thinking comprises a group of individuals in London interacting with groups and individuals around the world. It is the synthesis of this wide analysis of information and ideas presented here.
When discussing dissolution of hierarchy, a number of objections arise, one of which is that large complex enterprise or functions cannot exist without hierarchy but Frederic Laloux's research and book, Reinventing Organizations, demonstrate that it is precisely large, complex tasks which are best suited to non-hierarchical organisation.
Laloux's research is focused mainly on commercial organisations although the successful case studies he cites include a self-organising school in Germany. It is not a big stretch to imagine applying the principles which emerge from his research to local, regional, national and global organisation of society.
Laloux refers to three principles which the most successful self-organising entities adopt:
- Evolutionary purpose
What is surprising is the lack of strategic planning and budgets; he relates the analogy to a bicycle journey. When you plan a journey, you don't plan every tilt and turn of the wheels to adapt to the topography of the terrain or attempt to anticipate every traffic incident you will meet; if you did and applied the plan rigorously, it would end in disaster - you'd fall off or worse. On your journey, you maintain the overall objective that you're travelling from A to B but adjust your riding dynamically as the journey unfolds. This is an excellent analogy and applies to how we could develop a non-hierarchical political economy.
Murray Bookchin's Ecology of Freedom provides us with the intellectual justification to dissolve hierarchy and challenges us to think differently. Laloux demonstrates how self-organisation can work in practice to manage large, highly complex tasks.
Critical Thinking registered @FCriticalThink in 2013 but has only been active on Twitter from August 2014. Since then, the number of followers has grown from a handful to approaching 700 but we only follow around 20 others which begs the question: why does Critical Thinking follow so few?
Although we receive contributions from many people around the world, Critical Thinking has limited resources with which to operate and so we have to prioritise where we spend our time and energy which, because we have to work to live, is limited. Our primary objective in using Twitter is to broadcast Critical Thinking's research and analysis: by "tweeting" Daily Pickings and responding to Tweets to put issues and events into context of our analysis of the political economy. A secondary objective is to keep our finger on the pulse of issues and events, particularly those overlooked or ignored by mainstream media. In this context, every tweet on our timeline is read although few are responded to. There just isn't time to follow many people in this way and so we have to limit the number to those with we which we can fully engage. It leads to difficult choices. We follow a diverse range of Twitter accounts and where there is duplication, in terms of the issues and events being posted, try to pare the number down to a minimum.
Critical Thinking's research and analysis reveals that control of the global political economy is in the hands of very few rich, powerful people who have accumulated their wealth and power as a result of three fundamental economic flaws.
But, as this short video explains, this pattern of domination of humans is repeated throughout history, irrespective of economic or political systems. Feudalism, dictatorship, theocracy, monarchy or representative democracy (effectively oligarchy) all come down to the same thing, domination and exploitation of the majority by a narrow, what we've termed, Structural Elite. They are farmers and we are their livestock - politicians, public servants and other technocrats are just elevated cattle, granted privileges and immunity for doing the bidding of the Structural Elite.
At the core of this Structural Elite are eight banking families and their control of money is the biggest obstacle to change.
Critical Thinking has identified three fundamental flaws in the political economy which have concentrated power in the hands of a few. At the centre of those wielding this power are banking dynasties which, in the early 20th century, created a privately owned central bank, the US Federal Reserve (Fed), to take control of American money and, consequently, corporations, economics, politics, law, media, education, academia, military and intelligence.
Over the last 100 years, they have expanded their reach globally via a web of central banks, coordinated through the privately owned Bank of International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, Switzerland.
It is their version of politics, economics, wars, environmental policy etc. that prevails. Until their power and its source are understood, momentum for change cannot be created. Anyone serious about changing the world for the better needs to understand money and how it is manipulated to rule the world. James Corbett lays out a clear history of the Fed in this video and in the accompanying show notes.