Habits and assumptions

So much of what Critical Thinking entails is "unlearning" and breaking the habits of a lifetime, those default responses and assumptions we've come to rely on. We cannot rely on them because they are built on layers of lies and deception. Consequently, in our communications (verbal and written) we run the risk of conflation by mixing lies with truth. Thus we need to be circumspect and apply tentative conviction when developing or expressing views or opinions.

Try Learning Not to Ride a Bicycle So We Can Save the World by Edward Curtin
As a sociologist, I teach my students that sociology is the study of our social habits of thought, speech, and action.  These habits or routines, which often become crystalized into myths and institutions, imprison us in ways we are loath to admit.  Our collective mental habits are so powerful because they lie far deeper than mere thought can reach, and therefore to break them is as difficult as learning how not to ride a bicycle after years of knowing how.  Where does one begin?
George Orwell once observed that “we have sunk to a depth at which re-statement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”

In practical terms, we need to jettison or set aside all previous convictions and assumptions to consider information afresh - start with a clean slate.

One essential challenge we face relates to our understanding of economics and banking. Banking has given the "keys to the kingdom" of our existence to those who benefit from our enslavement.

Shifting from Central Planning to a Decentralised Economy: Do we Need Central Banks? by Richard Werner
We are all familiar with parts or all of this central bank narrative, even if we are not trained economists or not commonly interested in economic issues: This is because this narrative has been repeated ad nauseam hundreds of times in the past four decades. As a result, even astute observers assume that empirical research has long established these five insights from the central bankers, in uncountable meticulous quantitative research studies.
But this is not the case. The truth could not be further from it: There is in fact no empirical evidence to support any of these five claims. They are mere assertions. Claims that have, in fact, been disproven by the facts. There is overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and this has become increasingly obvious since the 2008 financial crisis.

Richard's article takes us to one level of abstraction but this issue goes much deeper, to the very essence of banking itself and what it is built upon, usury.

But even study of usury is not enough because what lies deeper than usury is hierarchy; why do we abdicate responsibility for ourselves and our relationships with others to a "higher authority", be it a bank, a monarch, a priest, a government, an expert or anyone else? Once we question hierarchy, we're into how we have been trained to think and the very essence of what it is to be human.

In short, our journey of discovery takes as through layers of abstraction, from the exoteric (that which is visible) to the esoteric (the mystical and spiritual); that is the journey we, and a growing number of people, are on. 

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