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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". Use the search facility to find articles on specific topics or you can browse the titles of every Dailly Pickings article since inception via the Site Map for which you need to be registered.
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TTIP and MEP elections

The forthcoming European elections will supposedly determine the government of the EU and its 500 million inhabitants, or so they would have us believe. But rather like Mad King Lud, the European Assembly has little power, as Frank Taylor writes in April's edition of the Runnymede Gazette.

RUNNYMEDE GAZETTE - APRIL 2014 - A Journal of the Democratic Resistance

This edition also refers to the Bank of England's acknowledgement that banks create money from nothing. What the BoE fails to address are the ramifications of private money creation - unaccountable, unfettered power in the hands of those who control money. Banking interests on Wall Street and in the City of London are driving the "free trade agenda" which will do anything but set us free.  If our docile, compliant politicians sign TISATTIP and TPP into law, the final vestiges of democracy will disappear. There is only one question to ask prospective MEPs, to determine who to vote for later this month: Are you prepared to STOP TTIP? 

Trade Deals that Threaten Democracy: what's behind the EU-US and TransPacific trade and investment treaties

Legal road to a new political economy

Yesterday, Daily Pickings referred to the need to work together to build effective democracy which works for all rather than the few and laid out the first demand of the New Model Charter.

The remaining three demands in the charter will resolve fundamental flaws in the economic system: the private appropriation of land value which should be shared; interest on money; and the means to life being conditional on paid employment.

2. The value of land, resources and other commons (such as water, the radio spectrum, genes, nature and knowledge) cannot be appropriated by individuals, corporations or governments; they are gifts from the universe or are communally created. The value of these must be shared for the good of all to fund public services and an unconditional citizens dividend for all.

3. Interest on money systemically drives:


Echoes of the Future

That our political economy is spiralling into decline is not in doubt. The illusion of democracy obscures the oligarchy which holds sway globally through its control of land, money and labour.

Occupy showed how alternative democracy can work, albeit on a small scale. Outside St Paul's Cathedral in London, Occupy sustained and fed hundreds of people often in cold weather, satisfying all demands from the authorities to comply with health, safety and fire regulations. It took in the vulnerable and provided a focal point for those keen to explore alternatives to the status quo.

The challenge is to scale up and refine Occupy's consensus model to create a viable alternative to the ruling oligarchy. We have to work together to create a new political economy as Tina eloquently wrote in the Occupied Times at the end of 2012.

Echoes of the Future By Tina Bakolitsa


This land is your land

Woody Guthrie wrote the song, "This land is your land" during the depression of the 1930s in America. The second world war dragged the country out of recession as military spending increased.

Spending on the military is now the American sacred cow, lavishing expenditure on army garrison towns like Camp Lejeune while the American dream crumbles for everyone else, other than the ruling elites. This piece by Peter Van Buren, who blew the whistle on State Department waste and mismanagement during Iraqi reconstruction, contrasts the America in which he grew up with the reality for most Americans today.

This Land Isn’t Your Land, This Land Is Their Land By Peter Van Buren

An Empire in Decline (City by City, Town by Town)