Review session on 11th November 2014 - notes

Please note the weekly sessions for 2014 have finished but we will meet on Tuesday 9th December to finalise plans for next year's sessions

Time: 7pm to 9pm

Venue: Friends House, 173-177 Euston Road NW1 2BJ - on the ground floor in the corridor outside the cafe


1. Round up of news and events (30 minutes)

2. Corruption (30 minutes)

3. Critical Thinking and Occupy (30 minutes)

4. Thoughts/plans for 2015 (30 minutes)

Review session on 11th November 2014 – notes

1. Workshop – discussion in pub after expanded on the 2015 Constitutionalists UK. Many independent candidates –  Occupy democracy. Why the need for the constitution? Makes government accountable to higher body. Irrespective of the constitution – people will not get power without taking over the system. It will be a living constitution. We need to discuss governance - planned focus for next year. December meeting 2014 we'll discuss the 2015 Constitutionalists UK. Webster Tarpley on ISIS/McCain links. RT has very good documentaries and today's Kaiser Report features Artist Taxi Driver, Chunky Mark on Westmonster– corruption at Westminster and the City of London. and the paedophilia in parliament cover up. Connections between oil, gold and Africa. US needs gold and there's lots in Africa, hence the US military incursion? China lent America large amount of gold and reputedly an interest payment was due just before 9/11. Teaching critical thinking in primary schools - in South East London - future discussion on systemic approach to education.
2. Politicians get elected but they are always corrupted . Guru, head of the largest Ashram (spiritual, community and medicine) from India came to Mauritius. Involved in building Ashram in Mauritius with the guru/teacher – yoga. When asked, "Why do we have corrupt politicians?" Response: "People get the politicians they deserve [vote for]." Thinking about Blair – "did some good things and was seduced for a while but the lies about Iraq made me angry." What to politicians do?  Build a barrier between them and the people. They lie to get power and then renege on promises. Cameron – "not going to dismantle the NHS". Lied about everything and fragmented the country under the lie of the big society. Chris has done a lot of work on a report corruption (2002) but it's not been promoted. It explains why/how corruption occurs. See extracts from Chris's report. The report is now out of date - needs updating. Develop materials and a campaign for the election to keep lying out of politics. Leverage is lying (The Dueling Loops of the Political Powerplace) – stop lying will stop their power. Lying to stay in their job. Why do they have to lie? It is structural issue. Need effective language for the campaign. Engaging people on lying works – corruption makes people angry. Even the intelligent find it hard to engage on issues but corruption is a "hot button". Issues seem too big and frightening. People feel powerless. Talk about lying and corruption is a bridge to talk about structures and the wider issues. Rather than attacking individuals we need to create a golden bridge for the politicians and powerful to retreat across. Don't alienate them. Gilad Atzmon - Cognitive Elites. Everyone lies – not genetic. Skewed to minority group - nexus of scholarship and money. British created their cognitive elite through the House of Lords - peerages for the clever and unscrupulous. Royal family inter-marry - leads to lower cognitive ability - Kate Middleton refreshing the gene pool. Effecting the means will have influence. Britain's troops can't be sent overseas without Queen's signature (17 times since 1953). Not until you prove it is lawful. How to implement that process – need more systemic strategy. We should be in control. War powers act. Ideological terminology – going to war. What is war? Why are we going there in the first place? Conflict of interest in other ways than war – failure of politics. Wrong structure – political system. Corruption – 1. to come out with something by March specifically on political corruption. 2. More general corruption report by September. Corruption in politics and how to overcome it. Misconduct in public office and fraud act. Pick out key lies – public prosecution. Tackle lies through application of the law. There is a danger of scapegoating individuals – need to pick an issue. All MPs voting for bombing Iraq, contravened the Terrorism Act - many breaches over the last 4 years. Why they lie? Motivation for lying – difficult to identify. Tony Blair, not a sitting MP. Jack Straw guilty of genocide in closing the Iraq war debate in the 2003. Recent Patrick Cockburn article on Sarkozy and Cameron Libya. Cameron's speech in Benghazi. Politicians can be charger under five laws agianst: murder, war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and crimes against peace. Need template for people to report a war crime report.  As per last action. Develop Public Eye (like Private Eye).
3. Response to some in Occupy London demanding the removal of the OL logo and weblink from the Critical Thinking website: Change Occupy London logo on Critical Thinking website to Occupy Your Mind logo to identify with the ethos and ambitions of wider Occupy movement. London perceived, by some outside London, as parochial. Run a Daily Pickings article explaining why and the problems of hierarchical structures, a few active, dominant players acting as gatekeepers for ideas and discussion - co-option in the style of Stalin and Lenin. Complexity of issues: James Corbett – amount of things going on like a three dimensional chess set (Star Trek). Visual representation for the Critical Thinking website. We resist. Like RSA animate but do it yourself, viral. Memes in the digital age. Absence of interest in diversity of online material online in the UK. Critical Thinking was part of Occupy at the School of Ideas. Natural that people within a family group, sometimes differ. Much in common with Occupy and we are together. It is not a break from Occupy London but there needs to be room for discussion. Opening Critical Thinking to Occupy globally - we have a  diverse audience. Need a explanation on website. People hungry for video of Critical Thinking discussions. Do we need focus groups? We need structures for governance. The challenge is scale – method - how to scale up Critical Thinking? Structural process – use meet up groups? Joomla module for meetups? Concentrated Power and Consequences workshop. Meeting with 30 people including people with direct experience of education brought relevant insights into the discussion.
4. New meeting venue from January 2015. Function Room upstairs at The Cock Tavern, 23 Phoenix Road, London NW1 1HB. The more pub is patronised the more likely to survive. Anthony Auerbach, an artist runs it - currently no wifi but a good space. Next year we'll focus on Governance, War, Corruption and Food in the context of systems thinking. Bringing issues together, turning diagrams into performance, film, channel, audio? No need to be perfect - but try to do something. Collective creation - don't try to create an individual picture. Protest is masturbation (Gilad Atzmon). Get people together – like Critical Thinking. Developed knowledge and understanding among a small group. Promote the distributive model. Let people introduce something in their own time and speed - cannot be forced. What are people's skills and abilities? A page resume? We knew nothing about each others skills. There is no formal/management structure to this group but we've achieved a lot. Be alert to the pitfalls of using conventional methods. Memetics. Need to consider systems which affect human behaviour. Psychology.

December review meeting agenda:

  • 2015 Constitutionalists UK - Ray?
  • Public eye - corruption - Chris/Arvind (focus group)
  • Critical thinking, analysis and the role of art - Eddie

For the future: opportunities in education – propagating critical thinking among the young