Arbitrary power is systemic

This is EU democratic oversight in action:

Trade agreements take us further into unaccountable dictatorship of the European Union.

TPP, TISA and TTIP agreements are massive Corporate power grabs dressed up as trade deals
The TPP, TISA (and TTIP in Europe) agreements are massive Corporate power grabs dressed up as trade deals in order to get them passed by national assemblies without too much in the way of public protest.
Their primary purpose is to undermine National Sovereignty and enhance transnational Corporate rule.
They do this by transferring regulatory powers from elected National (and local) governments to transnational arbitration panels (ISDS) which are comprised of lawyers which will be appointed by the major Corporations that are writing the deals.

Arbitrary, unaccountable power operates globally through insidious means, permeating every facet of our lives. In health, it manifests itself in misleading "authoritative" research on which potentially lethal decisions are made.

BRICS and Brexit Countries: Secrets of the Crypt by Jon Rappoport
“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” –Marcia Angell, MD, New York Review of Books, 2009

The corrosion and subversion of democracy permeates the bureaucratic machine which functions primarily to serve power rather than people. Arbitrary laws emerge without democratic oversight.

UK govt admits it pulled 10-year file-sharing jail sentence out of its arse by Kieren McCarthy
'Unpublished research' the punishment was based on? Yeah, we made it up

So rather than get too exercised about yesterday's UK local elections or the theatre of the US presidential election, we should focus on what really matters and how we retrieve power from the unaccountable system.

An unconditional citizens dividend would start to liberate us to think independently of the system. As Critical Thinker Janos describes it: "we are like a person tied to a chair in a room; we cannot free ourselves to see what's happening outside the room". As long as our means to life is tied to compliance with the system, we cannot think impartially or act independently. A citizens dividend would be a great first step and will get us to the realisation that we, the people, can solve many of the world's problems rather than rely on the arbitrary power of the system. As long as we are beholden to the system, we are enslaved.


0 #1 Clive Menzies 2016-05-07 00:26
In the circle of discussion of Natural Inclusion, there has been discussion partially pertaining to this thread but focusing on the concept of systems thinking.

In order to broaden the discussion and give others the opportunity participate, the thread is replicated here - the thread starts at the bottom:

Clive, it is this notion which you express
Acting *independently* (of) what the system *dictates* which we will ex/plore together.

This phrase indicates two independent places of agency (to dictate implies a system agency on one side) that leaves one agency outside and alien to individual *freedom*. The question becomes how does this outside systemic agency that dictates by restricting *freedom*need to be addressed through our own subjective *independent* agency exercised through *critique* (of) that oppressive system.

I would suggest this way of understanding is a historically constituted accomplishment that has reached its limits. It imagines freedom occurring in opposition to these dominant alienating systems.

There are multiple other ways to view how we dwell in places.

Thanks Alan

Not trying to be overly picky but I did use "impartial" in respect of thought and "independent" in respect of action, meaning acting independently of what the system dictates.

As far as I’m concerned, I’m very happy for you to post on to CT.

And, for the record, I do agree with what Roy and Larry have said.

I find ‘impartial’ (meaning ‘comprehensive’ or ‘not partial’) a very helpful word to use in place of ‘independent’.

Many thanks for your constructive inputs.

I fear I'm something of a bottleneck in this particular conversation as it impinges directly on the work of Critical Thinking and should embrace a wider neighbourhood. Furthermore, exploring these ideas publicly will expand our horizons.

If you are all agreeable, I would like to post your observations to today's post and continue the conversation there.

I offer one caveat, and I just recalled that I read it in that CT overview of systems thinking. A belief in 'cause and effect' will distort one's thinking. It will focus thinking into visual-rational -conceptual-abs tract-connected modes. To hold an underlying belief in cause-effect thinking is a way to usurp the wisdom of hermeneutics and NI.

Cause-effect thinking is a block to 'Natural Thinking.'

That is my opinion, and my experience.

Todays daily pickings focuses on the notion that as long as we are beholden to impersonal mechanical *systems* we will not be able to think and act *independently* to solve our systemic problems.

It is this notion that I hear as a dualism that generates two *sides* ( the mechanical side) and ( the independent side) where we can think *about* the systems in which we are now imprisoned and instrumentally develop the *tools* to move towards independent *freedom*.

I want to emphasize that this way of travelling is not *incorrect* or *wrong* but may be *limited* in the way Roy suggests.

Moving to the *idea* of co/herence I believe we can continue to travel with systems thinking but suggest we are now travelling to a wider and deeper *sens* (which critically includes sense and travelling with ....) including the phenomenologica l lens.

I offer a hermeneutical approach which focuses on *fusions of horizons*.

For example fusing (eco-systemic) and *mother earth* ways of travelling.

Thanks Alan, Roy, Clive for focussing centrally on this systemic theme. It is not either/or. We are travelling together to the promised *place*

I just took the time to explore the Critical Thinking website on systems thinking. Then I skim read Alan's paper 'What Are Natural Systems, Actually?' I bring to my comments here personal immersion and enthusiasm in systems thinking from the period of about 1968 - 1998. I became quite a student of systems thinking, and I used it in my professional life as an urban planner, college adjunct professor, and ordained minister. I am sending this message to you as a colleague and concerned co-creative thinker. So please do not read my remarks as hyper-critical and judgmental of the work of Critical Thinking and the Open University. I honor, support and appreciate the work you are doing. But I would feel dishonest if I did not share the impressions I have regarding the underlying foundation of Critical Thinking as, itself, guided by the standard, and accepted, norms of thinking fostered by systems thinking.

I think it best for me to simply offer
conclusions, and not take your time or mine to elaborate at length on why I say what I say here. I would welcome a conversation if you want that. But the conversation itself would be quite involved, since there is so much that is lost or not seen at all in what I will call the 'normative approach to systems thinking and systems theory'.

Besides this, my review of the Critical Thinking website gives the impression that systems thinking and theory is oriented to problem solving, and not to perceiving 'what is present.' In other words, systems thinking (here in your overview) seems to be a tool that is purposive and instrumental. It is presented as a way of doing things. That is very unfortunate, because systems thinking and theory itself overlooks primary considerations of the nature of life itself. Just read Alan's paper and that will become evident.

So, here I offer a few conclusions that come readily to mind for me as I reflect with you regarding the blindness of system thinking:

Reliance upon visual imagination to the total exclusion of auditory imagination (e.g., no sense of resonances and simultaneity). No sense of 'acoustic space'.

Biased toward thinking guided by abstract conceptual rationality.

Presumes that one can 'stand apart' from nature to understand Her; remnant of the 'bias of seeking objectivity.'

Complete neglect of phenomenologica l modes of perception and human presence.

Of the three primary centers of human perception (head, heart, belly/body), systems thinking is biased totally toward perceiving and thinking centered in the head.

The heart modes of 'feeling perception and presence' are completely neglected. So there seems to be no mention of love, empathy, mutuality, or communal presence.

Body sensations -- and the many ways that the body communicates to self and others -- is left unacknowledged and unmentioned.

I could note more, but I will quit here with these oversights that are propagated by systems thinking.

Clive, there is something central that I need to name. We, in the NI Circle, are trying to find language that honors participatory presence with life, human and nonhuman. NI is the lens that we are trying to find ways to articulate and communicate with and from. This is not at all easy, but it is necessary to communicate 'Natural Truth.' Love, in its many forms, is integral to this path. That means (quite explicitly) that the heart's ways of knowing and being are central to Natural Inclusion. I know by the actions and courage of the Critical Thinking community that the heart guides your work and your motives. I just want to conclude by saying that, in order for humanity to find a way toward dwelling together in peace, good will, and eco-sustainabil ity, the heart must become our guide. This means that we must learn to align our actions to the heart's modes of doing. Systems thinking has nothing -- absolutely nothing -- to do with the heart's modes of doing.

I realize that what I have written probably comes across feeling harsh and overstated. I do not mean for my words to be taken harshly. I just want to be clear. I do not think what I have written here is overstated. I say these things as conclusions in order to spark attention to what is missing, and what is so very much needed, for us humans to learn how to live with wisdom.

Transformation is very hard; we each and all know that. But if we don't try, who will?

Please register to post comments