To receive 'Daily Pickings' sign up for the email.

Follow us on Twitter: @FCriticalThink

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.
We welcome comments and interaction on Daily Pickings through Comments.
Critical Thinking is a collaborative, educational project relying on contributions from diverse sources.

Inconvenient history

Both world wars of the 20th century were engineered to "crush" Germany and Churchill was a key player in precipitating both. There are many pieces of this puzzle but as more evidence emerges, the intent and effect become clear.

Finland in the eye of the storm translated by Wilfried Heink; edited by Veronica Clark
The Great Powers, which had for years conducted clandestine politics, were about to make their last move on the chessboard of political agreements. Now soldiers and armies were entered onto the stage in decisive fashion. The “iron roller” of war could no longer be stopped by any reason.
In the minds of the leaders of the Western Powers, Hitler was unstoppable when it came to the Polish issue. He had tried to avoid a war on two fronts by signing an agreement with Stalin, but the pact was violated when Poland was attacked. Thus, Hitler became a sort of “Siamese twin” of Stalin’s. In the ensuing situation Hitler had to act in a way that respected Stalin’s interests as to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. However, Stalin’s real intentions were discussed more and more in German circles. But the promise of Russian supplies of raw materials to Germany forced Hitler to be patient. To avoid the catastrophe of a two-front war, Hitler planned to attack the west first, since his peace proposals of 1939 had been rejected. According to his own account, he delayed action because of the rainy fall weather. It was a matter of survival for Stalin, the “Siamese twin”, to keep Hitler content and to fulfill his obligations arising out of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact without interruption. The Red Army was not yet strong enough to withstand a Wehrmacht onslaught. For Stalin this was indeed a nightmare.

Similarly, England, France and the USA, which entered the war later on, were not yet ready for war; they had all three only began to allocate the necessary resources needed to wage a war, thus actions against Germany were out of the question. Stalin, the dictator, was aware of the shortcomings of democracies. If Hitler could concentrate his military might early on against the Soviet Union—i.e., before the Western Powers were able to organize and force Hitler to station troops in the West instead—this would be a deadly danger for Stalin.

Germany's "invasion" of Poland is seen as the trigger for war (remember Churchill wrote much of the history available post-war) but the "backstory" is seldom revealed; Hitler was denied a corridor to Germany's Baltic Sea port, Danzig, and Poland was conducting brutal ethnic cleansing of Germans who found themselves in Poland following the Treaty of Versailles.

Both world wars were a product of concentrated power playing geopolitics, much the same as we see today in the multiple attempts to ensnare Russia in war while building up a formidable military presence around her borders. Russia has lost its "buffer states" of former Soviet countries; they have been progressively absorbed into the EU/NATO alliance, in contravention of the commitments made to Gorbachev during the disintegration of the USSR.

It is governments that kill and it's invariably the poor and the ignorant who die in the wars of the rich and powerful.

This Is the Number of Innocent People Murdered by Governments. Are You Anti-State Yet? by J.D. Tuccille
Being antigovernment is the logical result of taking a close look at the state and its bloody works.

In the latter half of the 20th century, the authoritarian nature of Nazi Germany and the USSR was reviled in Western popular culture. Post 9/11 and the fabricated war on terror (more inversion - it is a war of state terror), "Papieren Bitte" is now our reality.

Papieren Bitte? Just your shoes please by Eric Verlo
Most people can easily conjure the cinematic image of Gestapo officers blocking train passengers, demanding “Your papers please.” That such a scene could ever develop in America, haunts citizens opposed to national identity cards or embedded microchips. But with modern surveillance methods as pervasive as cellphones, perhaps today’s state security services have less need to verify who we are. I’ll assert the US Department of Homeland Security is charged more with making Americans feel the heavy boot print of authoritarianism.
I think that in the wake of 9/11, this nation has indeed mobilized a “papers please” law enforcement policy.

If we don't learn the lessons of real history, we are destined to repeat the folly but the consequences will be much worse:

“Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up” – Ronald Wright, A Short History of Progress

With a little help from my friends

Yesterday's Daily Pickings on our necessary evolution provoked comment and the observation that we also evolve as social beings. Taking responsibility for ourselves and our learning and the importance of giving and accepting help are not mutually exclusive concepts.

This is the rationale for CoCreative Learning and the source of its power. Studying alone or within the confines of orthodox education, to a prescribed curriculum, limits the depth and breadth of our understanding. Free discussion, within circles of trust, following an evolutionary purpose, rapidly accelerates learning and expands our understanding. Its power has to be experienced to be believed.

Mind maps capture the important essence of discussions, presentations and other materials in a way that conventional note taking fails to match. Below is one mind map from Mark Passio's Mind Control and Astrotheology video.


While we all have responsibility for ourselves and our learning, we cannot do it alone. We need help.

Leap of understanding

In so far as the current abusive, corrosive and destructive political economy relies on our ignorance for its power, there is no easy way to describe what is necessary for us as individuals to evolve, thereby bringing about transformation. Nor is any one source likely to be revelationary on the path to enlightenment. In Daily Pickings, we try to highlight thinkers and writings that may be useful on our evolutionary journey. This first article is striking in how it suggests there is no one definitive path:

A Genuine Actor: Francesco Serpico by Edward Curtin
Or in the words of Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, a book that serendipitously fell into his hands when he was alone in a friend’s humble chalet in the Swiss Alps and shocked him with its relevance to his own experience: “‘This is my way, where is yours?’ thus I answered those who asked me ‘the way.’  For the way, that does not exist.”

We do have a tendency to look to others for answers, which is natural enough: how else are we to learn? Perhaps the way to evolve is not to study (wo)man as he/she is but what we can become.

In 1934 I wrote five preliminary lectures which gave a general idea of what I was studying, and also of the lines along which a certain number of people were working with me. To put all that in one, or even in two or three lectures, was quite impossible: so I always warned people that it was not worth while hearing one lecture, or two, but that only five, or better ten lectures could give an idea of the direction of my work. These lectures have continued since then, and throughout this time I have often corrected and rewritten them.

Critical Thinking's analysis is being shared with disparate groups and individuals but more importantly, we're trying to "walk the talk" of CoCreative Learning in engaging with "others", ie. people from a wide range of communities and backgrounds. This coming Saturday evening, we are engaging with members of the Muslim community in London. It is an open meeting to which all are welcome.

Let's work together

From yesterday's meeting of the 10 Years after the Crash group, it is clear that there are a growing number of concerned people and groups working on "solutions" to various aspects of the political economy.

Critical Thinking has long argued that without deep analysis, there is a danger that remedies, applied to symptoms, without understanding the underlying disease, risk making matters worse, rather than better. That is the rationale for releasing Critical Thinking's methodology as a free, open source project - in the meeting, Stephen referred to wanting to know what people were working on in their disparate "sheds" - CoCreative Learning is to "get people out of their sheds" to co-create a shared understanding of reality. Once we can agree on where we are and how we got here, the solutions will become obvious.

As was stated in the latest iteration of Critical Thinking's analysis, we can tell people, and point to evidence, that banking is a criminal enterprise. We can also show them the web of global banking controlled by the Rothschilds and seven other families. But will they listen? In the main, no because they already believe in the official narratives and are penalised for thinking differently. 

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair.

On the CoCreative Learning wiki, the analogy of the blind men of Indostan is used to illustrate the problem of people adhering to their own worldviews and narrow perspectives without listening to each other. We need to shed the conditioned practice of not listening with an open mind; often, we listen to others to find reasons to disagree and express our own views. This is fostered as good practice in debate but it is how we are kept divided and controlled. When we dig through the layers of contrived complexity, deception and misdirection, we find common ground on which to build.

In truth, we can't teach others anything; they have to discover reality for themselves. But the only way to do so is for us to work together.