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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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Critical Thinking is a collaborative, educational project relying on contributions from diverse sources.

Attitudes and context

Most times, Daily Pickings tends to write itself, in that, articles or videos "appear" and almost beg to be shared. Quite often two or three pieces complement each other and to put them into the context of Critical Thinking's analysis is pretty easy. Some days, however, there is nothing obvious which presents itself for distribution but within various browser tabs are gems of information or analysis which while having no obvious link, are important. These two pieces may seem a little random and disconnected but they are to highlight how our preconceptions and prejudices are shaped by what we're exposed to and that times change, as do prejudices and alliances in the constantly evolving geopolitical landscape.

How Russia Helped The 13 Colonies Win The American Revolution by Arik Burakovsky
Catherine II’s contribution to the American War of Independence is admittedly nuanced but cannot be understated. Hoping for the United States to gain its independence from Great Britain, Catherine II provided the colonists with anything she could – short of entering the war on their side.  It was the Patriots who initially sparked the Revolutionary War, but it was Russia that helped fuel their motivation and resilience – a factor in their victory against British and Loyalist troops. By the time of its independence, the United States had already built a robust foundation of trade, diplomacy, and friendship with Russia.

Mainstream Media Islamophobia and Women’s Rights in Muslim Countries by Prof. Henry Francis B. Espiritu
A Critical Response to the Islamophobic Accusation made by Western Mainstream Media that Islam is Anti-women
Some years ago, I had an engaging discussion with one of my very insightful students of Philosophy in my university.  She asked me whether Islam has provisions for women’s rights and gender equity and if it has, why is it that Muslim countries are apparently anti-women in their cultural expressions as proven in the way mainstream mass media portray the customs and traditions of these Muslim countries. This perceptive question of my student deserved a candid and thorough response.
The question is actually two pronged; first, it asked whether Islam has anything to offer for gender fairness specifically to the womenry. My categorical answer to this query is a resounding “Yes!”  In this article, I will extensively demonstrate why I responded affirmatively to the first part of the query by quoting pertinent provisions provided by the Qur-an for the emancipation of women.  Likewise, I will endeavor to effectively respond to the second part of my student’s question: assuming that there are Islamic provisions for women’s rights, why are Islamic countries apparently perceived by Western mainstream media and by non-Muslims as anti-women?

A modest proposal made fact

In the early 18th century, Jonathan Swift wrote a satirical essay to highlight the callous approach of the establishment to the poor, particularly in Ireland.

A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift
A Modest Proposal For preventing the Children of Poor People From being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country, and For making them Beneficial to the Publick, commonly referred to as A Modest Proposal, is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in 1729. Swift suggests that the impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling their children as food for rich gentlemen and ladies. This satirical hyperbole mocked heartless attitudes towards the poor, as well as British policy toward the Irish in general.

Today, this is the reality, the rich "eat the poor"

Global Poverty: How the Rich Eat the Poor and the World by Prof. John McMurtry
The Big Lies
The 2016 Oxfam Davos Report which the mass media have ignored arrestingly shows that 62 individuals – 388 in 2010 – now own more wealth than 50% of the world’s population. More shockingly, it reports from its uncontested public sources that this share of wealth by half of the world’s people has collapsed by over 40% in just the last five years.
Yet the big lies persist even here that “the progress has been made in tackling world poverty” and “extreme poverty has been halved since 1990”.

Origins of city states

We must hold "tentative conviction" when putting forward our analysis - as we delve through the layers of information available, new information comes to light which may overturn or modify our previous understanding.

The origins of civilisation may not be simply down to capture of the surplus by the "few".

The real roots of early city states may rip up the textbooks by Ben Collyer
THE emergence of state authority was a logical consequence of the move to settled agriculture, or so we thought. 
“For at least 4000 years, there were settled communities but no evidence of state power”

This lends further weight to the notion that institutional hierarchy is a human construct rather than a reflection of the natural order. We are naturally co-creative.

Human Cattle Awakening

Critical Thinking’s analysis has evolved since its inception in January 2012, since when, there have been five iterations of its Model of the political economy:

1st iteration 2013 Economics to Save our Civilisation

2nd iteration 2014 Concentrated Power and Consequences – Report 

3rd iteration 2015 The time for Critical Thinking is now!

4th iteration 2016 Hierarchy and the Political Economy

5th iteration July 2017 Reform Proposals in the Monetary System for Attaining Global Economic Stability (this was a refinement of the 4th iteration in the context of monetary reform and in that sense, an interim iteration)

This is the 6th iteration of Critical Thinking’s analysis.

October 2017

Critical Thinking outlined its objective in 2012 as: to understand the political economy to identify levers for change. This 6th iteration reveals one lever for change which is universally applicable and beneficial, the means to co-create a shared understanding of the reality of the human condition - that we are farmed as domesticated animals - and what we can do about it.

We are shackled and chained by beliefs and deference to authority, inculcated since birth; our liberation awaits in CoCreative Learning.