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.

Creeping co-option

[Apologies. Critical Thinking's website has been suffering connectivity problems over the weekend, which hopefully are now resolved. Hence no Daily Pickings on Saturday or Sunday]

Critical Thinking's analysis revealed the imperative for a different economic model early on in its work and explored the need for what has come to be known as "basic income". The basic income pilot in India, conducted by Guy Standing in cooperation with SEWA, demonstrated its transformational potential. Clearly, with jobs priced according to supply and demand, the value of labour is declining as populations increase, reducing wages to a level where the means to life is no longer guaranteed by working. What also emerged from our research and analysis is how the commons (land, resources, knowledge, etc.) have been progressively colonised by the Structural Elite, depriving the majority access to the means to life. The obvious conclusion is that if we share the value of the commons in the form of a human or citizen's dividend, the means to life is guaranteed for all.

However, as "basic income" has garnered support, there is no talk of sharing the wealth of the commons but the discussion is framed as an alternative to means tested benefits and as such will be insufficient to provide the means to life. Supporters of basic income want it implemented by any means possible (a start is better than nothing, they say) while political expediency will ensure that however it is implemented, it will not challenge the power of the Structural Elite. Conceptually, if the wealth of the commons is shared equitably and people have the means to life, the power of the short side reverts to the people, away from the system and those who rule. As was pointed out in last Friday's Daily Pickings, the last thing the system wants is independent minded, autonomous humans collaborating to challenge authority.

The political economy is extremely effective in neutralising threats to centralised power and there are now several strands coming together to absorb "basic income" into the mix. Combining digital cash, the Positive Money (PM) campaign for central bank created money (removing money creation from all other banks) and basic income, not only ensures basic income doesn't challenge the status quo but tightens the noose of control over us all.

1. We're being progressively softened up to abandon physical cash

2. Handing money creation directly to central banks gives the banksters complete control

3. Once implemented (digital basic income), access to the means to life is then at the gift of the corporate (fascist) state. Dissent or complain and your means to life will be withdrawn.

Furthermore, people are being seduced into implanted electronic tagging (RFID) as a means of identification; once the means to life is contingent on being microchipped, total surveillance and control is the Dystopian reality.

Operating under the maxim of keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer, Guy Standing is being cultivated by the Structural Elite (invited to Bilderberg) and Positive Money is being integrated into the Bank of England's digital cash plans (PM founder Ben Dyson is now working for the BoE). Basic income and PM campaigners smell the possibility of success and are getting excited, failing to see the trap that's been set.

Aesop's fable of the fox and the crow illustrates the dangers of succumbing to flattery; in this instance the "cheese" is our freedom.

Creeping reform will always result in creeping co-option - it's what the system does. Our only salvation is to decentralise power by dissolving institutional hierarchy, share the wealth of the commons and abandon usury. Anything less will be co-opted, subverted or distorted to tighten the shackles that bind us. 

Be careful what you wish for...

You are being gamed

We've referred, in the past, to Pavlovian responses to news and events and the selective presentation of facts to distort our perceptions of reality. However, the insidious control over our thinking and behaviour is now increasingly embedded in technology with development of  the Internet of Things and gaming.

The ruling classes have always feared and disparaged the masses, seeking justification for their cavalier approach to poverty and oppression, carelessly disposing of those asserting their rights to freedom.

To make sense of the world, we need to understand that the enslavement of our minds begins at school and continues into adult life. John Taylor Gatto, in the Ultimate History Lesson, explains, with copious historical references, the development of the public school system, tracing its antecedents: Plato, Calvin, Spinoza, Fichte.... Fichte was writing in the aftermath of the Prussian army's humiliating defeat at the hand of Napoleon and referred to "disobedience" of the soldiery as the cause of the defeat and from his writings evolved the Prussian school system which then spread throughout the western world.

To understand how we've got to where we are today, this 5 hour conversation is essential listening/viewing.

Richard Grove's Tragedy and Hope site provides resources for self-education - an independent mind, developed from understanding our origins and development, is essential to make sense of the world and to build a better future. Public schooling trains humans to a level where they can "run the machine" (ie. the political economy) but not question it and our enslavement.

If we did, we would reject it and build something better.

Problems, problems... why?

Crises and rising tensions are the predominant feature of the world today and those who know history can see what's coming - it's not pleasant. Escalation of civil wars and global conflict, accelerated and exacerbated by economic breakdown. The question we need to ask is Why? The "why" is common to all our problems and the "fix" is down to all of us. We are both the problem and the solution. So what do we do about it? Talk... to friends, family, colleagues and most importantly to those with whom we disagree or distrust, the "other". When we reach a shared understanding of reality, we will cease to be the problem and become the solution.

This weekend Critical Thinking is hosting a "Cake and Conversation" event in London to encourage people to talk; all are welcome.


Conversation over carrot cake to encourage participation in critical thinking as a collaborative process; this event is not to promote the Critical Thinking group but to promote critical thinking as essential human activity.

Why is the world the way it is? “Here’s a cause, there’s another cause, and this is the other cause, now form a critical thinking group.” to explore why the world is the way it is.

Details are available here: Cake and Conversation

This is a conversation which can start anytime, wherever you are; pick one of the three causes, institutional hierarchy, theft of the commons and usury and explore in dialogue with others.

The media are full of hate and reasons to divide; conversation with the "other" reveals we share far more than divides us. Start the conversation and we are on the way to escaping the lie we live.

Burying bad news

The government practise of burying bad news, supported by compliant (controlled) media, is how reality is distorted and why real stories and agendas seldom see the light of day. By the time buried news comes to light, public attention has moved on and the context forgotten.

For the last 6 years, the banksters have used all the levers of power at their disposal to conduct regime change in Syria but with the support of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, Bashar al Assad has turned the tide and "ISIS" (NATO's guerrilla army) is on the run while the UK, US are removing visible support for affiliated terrorist groups.

This is the news to be buried by the fabricated hysteria over Kim Jong Un and North Korea's nuclear test - the combined might of NATO, Israel and the Gulf states has failed to oust Assad and their proxy forces are on the run.

UK Column News - 5th September 2017 (42 minute video)

Eva Bartlett has recently returned from visiting North Korea and reports on a very different nation. Her report is the polar opposite of what we've been led to believe over the years. Given the experiences of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, both of whom were demonised, deposed and murdered, Kim Jong Un would be crazy to "give up" nuclear weapons; not that North Korea has anything that is a serious threat to the rest of the world, unlike NATO and its followers. 

Trump Springs the Neocon Trap Again: North Korea’s ‘Test’ Is No Act of War by Patrick Henningsen
Here we go again. There seems to be no end to the escalation of tensions between North Korea and the United States and its allies.

Appearances can seldom be relied on to divine what's really going on but arguably, if North Korea didn't exist, the US would have to create it. North Korea provides the excuse for the US to deploy extensive military assets in the region to threaten China. One interpretation is that Kim Jong Un is another asset and North Korea, a vassal state. History is littered with former US/UK "appointee dictators" who became unpredictable/less compliant or maybe, this latest furore is all part of the script.

North Korea is an Pentagon Vassal State by F. William Engdahl
If it weren’t for the fact that he is absolute dictator of a country with a formidable army and nuclear missile technology, North Korean President Kim Jong Un, the 290 pound, 32 year-old ruler would be a clown figure. Unfortunately for world peace, Kim Jong Un, while he is playing games with his rockets and threats of war, is serving the long-term interests of the USA, especially the military industrial complex, the Pentagon and State Department, whose priority increasingly is to make an Asia Pivot of military power projection to contain and isolate the Peoples’ Republic of China as well as Russia.

We should always be wary of describing leaders as clowns and objects of ridicule because invariably things are not as they seem. We are expected to believe Kim Jong Un is mad, bad and dangerous. Go back to Eva Bartlett's report on UK Column above and try to reconcile this characterisation with her report of a country with free education and healthcare. Where are the parallels to this? Libya, Syria....

It's the money stupid! Daily Pickings certainly doesn't think its audience is stupid but clearly the "establishment" thinks we are; they will never reveal the real agenda.