Posted on May 25, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
“If the world goes against truth, then Athanasius goes against the world.”
– SAINT ATHANASIUS (293-373) Bishop of Alexandria
These are the major demands of an organization called “Critical Thinking” which came out of the Occupy movement, in what the men and women involved in the collaborative effort have named the “New Model Charter.” The activists involved with Critical Thinking intend – with the aid of like-minded legal professionals, judges, and attorneys – to start a legal proceeding to challenge first governments, then corporations and the so-called powers-that-be, defenders of the status-quo.
The challenge relates to a concept called “fiduciary responsibility” outlined in the book “Binary Economics” by Robert Ashford and Rodney Shakespeare. I confess not reading “Binary Economics”, but have listened to a number of interviews of Rodney Shakespeare, an elderly gentleman academic who holds an intense loyalty to unvarnished truth. Here is one of five Amazon reviews of the book, published in 1999:
Binary Economics: The New Paradigm, by Robert Ashford and Rodney Shakespeare deserves a careful reading by anyone concerned with growth and economic justice. In so-called free market economies, as they are presently constituted, the great benefits of economic growth (which are in turn the consequence of the pace of technological advance) do not accrue to most poor and working people, though it is poor and working people who bear the cost of such technological advance in the instabilities and displacement it engenders. Rather, the great benefits of that economic growth go primarily to the wealthy few who, through their ownership of stock, exercise a claim on corporate earnings. The result is a growing disparity in wealth and opportunity that is doing great harm to society. Many have tried to address this problem; but as yet, conventional thinking has failed to produce a working consensus on what can and should be done to create a more just and efficient economic playing field. In Binary Economics: The New Paradigm, in very readable prose, Robert Ashford and Rodney Shakespeare carefully advance a wholly voluntary means of enabling increasing numbers of poor and working men and women also to exercise a viable claim on the growing benefits of technological advance (and hence of economic growth) as a normal function within the framework of a market economy. Their proposed system builds on existing principles of corporate finance, insurance and monetary policy, making only modest and wholly democratic changes intended to facilitate capital acquisition for all people. Whether the voluntary operation of a binary economy will produce the growth, distributive justice, and other benefits predicted by binary economists remains to be seen; but the binary proposals and predictions cannot be responsibly dismissed on the strength of conventional economic theory, which itself has yet to solve, let alone explain, the problem that Ashford and Shakespeare address. Theirs is a noble goal, and the new discourse they seek to initiate, focused on achieving a more equitable distribution of wealth by way of voluntary transactions and without distribution, is of the utmost importance. People concerned about economic justice and efficiency cannot credibly claim to be open to new solutions and yet ignore this book.
So, the men and women at Critical Mass have decided to take action which starts an, ideally, worldwide debate and discussion, not through talking about divisive single-issues that are but symptoms of a failed economic system – but instead about the root causes of an economic model which is abusive, exploitive, and antithetical to democracy. Similar to 9/11-War Crimes Tribunals held in recent years in Toronto and Kuala Lumpur, the effort to force the “powers-that-be” to engage in the challenge they have been issued, through reason and debate, is an idea which this group hopes will move through more and more channels into the awareness of the world’s people.
Mr. Clive Menzies is one of the founders of Critical Thinking and the website “Free Critical Thinking”; he appears in the following video interview while explaining the “New Model Charter” initiative. Essentially, what he describes is a possible-alternative economic system – putting to rest the perceptions molded by media, politicians, the wealthy elite, and others defending the economic status-quo as “the only option” – which the so-called powers-that-be will find, in Mr. Menzies’ view, impossible to intellectually or scientifically prove inferior.
The time has arrived for the great global economic debate
As Mr. Menzies says in the interview, “We are looking into the jaws of World War III with rising tensions in Ukraine. The system has been broken and the time for change has come. It’s so simple, all we have to do is get together.”
He points out that everyone suffers under the current abusive economic system of rising wealth inequality, growing threat of war, the surveillance state, austerity and more, including the “lieutenants” who carry out the abuses as well as the elites.
Now seems like an opportune time to start humanity’s real-change ball rolling, don’t you think?
(For more information please visit Freecriticalthinking.org)