Why Critical Thinking is Inseparable From Freedom

why critical thinking is inseparable from issues of freedom

Ethics Are Immune from Group Affiliations

Critical thinking is inseparable from freedom as much as gold is inseparable from sound money and sound banking. In fact, one can consider this article as the perfect companion to the article I wrote ten years ago called Gold and Economic Freedom, Reinterpreted for the 21st Century. The reason I founded skwealthacademy, which I am readying for launch, is because of my observation of the rapid deterioration of critical thinking skills, which has sparked the creation of social environments in which it is nearly impossible to present an opposition view to a mainstream narrative without this view being politicized for political agendas instead of being analyzed for its merit, or lack thereof. Owners of the most popular social media apps like Instagram, YouTube and Facebook have weaponized social media to create maximum dissension and minimum intellect and rationality, and have created forums of discourse in which it is near impossible to disagree with someone over an issue that is prominent in the national or global media and expect a civil response. One of the marks of a civil society has always been the ability to have civil discussions about heated topics with another and to consider the merits of an opposition view before dismissing it. However, the rapid disappearance of these types of civil discussions coincides with the disappearance of civility and humanity from society. The owners of social media have weaponized social media for crowd control purposes, to instill obedience in the masses and to dumb us down. Before observing people blankly staring at their phones in every aspect of public life – in theaters, in restaurants, in schools, in offices, in public transit systems and even when walking down the street- can you recall another time during our lives in which the world was as polarized as it is now?

One must learn to be independent in order to see truth but social media has increasingly herded us into opposition groups. Throughout history, we have seen groups that historically had lots in common being increasingly split and torn apart in divisions of Irish v. British, Hutus v. Tutsis, N. Koreans v. S. Koreans, Indians v. Pakistanis v. Kashmiris, Americans v. Chinese, Syrians, Venezuelans, Iranians, and Russians , vegans v. carnivores, man-made climate change supporters v. solar flare and cyclical climate change supporters, people of faith v. atheists, Zionists v. anyone that disagrees with Zionist policies, and many more. Ask any one that firmly stands on one side of any of these divisions, and you will find someone that believes he or she is 100% right and believes anyone of an opposition view is 100% wrong. Although this is an extremely simple concept, if you stop to think about this conundrum for more than a New York minute, the fact that people that stand on opposite sides of the fence on an issue can see no common ground but believe they are 100% right and the other side is 100% wrong should be a clear warning of the erosion of critical thought in all civilizations across the world and serve as support for my thesis that critical thinking is inseparable from freedom. How has this situation been engineered in which people with opposing views are completely unwilling to consider the perspective of the other side? Once people lose their ability to critically think, they can be easily herded into increasingly radical dissidents who eventually may rationalize the execution of atrocities against someone they perceive as the “enemy”.

In nearly every aspect of society, moral values and ethics are breaking down, a consequence of the lack of critical thought in society, as critical thinking is inseparable from freedom. This past week, I saw NFL Indianapolis Colts fans boo their quarterback Andrew Luck after he announced his retirement. Mr. Luck attributed his decision to a mentally draining, repetitive cycle of injury, pain and rehabilitation year after year after year, that had sucked the joy out of the game and out of life for him. Professional sports, especially particularly violent ones like American football, are nothing more than the modern-day bread and circus version of gladiator games that Roman ancient emperors used to stage during periods of economic upheaval in the Roman empire in order to distract the masses from the declining quality of their lives. In what other profession would someone be angry at an employee for retiring, if that employee suffered multiple concussions, a lacerated kidney, a shoulder labrum tear, and an abdominal muscle tear during the execution of his job? Outside of professional sports, none. Some will argue that athletes know the danger of the career in which they participate and are compensated with salaries of tens of millions every year, so they shouldn’t complain about their injuries. The counterargument to this narrative is that because they voluntarily choose to participate and subject their bodies to extreme violence and injury risk, they should also be allowed to voluntarily choose to walk away from the game and to preserve their health with no animosity as well. No one ever commanded a sports fan to marry their happiness in life to the outcome of a child’s game, which in it of itself, is a choice that reflects a lack of critical thought when it comes to the pursuit of happiness in life as well as a certain level of mental instability.  This is a choice a sports fanatic makes on his or her own. (Click here to watch just one of numerous compilations of mental breakdowns suffered by sports fans).

On a larger scale of moral breakdown, we have observed members of the legal system from lawyers to judges to intelligence agency employees protect child sex traffickers operating within the highest levels of banking and politics, not only with the recent Jeffrey Epstein case, but also with the decades older, but well-publicized Westminster dossier case, in which 36 British Members of Parliament identified for sexual impropriety and misconduct, involving many cases of alleged pedophilia, resulted in not a single conviction. And time and time again, when we observe such moral depravity in which law enforcement agents refuse to protect the innocence of thousands of children whose lives are being destroyed by repugnant but politically powerful adults, we must acknowledge that we have entered advanced stages of the decline of civilization. In both of these events, there should have been no question or dispute about the long prison sentences to which the guilty British MPs and Jeffrey Epstein and his accomplices, whom still remain free, should have been subjected. The fact that issues of sexual harassment of woman in the workplace inspired a massive #MeToo movement, but yet an even more important issue due to the young age and psychological vulnerability of its victims, child sex trafficking, inspired no widespread outrage or movement was disconcerting at the least, in the lack of uniformity and consistency in which morality is argued. Many activists will only display support for a cause when it is politically expedient to do so, but will remain silent when speaking out is no longer expedient, no matter how morally repugnant the issue, simply due to the power of the players involved and the power these players may wield in negatively affecting their careers. There are many people that refused to speak out against the British MPs involved in child sex trafficking, and again refused to speak out against Jeffrey Epstein when he was convicted of pedophilia ten years ago, simply due to the prominence of the people involved in these cases. There were also many Hollywood celebrities that were aware about Harvey Weinstein’s transgressions for years, but looked the other way because of Weinstein’s ability to boost their careers.

 

The Mind-Numbing Drug of Entertainment Turns off the Self-Preservation Instinct

Critical thinking is inseparable from freedom even in our voluntary choices of how we choose to spend our leisure time. Due to the proliferation of high quality entertainment experiences, designed to sedate us from participating in real life and from recognizing the destruction of civilization happening all around us, the vast majority of civilians that qualify among the top half of income earners in their nations remain oblivious to the extremely fragile nature of their existence due to voluntary choices to remain in a fog of delusion. The term “the fog of war” was once coined to define the general ignorance of the masses behind the real reasons for global wars as well as the real destruction that happened during these wars. Today, no war is necessary to usher in such a fog of delusion as massive propaganda and disinformation campaigns executed through ordinary life have achieved this goal. The fog of delusion has been so overwhelming, that those that dwell inside this fog, when confronted with reality, tend to often exhibit Stockholm syndrome and display anger toward their rescuers and love for their captors. In fact, many living inside the matrix of delusions are so strongly committed to the delusions they embrace, delusions created by their captors, that they will go out of their way to avoid anything or anyone that may possibly destroy these delusions.

This behavior, at times, is the most difficult to understand because it is the antithesis of self-preservation, a behavior that should be essential to human nature. However, though self-preservation still kicks in strongly when man is confronted by wild, fearsome animals like Sundarbans tigers or Alaskan grizzlies, the human instinct of self-preservation has been very cleverly re-engineered by those that constructed our academic and financial systems to be completely turned off when it comes to matters of money, banking and finance.  Instead, by clinging to delusion and refusing to accept the realities of our Ponzi-scheme global banking and financial systems, man ensures his own self-destruction. For example, for many years prior to the Argentine peso devaluation into near worthlessness and the Venezuelan bolivar devaluation into worthlessness, I preached the impending implosion of fiat currencies on my wealth education blog and preached the necessity of converting one’s savings into physical gold in order to survive this implosion. Though this very easily executable action would have saved tens of millions of middle-class citizens from plunging into poverty, and was an action that literally could have been executed for years to enable wealth preservation, nearly no one in these nations followed this very simple advice. And because many people have no idea of how quickly economic conditions can plunge into darkness, especially if they have never lived through such an era themselves, they falsely assume that what happened somewhere else can never happen in their own nation of residence. Furthermore, on this very blog, when gold was still trading at $1,350 and silver less than $17 just a few days ago, even though I issued this warning that gold and silver were about to move much higher, very few people to whom I personally issued this guidance. Consequently, from a perspective of future economic survival, critical thinking is inseparable from freedom.

This month, I saw an article flash across my computer that the Turkish Lira had plunged 15%, not this past year, not this past month, not that day, but in a few seconds. And most people that have their savings stored in Euros, Yen, US dollars, Canadian dollars, Australian dollars and so on will think, “But that’s Turkey. That will never happen here.” The fault of such a mindset is that massive fiat currency dumps are never a threat, until they are, and that’s what makes dwelling in delusion so dangerous. Living in an age of delusion makes it near impossible for many of us to separate our emotions from the truth. By the time one realizes the massive harm one has inflicted on one’s economic survival by not facing up to truth, it is too late, for economic collapses often arrive like a bat out of hell. Consequently, the only people able to adequately deal with these rapid turns for the worse are those that faced up to reality and prepared for it before it arrived. Of course, even though I state that economic collapses arrive like a bat out of hell, this is not really the case. It only seems to manifest in this manner for those dwelling in delusion. However, for those that were willing to make hard decisions by confronting reality, they most likely spotted that bat coming from thousands of kilometers away.  In fact, the destruction of our critical thinking skills in society-at-large likely means that less than 1% of those that read this article will likely take any action regarding the warning in this paragraph.  For the very reason that highly developed critical thinking skills allow us to perceive reality in arenas where others fail to do so, critical thinking is inseparable from freedom. Other risks exist, such as the proliferation of dangerous computer viruses known as Zero Day exploits that are literally undetectable until they are executed. Execution of catastrophic Zero Day exploits can never be predicted since execution is the only sign that it exists. In fact, the spread of zero-day exploits that control programmable logic controllers, currently in the hands of the most devious blackhats in the world, are likely the biggest current, and very real, threat to world security of which the vast majority of the world’s population is unaware. However, I will save that topic for a later day as it is of such critical importance that it is deserving of its own separate article. However, the risks to everyone’s fiat currency savings is not the same as a Zero Day exploit in the hands of a blackhat. This risk manifesting itself in the global financial and monetary system has been a slow burn for the past decade and has been identifiable every step of the way for the last ten years.

The Art of the Great Deception

Another arena in which great deception has spread has been in politics. For example, there are still ardent US President Trump supporters that believe Trump is a great man that are unwilling to face reality. This was not a conclusion at which I arrived before Trump took office as I was agnostic about his Presidency upon his election, as I am with every politician, American or foreign, until I have the benefit of observing a politician’s actions for an extended period of time to determine whether his or her campaign promises are congruent with his or her post-election actions (an event that is rarely the case for any politician). In other words, my conclusion was simply drawn from facts and not from any pre-conceived notion about US President Trump’s character. In fact, back in 2012, I actually thought that Trump’s Presidency kicked off with a promising start with his rejection of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and his voiced support for the gold standard. However, one only need recall how Presidential candidate Trump leveraged news leaks by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, stated “I love Wikileaks”, and repeatedly recited information released by Wikileaks to build political capital during his Presidential race, only to completely reverse course from his pro-Julian Assange stance after Assange was evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy in London to find Trump devolution into a typical politician. When questioned about Assange, specifically because of his professed love for Wikileaks during his Presidential campaign, Donald Trump stated, “I know nothing about WikiLeaks. It’s not my thing.”  Again, such flip-flopping, typical of two-faced politicians, is a perfect illustration of why critical thinking is inseparable from freedom. One can’t support freedom of the press when it is self-serving and then deny freedom of the press when it is not.

When I worked in some of the poorest economic and highest crime neighborhoods in Philadelphia, delivering healthcare services after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in West Philly, one factor that would either cement or destroy your trust in these communities was your word. If you reneged on your word, no one would ever trust you again. Perhaps you might get one shot at redemption, but if you reneged on your word more than once, it was all but over for your ability to work in that community. However, if your word was bond, then you would be respected within these communities, and you would gain respect even with the criminal elements in these communities to the point where you would be able to freely move around these communities without much risk of being shot or robbed. I can vouch for these unspoken rules, as I spent more than four years inside communities in which people were stabbed and shot. However, not once, in four years, was I held up at knife point or gunpoint, despite walking around them on a regular basis, which those familiar with these neighborhoods would deem a minor miracle. In fact, during my time as a university student at Penn in West Philly, I knew of, and witnessed more violent incidents committed against students I personally knew (five held up at gunpoint and two shot) than any incident I witnessed in four years of walking around in much more dangerous neighborhoods. The point of this story is that politicians should value keeping their word as much as people value one’s word in neighborhoods where the next day is not guaranteed.

Furthermore, even though President Trump is proud of advancing the popularity of the term “fake news”, he is one of the biggest generators of fake news himself.  For example, when running for President, Trump often lambasted outgoing President Obama (quite correctly) for using “fake” economic statistics. During the time he was a Presidential candidate, Trump stated that the official inflation and unemployment statistics were vastly underreported and delusional, and that the real statistics were multiple times higher than the ones used by the Obama administration. However, as soon as he became President, though nothing changed in how the official inflation and unemployment statistics were calculated, Trump conducted an about face and embraced the statistics he previously lambasted during his Presidential campaign. As President Trump, and not Presidential candidate Trump, Mr. Trump used statistics he had called delusional and fake just a couple of years prior, and falsely claimed that US unemployment was at a “record low” in 2017 and that the US economy was not just the best ever economy of the last decade, but perhaps the “greatest economy [   ] in the history of [America]”, just a few months ago, which may be one of his fakest, if not most delusional comments ever. If this were truly the case, then the US would not be currently suffering the worst homeless crisis in a few decades, nearly three-quarters of a million people should not have overdosed from drugs between 1999 and 2017, with the problem becoming increasingly worse every year in recent years, and the number of opioid deaths in 2017 six times greater than those in 1999 (Source: US Centers for Disease Control and more than half a million people in America should not have been homeless in 2017, with more than 1 out of every 20 Americans living in third-world like conditions of deep poverty and 1 in 8 Americans living in poverty  (Source: the US Department of Housing and Urban Development). All of these conditions are incongruent with the best economy in the history of America.

And the above is just the tip of the iceberg. While widely critical of any human rights transgressions committed in China and Russia, every US mainstream media journalist has openly displayed hypocrisy by refusing to criticize this administration’s, or any previous administration’s close ties with the House of Saud, despite Saudi Arabia’s despicable human rights crimes, including beheadings of teenager activists for merely criticizing House of Saud policies, and of course, the infamous illegal torture and gruesome dismemberment of journalist Jamal Kashoggi inside a Saudi Arabian embassy in Istanbul, Turkey. Instead of the imposition of morally warranted economic sanctions against Saudi Arabia, the current, as well as past US administrations have continued to approve arms deals with Saudi Arabia that amount to multi-billion dollars of weapons sales annually, though such deals still often face resistance from a few US congressmen that are still willing to exercise their moral conscience. Some may misinterpret this particular section of this article as disdain for President Trump, when in reality, I am expressing disdain for a journalism industry that no longer holds any global leader accountable for their words, questions any global leader that directly contradicts statements they previously made, and regularly chooses to apply situational ethics to criticize crimes when the criticism fits a forwarded State narrative but remains silent on even bigger crimes when it does not. In other words, critical thought has completely disappeared from the Western journalism industry at the present time. Political blindness, another affliction that many of us suffer from, and the constant seeking of a political savior, are both behaviors never engaged in by those with a baseline level of critical thinking skills. For those that recognize critical thinking is inseparable from freedom, they understand savior and redemption comes from personal accountability and formation of grass-roots communities from the bottom up, not from the top down.

To Understand Reality, We Must Seek Knowledge That Exists Beyond the Realm of Our Personal Experiences

Many Americans do not realize the
grave and life-threatening hardships currently facing a large portion of the
nation, including segments of the population that were once the backbone of
America, like farmers, (with the exception of perhaps many residents of San
Francisco that observe homelessness on a daily basis) simply because those that
are well-off rarely interact with the quite substantial segment of the nation that
is struggling the most. Thus, out-of-sight, out-of-mind syndrome takes over. As
a former resident of Los Angeles, if you believe that calling the level of
poverty for many US residents comparable to Third World conditions is absurd,
you will quickly change your mind if you visit the 50-block grid of downtown LA
known as Skid Row, as at night, this area often resembles a scene from Danny
Boyle’s zombie apocalypse film 28 Days Later. Just because one may be unaware
of situations that exist due to carefully constructed illusions by those in
power, ignorance does not invalidate the reality of these existing situations.
Even when I lived in Philadelphia years ago near the waterfront, most of my
neighbors had zero idea of the horrible conditions just across the Delaware
River in Camden, a city that the US magazine, Time, once published an article
about, with the headlines, “Who Could Live Here?” – headlines that implied that
Camden was the worst place to live in all of America. When I told my neighbors
of the conditions in Camden back then, they dismissed my description as
unrealistic, until I informed them that I had actually visited Camden to check
it out for myself and had personally observed the conditions of decay I
described to them. However, before I continue, in order to not slander Camden’s
reputation, I have heard in recent years that economic conditions in Camden have
improved quite substantially, though I do not know if this is true or not.

And this is the insidious danger that accompanies delusion. By remaining ignorant of the decay of areas that are less than a fifteen-minute drive away, we cling to perceptions of conditions that, while they may not apply to us, are conditions of which we should be aware. Knowledge of reality outside of our immediate circle, and this applies to knowledge of conditions in the most blighted areas of our nation, as well as understanding economic conditions of some of the hardest hit nations outside of the one in which we live, is critical to our ability to adequately prepare for a future that will undeniably reveal herself to us as being very fragile, very volatile, and very unstable in the not-so-distant future. The fault with this widespread disconnect from economic reality is the general disdain held by those married to delusion for those that try to push them from the side of delusion into the side of reality. Criticisms that arise of truth speakers are often seeped in efforts to marginalize their message by labeling their depictions of reality as “fear mongering”, or with great irony, as being “delusional”. It is also with great irony, though critical thinking is inseparable from freedom, that those that exert the least amount of critical thought often view themselves as the most free among their peers.

Likewise, there are many that
confuse nationalism for patriotism, even though a wider divide is being formed
between these two concepts. People that self-identify as nationalists are often
blindly obedient to the desires of the State, even when the mission of the
State is unethical and immoral. On the contrary people that self-identify as
patriots are often unflappable in their morality, and express outrage against
all enemies, foreign and domestic, while nationalists tend to only label
foreigners as the enemy. I believe the key separator between nationalists and
patriots, because they are not the same, is in the level of critical thought
displayed between these two groups. Patriots exhibit a much higher level of
critical though because they understand that critical thinking is inseparable
from freedom, whereas nationalists are more subject to the influences and the
direction in which the national narrative is blowing. I further find it curious
that rarely does the financial and investment industry receive the same
critique of fear mongering, even though the pillars of its selling strategies
on Wall Street have always been fear and greed.  

Why Positive Thinking Does Not Always Yield Positive Effects

The current chaos in Hong Kong, whether the allegations of
the Hong Kong uprising being a CIA inspired operation are true or not, is a
perfect example of how peace can descend into chaos seemingly out of the blue.
Just a few months ago, Hong Kong was perfectly peaceful. In fact, there were
more visible signs of impending chaos in Hong Kong after the 2008 global
financial crisis, when I observed protestors situating themselves on the ground
floor of the landmark HSBC tower in the heart of the financial district, than
earlier this year. Though many careers have been built off of positive thinking
memes spread on social media (think DJ Khaled and his perpetual use of “We the
best”), positive thinking, if clouded by delusion, can actually be detrimental.
For example, I believe that the delusional side of positive thinking has
already spread to teenagers in America, as several occupational surveys have
revealed that the number one desired occupation in adulthood is a social media
influencer. Though surveys did not follow up this finding with an attempt to
uncover the reasons why teenagers most desire to become social media
influencers, I think the answer is self-evident. The “occupation” of a social
media influencer is a way to combine the transhumanism selfie culture of
narcissism and the desire to be worshipped by others with a way to make lots of
income while expending minimal effort outside of documenting your life online
in a filtered manner to highlight and accentuate only the best parts of one’s
life without ever documenting the reality of the balance of the struggles we
all face. I’m sure that I’ve fallen victim myself to feeding the ego in some
social media posts as if one uses social media enough, your behavior becomes
inevitable influenced by the behavior one witnesses.

On the flip side of that equation, some people ask me why I post numerous moments of hardship on my Instagram channel and why I often talk about the importance of solitude, struggle, and of doing things that you don’t want to do. Though I could choose to fill my Instagram with photos of shiny happy moments with beautiful people, that wouldn’t be an accurate representation of my life. And even though posting numerous posts about struggle is not necessarily an accurate representation of my life either, as my life is not all about struggle, I deliberately wanted my IG channel to serve as an anti-social media channel filled with posts about discipline, struggle, hardship and reality, not only to merely provide some important balance to the millions of channels that unrealistically portray life as continuously glamorous and absent of any struggle, but also to provide a more conventional message that hard work is necessary to produce reward. People have also asked me to explain the connection between physical fitness struggles, like running in the rain or waking up at 5:30 in the morning to work out at the start of the day, to wealth education, as my new business venture deals with wealth education. Here is the answer. The point of posting such items is merely to reinforce the message that discipline and consistency must be applied across all facets of life. If one is not disciplined physically, the one will not be disciplined mentally or with one’s career and life goals. Usually an obese person that is obese due to gluttony, and not because of a hormonal imbalance, also lacks any discipline in other critical areas of life. So even if that person earns lots of money, he or she is likely wasteful in the manner in which he or she spends that income. So thematically, though my Instagram channel is not a fitness channel, I simply wanted to use it to spread a message of discipline, consistency and hard work as key elements of reward, no matter the aspect of life in which you may be seeking reward. Quite horrifically, we’ve even witnessed religious demagogues co-opt the positivity movement and the transhumanism selfie-culture to destroy and replace centuries old religious ethics of service and devotion to the neediest members of society with a new-age fake prosperity religion focused on the self, as manifested by Joel Osteen among many others. Thus, beware that even something as seemingly beneficial as positive thinking can be co-opted for negative purposes.

Critical Thinking is Incomplete Without Connecting the Dots

However, social media is not all negative for the progress of humanity. In some areas, social media can be very useful in spreading positive messages when used in promoting critical thought. For example, anyone that uses social media, though I don’t recommend any more daily engagement than 30 minutes, is likely aware of the environmental tragedy happening in Brazilian and Ecuadorean rainforests this year in which large areas of the Amazon have been lit on fire, allegedly by ranchers seeking to clear land for cattle grazing. And as has become the normal reaction to this disaster, hundreds of thousands of tweets and social media posts with the #PrayforAmazon hashtag were spread across social media channels. Unfortunately, millions of #Prayfor_____ (insert the environmental, ecological, or humanitarian disaster of the moment in the blank space) messages, in reality, produce very little positive sustainable change in the long run. The necessary component to produce real sustainable future progress for the human race is an ability to connect the dots.  All of the situations of which I’ve spoken, including the rise of fake religious demagogues, the rise of animosity and division in society, excuses provided by purveyors of the legal system for repugnant child sex traffickers like British MPs and Jeffrey Epstein, and the disdain for any financial and monetary truth, can be traced back to a common denominator – the academic destruction of critical thinking skills in young adults that continues into adulthood, and the failure to recognize the massive degree to which our views about life have been funneled into delusional, self-contained echo chambers that form inflexible, uniform hive-like mentalities among all members of society.

If we fail to connect the dots, especially of the widespread engagement of social media for hours per day with the downfall of civilization, then we can be lured, by dopamine-feedback loops into foolishly wasting large portions of every day in placing more emphasis on accumulating useless social currency than in accumulating the real currency we need to survive. I have witnessed social media “stars” film their mental breakdowns and post it on social media forums after having their IG accounts banned, stating that their entire meaning in life was extracted from the millions of followers they collected, and that without their followers, they are “literally nothing”, in their own words. Such a conclusion exhibits an extreme breakdown of critical thinking, as well as a complete absence of meaningful purpose in life, and yet again, provides another example of why critical thinking is inseparable from freedom.  In fact, this reminds me of a story in which a Chinese gamer murdered another gamer for stealing his virtual sword after he reported the theft to police, and the police informed him that they could not arrest the offender for stealing something that didn’t exist in real life. Spending too much time in virtual words disconnected from reality collecting virtual friends that will never give you the time of day if you have a real life emergency and wasting time collecting the social currency of “likes” and “follows” are behaviors that are destroying the collective mental health of society.

Even the “Happiest Place on Earth” is Not Exempt from The Age of Delusion

Even the happiest place on earth was recently exposed by one of its heiresses as a delusion. When Disney heir Abagail Disney visited Disneyland to investigate a Disneyland employee’s Facebook message sent to her about horrid employee working conditions and minimal wages that were not adequate for a decent life, she concluded that working conditions at Disneyland were sub-optimal. After subsequently sending an email to Disney’s CEO Bob Iger and being unceremoniously re-directed to the Human Resources department with no reply from Iger. Disney’s public relations department responded to the heiress’s criticism with a strongly worded reply, claiming Disney executives pay its workers above the federal minimum wage, with a starting hourly wage of $15 at California’s Disneyland and contributing $150 million to the tuition fees of its workers. However, this did not end the heiress’s criticism, as she responded on Twitter by stating, “To brush aside criticism of the low wage you pay workers at the company by saying you pay more than the Federal Minimum Wage and that you provide opportunities for education is a dodge… The problem with offering education is that the people most in need of the biggest salary boosts are often least in a position to benefit by it. That’s why they have to take these jobs. Not only can they not afford the childcare to get to these classes, they will be too stressed… Let’s say they all get educated and take ‘better’ jobs. Who’s gonna clean your rooms? Whose gonna get the chewing gum off the immaculate walkways in the parks? Someone else. I guess.”  Regardless of whether you support the arguments of Disney corporate executives or the Disney heiress, these surface level revelations expose that a completely different reality often exists below the surface level illusions created by those in power.

As I stated previously, many of the greatest delusions of lifestyles are created on social media, with people posting highlight reels of photo-shopped and digitally enhanced physiques and landscapes to promote the message of how wonderful their lives are compared to everyone else’s. The problem with the creation of these unrealistic, artificial narratives is that delusion can be debilitating. Delusions cause the manifestation of two of the worst human characteristics – complacency and envy. These characteristics increasingly isolate ourselves from others and destroy our sense of compassion, empathy, and community – all characteristics that we will need in spades to survive the culmination of the Central Banker currency wars, which has already caused enormous despair and wreaked havoc in the lives of tens of millions of people across dozens of nations around the world. The dog-eat-dog world narrative that is deliberately being fostered by this age of delusion is extremely worrisome and disconcerting. The only thing likely to unwind this regression as well is an increase in real learning and real education in how to think, so that people do not continue to blindly obey what they are taught and instructed to think in school classrooms, on television news shows and by famous people. I link the inability of many in understanding “how to think” versus blindly accepting “what to think” as the reason behind increasing idol worship in society. Critical thinking is inseparable from freedom precisely because critical thinking gives rise to compassion, empathy, and community.

The Age of Idol Worship

Critical thinking is inseparable from freedom because with the proliferation of critical thinking, idol worship would die a quick and necessary death. Even on YouTube, in past instances in which I merely deconstructed the arguments of YouTubers with millions of followers in a dispassionate exercise of pointing out the numerous flaws in conclusions made by the most popular YouTubers, their supporters, instead of attacking my arguments and pointing out any possible flaws in my arguments, engaged in attacking me, as they so closely associated with their YouTube idols that they viewed any dressing down of their idols as a personal attack on them. And when this happens, when perfectly viable arguments for a return to logic and rationality result in ad hominem attacks upon anyone that makes a credible argument (as thousands have suffered this reaction, not just me), this inability of anyone to levy any critique against “idols” without the critique immediately generating enormous unwarranted blowback illustrates the rapid disappearance from society-at-large of the process of understanding how to think. I have also heard some of my friends tell me, over the years, that they did not believe a truth I told them about the global financial system because it opposed the mainstream narrative until they heard a billionaire make a same argument. They would say something similar to the following: “Remember when you told me about such and such? I never believed you but last week I heard a billionaire state almost exactly the same thing you told me five years ago. I guess it must be true.” Again, such admissions perfectly illustrate the deliberate denigration of our abilities to think for ourselves and draw our own conclusions.

It should not matter if an extremely famous person or someone known only to his or her friends made an argument. It should not matter if a billionaire or a person living in poverty made an argument. If we all understood how to think, then we would not latch on to statements made by famous, wealthy people as the truth and automatically dismiss statements made by non-famous people as invalid; however, especially in the world of finance, if a well know person makes a statement, or better yet, a well-known, extremely wealthy person makes a statement, the majority of people that hears this statement tends to blindly believe it without any critical analysis or thought. If we all understood how to think, the source of any statement would remain irrelevant, unless it was from a known liar that gave us reason to pause, but rather the merits or weaknesses of the argument would be the only criteria by which we judge the veracity or falsehood of that statement.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the purpose of my writing of this article was to raise awareness that critical thinking is inseparable from freedom in the hopes that it would start conversations about this topic, so please forward this article to friends, family and colleagues if you found any value in this article serving this purpose. In the end, it will take thousands of such conversations to reverse the damage that has already been done but there is no better time to start this process than right now. For those interested in being informed of future similar articles, please subscribe to our free weekly newsletter here. Become a patron and support us here.

About the author: J.Kim is the Founder and Chief Education
Officer of skwealthacademy, a coming revolutionary, disruptive online education
academy that focuses on the provision of all essential missing educational
components of schooling today such as critical thinking, applied knowledge,
business ethics, and the pursuit of meaning through the attainment of life
purpose and holistic wealth.
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