Critical Thinking at the Free University

- CriticalThinking

Working with ICUK at the Magna Carta exhibition in London 2015

Clive Menzies, Critical Thinking presentation during The Present is Nigh - The Real General Election Headlines Show, held at G511ERY, 7th May 2015.

Published on 2 Jul 2015

Speaking Truth to Power--- Script No. 1
Is it Fair? Land
Part 1
Hello. Fancy seeing you here! This isn't your usual haunt, is it?
Long pause....
People like me don't often get to talk to people like you – too many gatekeepers. Do you mind if I ask you something?
Another long pause....
I mean.... Is it fair? That the fruits of land and resources only go to you? After all, your ancestors stole the land by conquest and through the enclosures acts.
Another long pause....
Did you know? …. Before Henry VIII confiscated the monasteries in the 1500s, 100% of the surplus from the land was available to the public purse. By the early 19th century that share had fallen to less than 4%. Who knows how little is collected from land today but it's a minuscule fraction of what's available.
Can you imagine how much revenue would be available to run public services and provide everyone with an Unconditional Citizens Dividend if this stolen revenue was shared?
But instead of sharing this value among everyone, you've collected it for yourself! That's why I ask, do you think its fair?
Another long pause....
Of course it's “legal” but over the years your family have controlled the political, economic, academic and legal institutions to “legalise” and protect your ownership...... and you've ended up with even more land and resources. Is that fair?
But you didn't stop at land and resources. Over recent years, yet more and more commons have been bought (or stolen more like) on the cheap by your corporations. The TV and radio spectrum, patents on genes, seeds, diseases.... you've even privatised knowledge! Knowledge which you didn't create but has been created by all people who've ever lived on this planet. I ask you. How can that be fair?

Published on 2 Jul 2015

Is it fear that drives you to want so much power and wealth?
Another long pause....
Only, I worked with a property developer in the 1970s. He lived in a Georgian terraced house in fashionable Camberwell Grove and drove a classic Bentley Flying Spur. I once asked him, how much money is enough? He said, “It's never enough. When you get to a certain point, it's not about money to spend but money is how you keep score.”
He, like you, was a victim of this political economy. Although he probably has more reason to think like this. He was brought up by his single mother in South Wales and ran away to sea. He'd had a pretty hard life and his prosperity was very recent – he worked hard to play the system and succeeded to a point. He was driven by a single minded determination to be rich.
But you, you inherited your wealth. You've never suffered deprivation. So where does your insecurity come from? Or is it that you've been brainwashed into believing it's your responsibility to rule and increase the wealth and power of your dynasty?
Another long pause....
How much of what of life has to offer is unknown to you? Can't you imagine how much better your life would be without all the need for security and those precautions you have to take. And think of all those places you can't go. I'm surprised to see you up here but I guess your security's over there under that tree. You're as much a prisoner of this system as we are.
And you do know that another Wall Street type crash is coming, don't you? There are many reasons why it's inevitable and land speculation is one of them.
The system is consuming itself and the resources of the planet.... there will be no future dynasty for you my friend.
Or perhaps you're planning to play the war card again? Certainly, your puppet politicians seem to be limbering up for war with Russia. But WWIII could also mean the end of civilisation along with your dynasty.... or don't

maximum wage - Henningham Family Press - atmen 2016

Time is everything
for an artist time is essential to think, make, propose,
explore, test and perhaps most important of all, fail.

The luxury of time brings the luxury to fail:
to experience failure without brutal consequences, helps facilitate
a deeper exploration of the world around us
which ultimately can allow for true learning.

So in a world where time is synonymous with money,
“time is money”
does that mean true learning is the preserve of the wealthy alone?

In over 30 years of working as an artist
the times I've felt, most employed and truly receptive to learning,
have been occasions that society would have deemed my status to be, unemployed.


In response to The Henningham Family Press ( HFP) invitation to collaborate on the Max Wage project, I propose to construct a large visual composition with the working title of Gainfully Unemployed. In conjunction with the other invited contributions and relating to the architecture and environment of St. Paul,s Church Hall, Gainfully Unemployed will compliment the HFP, central Max Wage installation.

The work will address the time/money equation and be assembled as a 5 hour durational composition throughout the afternoon assisted by participating visitors to the Max Wage event, March 12 2016. It's aimed to show, through making, how artistic process can give working form, structure and purpose to what might otherwise be designated, meaningless curiosity or pointless exploration of unusable knowledge. Ultimately it's probing to see how artistic discipline can help inform and expand the parameters of a conversation of utmost importance to us all ; employment/ unemployment and our relationship to money.

Eddie Farrell February 2016

Critical Thinking discussion on ourselves as a model system during a weekly meeting - April 2016

From a Critical Thinking presentation at Birkbeck College in June 2016

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Critical Thinking is a non-hierarchical, apolitical, collaborative research and education project, started in 2012, that analyses the current political economy to identify fundamental flaws and potential levers for change. The project aims to understand the historical context of issues from different perspectives and explore their current and future impacts on social cohesion, inequality, individual liberty and civilization as we know it.