Critical Thinking

on . Posted in Articles by Brent Johnson

by Brent Johnson

The American revolution was a remarkable event. Against the might of the British monarchy and her minions of well-trained troops, a small, rag-tag, untrained corps of citizen-soldiers wrested control of the colonies from subjection to the king. Such an amazing accomplishment required amazing men; men of character and principle, men of morals and values; men who could distinguish between right and wrong, without an order from the king.

It is their character traits that gave the Founding Fathers their passion and the courage of their convictions, enabling them to establish a free republic where once the king of England ruled, and arguably the most important of those character traits they shared was their uncanny ability to think critically.

Oh, they didn’t call it "critical thinking" back then; psychology was an undiscovered frontier (and perhaps we would all be better off if it had remained so – Ed.). They likely would have referred to it as "just plain smarts" or something similar.

Critical thinking is the ability to conceptualize beyond any outside image restraints imposed on you. In other words, the ability to think outside the box. For example, let’s say your parents are extremely strict with you, shielding you from the true horrors of the world. Critical thinking is what allows you to step into and experience the "real world" without becoming overwhelmed by it all and totally collapsing.

Critical thinkers tend to be imaginative and creative, often dreamers, readers of fiction more than non-fiction, and tend not to remain in dreary or boring jobs for too long. A critical thinker will always seek ways to improve conditions or circumstances. Of course, this is not true for all critical thinkers; some have become sufficiently cynical that they refrain from using their abilities in an effort that they do not think can succeed.

Further, they are less predictable than non-critical thinkers; more likely to do something unexpected, making them undesirable as bureaucrats, despite their tendency to make things better.

Bureaucrats

You see, all bureaucrats - elected or appointed, government or private – possess very specific character traits, and first amongst these is an inability to think critically. A bureaucrat cannot be a critical thinker; the two are mutually exclusive.

For example, whenever a government or private-sector agency is seeking to hire a bureaucrat, the job description looks something like this: obeys instructions from superiors unquestioningly, does exactly what he is told to do, without any deviation, does not do anything he is not specifically instructed to do. You may find a bit more leeway in the private sector than in government, but that is the general profile of every bureaucrat.

An Unfair Advantage

Knowing this gives you - a critical thinker - a decided (and frankly unfair) advantage over all bureaucrats and, by extension, all bureaucracies. Never forget this advantage:

You are so much smarter than they are.

If you use your critical thinking abilities, you can run rings around any bureaucrat. It’s easy. All you have to do is present the bureaucrat with a scenario that is outside of his box. You will immediately put him off balance and he will be unable to deal with the matter. Then you take it from there. This general formula can be used in just about any situation involving a bureaucrat.

If you think critically, you can come up with options where others see none. You can learn to intimidate the police officer when he pulls you over, or the judge in his own court! The critical thinker need never feel helpless, or hopeless, or lost, because his greatest weapon is his brain.

Modern Americans are constantly bombarded with the latest television, radio and print marketing campaigns, all designed to keep them imprisoned in a conceptual box, which keeps the general population docile and easy to manipulate and control. Consider how much of your perceptions are knowingly or unknowingly influenced by what you see on television, hear on radio, read in the newspapers, etc. That represents your particular conceptual box, and it is not of your own making!

As we enter the 21st century, America is very much like a real-life Matrix, in which "reality" is actually a virtual fantasy, while most people do not believe true reality.

Critical thinkers are our only hope. It is only they who can save our Republic, for only they have the ability to think outside the conceptual box, which is what we need if we are to restore truth and justice and freedom to our land.

When one considers the astounding accomplishments of the Founding Fathers, utilizing their own critical thinking abilities in the face of a far mightier foe, one can only begin to imagine the vast array of possibilities that lie within our grasp if we only use those gifts with which we have been blessed.

Think about it!

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