Fighting for the Power to Think

Film Director, Oliver Stone and Creston Davis in New York City.
Film Director, Oliver Stone and Creston Davis in New York City.

We’ve spent the last four years of our lives fighting. It’s not always been a winning fight, but it has created a sanctuary space in which new thinking can be done. We fight for the freedom to think, to create, to become a new human being full of compassion and love.

Along with over 100 leading philosophers, artists, writers we founded The Global Center for Advanced Studies in 2013. Many immediately dismissed us; many said we can’t make it financially. But here we are four years in the making and we’re stronger than ever. To say we’ve done a lot is a gross understatement; we’ve done too much for an institution that doesn’t take money from foundations. For example, we’ve done seminars all over the world from Athens, to New York, from Berlin to Cincinnati, from Dhaka to Havana and from Paris to London. We’ve worked with folks from Oliver Stone to Tariq Ali, Zizek, Badiou and Malabou to Irigaray. We’ve reached hundreds of thousands. And our fight has only just begun.

Here’s a sample of what we do taken from the conference we organized in Athens in July 2015, “Democracy Rising”. [In English]

Our reach is certainly global but we also take-up local struggles too. Our mission is simple: it’s not simply about debt free education it’s about creating a new world, one in which all of humanity can work together for democracy addressing pressing issues like clean water, healthy food, and basic healthcare. But we do this not from the perspective of policy issues, rather we do this from thinking, creating, and performing wisdom and philosophy and sometimes even love. We have no set rubric, we just meet-up and think together.

It’s exhausting work, and you’d be surprised how some privileged professors who write radically continue hiding behind the walls of the corporate money making academy. If change is going to happen, risking one’s privilege, bolstered by a corrupt system putting our youth into massive debt enslavement to the banks, is essential. Change must happen not just for the next generation, but for the very freedom of thinking itself. When thinking takes place in an enslavement space shot-through with debt-in-the-making, the power of thinking is denuded, stripped—it simply dies.

We’re certainly not the solution; there are many other new schools popping up and we need more, but our community believes that the fight for thinking and creating certainly merits our efforts. Perhaps the power of our thinking changes something invisible to our eyes because it has certainly changed us.

Fighting for a space to think is essential and necessary not just for philosophy, but for the very meaning of life as such.

So we look forward to persisting with our fight for thinking and look forward to the next four years.

We press on in the name of creating thought.

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