Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thoughts on Zeitgeist: Moving Forward

Note: If you have not seen this movie, I suggest you do in order to form your own opinion.  I am writing this in response to a conversation I had with a friend and intend for this to merely be a series of comments (good and bad) on the film and not necessarily a genuine review of the film.

The Zeitgeist Movement has no doubt had a dramatic impact on many people across the globe.  The millions who watched the first installment, Zeitgeist: The Movie, were presented with alternative views on organized religion, the 9/11 story, and the global economic system (especially the Federal Reserve).  Certainly, Peter Joseph did a lot of good and woke up many people to the political realities of the world with his debut film.

With his newest epic, Joseph delves deep into our economic issues and the technology and philosophy that he believes can solve the problems presented.  He has some very solid points to make, but his solutions seem to coincide with the plans of the very same people he claims to be fighting against.

The Good

One argument Joseph presents is that economic growth (as it is called) is really debt growth.  This is absolutely true in the fiat currency based economic system we live in.  Whenever the Federal Reserve prints banknotes, strings are attached to it creating with it debt which will never be paid back.  The Reserve is no more a part of the government than Federal Express.  It is privately owned by a syndicate of the largest banks in the United States and is, at its core, a Ponzi scheme.  As soon as the first dollar was printed in 1913 (with interest), more money was owed back to the Federal Reserve than was actually available.  The economy can only grow if there is a new, larger generation of borrowers out there that are duped by this system.  This problem was compounded by the fact that President Nixon removed the gold standard assuring that every dollar printed was backed by a standard value in gold.  The paper currency we use is only legitimate based on the belief that it is money and grows only by adding to the debt owed to the Federal Reserve.

Joseph also makes good points on the stress caused by the monetary-market system.  There is little that can be brought forth to knock his argument that this causes stress for many people who struggle living day-to-day on very little money.  The number one cause of death in the world - greater than the Great Wars of the 20th century - is poverty.  While food shortages and droughts can be a result of environmental factors, many people starve or freeze to death during brutal winters due to lack of funds.  It would be nice to think that humankind would help each other for the greater health of all, but sadly this is not the case.

The Bad

A lot of Joseph's ideas are pie in the sky fantasy.  He dismisses critics who may call him a utopianist, but this is exactly what he is.  The idea that everyone will work together for the greater good has been tried before and always becomes corrupted.  Joseph would place the blame on capitalism, but greed (a.k.a. sin, selfishness, etc.) is part of human nature and has been around much longer than capitalism or even the monetary-market system (which was modernized during medieval days).  Whether our economy is based on money or resources, some people will always attempt to scheme the system to get ahead.

I also take issue with Joseph's approach to such issues as political corruption, banking cartels, and a "secret cabal" (as he calls it) that controls the world's progress.  These are all nonchalantly dismissed because the real source of all of our problems lies in the socio-economic system.

The Ugly

Joseph's solutions for the multitude of problems we face today are collected into something he calls the "Global Resource Management System."  In this new global system, all resources would be shared by the entire population.  Everything would be distributed based on human needs.  Production of goods would be localized to cut down on shipping.  Cars, boats, and (conceivably) all products would be stored in "libraries" where people can access them, again, based on their needs.  Food would be produced through a method called hydroponics on the outside of skyscrapers.  Joseph claims that this system would apply the scientific method to human concern therefore eliminating the corrupt tendency of political and religious structures.  In addition, employment of career based jobs would essentially be eliminated due to mechanization.  While this sounds wonderful, there are some problems here.

The aspect of Moving Forward that is most disturbing is the creation of these automated cities that Joseph has envisioned.  A closer analysis of this will lead right into a discussion of the elitists' plans for the future - the same money-hungry people Joseph claims to be revolting against.  There are calls from environmental groups to create so-called "planned-opolis" cities where everything is monitored and controlled by machines and a small group of humans for the greater good.  While conservationism is a noble goal, the people and organizations behind this movement are the same ones who have exploited our planet and the population as a whole for the benefit of themselves.  In fact, these same groups admit that the freedom for the general population would have to be curtailed.

Alternative Solutions

The real solution is decentralization.  Globalism has compounded the problems we have seen in recent years in our fraudulent monetary system.  Think of nation-states as rooms in a building.  Borders and individual economic systems are established as "fireproof doors" to isolate problems before they escalate.  Just as propping fireproof doors open would allow for easier movement throughout the building, closer economic ties and loosening on border restrictions on imports/exports will allow for the freer movement of goods throughout the world.  However, if disaster strikes, the fire (or recession) can not be contained in merely one room (or country).  The Great Depression was named as such because it was a global depression in many nations throughout the world that participated in the global economic system.

Decentralization is key in the resistance to corruption in politics as well.  The less organized (that is - formal organizations with formal lists of participants) we are, the harder it is to contain our movement.  As we have seen in recent years with groups such as the TEA Party, the Green Movement, etc. it is very easy for those who want to sabotage genuine grievances to infiltrate organized groups and even co-op them.


Despite painting a grim picture of the inevitable violent clashes between the elite and the general population, Joseph leaves the viewer with a hopeful scene where the resisters and the law enforcement officers commanded to quash the resisters come together to overthrow the economic system together.  I tend to believe that, in this late hour, violence is nearly unavoidable, but there is still a semblance of hope that our situation can be rectified peacefully.  The Zeitgeist Movement has opened the eyes of millions of people worldwide to the global problems we face.  It is my hope that Peter Joseph continues to release well-produced movies such as Moving Forward, but as we move forward we must be cautious about the options we have and move cautiously knowing that the elite of the world will always be with us and will always attempt to steer dissenting movements in their direction.

No comments:

Post a Comment