Shitegeist

If you’re the kind of person who knows there’s a lot of problems in our society, and you’re looking for solutions for what to do about it, there’s a good chance you’ve found yourself here on our blog.

There’s also a good chance you might have come across something called the Zeitgeist Movement. If you have, and you’re attracted to the ideas they put forward, this article is our attempt to argue that Zeitgeist offers no real solutions to the economic and ecological crises that human civilisation is facing. In fact, quite the opposite: instead of explaining to people how we can change our society for the better, many of the ideas put forward in the Zeitgeist films have their origins in the far right and racist groups, and they’re ideas which are both crazy and useless.

The reason we’re doing this is because we know that Zeitgeist has been really influential on thousands of people who’ve seen it online, and because we think that is potentially really damaging to the attempts (which we’re part of) to build a mass movement capable of bringing fundamental change to the world. It deliberately tries to pitch itself as an appeal to people who have a basically left wing outlook, but the ideas it puts forward about our world as it is just now are not left wing at all.

Zeitgeist got started when a man called Peter Joseph (this apparently isn’t his real or full name, as he conceals his real identity) released a documentary called, amazingly enough, Zeitgeist (which is German for Spirit of the Times) in 2007. This film was stuck up on Google video, and quickly got loads of views. This was then followed by a sequel, Zeitgeist Addendum, the following year.

The first film is an amalgamation of conspiracy theories: first of all, about religion, making all kinds of claims about the origins of Christianity; then a large middle section about 9/11, asserting that there were no terror attacks and they were in fact carried out by the US government. The final section is probably the most important for us to examine as socialists, because it’s about money and finance. It argues that the world is dominated by a small elite who operate through control of international finance, the media and education. This elite deliberately enslaves the rest of the world by keeping us permanently in debt to the banks by the way they operate the money system.

The second film then goes on to build on these economic themes, and argues for an alternative: eliminating the profit system, and creating what they call a ‘Resource Based Economy,’ where everyone in the world has access to what they need to survive for free by use of advanced technology. In many ways this society they describe is what socialism or communism would really be like in the future. The problem is that Zeitgeist specifically describes itself as a non-political movement, and offers no real plans for how to create the society. However, in the absence of actually describing itself as left wing or right wing, Zeitgeist has taken on a lot of ideas from some very dodgy sources.

Racism, anti-Semitism and the modern world

To understand where some of the ideas in Zeitgeist come from, we need to have a look first at their history.

From the 15-16th centuries onwards, the world began to be rapidly transformed by the technological and social advances that allowed European peoples to expand around the world and create colonies and empires. Explorers from European powers like Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and England began to move into Africa, the Americas and Asia. Through the slave trade and the exploitation of mines and plantations in these new colonies, European traders became rich.

Following this, the newly enriched classes began to use their money to kickstart the industrial revolution in Europe. They also grew tired of the fact that in European societies power was still held by people who were born into the aristocracy, when they were rich and felt they should also be powerful. This led to revolutions in France and the US, and the beginning of the modern world. Over the course of the 18th-19th centuries, the pace of change increased rapidly, with huge numbers of people leaving the land and farm work to move to massive new cities and work in the factories. Traditional sources of authority and power were undermined, and many people were left confused and angered by a world that they didn’t recognise any more.

The 19th century saw the development of a mass socialist movement, as working class people began to realise that if economic and political power was taken out of the hands of the capitalists then society could be run for the benefit of all.

But other groups, particularly middle class people who had no attraction to the ideas of socialism, began to seek other explanations for why the world had changed and what to do about it. Many of these people felt that they didn’t have a place in modern society, but they also didn’t want to go back to medieval times. Unable to see the reality that the world had been changed by huge economic and social forces beyond the control of any individual, they came to blame what was wrong in society on some kind of small secret elite who were controlling things for their own benefit.

Zeitgeist founder Peter Joseph

People talked about secret societies like the Illuminati or the Freemasons dominating politics and government from behind the scenes. Crucially, these ideas were tied into the idea, which was hugely powerful in the late 19th and early 20th century, that the world was fundamentally divided along racial lines. Many of these people believed there was a plot to undermine the power and dominance of “the white race”.

Racism is a set of ideas that takes older prejudices, and systematically makes them into a worldview. Contrary to what most folk think, it emerged specifically in the modern world, as a way of explaining and understanding what was happening as global society began to rapidly change. Most racialised views of different peoples made their victims out to be inferior, such as the claim black people are stupid and lazy for example.

But Jews had a long history in Christian thought as being thought of as demonic enemies. They were blamed for the killing of Jesus, and in the medieval world were regarded as clever and dangerous because they took part in trade and money lending. In the modern world Jews came to be understood by many people as some kind of absolutely monstrous Other, a huge evil threat. This was of course total nonsense, but it was a useful idea for those who couldn’t face the reality of what was going on in capitalist society, and for those in power who didn’t want people to see that reality.

Anti-Semitic ideas became to be encapsulated in the idea that there was a world Jewish conspiracy, which aimed to establish a global government under their control. They would do this by their international control of banks and money, as well as control of the media and education.

An anti-Semitic cartoon shows the crazy idea of a global Jewish conspiracy

These ideas came together in a book called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This was an anti-Semitic forgery put together in Russia at the turn of the 20th century, which claimed to be documents of meetings and plans of the Jewish elite to dominate the world. These documents were circulated around the world, and became particularly important after the Russian Revolution in 1917. Many, who were fooled into thinking the Protocols were real, used them as evidence that the revolution was part of the Jewish conspiracy, and that the Bolsheviks aimed to advance it. This was a huge part of why Hitler hated socialists and communists so much. But the same ideas also had massive circulation in the leading government and powerful circles of US politics, and were argued by many right wing US Congressmen and other political figures.

If it has ever confused you why right wing conspiracy nutters say they hate banks and big business, and then go on to say they hate communists and socialists who run the world, this is why. For them, communism and socialism are part of a wider conspiracy by a tiny elite to control the world. The aim of this group, they think, is to create a one world government. Whether they talk about Jews openly, or whether they restrict what they’re saying to names like “international bankers”, the origins of this idea go back to the Protocols and the mad ideas of 19th century anti-Semites.

The Protocols are a straight up work of fiction. But the ideas they put forward have surfaced again and again. Since World War Two it’s been increasingly difficult for racist groups to openly advocate anti-Semitism, because these ideas saw their ultimate expression in the slaughter of the Holocaust. Even before this, many didn’t talk openly about Jews, but instead about “international bankers”, the “secret cabal” who ran the world.

The problem with all this for socialists is obvious: financial capitalists really do hold a huge amount of power and influence over government policies, and the international ruling class does co-ordinate its actions secretly and conspiratorially to make sure that capitalism keeps working and that profits are maximised.

However, these things aren’t the result of a plot of a small group of evil men. The fact is that capitalism is a self-sustaining economic system with a life of its own. It doesn’t really matter who is at the top as long as somebody is. People find it hard to grasp the reality of the way our economic and social system works, because it’s complex and hard to understand. Put simply, capitalists don’t want to just get rich and sit back. They want to find ways they can invest profits to create more profits and keep the economy growing. That’s the driving force, not the evil desires of a small group of men. But it’s hard to get your head round that, and many people find it much easier to blame an identifiable group they can easily conceptualise, like Jews.

The 19th century German socialist August Bebel once said that “Anti-Semitism is the Socialism of fools,” because it tried to understand the causes of real problems resulting from capitalism, and instead blamed them on Jews. Throughout the 20th century, many right wingers began to see the dominance of banks and financial capital as evidence of a Jewish conspiracy. for them, this was evidence of the traditional prejudice that Jews were evil, manipulative money lenders bent on power and control.

The real reason that finance has become more and more dominant is that it’s increasingly difficult for capitalists to invest their money in something that produces stuff (like a factory) and make their money back, because after 200 odd years of capitalism the world is full of factories and stuff – so it’s harder and harder to make new products, like cars or furniture or tools say, and make a profit from it. So instead capitalists put more of their money into banks, financial investments etc. There’s no secret to it – it’s just about making money, and what’s the best way to go about it.

Blaming others for your problems

Zeitgeist and anti-Semitic ideas

In a speech on youtube, Peter Joseph says that:

“If I find someone who’s in the KKK who has a great perspective on global finance, I’m not going to dismiss them just because they’re a racist and a bigot, I’m going to read what it is. I don’t dismiss anybody because of their beliefs because I understand that beliefs are a product of cultural conditioning.”

I find this particular quote very revealing, because it’s absolutely clear that many of the conspiracy ideas put forward in the first film do ultimately derive from the far right and anti-Semitism. Contrary to what Peter thinks, it’s very hard to take these ideas in isolation from the overarching worldview they’re actually part of.

Zeitgeist argues that banks create fictional money in order to keep us all in debt and to allow them to manipulate the economy for their own secretive control. This is at heart a restatement of the idea that there is a group of manipulative money lenders running the world. While Zeitgeist calls this group “international bankers”, the original understanding was, of course, that these people were the Jews.

I’m sure that defenders of the film would argue that they are not anti-Semites, and that the film at no point names “the jews” as responsible for the issues they raise, which is true. However, this defence falls down when you look at some of the people the film quotes prominently and approvingly. Several figures from the early 20th century are quoted for what they have to say about “international bankers.” These people were out and out racists, and we should have no doubt about who they mean when they talk about “international bankers.”

A good example of this is Louis McFadden, a racist US Congressman from 1915-23. He’s quoted at length in Zeitgeist, with his claims that “A world banking system was being set up here… a superstate controlled by international bankers acting together to enslave the world for their own pleasure…” A quote of his they don’t use “in the United States today, the Gentiles have the slips of paper while the Jews have the lawful money.” He was absolutely a product of his time, the height of scientifically and politically accepted racism, and his economic views can’t be separated from his views about Jews.

Congressman Louis McFadden

What Zeitgeist doesn’t tell you is that money is just a representation of the value created by the people that do the work in an economy. Wealth comes originally from human labour. At your work, the work you do for a part of your day makes the boss enough money to pay your wages, and the rest becomes profits. But capitalism wants to use this money to invest and make more money. The state and its economic policy isn’t a conspiracy to make a few people richer, but instead it tries to create the conditions to allow more profit to be extracted and invested. This is a part of the system we live under, and isn’t to do with a few evil individuals running things for their own benefit. In a system like ours, there will always be people at the top administering things. The point is that the system needs to be changed.

Traditional anti-Semitic accusations are given new life, this time again blamed on “international bankers” in other parts of the film as well. A prominent claim in the Protocols is that Jews deliberately start wars for their own profit. In the film, it’s argued that throughout the 20th century the US has used faked incidents, or deliberate provocations to generate excuses to enter wars, the latest being, they claim, 9/11. Now of course, there is a grain of truth in this. Some of the incidents they talk about, like the Gulf of Tonkin which was used as a pretext for the US to enter fully into the Vietnam war, probably were faked. But the film then goes on to claim that the US never intended to win the war in Vietnam, their sole interest being in the continuation of the war for profit. While wars do of course generate a lot of profit for manufacturers of weapons and war materials, the idea that the huge effort the US put into to trying to keep their own puppets in power in Vietnam was never intended to win is a joke.

However, these views of war fit in with what Peter Joseph thinks the ultimate aim of the elite is: a one world government. This is a time honoured phantom fear of the conspiracy far right, that in fact all governments in the world are being controlled by a shadowy elite behind the scenes. The film argues that the Cold War was a distraction, and that the “international bankers” controlled both sides (reinventing the old myth that the Russian Revolution was just part of a Jewish plot for global domination.) But in a world where China and Russia have made huge steps to build their own geopolitical power throughout Asia, and where countries like Brazil, Turkey, Iran or Venezuela are all actively engaged in trying to build their own international power at the expense of the US, the idea that we are headed for a global government any time soon is laughable. It is a crazy fantasy that can only be believed if you accept false evidence.

The film also talks about control of education and the media to keep people stupid and easily manipulated. Again, there’s clearly a grain of truth in this, but when coupled with a conspiracy worldview it becomes a re-telling of one of the most powerful anti-Semitic myths: that the Jews control the media, and fill our heads with propaganda.

Jewsians in the media

The point here is that Zeitgeist deals with issues that have some substance to them. If you follow many leading conspiracy theorists, people like Alex Jones for example, it’s often the case that they identify things that have some reality to them. But because they can’t get their heads round the difficult concepts of what’s really going on in a complex, unpredictable global social and economic system, they look for individuals or groups to blame. They try to give the people responsible a face.

Peter Joseph, in making the first Zeitgeist film, has clearly used as much of his source material these kinds of people, and fails to identify the real reasons for the problems that the human race faces. But what’s worrying about this is that it’s packaged in a way to make it look left wing, to appeal to people who are looking for genuine solutions to capitalism and its problems. Instead of finding them, those attracted to Zeitgeist are actually being sold ideas that originate in racism and all the lies and myths of anti-Semitism.

The risks of this are there for all to see if you look back at the history of fascism. Mussolini, and Oswald Mosley who founded the British Union of Fascists, both started out involved with the left. However, they were later to move away from this and become fascists. Without clear understanding of what capitalism and what it does, it’s easy to fall back on simpler ideas that blame the wrong people. A case in point is US conspiracy theorist and all round nutcase Lyndon LaRouche, who also is quoted approvingly in Zeitgeist.

Scary mentalist: Lyndon LaRouche

LaRouche is a prolific writer and several times candidate for President of the US. He’s also the leader of a violent cult which has been implicated in several deaths of people who got involved with it. Like fascists before him, LaRouche started out involved with the left, but became more and more right wing as the years went by, and now peddles anti-Semitic lies, as well as approvingly quoting Saddam Hussein in his publications. One case of how dangerous his movement can be is the mysterious death of Jeremiah Duggan who got involved with them, but at a conference revealed himself to be Jewish. After a panicked phone call to his Mum, he was found dead the next morning. The LaRouchites claim he committed suicide.

Now to be clear, I’m not claiming that the Zeitgeist movement has killed people, or that Peter Joseph is a Hitler in waiting. What I’m saying is that if you’re looking to do something about changing society, starting off with folk who think quoting fascists, racists and anti-Semites as part of their case isn’t the way to go.

Zeitgeist 2: Star Trek solutions

If you try and engage Zeitgeist activists about these issues, in all likelihood they will say something along the lines of “Well, we don’t promote the first film any more, we’ve moved on to new things.” Sometime between the making of the first and second films, Peter Joseph came into contact with Jacques Fresco, a designer and engineer who has a series of plans for improving society which he calls the Venus Project. Zeitgeist now describes itself as “the activist wing of the Venus Project.” Privately, some are trying to distance themselves from some of the material in the first film, but officially it is still promoted on the main page when you google Zeitgeist, and remains most people’s introduction to the movement.

The Venus Project advocates what it calls a “resource based economy”, arguing that there are enough resources in the world to provide everyone with a decent standard of living. The problem they argue is that capitalism deliberately makes resources scarce in order to make a profit. So far this is definitely something socialists could agree with. The project goes on to present a whole series of exciting looking sci fi style drawings of what the high tech future they propose will look like, which are strangely retro and remind you of concept art for 60s sci fi shows.

Thunderbirds are Go!: the future according to the Venus Project

I absolutely support the idea of a society with no money where all your basic needs are met for free. That’s the future I’m fighting for. But the way that we go about this in SSY and the SSP is to try and build change in the here and now, trying to win people to socialist ideas by making concrete changes to peoples lives now. If I were to go out on the street today and start handing out leaflets that said “We want to abolish money and make everything free” then most people would dismiss us as crazy. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to just wish a new society into existence; it has to be built patiently by the collective co-operation and work of masses of people.

The Zeitgeist movement don’t seem to agree. They argue that all our problems can be solved by scientists, and explicitly say they reject politics or a political movement. In effect what they argue for is a technocracy, at least at first. That means that what happens in society will be determined by a scientific elite. Jacques Fresco argues that politicians now are incapable of implementing solutions because they don’t have the right expertise, and only say what they think will get them elected. But the solution to this isn’t a society run by “experts”, but the implementation of mass democracy, and the opening up of education and the media to allow people to develop themselves. I think this is probably what Zeitgeist members would eventually like to see, but the point is, to make it possible it’s necessary to struggle and win what we can.

This isn’t to say that many of the technologies advocated by the Venus Project/Zeitgeist couldn’t play a really important role in a better society. But in focusing just on technological changes, they ignore that technology is a part of society, not the root of it. If all our problems could be solved with technology, then the ancient Egyptians would have developed steam engines. They had all the knowledge necessary to do so, but they didn’t because their society was based on slavery, and as long as there were plenty of slaves and peasants to do the work, who needed steam power? More to the point, their kind of society wasn’t expanding economically in the same way capitalism does, so there was no need for a technology capable of unleashing an industrial revolution. So nobody ever followed through the theoretical knowledge into practice. Steam engines were invented when human society was ready to use them and needed them.

Similarly today, we won’t convert our energy supply to renewables or start using environmentally friendly technology exclusively, because our society is still based on economic growth and making money. For these technologies to be part of the solution, they need to be accompanied by socio-economic changes to the way the world works, and to do that we need to politically defeat the ruling class.

The politics that Zeitgeist does promote are essentially that you boycott aspects of society they don’t like: don’t open an account with the the three biggest banks in the US (but implying that an account with another bank is in some way better?) and boycott energy companies by taking your house off the grid, for example. What this ignores is that for working class people forced to work long hours for low pay, putting a wing turbine in your garden just isn’t something they can afford in time or money. Boyotts are individual actions, where as socialists argue for a collective response to social problems, where we struggle for the power to make solutions like renewable energy available for everyone.

I'm sure if we just ignore the ruling class they'll go away

Zeitgeist activists argue that they are just trying to “raise awareness” of the technical solutions available to our problems. But the fact is most people know on some instinctive level that things can be better than the way they are. The problem is, they have a better understanding of power and the state than most Zeitgeist activists do. They know that if you start trying to live outside the money system and move past capitalism, then the capitalists will use their real power to try and stop you. They have money, legal authority and armed force. They’ve used all these things every time people have tried to move beyond capitalism, from the Russian revolution to the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela today. That doesn’t mean we should give up, but it does mean we should be prepared for the very real fight we have on our hands with the people in power. “Raising awareness” will not be enough to win that fight.

Noam Chomsky has summed up the problems with Zeitgeist Addendum well when he says:

“I don’t regard the Zeitgeist Movement as an activist movement. Rather, it seems to me a very passive movement that is misled by documents that have a very pleasant sound, but collapse on analysis. Among them is the idea that we should ‘stop supporting the system’ and ‘not fight it’, that is, seek to change and overcome it. That means we should withdraw into passivity. Nothing could be more welcome to those in power. My feeling is that however sincere the leaders and participants may be, the movement is seriously misguided. It is not leading towards change, but is undermining it by encouraging passivity and withdrawal from engagement, and offering a false sense that some real alternative is being proposed, except in terms so vague and divorced from reality as to be virtually meaningless.”

Miscellaneous problems with Zeitgeist

Horus takes Peter Joseph by the hand and points out all the hieroglyphs that show him to be TOTALLY DIFFERENT to Jesus

Peter Joseph has expressed scepticism about the reality of climate change, arguing that Zeitgeist should not base its arguments on something that “might not be true.” If anything undermines their claim to be based on scientific ideas it’s this. But it does fit in with the relationship that Zeitgeist activists maintain with other conspiracy groups maintain like We Are Change. To most folk the idea that the entire scientific community is engaged in a gigantic fraud to lie about the climate is madness, but it seems plausible if you already believe that the government carried out 9/11, the world is run by “international bankers” etc.

The opening section of the first film, about the use of earlier myths by Christianity to create a fictional story of a historical Jesus as fact, is not that important to the political implications of the movement as a whole. But it does show up how the ideas of Zeitgeist are a mixed up mishmash of stuff from all over the place, as it’s riddled with inaccuracies about ancient religions, such as claiming the Egyptian God Horus was a Sun God, born of a Virgin on December 25th (each one of these claims is just blatantly not true.)

And if all of the above hasn’t convinved you that Zeitgeist is a load of pish, then consider this. It has attracted the endorsement of someone who has made himself a bit of a laughing stock by his increasingly outlandish public claims, and who is a damaged product of the British celebrity circuit. I’m talking of course about. . .Robbie Williams!

Bonus: For more on Zeitgeist, I highly recommend this article, which was very helpful writing it.

66 Comments

  1. Andi Rossetter says:

    thanks for this article, although i’ve stumbled across other conspiracy theories i’ve never heard of this zeitgeist nonsense till now.

    conspiracy theories hurt my brain

    google mental americans

  2. LydiaTeapot says:

    Hey hey HEY! In the sims you can put up to 6 wind turbines in your garden! Am i doin i rite?

    Great article, Jack. Very informative. It’s horrible to see otherwise good and sensible people being drawn into this stuff. But to those who are drawn in, it’s just like Scientology, isn’t it? You don’t get to know about the alien/lizard people till you’re too far gone to come back. To the new comers, it’s just defending an abused Downs Syndrome girl and The Truth about 9/11 (Which lots of people believe anyway!).

  3. Roan Carratu says:

    This article is really ignorant. Your long winded ‘history’ explanation has nothing whatsoever to do with the Zeitgeist Movement, and you are just trying ‘guilt by imagined association’… By putting this out, you hope to sway people who have never heard of the Movement against even finding out about it. To instill ‘instant rejection’ into their minds. From the two comments you publish, it worked for them. If this is an example of your intellectual honesty, you are no better than the right wing and left wing propagandists.

    I hope someday you learn how seriously mistaken you are, and how futile your strategy of dishonesty based upon ignorance really is. Humanity is growing out of those ignorant mindsets, and I hope you do also.

  4. Ryan Nelson says:

    Hello,

    I’m the Oklahoma Chapter coordinator for The Zeitgeist Movement.

    I would like to start out by asking anyone who has read this article, to look at both sides of the coin before formulating your opinion by going to http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com .

    Now about this article. Trying to figure out whether The Zeitgeist Movement is right or left winged is impossible, for it is neither. As denoted from the main page of the website, The Zeitgeist Movement is not a political movement. It is a sustainability movement, which advocates that a social and economical change is needed to sustain the planet and it’s inhabitants.

    The most common attack of the movement is trying to discredit it by deeming it as a huge conspiracy theory. When one hears this term, it often turns them off to the idea that whatever the term is describing is not serious or factual. The first Zeitgeist film does go in depth into religion and 9/11 conspiracy theories and are backed up by many references and resources regarding the subject matter. If you would like to know exactly where Peter got his information, it can be found on the Zeitgeist movie website. The film only provides alternate theories regarding 9/11. For, no one actually knows the exact causes of what exactly happened on 9/11 except the hand full of people who organized it. Which again, no one know for sure everyone who participated in it.

    The notion that The Zeitgeist Movement is anti-semitic or supports anti-semitic ideas is completely erroneous. People within the movement do not view other people as “evil” or anything of the sort. For the reason why someone does something horrible or commits a crime is because of the conditions in which they grow up and live in. This is what influences people’s actions. By the environment they are surrounded by. A person that is in the KKK was influenced to join that group because he/she grew up in a racist and prejudice environment. What Peter was saying in the quote you provided was that because that person was a part of the KKK, doesn’t make him any less of a human. He still needs the same things we all do to survive.

    As to your statements about a Resource-Based Economy, everything that The Venus Project proposes is completely plausible and practical, and anyone who has researched what exactly a Resource-Based Economy is and how much of an improvement it is from a monetary system most likely will agree.

    We are starting to see the signs of the system failing everyday. From pollution as a result of lack of funds for research on safer and cleaner energy to the reason why we are in the Middle East. The reason why there is world hunger, poverty, war, and crime is abundant around the world is due to the scarcity that the monetary system thrives on. As long that there is a monetary system, these issues will continue to happen and grow worse and worse. A Resource-Based Economy proposes the elimination of the root causes of all the issues and conflicts around the world by eliminating the monetary system itself.

    I would like to discuss this further and make everything as transparent as possible so no misunderstands and misconceptions occur about The Zeitgeist Movement and The Venus Project.

    If you have any questions or comments in regards to The Zeitgeist Movement or The Venus Project, please feel free to contact me via email and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

    E-mail: ryan.ok@thezeitgeistmovement.com

    Thank you.

  5. Liam says:

    Roan, did you see the title of the website? Left wing propaganda is what we do best here. And I fail to see how writing a persuasive article on a topic is intellectuality dishonest. You offer no examples of areas in which the article is wrong or inaccurate, just a vague “I am right and you are wrong”.

  6. Tom Peters says:

    Dear Jack,

    you have totally misunderstood the ideas of TZM… I suggest you do some research prior to writing articles!
    Oh and try to expand your mindset juuust a little bit at least because close minded people like you will be useless in the future!

    Regards,

    Tom

  7. Gandhi says:

    Hi there,

    In response to Liam’s comment that the article is not ‘wrong’ in any areas, I have listed a few examples. I will ignore the vast majority of the article as it seems to have absolutely no relevance to The Zeitgeist Movement and its proposals.

    “For these technologies to be part of the solution, they need to be accompanied by socio-economic changes to the way the world works, and to do that we need to politically defeat the ruling class.”

    This claim seems to suggest that the Zeitgeist movement does not consider how the world works where it seems that it is actually the only movement that indeed understands how the world works. Economics and politics have nothing to do with how the world actually works – natural law which is best understood through the application of science and technology do understand how the world works (at least they offer the best explanation thus far) and if we were to eliminate all politicians, economists and money tomorrow, these understandings would not be compromised in the least. Politically defeating the ruling class is clearly necessary and supported by the ZM however while most socialist sites propose socialist politicians as an alternative, the ZM proposes transitioning to a system run by technology and resource management systems. Socialists are just as corrupt as any other politicians so the ZM has no use for any political system.

    “The politics that Zeitgeist does promote are essentially that you boycott aspects of society they don’t like: don’t open an account with the the three biggest banks in the US (but implying that an account with another bank is in some way better?) and boycott energy companies by taking your house off the grid, for example. What this ignores is that for working class people forced to work long hours for low pay, putting a wing turbine in your garden just isn’t something they can afford in time or money. Boycotts are individual actions, where as socialists argue for a collective response to social problems, where we struggle for the power to make solutions like renewable energy available for everyone.”

    First, the very fact that working class people are not able to afford wind turbines in their backyard is the point the ZM is trying to make. Does it seem logical that a piece of paper is preventing someone from obtaining sufficient renewable energy for their home when there is a complete abundance of energy available on Earth for everyone? While it may be true that boycotts are individual actions, the ZM is trying to create critical mass which requires many people to perform these actions. Peter Joseph mentioned only a few ideas at the end of the second film, all of which which will help to make individuals and families less reliant on the current economic system and more sustainable. Of course nobody is saying that the few who can afford to make this change will topple the political system however if one wants to tell someone ‘getting off the grid’ is possible, isn’t it a good idea to show them that it is by setting an example with your own home? Critical mass will be needed, the ZM is very aware of it.

    Overall I find it unfortunate that articles such as the one above are written so often about the ZM when clearly the authors have not taken the time to sufficiently research the subject matter. I have yet to hear a legitimate claim for why the claims of the Venus Project are not possible and this article has not managed to successfully dispute anything with any clear evidence that can be supported by something other than an opinion. Criticizing sources because they are anti-semitic is not a way to address an argument, a better way would be to quash an argument with something that supports your claims (i.e. money is not debt because money is created this other way, blah blah blah..). While the Venus Project is not perfect, nothing is, and I have no doubt that I and many other ZM members would be happy to hear your thoughts for a better alternative.

    Cheers.

  8. eden says:

    Jack wrote:
    [quote]Many of the ideas put forward in the Zeitgeist films have their origins in the far right and racist groups, and they’re ideas which are both crazy and useless.[/quote]

    So sharing the world and working together as a human race for all human betterment is racist?….. Ugh how exactly?

    Did you read the instruction manual on your microwave? It clearly stated not to place your head inside of it.

  9. reader says:

    Interesting perspective on The Zeitgeist Movement, but the ideas put forth in this article contradict my actual experience with the movement itself. I’ve met many people associated with the movement including Peter Joseph over the past months and the reality of the situation simply doesn’t jive with what the author is projecting in this article. I can see how the author arrived at these conclusions about the movement, but I think that some actual “on-site” experience with the movement and the people involved would show that the claims mentioned here are a tad paranoid. Sure, one should approach any new idea critically and skeptically, but this business about the Zeitgeist Movement having something to do with Jews and racism is just downright confusing.

    Like one poster mentioned earlier, it’s a sustainability movement, whose goal is a better world through science and technology. Peter Joseph makes some points in his films that can certainly be debated, but he’s just one member among hundreds of thousands, with his own viewpoint.

    If you’re into sustainability, science and social equality then you should give the Zeitgeist Movement a chance. Go to a Chapter meeting in your area if you want to have a discussion with Zeitgeist Movement members and debate/discuss concepts. If your experience with the actual members in the actual movement sucks, then so be it, but don’t write it off because of someone’s overly paranoid analysis posted on the web.

    Cheers!

  10. Lydia says:

    @Ghandi

    “This claim seems to suggest that the Zeitgeist movement does not consider how the world works where it seems that it is actually the only movement that indeed understands how the world works.”

    What, run by Jews?

    “Overall I find it unfortunate that articles such as the one above are written so often about the ZM when clearly the authors have not taken the time to sufficiently research the subject matter.”

    I think what you mean here is: “I dislike your opinion, so I’m going to tell you that you don’t get it,”

    @eden.

    “Jack wrote:
    [quote]Many of the ideas put forward in the Zeitgeist films have their origins in the far right and racist groups, and they’re ideas which are both crazy and useless.[/quote]

    So sharing the world and working together as a human race for all human betterment is racist?….. Ugh how exactly?”

    So you’re saying you’d side with Hitler to… oh wait, of course you would.

    “Did you read the instruction manual on your microwave? It clearly stated not to place your head inside of it”

    You’d prefer ovens, right? Biiig ovens.

    Also, are you all the same person?

  11. eden says:

    Lydia wrote:
    [quote]So you’re saying you’d side with Hitler to… oh wait, of course you would.[/quote]
    I think you have misunderstood the term in my context; ‘working together’ does not imply monetary force. Meaning a society that allows motivation culminate in a healthy manner, people willing to help one (Develop greater technology for all) another instead of promoting careless dehumanization and wasteful products. The complete removal of the monetary system and all of it’s disgusting behavioral influences.

    All human motivation at current is twisted towards self serving greed and complete ignorance of actions in favor of temporary sensations (Alcohol, drugs, faulty nutrition, etc).

    You really need to actually watch the film instead of pretending you know what I’m talking about because obviously… you don’t.

    I’ll even give you the link:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7065205277695921912
    or
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gKX9TWRyfs

  12. Jack says:

    Hello Zeitgesiters!

    First of all, I did a considerable amount of research before writing this article. I’ve watched both films, listened to lots of what Peter Joseph has to say in his little Q&A things on youtube, read the forums and had some contact with actual members. Believe me when I say I didn’t rush into writing this.

    I’d also like to say that I genuinely don’t think most of you are anti-Semites or racists. I think the ideas in the films are presented in such a way as that you don’t know exactly who you’re intellectually associating with.

    “A person that is in the KKK was influenced to join that group because he/she grew up in a racist and prejudice environment. What Peter was saying in the quote you provided was that because that person was a part of the KKK, doesn’t make him any less of a human. He still needs the same things we all do to survive. ”

    Of course a human member of the KKK is a human being. But are their ideas a valid source that we should draw on? Are noted racists and anti-Semites (not to mention absolute headcases like Lyndon LaRouche) good places to take your critique of existing society from, when we know that ultimately that critique rests on racialised ideas of the world, and a bizarre fictional idea of a Jewish conspiracy? When you repeat these racists quotes about “international bankers”, what does that make your group? I would say (unwitting in most cases) repeaters and amplifiers of racist ideas.

    “Criticizing sources because they are anti-semitic is not a way to address an argument, a better way would be to quash an argument with something that supports your claims (i.e. money is not debt because money is created this other way, blah blah blah..). ”

    Well, firstly I think pointing out the ideas your repeating come directly from anti-Semitic, racist sources is a valid criticism. But secondly, I would argue that you do have a mistaken view of money. Money is nothing more than a mediator of social relations between different groups in society, and expresses the costs involved in production of different commodities. What matters far more than the theories of money put forward in the Zeitgeist films is the human labour necessary to produce something. Capitalists make us work harder because that increases the amount of surplus value they can extract from your work. This then has a knock on effect on the value of money.

    I think that Zeitgeist fundamentally can’t understand the fact that at the root of the economy is the work of human beings, and therefore workers are the one with some power to change the situation. Socialist groups don’t just orient towards the working class because we’re the majority, but also because workers are the ones who could, with the right organisation and conditions fundamentally change society.

    Without this insight, you end up wallowing about doing things that are going nowhere, like “raising awareness” with no plan about what to do in the longer term. But more importantly, without basing your ideas on (what I think are) correct analyses of the economy, money, production etc., you end up falling back on what are incorrect, right wing, and essentially racist ideas about conspiracies of bankers etc.

    “Economics and politics have nothing to do with how the world actually works – natural law which is best understood through the application of science and technology do understand how the world works (at least they offer the best explanation thus far)”

    I’m afraid this is just wrong. Economics, politics and the social sciences are absolutely valid means of studying how human societies operate. Studying human societies is different from studying geology or astronomy because they are extremely complex systems based on the subjectivity of human beings. I kind of feel like some of the people telling me to do my research ought to look into some of the insights generated by the last couple of centuries of sociology, economics etc.

    ————————————

    Now on the Venus Project: I’m a big science fiction fan, and I’m well aware that most of the technologies proposed by TVP (maglev trains etc.) are theoretically viable, I’m not claiming they’re not. My point is that to implement what you’re talking about (which is essentially high tech communism) requires a transformation of society.

    When I was a kid I was a member of a techno-utopian group, the Millenial Project (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Enviroments_Ecovillage) which had loads of great ideas for sea colonies, sustainable technology, moneyless society etc etc. It never went anywhere. The reason for that is it lacked a strategy for transforming actually existing human society because it didn’t understand it.

    If you’re serious about eliminating the profit system and all the horrors that go with it, I’m afraid there’s no shortcuts. We need to be part of our communities organising day in day out. It’s no use saying “The world is run terribly, here look at this fantastic concept art of how we think it could be better.” Let me tell you what normal people will say to you: “That’s all well and good, but what are you going to do about how I get treated at work” or “My son needs a council house”, or something like that. Now we all want to eliminate the fundamental cause of these problems, but in the here and now we have to fight and win real advances to improve the conditions for struggle, and to build support and consciousness of a greater alternative. TZM will never achieve its goals the way it is currently organised because fundamentally it has nothing to say about the ordinary every day problems of most people. It will go on attracting people individually who are excited by its ideas, but have no strategy to bring them about.

    Roan, absolutely my aim in this piece was to get people to not get involved with Zeitgeist, because I think it is a waste of their finite lives. We all have limited time, and if we seriously want to change society there’s no time to waste on utopian fantasies. More than that, I think it discredits the whole movement against capitalism to have some people posing as being against capitalism when they’re repeating ideas that originate in anti-Semitism and racism.

    Contrary to Peter Joseph’s equivocation I am scientifically convinced that climate change is a real reality that is happening right now, that is fundamentally caused by our cancerous socio-economic system. In that context, we don’t have the time to waste playing at games like the Zeitgeist Movement. We need everyone possible getting involved in a real movement to abolish capitalism, and Zeitgeist is just a diversion that takes people away from that.

  13. liam t says:

    @Gandhi “Politically defeating the ruling class is clearly necessary and supported by the ZM however while most socialist sites propose socialist politicians as an alternative, the ZM proposes transitioning to a system run by technology and resource management systems. Socialists are just as corrupt as any other politicians so the ZM has no use for any political system.”

    THAT MAKES NO SENSE. how would the Zeitgeist world be run? through democratically elected local committees in communities? oh hang on, sounds a bit like COMMUNISM.
    so maybe through a select group of highly skilled technocrats? oh hang on, sounds a bit like THE NEW WORLD ORDER to me.

    also – “I have no doubt that I and many other ZM members would be happy to hear your thoughts for a better alternative”
    lol have u evr heard of karl marx

  14. LydiaTeapot says:

    [I think you have misunderstood the term in my context; ‘working together’ does not imply monetary force. Meaning a society that allows motivation culminate in a healthy manner, people willing to help one (Develop greater technology for all) another instead of promoting careless dehumanization and wasteful products. The complete removal of the monetary system and all of it’s disgusting behavioral influences.

    All human motivation at current is twisted towards self serving greed and complete ignorance of actions in favor of temporary sensations (Alcohol, drugs, faulty nutrition, etc).

    You really need to actually watch the film instead of pretending you know what I’m talking about because obviously… you don’t.

    I do know what you’re talking about ya cheeky wee shite.
    I just most definitely have a more consistent and logical view of the world than you do.

  15. Neil says:

    Heh I remember some drunk girl telling us about the first film while we were working the bar at Leeds festival in 2008. I (also drunk) wrote a note to myself in the sms drafts of my phone to remember to watch it for a bit of light entertainment, but never actually got round to it.

  16. Sarah says:

    First of all I’d like to say that my opinion of the nature of Zeitgeist was previously that (based on the members I have experienced) it was a bunch of misguided people who genuinely wanted to effect positive change in the world but had been sucked in (as it is so easy to be) by conspiracy theories with a small grain of truth to them (i.e. not hard to believe, but still wrong) with some slightly sinister leaders at the theory-deciding end of the organisation. Now that I see what you have to say for yourselves, I realise that not only are you politically misguided, you have the real potential to be politically dangerous.

    It really worries me that you all seem to display a very cultish mentality. Coming on here en masse, moaning about how ‘we don’t get you’ as though we are part of an enemy that must be ignored rather than actually engaging with the very real concerns that LOTS of people have about the Zeitgeist Movement, calling your local branches ‘Chapters’ (maybe that is an Americanism but it has overtones of religious/cultish groups), a rigid belief that YOU are going to change the world and others simply must join you or they have no place in the future. I’m not saying you ARE a cult, but there is the groundwork there for the dangerous potential to become one. Look at the LaRouche movement (which Zeitgeist promotes by promoting things LaRouche says in the movie), who are so convinced of the correctness of the mad things that one man comes out with (including blatant anti-semitism) that they very likely caused the death of Jerry Duggan because he admitted he was Jewish, and therefore they thought he was against them and their organisation, and the thing that previous mad cults all have in common is that they all think that other people simply don’t ‘get’ them and will one day open their eyes and realise the truth – like Charles Manson’s ‘family’ who were convinced that ‘Helter Skelter’ (i.e. a race war in which black people would be victorious) was going to happen and to attempt to make that happen they went out and killed people and tried to blame it on the Black Panthers. I repeat I am NOT saying that Zeitgeist is implicated in anything dodgy or wrong like this. But you have to look at the foundations your organisation is built on (which the article deals with) and how it conducts itself to get a good idea of whether it is starting from a good place – Zeitgeist, while members surely have good intentions, is starting from a bad place, both politically and organisationally.

    Ryan Nelson says: “Now about this article. Trying to figure out whether The Zeitgeist Movement is right or left winged is impossible, for it is neither. As denoted from the main page of the website, The Zeitgeist Movement is not a political movement. It is a sustainability movement, which advocates that a social and economical change is needed to sustain the planet and it’s inhabitants.”

    Sorry, but you argue for the abolishment of politicians and the instalment of a technocracy. Whether you like it or not, that is a political position, and a right-wing one at that. You believe that people shouldn’t have the power to decide how society is run for themselves and instead that a small elite of scientists should run it on their behalf. Scientific advancements will only happen when they are a political or economic priority. But that’s not even the point – the point is that that IS a political belief, the very act of believing that we shouldn’t have politicians is political. The main problem for me is not money, the main problem is power – money is just an expression of power. You can’t have a politics-free society when there are still people at the top who control things. That is a power-relation, and a very very wrong one that all left-wing/liberal people should argue against.

    This argument that if you take away politicians and political debate then people are free to get on with just doing the things that need to be done to run society in a way that all are provided for is a total diversion from the truth. It reminds me of people who regard themselves as ‘pure’ Marxists who argue that we shouldn’t discuss feminism and LGBT rights and racism because that is a diversion from the class and the answer is just to fight capitalism and then we will have a decent society. They are wrong because society is so much more complex with ‘here is the rich oppressor and here are the working class oppressed’. You can’t approach our society now in a way that is devoid of class analysis and just say ‘here are some pictures of what we want the world to look like’ and if everyone just dropped everything that is a real factor in their life then everything will be great and we can live in our utopian future where robots decide what we do. It doesn’t WORK like that. People have REAL problems that you can’t wish away by taking your house off the grid or decrying all politicians as corrupt.

    I have a lot more that I want to say and I want to respond to a number of people’s points but I will do so later as I have to attend a hospital appointment right now.

  17. Miserablist says:

    The SSY are obviously Zionazi shills, so what does SSY stand for? Scottish Shill Youth? I think you should all watch this youtube video that comes in 20 10 minute segments and read my blog. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

  18. Sarah says:

    Ok I’m back. Something that really bothers me about Zeitgeist members’ refusal to accept that it is NOT okay to quote anti-semites in their political material (and it IS political material whether you admit it or not) is that you act like you have no responsibility to refute racist arguments. You can’t just say ‘it matters not whether someone is racist or not-racist, they’re all human beings and we just want everyone to be provided for and opinions don’t matter and it’ll all just be solved by creating a resource-based economy with no politics’. Zeitgeist goes out of its way to recruit left-leaning people and then attempts to strip them of their (still developing) political analysis. Anyone who is against racism has a duty to speak out against it when they encounter it. Zeitgeist, if it cares about human beings, has a responsibility to not approvingly quote dangerous anti-semitic opinions and then claim that it doesn’t matter what the origins of that opinion are. Context is extremely important, but you seem to believe that it is irrelevant. It is not. The reason that the first section of this article is given over to explaining the origins of anti-semitic opinions and why ‘international bankers’ is known to be a euphemism for ‘cabal of Jews’ is because when SSY makes claims about Zeitgeist we actually feel we have a duty to provide a context so that our claims are not wild accusations but are based in fact. You clearly feel you have no such responsibility, hence why you approve of quoting Louis McFadden and Lyndon LaRouche in your political material, noted anti-semites who could not and would not separate their racist worldview from their claims about ‘international bankers’.

    Ryan – “We are starting to see the signs of the system failing everyday. From pollution as a result of lack of funds for research on safer and cleaner energy to the reason why we are in the Middle East. The reason why there is world hunger, poverty, war, and crime is abundant around the world is due to the scarcity that the monetary system thrives on.”

    These are all political issues that will never be solved for the benefit of human beings by abandoning political analysis and socialist solutions.

    Eden – “So sharing the world and working together as a human race for all human betterment is racist?”

    No, approvingly quoting notorious anti-semites is.

    Reader – “Peter Joseph makes some points in his films that can certainly be debated, but he’s just one member among hundreds of thousands, with his own viewpoint.”

    Just one member with his own viewpoint. A viewpoint that you encourage all potential recruits of Zeitgeist to watch online and promote as Zeitgeist material. Hmm. I think his views are a little bit more prominent than you are letting on.

    I’m in the middle of watching Zeitgeist the Movie (it’s a hard slog watching a load of old shit so I’m taking my time over it. And am I the only one who was completely freaked out by all the crap at the start, the animations and that before he even gets to his absolutely bullshit “every religious story ever mentions how some guy was born on 25th december etc etc” – I mean, do they even realise that there wasn’t a 25th of December in ancient Egypt? What a lot of shit. Can’t wait for the ‘good bits’ where I’m forced to listen to what disgusting racist cult leader scumbag Lyndon LaRouche has to tell me.. but yeah the animations, it’s like Zeitgeist are watching me or something and leaves me feeling much more unsettled than the fact that SHOCK HORROR capitalists like to have money) so I’m sure this topic will have me even more unsettled when I’ve finished watching the whole thing but I’m really glad we’re having this debate.

    I agree with your article Jack, it is extremely well researched and written and I am proud to call you a comrade. I see that on Zeitgeist’s forums ( http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_kunena&Itemid=99999&func=view&catid=235&id=264089&limit=10&limitstart=10 ) they have been claiming that SSY are only taking a stance on the Zeitgeist issue because we are jealous at losing members to Zeitgeist.. well I am going to be completely open and say that I believe that being a socialist and being in Zeitgeist are completely incompatible ideologies and I don’t care if people who want to be in Zeitgeist decide to leave the socialist movement – incompatible ideologies aren’t actually welcome here, we have fucking serious work to do and we can’t be having people piss about with rubbish like Zeitgeist. On the other hand, if anyone wanted to get away from the politically bankrupt ideas of Zeitgeist I would welcome them to adopt a left wing analysis and would be happy to debate with them on the merits of socialism. The point of this article IS to sway people against Zeitgeist – we believe they have bad ideas and would be sad to see people go in that direction because of misinformation spread by recruitment tools like Zeitgeist the Movie. Believe it or not the article was not written for you Zeitgeist members, though you are welcome to come to our site and debate with us and as you can see we are engaging with you. The article was written for people who have not encountered the Zeitgeist movement or who know a little about it so that they know the truth about what it’s founded on if they do encounter it. There’s nothing wrong with that. You are welcome to criticise SSY but I suspect your criticism of us would amount to right wing anti-socialist bollocks and ‘you just don’t understand us’. The article is an easy to understand guide to the ideas presented in some of Zeitgeist’s material and it doesn’t presuppose knowledge of the history of anti-semitism or the monetary system and I’m sure that there are a number of people who will appreciate reading it. It doesn’t especially bother me if you’re a member of Zeitgeist and you don’t appreciate it. It’s not for you, although I’d be happy to see you properly engage with it rather than write it off because you don’t want to listen.

  19. Hebbo Zeitgeisters!

    6 months ago, I’d be like – why would I even want to expose Jewish control of international finance? But that’s not even like a percent of a percent of a percent of what Zeitgeist is about. You’ll feel like your knowledge of the monetary system has been magnified like a billion million thousand times.

    It’s SO easy to join – all you have to do is watch a 3 hour film on the internet. When you see Zeitgeist: The Movie, you’re suddenly like ‘Why haven’t I seen this before? Why haven’t I seen Zeitgeist: The Movie?’. The first time I read the Protocols of Zion, I read it in like, 8 hours. Mein Kampf? 8 hours. Which is what they recommend.

  20. Someone says:

    I mean, c’mon, it wasn’t a huge loss.. it’s not like yeese lost me ;P

  21. Gandhi says:

    @ liam t

    just to respond to how the zeitgeist world would be run, i would like to include a small passage by harvey wheeler, one of the recommended readings of the ZM -

    “When asked about the great decisions he had made, the American admiral Arthur William Radford demurred that he had seldom made any decisions at all. A decision, he explained, was what was done when the solution to a problem was not implicit in the facts. Bureaucratic leaders don’t “make” decisions, they find the minimax solutions to decision-making problems. In theory, any other leader, confronted with the same situation, would arrive at the same solution. So might a sufficiently sophisticated computer.”

    In a ZM world, all human problems are seen as technical and therefore can be addressed technically without ‘democratically elected local committees in communities’ OR ‘a select group of highly skilled technocrats’. As the proposals of the ZM are so different from anything previously proposed is precisely why there is this misunderstanding from so many people. Everyone tries to categorize the proposals as ‘communist’ or ‘elitism’ as they know no other way to classify something completely new. I for one am confident that people will be open-minded enough to come to the proper conclusions about these proposals, unfortunately I don’t think it will happen in time to avoid much needless suffering before we get there.

    @Lydia

    What, run by Jews?

    The ZM admits there is a ruling elite at the upper echelons of the banking community who are not democratically elected and have enormous amounts of power that effect millions if not billions of people as a direct result of their decisions. Whether these people are jews is completely irrelevant. I am a jew and couldn’t care less what religious affiliation these people have, why should I? Does the ZM imply that even if these people are jews, that all jews think and act the same way? Of course not. That is ludicrous as the people in question represent such a small percentage of society that even the small number of jews in the world would vastly outnumber them. The elite are influenced by their environment as is everyone else and the ZM is not out to blame anyone for the way the world is run. We do not target our ‘oppressors’ but simply mean to educate and inform everyone (including them) of the alternative that we propose. This alternative will not only improve everyone else’s lives but would inevitably improve even the lives of the oppressors as well.

    One final point @Jack

    “What matters far more than the theories of money put forward in the Zeitgeist films is the human labour necessary to produce something. Capitalists make us work harder because that increases the amount of surplus value they can extract from your work. This then has a knock on effect on the value of money.”

    I would suggest you look into a book called “The End of Work” by Jeremy Rifken. This book puts forth the inevitable future (and present) of technological unemployment which in fact makes the argument for human labour a thing of the past. Most industries are now highly mechanized (agriculture employs less than 3% of the workers of the US and manufacturing less than 10%) and the remaining industries, including most service industries, will only increasingly suffer the same fate. Capitalists would much prefer machines working harder rather than people as machines don’t take breaks, don’t strike, and are much more productive than any human. One can easily note how both the US and the USSR both increasingly mechanized their operations throughout the same time period therefore ideology makes no difference. This technological advancement is continuing and with nanotechnology as well as other advanced forms of technology, massive unemployment and unrest will result with each increasing year. Our capitalist system and any other system with money (including socialism) do not sufficiently address this problem which is one reason why the ZM exists.

  22. Andy Bowden says:

    “Whether these people are jews is completely irrelevant. I am a jew and couldn’t care less what religious affiliation these people have, why should I? Does the ZM imply that even if these people are jews, that all jews think and act the same way? Of course not.”

    Zeitgeist quotes and promotes (without criticism or qualification) people who clearly DO think these people are part of a Jewish conspiracy. If you promote ideas from racists you will end up promoting them even if they use codewords like “international banker” instead of Jew. You might say who cares about their racist politics if some of their ideas are correct, but as the article points out the ideas AREN’T correct, all you will do is encourage folk to believe that there is a cabal of international bankers who run the world and make folk like Lyndon La Rouche appear as figures who are credible. The BNP leader Nick Griffin wrote a pamphlet alleging a conspiracy to control the media by international bankers (all from Jews) – would you quote him without qualification? He’s no different from McFadden or LaRouche.

    Also a lot of the pro-Zeitgeist people in this thread “you don’t get us, watch the film, don’t stick your head in the oven” sound a lot more like Scientologists than people who want to make the world a more equal and just place.

  23. Liam says:

    Gandhi – you have offered no explanation of how decisions would be made. Technology is great and all, and science is important, but WHO would get to make decisions, and HOW would they be accountable to anyone?

    The idea that all human problems are technical is frankly laughable, human society is far more complicated than that. Human society can not be explained by ‘natural law’. I love science, and I’m a huge physics geek, because I enjoy how it is able to explain the way the universe works – socialism offers an explanation for how many aspects of society work, and how we can make it better. The fundamental difference is that where you see a secret cabal of shadowy figures, we see capitalism. The ruling class isn’t in place because of a conspiracy of evil people to remain in charge (though some things along these lines might happen), it exists because of the economic system. Zeitgeist has no sort of coherent political analysis, and offers no practical solutions to the problems that people face every day. Trade unions? Fights against government cuts, and for decent housing? Who needs that, here’s some cool concept art.

    Finally, wanting to abolish money IS MOST DEFINITELY A POLITICAL POSITION

  24. Andy Bowden says:

    Technical solutions require a change in society for them to work. it would be possible to do the things we were doing in the 60′s and 70′s far quicker today, possibly in a 20 hour week for example, but people work more hours today than they did in the past. That is because technological advances under capitalism are used to increase profits and not to reduce hours and improve quality of life.

  25. LydiaTeapot says:

    You’re a jew, Eden? It means nothing concerned with what goes on with your ‘movement’. There’s black people in the BNP and asian people in the EDL. It doesn’t make that whole group non-racist.

    You claim that you are non-political as an organisation, but the abolition of money, bringing down big banks and taking even just stance against or for anything is political. Politics does not stop at politicians, nor does it start there (Just in case you misunderstand our use of political) Your ‘movement’ may not stand in elections, but you ARE making a political statement about the way the world is run. (May it be mental or not)

    You can sit around your forums and wonder why on earth we don’t get you and feel sorry for us all you like, but at the end of the day we do understand your ‘movement’ but we don’t want anything to do with it, due to our different opinions. You will not get anywhere by being condescending towards people. People have different opinions because of the experiences and values that have shaped their lives – nothing to do with not understanding something. There’s may political view points that i understand, but still want to have nothing to do with, ever because i think they’re WRONG.

    You can’t put down our arguments because they are correct and factual. You may think they they don’t cover the Zee Em as you all seem fond of calling it, but that’s because you’d rather we harped on about how amazing an brilliant, but we don’t because we think it’s bad movement.

    I reiterate my point, we GET you but we are NOT interested in endorsing in your crazy cult. And i think it’s actively harmful to the left to have you people presenting yourselves as a viable alternative to the current worldly situation, because you’re not. Your plans for the future are ill thought out and clearly from the mind of someone who is a dreamer but has no valuable insight to the way the world works.

  26. Muzz says:

    A good friend first showed me Zeitgeist, and it told me a bunch of stuff that I already knew (the financial system is nuts, wars make profit etc.) and a few things that I didnt (that ‘sun-god’ stuff, some financial history).

    I found it intrigueing, and after a bit of research I originally concluded:

    – Jesus probably was, as claimed, an intepretation of astrology.
    – However the load of similar ‘sun-gods’ were nonsensically badly tied in to this account, (how anyone can choose Horus as the sun god over Ra, or use the fact the Buddha’s mothers name began with ‘M’ as proof it was an attempt at ‘mary’ given that the Buddha had NONE of the characteristics of the ‘sun-gods’)

    – The 9/11 stuff is mostly OK, slight misquotation at the beginning but really how anyone can beleive the official 9/11 story is beyond me.

    – A financial elite rule the world- who would have thaught it? Was it Marx that said that the modern state had become nothing but a board room for managing the affairs of the ruling class?

    So i thaught that Zeitgeist was pretty much ok if taken with a handful of salt in most of it’s contents.

    I did not however know about the credentials of the men quoted throughout, so for easy-to-use infotainment about the insanity of our financial system i would no longer reccomend Zeitgeist and would reccomend Money as Debt instead: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2550156453790090544#

  27. eden says:

    LydiaTeapot wrote:
    [quote]You’re a jew, Eden? It means nothing concerned with what goes on with your ‘movement’. There’s black people in the BNP and asian people in the EDL. It doesn’t make that whole group non-racist.[/quote]
    Since you failed to quote the phrase I was alluding to I will conclude that you delusionally surfaced that statement of phantoms of you own failure to interact in some logical fashion. I haven’t made any racial claims besides laughing at the ideas within Jack’s mind being that of his complete inability to understand what it is to be apart of TZM. It has little to do with the personal life of those people who happen to be quoted but merely the quotation itself in its context to the message being portrayed. I thought it was quite simple to understand the movies but you have brought light to that, being that in certain circumstances one is to delusional: be it from over dousing in fictional stories or similar.

    And finally on that note the whole anti-semitism shpeel. I’ll clarify the situation as you seem to fail at thought in general. Those who describe or are described as the term Jewish are not necessarily incumbent of any supposed Jewish ideals, values or similar. The fact is within each bridge of possible subjective fallacy, the translation of purposeful motivation is so slurred you could not accurately define any group of individuals for their anti semitic disposition and their basis for following the chain of monetary orders to execute the german people of a supposed location with a supposed ideal. Such that a german solider could not even be defined as such, anti semitic, as it is in whole dependent on their information which was likely limited due to the nature of layered ignorance, chain of command, pervasive in the current structure of society. Never fear though, your ignorance is consensually agreed so you are not alone in your permeation of unintelligible babble.

    LydiaTeapot wrote:
    [quote]You can’t put down our arguments because they are correct and factual.[/quote]

    Well so far you have failed to understand the whole idea of TZM. You don’t understand what politics is. You don’t understand the mental processes that are in play in the duration of decisions. You don’t understand the mirror-like nature of individuals to their environments. You seem to even just take a spoken voice and apply irrelevant background information about the character to who spoke to take it to a completely different context as a basis for your argument which really messes the whole point of the conversation in general. ‘Hint’:The idea is to ‘understand’ the meaning of a particular piece of communication ‘then’ make arguments against it. Surely not completely misunderstand and making implausible assertions.

    LydiaTeapot wrote:
    [quote]we don’t because we think it’s bad movement.[/quote]

    Please describe the whole purpose of the movement. I am very unsure of your ability to do even this.

    LydiaTeapot wrote:
    [quote]You can sit around your forums and wonder why on earth we don’t get you and feel sorry for us all you like, but at the end of the day we do understand your ‘movement’ but we don’t want anything to do with it,[/quote]
    Well obviously you don’t and if you do then you just must be murderous psychopath to condone the continence of perpetual war, killing, poverty, false medications, false nutritional consumption and the global financial monopoly that is being attempted at current.

    LydiaTeapot wrote:
    [quote]I reiterate my point, we GET you but we are NOT interested in endorsing in your crazy cult.[/quote]
    Thats perfectly fine. If a violent person with a weapon wants to shot himself and threatens the life of others that attempt to prevent it, you can do little but watch. But what exactly do you get? The reason you don’t understand the need to remove money is because you obviously don’t understand it’s oveall impact, if that was the case you ‘would’ be in agreement because it is a technically defined phenomenon not limited to opinions. The impact of monetary relationships that dictate human interaction on a global scale are factually defined, because of their consistency.

    [quote]Your plans for the future are ill thought out and clearly from the mind of someone who is a dreamer but has no valuable insight to the way the world works.[/quote]

    Well from someone who doesn’t understand the perception of words, human conduct, pretty much any important thought process required to conceptualize a healthy social structure… I wouldn’t put to much money on your claims. What Jacque describes in terms of human behavioral patterning is very clear and easily understood by those that actively place time in such thought processes and analytical procedure. If you can’t understand the behavioral relationship to money and its detrimental motivation to benefit none but the recipient’s own perception of it doing so, you will have spend much time slowly realizing how wrong you were.

    Liam wrote:
    [quote]The idea that all human problems are technical is frankly laughable, human society is far more complicated than that. Human society can not be explained by ‘natural law’. [/quote]
    Ok this is just hilarious. You are basically concluding that due to the SEEMINGLY complex nature of mental processes which define our behavior it MUST be metaphysical and have no basis on measurable instances and thus science itself is futile in it’s attempt to understand the processes which define an organisms survival and the use language meet that end. In summary, Liam, you are stupid. To disprove this in a comical way: “Organisms that require a source of food will seek food…..”. OMG I have just done the impossible! How can this be?! I must be some kind of genius to describe some part of the basic nature of our mental capacity.

    I think you just really need to think about your own opinion for a second to realize how ridiculous it is, Liam I’ve helped you with that.

    Watch the movie:
    http://video.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gKX9TWRyfs
    .com/videoplay?docid=7065205277695921912

    Zeitgeist Orientation: (Which goes over clearly the behavioral implications of monetary conduct.)
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3932487043163636261

  28. Sarah says:

    ” It has little to do with the personal life of those people who happen to be quoted”

    THE PERSONAL LIFE?!?! This isn’t some guy that isn’t being taken seriously because in his private life he happens to be gay or happens to have an addiction to alcohol or something like that. These are people who dedicated their lives to anti-semitism. Lyndon LaRouche?! Anti-semitic senators?! Their JOB was/is being anti-semitic. You are so deluded it’s fucking unreal.

  29. eden says:

    My use of the term ‘personal life’ is correctly used even if the expected pattern of social use is deviant. The quotes used were not giving validation to other opinions held by that individual but because the specific quotes were valid within the context given.

    Their job was being anti-semitic? What does that even mean? I have already gone into detail as to the logical fallacy of idiotic labeling which defines no individual but an idea which is a assumed of an individual. If one is ever to hate another it is usually associated to harm or violence in some fashion. So in all likelihood what is being debated is not religious or racial but rather whether violence was instituted by one party or another. Albeit vaguely defined.

    To quote myself:
    “And finally on that note the whole anti-semitism shpeel. I’ll clarify the situation as you seem to fail at thought in general. Those who describe or are described as the term Jewish are not necessarily incumbent of any supposed Jewish ideals, values or similar. The fact is within each bridge of possible subjective fallacy, the translation of purposeful motivation is so slurred you could not accurately define any group of individuals for their anti semitic disposition and their basis for following the chain of monetary orders to execute the german people of a supposed location with a supposed ideal. Such that a german solider could not even be defined as such, anti semitic, as it is in whole dependent on their information which was likely limited due to the nature of layered ignorance, chain of command, pervasive in the current structure of society. Never fear though, your ignorance is consensually agreed so you are not alone in your permeation of unintelligible babble.”

  30. Jack says:

    Lol, unintelligible babble?!?!

    Eden, I’m not being funny, but your comments read like one of those spam emails that at first looks like it might be composed of real sentences, but is actually just a random thrown together collection of words made by a spambot. You make no sense.

  31. Andy Bowden says:

    Eden talking like the architect out of the matrix isn’t going to stop the fact that your movement is happy to quote and support the ideas of anti-semites without correction or qualification. Zeitgeisters may not hate Jews, but they’re happy to collaborate with and promote people who do.

  32. 4ndy says:

    Hey Jack, long time no see, I’m glad you actually made the effort to consider this, but you have made a few simple mistakes at the start of creating this article, that doomed many of the following points to be wrong.
    This post was only brought to my attention thanks to a quite confusing visit to the first stall we ever set up in Glasgow city centre last Saturday, by none other than James Nesbitt, who came by and confronted Elaine and I with the most retarded thing I had ever heard suggested about the ZM; that it somehow supported anti-semitism, which you couldn’t possibly come to the conclusion of if you read or heard anything that we have to say, so I figured he must have read some very silly critique online, and came to find this.

    The first and biggest mistake you made was confusing “Zeitgeist: The Movie” with “The Zeitgeist Movement”, and frequently referring to them as ‘Zeitgeist’ as if they were the same thing, or part of. The point to note is that the movie ‘Zeitgeist’ was merely a recording made from a personal multimedia project that Peter Joseph came up with during a crazy time in his life after he left art school with massive debts, and the same is roughly true of the sequel ‘Zeitgeist: Addendum’, although that was straight to a movie. However, the Zeitgeist Movement did not exist until Peter founded it on a whim after that second movie had been made, and neither of the movies represent in what the movement is about.

    I agree completely that there is a lot of rubbish in that first movie researched by other people, that Peter chucked in to make something interesting and put a controversial point across. Literary errors or not, the film still has a good point that Christianity is mostly a plagiarism of older religions, botched together with some ancient texts and laws by the Romans to justify their hierarchical subjugation across the empire. The similarities with some older myths are a bit overstated, but you would be doing yourself and your readers a disservice to try and discredit a claim by deferring to what somebody wrote on Wikipedia, which has its fair share of bullshit, without actually checking up their sources. Are you an experienced egyptologist then if you can say a claim is so ‘blatantly’ wrong?

    To claim that someone is anti-semitic for quoting an anti-semite is quite retarded, I don’t call people anti-semites for liking Walt Disney’s movies, it just so happens that there were plenty of people who said intelligent things throughout history, who also happened to be complete cunts.
    If you know of several good quotes that describe the problems of forming an economy that allows private bankers to counterfeit money every day, that puts it succinctly, while not being from any anti-semites or racists, that’s amazing, but it’s a bit late now to try and edit a freely-distributed film that millions of people saw. However, sadly before the mid-20th century, racism was a pretty normal thing, so you would be hard-pressed to find many.

    The Zeitgeist Movment is not anti-semitic, nor does it put forward any nonsensical conspiracy theories, it just so happens that thanks to Peter being bad at naming things, it attracts some people who do want to bang on about 9/11 all day.
    I don’t know exactly what happened on that day any better than anyone else here does, I just know from my education as a mechanical engineer that it would have been physically impossible for WTC towers 1, 2 and 7 to collapse perfectly in the manner that we all saw on film without someone first cutting the entire steel support structure with thermite, which just happened to be found in the rubble and documented. Had the buildings not been brought down by controlled demolition, they either would have remained upright with the damage in the middle, or the section above the plane collisions may have broken off and fallen to the street below if fire managed to keep hold in the buildings after the jet fuel ran out. In reality, you could have dropped one WTC tower on top of another and the floors would not have magically ‘pancaked’ like the US government’s inquiry wishes people to believe. That is all I know, I don’t know who was responsible, but if other people want to blame those who made a fortune on the insurance and resulting illegal wars, that’s their prerogative; I haven’t seen evidence of their direct involvement.
    It’s quite funny when you say we have close ties to We Are Change and Alex Jones, because if you kept up to date, you might notice that actually a lot of the conspiracy theorists frequently attack the Zeitgeist Movement as ‘socialist shills’ in the ‘truth’ movement because they can’t get over the cold war propaganda that doesn’t allow them to step back and criticise their own society, and some of the crazy christian fundamentalist ones in america have attacked the Zeitgeist movie as ‘NWO propaganda’ because they can’t get over their stupid contrived religion and realise that it is just another opiate of the people.

    You’re wrong in suggesting that you can’t take one thing in somebody says and have some truth while discarding everything else they ever said, in fact you can do that all the time. Someone in the BNP might say we have an unemployment and homelessness problem, they would be correct, they would then probably go on to blame it on foreigners, and there they would be wrong. We know that unemployment happens because capitalist business owners are driven by the need to make greater profit, and so when something is automated they axe jobs instead of cutting working hours, while some people are mathematically guaranteed to default on mortgages because banks demand that they pay interest, extra money that does not exist in the economy until they counterfeit more, thereby creating a bubble. Just because someone in the BNP would want to appoint blame where it is not due, does not mean that the problem does not exist, and so it is with the banking system; it is set up rigged to steal from the poor and give to the rich, as the poor have to pay interest on loans which then goes into the interest on deposits by the rich. This doesn’t just happen because of any nefarious conspiracy or religious group, it’s just rich people screwing over poor people with a clever little scam that someone invented a long time ago, in order to preserve their social status in a society where there wasn’t enough to go around.

    I’m sorry if you believe taking a skeptical point of view on climate change is somehow unscientific, but that is completely absurd, since the default approach to any theory by the scientific community is skepticism. I have yet to see any evidence scientifically supporting the theory, but if someone does find scientific proof as opposed to speculation based on temperature records, then I will happily accept it. We need to stop polluting the earth, but I don’t think it is right to lie to people in order to reduce pollution, or to create schemes that allow businesses to buy their way out of being responsible for their pollution; I gave my own summary of the science behind that debate here: http://www.thezeitgeistmovementuk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1894

    The Zeitgeist Movement doesn’t normally bother with politics for many reasons, firstly because the structure of the houses of commons and lords are so corrupt and so far from democracy that it is mostly a wasted effort; the communist, socialist and trade unionist parties on this island have consistently failed to unite the working class through that system for a hundred years, and even if small changes are made to legislation, businesses will continue to do whatever they can get away with so long as profit-seeking corporations may be established. The movement doesn’t say it is in any way wrong to try, but so far in history, nations have only had a chance at becoming socialist through armed revolution, and then they typically fell into corruption due to capitalist influence.
    The closest political concept to the Resource Based Economy would probably be anarcho-communism, but there is a significant difference because while Marx had some good ideas on communism, he never considered the problem of managing the earth’s resources at the time because it was not a looming problem as it is now.
    The problem we face is that due to the nature of the fiat money system, the world economy must continually grow in order to keep ahead of an ever-inflating debt bubble; the minor collapse of a few housing and credit markets over the last couple of years is but a mere fart in history compared to the collapse that will happen when the fiat money bubble is burst by the economy running out of resources to use. At the current rate of exponential economic expansion, the capitalist economy will need another planet or ten to consume within the next couple of decades in order to support itself, at the same time as the next bunch of oil wells start going dry. The result of this will be food prices soaring so that food riots are not only happening in third-world countries, but will spread into the working class of developed countries, and we will probably only see real change in society by the time that the middle class are no longer sure that they will be able to eat next week.
    This is a reason that the Zeitgeist Movement’s first priority is to spread the message of an alternative way of organising society, while it is still possible to do so. Suggesting that the Zeitgeist Movement merely promotes the actions that Peter Joseph suggested at the end of Zeitgeist Addendum, and ‘offers no real plans for how to create the society’ shows how little you looked into this, again you are confusing Peter’s artistic movies with this movement; is it not obvious that the movie was made from a US perspective, and that is why he only mentions big US banks? If you actually looked properly into what we propose, even at the Venus Project’s FAQ page, you would see that raising awareness is merely the first step in a plan, and not our only goal. Once governments start losing control or we have enough support to control some resources while governments are still around, we will use the support that we have to start making a worldwide humanitarian effort to feed and care for everyone in the world, while providing information about how they can care for themselves technologically without government control over resources. Once that basic problem is solved we can set about construction of prototype sustainable communities, but if someone tries to do that before the worldwide problems are solved, they are certain to be invaded by the hungry.
    The fact is we have more than enough food to feed the entire world right now, but people don’t have enough money to pay for it, and the current agricultural methods are unsustainable, destroying the topsoil and constantly requiring oil to produce artificial fertilisers to compensate, and will collapse into famine once the oil runs out. We can feed the world sustainably using a combination of hydroponics fertilised from ocean minerals gathered using renewable energy, and permaculture forests that output more fruit than a monoculture farm without any artificial fertiliser or upkeep whatsoever. The sooner we start putting these systems in place to feed the world, the more lives will be saved and peace will exist, which is why I will be starting some up myself within the next year.
    It may be possible to transition into an RBE from a genuine socialist state that taxes the rich to look after the workers, and eventually does away with privatisation completely, but at the moment Cuba and Venezuela are looking quite isolated and weak, and if you really want to turn around the politics of somewhere as capitalist-indoctrinated as the UK or US before the biggest bubble bursts, then you really have both the clock against you and a hard uphill battle to win hearts and minds. It’s not impossible, but I would say it’s one of the less plausible of many plans that the Venus Project has.

    The idea that a Resource Based Economy would be a technocracy is short-sighted at best, because in an RBE no human beings would have control over resources or people’s lives, and there would be no laws or restrictions on access to the necessities of life or pursuit of happiness. People often seem to think that somehow scientists minding the business of science would affect people’s freedom, which is totally absurd; science would be a free pursuit to improve everyone’s lives, and nobody would be dictated to a way to do things, we would simply find the best way of doing them and make it available, while only at the moment there is truly a restriction of freedom in science as people can generally only do things that turn a profit, which sometimes even leads to quite malicious things. If someone wanted to go out on the land and live amish-style, there would be no problem with that so long as they don’t go crazy and try to take all the land for themselves or start attacking people.
    Sometimes people ask ‘who would decide who gets to do X and Y fun activities’, which is quite funny because even right now we have so much equipment for everything from racing, yachting, mountain climbing, all the ball games in the world, etc. that if everyone were to take a break there wouldn’t be nearly enough people to use it all. The problem is that due to capitalist society, people hoard sports equipment in their homes, lock up cars in garages and protect marinas full of yachts, only for the enormous pile of wasted resources to sit and gather dust. Nobody would decide anything for anyone else in an RBE, there would just be an understanding among anyone willing to participate that plenty of stuff is there for public use, so that we don’t have to make too much of it, but obviously we wouldn’t have to share underwear or anything like that (unless you really wanted to :P ).

    Finally, there is absolutely no way I can stress enough how wrong you are in confusing Peter Joseph’s artwork with the Zeitgeist Movement. The statement “Zeitgeist got started when a man called Peter Joseph released a documentary called, amazingly enough, Zeitgeist” is 100% wrong if you are trying refer to the movement at the start, but it does just sound like you’re very confused on that point. The Zeitgeist Movement started AFTER Peter released the second film Addendum, and the movement has not ‘moved on’ from the movies, because it was never about it in the first place, although Peter has definitely grown up a lot since he made those films. The reason for the name ‘zeitgeist movement’ is to imply ‘changing the spirit of the times’, which we very much need to do.
    While Peter does not control the movement, he is part of it and has been a pretty good spokesman for it more recently in a series of talks that he gave, which you can find here:
    http://vimeo.com/user2234363/videos

    For information about what we ACTUALLY advocate, you could try the FAQ or reading list on the Venus Project website:
    http://www.thevenusproject.com/the-venus-project-introduction/faq
    http://www.thevenusproject.com/get-involved/free-downloads

  33. Liam says:

    “You’re wrong in suggesting that you can’t take one thing in somebody says and have some truth while discarding everything else they ever said, in fact you can do that all the time. Someone in the BNP might say we have an unemployment and homelessness problem, they would be correct, they would then probably go on to blame it on foreigners, and there they would be wrong. ”

    So this means that you are perfectly happy to quote BNP members on why unemployment is bad, and use that as part of your argument?

  34. 4ndy says:

    No, it’s just that when most people look up quotations for something they want to make a point about, they don’t generally make the effort to look into the politics of that person or why they were saying what they were saying, and by carelessly doing that Peter Joseph stumbled onto quotations by anti-semitists, which was pretty inevitable seeing what proportion of the banking criticism around the time that the federal reserve started would have come from them. It was mostly the moneyed classes who got a decent education and could read and write back then, so most of the intelligent quotes will inevitably come from people with horrible prejudiced viewpoints.

    I personally find it funny how much people quote Winston Churchill without knowing what an arsehole he was.
    Some of the people quoted in Zeitgeist may have been horrible people, but making the enormous jump from Peter quoting them, to suggesting that we somehow support their ideas is entirely absurd.

    I wouldn’t quote a BNP member ‘on why unemployment is bad’ as you said, because obviously they would have completely the wrong idea, but nobody’s infallible, and they could end up quoting someone without knowing what political party they were part of if they see one little phrase and don’t recognise the name. I tend to keep away from quotes anyway because I usually see it as a cop-out for finding a good way to say something yourself, or believing that your argument must be more respectable if a dead person happened to mention part of it at some point, and like Jack has shown, it could lead to the wildest misunderstandings.

  35. Jack says:

    Hi Andy, how’s it going,

    I’m really glad you’ve seen this, because I’ll be honest and say this is the kind of discussion I wanted to provoke. I remember we had a disagreement about Zeitgeist on the old forum, and I wanted to try and explore some of these issues further. I’m very aware that the Zeitgeist films have been very influential, I know other people who I think are politically sound recommend me to watch them. I felt uneasy about it, but thought it would be unfair to criticise TZM without knowing what I was talking about.

    Just to restate, I have watched both films, listened to loads of Peter Joseph’s talks on youtube, watched interviews with Jacques Fresco, and extensively read TZM and TVP websites. I’ve really tried to do my research here. If what you’re telling me is that I haven’t looked hard enough to find out what TZM is really all about, I would suggest the group starts thinking about how it presents itself online. If you google Zeitgeist, pretty much the first site that comes up is http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com, which takes you to the first two movies. My experience from non involved people who aware of your group is that the first movie is what TZM is all about, it’s by far the biggest public exposure you’ve had.

    Now if you’re telling me that you or the group has problems with some of the content of the first film, then I’m afraid to me it’s a bit like talking to a Christian who says “Well I don’t really like some of the stuff in the Old Testament, I’m more about the message of Jesus.” All well and good, but you haven’t stopped it being a primary source and part of your foundational literature. If TZM has a problem with being associated with a film jam packed with horrible anti-Semites, racists and cultists, then it should say so publically and disassociate themselves from it. I don’t think you’ve grasped my point about some of those people: they have mistaken economic theories, that proceed from their mistaken view of the world, one in which a international Jewish conspiracy to control finance was taking place. To say these are the only critiques of the financial system from the period is just wrong. There’s tonnes of socialist and left wing economists that have a much better perspective. I’d recommend Thorstein Veblen, or Paul Sweezy, or indeed Lenin’s ‘Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism.’ http://marxists.org/subject/economy/postmarx.htm

    It’s not just that the film tacitly endorses these people as good sources, which would encourage people to check them out and see the rest of what they had to say with Peter joseph’s blessing. It’s also that they are WRONG. They do not fully appreciate the full dynamics of the capitalist system, monopoly finance capital, class relations or commodification. The reason for that is because they had a wrong view of the world, which is intimately intertwined with their racism. And by endorsing that, your group, while it may not intend to be, or see itself as racist, is promoting a false worldview which is based in racist ideas.

    I’m sorry if it came across that I thought you were close with people like Alex Jones, I follow Alex Jones (purely for the lolz he gives me with his insanity) and I know very well that he despises TZM from his own bizarre far right Christian perspective. However, I was given to understand that in Scotland the folk in TZM maintain good relations with We Are Change, and I’ve seen you guys taking part in their activity on youtube (in the same videos btw, that their members say things like “Capitalism Funds Communism,” which I hope from your experience of the socialist movement you will know is madness; this idea dates directly back to people viewing the Russian Revolution as a tool of the Jewish conspiracy). If I’ve got the wrong end of the stick here I’m sorry, but you might want to ask them to remove you from their videos if that’s the case. I also was under the impression from the fact I’ve heard youse talking about doing ‘Google Hollie Greig’ activity as well, which as far as I’m aware is not something that would happen through TZM.

    I’m not a qualified Egyptologist, but I think I’m clearly more qualified one than Peter Joseph. I did for a while as a child want to be an Egyptologist, and I’ve read pretty widely on ancient Egypt. I’ve got a source I can cite on Horus other than Wikipedia, Epgyptian Mythology, Paul Hamlyn, London 1965. I could cite others if I went off to dig them out. I absolutely agree that Christianity is a syncretic religion created by the Romans for political purposes, and that’s not a point I have a political problem with making, which is why I didn’t criticise that section too heavily, but just mentioned it in passing as further evidence of the huge factual inaccuracies in the film. It doesn’t help historical or anthropological examination of the Jesus myth to have people prominently disseminating stuff that’s just wrong. However, I think these things are of relatively little importance to the role that Christianity plays in the world today, which must be examined and understand in a slightly more up to date historical context imo.

    I couldn’t agree more with a lot of the substance of what you wrote about what would be possible in a COMMUNIST society (sorry for being old fashioned and calling a spade a spade!), as well as what you’ve said about the collapsing environment. I would say you’re wrong about Marx not having considered these issues: there’s a reason the Communist Manifesto calls for “the abolition of the difference between town and country”, Marx was calling for an end to the growth of unsustainable capitalist cities and the growing metabolic gap between human beings and the soil which supports them. Marx was well aware of the scientific work in this area that was taking place in his time, such as the work of Justus von Liebig. I can’t recommend more the book Marx’s Ecology by John Bellamy Foster for an examination of this.

    I would put the same point back to you about our limited time: we haven’t got time to create prototype utopian communities (yes I have read ‘The Plan’ in the TZM FAQ) and “raise awareness” as our only hope for saving the planet. We need solutions right now to the huge problems facing humanity, and that can only come with political struggle against the class responsible for them. Let’s say you do get to a stage where you have built a prototype city that is undermining the market economy. What do you think will happen? Here’s a clue – take a look at the foreign intervention in Russia after the revolution, the history of US/Cuba relations from 1959 onwards, the fate of Salvador Allende, etc. etc. if you ever seriously become a threat, they will bomb the shit out of you! You need to prepared for that, and the way to prepare is to politically struggle against their power, not just hope you can wish them away. The FAQ talks about building a “theme park” for the TZM, this is fantasy land stuff.

    I also don’t agree with the FAQ that we should abandon our old cities, and I don’t think it’d be something that would be popular with the vast majority of people who live in these cities and are rather attached to them. The transformative power of eco socialist urbanism to remake the world’s cities into places that can help with the transition to sustainable society is something that can already be seen in cities like Havana, and this process needs to be advanced, not abandoned.

    I’m sorry if this sounds harsh, but climate change denial is perhaps the greatest and most dangerous piece of unscientific thinking that exists today, and I find it incredibly hard to take anyone that promotes it very seriously. Climate change is not speculation, it is already devastating large parts of the planet. I don’t know if we really want to get into this at length, but any movement that does not integrate climate change into the heart of its analysis of the world is absolutely abrogating their responsibility and ignoring reality.

    There’s more I’d like to say on some of the other comments, but I’m going to take a break for now and watch Stargate, something far more intellectually consistent than the Zeitgeist movement and which has a better grasp of which Egyptian gods were which! :p

    P.S. I’ve never quoted Winston Churchill, and I’ve never found anyone in the socialist movement who does. I don’t promote the views of Tories, racists, fascists, cultists or anti-Semites. I can’t say the same about Zeitgeist.

  36. Sarah says:

    Andy Drummond, I don’t have time to go in to the bulk of what you’re saying, but I just wanted to pick you up on your offensive use (twice) of the word ‘retarded’. Given I’ve seen you knocking about town wearing a ‘Google Hollie Grieg’ t shirt (and by the way, it makes me sick the way that you and We Are Change misuse the tragic story of a young girl’s horrific ordeal for your own political gain and to try and insinuate that there is some sort of Mason paedophile ring controlling the council and the police, rather than actually caring about what happened to her), you’d think that you’d be a bit more sensitive to how inappropriate that term is.

  37. 4ndy says:

    Thanks for the response Jack; when you researched TZM, did you actually watch any of Peter’s talks entitled ‘Where are we now?’, ‘Where are we going?’ and ‘Social Pathology’? Because what you linked to before on youtube was a short clip from one of his radio blogs, where he used to answer short questions and mention some current events, but wouldn’t ever give a complete description of what we’re about.

    TZM does have a problem with being associated with the movie Zeitgeist, and have said so publically and tried to disassociate from it, but I still don’t think they are doing enough in that regard; I think Peter apologised for rubbish bits in Zeitgeist at least once in his blogs, but it’s hard as hell to find it, what with it being a voice recording. A large number of the people interested in the movement do still find it through Peter’s second and somewhat more sensible film, due to that silly bit he put in near the very end, however it’s not a ‘primary source’ or ‘foundational literature’, while we have next to no control over google results.

    I just had a quick look back at the money section in ‘Zeitgeist: The Movie’, and I see you are exaggerating in saying that it is ‘jam-packed’ with anti-semitism, there were a couple of quotes from that McFadden guy, surrounded by ones from the ‘founding fathers’ and a few US presidents. However, I do think the tone of the whole thing is very conspiratorial, so it’s still quite rubbish. While the idea of blaming the banking system on some Jewish conspiracy is ridiculous, the way the Fractional Reserve lending system was described in Addendum was not wrong, unless the way the Federal Reserve describe their own policy is wrong, as it refers to one of their documents instead of just the prejudiced POV’s of dead people. It’s not the whole story in economics, but an important part of a bigger picture, but that doesn’t make it wrong.

    A very important (but difficult for some people) concept to swallow, is what exactly it means in terms of resource consumption for an economy to grow by an average of 3% per year for 100 years; if you don’t have a calculator handy I’ll tell you, it doubles roughly every 24 years, and ends up over 19 times what it was at the start of the century. Also what Peter often talks about how the profit system being the over-riding concern in the design of products causes them to inherently end up breaking by being made of inferior materials, causing enormous amounts of resource waste in landfills, is something that I have first-hand experience of in my engineering education, where they attempt to indoctrinate us into that concept that profit always comes first, and using the cheapest material that we can get away with for an ‘acceptable’ market value depending on the context of the buyer.

    It’s nice to hear that you have some interest in Egyptology, if only you had referred to that before. Peter took his botched material pretty much exclusively from someone who writes by the name Acharya S, who once claimed on blogtalkradio that she did her own first-hand research of the mythology in Egypt, and that modern locals said some of the Egyptian gods were interchangeable concepts. I am not inclined to believe that on someone’s word only, but there you go. Indeed Stargate SG1 did a (relatively) good job of representing ancient mythology and some aspects of science in its storylines, for a fictional TV show. Still, we don’t have the capability to go back in time and ask the Egyptian locals what pish they believe in, so I see most of it as distorted opinion based on the interpretation of little evidence, as much of history is.

    Cheers for the recommendation on Marx’s Ecology, I’ll have a look if I can find it sometime (I can generally only afford to get books from the library or online piracy). By the way, have you heard of the work of Bill Mollison and David Holmgren on the ‘Permaculture Forest Garden’ concept of food production? Because that shows great potential to feed the world post-oil, having been proven to work even in some of the most dustbowled areas of the world (see ‘greening the desert’ on youtube) and return fertility to the soil with very little work, and without the use of artificial fertiliser. I’m going to try out their methods on the north coast of Scotland within the next year.

    I don’t turn up to We Are Change’s monthly events because I agree with everything that all of them say, but because some of the chat is intelligent and interesting. If you’ve watched a lot of Alex Jones’ videos, I’m sure you can see that amongst all the crazy emotive bs he uses to embellish whatever he’s talking about, there’s usually a true story in there, that he’s just putting his spin on in order to try and rile people up. This is true with everyone, no matter how far gone they are into some crazy belief system, there will always be some tiny grasp of a fact that you can point to and help them to understand the bigger picture. I have tried (usually in vain and to the result of being amusingly called a ‘shill’) to try and encourage some of them not to spend all day spreading hearsay about irrelevant issues, and focus on the problems that we all have with capitalism.
    I hadn’t heard anyone say ‘captalism funds communism’ around me, but my guess before what you suggested would be that they base that on the very widespread erroneous belief that China is a communist country, and that by buying loads of their crappy goods people are supporting a ‘communist’ dictatorship, which I’m sure you know is rubbish.

    I’m very sorry Sarah if I offended you by mentioning the word ‘retarded’, I just got tired and lazy and couldn’t think of a better term, but didn’t expect to offend anyone when I was referring to an abstract concept and not to another human being. If you prefer, replace that word with ‘nonsensical’, ‘stupid’ or ‘fallacious’, but it is not inappropriate since there was no mention of Hollie Greig here until after I used the term. I do care about her case and I empathise with the suffering and exploitation of other disabled people, but I take offense to your wrongful accusation that I misuse the story for my own political gain. I don’t believe any story that I know of through hearsay, but since those involved claim that they have at least a prima facie case with medical evidence, I think it is very clear corruption for the Scottish Lord Advocate to throw a case out of court that involves one of her associates, and to threaten newspapers to not even publish the allegations and evidence. You were lucky enough to catch me during the only time I have worn that t-shirt out in Glasgow since Elaine got it the other week.

    You clearly didn’t understand what I said about TVP’s main plan Jack, because TVP’s FAQ and I have both clearly stated that like you said, it would be stupid to try and build a community when there is a risk of it being attacked, and the first thing that needs to be done is solve people’s most urgent problems here and now. I find it odd that you called Jacque’s city system ‘utopian’ when he himself admits over and over again that it is not perfect, just better than the way things are organised now, and can continually be improved upon. I think some people seem to have a problem with the architectural models he made over the last few decades because they’re not used to seeing them; if you called conceptual designs of the Sydney opera house ‘utopian’ before it was built, then I’m sure the architects would just look at you funny, but indeed Fresco’s models could do with more people and bird shite on them for presenting to the general public. Even if TVP’s social model is nearly identical to communism, I don’t see a problem with them calling it something else, because it at least got them away from some of the cold-war demonisation of that word still in the public consciousness, and anyway the project’s focus is mainly on the scientific method as a way of solving our problems, not on fixed societal teachings, when we will probably find even better ways to arrange society in the future through sociological study.

    So yes, there is going to be a lot of struggle over the next few years, and TZM doesn’t shy away from that fact, but a reason they say their first aim is to ‘raise awareness’ is because if they promoted violence then the media would pick up on it instantly and see everyone locked away. We are actively working on ways to get people on this island to become self-sufficient right now so that they don’t have to keep participating in capitalism to live, but that doesn’t mean shying away from ‘fighting the man’, in fact I would have no problem with people cutting the power lines to weapons factories so long as they don’t hurt any workers. I would like to know what exactly you mean by ‘political struggle’, because frankly if you mean the taking part in parliamentary elections, signing petitions and attending protests that I have seen so far, I am sorry if it offends but that achieves fuck-all, and is barely what comes under ‘raising awareness’ and preaching to the choir. Turning up even on the doorstep to 10 downing street only to whine about what the state is doing will never make a difference, they will only walk past you and laugh at you inside; if you are still paying tax to the government and not making every effort to stop doing so, I would like to know how you sleep at night knowing that some of your hard work went towards murdering innocent men, women and children in the middle-east and perpetuating capitalism, because I couldn’t.

    Also, I don’t support ‘denial’ of any scientific claim, but I don’t believe a hypothesis without rigorous scientific evidence, and if you can make such a ridiculous claim as ‘it is already devastating large parts of the planet’, when referring to man’s effect on the climate, then you really should consider reading up on exactly what it takes to establish scientific proof of a theory, because that is flat-out regurgitation of false propaganda. I strongly advise you to have a look at my summary on the science, and I welcome any and all logical arguments and presentation of evidence.
    I must correct you, the greatest and most dangerous piece of unscientific thinking that exists today, is that if some ‘scientists’ repeat that they believe a hypothesis to be true in the media over and over again, and somebody claims there is a ‘consensus’, then the hypothesis must be correct. Nothing could be further from the truth, for if that were the case then the church once proved that the Sun rotates around the Earth.

    By the way, I am definitely by no means a PR expert, but if you think there is some way that TZM can improve the way the public see them, or have any suggestions for useful activism, then please stick something up on the UK forum where they can all read and digest it. I want to work with anyone who sees that the current social structure is causing us huge problems, and wants to build a new society without needless toil, prejudice or control over anyone.

  38. Sarah says:

    Lol @ there being proof for a cabal of international bankers but not proof for climate change

  39. And? says:

    Well said sarah!!!
    Hello everyone.
    For proof on climate change I would refer people to Dr James Hansen’s “Storms of my Grandchildren.” Hansen’s credentials beat anyone else’s that I have come across in any publication or online. I believe his motivation is the SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY that he has dedicated his life to (not some propaganda or anything else (profit)).

    (Anyway, this is my take on the basic chemistry. Different gases hold different amounts of heat. Greenhouse gases hold more heat than Air. So put more greenhouse gases into the Air and the amount of heat the air holds increases and so the Air gets hotter. We put the gases there, we cause warming of the Air. Where is the flaw in this?)

    Is anyone actually surprised Christianity might be a work of fiction? Wow. Noah, the VIRGIN Mary. Is anyone actually surprised that people used the teaching of the bible to their own ends? Wow. Wealth of the Vatican…

    (I wonder what makes people believe one story over another)

    4ndy you say that you are trained in Mech engineering : if you drop a big enough section of concrete on a building it won’t put up much resistance right? Drop that upper section of either tower the 4 or 5 metres down on to the next level do you think that the supporting beams would hold or put up more that a millisecond of resistance? That the steel joints could absorb all that momentum and not sheer? If you concede this then it is only a question of how one floor could collapse to bring down the wtc 1 and 2. It sounds possible that flying a plane into a building might make one floor collapse.

    Anyway as for this movement: defending and rationalising quotes of racists… No not for me. Denying man made climate change against all technological observations… No not for me. Saying you are not political when Ryan Nelson can say things like

    “The reason why there is world hunger, poverty, war, and crime is abundant around the world is due to the scarcity that the monetary system thrives on. As long that there is a monetary system, these issues will continue to happen and grow worse and worse. A Resource-Based Economy proposes the elimination of the root causes of all the issues and conflicts around the world by eliminating the monetary system itself.”

    Errrr… That is a political view! What is an organisations motivation for trying to say they are not political when politics is there central theme? If I was involved in TZM and someone told me I was not being political by being in it I would be offended. If you are doing all this and not being political what are you being… I can’t think of the word.

    Finally if Chomsky says it not the answer then you got to listen to that. That man ain’t often wrong.

  40. 4ndy says:

    ‘And?’, the mistake you have made in both those cases is a lack of understanding of scale or magnitude, which is a foundational block of mathematics for most sciences, especially engineering and chemistry.

    For proof on any scientific theory I would refer to scientific proof and that only, someone’s opinion in a book does not count. Also, the use of the term ‘climate change’ is ridiculous and inappropriate, because the climate has always changed and always will change no matter what we do to it within our current means, I do not dispute that. The issue here is not whether the climate is changing, as it blatantly is and always has done, but whether human industrial activity caused the two significant periods of global warming during the 20th century by releasing carbon dioxide and thereby increasing the greenhouse effect.

    The fallacy/flaw in your argument is that adding more carbon dioxide to the air will not absorb any more radiation because the radiation that is within its absorption spectrum is already nearly fully absorbed by what is there, the argument is like adding kitchen foil onto a metal plate several inches thick and claiming that it will stop significantly more radiation getting through. The issue is not with heat capacity but with absorption, because CO2, CH4 and NO2 hold relatively little heat compared to water, which usually soaks up any heat absorbed by the other gases in the atmosphere.
    The other obvious flaw is that the earth has stopped warming and started cooling while human input of carbon dioxide has continued to increase exponentially with the global economy’s use of fossil fuels.

    The only evidence required to prove the theory of anthropogenic global warming, is showing that increasing carbon dioxide in our atmosphere will significantly increase EM radiation absorption, or that less radiation is getting through our atmosphere as CO2 and temperature rise, and then repeating the observation. In the second case an observation has been made that refutes the AGW hypothesis, the Aqua/CERES satellite data, and I know of no other relevant scientific evidence yet. If you know of some, point it out to me, otherwise your opinion means nothing.
    As I said before, I summarised the debate here, criticising many other fallacies: http://www.thezeitgeistmovementuk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1894
    Read it, or go away if you don’t understand the relevant science, because this is a matter of scientific proof, not worthless subjective opinion.

    Your other argument is worthless due to the undefined terms ‘big enough section’ and ‘much resistance’; all engineering structures are built not only to hold up the load they are designed for, but several times that load so that they can withstand shocks unaccounted for in the specification. This is often called the ‘safety factor’ or ‘safety margin’, and is set by law to MINIMUM values of around 2 to 10 times the design load in most western countries. As such you could have dropped WTC tower 1 on top of tower 2 and they would both stay roughly intact. Also while concrete is a brittle material, steel in contrast has a much higher impact strength, and as such breaks benignly with significant necking, over a far longer period of time, which is exactly why we use it as a reinforcing material. If you were to drop the section of either WTC 1 or 2 above the plane collisions onto the bottom from a couple of storeys’ height, then if the structure was not cut below it would put up more than enough resistance to support the top, and would stay in place with maybe a few centimetres’ dent in the top of the structure depending on the terminal velocity of the top part.

    This is what happens to a building:
    When a section in the middle is blown out and the floor at which it happens gives way: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-duOjP-cevk (it falls over from that point), and if a section of skyscraper falls down without first being cut up by demolition charges: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiAdQLQQGR8 (it hits whatever is below, stays in one piece, and falls over)
    You probably saw what happened to WTC buildings 1, 2 and 7 that day, they all fell into their foundation’s footprint as a neat pile of rubble. That is only possible to achieve if you cut all the building’s internal steel support structure, otherwise building sections would fall to the ground sideways if a small part gave way underneath them. Even if a really old building had no steel support structure and did collapse due to a plane hitting the side of it, it would not go down perfectly symmetrically, especially not a skyscraper as tall as WTC 1 or 2 (which would be unsafe to begin with, without steel reinforcement).

    There is so much footage of the many successful controlled demolitions in history for comparison that I need not link you to them, you can easily find them with google yourself, many of them will not even manage to get a building to fall that symmetrically WITH demolition charges, and most often the more squat buildings will be brought down in such a way as to fall in slightly towards the middle as WTC7 did.

    The other thing to account for is why melted iron turned up in the rubble of the WTC buildings, when no material in the building could burn hot enough to melt steel, the strongest remaining possibility is that it was run-off from the iron produced in thermite reactions, which just so happen to be one of the things we can use to cut through building support structures for demolition. Thankfully someone also found high quality waste thermite in the dust from the buildings’ collapse: http://www.bollyn.com/public/Active_Thermite_at_WTC.pdf

    I personally don’t defend or rationalise any quotes, because as I said before, making any quotes just shows that you’re too lazy to make a decent argument yourself, and people who do that are then often bound to screw up finding a quote anyway; often mis-attributing one, completely misunderstanding the context it was originally in, or getting one from somebody who had other terrible views.
    Believing in the mathematically ridiculous theory of man-made global warming in the face of refutatory scientific observations and touting it without referencing supporting scientific evidence, is not for me.

    You misunderstood the concept of ‘not being a political movement’; it means that we do not waste time taking part in the established institutions of parliament, congress etc. that are merely a distraction to make the peasants believe that they actually have some say in society, so we don’t have a corresponding political party, and we do not believe that peace should be brought about by dictating to people how to live their lives, or saying that they must obey words inked on a piece of paper when they have no good reason to. However, it does not mean that we are not allowed to criticise policy or talk about sociology or ecology, in which science should be applied, based on the specification of supporting everyone’s health and happiness without harming the planet, not subjective opinion, or the pursuit of power or profit.
    I think the statement is far too vague, and a more accurate one would be “we are not a political party and we do not endorse any particular political party”, which is a bit more long winded, and apparently not as good for a flyer, but I prefer to be accurate.

  41. LydiaTeapot says:

    4ndy:

    I’d like to direct your atention to this:

    http://www.thezeitgeistmovementuk.com/event/we-are-change-glasgow-street-action

    As much as you’ve tried to distance your “Group” We Are Change from The Zeitgeist Movement, or (“ZeeEm” as all the insiders will call it) you’ve allied them your allies. What I’d like to know, if you’d be so kind as to answer is the link between these two cults.

    I can see that you’re both into conspiricy theories and to be honest, to me they seem to be the exact same thing. So why is there two separate groups? Or is it just that We Are Change are just students writing on the ground in chalk about stuff that no shopper on argyle street is going to care about?

    Also, I laugh at your Hollie Grieg nonsense. None of you care. None of you have even looked at that case from a fucking sensible point of view. 95% of rape cases are NEVER REPORTED TO THE POLICE. So why pick on this particular one as a big Government conspiricy? The truth of the matter is that no one fucking likes women. Rape cases don’t get reported and of the ones that do, a slim fraction end in convictions. When have any of your pathetic litte group ever done anything to campaign against rape in general? Gies peace. You fully jumped on that poor girl’s case as an excuse to start up a new conspiricy theory about some goverment funded paedophile ring (And yeah, i didn’t fucking bother to look up your stinking facts because i can smell shite a mile away).
    I hope rape victims give youse it fucking stinking in the street when you wear your pathetic “Google Hollie Grieg” tee shirts. I know I would, because this one particular thing makes my blood absolutely boil. Like you’d even care if she was raped or not. None of you have even met the girl.
    I mean, you care about her that fucking much you band the word “retarded” around. Do you say that on your Hollie Grieg stalls? Do you just talk about ‘retards’ and band about the word ‘rape’ in your fun jokey little way.

    Saying you got lazy and used the word is a stupid excuse. So if i feel lazy i can start using the words “Paki” or “Nigger”? No, it’s not on. And it’s not on here. You can either admit that you fucked up or discontinue your conversation.

    Hollie Greig is just another victim of the atrocities toward women. Women are raped every fucking day by police officers, lawyers, doctors, PFs, politicians and those cases don’t get reported either. To hone in on one and make it seem like something different is an insulting to the 1 in 4 women who are sexually assaulted/raped every day and no one cares.

    To say you care about Hollie sends a chill down my spine, to be frank. You could never know the pain of rape, so how dare you tout it like could ever even fathom it. No. Your means are only to publicise yourselves. I just did google Hollie Grieg and all i found was your propaganda and speculation. No fucking charity here. If you want to fix things for women, then widen your interest spectrum. Otherwise, i can only assume that you’re in it for yourselves.

    You might want to dip your head out of the water and take a look about at the real world. There are many more predatory men/paedophiles in this world than you can comprehend. Paedophiles are REAL and they exist near you, near me. They aren’t simply confined to elite rings of high up people. So what, does that mean other kids who’ve been molested don’t need that media coverage because it’s not all about a tiny minority of people ‘in charge’? Society is fucked up in that women are “advertised” as always available and at man’s finger tips. It’s not just the elite who abuse and rape, it’s a fucking terrifying majority. You ought to really think about who you’re affecting by both targeting this stupid campaign and by trying to act like you empathise as a member of the oppressing sex.

  42. Jack says:

    Andy, this is going to come across a bit dickish, but I’m afraid you’re an engineer not a scientist. I’m not a scientist either, but I think some of the scientific mistakes you’re repeating show that you shouldn’t trumpet your engineering background as if it means you’re qualified as a climatologist, because you’re clearly not.

    Andy argues that water vapour soaks up all the heat that would be absorbed by other gases. This is not true.

    There is the greenhouse effect and global warming, two different things. The greenhouse effect operates as a natural process that keeps our planet significantly warmer (and friendlier to life) than it would be other wise. Global warming is a consequence of increasing the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, thereby increasing the greenhouse effect.

    Greenhouse gases allow heat from the sun to penetrate our atmosphere, but then absorb some of that heat before it escapes back into space, warming the planet. different gases absorb different parts of the radiation spectrum. Some of these parts overlap, so there are different absorption rates for different gases. But that doesn’t mean that all the heat absorbed by CO2 is taken up by water vapour. CO2 does and always has had an important effect in regulating the climate. See for example the effect of chemical weathering, where atmospheric CO2 reacts with silicate minerals, formin bicarbonates and removing the CO2 from the atmosphere. So, for example, the more exposed rock available caused by the uplift of the Himalayas several million years ago caused significant global cooling.

    The important difference between water vapour and CO2 is that water vapour is quickly dispersed from the atmosphere by the water cycle: it falls as rain and stuff like that. But CO2 stays up there much longer. Even if we stopped all carbon emissions tomorrow it would take hundreds of years for the levels to return to preindustrial levels.

    For more on the heat absorption characteristics of CO2, see here: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/ma_01/

    Andy says that the Earth is cooling. This is just not true, and easily disprovable by reference to a number of analyses. This paper is a good start, it gives observationally combined info for land, ocean, atmosphere and ice heat, showing that the world is heating up: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009JD012105.shtml

    Here’s a paper with more satellite evidence for ongoing warming: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2000/2000GL011719.shtml

    The question is Andy, if you’re right, then why is there a scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming? Is it all giant conspiracy? Do the illuminati control the following organisations?

    * American Association for the Advancement of Science
    * American Astronomical Society
    * American Chemical Society
    * American Geophysical Union
    * American Institute of Physics
    * American Meteorological Society
    * American Physical Society
    * Australian Coral Reef Society
    * Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
    * Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO
    * British Antarctic Survey
    * Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences
    * Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
    * Environmental Protection Agency
    * European Federation of Geologists
    * European Geosciences Union
    * European Physical Society
    * Federation of American Scientists
    * Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies
    * Geological Society of America
    * Geological Society of Australia
    * International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA)
    * International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
    * National Center for Atmospheric Research
    * National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    * Royal Meteorological Society
    * Royal Society of the UK

    The Academies of Science from 19 different countries all endorse the consensus. 11 countries have signed a joint statement endorsing the consensus position:

    * Academia Brasiliera de Ciencias (Brazil)
    * Royal Society of Canada
    * Chinese Academy of Sciences
    * Academie des Sciences (France)
    * Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (Germany)
    * Indian National Science Academy
    * Accademia dei Lincei (Italy)
    * Science Council of Japan
    * Russian Academy of Sciences
    * Royal Society (United Kingdom)
    * National Academy of Sciences (USA) (12 Mar 2009 news release)

    A letter from 18 scientific organizations to US Congress states:

    “Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. These conclusions are based on multiple independent lines of evidence, and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science.”

    *
    African Academy of Sciences
    *
    Cameroon Academy of Sciences
    *
    Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences
    *
    Kenya National Academy of Sciences
    *
    Madagascar’s National Academy of Arts, Letters and Sciences
    *
    Nigerian Academy of Sciences
    *
    l’Académie des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal
    *
    Uganda National Academy of Sciences
    *
    Academy of Science of South Africa
    *
    Tanzania Academy of Sciences
    *
    Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences
    *
    Zambia Academy of Sciences
    *
    Sudan Academy of Sciences

    * Royal Society of New Zealand
    * Polish Academy of Sciences

    I don’t particularly want to go down the road of having a detailed scientific argument about climate change. It’s sterile and inaccessible for other readers, and I’ve done it before and my experience was generally that I get nowhere with it. The kind of nonsense you’re putting forward here is best countered by the reasoned arguments of people who are actually climatologists.

    This is why I can’t take the politics of climate change denial seriously. You have as much credibility as someone that wants schools to teach intelligent design.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627606.100-living-in-denial-why-sensible-people-reject-the-truth.html?full=true

  43. Jack says:

    Oh, and btw, someone’s opinion in a book is perhaps a bit relevant if THEY’RE ONE OF THE WORLD’S LEADING CLIMATOLOGISTS!

    Some might even say more relevant than the opinions of some random engineering student posting on the Zeitgeist movement forums.

  44. ewan says:

    4ndy@other zeitgeisters. I have a problem with this idea of fair and equitable distribution of resources in a RBE. The problem is that resources are not common to each country. Some countries have tin, some don’t. Some have oil, some don’t. Some have been so ravaged by colonialism that they only grow one crop – say sugarcane. Some have a lot of light, some don’t. You can therefor imagine a RBE world in which the countries with the most sun become solar-power centres, the countries with tin become open tin mines and the countries with sugar cane remain dependent on that one crop. In short you end up with a world identical to this one, or perhaps worse, in that you have a unelected elite deciding what quantities of resources to extract from each country. Put this another way – if country X is the only country that has resource Y, then the RBE will, under the remit of equitable redistribution, take that resource from that country. It would take it by force, if that country did not want to have its only or chief resource redsitributed to all of humanity.Hence the RBE becomes colonialist and totalitarian.

  45. Leigh says:

    **sigh** Right, I don’t get your point at all, did you watch the same films as I did?? Anti semetic ?? what bullshit planet are you on. Years back some KKK member comes up with a theory that the Jews are trying to control the world by controlling the money. Hitler had the same idea I believe. So now the Zietgiest movement comes along changes the word Jew to Bankers but suggest the same sort of thing could be true, that means they support anti semetism, EH?? Money is power, how many times have we heard that phrase, power corrupts heard that one as well? That there is evidence that the people that control the money have done awful things to maintain that control, why is that so hard to believe?
    However that is all totally irrelevant really that theory was only part of the film and if thats the only thing you could find to pull apart why did you bother writing your article. The key point that was raised again and again through these films, the most alarming point, is not even mentioned in your article. That point is that we have based our economy on a finite resource and that resource is running out, I am of course refering to oil. Well we’ll all have to stop using cars I hear you say, won’t make any difference really. The fact is, at the moment we are using more oil than we can produce, our usage is only going to increase. Take a look around you, so many things needed oil in their manafacture, plastic – oil based, paint – has oil, acrylics – oil again and so on and so on. In the not too distant future oil will become scarce, and prices will go through the roof. At the moment we rely on imports and exports, we transport goods over stupid distances to get to our stores all of this will stop because we won’t be able to pay the price they’d need to charge to cover the transort costs. You only have to watch your local petrol station to see the prices going up all the time. Civil unrest will grow, crime rates will go through the roof as people take to stealing what they can’t afford. The whole world is going to go to pot all because we based our world economy on a resource that is finite a resource that is now running out. That is the main point the Zietgiest mob are making, that we are heading towards disaster a global economic disaster. Sorry but its true, look around you, listen to the EXPERTS giving interviews in the Zeitgiest films make no mistake these guys know what they are talking about. We cannot maintain the life we now live, something is going to have to change and I’m sorry but its not down to a political change it has to be bigger than that. Thats why Zeigiest is not a political movement, it simply wants to get the truth to as many people as it can and truth is that we are in trouble and its only going to get worse.
    Having said all that to get to the solution as put forward by Zeitgiest there would have to be a drastic change and I personally don’t see how that is going to come about until things reach breaking point. It may be that we would have to use socialism as a stepping stone to get there but make no mistake money is obsolete we are old enough not to need it anymore. But to get to a resource based economy with purpose built cities would mean destoying or dismantling the ones we have now and I don’t see how we get to that point. World wide annihilation and rebuild from the ashes? don’t really want it to come to that, so what then? Convincing people that we have to stand together and say NO WE’VE HAD ENOUGH well as a socialist you’d have to admit that that is hard, lets face it when was the last time you were in power??
    The reason I wrote this though was because you’ve semi watched Zeitgiest missed the point completely and then written this article to try and pull it apart based on the fact that a couple of theories in it sound similar to theories spouted by less reputable groups. Zeigiest is just trying to get the truth of our situation to as many people as possible. You’d be better off backing Zeitgiest it might win you more support for your own political agender because like I already suggested your pollitics might be the stepping stone we need to get to that resource based economy Zeigiest is on about. Just a thought.

  46. Jack says:

    The theories put forward about money in zeitgeist aren’t similar to the ideas of anti-semites, they ARE the ideas of anti-semites, the anti-semites who are explicitly quoted and praised in the film like Congressman Louis McFadden and Lyndon LaRouche. The theories are hard to believe because they are wrong, they fundamentally misunderstand how capitalism works. Control of the money supply is not how the ruling class manages to exploit the world and its people in the way it does – they do it by forcing us to work harder than they pay us for. If the ZM advocates wrong theories, then we have to look at where they got those ideas, and by their own admission they got them from people who tried to blame a global Jewish conspiracy for social problems they didn’t have the ideas to comprehend.

    I know about oil, its finite nature and the ecological/economic crises that are already taking place. The point is that socialist ideas actually understand why this is happening and what to do about it, while the ZM fantasises about things that aren’t real. You say you don’t see how we’re going to get to a better society? I see it happening by building a mass movement that understands the world and is ready to put power in the hands of the people, not by drawing concept art of what cool cities we could build if we had the power (without any strategy to get that power.)

    “You’d be better off backing Zeitgiest it might win you more support for your own political agender because like I already suggested your pollitics might be the stepping stone we need to get to that resource based economy Zeigiest is on about. Just a thought.”

    Socialism is a stepping stone towards a society where there’s no money, people have access to everything they need for free and there’s no classes. Aka Communism. We’ll not get anyway near either by basing our activism on racist fantasies.

  47. Leigh says:

    Sorry Jack but I can’t help feeling that we are both on the same page here. You seem to be hung up on the whole racist thing so let me put it another way. I have yet to meet any follower of Zietgeist that is racist. On the contrary, the end goal of the Zeitgeist ideal is a world living in harmony regardless of colour and creed. I ‘m afraid I don’t see the racism in that goal. The point I’m trying to make with regards to you backing Zeitgeist is this, I have never heard of how you plan to bring this about, I’ve never known that the end goal of socialism is a world without money. However, I have heard of Zeitgeist, so both of you want the same end but Zeitgeist is gaining followers from all political backgrounds and more importantly, in this day and age certainly, they are gaining followers that have given up on the political system, people that are unlikely to ever vote.
    You haven’t turned me off Zeitgeist and onto Socialism nor do I see you doing so with any of the other followers I have met. We are all on the same page but Zeitgeist is getting the message across, Socialists on the other hand are not. I’m 39 and to me Socialists have always been those guys in town trying to sell me newspapers, the guys I’d cross the road to avoid. I’ve never heard your theories on how to deal with the oil crisis and if it wasn’t for Zeitgeist I wouldn’t realise just how bad the situation was. All I’m saying is by backing the end goal of Zeitgeist and recognising the similarities rather than banging on about racism might actually turn more people onto Socialism.
    I am not racist and object to anyone suggesting I am, nor am I chasing blindly after a fantasy, however as I already said, to get to the Zeitgeist end game we need some sort of stepping stone. If we all worked together a Resource Based Economy IS possible, we do have the technology to do it. You say you know how to get there GREAT, show me. You are right, I’m not seeing any strategy in the Zeitgeist movement to get that power and maybe socialism could provide the strategy to get there. At the moment all Zeitgeist is doing is getting the message to as many people as possible that we are heading for economic disaster and maybe the sensationalist comments made by them were just to get people interested. All I can say is that is it worked, here I am having a conversation with a socialist and if it wasn’t for Zeitgeist that wouldn’t have happened. That I may now be curious about the goals of Socialism is again thanks to Zeitgeist. Are you seeing the point I’m trying to make now? I heard someone recently refer to the Zeitgeist mob as harmless hippies which struck me as funny as that is how a lot of people have always seen Socialists, me included. Well maybe we should all be ‘harmless hippies’ together.

  48. Sarah (edit: not the real one) says:

    I believe anything that makes you think can’t be that bad. Sure, it has a lot of very general thoughts that could apply to anything but why is it so bad to think and expand our minds. I don0t understand why people have to leave a negative remark on everything. I enjoyed zeitgeist because it made me think how little do I know about the world. I’m not saying I believed everything but I didn’t not believe either. Anything is possible and I’m glad that I could draw my own conclusions on things that people normally don0t even think about. And most of all, I am happy and grateful to zeitgeist because it led me to George Carlin, the man of my dreams. If it weren’t for Z maybe I wouldn’t have stumbled on him. :D Anyway, my point is, thinking can’t be bad so I don’ see why anyone would perceive Z as something bad:) You people are taking everything too seriously.

  49. Sarah says:

    THINKING that jews are really lizards who run the world through the banking industry is a pretty BAD thing to do. The idea that ‘all thinkings is good’ is fucking ridiculous.

    Sarah (the real one)

  50. Meghan says:

    other-Sarah: I find the idea that people who strongly dislike something are ‘taking it too seriously’ is a bit of a derailing tactic – that is, an attempt to render a viewpoint invalid by introducing an irrelevant factor (in this case the factor is seriousness). I don’t think you’re intentionally derailing, and I think it’s totally cool that you found zeitgeist provocative. apparently Jack did too, albeit in rather a different way!

    But yeah, we do take this stuff ‘seriously’ (even alongside the piss-taking), and we will continue to do so, and I don’t think we’re wrong to do so either. As socialists we’re vigorously opposed to the ungreen, exploitative, unethical crap that is the dominant way of life, and we’re strongly committed to finding alternatives and better ways, and this also means critiquing alternatives. I like to think we usually do this constructively, but we’re a youth group and we see nothing wrong with taking piss now and then out of what we see as mental ideas. as a youth group consisting partly of students we deal with getting the piss ripped out of us quite a lot (assumptions that we’re all middle class and unemployed being the most popular – not that that would give us any less right to a political voice even if it were true), so the slagging matches are swings and roundabouts – and in our case at least they’re usually light-hearted. Anti-capitalism: kind of a big deal for us.

  51. [...] level of the activists involved declined.  The semi-cultish “anti-politics” of the Zeigheist Movement and David Ike started appearing associated with Occupy Glasgow – something which I believe [...]

  52. Lex Rock says:

    It seems to me, Jack, that you expect TZM to have ready made solutions to all the problems, but because they do not, they should be dismissed? You do understand that TZM is in fact trying to come up with solutions, and that it is a continuous work to get there? But to do anything, you first need to know what you want, only then can you start going towards that goal. As such, TZM has taken a look on what is today, and then have seen where they want to be. The hardest work lies ahead to try and forge that future. And it will be very hard indeed, it might even take generations. But one gotta start someplace, and get together to try and do it. If you got suggestions to make, and ideas on how, try and spread them, don’t go out on quite frankly childish smearing campaigns.

  53. Hi Jack,

    I’ve just reposted this excellent article at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal because of its relevance to the Occupy movement (I’m sure you don’t mind!).

    Perhaps you could check on the comments there every so often to see if you’d like to respond to any.

    Its posted at http://links.org.au/node/2567

    Solidarity,
    Terry

  54. Andy Bowden says:

    Lex read the article again. The criticism isn’t that Zeitgeist doesn’t have all the answers – it’s that as part of Zeitgeist’s argument, it has a flawed view of finance that uses anti-semites as the source.

    Nobody from Zeitgeist ever attempts to engage with this, they just call it ‘childish’ and ‘smearing’ because their members have a cult like inability to argue with viewpoints contradictory to their propaganda.

  55. Hi Jack,

    A lengthy snide comment has been posted at http://links.org.au/node/2567#comment-113401 that you might like to reply to.

    Thanks,
    Terry Townsend,
    Socialist Alliance

  56. [...] Scottish Socialist Party’s Youth group offers this account TZM (full story Here.) Zeitgeist got started when a man called Peter Joseph (this apparently isn’t his real or full [...]

  57. Dave Close says:

    I’ve never heard so much bullshit in my life, Zeitgeist is about uniting people into a society that supports and cares for all the worlds people, even the International bankers when they come round to it, saying that we blame the elite is rediculous when it has quite clearly been stated many times that the Elite are just a symptom of the environment the monetary system creates. please dont listen to this bullshit without looking into TZM yourself!

  58. Liam T says:

    ^DAVE CLOSE DID YOU EVEN READ THE ARTICLE?

    the whole point is that TZM lacks any real understand of how society works just now and how it can be changed, in order to create this moneyless caring society that you mention.

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  62. R Jones says:

    As a member of TZM I believe I can clear up the misunderstanding here.

    This author of this article has misjudged the zeitgeist movement based on a logical fallacy. The fallacy is here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_fallacy

    In this case: The author sees a quote by a person he recognizes in the film as an anti-semite. The author makes the fallacial association that because someone is quoting an anti-semite, the zeitgeist movement must also be anti-semitic.This is clearly a fallacy which we can highlight with the following example of Charles Darwin clearly showing 19th century racism.

    Voyage of the Beagle, page 35: “This spot is notorious from having been, for a long time, the residence of some runaway slaves, who, by cultivating a little ground near the top, contrived to eke out a subsistence. At length they were discovered, and a party of soldiers being sent, the whole were seized with the exception of one old woman, who sooner than again be led into slavery, dashed herself to pieces from the summit of the mountain. In a Roman matron this would have been called the noble love of freedom: in a poor negress it is mere brutal obstinacy.”

    However, we do not discount the credible and logical conclusions of Darwin because he had illogical trains of thought.

    Another example is Isaac Newton, who spent years researching alchemy, convinced he could find a secret to turning lead into gold into the bible. We don’t discount his scientific and mathematic achievements for this association.

    The zeitgeist movement is a decentralized network of individuals that may or may not work together on local or global projects that ulltimately have the end goal of a resource based economy. Many projects inspired by the movement are already taking shape, such as the transition project, open source ecology project, or the universal solutions project.

    At it’s core, the movement is about the teaching of critical thinking. Read through your article again. See where you’ve projected your own paranoia onto the movement with a pure leap of faith. That is, for lack of a better term, conspiracy theorizing that you are doing.

    Another usual slip up is the conclusion that we advocate a “scientific dictatorship” of some sorts, where “decisions will be made by a ruling scientific elite.” In fact the opposite is true. We encourage open source projects, where all research and data are published online for everyone to see, update, and amend as necessary. We recognize that human collaboration is infinitely more efficient than competition. This is seen already in websites like wikipedia. Also search for Dan Pink on “The science of motivation.”

    We are forming our conclusions about the world based on the latest scientific discoveries, and using them for our basis of management. This includes research into human behaviour, neuroscience, biology and psychology. A template for society should be based on the most up to date knowledge available, and that is scientific knowledge. A zeitgeist inspired society would be constantly emerging as new results were published, whearas existing societal institutions (education, politics, monetary, economic) remain largely static, despite exponential advancement of technology.

    Any questions or suggestions?
    I guarantee you no matter where you look, you will not find a single racist or bigoted person in the zeitgeist movement.

  63. [...] this assortment of jumbled nonsense is more likely to attract conspiracy theorists, illuminutties, Zeitgeisters and members of the David Icke Brigade. RT is beloved on web forums where these people point out [...]

  64. I was once a zeitgeister, now a member of Socialist Alternative (Australia)

    I think the most pragmatic way for socialists to deal with TZM is not to insult them for their flaws, but this http://zeitgeistworker.wordpress.com/contents

    from all their goals one can extrapolate socialism and only socialism. You have to change your use of language but you can talk to TZM people about socialism all you like adn they dont object, so long as you dont call what you’re talking about socialism, funny huh.

    make the most of it, this is an opportunity, my website is designed to target them, so show them it, or learn to speak their language as i have. bring on the “democracy of interdisciplinary teams” (dictatorship of the proletariat)

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