An article in Hbl yesteday made me finally have a closer look att the Zeitgeist movement. I watched ”Zeitgeist: Addendum” (see below), and had a look att their website. At first I was impressed, ”Addendum” starts with a well-argued description of the way money works and why our monetary system is att the heart of the problems our world is in. If you don’t know this stuff already – i.e. if you cannot immideately give the correct answer to the question ”Where does money come from” you should definitely watch this, or the slightly less sexy-looking, but perhaps even clearer Money as Debt II. It is probably the most important piece of information you need to have in order to understand where our world is at.
Then the film proceeds to discuss the way the US uses debt to control other countries, a very interesting interview with a self-styled ”economic hitman” tells the way the US uses giant loans to blackmail smaller countries to toe the line, as the first line of attack. If it doesn’t work they send in CIA who either starts a coup or eliminates unwanted leaders. If that does not work, they send in the military.
None of this was news to me, but a well told story – at this point I was already planning to show the films to students. But then the film moves on to presenting the solution to the problem: the Venus Project. The theory is that if we elliminate money (how?) we will free technology to solve all our problems. I have actually never heard such technologyoptimism in my life: all problems – energy is discussed in the film, but if one looks at their website problems like mental illness and cultural clashes are no more difficult – will be easily solved by technology once the monetary system is gone.
And here one starts to suspect that this is a scheme of some kind, because the same person that presented the very intelligent analysis of the economic system and world politics cannot seriously believe that creating global maglev rails that travel at 4000 mph will not demand way more resources and energy than the ”resource based economy” could possibly deliver. And it gets really scary when one starts to look at how this brave new world will be governed. Government is to be essentially abolished and all administration is to be taken over by computers! Ok, maybe I was over-impressed by the Terminator-movies as a kid, but this does not sound like a good idea to me.
And I haven’t even mentioned religion yet. Depending on where you look the criticism of religion is either central or periphery to the Zeitgeist movement, but either way it makes even Dawkins look insightful. Religions – all religions – do nothing else than make people feel guilty and divide humanity. The purpose of religion is to perpetuate the status quo, and keep power in the hands of the powerful.
It is not worth my time to even start to respond to this banal nonsense, but I can’t help but note the irony in the fact that the film then goes on to describe the change in mentality that will be necessary for the Venus project to become a reality. People will have to learn unconditional love (the most central Christian concept) and understand that we are all one (very few religions do not teach this). So in the end Zeitgeist seems to want to be (yet another) new religion, with its very own concept of salvation, enlightenment and a kingdom of heaven on earth, run by AI computers.
So what is the point of all this? I confess I have no idea, but the first item on their page is: ”Buy Zeitgeist T-shirts”.
Anyway: As I said – especially if you do not know why it is important to understand where money comes from, watch the first 25 minutes of this, and if you like go on untill you get bored. Then watch the last 15 minutes for some very good advice on ”where to start”.