Anybody else jumping on the Zeitgeist bandwagon?

I’ve recently become a big fan of The Zeitgeist Movement. Peter Joseph, it’s founder, seems to hit the nail on the head when it comes to the problems society faces.

I cannot completely summarize this concept, but I’ll try anyways.

Basically, the view of society would be that of a Resource Based Economy. Where people in society basically forego the use of money and instead focus on the resources that are available to them to make the best possible world for us all.

Some of its main points are that abundance, efficiency, and sustainability are the enemies of the capitalist world we live in today. All segments of society are encapsulated in a false sense of scarcity due to the monetary system.

For instance, we choose not to focus on clean energy - such as solar, wind, tidal/wave, and geothermal because if we were successful in this pursuit, energy would basically become free and have no value.

Other examples are that in the medical industry. We do not search for cures to cancer, aids, and other diseases because the whole industry is focused on merely treating sick and dying patients.

Products in general, are made in what is called “planned obsolescence.” Which basically means they’re made to break so we can buy a new one.

You must admit that in the capitalist system we have today, resources are wasted and so are people. Competition breeds distrust, inequality and causes a disconnect between people today.

In the Zeitgeist scenario, science and technology would be at the forefront of our decision making. The question that is presented throughout is not "can we afford it? but “do we have the resources and tecnology to make it happen?”

In many of our worlds problems, world hunger for instance, we do. But money gets in the way.

If you’d like to research, just go to youtube and type Zeitgeist or Peter Joseph and you’ll find plenty of videos.


No, it’s a load of bullshit and it’s been debunked multiple times on this forum IIRC. Just do a quick search.

I’m not talking about the original Zeitgeist film. I’m talking about the subsequent films and the movement itself. Also, the ideas expressed throughout it.

And I have done a quick search on this board. Didn’t come up with much outside of the original film. So, please elaborate?

Yes, the rest are bullshit, too. The proper word to put before “movement” is “bowel”.

Just two of your more glaring errors: the idea that alternative energy would give us “free” energy is naive to the point of willful ignorance and the idea that we’re not looking for a cure to AIDS is, well… yeah…

I’m pretty sure that we DO search for these cures, and we have a pretty good record of knocking them out of the park. You chose to mention two of the most challenging - we are definitely searching for cures, but aren’t quite there yet. Many experts are now saying that an AIDS vaccine is (not “may be”, but IS) just around the corner.

Ok, perhaps my statement was a little over the top. I’m sure there are scientists and researchers who are looking for cures to these diseases and it is a very difficult process.

My point is that the much of these cures may be stifled due to the influence of money. A very significant portion of that industry is dependent on sick and dying people. If a quick, simple and efficient cure was somehow created where would the money come from to pay all the nurses, radiologists, doctors etc?

As for energy, if it was in absolute abundance, why wouldn’t it be free? Sure we may be talking about technology that is far beyond our understanding, but that is the beauty of it. There is no limit to the possibilities.

If you invented an AIDS vaccine/cure that was certified safe and effective by the FDA tomorrow, how many billions do you think you’d have made by Friday? The idea that energy becomes “free” because we have solar panels, or what have you, displays a truly shocking degree of ignorance about basic economics. How, do you think, solar panels are bought and maintained? The infrastructure for power transmission? Etc…?
You are supporting a Conspiracy Theory to deal with the complexities of the world around us. That’s never a good sign.

As for there being “no limit to the possibilities”, I mean sure, if we’re just going to play Let’s Pretend then we can talk about living in the Diamond Age and all the nefarious fuckers blocking our progress. But… yah… nope.

It sounds like the “issue” is with the way we use money as a means for comparing the relative value of resources. Are you (or is the The Zeitgeist Movement) saying “forget about the cost, we should do it because we can!”?

Using cost as a measuring stick is not an inherently bad thing. There are a lot of things we can do - maybe even we should do - but we don’t do because they are too costly when compared to the resulting benefit. And by costly, I mean that they would burn up too many valuable resources, including human capital, that would be better “spent” elsewhere. You have to consider the opportunity cost (oops there’s that naughty word again).

I now find it necessary to justify my use of the words “money” and “cost” or be slapped with a ‘dirty capitalist pig’ label. I guess the bandwagon ran over my toes there…

Well I guess at first you’d make a lot of money off the vaccine. But then after everyone’s been cured, and it’s not much of an issue, doesn’t the industry (aids in particular) collapse?

I guess solar panels are bought and maintained with money. And the infrastructure is maintained with money. But at some point, technology could become very cost efficient. Almost free.

This is not a conspiracy theory. It’s simply a different perspective. You can try and mock me but if I told you a hundred years ago about computers, and planes and cell phones you’d probably say the same thing.

Patty, look I’m not gonna insult anyone here just because they disagree with me. I honestly find myself believing in this concept and I’m just looking for some feedback.

To answer your question, yes we should do it because we can if we can. Remember the question is not “can we afford it?” but rather “Do we have the resources and technical capability?”

“I am absolutely convinced that no amount of wealth in the world can help advance humanity, even in the hands of the most devoted worker. The example of great and pure individuals is the only thing that can lead us to noble thoughts and deeds. Money only appeals to selfishness and irresistably invites abuse. Can anyone imagine Moses, Jesus, or Ghandi armed with the money bags of Carnegie?”. - Albert Einstein.

Every rare once in a while, we (collectively) do something wonderful, and hang the cost. Like when a little girl falls into a well, and EVERYONE is mobilized to get her out, despite the fact that it cost some umpteen million dollars.

But then the cynics among us note that we could end hunger in America at only one per cent of one per cent of that money spent per capita…and that there isn’t any big rush to do it…

The communists tried to get behind the idea of “everyone do the right thing, because it’s right.” We buried them.

A market approach is the best working system in the same way that democracy is the best decision-making system. We can imagine better, but we can’t build better.

Another magical Ideology that claims if we ignore reality and - here’s the kicker - if we cease to act like Humans and ignore Human Nature - everything will be better.

Don’t you detect the errors in your logic here? Someone would make a vaccine (and by the way, we’re still using oral polio vaccines even though polio was eliminated long ago) and ‘only’ made billions upon billions… somehow the fact that they might not make billions in perpetuity is an argument against it? As for your ‘tomorrow, in Heaven’ argument about free resources… well, obviously it’s not that situation today, now is it? And yet, you’ve claimed that the reason we don’t have free green technology isn’t because we simply don’t have anything even similar to what we’d need to make it feasible, but because of your Conspiracy Theory.

And yes, of course it’s a CT.
That you’re comparing your CT to the invention of computers or phones and such shows how little grounding your argument has in reality.

P.S. we’ve had computers (or, at least, protocomputers) since Babbage.

I think that people who really believe in the movement should drop everything and devote themselves to it wholly and completely - a complete, unconditional commitment. And even if 5 or 10 years from now, it looks like its not getting any traction, they should still persever with same idealism and sense of purpose.

No doubt if you make it that long, another 10 or 20 years won’t be a problem. And if SDMB is still around then. Come back and let us know how its going.

Okay, I’ll admit that in the “reality” we have today most of these ideas don’t seem “realistic.” I’ll even go so far as to say that I am living in a fantasy world. But again, thats sort of the point. This world is what we make it.

I have seen claims that if we took all the money we spent on the military and put it towards ending world hunger, we would end world hunger. We don’t do it because there’s no profit in it. (at least in the short term) We all suffer because of this. How many Einsteins, Gallileo’s, Tesla’s, Da Vinci’s have been lost due to the shortcomings of society?

Now as to this being some magical ideology that ignores reality of human nature, have any of you ever considered how the environment itself plays on your human nature? Take for instance Oxana Malaya, a feral child raised in the company of dogs. When rescued, she was said to growl and bark like a dog, walk on all 4’s, have an acute sense of hearing and smell. What does that tell you about human nature?

Environment drives your human nature in countless, immeasurable ways. If you’re raised around drugs, you’re more likely to take drugs. If you’re raised in violence, you’re more likely to be violent. Do not try to undermine this topic by saying its simply human nature to be greedy and self-interested because it’s not the case. Einstein, Ben Franklin, Michael Jordan and countless other icons in our society did not do what they did just for profit. They did it because that was their passion.

Currently 1 billion people are starving in the world today. 30,000+ children die each day from starvation. Our resources are depleting and our environment is dying. The income inequality gap continues to grow each day and the problems just keep piling on endlessly. Clearly, there is something very wrong with this system.

Except that in the meantime, China/Russia/some other nation that hasn’t just abolished its military will conquer us and the rest of the world.

You’re taking a very complex issue with a number of causes and symptoms and trying to take the “Give a man a fish” approach to fixing it. The real world doesn’t work that way. Pumping money into “ending world hunger” doesn’t work when the governments of famine-stricken regions are corrupt, the infrastructure doesn’t exist to make people self-reliant, there’s not a working education system, natural resources are scarse, etc.

“They laughed at Galileo. They laughed at Newton. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.” - Carl Sagan

Bandwagon? I thought that whole thing went bust about 4 years ago.

That’s sort of disappointing, because “do we have the resources” is pretty much the same question as “can we afford it?” and the technology is already part of the thing being discussed.

Capitalism isn’t the answer to everything, neither is the wholesale abandonment of capitalism.

On the face of it, it looks like Hipster Utopian Anarchism, but you scratch the surface and there’s no “there” there. Anticapitalism’s all well and good, no-one here’s more for it, but the Zeitgeist Movement just sends all my alarm bells ringing.