Kiwi Polemicist

July 27, 2009

• Zeitgeist, The Movie: what’s it all about?

The comments button is at the bottom right of this post.

Nick posted a comment on my post titled Thinking About State Schools and mentioned Zeitgeist, The Movie. He said that it was a bit of “cult phenomenon” in the USA, so I wanted to find out who was behind this movie which is attracting so many people. What’s this movie all about? The short answer is that it’s about getting people to follow a plan that, if successful, would mean the death of millions and the end of life as we know it. The long answer follows.

Although I haven’t watched the movie, I have read the synopsis on Wikipedia and, if this is correct, the movie looks like a blend of antitheism (specifically, attacks on the God of the Bible), mysticism, historical fact, and historical fiction designed to make people unhappy with the present state of affairs and desire an alternative. Naturally the Zeitgeist Movement that made the movie is offering an alternative, so let’s have a look at what this alternative is and the beliefs behind it. What the movie says is, in a sense, irrelevant. What is really important is the belief system of those people that made the movie, because this movie is their attempt to make people adopt that belief system.

Here’s some quotes from the Zeitgeist Movement website:

This movement is about awareness, in avocation of a fluid evolutionary progress, both personal, social, technological and spiritual. It recognizes that the human species is on a natural path for unification [history shows this to be incorrect], derived from a communal acknowledgment of fundamental and near empirical understandings of how nature works and how we as humans fit into/are a part of this universal unfolding we call life [is there a translator in the house?].

We intend to restore the fundamental necessities and environmental awareness [they’re greenies] of the species through the advocation of the most current understandings of who and what we truly are, coupled with how science, nature and technology (rather than religion, politics and money) hold the keys to our personal growth, not only as individual human beings, but as a civilization, both structurally and spiritually. The central insights of this awareness is the recognition of the Emergent and Symbiotic elements of natural law and how aligning with these understandings as the bedrock of our personal and social institutions, life on earth can and will flourish into a system which will continuously grow in a positive way, where negative social consequences, such as social stratification, war, biases, elitism and criminal activity will be constantly reduced and, idealistically, eventually become nonexistent within the spectrum of human behavior itself [they’re promising an egalitarian {classless} utopia].
The reality is that we live in a society that produces Scarcity [no, we Westerners live in a society where governments produce scarcity, as do the Zimbabweans, North Koreans, et al].
It is also important to point out that there are no utopias or endings [so why are they offering an egalitarian utopia?]. All evidence points to perpetual change on all levels [“there are no endings” plus “perpetual change” sounds like Buddhist reincarnation to me].
In fact, the only true “government” that can possibly exist is the earth and its resources [the only true government is the earth? All hail Earth! How exactly are we supposed to appeal the decisions of a planet? How exactly do planets make decisions?]. From there, all possibilities can be assessed. This is why an intellectual unification of all countries is needed [one world government], for the most important information we as a species can have is a full, highly detailed assessment of what we have on this planet [a great excuse for the one world government, sorry, Earth, to pry into your private affairs and find out exactly what you have to ” voluntarily contribute” to the commune][emphasis added].

KP does *not* look like this, thankfully.

KP does *not* look like this, thankfully.

If that’s not religious mumbo jumbo then I’m a red-arsed baboon. The movie opens with a speech by a well known Buddhist and I think that the beliefs of Jacque Fresco, the man behind all this, are clear.

The Zeitgeist Movement is the “official activist arm” of the Venus Project, the website of which prominently displays pictures of futuristic buildings as a promise of what things will be like in a Buddhist utopia, where there will be a “resource based economy”:

A Resource-Based Economy is a system in which all goods and services are available without the use of money, credits, barter or any other system of debt or servitude. All resources become the common heritage of all of the inhabitants, not just a select few. The premise upon which this system is based is that the Earth is abundant with plentiful resource; our practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter productive to our survival.

Here’s a message for Jacque Fresco: the commune idea has been tried and found to be a failure. When people do not own anything they do not care about anything. Every problem in the commune is everyone else’s problem – after all everyone else owns everything, including the problems – so no one wants to fix the problems. Additionally, people in a commune do not want to create anything like wealth, art, or practical inventions. Why not? Because they are not allowed to own and enjoy the fruits of their labours, and are forced to hand ownership of those fruits over to the collective.

What motivates people to care about things and create more resources? Personal reward does, and it is lacking in the commune system because everyone else gains from the personal effort of an individual (e.g., you do a wonderful repair to a raincoat and see someone else wearing it the next day when it’s pouring with rain. At the same time you’re getting wet because you got up late and were the last one to the communal wardrobe: it’s not exactly a strong motivation for fixing the next torn raincoat). What motivates people to care about things and create more resources? Personal reward motivates people, and personal reward is another name for profit, that wonderful thing so maligned by the Venus Project. As Lew Rockwell explains so well, everything you love you owe to capitalism (please do read the article, for your own benefit). Take away personal reward/profit motive, as Jacque Fresco wishes to, and what Lew describes will happen:

And yet, if socialism does mean anything at all today, it imagines that there can be some social improvement resulting from the political movement to take capital out of private hands and put it into the hands of the state…it could be as extreme as the desire to abolish all private property, money…[this is exactly what the Venus Project desires]

Whatever the specifics of the case in question, socialism always means overriding the free decisions of individuals and replacing that capacity for decision making with an overarching plan by the state. Taken far enough, this mode of thought won’t just spell an end to opulent lunches. It will mean the end of what we all know as civilization itself. It would plunge us back to a primitive state of existence, living off hunting and gathering in a world with little art, music, leisure, or charity. Nor is any form of socialism capable of providing for the needs of the world’s six billion people, so the population would shrink dramatically and quickly and in a manner that would make every human horror ever known seem mild by comparison. Nor is it possible to divorce socialism from totalitarianism, because if you are serious about ending private ownership of the means of production, you have to be serious about ending freedom and creativity too. You will have to make the whole of society, or what is left of it, into a prison.

In short, the wish for socialism is a wish for unparalleled human evil. If we really understood this, no one would express casual support for it in polite company. It would be like saying, you know, there is really something to be said for malaria and typhoid and dropping atom bombs on millions of innocents.

If you doubt my comment about one world government and Lew’s comment about a world-sized prison, have a look at this quote from the Venus Project website:

We must emphasize that this approach to global governance has nothing whatever in common with the present aims of an elite to form a world government with themselves and large corporations at the helm, and the vast majority of the world’s population subservient to them. Our vision of globalization…

Governance, globalisation. I told you so.

Zeitgeist, The Movie: what’s it all about? It’s all about getting you to join a group of people that desire to change the world. If Jacque Fresco and his followers get their wish they will make the world a prison and their plans “will mean the end of what we all know as civilization itself. It [will] plunge us back to a primitive state of existence, living off hunting and gathering in a world with little art, music, leisure, or charity.” Additionally, “the [world] population [will] shrink dramatically and quickly and in a manner that [will] make every human horror ever known seem mild by comparison“. Jacque and friends promise utopia but will deliver hell. These people are not your friends and I hope that you won’t join their movement.

What do you think about the goals of Jacque Fresco/the Zeitgeist Movement/ the Venus Project?




  1. Hi KP,

    Hope I didn’t offend you or anything with my suggestion to watch it; I think the Venus Project part you are referring to was more in the addendum, which I haven’t watched, so not too sure what that’s about

    The parts I enjoyed were regarding the economy, however as someone who is not an economist I wasn’t sure whether this was accurate or not. Enjoyed the parts about globalisation etc, but as I say I didn’t really pay too much attention to the more far-out conspiracy claims

    Comment by Nick — July 28, 2009 @ 11:11 pm

    • Nick: I wasn’t offended at all. Actually I was grateful for the tip, which gave me an opportunity to show people the truth about what’s behind the movie. People need to told the truth (i.e. be warned) about all the social, political and economic dangers that abound in this world, and that’s large part of what I do on this blog.

      Comment by Kiwi Polemicist — July 29, 2009 @ 12:47 am

  2. Ok thats good then KP. Because from watching the first one, IMO the parts on the economy seemed like they were definitely from a libertarian viewpoint, which is why I found it interesting but from watching the addendum and your post it seems more like some kind of wacky anarchist lefty viewpoint.

    Comment by Nick — July 30, 2009 @ 11:26 am

    • Nick: wacky and leftist definitely. Although the agenda behind this may appear to be anarchist (in favour of having no government), it’s really about having a one world government and more control over individuals (as described in my post).

      Comment by Kiwi Polemicist — July 30, 2009 @ 4:53 pm

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