Saturday, November 21, 2009


Report by Tetractys Merkaba Editor-in-Chief

I was a little disappointed when I read this article that I found on-line. When I get a little bit of time, I hope to write about this at further length. One thing that I will say for now, that I think it is important to look beyond the left/right wing charade, and see politics for what it truly is; A self defined, so-called 'elite' group of aggressive beings, that possess an economic and political advantage over many beings in our community. Please feel free to post responses to this article.

Zeitgeist — beyond the hype

Trent Hawkins & Tom Cameron
24 April 2009

Two years ago the film Zeitgeist made its way onto the internet scene, receiving millions of views on YouTube. Last year a new film was released called Zeitgeist Addendum, which sparked the “Zeitgeist movement”.

So what is it that makes Zeitgeist so popular? And what is it that the Zeitgeist films actually deal with?

Zeitgeist producer Peter Joseph has said, “it is my hope that people will not take what is said in the film as the truth, but find out for themselves, for truth is not told, it is realised …”

Yet the reality is that both films try to offer an alternative to the current corrupt social system.

The first edition of the film begins with a critique of Christianity. We are told it is “an instrument of the ruling classes keeping the masses occupied” and from knowing their real condition.

The film also promotes some pretty off-the-wall conspiracy theories. It says the world is ruled by a small wealthy ruling elite who are responsible for incidents like the 9/11 terror attacks.

Zeitgest also suggests the Great Depression was a conspiracy organised by an elite group of bankers to consolidate capital and that the World Wars were planned for a similar purpose.

The elites, the film says, are intent on microchipping humans and plan to form a one world government.

The second film, Zeitgeist Addendum, has become more prominent with the global economic crisis. It attempts to explain how the world financial system works.

The film enlists the help of John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hitman, to explain the role of economic bodies like the IMF and World Bank.

Despite some generally correct points about the role of these bodies, the film simply reduces the cause of poverty and injustice to the existence of money, debt and interest.

The film says “people are forced to compete for labour in order to pool enough money out of the money supply to cover their costs of living”.

Communism, socialism, facism and free-market capitalism are, therefore, all variations of the same system. None of them abolished money.

These arguments are very similar to those raised by the far-right neo-fascist Citizen's Electoral Council.

An alternative form of society, the “resource based economy”, is the Zeitgeist ideal.

This ignores the real basis of the current system — private ownership and control of resources, their exploitation, production into commodities and sale of these commodities for profit.

The “resource based economy” is based on 100% renewable energy. Maglev (magnetic levitation) trains are used for long distance transport. Machines, rather than people, do all the work. Money and debt is abolished completely.

The film offers the following actions for achieving “social transformation”: boycott the banks, boycott the media (only use internet); boycott the military; boycott the energy companies; reject the political system; and join the Zeitgeist movement.

But these are really just lifestyle changes. They amount to “dropping out” of society, not fighting to change it.

Furthermore, Zeitgeist fails to provide any explanation for how human beings can actually challenge the power of the elites.

As socialists, we recognise that the elites are really the capitalist class who own and control the resources and means of producing wealth in society.

Ordinary people are forced to sell their labour power to the capitalists in return for a wage in order to survive.

No change to the status quo can be achieved until ordinary people can organise a revolutionary mass (not individualist) political movement — a movement with the aim of removing the capitalists from power and allowing working people to run society to meet the needs of people and planet.

The Zeitgeist Movement is not organising for this kind of social change.

Instead, people who want to challenge the corruption of today’s society should help build the real movements which exist, and lay the groundwork for a real alternative — democratic socialism.

[The authors are members of the socialist youth organisation, Resistance. The Zeitgeist movies can be viewed at Zeitgeistmovie.com.]

From: Comment & Analysis, Green Left Weekly issue #792 29 April 2009.

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