My criticism of the Zeitgeist Movement

Have philosophical discussions about politics, law, and government.
Featured Article: Definition of Freedom - What Freedom Means to Me

My criticism of the Zeitgeist Movement

Post Number:#1  Postby Recoil » July 11th, 2012, 1:14 am

First and foremost, I apologize in advance if this has ever been covered. Just a bit of a disclaimer, I did just join the forum hours ago, not to mention my limited access of viewing all the topics I'd like (currently forced to use my mobile, I prefer an actual keyboard for forum browsing and posting). I honestly would just like a second opinion on this, I've only viewed the ideas of the movement and questioned it myself. Feel free to point out any flaws in my presentation, I highly enjoy constructive criticism, after all I'm 16 and just recently have taken interest in philosophy.

So here goes. The Zeitgeist Movement. A concept of a resource based economy that in ideal situations I actually would highly support, but some things in this concept just make me skeptical like none other.

Let's first go over the main idea of this. It seems to have good intentions. The idea is that money would not exist in this economy - everyone would have free access to goods needed to survive. Theoretically we would have an abundance of goods so it shouldn't be a problem. Also, importantly, jobs would all focus on innovative processes; science, mathematics, engineering, technicians. This would create machinery and inventions to be much more advanced and accel much faster than the current system. So with this enhanced technology, there would (theoretically, again) be an abundance of goods where everyone would have access. Now with this resource based economy, there's a pro and a con. Pro: robberies would flatten, there'd be no reason to steal if everything is free. So, this in mind, Zeitgeist supporters suggest that there would be no need for politics, police or law. But there is a con to no money. Yes, there would be no incentive to steal, but also no incentive to work! Guaranteed free everything? Lazy people would thrive on this, never work and still get all the same as those who work their asses off.

But that is actually the least of my worries in the movement. The thing that makes me look at this thing with quesy is the transition. Problem is: there is no transition! It's one of those things that young dreamers cling onto without questioning. I've got to admit, the ideas are pretty clever and it is appealing. It claims to fix all economic problems. But the thing is, what's the damn plan? I mean really, they are starting to attract many people to support the movement, but there is no plan. And I hate to compare to this, but I inevitably think of Hitler. Remember when Germany was doing awful then Hitler came along and promised redemption for Germany and all of their problems to leave? And look what that led to. I feel it would be extremely hard to set this movement in motion. Even though th movement involves no money, it would cost an extrodinary amount to make it all happen. And then what if things don't go as planned? (well there is no plan really, but I'll be hypothetical here to give them the benefit of the doubt) Things could go horribly wrong here, I'm talking mass genocide and an accidental fall into a Darwinian society, people killing off the weakest. Case in point: if this went wrong, we could completely de-civilize ourselves and have to start all over.

Despite my worries about this, I really doubt it will ever happen. And just a side note, if you wanna balance the budget America, all you gotta do is cut funding 1% in every field, and in 10 years all the American debt is gone.

Lemme know what you all think.

Regards Recoil
User avatar
Recoil
 
Posts: 63 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: July 10th, 2012, 8:18 pm
Location: US
Favorite Philosopher: Bertrand Russell

My criticism of the Zeitgeist Movement



Become a member for less ads

Already a member? Login
 

Re: My criticism of the Zeitgeist Movement

Post Number:#2  Postby Grecorivera5150 » July 11th, 2012, 1:47 am

I think the third movie Moving forward is the best of the Zeitgeist films. If you have not seen that one in particular you should. There is a long section of the film that focuses on human development and on the need for nurturing. The films IMO are just to get people to become active in lots of different ways that can lead to a long term transition to something better. I can see this movement moving people to educate themselves better and to become scientists, economists, psychologists, engineers, educators and even politicians and to try contribute in a positive way towards the future.

I can see the type of society existing a couple hundred years from now but it will take people who are motivated and want to put forth an effort in these different areas to make incremental changes in the current existing human systems.

The strongest thing about this type of movement is that it is attempting to expose our own social foibles and ills in a genuine way . It is a great jumping off point for young people who want to research the ideas espoused by the movement for themselves as often human systems try to mask their own defects in order to perpetuate a status quo . Our indoctrination style of liberal arts taught in secondary schools is a prime example of this dynamic.
User avatar
Grecorivera5150
 
Posts: 670 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: June 8th, 2012, 1:22 am
Favorite Philosopher: Bruce Lee

Re: My criticism of the Zeitgeist Movement

Post Number:#3  Postby Recoil » July 15th, 2012, 1:31 am

We agree there fully. My main criticism has still gone unanswered. 1. Transition plan 2. Lack of motivation - I agree that with everyone motivated this society would thrive greatly, but I just don't see it happening. That's actually another criticism I have: utopianism, idealizing a theoretic society. For me the liabilities far outweigh the benefits in this one.
User avatar
Recoil
 
Posts: 63 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: July 10th, 2012, 8:18 pm
Location: US
Favorite Philosopher: Bertrand Russell

Re: My criticism of the Zeitgeist Movement

Post Number:#4  Postby Grendel » July 15th, 2012, 8:41 am

I agree with your assessment but I think Transition Plan is a problem for all political movements, revolution just isn't a good answer, and as for money, a bartered economy seems naive and unworkable, however a capital based economy is unsustainable, their idea may be the least bad of the two. My problem with Zeitgeist is that it's conspiracy theory and has an unrealistic analyses of the way the world works. A major problem is when you are transitioning from something you really need an accurate analyses of what you're transitioning from.
User avatar
Grendel
 
Posts: 196 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: February 27th, 2012, 3:25 am
Favorite Philosopher: Jean Baudrillard

Re: My criticism of the Zeitgeist Movement

Post Number:#5  Postby Grecorivera5150 » July 15th, 2012, 11:11 am

The transition is meant to be organic and ongoing. The spread of information and an appeal to reason is what will bring about a long term transformation. These films are meant to be a catalyst towards a particular point of view. I feel this is implied in the work as force is one of the major issues that this movement speaks out against. To nurture takes time and to nurture on such a grand scale involves a very large consensus. So the idea is to spread the information. Those who are capable and motivated will move the ball forward.
User avatar
Grecorivera5150
 
Posts: 670 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: June 8th, 2012, 1:22 am
Favorite Philosopher: Bruce Lee

Re: My criticism of the Zeitgeist Movement

Post Number:#6  Postby Grendel » July 15th, 2012, 1:31 pm

I remember the days of Troskyism, paper sales every morning and evening outside tube stations and factories, being followed every weekend in the market by people demanding my view on nuclear weopons and apartied. All this was in the name of spreading information, appeal to reason, nurture the the public into coming to their view... It utterly failed. They had slogan for it.... Build, Build, Build. They go actually got Smaller, Smaller, Smaller.... Talking a good fight is not the same as actually having one.
User avatar
Grendel
 
Posts: 196 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: February 27th, 2012, 3:25 am
Favorite Philosopher: Jean Baudrillard

Re: My criticism of the Zeitgeist Movement

Post Number:#7  Postby Grecorivera5150 » July 15th, 2012, 2:07 pm

Progress does not only have to come after a fight. There is a struggle going on and the struggle is to educate people. As many of the ideas of the Zeitgeist movement are outside the current status quo the spread of the information is the key. This is best done through the internet, social media and grass roots organizations. There are Zeitgeist groups that meet all over the world to try and see what affect they can have on their local communities.

This process can not and will not happen over night. There actions things beside what I mentioned already as far as professional approaches would go including: raising your children in the type of nurturing environment espoused in the film, embrace the idea of localism and sustainability through changing consumption habits and routines, try and live in such a way that you do not allow yourself to get overextended financially and beholden to financial institutions and you could join a regional group yourselves and become personally involved. There are also many communities that are trying to develop local currencies which i think could also be a viable policy implementation to move us away from such a monolithic and corrupt system of control. There is no grand sweeping action that can be implemented in such a movement when they do not want to use force.

The rejection of force is a key element in the point I am trying to make. Hopefully I have communicated this better. This movement is about trying to have progress in the human condition. Progress in the way we treat each other and progress in the way that we deal with the environment in the hopes of trying to reach a state of sustainable harmony. The future legitimacy of such a movement means that it can not engage in an attempt at a transition that will force anyone to become involved. When someone uses force to try and implement an initiative that was taken from the Zeitgeist movements ideas it automatically becomes something else other then the zeitgeist movement.

This is how seemingly peaceful institutions become fractured. Great examples of this are political parties and religions. First they can be a split into orthodoxy vs reformists and then these can break down into conservative, liberals, moderates ,extremists and fundamentalists. Next their is a complete split and new parties or sects evolve and then also stand the chance of becoming fractured. This is all usually due to an attempt at one group or individual trying to impose their will or system of beliefs on another because of differences values and interpretations of shared doctrines.


What the Zeitgeist movement is proposing in a complete paradigm shift. The likeliest way for these ideas to be realized and maintained will be pragmatically through incremental changes in the way people and communities think and act over time. The more chaos that exists in periods of social reformation the more violence there will be which translates to there being less trust after the smoke clears. As trust is an integral part of any system that is based on cooperation it follows setting an example through choices and sharing information is much more likely to lead to some positive change then the implementation of force or subversive indoctrination.
User avatar
Grecorivera5150
 
Posts: 670 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: June 8th, 2012, 1:22 am
Favorite Philosopher: Bruce Lee

Re: My criticism of the Zeitgeist Movement

Post Number:#8  Postby Recoil » July 16th, 2012, 12:30 am

Grendel wrote:I agree with your assessment but I think Transition Plan is a problem for all political movements, revolution just isn't a good answer, and as for money, a bartered economy seems naive and unworkable, however a capital based economy is unsustainable, their idea may be the least bad of the two. My problem with Zeitgeist is that it's conspiracy theory and has an unrealistic analyses of the way the world works. A major problem is when you are transitioning from something you really need an accurate analyses of what you're transitioning from.

I disagree. With any type of credible economic plan there is, there always is at least a starting point to look forward to. This is simply a described idea, no set ideas to make anything happen in the first place. Not to mention, most economic plans are much much much smaller. This is flipping the script entirely - changing almost everything with how our society works - and not a shred of a plan is presented anywhere throughout the Zeitgeist movement. I agree with your criticism of it though.

Grecorivera5150 wrote:The transition is meant to be organic and ongoing. The spread of information and an appeal to reason is what will bring about a long term transformation. These films are meant to be a catalyst towards a particular point of view. I feel this is implied in the work as force is one of the major issues that this movement speaks out against. To nurture takes time and to nurture on such a grand scale involves a very large consensus. So the idea is to spread the information. Those who are capable and motivated will move the ball forward.

I really don't think that's enough. Think about it. What if that specific goal (the goal being spreading info) was acquired? Let's say, hypothetically (since this is obviously immensely improbable) that everyone agreed and wanted to exert to the Zeitgeist movement. According to you, that's all that needs to be done - to simply spread the idea of and and get followers, right? Well, what happens when everyone does latch on to this idea? Then what? There still needs to be a plan to set this up in the first place. I would even be satisfied with just a first step; for example, set up centers in regions where everyone gets their promised free supplies. Just building it would be a first step. You can't say the transition to a different style of society is solely the transformation of ideas. There needs to be physical action to take place.

Grecorivera5150 wrote:Progress does not only have to come after a fight. There is a struggle going on and the struggle is to educate people. As many of the ideas of the Zeitgeist movement are outside the current status quo the spread of the information is the key. This is best done through the internet, social media and grass roots organizations. There are Zeitgeist groups that meet all over the world to try and see what affect they can have on their local communities.

This process can not and will not happen over night. There actions things beside what I mentioned already as far as professional approaches would go including: raising your children in the type of nurturing environment espoused in the film, embrace the idea of localism and sustainability through changing consumption habits and routines, try and live in such a way that you do not allow yourself to get overextended financially and beholden to financial institutions and you could join a regional group yourselves and become personally involved. There are also many communities that are trying to develop local currencies which i think could also be a viable policy implementation to move us away from such a monolithic and corrupt system of control. There is no grand sweeping action that can be implemented in such a movement when they do not want to use force.

The rejection of force is a key element in the point I am trying to make. Hopefully I have communicated this better. This movement is about trying to have progress in the human condition. Progress in the way we treat each other and progress in the way that we deal with the environment in the hopes of trying to reach a state of sustainable harmony. The future legitimacy of such a movement means that it can not engage in an attempt at a transition that will force anyone to become involved. When someone uses force to try and implement an initiative that was taken from the Zeitgeist movements ideas it automatically becomes something else other then the zeitgeist movement.

This is how seemingly peaceful institutions become fractured. Great examples of this are political parties and religions. First they can be a split into orthodoxy vs reformists and then these can break down into conservative, liberals, moderates ,extremists and fundamentalists. Next their is a complete split and new parties or sects evolve and then also stand the chance of becoming fractured. This is all usually due to an attempt at one group or individual trying to impose their will or system of beliefs on another because of differences values and interpretations of shared doctrines.


What the Zeitgeist movement is proposing in a complete paradigm shift. The likeliest way for these ideas to be realized and maintained will be pragmatically through incremental changes in the way people and communities think and act over time. The more chaos that exists in periods of social reformation the more violence there will be which translates to there being less trust after the smoke clears. As trust is an integral part of any system that is based on cooperation it follows setting an example through choices and sharing information is much more likely to lead to some positive change then the implementation of force or subversive indoctrination.

The Zeitgeist would work greatly under an inspired nation, but I don't think anyone can assert that the entire nation will be inspired. There are massive amounts of lazy people who go through the motions. That's why this is a Utopianistic idea; it's idealizing everyone and it'd be impossible for everyone's incentive to work to be simply innovation. Sure, that may be enough for me and you but not for millions of other people who simply don't give a **** about advancement.
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr Seuss

"America's darkest days have always been followed by its finest hours." - Will McAvoy
User avatar
Recoil
 
Posts: 63 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: July 10th, 2012, 8:18 pm
Location: US
Favorite Philosopher: Bertrand Russell

Re: My criticism of the Zeitgeist Movement

Post Number:#9  Postby Grecorivera5150 » July 16th, 2012, 2:03 am

Recoil "I really don't think that's enough. Think about it. What if that specific goal (the goal being spreading info) was acquired? Let's say, hypothetically (since this is obviously immensely improbable) that everyone agreed and wanted to exert to the Zeitgeist movement. According to you, that's all that needs to be done - to simply spread the idea of and and get followers, right? Well, what happens when everyone does latch on to this idea? Then what? There still needs to be a plan to set this up in the first place. I would even be satisfied with just a first step; for example, set up centers in regions where everyone gets their promised free supplies. Just building it would be a first step. You can't say the transition to a different style of society is solely the transformation of ideas. There needs to be physical action to take place. " Recoil

Not enough for what? I have stated that this film is about ideals. It will be up to people to implement them. Of course a starting point is not enough. If a starting point was also an end point there would be no point for points. Its the pebble in a pond affect. Go out in the world and be a pebble in the pond. Make some waves. You seem to be trying to talk yourself out of being positive about life or trying to get involved in some way because other peoples ideas are to Utopian or because someone else is lazy."

I am already approaching the world in a different way and having an impact on those around me. If everyone keeps waiting for someone else or some movement or government to make things all better for them and for the world, they will all be waiting until they are bled dry. Don't spend to much time trying to find a specific way to act or system to commit to. Use your intuition and take action. You can always choose to take another direction as you go.
User avatar
Grecorivera5150
 
Posts: 670 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: June 8th, 2012, 1:22 am
Favorite Philosopher: Bruce Lee

Re: My criticism of the Zeitgeist Movement

Post Number:#10  Postby Recoil » July 16th, 2012, 2:20 pm

What I meant by not enough was simply having people know about the Zeitgeist is not a transition. My point was that there is no physical action plan to become a Zeitgeist community. Sorry if I was unclear, I meant that even with a first physical step planned I'd be satisfied but to that there is nothing. The only plan there is is the spreading of ideas. I'm talking about an actual plan to set the Zeitgeist in action. Physical steps of construction that would make it all happen.
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr Seuss

"America's darkest days have always been followed by its finest hours." - Will McAvoy
User avatar
Recoil
 
Posts: 63 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: July 10th, 2012, 8:18 pm
Location: US
Favorite Philosopher: Bertrand Russell

Re: My criticism of the Zeitgeist Movement

Post Number:#11  Postby Grecorivera5150 » July 16th, 2012, 3:31 pm

http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/

Here is a portal into everything Zeitgeist. The top of the page has the famous Gandhi quote " Be the change you want to see in the world."
User avatar
Grecorivera5150
 
Posts: 670 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: June 8th, 2012, 1:22 am
Favorite Philosopher: Bruce Lee

Re: My criticism of the Zeitgeist Movement

Post Number:#12  Postby Hereandnow » July 17th, 2012, 12:16 am

Hmmmm Of course, you nailed it Recoil! How to implement. To start, who wouldn't agree to what a resource based economy could do? Imagine, a minimal efficient government, social sciences and technologies leading the way to design a fair hyperproductive society where labor is given to the machines and humans, delivered form the want produced by capitalistic greed, live blissfully, not in a competition based economy, but is a cooperation based one. Bliss! No more poor! No more mishandling of our affairs since they are in the hands of out scientific experts and not inept and greedy business people. It sounds wonderful. I've seen it, the video they have. It is the platform of Ron Paul, the libertarian. You can see the Marxism here: money falls away as productivity creates ample goods enough that the pursuit of private property is obviated. Next will be, from each according to his ability, to each according to need. Youcan see Adam Smith/Jeremy Bentham here also: the invisible hand of equality and efficiency and provisions for all passes magically over face ofthis perfect system and it all works like a social machine. Both bankrupt notions!! The only way to implemnt this would be to follow Ron Paul who would have us put the ax to vital government programs.And I refuse to take the libertarian view that we can ignore the less advantaged in our world to create a utopia, which is what libertarianism insists on: no more social programs, no social health care system and no way to take care of the least priviledged, no more social security! This idiot seems to think people are just........perfect! But they are not and they cannot do wat this man says. I think Ron Paul is a secret eugenicist: He thinks that if we remove the security policies in place, those burdens on society, the needy, the undereducated, ungifted will simply perish, as they should. This man cares nothing for justice or fairness. That is why I am a John Rawls fan.
User avatar
Hereandnow
 
Posts: 1265 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: July 11th, 2012, 9:16 pm
Favorite Philosopher: the moon and the stars

Re: My criticism of the Zeitgeist Movement

Post Number:#13  Postby Grecorivera5150 » July 17th, 2012, 11:24 am

Hereandnow ,how do you go from the zeitgeist to Ron Paul? I am sorry but I just do not see any correlation whatsoever.


The only policy initiative of Ron Paul that would be in line with Zeitgeist views would be to get out of wars of aggression.

Even though Paul and Zeitgeist both expose the federal reserve as corrupted they both have very different points of view as to how to proceed. Paul is an Austrian economist and wants there to be competing currencies. Paul's views could not be any less Marxist. He is a free market advocate who does not think there should be any centralized planning and a monopoly on currency that the federal reserve has is in this case is anathema to free market principles. Note that I am not making any value judgments here as to these ideas. I just think it is important to draw a distinction. The Zeitgeist movement is very paternalistic and over a long stretch of time would be also be rooted in volunteerism. Of course we can call the nurturing philosophy and volunteerism plan A because of its very idealistic view of the potential of human nature. There is also implicit in the Zeitgeist movement a move towards localism. Jacques Fresco's Venus project is a blue print for managing communities based on the continuing depletion of energy sources and materials needed to sustain our current way of life and its unsustainable nature. The struggle for resources to perpetuate consumerism it what fuels the constant state of war man kind continues to engage in. The federal reserve is not there to help the needy. It is a control and command center of an attempt at global hegemony that is failing due to its overreaching.

I think the best way to associate Ron Paul and Zeitgeist would be to say that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. If the Libertarian movement was to succeed and there was a greater amount of economic freedom and groups who wanted to try and experiment with some of the Zeitgeist principals in their own communities would be free to do so. Having a government that is growing like a kudzu and lacks efficiency will lead any attempts at engaging in social and economic experiments to try and achieve a new type of prosperity being held up to great scrutiny and will not be able to thrive.


I think John Rawls basic premise that those who are in the greatest need should get the most support is spot on. People should be lifted up to gain opportunity to provide for themselves. Unfortunately this is not how our system works. Our welfare system is more like a an official way to keep people down. We provide a minimum amount of money needed to stay alive and to keep people from moving to open revolt. This dynamic basically exists because our elite class of oligarchs is more concerned with exploiting global markets then in building a prosperous community here at home.
User avatar
Grecorivera5150
 
Posts: 670 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: June 8th, 2012, 1:22 am
Favorite Philosopher: Bruce Lee

Re: My criticism of the Zeitgeist Movement

Post Number:#14  Postby Recoil » July 17th, 2012, 1:10 pm

You see this is where I don't like the Zeitgeist. I've rattled all day about the transition but even with one set in place there's no incentive to work. Everyone is guaranteed free everything they need, so what's the point in working? You can't even get fired, can you? If you can, it won't make a difference. There needs to be a system of punishment maybe for those slacking to work to provide incentive to work harder than the average Joe or lazy slacker. As of now, there is NO incentive to work in the Zeitgeist society. This could be done one of two ways - threatening to punish if you don't work, or offering a prize to those who work harder. Right now the incentive is money, and also the fear of going to jail to not steal (but that's obviously not enough for some criminals). I really think things need to be adjusted in this before I latch onto it.
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr Seuss

"America's darkest days have always been followed by its finest hours." - Will McAvoy
User avatar
Recoil
 
Posts: 63 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: July 10th, 2012, 8:18 pm
Location: US
Favorite Philosopher: Bertrand Russell

Re: My criticism of the Zeitgeist Movement

Post Number:#15  Postby Grecorivera5150 » July 17th, 2012, 3:18 pm

The incentive to work is that it does not even exist and never will unless people work to create it. if you can build s sustainable system that requires a minimal amount of physical labor that does not mean that people will not be working. They will likely be using there extra time so that literally everyone could become an engineer and a medical doctor and ad infinitum. You name it. People will have time to develop there intellects and continue to add to the overall well being of their communities rich existence. I am an educator and work of months of the year. This does not stop me from doing more work to improve myself and my community because I don't have to. I have taken two courses this summer purely to enhance my abilities to function in my position. This was done at my own costs and i will not get any higher of a level of compensation for it. These ideas will be tough to children from an early age. We have not even seen past the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tapping into the potentiality of the human intellect. Think of the billions of humans who have existed who have not had any chance at any type of a formal education whatsoever. How many million Einstein's dies in relative obscurity because they spent their entire lives toiling and struggling for basic necessities?

Think on these things and then go back to what I said about this movement being about progress. We will not see this level of intellectual spirituality in our life times but this system is basically attempting to get people to make themselves part of something. To feel a real sense of purpose in the hopes of humanity becoming something exponentially better then it is now. The incentive to work is to raise oneself up through raising up everyone.
User avatar
Grecorivera5150
 
Posts: 670 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: June 8th, 2012, 1:22 am
Favorite Philosopher: Bruce Lee

Next

Return to Philosophy of Politics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

Philosophy Trophies

Most Active Members
by posts made in lasts 30 days

Avatar Member Name Recent Posts
Greta 162
Fooloso4 116
Renee 107
Ormond 97
Felix 90

Last updated January 6, 2017, 6:28 pm EST

Most Active Book of the Month Participants
by book of the month posts

Avatar Member Name BOTM Posts
Scott 147
Spectrum 23
Belinda 23
whitetrshsoldier 20
Josefina1110 19
Last updated January 6, 2017, 6:28 pm EST