1. What is The Zeitgeist Movement?
2. What is TZM's basic Structure & Process?
3. How does TZM view our major social problems today?
4. How does TZM view the solutions to our major problems today?
5. What are some of the central characteristics of the solution proposed (RBEM)?
"What is the Zeitgeist Movement?"
The Zeitgeist Movement is an explicitly non-violent, global sustainability advocacy group. The basic structure of The Movement consists of Chapters, Teams, Projects & Events. Overall, the Chapters are essentially what define the Movement and each Chapter works to not only spread awareness about the roots of our social problems today but also to express the logical, scientific solutions and methods we have at our disposal to update and correct the current social system and create a truly responsible, sustainable, peaceful, global society. Working through global and regional educational projects and community programs, the intermediate goal is to obtain a worldwide movement, essentially unifying the people, regardless of country, religion or political party, with a common value identification that we all invariably share, pertaining to our survival and sustainability.
It is the assumption of The Movement that the educational/activist pressure generated, coupled with what is currently a failing social system, will inhibit and override the established political, commercial and nationalist institutions outright, exposing and resolving the flaws inherent. It is our view that the traditional mediums of politics and commerce as forces for change will not obtain the goals needed to make our social system sustainable and humane for they appear to be born out of the same traditionalist, flawed logic that has created the problems as they stand.
The transitional goal, once such a global presence and pressure is obtained, is to implement an economic model that follows a truly scientific train of thought with respect to the technical factors that allow for human propensity, public health and environment responsibility over generational time. This new model, since it is based upon Resource Management and Natural Law (Science) as the logical starting point for all decisions and processes, is often referred to as a "Resource-Based Economic Model". However, the realization of this direction is not that of an institution but of a train of thought - the train of thought of objectively applying The Scientific Method for Social Concern and allowing its natural emergence to flourish without limitation as new efficiencies present themselves.
General Observations:In the view of The Movement, the society today has become increasingly detached from the physical world, with techniques of production, distribution and social ordering that have little to no relationship to the environment, or the current state of scientific knowledge with respect to public health and sustainability.
For instance, our use of a profit based, "growth" driven monetary system has become one of the greatest destroyers of the natural world and sustainable human values. The entire global economy requires "cyclical consumption" to operate, which means that money must constantly be circulating. Thus, new goods and services must be constantly introduced regardless of the state of the environment and actual human necessity. This "perpetual" approach has a fatal flaw for resources as we know it are simply not infinite. Resources are finite and the Earth is essentially a closed system. To assume the need for constant consumption to keep people employed and hence the market system going is eco-cidal on a finite planet. The true goal of an economy, by definition, is to strategically preserve and create efficiency. The system today demands the opposite.
The Monetary-Market Model is based upon money being treated as a Commodity and its origination from Debt; sold for Interest Income. This is a "Ponzi Scheme". Each time this Commodity (Money) is sold (Bank Loans) it needs to be paid back (Debt) with more money charged as a fee for profit (Interest). The problem is that the Interest Value required to settle the debt does not exist in the Money Supply outright. In other words, Bankruptcy and Default are not byproducts - they are inevitable – as there is always more debt outstanding than money in existence. This creates severe, offset monetary scarcity that oppresses many people on many levels.
The Value of Scarcity
Likewise, the intents inherent within the monetary system derive a strategic edge from scarcity. This means that depleted resources are actually a positive thing for industry in the short term for more money can be made off each respective unit. This is contextual to the monetary law of Supply & Demand and hence "Value" in economics. It creates a perverse reinforcement to ignore environmental problems and the negative consequences that create scarcity; not to mention reinforcing technically unnecessary human deprivation. This system does not/can not meet the needs of the many because it isn't financially efficient to do so.
Problems/Inefficiency = Profit.
Similarly, the system also requires problems/constant consumer interest in order to work. The more people who have cancer or cars that breakdown, the better the economy due to the servicing of those problems. Needless to say, this also generates an inherent disregard for human well being and the environment. Sustainability, efficiency, and preservation are the enemies of this model.
Cost Efficiency & Irresponsible Obsolescence
There is also the Cost Efficiency mechanism that demands cutting expenses to remain “competitive” in the marketplace. Every single product created by a corporation today is immediately inferior by design for the market requirement to cut creation costs in favor of lowering the output "purchase price" to maintain a competitive edge automatically reduces the quality of any given item by default. It is impossible to create the "strategically best"/long lasting anything in our society, which translates into outrageous amounts of wasted resources and time. Likewise, this same mechanism is reinforcing the environmental disregard, depletion, and pollution that we see as a constant in the world today… among other issues.
Waste & Oppression of the Human Resource
As far as Occupations today, we need to ask ourselves what the point is of a given focus and why it is necessary. The fact is, most jobs today are not directly related to the actual necessities of life. Rather, most are artificial concoctions created in order to keep people employed so they can maintain purchasing power in an environment where our technology continues to expand exponentially, displacing humans from the production force.
It is a common statement in politics today to hear about "creating jobs". Well, in theory, an occupation could be created where people are paid to sit in a room and test chewing gum all day, everyday... but is that a viable use of the human mind? Should we relegate our mental capacity to simple any so called job due to mere "economic" reasons, regardless of what it actually contributes to personal and/or social development? This becomes even more bizarre as a train of reason when we realize that Mechanization not only frees us from labor, it is actually more efficient and productive due to the exponential advancement of science and technology.
On a different level, the very reality that each human being is required to be put in a position of servitude to a corporation or client in order to gain income to purchase the necessities of life not only perpetuates the waste of the human mind and human life, it is also a form of oppression – slavery. If we combine the aforementioned "Infinite Growth" point above regarding the Debt pressure that is build into this system, we see that the combination of the guaranteed Debt imbalance and the requirement to submit to Labor, regardless of its purpose/effect, in order to gain monetary income to survival – is a structural form of oppression against the lower classes (who hold the most debt and need for more period income).
As noted, advancements in science and technology have shown that we can automate a great deal. The more we have applied mechanization to labor, the more productive things have become. Therefore, it is not only negligent for us to waste our lives waiting tables, working at a bus station, fixing cars, or other repetitive, monotonous jobs, it is also entirely irresponsible for us not to apply modern mechanization techniques to all industries that it is possible for, apart from strategic resource management, this is a powerful way to achieve balance and abundance for all the world's people, thus reducing crime generating imbalances.
The fact is, the Market System cannot maintain itself with any viable integrity anymore for corporation will continue to save money through automation, displacing human labor- which also displaces purchasing power, continuing the inevitable loss of "growth" that defines this system.
In the end, today’s society now has access to highly advanced technologies and can easily provide more than enough for all of the earth’s people. This is possible through the implementation of an economy based on scientific resource management and applying modern methods. This is the purpose of The Zeitgeist Movement- to create a global awareness to thus transition into a new, sustainable direction for humanity as a whole.
What is TZM's Basic Structure and Processes?
"Members"For a person to be technically considered a Member of The Zeitgeist Movement they must be active in a Chapter. If a Chapter doesn't exist in their respective region, a prospective Member would found one. This is very simple in its preliminary stages as all it requires is a website or community group of any kind/size. It has to start somewhere.
"Chapters"Chapters are regional Zeitgeist Movement Member groups, organized in Tiers.
From "Top to Bottom", the current Chapter Tiers are:
Chapter Meetings occur in Tiers with the Coordinators meeting on their respective level. For example, the North Carolina State Chapter, assuming no sub-chapters within it, would have a meeting with all NC Members present. However, the meeting of the next largest Tier, the Country level ( USA) the would be only with the Coordinators of each State, not all the Members. This narrowing is for the sake of comprehension as it would be too difficult to have Global Meetings with thousands of Members at once.
"Teams"Groups of Members, organized by Team Coordinators, working with a specific Project or Projects.
Teams generally take two forms : Global Teams and Regional Teams.
Global Teams are teams which work on central Movement Projects which relate to the entire global organization. There are Currently 6 Global Teams and each Team has its own set of participatory guidelines/processes.
"Projects"Any task of relevant interest agreed upon and set forth by a Team, either Regional or Global. These often include Newsletters, Events or Charity actions.
"Coordinators"Member-ed organizers/representatives for each Chapter or Team.
These are the point people and basic operation oversight organizers who work with a Chapter or Team on communication and any related admin issues. They are not to be confused with leaders or authorities [ie "Presidents/Mayors" or "Decision Makers"]. They are equal in relevance to each other Member of the respective Chapter/Team and they are not in a position of final decision making over the Chapter. Rather , they volunteer their time for the sake of relaying consensus information from and to their Chapter/Team, along with often taking the initiative for respective Projects.
Chapter Coordinators are typically the founding party of a given Chapter and they are, of course, volunteers - like everyone else. They have to undergo approval, however, by the next larger degree Coordinator(s). [ ie- if a City Chapter is to be set up, that person is reviewed by the State Coordinator as to the integrity of that new prospect. New Chapter creation is contingent upon the dedication and knowledge shown by the prospective Chapter Coordinator and this is assessed on a per case basis.] This is one of the few cases where the Coordinator of a City/State/Country is required to make a "decision" - in this case about a [sub] Chapter application under their degree. In the event of conflict, the relevant next degree Tier as a whole will work to reach Rational Consensus.
Global Team Coordinators are also not authorities but, again, are rather volunteer helpers to make sure the processes of each team is going smoothly. In the event of problems/conflict, the change of Coordinator(s) of a given Chapter/Team are achieved through both respective Chapter/Team Consensus and International Coordinator assessment. through "Rational Consensus".
"Rational Consensus"Rational Consensus is not to be confused with the historically failed traditional Mob Rule Democratic Process of "one person - one vote". TZM does not condone total, open mob rule democracy as it is based on the faulty assumption that each participating party is educated enough to make the most intellectually appropriate, unbiased decision.
Proper Decision Making has nothing to do with the interests of a group of people, nor the interests of a single person. Proper Decision Making is a purely technical process of logical assessment of a given set of variables and hence can only be based on upon tangible, technical referents - not abject, unsupported mass value opinion, which is what the pure democratic theory erroneously assumes holds integrity. In other words, each argument of a given member must be logically supported by an external referent/set of external referents – clearly reasoned in communication to support the conclusion given. The manifestation of this reasoning could be called a "Case".
Using the example of a Chapter scenario: When a conflict of agreement occurs between the group, the process of Rational Consensus is commenced which requires each conflicting party to present their Case to everyone else. This Case must consist of technically reasoned factors/instances/examples which can be evaluated outside of the expression of the person who is presenting the problem. In other words, insinuation, assumptions and predispositions have no value. If the argument cannot be quantified in some manner - it isn't valid as an argument.
Let's assume a Member has a problem with a Coordinator's actions and would like to see the removal of that Coordinator. Let's assume the Case reasoning is that the Coordinator is not properly representing the interests/ideas of the majority of the group.
In this scenario, a set of technical examples would need to be provided by which the group itself can review. Then a rational "democratic" consensus is made within that group based solely upon the evidence presented - not the expression of any persons themselves. Now, while this process is simple and direct enough - resembling traditional democracy - the decision can still be overridden in the event the conclusions made are suspect as to their technical reasoning by the next tier degree in the Chapter Structure. This extended evaluation is there to protect from erroneous conclusions made by a possibly un-knowledgeable or biased Chapter Membership.
In other words, for example, the removal of a State Chapter Coordinator, while meeting Rational Consensus in the respective Chapter, might still need to meet Rational Consensus on the State Tier on the Structure. [ie. Consensus by all 50 states] to protect against erroneous or biased group decisions or even infiltrations by 3rd parties with the intent of problem generation. Since these situations are very rare and occur usually within very small, lower tier Chapters, the factors which comprise such an intervention naturally exist on a per case basis.
As an aside, it is important to point out that there is nothing to gain personally by being a Coordinator of any Chapter or Team in and of itself. Abuse of this position offers nothing in self-interest return, except perhaps Ego Satisfaction. There is no pay and typically it is a higher stress position due to the responsibility inherent. Many who come from the hyper-democratic conditioning assume that mass consensus is the only thing we can trust while the individual is not trust worthy at all. This cynical view needs to be adjusted to understand that in an environment where a person cannot find reward for their narrow self-interest, they will have no reason typically to perpetuate that narrow self-interest. This is one of the core reasons, as an aside, The Movement operates without money overall - as money always sets the stage for corruption on a basic level, as history has shown.
"Information Relay" [Between Chapter Tiers]Each Chapter Tier has a set Coordinator or set of Coordinators and these Coordinators are only the communicative representative of the interests of that Chapter while, in certain cases, they are needed to assess decisions about Chapter conflicts/appointments in the Tier beneath them [See above]. In all cases, Rational Consensus is the process of decision making and this naturally underscores what we could call "Information Relay" as well.
Information is discussed within each Chapter at their respective periodic meetings, either live or online, with Rational Census being met with regard to any issue of importance. Then a given idea, if relevant to the Global Movement, is set on a course from Bottom to Top through a process of systematic Coordinator representation.
If a City Chapter [ie - Chicago] originates an idea/project which it feels would be applicable to the global whole of The Zeitgeist Movement, that idea is then presented and discussed at the State Level [ie - Illinois], with all other City Chapters.
Once Rational Consensus is met on that level, the State Coordinator brings that idea to the Country Level [ie - USA], where the idea is presented and discussed with all States/Provinces.
Once Rational Consensus is met on that level, the Country Coordinator brings that idea to the International Level [ie - World], where the idea is presented and discussed with all Countries. It is at this level that Rational Consensus would implement the idea.
This is the "Bottom Up" approach. From there, "Top Down" directives can be suggested which affect all Chapter actions. Obviously, there are "middle ground" proposals which will begin not on the "lower" tier level, but on a "mid" or "high" level. In this case, it is the responsibility of each Coordinator of The Movement to communicate the issues presented to their respective Chapters and, if there is conflict, the bottom up approach is instituted again to reach Rational Consensus and hence resolution.
"Fundraising"As a Global Rule, The Movement operates on the basis of Time Dedication and not Monetary Dedication. No chapter is allowed to take direct, Open Donations. Overall, The Movement deliberately operates on a personal contribution, volunteer model. However, there are two basic exceptions. Since the websites cost money to run, simple merchandise is respectable to offer. The Global Website, for example, offers a single Shirt to help offset the administrative and hosting costs. Each Chapter is allowed to also offer a custom Shirt or similar. However, any "excessive" merchandising will be shut down if it presents a case for abuse. Such decisions are made by International/Global Admin Consensus.
The 2nd exception is when a specific temporal project is required which needs funding. Typically, it is expected that such funding will come personally from an individual or set of individuals working with the Chapter directly. In the event that cannot happen, a fully transparent temporary donation system can be put into place to meet the needs of that Project.
How does TZM view out major problems today?
TZM is very different from the majority of Activist Communities or Political/Social Movement's today due to the way it views the majority of the societal problems common to the world.
In short, the Social System itself is considered the root cause, with Human Behavior and its resulting effects - corruption, pollution, wars, waste, exploitation and hence distortion of values and psychology - seen as symptoms of this fundamental root source.
Modern psychological and sociological study has found that human actions are susceptible to environmental influence. What is rewarded by the culture tends to be perpetuated. For example, it is commonly considered a "moral" issue when a corporation engages in deliberate pollution to save money. Many outcry that the corporation's people must be "corrupt" who would allow for such a thing. The flaw, however, is in the assumption. If we exist in a system that allows us to "save money" and hence be more "economically efficient" by being exploitation, abusive or indifferent, why should we not expect it to occur, especially in a system based on competition where advantage is always sought?
In other words, "corruption" is being reinforced. Therefore the solution is not more "laws" to try and stop this behavior. The solution is to create a social system that doesn't reinforce or reward such behavior at all. Laws are mere "patches" that work against the internal logic of the system as it stands.
And while TZM does have Food Drives and other programs working to ease the stress that is inherent to our current social model (which is, again, considered the fundamental cause of the 1 billion starving, unemployment, the depletion of resources and outrageous amounts of pollution and waste), it does not consider such actions as solutions for these only address "symptoms". We see the shift of the social system as the true needed fix, hence changing people's values and behaviors.
Much more could be said on this issue. Please review our materials for more examples of how the current social order - specifically economic - is the root cause of the majority of our problems and defines our lack of sustainability.
How does TZM view the solutions to our major social problems today?
It appears that most solutions offered in the world today are framed within the current social order and its practices.
For example, there are over 1 billion people starving in the world and the most common solutions sought tend to utilize money in some fashion to enable the resources needed.
TZM takes a very different view. Rather than take each problem on a per case basis and work to solve that problem within the confines of the custom accepted system - a system that might, in fact, be creating the problem itself - TZM steps back to consider the inherent logic of the issues themselves and how they relate to the emerging Scientific Benchmark (with respect to The Scientific Method), absent respect for social tradition and custom.
In the case of 1 Billion people starving, the solution does not rest with the need for more donations, more governmental subsides or even legislation to limit possible causal abuse and exploitation of such regions (as those are not direct solutions since they do not relate to the mechanics of survival). Rather they relate and intermediate with current social customs.
The real issue and hence logic is Technical - not political or financial. Starvation is a technical problem when clean, life supporting resources are not made available to a certain region for some reason. The question is then asked: Is there an empirical environmental restriction which is making those resources unavailable? The answer today is a clear no. It is well noted by the W.H.O. and others that there is plenty of food being produced in the world to feed everyone and we also have clear technical means to also desalinate and clean polluted water to make it safe for drinking. This can be done on an industrial scale.
The Financial Approach clearly has an inherent flaw which is not enabling these basic life supporting attributes and resources to be made available to 1 billion people. It is economically inefficient, when considering the true sense of the definition of "economics".
The Technical Approach, which proves that these things are, indeed, possible, where no one would ever have to starve, says- if it is possible to do it, then we need to simply figure out a new way to do it and bypass the current social custom if need be.
As is common within much of The Zeitgeist Movement materials we see the financial structure, as a whole, as being a foundational cause of most of the world's issues - with the Technical Reality of what is possible as an approach to the solution. It is based upon Scientific Causality, not Financial Causality. In a world of extreme advancement in information and mechanical technology, the great realization is that we can do much more than ever to meet the needs of the human population along with generating a logic where most of the environmental and social issues we face today would be gone tomorrow if we simply applied our updated understandings now.
(5) What are some of the central characteristics of the solution proposed (RBEM)?
The core problems to consider are the following:
A) The need for "Infinite Growth" which is mathematically unsustainable and ecologically detrimental. The entire basis of the Market System is not the intelligent management of our mostly finite resources on this planet but rather the perpetual extraction and consumption of them for the sake of profit and "economic growth". In order to keep people employed, people must constantly consume, regardless of the state of affairs within the environment and often regardless of product utility. This is the absolute reverse of what a sustainable practice would require, which is the strategic preservation and efficient use of resources.
B) A "Corruption Generating" Incentive System. It is often said that the competitive marketplace creates the incentive to act for the sake of social progress. While this is partially true, it also generates an equal if not more pronounced amount of corruption in the form of planned obsolescence, common crime, wars, large scale financial fraud, labor exploitation and many other issues. The vast majority of people in prison today there because of monetary related crime or non-violent drug offenses. The majority of legislation exists in the context of monetary-based crimes.
Also, if one was to critically examine history and peer into the documented biographies/mentalities of the greatest scientists and inventors of our time, such a N. Tesla, A. Einstein, A. Bell, the Wright Brothers, and many others - it is found that they did not find their motivation in the prospect of monetary gain. The interest to make money must not be confused with the interest to create socially beneficial products and very often they are even at odds.
C) A disjunct, inefficient industrial complex which wastes tremendous amount of resources and energy. In the world today, with the advent of Globalization, it has become more profitable to import and export both labor and goods across the globe rather than to produce locally. We import bananas from Ecuador to the US and bottled water from Fuji Japan, while western companies will go to the deprived 3rd world to exploit cheap labor, etc. Likewise, the process of extraction, to component generation, to assembly, to distribution of a given good might cross through multiple countries for a single final product, simply due to labor and production costs / property costs. This "cost efficiency" generates extreme "technical inefficiency" and is only justifiable within the market system for the sake of saving money.
In a RBEM, the focus is maximum technical efficiency. The production process is not dispersed, but made as centralized and fluid as possible, with elements moving the very least amount, saving what would be tremendous amounts of energy and labor as compared to methods today. Food is grown locally whenever possible (which is most of the time given the flexibility of indoor agriculture technology today) while all extraction, production and distribution is logically organized to use as little labor/transport/space as possible, while producing the "strategically best" possible goods. (see more below) In other words, the system is planned, to maximize efficiently and minimize waste.
D) A propensity for "Establishments". Very simply, established corporate/financial orders have a built in tendency to stop new, socially positive advents from coming to fruition, if there is a foreshadowed loss of market share, profit, and hence power. It is important to consider the basic nature of a corporation and its inherent need for self perpetuation.
If a person starts a company, hires employees, creates a market and becomes profitable, what has thus been created, in part, is the means for survival for a group of people. Since each person in that group typically becomes dependent on their organization for income, a natural, protectionist propensity is created whereas anything that threatens the institution thus threatens the well being of the group/individual. This is the fabric of a "competition" mindset. While people think of free market competition as a battle between two or more companies in a given industry, they often miss the other level- which is the competition against new advents which would make them obsolete, outright.
The best way to expand on this point is to simply give an example, such as the US Government and 'Big Oil' collusion to limit the expansion of the fully Electric Car (EV) in the US. This issue was well presented and sourced in the documentary called "Who Killed the Electric Car?". The bottom line here is that the need to preserve an established order for the sake of the well being of those on the pay role, leads to an inherent tendency to stifle progress. A new technology which can make a prior technology obsolete will be met with resistance unless there is a way for the market system to adsorb it in a slow fashion, allowing for a transition for the corporations ( ie - the perpetuation of "Hybrid" cars in the US, as opposed to the fully electric ones which could exist now, in abundance.) There are also large amounts of evidence that the FDA has engaged in favoritism/collusion with pharmaceutical companies, to limit/stop the availability of advanced progressive drugs which would void existing/profitable ones.
In a RBE, there is nothing to hold back developmental/implementation of anything. If safe and useful, it would immediately be implemented into society, with no monetary institution to thwart the change due to their self-preserving, monetary nature.
E) An inherent obsolescence which creates inferior products immediately due to the need to stay "competitive" This little recognized attribute of production is another example of the waste which is created in the market system. It is bad enough that multiple companies constantly duplicate each others items in an attempt to make their variations more interesting for the sake of public consumption, but a more wasteful reality is that due to the competitive basis of the system, it is a mathematical certainty that every good produced is immediately inferior the moment it is created, due the need to cut the initial cost basis of production and hence stay "competitive" against another company... which is doing the same thing for the same reason. The old free market adage where producers "create the best possible goods at the lower possible prices" is a needlessly wasteful reality and detrimentally misleading, for it is impossible for a company to use the most efficient material or processes in the production of anything, for it would be too expensive to maintain a competitive cost basis.
They very simply cannot make the "strategically best" physically - it is mathematically impossible. If they did, no one would buy it for it would be unaffordable due the values inherent in the higher quality materials and methods. Remember - people buy what they can afford to. Every person on this planet has a built in limit of affordability in the monetary system, so it generates a feedback loop of constant waste via inferior production, to meet inferior demand. In a RBEM, goods are created to last, with the expansion and updating of certain goods built directly into the design, with recycling strategically accessed as well, limiting waste.
You will notice the term "strategically best" was used in a statement above. This qualification means that goods are created with respect to state of affairs of the planetary resources, with the quality of materials used based on an equation taking into account all relevant attributes, rates of depletion, negative retroactions and the like. In other words, we would not blindly use titanium for, say, every single computer enclosure made, just because it might be the "strongest" materials for the job. That narrow practice could lead to depletion. Rather, there would be a gradient of material quality which would be accessed through analysis of relevant attributes - such as comparable resources, rates of natural obsolescence for a given item, statistical usage in the community, etc. These properties and relationships could be accessed through programming, with the most strategically viable solution computed and output in real time. It is mere issue of calculation.
F) A propensity for monopoly and cartel due to the basic motivation of growth and increased market share. This is a point that economic theorists will often deny, under the assumption that open competition is self regulating that monopolies and cartels are extremely rare anomalies in a free-market system. This "invisible hand" assumption holds little validity historically, not to mention the outstanding legislation around the issue, which proves its infeasibility. In America, there have been numerous monopolies, such as Standard Oil and Microsoft. Cartels, which are essentially Monopolies by way of collusion between the largest competitors in an industry, are also persistent to this day, while less obvious to the casual observer. In any case, the "free market" itself does not resolve these issues - it always takes the government to step in and break up the monopolies.
This aside, the more important point is that in an economy based on "growth", it is only natural for a corporation to want to expand and hence dominate. After all, that is the basis of economic stability in the modern world - expansion. Expansion of any corporation, always gravitates toward monopoly or cartel, for, again, the basic drive of competition is to out do your competitor. In other words, monopoly and cartel are absolutely natural in the competitive system. In fact, it is inevitable, for again, the very basis is to seek dominance over market share. The true detriment of this reality goes back to the point above- the inherent propensity of an "Establishment" to preserve its institution. If a medical cartel is influencing the FDA, then new ideas which void that cartel's income sources will often be fought, regardless of the social benefits being thwarted.
G) The market system is driven, in part, by Scarcity. The less there is of something, the more money that can be generated in the short term. This sets up a propensity for corporations to limit availability and hence deny production abundance. It is simply against the very nature of what drives demand to create abundance. The Kimberly Diamond Mines in Africa have been documented in the past to burn diamonds in order to keep prices high. Diamonds are rare resources which take billions of years to be created. This is nothing but problematic. The world we live in should be based on the interest to generate an abundance for the world's people, along with strategic preservation and streamlined methods to enable that abundance. This is a central reason why, as of 2010, there are over a billion people starving on the planet. It has nothing to do with an inability to produce food, and everything having to do with an inherent need to create/preserve scarcity for the sake of short term profits.
Abundance, Efficiency and Sustainability are, very simply, the enemies of profit. This scarcity logic also applies to the quality of goods. The idea of creating something that could last, say, a lifetime with little repair, is anathema to the market system, for it reduces consumption rates, which slows growth and creates systemic repercussions (loss of jobs, etc.). The scarcity attribute of the market system is nothing but detrimental for these reasons, not to mention that it doesn't even serve the role of efficient resource preservation, which is often claimed.
While supply and demand dictates that the less there is of something, the more it will be valued and hence the increased value will limit consumption, reducing the possibility of "running out"--- the incentive to create scarcity, coupled with the inherent short term reward which results from scarcity driven based prices, nullifies the idea that this enables strategic preservation. We will likely never "run out" of oil, in the current market system. Rather, the prices will become so high that no one can afford it, while those corporations who own the remaining oil, will make a great deal of money off of the scarcity, regardless of the long term social ramifications. In other words, remaining scare resources, existing in such high economic value that it limits their consumption, is not to be confused with preservation that is functional and strategic. True strategic preservation can only come from the direct management of the resource in question in regard to the most efficient technical applications of the resource in industry itself, not arbitrary, surface price relationships, absent of rational allocation.
2) Automation of LaborAs the trend of what appears to be an exponential increase in the evolution of information technology, robotics, and computerization- it has become apparent that human labor is becoming more and more inefficient in regard to meeting the demands necessary for supporting the global population. From the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, we have seen an increasing trend of "technological unemployment", which is the phenomenon where humans are replaced by machines in the work force. This trend, while debatable in regard to its ultimate long term effect on employment, creates a propensity to displace the worker and hence the consumer, slowing consumption.
That stated, this issue is actually overshadowed by a larger social imperative: That the use of machine labor (mechanization) is provably more efficient than human performance in virtually all sectors. If one was to track, for example, the performance output of factory production such as within the steel industry in the US for the past 200 years, we find that not only do less than 5% of the workforce now work in such factories, the efficiency and output capacities have increased substantially. The trend, in fact, now shows that "Employment is Inverse to Productivity." The more mechanization that occurs, the more productive an industry becomes.
Today, there are repetitive occupations which simply do not need to exist given the state of automation and computerization ("cybernation"). Not only would mechanization in these areas reduce the mundane burden and allow more free time for people, it also would, more importantly, increase productivity. Machines do not need breaks, vacations, sleep, etc. The use of mechanization on its own means to create many forms of abundance on this planet, from food to physical goods.
However to do this, the traditional labor system we have simply cannot exist. The reality is that our labor for income system is stifling progress in its requirement to "keep people working" for the sake of "economic stability". We are reaching a stage where the efficiency of automation is overriding and making obsolete the system of labor for income. This trend shows no sign of slowing, especially in regard to the now dominant Service Industry, which is increasingly being automated in the form of kiosks, robotics and other forms. Likewise, due to phenomena related to Moore's law and the growing in-expense of computers and machines, it is likely that it is simply a matter of time before corporations simply can not rationalize keeping human labor anymore, as the automation systems will become too cheap. Of course, this is a paradoxical market phenomenon, called by some theorists as "the contradiction of capitalism", for it is, in effect, removing the consumer (laborer) itself and hence reducing consumption.
Apart from those issues, it is important to also consider human labor contributions based on social relevance, not monetary gain. In a RBE, there would be no reason to have such occupations as Banking, Trading, Insurance, Cashiers, Brokers, Advertising... or anything related to the governance of money.
All human actions in the form of institutionalized labor should also have the highest social return. There is no logic in wasting resources, time, and energy on operations that do not have a direct and tangible function. This adjustment alone would remove millions of jobs, for the idea of "working for money" as a purpose would no longer exist.
In turn, all the poor demographic, shoddy goods, vanity items and culturally contrived creations designed to influence people for reasons of status (for the sole sake of profit) would also no longer exist, saving countless amounts of time and resources.
One final note on this issue: Some hear this and they assume that this voids the Communicative Arts and personal and social expression as far as painting, sculpture, music and the like. No. These mediums of expression will likely thrive like never before, for the amount of free time made available to people will permit a renaissance of creativity, invention, along with community and social capital. The burden of labor obligation will also reduce stress and create a more amiable culture.
There is a difference between creating for the sake of keeping society sustainable and efficient, focusing on resource preservation, product efficiency and strategic allocation of labor for those things which generate a tangible social return - and creating for personal expression, exploration, experimentation, and hence art, which has been a staple of human evolution since the dawn of time.
3) Technological Unification of Earth via "Systems" ApproachWe live in a symbiotic/synergistic planetary ecosystem, with a cause-effect balance reflecting a single system of earthy operation. Buckminster Fuller defined this well when he referred to the planet as "Spaceship Earth". It is time we reflect this natural state of affairs in our societal affairs on this planet. The fact of the matter is that the human societies, which are dispersed across the globe, require resources which are also un-uniformly dispersed across the globe. Our current procedure for enabling resource distribution comes in the form of corporations which seek and claim "ownership" of our earthly resources, which they in turn "sell" to others, in the name of profit. The problems inherent in this practice are numerous again due to the self-interest based disposition inherent in selling anything for personal gain, as denoted before. But, this is only partially the issue in the larger scheme of things when it come to the reality that we live on a finite planet and resource management and preservation should be the number one concern in regard to human survival- especially with the population explosion of the last 200 years.
Two people are born every second on this planet and each one of those humans needs a lifetime of food, energy, water and the like. Given this fundamental need to understand what we have, the rates of depletion and, invariably, the need to streamline industry in the most efficient, productive way, a Global System of Resource Management must be put in place. It is just common sense. This is an extensive subject when one considers the technical, quantitative variables needed for implementation. However, for the sake of overview, it can be stated that the first step is a Full Global Survey of all earthly resources. Then, based on a quantitative analysis of the properties of each material, a strategically defined process of production is constructed from the bottom up, using such variables as negative retro-actions, renew-ability, etc. (More on this can be found in the section called Project Earth in the ZM lecture called "Where Are We Going?"). Then consumption statistics are accessed, rates of depletion monitoring, distribution logically formulated, etc. In other words, it is a full Systems Approach to earthly resource management, production and distribution; with the goal of absolute efficiency, conservation and sustainability. Given the mathematically defined attributes, as based on all available information at the time, along with the state of technology at the time, the parameters for social operation in the industrial complex become self evident, with decisions arrived at by way of computation, not human opinion. This is where computer intelligence becomes an important tool for social governance, for only the computation ability/programming of computers can access and strategically regulate such processes efficiently, and in real time. This technological application is not novel, it is simply 'scaled out' from current methods already known.
4) Access over PropertyThe concept of property, unannounced to most people today, is a fairly new social concept. Before the neolithic revolution, as extrapolated from current hunter and gatherer societies existing today, property relationships did not exist as we know them. Neither did money or even trade in many cases. Communities existed in an egalitarian fashion, living within the carrying capacity of the regions and the natural production built in. It was only after direct agricultural development was discovered, eventually proceeding with resource acquisition by ship traders and the like - up to the modern day of power establishments and corporations, - that property became the highly defined staple of society as we know it today.
With that understood, which dismisses the common notion that property is a result of some kind of empirical "human nature", the notion of "no property" is also today often blindly associated with "Communism" and the works of Karl Marx. It is important to point out the TZM advocation of no property is derived from logical inference, based almost explicitly upon strategic resource management and efficiency, not any surface influence by these supposed "Communist" ideals. There is no relation between the two, for communism was not derived from the needs to preserve and manage resources efficiently. Communism, in theory and practice, was based on a social/moral relativism which was culturally specific - not environmentally specific - which is the case with a RBE.
The real issue relevant to meeting human needs is not ownership - it is access. People use things, they do not "own" them. Ownership is a non-operational, protectionist advent, derived from generations of scarcity over resources, currently compounded by market based adverting which supports status/class division for the sake of monetary gain . To put it another way, ownership is a form of controlled restriction, both physically and ideologically. Property as a system of controlled restriction, coupled with the monetary value inherent and hence the market consequences is unsustainable, limiting and impractical.
In a RBEM, the focus moves from static ownership to strategic access, with a system designed for society to obtain access as needed. For example, rather than owning various forms of recreational sporting equipment, Access Centers are set up, typically in regions where such actions occur, where a person simply "checks out" the equipment- uses it and returns it. This "library" type arrangement can be applied to virtually any type of human need. Of course, those reading this who have been conditioned into a more individualistic, materialistic mindset often objects with claims such as " what if I want green, custom golf clubs and only white are available?". This is a culturally contrived, biased reservation. The issue in question is utility, not vanity. Human expression has been molded by the needs of the current market based system (consumption) into values which are simply nonfunctional and irrelevant. Yes, this would require a value adjustment to quality, rather than identity. The fact is, even for those who object from the standpoint of their interest in personal identity, the overarching social ramifications of such an social approach will create benefits that will greatly overshadow any such arbitrary personal preference, creating new values to replace the outdated ones.
These include : (a) No Property Crime: In a world of access rather than ownership, without money, there is no incentive to steal, for there is no resale value. You can not steal something no one owns and you certainly couldn't sell it. (b) Access Abundance: It has been denoted that the average automobile sits in parking spaces for the majority of its life span, wasting space and time. Rather than having this wasteful consequence of the ownership system, one car could facilitate a large number of users in a given region, with only a fraction of the production/resource needs. [c) Peak Efficiency of Production: Unlike today, where the market system must perpetuate inherently inferior products for the sake of economic turnover, we could actually design goods to last, using the best materials and processes strategically available. We no longer make "cheap" products to serve a poor demographic ( which is the majority). This attribute alone will save cataclysmic amounts of resources, while also enabling a society to have access to goods and services they would never have had in a world based on money, inherent obsolescence, and property.
5) Self-Contained/Localized City and Production Systems.There are many brilliant engineers who have worked to tackle the issue of industrial design, from Jacque Fresco, to Buckminster fuller to Nicola Tesla. Behind such designs, such as Jacque Frescos' famed Circles cities or Fuller's Geodesic Dome, rests a basic train of thought : Strategic Efficiency and Maximization of Productivity.
For example, Fresco's "circular city" is constructed of a series of "belts", each serving a social function, such a energy production, research, recreation, living, etc. Each city is a hence a system, where all needs are produced in the city complex, in a localized fashion, whenever possible. For example, renewable energy generation occurs near the outer perimeter. Food production is produced closer to the middle in industrial sized greenhouses.
This is very different in its logic from the "globalization" based economy we live in today, which wastes outrageous amounts of energy and resources due to unneeded transport and labor processing. Likewise, transportation within the city is strategically created to eliminate the use of detached automobiles, except for rare cases, such as emergency vehicles. Homes are created to be micro-systems as well, with as much power generation occurring internally, such as from sunlight absorbed by the building structure using photovoltaic technology. More information on these city system can be found at www.thevenusproject.com.
The Geodesic Dome, perfected by Buckminster Fuller, offer another efficiency oriented medium within the same train of thought. Fuller's goal was to build designs to do more with fewer resources. He noticed problems inherent in conventional construction techniques, and recognized the indigenous strength of naturally occurring structures. The advantages include: much stronger than a conventional building while using less material to construct; domes can be built very quickly because they are of a modular prefab construction and suit being mass produced; They also use less energy to keep warm/cool than a conventional box structure. More information can be found at http://www.bfi.org/
In the end, the fundamental interest is, again, sustainability and efficiency on all levels, from the "housing deign" to the "earth design". The market system actually fights this efficiency due to the broken, competitive nature inherent.
6) Science as the Methodology for GovernanceThe application of "the scientific method for social concern" is oft-repeated mantra for the basis of social operation in a RBEM. While the obviousness of this in regard to industry is simple enough to understand, it is important to also realize its value in regard to human behavior. Science, historically speaking, has often been derailed as a cold, restrictive discipline, reserved for the sake of mere technology and invention. Little regard seems to be currently given to its use in the understanding of human behavior.
Superstitious thought, which has been powerfully dominant in human evolution, has worked on the basis that the human being was somehow detached from the physical world. We have "souls"; "spirits"; we are "divine"; we are related/guided by an all seeing, all knowing, controlling god, etc.
Conversely, yet oddly similarly, there is an argument that humans have "free will" in their decisions and that we have the open ability to choose our actions, absent of the influence of our environment or even education. Now, while the vastness of the prior two statements and many reading those could find numerous cultural arguments to claim the contrary, this doesn't change the basic reality that we humans have historically liked to think that we are special and unique from the rest of the organisms and natural phenomena around us.
However, as time has gone on, it has become increasingly obvious that we are not special and that there is no such thing as "special" in the natural world...for everything is special based on the uniqueness of all organisms. There is no reason to assume the human being is any more important or intrinsically different or special than a mole, a tree, an ant, a leaf or a cancer cell. This isn't "New Age" rhetoric - it is fundamental logic. We are physical phenomena - nothing more or less.
We are greatly influenced by our culture and our values and behaviors can only mostly be a result of our conditioning, as external phenomena interacts with our genetic predispositions. For example, we have a notion called "talent", which is another word for a genetic predisposition to a given behavior, or set of behaviors. A piano prodigy might have an inherent ability that enables them to learn more quickly and perform in a more acute way than another, who has spent the same time in practice, but doesn't have the genetic predisposition. Be that as it may, that "talented" person still had to learn 'what a piano was' and how to play it. In other words, genes are not autonomous initiators of commands. It takes an environmental trigger to allow for the propensity to materialize.
At any rate, it is not the point of this article to expand on the argument of "nature and nurture". The point is that we have proven to be scientifically defined and a product of a traceable causality and it is this understanding that can allow us to slow and even stop the aberrant, or "criminal" behavior we see in society today such a abuse, murder, theft and the like. The logic, once the effects of human conditioning are understood, is to remove the environmental attributes which are enabling the reactions.
Just as an abused dog who has been starved for a week might have a knee jerk reaction to react very violently to an otherwise innocuous passerby, we humans have the same behavior dynamic. If you don't want people to steal food, do not deprive them of it. It has been found that prisons are now generating more violence than they are curbing. If you teach a child to be a hateful racist, then he will carry those values into the rest his life, very often. Human values and hence human behavior are shaped by the environment in a cause and effect based way, no different than a leaf being blown by the wind.
In a RBEM, the central focus in regard to removing aberrant human actions is not to "punish them", but to find the reasons for their offensive actions and work to eliminate them. Humans are products of their environment and personal/social reform is a scientific process.
(6) Who is the "Leader" of The Zeitgeist Movement? What is a Leaderless Movement?The Zeitgeist Movement, while maintaining Press Spokesman, Lecturers, Chapter Coordinators and the like, does not support or condone a Leadership oriented structure where a single person or group sets the practices and values that others blindly follow. In fact, such a traditional "follow the leader" notion actually voids the premise and nature of TZM's educational initiatives for the goal is really to create an equally advanced level of understanding within the community so each person is able to take strides on their own, without guidance from outside of the general community developments, which are ongoing and always influential.
The Chapter Structure, for example, is viewed as "Holographic" meaning that the integrity and understanding of each regional group is expected to mirror not only the other Chapters but the whole as well. This connected yet independent view also exists for the "Members". In the view of The Movement, there is nothing more powerful than a group of people who share an Idea and can each logically deduce, in tandem, a sympathetic method of conduct that, from an external view, hence finds no leadership control or heads of anything. It is also important to note that those who engage "Coordination" are not leaders of their Chapter or Team. They are merely bridges and initiators. They do not dictate. They are volunteers who digest and take action on behalf.
It is also very important to point out that The Zeitgeist Movement itself, as is seeks to create Critical Mass, is actually commencing the very transitional process towards the "end" sought by the means itself. If we wish to live in a world without power abuses, division, despotism, scarcity and the like, the public much achieve a level of relevant education about their surroundings which is rarely seen today. Many condemn the violent dictators from history with respect to their brutal initiatives but rarely does one consider the ignorance and malleability of the public and military which blindly and thoughtlessly upheld those corrupt interests of a select distorted few. True social change will not come from "honest" leaders. It will come for a revolution of mass understanding and hence values changes within each individual.
(7) Who funds The Zeitgeist Movement? Does it take Donations like most NPOs?The Zeitgeist Movement Global and its Chapters rarely, if ever, engage in any form of public solicitation for money. There are no "open" donation pools as with many organizations. This is deliberate. The ethic promoted is in the interest of utilizing people's time and energy, not their money. It is generally expected that those who are facilitating their Chapter and related Projects/Events are willing to allow for the inevitable financial losses they incur for the greater good. (For example, Peter Joseph, the founder of The Movement is the sole financier of the Global Chapter website, its Administration, along with the core Zeitgeist Movement "Main" events, such as Zeitgeist Day, Zeitgeist Media Festival, etc)
The only exception is the universal allowance of Official Chapters to generate and distribution a Shirt or similar supporting articles to help cover the costs of their website and/or related expenses. This is acceptable for it is also a culturally supported means of communication.
Any donations sought otherwise can only be time and project specific. For example, if a Town-hall requires $200 to obtain a venue, a trackable "Chip'in" Widget or the like may be setup in an effort to meet that exact value.
Likewise, events that require ticket sales must reflect a break even scenario within a certain threshold.
For instance, if the cost to rent a venue is $200 and the venue holds 50 people, the ticket price would be of $4.00 assuming full capacity will be met.
The integrity of The Movement and hence its members and chapters is reflected, in part, by the explicit lack of any financial gain inherent in the exercise. More importantly, it is also recognized that money is the most prominent corrupting factor in the world today, sociologically, and without that possible abusive propensity/interference, The Zeitgeist Movement will only strengthen these facts in its focus.
(8) What is Zeitgeist Day?"Zeitgeist Day", or Zday for short, is an annual, global event day which occurs in the middle of March, each year. The goal is to increase public awareness of The Zeitgeist Movement.
The first official "Zday" took place in 2009. These events were well documented by news agencies across the world, including the New York Times in America. An archive list of those events can be found on the zdayglobal.org site.
On the 2010 Zday there were 330 sympathetic events occurred in over 70 countries worldwide. These events were well documented by news agencies across the world, including the Huffington Post in America. More press/info can be found at zday2010.org
A Zeitgeist Day Event can take many forms, ranging from a simple showing of DVD media, to full lectures, and to interactive question-and-answer events with Chapter Organizers in various regions.
(9) What is the Zeitgeist Media Festival?Recognizing the power of art and media to help change the world, "The Zeitgeist Media Festival" is an annual world-wide arts festival that occurs late each summer.
The idea is to engage the artistic community and their power to changes values. It proposes that needed changes in the structural/economic workings of society can only manifest in tandem with a personal/social transformation of values in each of us. While intellectual knowledge serves its role of showing the path, many in the world follow their feelings- not the knowledge. The Zeitgeist Media Festival works to bridge those levels, while also illuminating a focus where changing and improving the world is no longer considered a fringe, suspect or ever dangerous pursuit - but rather the highest and most honorable level of personal/social integrity we have.
Participating in The Zeitgeist Media Festival does not mean each event must meet some strict requirement of focus or even be dedicated to the tenets of The Movement. However, participation does require that each act understand and agree with a general train of thought with respect to human and social sustainability and the self-evident factors that comprise a Global View of Earth as a single system and how that relates to our Human Family.
The Zeitgeist Media Festival also globally works with local Food Drives to help the many homeless and suffering directly.
(10) Is The Zeitgeist Movement related to Peter Joseph's Film Series?No. While the word "Zeitgeist" is also associated with Peter Joseph's film series, "Zeitgeist: The Movie", "Zeitgeist: Addendum" and "Zeitgeist: Moving Forward", the film series based content isn't to be confused with the tenets of "The Zeitgeist Movement" here. Rather, the films were mere inspirations for "The Zeitgeist Movement" due to their popularity and overall message of seeking truth, peace, and sustainability in society.
The term "Zeitgeist" is defined as the ‘The General intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era." The Term "movement" very simply implies "motion" and change, Therefore The Zeitgeist Movement is thus an organization which urges change in the dominant intellectual, moral and cultural climate of the time.
The Movement is not about Comparative Religion, False-Flag Terrorism, Economic Hit-men, Fractional Reserve Banking or the Federal Reserve. The films are unrelated to The Movement in detail and are personal expressions of Peter Joseph. There is often some confusion in this regard and in the most extreme cases some people have the knee-jerk reaction that TZM support's forbidden "Conspiracy Theories" or is "Anti-Religious" or the like. This type of rhetoric tends to be of a pejorative/insulting nature, used in the context of dismissal of The Movement by an erroneous and "taboo" external association. The fact is, there is no direct association whatsoever.
If you are not familiar with what TZM actually is, please review our extensive literature and video/lecture materials on this website.
(11) How do I learn about TZM in detail?Read the 320 Page Book
Review the vast ToolKit Lectures