April 3, 2010

Probing Zeitgeist

I was looking at the ATS forum today and found a thread by a person who severely criticizes the Zeitgeist Movement. According to him it is "a hardcore front in the New World Order / Neo-Communist / Neo-Eugenicist-Transhumanist agenda." Quite a mouthful indeed and a typical attack on Zeitgeist often coming from Americans. I didn't go through all the pages but in the last part of that thread that person decided to make his ideas known on the Zeitgeist forum and ask a lot of questions. It is doubtful if the person was sincere about his questions but one of the other contributors on that forum replied immaculately.

Even if you might dismiss the context of my outline above, please answer these questions:

I don't dismiss your context. I do think you are not being objective and you are projecting what you think this movement is about erroneously. Nevertheless, hit me with your questions...

A: How could the ZM be implemented without a totalitarian regime to enforce it? Don't forget the idea of the ZM is that its to be global in scale.

Through agreement. This is how anything works. The very monetary system we value is just that: an agreement. Same with our laws. They only are upheld because the majority of people agree to them. There is no totalitarian regime which would enforce anything this movement promotes. You're trying to find "NWO" where none exists.

B: How is it any different than Communism?

Well, believe it or not, this question gets responded to continuously on here. You might want to start off with some basic facts about communism though, to compare it:
Communism is run by a ruling class of politicians. A Resource Based Economy isn't. It is a systems approach using science. Communism is nationalistic. A Resource Based Economy is humanistic. Communism doesn't even begin to address the problem of scarcity by offering solutions, instead it offers rationing. A Resource Based Economy doesn't promote rationing, it promotes access.
You might want to read a recent response I had to another user who had a similar mis perception:

C: What about private property rights? What are PJ and JF's views on this? What is yours?

I'm all for it, if you want it. There is nothing wrong with private property. The only reason anyone declares something to be their private property is because it ensures nobody else will claim it. In other words, out of fear of a scarcity driven fear of losing whatever piece of property. Do you see anyone declare the air around their house as their "private air"? You don't see that because it is so abundant. There is no scarcity of it, so the very idea sounds absurd. In a Resource Based Economy private property will no doubt be protected, however it will be irrelevant, because nobody would want to steal things from others when everything is readily accessible. Even people like Winona Ryder, who have all the money in the world and yet decide to shoplift...they only do so because of the thrill. Everyone who asks these questions is still thinking about these things in terms of how the world works right now. Yes, right now, the idea of "no private property" sounds very dangerous. But don't confuse this with the fact that when we talk about no private property in the future, it doesn't mean that some law will go into effect...rather it is an understanding based on rationally considering the implications of an access based resource system. If you have access to something, whenever you need it, what does it matter if it is "private" property or not? If you need something, and it's there, always, who cares if we call it mine, yours, ours, etc. Think of a family. A mom, a dad, two boys and girl. They decide to get a water filtration device. They all pitch in the same amount, and all have ACCESS to clean water whenever they need it. When someone says "whose water filter is that?" how do you think they should answer? Does it even matter? What happens when you begin to look at the entire WORLD'S population as a family like that? Do you see the idea?

D: Who will pay for it initially?

Pay for what? This is the wrong question. Money doesn't make the world go round. This is another common misconception. It is AGREEMENT and RESOURCES and TECHNOLOGY that makes the world go round. If we all reached the agreement that money was useless, then it would be so. If you have 0 dollars or if you have 10,000,000,000 dollars, it doesn't change the laws of chemistry. It doesn't make gravity any more powerful. Money doesn't do ANYTHING. It doesn't make more oil appear in the ground and it doesn't help reduce pollution.
Who will pay for it? Wrong question. The question is: where will the resources, technology and agreements come from. The answer: when enough people share the same value system, then these processes will get put into effect.

E: What about the jobs robots cant replace? And who decides who gets the crappy jobs or the good jobs?

Give an example. So called "crappy" jobs will be automated as best they can be, and with other jobs that the technology for automation doesn't exist yet, it could easily be done with remote control drones. For instance, instead of making a human do a nasty job, you have the human do a simulation of that job, so any unpleasant smell, or any danger (such as working on rooftops, at great heights, underwater, etc) can be done by a very fine-tuned remote controlled machine that the user can interface with, which has extremely delicate tactile controls. It would be like playing a video game. I know many people that would not even consider this a job, they would be fascinated by the very idea in fact.
For certain other jobs, there could be a volunteer based system. We have many of these today. Many people in the armed forces do so out of the desire to do their duty for their country, for their citizens, for honor, etc. This same reasoning would still exist, only that instead of doing your duty by grabbing a gun, you do so by driving around an EMT vehicle to save lives. Or you do so by working a certain job that machines are not yet able to automate. If only a small percentage of people did these jobs just once every few weeks, it would be more than enough. Certainly though, eventually automation would become so capable of even things like treating emergency victims, that it would be used for virtually everything, allowing humans to not have to do "work" but rather to make music, art, research, have fun, write books, without needing to do it for profit. Without needing to worry about funding, etc.

F: Are there ANY comparable examples of this system in history that worked?

Are there any comparable examples of the technology we have today, that we had in our history? Have we ever had the internet in the past? There were examples of slavery throughout our history. In fact slavery worked for thousands of years throughout our history. Does that mean we should use it because it is a time-tested method? Lets not look to the past to tell us what is possible in the future. We SHOULD look to the past to LEARN from it. But lets not look to the past to impose limitations on us.

G: What evidence exists to support the idea of the Resource Economy, that is the "abundance" part that is crucial to the feasability of the utopia.

It's actually the "access" that is most important. If you understand, fully, what a resource based economy is, you quickly realize it's not about resources, but rather the ACCESS to those resources. We have an OVER abundance of many resources today, such as grain, and yet...people in third world countries do not get any of it. Why? Because we restrict their access to it. You understand?
Now, when you produce abundance, this reduces the probability that anyone will not have access to something, but it's not enough to just have abundance, you must also create infrastructure to create availability, or, ACCESS to those goods. This is exactly what a Resource Based Economy suggests. Also, that word utopia is a misnomer. Nobody in this movement is under any sort of delusion that such a thing is even possible. So please, I hope you don't continue to use that word thinking that anyone here believes it is even a real possibility.\

H: Do you truly believe that there is any one size fits all approach to the entire globe and all of its social systems?

No, but that doesn't mean we can't promote science-based methods of providing everyone with access to goods and services that allow for everyone's human rights to be met, and an elevated quality of life at the same time. Diversity is great. If anything, our current money driven amalgamation-prone business models are what fail to recognize the diversity of human social systems and make everything monotonous and dull. Point that finger somewhere else. Not here.

I: How can you have an all powerful, global scale system of the greatest power ever considered, totally centralized, and expect that this thing representing an elite cabal would ever give up said power, no matter what or who has this power? And please spare me, we're talking about the global management of the entire earth and its resources. The ZM is no less subject to how things work out in practice historically, than is the USA, or am I mistaken??

You're actually very mistaken on this one. There is no control. There is using science to address technical problems, and using education and non-violence or aggression to deal with social concerns. We do not do this today. Today we have politicians try and make decisions that scientists should be making, and we have force and aggression used where education and non-violent communication should be used. We are completely backwards right now and most people know it deep in their minds...they know the way the world works is totally fucked. Nobody sits down and really REALLY thinks about it though. What are the real problems. You think getting back on the gold standard is going to do anything? What is gold? What can a pound of gold do for you? It's just as fiat as green money is today. The only thing giving it value is what? Our agreement that it has value. Can you eat gold if you're starving? Can gold prevent a heart attack? Can a pound of gold be used as energy to give power to your house for the week?
The reason we all agree to the value of gold, is because it is SCARCE. This is exactly the kind of ridiculous value system that the ZM doesn't agree with. There is no inherent value in gold. Anyone that is trying to tell you that, isn't thinking critically. Is a gold standard better than an interest-ridden, fractional reserve, money-from-thin-air system which we have today? YES! It is a good permanent solution? No. Not even close.

J: What about transition??

Explain to me the transition! My argument is that it would take tyranny just to maintain it. Yet how do you transition it in without dictatorial tyranny? How many decades would it take. What suffering is this goal worth to get there? Has anyone actually thought this experiment all the way thru?

There are many avenues here. If enough people want this thing to happen...they pool their resources together. Perhaps a small country would be interested in implementing such a model. This is a grass roots movement, it doesn't have every single answer. But I can tell you what we do know: the way things are going is really horrible. The way we see it COULD be going is much better. How to get it there exactly...there are many options. To say I know exactly how it will happen, I don't. That doesn't mean the facts don't stand.

K: Explain the transition to this idea that nobody will have to work anymore, please.

Transition from a 9-5 workday to a 10-4 work day with the same pay. Then to an 11 - 3 workday. Then to a 20 hour work week being "fulltime" while the pay remains the same as that which was 40 hours before. Then you go to a 10 hour work week, as more and more automation gets implemented, all the while, the actual paycheck, or more importantly, the person's ability to obtain food, goods, services, etc remains the same or goes up. That's called a transition.

L: How can you promise that this system wouldnt calculate its numbers, in order for the utpopia to work, and decide that major population numbers wouldnt need to be exterminated?

We are human beings. Also I asked you to not use that word utopia, as it is a strawman, and in fact a false label. I hope in the future you refrain from that word as NOBODY here is supporting anything of the sort. As far as "exterminating people" this is absolutely absurd. Murder is not what this movement is about. Whatsoever. The fact is this: Population tends to remain stable as education, standard of living, and access to basic services are met. Most developing countries have stagnant or FALLING population figures. The earth can sustain many more people than right now. However, indeed it is true that an ever-increasing population will eventually have to reach an equilibrium. I think a good approach is through education, understanding, and lots of hours spent talking about this issue. Will there ever be an "extermination" agenda? Absolutely not. This is almost offensive that you would think we would ever advocate something like that. Of course not.

M: After handing all power over to the AI god global computer network, how can you promise that it wont decide that all humans wont need to be turned into compost?

You've been watching too much TV, lol. No power will be given to the AI. This is quite funny you think of it this way. Look around you. Everything you own is technology. Does it have any "power" that you handed it? Is your car in control when you drive it? What about when you put it on cruise control? How about your thermostat in your living room? You set it to adjust the heat or coolness in the room such that it remains within a narrow defined temperature that you tell it to keep it at. Is it in control, or you?
Do you think anyone would ever want to give machines AI such that they can actually have feelings, etc? This is shit from science fiction movies that try and make the plot really scary and marketable. But it's not the real world. AI is not "self aware." Again, you simply have the wrong idea.
Machines don't make decisions. Machines execute the decisions we make. Machines are tools. We can choose to use tools in a negative way or a positive way. It's not the machines, but people who make them that are the determiners of what those machines will be used for.

N: How does PJ make the jump from the tyranny of the Federal Reserve system as being the problem, to money period as the problem to be eliminated?

Why don't you watch the lectures. Read the material. Go in the ventrilo and chat with some of us. Listen to his many many many blogtalk radio show addresses. If you end the fed it doesn't end the interest based banking system. It doesn't end the fact that "economic growth" will still be based off continuous unsustainable expansion and that businesses will still have ABSOLUTELY no incentive to stop destroying our environment and making cheap goods, and paying shitty wages, and perpetuating the stratified social system as it exists today. That's a short answer...but there's plenty more reasons. Go educate yourself. You'll find out very fast why this "back to the gold standard" talk is just plain BS. Read some of Stephen Zarlenga's books. Read Web of Debt.
Learn. Absorb. Understand.

O: Explain how we 'get rid of' 'money'. Will there not be a 'credits' sort of system? If there is, how is this different than 'money'? No 'monetary units' whatsoever? If not, please explain the model.

Replace "money" with "access to goods and resources." Try it.

That should be all. I hope we get to discuss all of this, as it would have to be pretty embarassing for you if this gets deleted. I mean, if you cant openly address criticisms then it already proves this system is no different than Stalinism.

I don't know of any thread that has been deleted because someone simply had questions contrary to the movement's tenets. Criticism is welcome here. It is trolling, blatant spamming, dehumanizing and offensive language, and lack of respect that doesn't get tolerated here too well. It's the same no matter where you go. If you want an example of real censorship, go run by the Alex Jones forums. THAT'S censorship. I know because I had multiple posts completely erased. Not just locked or moved. ERASED, and all because I presented information that differed from Alex's ideas. I wasn't offensive or rude in the least.

Anyways. I'll make you a bet. If you remain respectful, you don't result to ad hominem arguments, and you don't start calling people names, you will not get banned, this topic will not get locked, nor will it be deleted. Prove me wrong.

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