January 27, 2011

Zeitgeist Moving Forward Review

Here's my review of Zeitgeist: Moving Forward. As a member of the Zeitgeist Movement I'm already inclined to view this movie through positive glasses, but even without those it's still a pretty decent cinematic journey and arguably Peter Joseph's best work. The film is not for people with short attention spans. It's 2 hours and 41 minutes long and filled with commentary by experts in their respected fields. Previous films by Peter Joseph received critique from some corners of our society as being conspiracy theory oriented. Well, you'll be hard pressed to find anything of that kind since the approach of this movie is mostly academic and soundly logical. Joseph adds humor here and there as well which lightens the atmosphere.

Since the release on YouTube yesterday it has already been viewed 250.000 times within 24 hours. The release in theaters around the world on the 15th of January was an astounding success and it's already safe to assume that the release on the internet will achieve the exact same result. Quite remarkable for a movement that basically exists completely outside the mainstream and mostly on the internet. As previously mentioned this movie is radically different from the previous ones in that much of what the Zeitgeist Movement and the Venus Project proposes is supported by the testimony of experts. Here are the names and qualifications of the experts in order of appearance.

Dr. Robert Sapolsky
Professor of Neurological Science, Stanford University

Dr. Gabor Mathe
Physician, Author Portland Society

Richard Wilkinson
Professor Emeritus of Social Epidemiology, University of Nottingham

Dr. James Gilligan
Former Director: Center for the Study of Violence, Harvard Medical School

Dr. John McMurtry
Professor Emeritus, University of Geulph

Michael C. Ruppert
Investigative Journalist

Max Keiser
Financial Analyst

Dr. Berok Khoshnevis
Industrial & Systems Enginering, USC

Dr. Adrian Bowyer
Inventor / Engineer, Bath University, UK

Dr. Colin J. Campbell
Petroleum Geologist

Jeremy J. Gilbert
Petroleum Engineer

Narrated by Peter Joseph, and of course Jacque Fresco and Roxanne Meadows from the Venus Project make an appearance.
The movie itself is split in to 4 parts.
I Human Nature
II Social Pathology
III Project Earth
IV Rise

The first section deals with "human nature" and the notion that some people are born "evil" or that it is "in the genes." All the experts that comment on this issue make short work of that notion. The essence being this; while some people may have a propensity for lets say violence or addiction, it is the environment itself that is the deciding factor. People aren't born aggressive or evil, they become that way through conditioning by the environment. Several doctors further add that conditioning can even start in the fetal state of human development and that the environment can even affect the human being on a physical level. The latter has tremendous implications since it means that your body literally adapts to the (hostile) surroundings.

Part two remains on the coarse of the human condition, yet the system we live in is also introduced. That being of course the monetary/free market system. The film explains in great detail what drives us the most; 'the acquisition of money and wealth at the expense of everything else.' It becomes obvious what insane kind of culture we live in. The economic 'infinite growth paradigm' is shown to be utterly false simply because you can't have infinite growth on a world with finite resources. Creating money out of thin air will only compound the problem. Debt will continue to grow until every country is bankrupt. Advances in technology and automation will continue to cause a rise in unemployment levels. The current economic system is simply unsustainable.

Project Earth, the third section of the movie starts off with a simple suggestion; 'what if you had a world - a new planet Earth with all its resources - and you had to start from scratch?' Peter Joseph naturally introduces the concept of a resource based economy step-by-step. Durability, efficiency and sustainability being the key elements in order to provide for every human being on the planet. It's not a question of would it work, it's a question of are we willing to change our values? The needed transitional aspects flow through the fourth part of the movie. Oil is going to run out, and when it does there will simply be an economic collapse and when the economy collapses, you can bet that our way of life will too. The latter is what permeates throughout the movie - our economy and way of life will simply collapse one day, purely by its design. There is still time change however.

As for criticisms on the movie I can think of a few, although to be honest I personally find them insignificant in the larger scheme of things. The movie itself is rather long, it's quite easy to lose concentration and you do need that in order to comprehend what the movie is saying. I also expect that some folks will have difficulty with all the terminology, it's not 6th grade grammar and if you're a foreigner with some understanding of the English language you would still need subtitles in your native tongue. The transition itself to a resource based economy, although clearly proposed, is not worked out in great detail. There's no manual and this is something that still needs to be worked on in my book. A personal fear of mine is that a transition to a resource based economy can still be corrupted. The present 'men behind the curtain' installing themselves once again in positions of power in a RBE, but I guess we'll just have to look for the warning signs when the time comes.

To summarize; it's just a great film. As mentioned before Peter Joseph's best work so far. I'm sure there are folks out there that would disagree with some aspects of the film or most of it but nobody can deny that there is much room for improvement in our current day society. Hopefully people will realize (and what the film points out) that it is the inequality that causes many problems. Why wait for crumbs to fall down, the economic trickle down effect people still hang on to while it is a myth? Why vote for politicians whose main concern is money itself and not humanity? It's time to wake up and realize the insanity we are currently in. From my perspective the mainstream media should air this movie on many channels just to create awareness, the movie at the very least does exactly that and increases our understanding on many levels. The latter currently also being one of the main trusts of the Zeitgeist Movement and the Venus Project. It's simply time that we start to consider alternatives. It's time to move forward.

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