February 3, 2011
"The Zeitgeist movement is the first Internet-based apocalyptic cult, centered around a doomsday-proclaiming film and an ideology filled with classic anti-Semitic tropes."
That's how the article by Michelle Goldberg starts who, amazingly, actually has a masters degree in journalism. The Brooklyn based author and journalist has written a couple of books and published many articles in magazines. She's married to Matthew Ipcar who was involved with the Obama administration during the elections and after. From the looks of it Miss Goldberg is Jewish and a libertarian not that typecasting is desirable or conclusive in relation to other matters, however it can explain some of the motivations behind certain statements.
Apocalyptic cult and anti-Semitic rhetoric, I must say, is a brand new terminology to describe the Zeitgeist Movement. I've heard Zeitgeist being accused of communism, fascism, occultism, cultism (in the general sense), satanism and of NWO-ism. Anti-semitism is the 'new kid on the block.' Michelle Goldberg must be congratulated in finding the latest and most innovative way to smear a social movement.
Claiming the movement is apocalyptic is taking matters somewhat out of proportions, but that seems to be a constant in the entire article. To be honest, a collapse of the current socioeconomic paradigm is something that is portrayed in Zeitgeist Moving Forward. That doesn't imply everyone wants to see the current system collapse with all the hardships and possible loss of life that could very well go along with it. In fact, I think that most people would like to avoid such a scenario from ever taking place. That's why we advocate a different system to begin with. We are not hoping things fall apart tomorrow, we do take into account that such a thing could happen. The latter is based on a multitude of factors.
Oil is going to run out. It's that plain and simple. There's a limited amount still in the ground and we are consuming the oil reserves at an increasing rate. The entire world economy is based on it. Many products are oil based. The mathematics is very simple here. When oil runs out you'll have a problem. Nothing doomsday about it, it's reality. When you watch the news about the economy you see massive unemployment and increasing debt everywhere. Cities and states are tightening their belts. The U.S. has a public debt of 14 trillion dollars. Who do you think is going to pay for that? I'll give you a hint; it's not the banks. In fact it's the taxpayer. Honestly Miss Goldberg, how much more can the economy of the U.S. take before it's essentially bankrupt?
Are we really that apocalyptic or are we realists? Maybe we are not the ones sticking our heads in the sand? It's also always startling to see when the derogatory word 'cult' is thrown around every time a person disagrees with the philosophy of a certain social group. It's a convenient way of dismissing and discarding the ideology of that group without having to confront the points it raises. Quickly labeling a group as a cult is in reality a very weak intellectual argument, and it also shows the character of the one making the claim. Cults can be found everywhere when applied loosely. Republicans, New York Yankees fans, the Amish, Apple users. Take your pick.
Brenton Eccles, a former member is hallowed more or less as a cult member who broke free from the clutches of the 'evil cult.' I don't know all the details about Mr. Eccles departure, if I'm not mistaken he divulged personal information to third parties and was asked to leave. Can the ideology of Zeitgeist leave you with a sense of disconnect to the current world? Of course it can, it presents a more optimistic environment. You can also ask yourself why some people find the ideology in Zeitgeist so appealing compared to their own current reality. There are a lot of people who have to work 40 to 50 years, doing less than fulfilling jobs in order to acquire the necessities of life, paying off a mortgage and so on. All of this under the constant risk of losing it all when they lose their jobs and can't pay their bills. Many Zeitgeist members are aware of what lies ahead for them. In the final run, what really occupies the mindset of Zeitgeist members, cultism or altruism?
How the author can come to the conclusion that Zeitgeist is right wing and anti-semitic is beyond my comprehension. You really have to connect some strange dots yet the author manages to do exactly that. A fantastic journey is made through the bowels of the intellect and when the end of the mental digestive track is reached a sticky and steamy pile of conclusions is produced. It goes something like this; Peter Joseph used material here and there which could be interpreted, if you dig really deep, as having anti-semitic tones - therefore he probably is an anti-semite even though he works with Jacque Fresco who's actually a semite. Although the author can't prove her assertions that Peter Joseph or the Zeitgeist Movement are directly and in plain sight anti-semite, she even admits this by saying Zeitgeist says nothing about Jews, the (conspiracy) theory is forwarded nonetheless that they are just that. Well, excuse me if I press the flush button on this one and don't stay around to take in the aroma.
What this amounts up to in my book is that Michelle Goldberg is just using her background in order to expedite an outcome. Over here in Europe we call that "positive discrimination" and it is often used by groups who were genuinely victims in the past but use that fact strictly for their own advantage. For example, a black man can walk into an institution applying for a job there and at the same time demanding the institution should hire more black people and if they do not they ought to be deemed racists. Goldberg employs a similar method by forcing the outcome that Zeitgeist is anti-semitic (without providing clear evidence) while simultaneously leaning on her Jewish back ground. And to be clear, I have nothing against Jews. Drama queens are an entirely different matter altogether.
To finalize, I think it's sad that a person like Miss Goldberg, who is in fact educated and highly literate, can come to these conclusions. I'm not even sure if she's serious about the article. Several times I got the notion that she must be joking. Playing the Jewish angle is also a convenient vehicle to get where you want. That also seems to have been the main trust of the article, at least in my opinion. The critique on Zeitgeist is also a reminder that while some people can be experts in their particular fields and are well educated, it doesn't mean they can step outside the confines of their ideological box. Not everything that shines is made of gold.
Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.