February 3, 2011

Zeitgeist & The Redneck Rebellion

Zeitgeist translated means 'spirit of the time' and it's more accurate as a definition for the times we live in than you might think. While there are a number of supporters of the Zeitgeist films and the Venus Project in particular, there are also a number of detractors who are very vocal. We live in a free society of course and everyone is entitled to their opinions but some of the accusations I see lately are cause for concern. Some comments are taken to the extreme and personally I fear that someone might take that in too literally and in the final run will hurt somebody in the physical world instead of just throwing words on the internet.

Let's take some examples from the internet. The gentleman above is a person who goes by the handle of Lonestar1776 on YouTube. His particular problem with Zeitgeist is that according to him it's part of a NWO plan and that 94 year-old Jacque Fresco is "evil." It's not hard to detect that this person is from Texas and he's not an exception since there are more folks from that state who are vocally anti-Zeitgeist. You have to wonder if this particular aspect is the handy-work of Texan Alex Jones who called Zeitgeist a "luciferian sun-worshipping cult" and part of a scheme planned by the equally evil new world order. Jones himself is a conservative Christian and anti-government, it seems only logical that he would attract followers to his show that are of the same disposition.

How much influence Jones had on the outlook of Zeitgeist is uncertain but it's easily detectable that a number of people adopted his methodology concerning Zeitgeist. I've seen many blogs, articles and videos that criticize Zeitgeist and the remarkable thing is that (in my estimation) 90% of the people come from the United States. A few come from Canada or the U.K. but the majority come from the U.S. That in itself is a sociological phenomenon. It shows which culture generates the most friction with the ideology that can be found in Zeitgeist. Sharing all the world's resources, doing away with the monetary system and establishing a society based on equality seemingly somehow gets lost. Yet that is no accident. Barriers in the minds of people will automatically do just that. Culture will do just that.

James Kush excels in coming up with negative viewpoints towards the Zeitgeist Movement which he'll jam into his articles that he produces like a conveyor belt. Kush probably spends many hours scouring the internet looking for dirt, seeing how many websites he visits for source material. It's quite remarkable that a person can come up with so much negativity that you have to wonder about the motivation, what drives people to act in this manner? Judging from his comments above there seems to be more than one thing. Religion, the occult, cult mechanics, anti-Americanism, conspiracy theories and so on. It's quite the list but is that really the truth?

I don't think it is. What you'll often find with critics is that they borrow from each other. Kush clearly lists other websites from other critics. If you check up on critics in intervals you'll find sometimes that they have added certain types of critique. Kush first started of with claiming that Zeitgeist was into the occult. That was based on the first Zeitgeist movie that criticized religion and used alternative sources to convey the point. Those sources are on the opposite side of religious dogma so for a conservative religious person it's easy to take offense. Later on Kush adopted the 'cult' angle, more or less claiming that members of the Zeitgeist Movement are (being) brainwashed.

What it boils down to is this. It's not so much one particular aspect of all the critique that is so important, it's using critique, any type of critique they can find, just to do some damage. I think people like Kush even don't believe that all the people that make up the Zeitgeist Movement are into the occult or anti-American and cult members. Such a claim is untenable to begin with. People from all walks of life join the movement and not all are atheist myself included. I wouldn't have anything to do with satanists to begin with, my religious upbringing is still a factor if I would detect such matters. I would surmise that something else is at the core with critics and their behavior. Something aroused them that resulted in acting the way they do.

Couple of days ago I found a video on YouTube by a guy named Maynard. He doesn't waste any time and fires on all cylinders claiming the Zeitgeist Movement is (and I quote) "a neo-satanist cult looking to convince the masses that they need to be rounded up for their own good and the good of the planet." There you go! Um, so as a member of a movement that strives for a better world I can be regarded as a 'neo-satanist?' Call me strange but isn't such a statement highly derogatory to begin with? Of course it is. Maynard's message isn't really about that we are "evil" people (let alone that he can prove it), it's about portraying the movement in a bad light. It's about how that person wants another group to be perceived. The actual truth has nothing to with it.

I asked that person if he was a conservative Christian or a religious person in general and he claims he was not. That automatically begs the question; 'why would you use a heavily charged religious word like 'satanist' if you're not religious in the first place?' The answer I think is very simple. It enables the person to smear. Other matters such as nationalism or patriotism are far more likely to be at the root cause. In another video Maynard can be found holding a speech with the flag of America and the Tea Party in the background, as the picture above shows. It is a culture conflict that drives people like the ones I described above to act in the manner that they do.

Where it gets more than a little discomforting is when people start to throw the 'terrorist' accusation around, like the YouTube user below. A bit more research regarding this person reveals that he's a religious fundamentalist. Now we at least know the cause of his argument(s), but stating that Jacque Fresco and Roxanne Meadows should be arrested on the grounds of terrorism is more than a little bit whacky or derogatory. It enters a field where people are so upset that the next possible thing is actual physical harm. This is a realm we shouldn't enter of course. I would rather be called a "satanist" than to see someone getting hurt or killed.

I think that only in a few cases there's an actual religious person that is genuinely offended, most critics I've seen so far like to use the religious angle but aren't really that religious to begin with. It is more a means to an end than anything else. Other influences are far more likely to be the core generator for discontent. As stated previously, nationalism and patriotism play a big role. Most Americans are raised to pledge allegiance to the flag and are taught by their parents that they live in the greatest country of the world. If anything would present itself that challenges that perception they would react and sometimes (if not most of the times) not really fully grasping why they do it.

If the Zeitgeist Movement suggests that all the world's resources ought to be shared, well that's not something they were brought up with. Apparently they are locked in a certain mindset. From my perspective the great irony here is that many of the critics I've seen on YouTube or who simultaneously share private information on their websites or blogs, are not bathing in luxury themselves. In fact most of them have modest means, live in a small apartment or house and drive old trucks. It's a bit shocking to see that they feel the need to vehemently defend what little they may have while the Zeitgeist Movement will be the last to take that away from them. Chances are that their current government but most of all the banks will have that questionable honor.

I sincerely hope it doesn't devolves to physical harm. Name calling can still be tolerated, injuries can not.

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Arthur Schopenhauer

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