August 3, 2011
James Corbett, the manager and producer of an independent news website, made a rather disappointing video about a "utopian" concept that can be found in the Venus Project and the Zeitgeist Movement. Making the connection between a utopia and the Zeitgeist Movement may not be entirely accurate since the latter makes no claims that such a thing is achievable in the first place. Pursuing a 'resource based economy' is not the same as 'getting to utopia.' Yet the connection is made with many negative expectations and projections.
However I do not disagree with all of James Corbett's statements yet at the same time I get the notion that he (like so many of us) doesn't recognize the root causes. Human nature / human nurture, take your pick, is one thing. That is a whole discussion in itself. What I found most disappointing is the 'standard' surface association and analysis. Planning a society immediately becomes central planning which is very bad because 'they' tried that in communist states with disastrous consequences. It is immediately assumed that such a thing will instantly occur again. (Inhale one puff of a marihuana cigarette and you're a drug addict for life!) That a capitalistic laissez faire societal construct has its own costs is quite often left out of the equation.
Critique is seemingly often one-sided and to be honest I expected more from James Corbett who in fact got his master in philosophy. Having said that it's not unusual even for educated people to be trapped in a particular ideological box. Happens all the time. The sad part is that the philosophy which James Corbett so often displays in his videos is not that far apart from many Zeitgeist members yet a rift is created by the former. We are not your enemy James.
It's very simple. Many (if not all) Zeitgeist members have no intention of creating a society like the one that could be found in Soviet Russia. We simply don't want such a thing. Period. The whole idea is to get more freedom and abundance without having to prostitute yourself in an environment based on profit, competition and greed. The main philosophy of the Zeitgeist Movement is that when you change the environment (which is based on the factors I just mentioned) you take away much of the negative aspects of "human nature." Change the environment and you change "human nature."
You actually think that when a person can get 10 hamburgers for free he will go out hunting for cows and trample on anyone that gets in his way? When all the needs are met, people behave entirely different. That's the whole concept behind the Zeitgeist Movement and if James Corbett wasn't so busy with the perceived communist phantom he might have noticed that. Communism or collectivism is not what the movement stands for. However, it's also not based on pure individualism (maybe a more accurate word is selfism). A balance must be found between individualism and collectivism. Giving too much to either 'ism' will have negative effects.
(To be continued.)