1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2015
In 2008 I discovered the first of what has since been referred to as the Zeitgeist trilogy film series ("Zeitgeist: The Movie" on YouTube), a film that it's creator Peter Joseph produced to accompany a live music performance where he actually reproduced the sound score for this film before an audience. Zeitgeist: The Movie presented itself as a somewhat controversial point of view, a commentary on big topics like religion, the events of 9/11 and some underhanded practices of the Federal Reserve Bank. My first viewing of that movie evoked a lot of different feelings: A little validation at what Peter had to say about religions, much scepticism about what he was implying about the events of 9/11 (he actually provided no narration at all for that 40 minute segment of the movie and let the news footage do all the talking - quite clever really!) and I was almost dismissive about what he had to say about the Federal Reserve... Oh my god it's all a conspiracy!!! -- But I went back and watched it again... and again... and have even watched it a few times since. You know, the older I get, the more I pay attention to this troubled little world of ours, the more I'm inclined to think that Peter's got to the bottom of what it is that motivates this society of ours... and the truth of it is, it's a little sick!
BUT, this review is supposed to be about this second instalment: Zeitgeist: Addendum.
Appreciating what Peter Joseph is all about by this point I jumped straight into this movie with both feet and lapped it up! - This movie is about the foundations of our society, the root cause of it's problems and the presentation for a radical solution.
The Problem: It's basically money and the desire to not only to acquire money, but profit... Lots of profit, regardless of the social or environmental consequences, even if that cost is the heightened misery of downtrodden nations, the manipulation of an ignorant public, the poisoning of the planet and the disrespecting of its finite resources through unsustainable, corrupt, cost cutting business practices. You'll learn about the money system, how money's created, how it's inflated, that its existence is by it's very design accompanied by debt and interest and the fact that debt and money are actually one and the same thing. You'll also be introduced to the whole idea of economic hitmen and how they're employed by corporations to bribe the leaders of underdeveloped nations to enable the expansion of US business interests.
The Solution: Enter Jacque Fresco and his suggestion that a Resource Based Economy is the way to go... Jacque Fresco is the founder of The Venus Project and has spent the bulk of his long life thinking about the root causes of a lot of the worlds problems and offers a few revelations: "All the worlds problems are technical, not political!" "Politicians are not elected to change things for the better; they're elected to keep things the way they are." "When a technical problem presents itself to a politician the first question a politician is likely to pose is: "How much does it cost?" - The appropriate question was never about how much it costs; it should actually be: "Do we have the resources?" [to solve said problem]..." "We have the resources to feed, clothe, house and educate everybody on this planet."
With both the problem defined and the solution presented (very well in my opinion) Peter Joseph invites you to join the Zeitgeist Movement which at the time seemed like a pretty far out suggestion but now? - (seven years on) http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/ has become a global reaching information organisation (there are chapters all over the globe), raising awareness, offering countless lecture videos, reading materials, information on events, an eye on the social breakdown and the continuous emergence of technical solutions that could be employed to solve problems if we weren't subject to the existing rulebook that governs the box we all live in; it's time to climb out of this box and embrace the Resource Based Economy model. - Good stuff
3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2013
"Zeitgeist Addendum" is the sequel to "Zeitgeist: The Movie". Both films are made by Peter Joseph, who is also the leader of the Zeitgeist Movement. While "Zeitgeist: The Movie" was an eclectic mishmash of right-wing conspiracy theories, critique of religion and vague pantheistic spirituality, "Addendum" is more obviously left-wing.
In fact, the ideas in the film sound like a parody or caricature of Marxism. I frequently gasped when watching it. Joseph believes that all problems in society are fundamentally caused by scarcity. The solution is to create a global, classless, stateless, moneyless society of super-abundance based on free energy and very advanced technology. Work will be abolished by complete automation. Nanotechnology will make even surgical procedures automated. "Addendum" is filled with futuristic animations of UFO-like cupolas in the cities of tomorrow, and, of course, really fast trains.
In other words, "Addendum" calls for communism and the immense development of the productive forces. Of course, the narrator doesn't use those somewhat tainted terms, preferring to call it "a resource-based economy" and "sustainability". However, I think it's obvious that Joseph must have studied Marxism. Even dialectical materialism with its thesis-antithesis-synthesis is included, but once again under different terms ("emergence" and "the best thing is to be wrong").
"Addendum" also sounds like a caricature of the Red-Green left, with its contradiction between Green sustainability and modern (state-run) high technology. Murray Bookchin comes to mind. Thus, the film claims that *all* of our present energy needs - and more - can be solved by developing wind, solar, tidal, wave and geothermal power. (I didn't know there were still people who believed in the blessings of wave power.) All cars could be run on electric batteries, and airplanes could simply be abolished in favour of magnetic trains. I admit that I also used to believe in a kind of "bright green" cornucopianism such as this. Then I discovered the books of Vaclav Smil! I won't belabour the point here, except to state that the proposals in "Addendum" are completely utopian.
Speaking of utopianism, I compared the message of the movie to Marxism above. However, there is one crucial difference. Marx could point to a very concrete social and political force that (presumably) could carry out his program: the international labour movement, with its unions, cooperatives and political parties. Later, the Soviet Communist leadership added national liberation movements to the list, and (of course) the political and military might of the Soviet Union itself. This, after all, is how social change happens: by the play of powerful social and political forces, or "class forces" if you like the Marxist terminology better. Today, Marxism is (to put it mildly) very much on the defensive, but it did "work" for a century or so. If in doubt, call the CIA!
But how does the Zeitgeist Movement propose to change the world? It turns out that they are completely clueless. The labour movement, feminism, left-wing nationalism, the remaining Marxist or "Marxist" regimes, even the Green movement - they are all conspicuous by their complete absence. Instead, "Addendum" heavily promotes one Jacque Fresco, a lone genius who has discovered the correct vision of the future. Frankly, who the *hell* is Jacque Fresco?! Another force for change is "technology", but since machines can't function by themselves (yet), this means that technologists are the real movers and shakers of the revolution. Fresco and his Venus Project presumably see themselves as such. Shades of Saint-Simon and Positivism?
If entrusting loving and caring technocrats with out future is a bit too much, "Addendum" has yet another proposal: individual spiritual transformation. Jiddu Krishnamurti is featured twice, and an extended quote from Carl Sagan is given a spiritual spin. The "symbiosis" mentioned by the narrator is presumably a form of pantheism. This explains the strong hostility of Joseph to established religion, monotheism in particular. It's a challenge to his own religion...
The movie ends with a couple of concrete proposals for action. Most of them are meaningless, and simply amount to taking a purely personal stand against some particularly egregious institution. Sure, it's not "wrong" to boycott big banks or nuclear energy, but so what? No meaningful social change will happen through personal statements of this kind. These proposals are also illogical from the movie's own perspective. I can understand if doomers, peak oilers or Anthroposophists prefer to "drop out", individually or in small groups, but Joseph has a more statist, globalist and technological perspective on things. Why not demand that the federal government takes over the banks and starts issuing debt-free money, instead of calling on a few individuals to switch their bank accounts? Oh, I forgot, politicians will never accomplish anything, no really existing movement is even remotely interesting, only technicians like Mr. Fresco counts! In fact, after an extensive propaganda pitch for the Zeitgeist Movement's political perspective, the proposals at the end feel like a complete anticlimax. The most important "action" is simply to make more people watch the Zeitgeist movies...
Marx would have seen "Zeitgeist: Addendum" as a perfect example of utopian socialism. A genius comes up with some brilliant ideas, they are propagated by a small group of devoted followers, the propaganda is often moralistic in tone, but since they have no political strategy, ultimately nothing comes out of it. Of course, it could be argued that Marx himself was a utopian socialist. In the end, his program also failed to transform the world. However, it can hardly be denied that old uncle Karl created more mischief than Peter Jospeh or Jacques Fresco will ever do.
Thanks for the entertainment. :P