FAQ: What is The Zeitgeist Movement [TZM]?
The Zeitgeist Movement is an explicitly non-violent, global sustainability advocacy group currently working in over 1000 Regional Chapters across 70 countries. The basic structure of The Movement consists of Chapters, Teams, Projects & Events. Overall, the Chapters are essentially what define the Movement and each Chapter works to not only spread awareness about the roots of our social problems today but also to express the logical, scientific solutions and methods we have at our disposal to update and correct the current social system and create a truly responsible, sustainable, peaceful, global society. Working through global and regional educational projects and community programs, the intermediate goal is to obtain a worldwide movement, essentially unifying the people, regardless of country, religion or political party, with a common value identification that we all invariably share, pertaining to our survival and sustainability.
It is the assumption of The Movement that the educational/activist pressure generated, coupled with what is currently a failing social system, will inhibit and override the established political, commercial and nationalist institutions outright, exposing and resolving the flaws inherent. It is our view that the traditional mediums of politics and commerce as forces for change will not obtain the goals needed to make our social system sustainable and humane for they appear to be born out of the same traditionalist, flawed logic that has created the problems as they stand.
The transitional goal, once such a global presence and pressure is obtained, is to implement an economic model that follows a truly scientific train of thought with respect to the technical factors that allow for human propensity, public health and environment responsibility over generational time. This new model, since it is based upon Resource Management and Natural Law (Science) as the logical starting point for all decisions and processes, is often referred to as a “Resource-Based Economic Model”. However, the realization of this direction is not that of an institution but of a train of thought – the train of thought of objectively applying The Scientific Method for Social Concern and allowing its natural emergence to flourish without limitation as new efficiencies present themselves.
In the view of The Movement, the society today has become increasingly detached from the physical world, with techniques of production, distribution and social ordering that have little to no relationship to the environment, or the current state of scientific knowledge with respect to public health and sustainability.
For instance, our use of a profit based, “growth” driven monetary system has become one of the greatest destroyers of the natural world and sustainable human values. The entire global economy requires “cyclical consumption” to operate, which means that money must constantly be circulating. Thus, new goods and services must be constantly introduced regardless of the state of the environment and actual human necessity. This “perpetual” approach has a fatal flaw for resources as we know it are simply not infinite. Resources are finite and the Earth is essentially a closed system. To assume the need for constant consumption to keep people employed and hence the market system going is eco-cidal on a finite planet. The true goal of an economy, by definition, is to strategically preserve and create efficiency. The system today demands the opposite.
The Monetary-Market Model is based upon money being treated as a Commodity and its origination from Debt; sold for Interest Income. This is a “Ponzi Scheme”. Each time this Commodity (Money) is sold (Bank Loans) it needs to be paid back (Debt) with more money charged as a fee for profit (Interest). The problem is that the Interest Value required to settle the debt does not exist in the Money Supply outright. In other words, Bankruptcy and Default are not byproducts – they are inevitable – as there is always more debt outstanding than money in existence. This creates severe, offset monetary scarcity that oppresses many people on many levels.
The Value of Scarcity
Likewise, the intents inherent within the monetary system derive a strategic edge from scarcity. This means that depleted resources are actually a positive thing for industry in the short term for more money can be made off each respective unit. This is contextual to the monetary law of Supply & Demand and hence “Value” in economics. It creates a perverse reinforcement to ignore environmental problems and the negative consequences that create scarcity; not to mention reinforcing technically unnecessary human deprivation. This system does not/can not meet the needs of the many because it isn’t financially efficient to do so.
Problems/Inefficiency = Profit.
Similarly, the system also requires problems/constant consumer interest in order to work. The more people who have cancer or cars that breakdown, the better the economy due to the servicing of those problems. Needless to say, this also generates an inherent disregard for human well being and the environment. Sustainability, efficiency, and preservation are the enemies of this model.
Cost Efficiency & Irresponsible Obsolescence
There is also the Cost Efficiency mechanism that demands cutting expenses to remain “competitive” in the marketplace. Every single product created by a corporation today is immediately inferior by design for the market requirement to cut creation costs in favor of lowering the output “purchase price” to maintain a competitive edge automatically reduces the quality of any given item by default. It is impossible to create the “strategically best”/long lasting anything in our society, which translates into outrageous amounts of wasted resources and time. Likewise, this same mechanism is reinforcing the environmental disregard, depletion, and pollution that we see as a constant in the world today… among other issues.
Waste & Oppression of the Human Resource
As far as Occupations today, we need to ask ourselves what the point is of a given focus and why it is necessary. The fact is, most jobs today are not directly related to the actual necessities of life. Rather, most are artificial concoctions created in order to keep people employed so they can maintain purchasing power in an environment where our technology continues to expand exponentially, displacing humans from the production force.
It is a common statement in politics today to hear about “creating jobs”. Well, in theory, an occupation could be created where people are paid to sit in a room and test chewing gum all day, everyday… but is that a viable use of the human mind? Should we relegate our mental capacity to simple any so called job due to mere “economic” reasons, regardless of what it actually contributes to personal and/or social development? This becomes even more bizarre as a train of reason when we realize that Mechanization not only frees us from labor, it is actually more efficient and productive due to the exponential advancement of science and technology.
On a different level, the very reality that each human being is required to be put in a position of servitude to a corporation or client in order to gain income to purchase the necessities of life not only perpetuates the waste of the human mind and human life, it is also a form of oppression – slavery. If we combine the aforementioned “Infinite Growth” point above regarding the Debt pressure that is build into this system, we see that the combination of the guaranteed Debt imbalance and the requirement to submit to Labor, regardless of its purpose/effect, in order to gain monetary income to survival – is a structural form of oppression against the lower classes (who hold the most debt and need for more period income).
As noted, advancements in science and technology have shown that we can automate a great deal. The more we have applied mechanization to labor, the more productive things have become. Therefore, it is not only negligent for us to waste our lives waiting tables, working at a bus station, fixing cars, or other repetitive, monotonous jobs, it is also entirely irresponsible for us not to apply modern mechanization techniques to all industries that it is possible for, apart from strategic resource management, this is a powerful way to achieve balance and abundance for all the world’s people, thus reducing crime generating imbalances.
The fact is, the Market System cannot maintain itself with any viable integrity anymore for corporation will continue to save money through automation, displacing human labor- which also displaces purchasing power, continuing the inevitable loss of “growth” that defines this system.
In the end, today’s society now has access to highly advanced technologies and can easily provide more than enough for all of the earth’s people. This is possible through the implementation of an economy based on scientific resource management and applying modern methods. This is the purpose of The Zeitgeist Movement- to create a global awareness to thus transition into a new, sustainable direction for humanity as a whole.