FAQ: What is TZM’s Basic Structure and Processes?
- “The Movement”
- “Rational Consensus”
- “Information Relay”
The Movement, as an entity, consists of the global Chapter set, usually comprising City, State, and Nation. While The Movement is global, by definition, Chapters are what comprise the physical presence of The Zeitgeist Movement in form. To be apart of The Movement is to be a part of your regional Chapter at the lowest degree of operation in your area, hence becoming part of the whole.
For a person to be technically considered a Member of The Zeitgeist Movement they must be active in a Chapter. If a Chapter doesn’t exist in their respective region, a prospective Member would found one. This is very simple in its preliminary stages as all it requires is a website or community group of any kind/size. It has to start somewhere.
Chapters are regional Zeitgeist Movement Member groups, organized in Tiers.
From “Top to Bottom”, the current Chapter Tiers are:
- International—[ Countries ]
- State/Province—[ Next lower degree regional distinctions within a given Country ]
- City/Town—[ Next lower degree regional distinctions within a given State or Province ]
Chapters need to have the ability enable communication among its Members, along with other Chapters. As a Chapter grows, periodic Meetings should be conducted in live and/or virtual (online) settings along with taking part in regional or global events and actions.
Chapter Meetings occur in Tiers with the Coordinators meeting on their respective level. For example, the North Carolina State Chapter, assuming no sub-chapters within it, would have a meeting with all NC Members present. However, the meeting of the next largest Tier, the Country level ( USA) the would be only with the Coordinators of each State, not all the Members. This narrowing is for the sake of comprehension as it would be too difficult to have Global Meetings with thousands of Members at once.
Groups of Members, organized by Team Coordinators, working with a specific Project or Projects.
Teams generally take two forms : Global Teams and Regional Teams.
Global Teams are teams which work on central Movement Projects which relate to the entire global organization. There are Currently 6 Global Teams and each Team has its own set of participatory guidelines/processes.
- LINGUISTIC TEAM
- DEVELOPER TEAM
- NEWSLETTER / PRESS RELEASE TEAM
- MEDIA PROJECT TEAM
- TECHNOLOGY TEAM
- LECTURE TEAM
Regional Teams are typically independent of global assessment and are created by the Chapter.
Any task of relevant interest agreed upon and set forth by a Team, either Regional or Global. These often include Newsletters, Events or Charity actions.
Member-ed organizers/representatives for each Chapter or Team.
These are the point people and basic operation oversight organizers who work with a Chapter or Team on communication and any related admin issues. They are not to be confused with leaders or authorities [ie “Presidents/Mayors” or “Decision Makers”]. They are equal in relevance to each other Member of the respective Chapter/Team and they are not in a position of final decision making over the Chapter. Rather , they volunteer their time for the sake of relaying consensus information from and to their Chapter/Team, along with often taking the initiative for respective Projects.
Chapter Coordinators are typically the founding party of a given Chapter and they are, of course, volunteers – like everyone else. They have to undergo approval, however, by the next larger degree Coordinator(s). [ ie- if a City Chapter is to be set up, that person is reviewed by the State Coordinator as to the integrity of that new prospect. New Chapter creation is contingent upon the dedication and knowledge shown by the prospective Chapter Coordinator and this is assessed on a per case basis.] This is one of the few cases where the Coordinator of a City/State/Country is required to make a “decision” – in this case about a [sub] Chapter application under their degree. In the event of conflict, the relevant next degree Tier as a whole will work to reach Rational Consensus.
Global Team Coordinators are also not authorities but, again, are rather volunteer helpers to make sure the processes of each team is going smoothly. In the event of problems/conflict, the change of Coordinator(s) of a given Chapter/Team are achieved through both respective Chapter/Team Consensus and International Coordinator assessment. through “Rational Consensus”.
Rational Consensus is not to be confused with the historically failed traditional Mob Rule Democratic Process of “one person – one vote”. TZM does not condone total, open mob rule democracy as it is based on the faulty assumption that each participating party is educated enough to make the most intellectually appropriate, unbiased decision.
Proper Decision Making has nothing to do with the interests of a group of people, nor the interests of a single person. Proper Decision Making is a purely technical process of logical assessment of a given set of variables and hence can only be based on upon tangible, technical referents – not abject, unsupported mass value opinion, which is what the pure democratic theory erroneously assumes holds integrity. In other words, each argument of a given member must be logically supported by an external referent/set of external referents – clearly reasoned in communication to support the conclusion given. The manifestation of this reasoning could be called a “Case”.
Using the example of a Chapter scenario: When a conflict of agreement occurs between the group, the process of Rational Consensus is commenced which requires each conflicting party to present their Case to everyone else. This Case must consist of technically reasoned factors/instances/examples which can be evaluated outside of the expression of the person who is presenting the problem. In other words, insinuation, assumptions and predispositions have no value. If the argument cannot be quantified in some manner – it isn’t valid as an argument.
Let’s assume a Member has a problem with a Coordinator’s actions and would like to see the removal of that Coordinator. Let’s assume the Case reasoning is that the Coordinator is not properly representing the interests/ideas of the majority of the group.
In this scenario, a set of technical examples would need to be provided by which the group itself can review. Then a rational “democratic” consensus is made within that group based solely upon the evidence presented – not the expression of any persons themselves. Now, while this process is simple and direct enough – resembling traditional democracy – the decision can still be overridden in the event the conclusions made are suspect as to their technical reasoning by the next tier degree in the Chapter Structure. This extended evaluation is there to protect from erroneous conclusions made by a possibly un-knowledgeable or biased Chapter Membership.
In other words, for example, the removal of a State Chapter Coordinator, while meeting Rational Consensus in the respective Chapter, might still need to meet Rational Consensus on the State Tier on the Structure. [ie. Consensus by all 50 states] to protect against erroneous or biased group decisions or even infiltrations by 3rd parties with the intent of problem generation. Since these situations are very rare and occur usually within very small, lower tier Chapters, the factors which comprise such an intervention naturally exist on a per case basis.
As an aside, it is important to point out that there is nothing to gain personally by being a Coordinator of any Chapter or Team in and of itself. Abuse of this position offers nothing in self-interest return, except perhaps Ego Satisfaction. There is no pay and typically it is a higher stress position due to the responsibility inherent. Many who come from the hyper-democratic conditioning assume that mass consensus is the only thing we can trust while the individual is not trust worthy at all. This cynical view needs to be adjusted to understand that in an environment where a person cannot find reward for their narrow self-interest, they will have no reason typically to perpetuate that narrow self-interest. This is one of the core reasons, as an aside, The Movement operates without money overall – as money always sets the stage for corruption on a basic level, as history has shown.
“Information Relay” [Between Chapter Tiers]
Each Chapter Tier has a set Coordinator or set of Coordinators and these Coordinators are only the communicative representative of the interests of that Chapter while, in certain cases, they are needed to assess decisions about Chapter conflicts/appointments in the Tier beneath them [See above]. In all cases, Rational Consensus is the process of decision making and this naturally underscores what we could call “Information Relay” as well.
Information is discussed within each Chapter at their respective periodic meetings, either live or online, with Rational Census being met with regard to any issue of importance. Then a given idea, if relevant to the Global Movement, is set on a course from Bottom to Top through a process of systematic Coordinator representation.
If a City Chapter [ie – Chicago] originates an idea/project which it feels would be applicable to the global whole of The Zeitgeist Movement, that idea is then presented and discussed at the State Level [ie – Illinois], with all other City Chapters.
Once Rational Consensus is met on that level, the State Coordinator brings that idea to the Country Level [ie – USA], where the idea is presented and discussed with all States/Provinces.
Once Rational Consensus is met on that level, the Country Coordinator brings that idea to the International Level [ie – World], where the idea is presented and discussed with all Countries. It is at this level that Rational Consensus would implement the idea.
This is the “Bottom Up” approach. From there, “Top Down” directives can be suggested which affect all Chapter actions. Obviously, there are “middle ground” proposals which will begin not on the “lower” tier level, but on a “mid” or “high” level. In this case, it is the responsibility of each Coordinator of The Movement to communicate the issues presented to their respective Chapters and, if there is conflict, the bottom up approach is instituted again to reach Rational Consensus and hence resolution.
As a Global Rule, The Movement operates on the basis of Time Dedication and not Monetary Dedication. No chapter is allowed to take direct, Open Donations. Overall, The Movement deliberately operates on a personal contribution, volunteer model. However, there are two basic exceptions. Since the websites cost money to run, simple merchandise is respectable to offer. The Global Website, for example, offers a single Shirt to help offset the administrative and hosting costs. Each Chapter is allowed to also offer a custom Shirt or similar. However, any “excessive” merchandising will be shut down if it presents a case for abuse. Such decisions are made by International/Global Admin Consensus.
The 2nd exception is when a specific temporal project is required which needs funding. Typically, it is expected that such funding will come personally from an individual or set of individuals working with the Chapter directly. In the event that cannot happen, a fully transparent temporary donation system can be put into place to meet the needs of that Project.