The Zeitgeist Movement: practical advices to build a better future
By Angela Corrias on March 19, 2009
LONDON (Herald de Paris) – The 15th of March has been celebrated again as Zeitgeist Day, with a series of events referring to the Zeitgeist Movement. The biggest meeting was held in New York, where both Jacque Fresco and Peter Jones spoke to a huge crowd of people from all walks of life.
In seventy countries all over the world, on the same day meetings and screenings have taken place. In London hundreds of supporters of the Zeitgeist Movement, favored by a very much yearned sunshine, gathered in front of the BBC offices and in colorful Camden Town to give out thousands of DVDs.
Screenings of “Zeitgeist Addendum” and of the new video on the Movement Orientation were carried out all afternoon at Goldsmith University of London. I went along, to watch the documentaries and talk to some of the supporters, in the hope to shed some light on this rapidly growing movement.
Heavily inspired by American engineer Jacque Fresco, filmmaker Peter Joseph has directed “Zeitgeist The Movie” and “Zeitgeist Addendum,” both tracing the root causes of global poverty and offering possible ways to create a better world.
The pragmatism of the theories behind both movies tickled my curiosity and lured me into the theatre where they were being shown.
Who is exactly Jacque Fresco? Industrial designer, social engineer, lecturer and author, he is the creator of the Project Venus, based in Florida and unique example of a completely resource-based economy.
The core of the Zeitgeist movement is, in fact, a fierce critique to our current monetary system because, since the money is created as a debt due to the Central Banks and it’s not property of the single person, it unavoidably causes a heavy dependence of governments themselves and a too powerful presence of the bank system in the world’s political affairs that are always more ruled following the private interest of big corporations instead of public wellbeing.
A money-based economy is seen by movie director Peter Joseph as doomed, and its unsustainability due to a never-ending cycle of forced consumption and planned obsolescence that produce a growing amount of waste and don’t ensure good lifestyle standards for the world’s population.
In the Venus Project, money is considered a “social convention,” only necessary in the case of scarcity of resources or, as in today’s world, when resources are badly distributed and unfairly rationed.
According to UNICEF, currently 29,000 children die everyday from preventable causes, and global poverty makes a very narrow minority live wealthy, while the biggest majority of the population still lacks of the most basic goods.
The ultimate goal of Jacque Fresco’s Venus Project is a worldwide resource-based economy, “a system in which all goods and services are available without the use of money, credits, barter or any other system of debt or servitude.” Fresco believes, in fact, that the world resources are enough for everybody and that every single person is equally entitled to enjoy them.
Fresco considers all earth’s inhabitants the direct heir of its resources available from both land and sea. He sees the current monetary system as an unreasonable barrier to our survival, since modern society has at its disposal highly advanced technology able to ensure goods such as food, clothing and medical care to everybody.
The Project Venus’ appeal is very simple: our planet provides us with enough material resources to ensure the highest living standards to each and every inhabitant. While today’s monetary system made us believe that we live with a scarcity of resources, with the subsequent generation of personal frustration and stress, Jacque Fresco firmly believes that “by overcoming scarcity, most of the crimes and even the prisons of today’s society would no longer be necessary.”
Taking advantage of the latest technologies, Fresco has planned the way to beat the scarcity of resources by using a totally renewable energies such as the geothermal, controlled fusion, solar, photovoltaic, wind, and designing energy-efficient cities able to provide all citizens with the highest healthcare and education. Most of the work, in Fresco’s vision, would be carried out by machines, as it is already, but unlike now, people would have more leisure time for themselves.
Since the twilight of civilization man has talked about how to achieve a better world, and unlike a purely idealist hope, Fresco’s project is based upon a striking rationality and offers practical advices for everybody to get involved towards a collective development.
How could anyone disagree with that?