Zeitgeist: Moving Forward  by director Peter Joseph is a 162 minute film work which continues what the prior two films of the Zeitgeist Film Series started: a critical look at the “Zeitgeist” or ‘Spirit /Awareness of the Time’. A prominent underlying thesis of the Film Series is that a great many notions, beliefs and practices currently engaged in today and assumed as “presupposed”, “given” or seemingly empirical to our societal approaches and values are not only intellectually/historically incorrect but highly detrimental to our personal and social progress and sustainability.
Zeitgeist: Moving Forward focuses on the very fabric of the social order: Monetary-Market Economics. While the majority of the world today have slowly come to see some basic flaws in the economic system we share, as large scale debt defaults, inflation, industrial pollution, resource depletion, rising cancer rates and other signposts emerge to bring the concern into the realm of “public health” overall, very few however consider the economic paradigm as a whole as the source. The tendency is to demand reform in one area or another, avoiding the possibility that perhaps the entire system is intrinsically flawed at the foundational level. ZMF presents the case that it is, indeed, the very foundational mechanics of this system that generates the patterns of behavior and unsustainable methods of conduct that are leading to the vast spectrum of detrimental consequences both personal, social, and environmental and the longer they go on, the worse things will become.
For example, here are four of the more dominant points with respect to the current system:
-The Market System is based on “Cyclical Consumption” and in order for society to continue it’s economic operation through “labor” as the basic starting point there must be perpetual turnover of goods and services and the rate of this turnover cannot be inhibited beyond a certain level. The consequence is that strategic conservation and efficiency (the true measures of the quality of an “economy”) in the ecological, technological and hence/scientific sense become detrimental factors to perpetuating the artificial need for Cyclical Consumption. In other words the less efficient the goods and services produced, the more eventual demand and the more turnover will occur in general to meet those needs. This is the exact opposite of what logic demands for a true economic system, which would need to be based on preservation and maximum sustainability/strategic longevity. The reduction of consumption and waste is a central need for ongoing human survival on a finite planet. We live in an “anti-economy,” in fact.
-Similar to the above, the Market System’s use of the immutable “Cost Efficiency” strategy denies the possibility that the most strategically advanced goods are created and hence we exist in a constant state of “efficiency/cultural lag.” It is simply impossible in a competitive system to make the strategic best and the result is excessive waste on many levels - from the waste of labor, to the waste of energy, to the waste of materials. Invention and application is a technical/scientific process and the Market System is simply an interference, which degrades the quality of goods and services.
-The Debt Based Monetary System operates by “pyramiding” money to cover outstanding debts; hence inflation and bankruptcy is a natural byproduct as money is constantly scarce in proportion to the debt outstanding at all times. The end result is always deficiency and hence social deprivation in some demographic or region. Balance is impossible for there is never enough money in circulation to cover the interest charges imposed on the currency created. This creates a spectrum of ongoing deficiency, which moves like a cancer between individuals, families, cities, states and countries. This deprivation is truly detrimental to our public health as it guarantees that some win and some lose over time. The word “inhumane” is an understatement and this debt phenomenon is like a cruel social experiment.
-There is no Physical Referent for decision-making processes in the Market System and this creates a vast, wasteful inefficiency with respect to the resources/materials/designs to be used and the goods created. “Price Efficiency,” which is often thought of a means of organization that ostensibly “accounts” for resource management (for example, if a resource goes scarce the price rises to offset demand) is a completely decoupled, unscientific notion with no basis in the physical world; hence neglecting the concept of “technical efficiency,” which is the true ecological/economic measure. In other words, we should not be making things based upon what we can “afford.” This is an artificial measure based on nothing tangible. It is based on a decoupled "game" and nothing more. We should be making things based on what the scientific method teaches us as to the best means to manage our conduct.
Moreover, unlike the prior films of the series, this film lends more direct support to the data sets of both The Zeitgeist Movement and The Venus Project as Activist and Sustainability organizations respectively. Please visit thevenusproject.com and thezeitgeistmovement.com to learn more about these issues and how to help bring the world back in line with nature.