The end of The Zeitgeist Movement?

May 2024 Forums General discussion The end of The Zeitgeist Movement?

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  • #80915
    DJP
    Participant

    Thought I’d repost this comment from another thread as it could lead to an interesting discussion

    Ozymandias wrote:
    Just an example of the utterly undemocratic nature of TZM that they can just wipe their forums with no recourse or consultation with any of their “members”. Apparently their supreme leader PJ was unhappy with the amount of “useless noise” on the forums…a crazy decision in my estimation for an organisation that is stagnating, mostly in my opinion due to the stranglehold of PJ’s arrogance and chauvinism. Although in a way he did a bit of a favour to our class by producing his movies, he still just wants his entry in the history books at the end of the day. For me the Zeitgeist global forum was the thing that kept me hooked…in fact it was one of the most entertaining sources of novel information out there. How they expect to grow without it now it is a mystery to me. I think they are on their way out now anyway and are already being replaced by the “occupy” movements sprouting up worldwide. Zeitgeist itself was the child of “reclaim the streets” and the anti globalisation protests of the late 90’s and eventually the occupy wall street movement might very well be overtaken by something else…real moneyless socialism? God knows.

    Whilst I don’t think it’s right to say TZM is a child of ‘Reclaim the Streets’, it’s more the child of the conspiracy-loon circuit, the popularity of this contributing to its initial success.

    I think this whole episode is another illustration of how this ‘movement’ could by defacto be nothing than a following. The activist arm of the ‘venus project’ ended up looking very strange after the venus project (which is the work of just two people) disassociated itself from it.

    I can only hope that people who did find Zeitgeist to be an inspiration don’t get disillusioned and take up some form of meaningful activity.

    #86683
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Another reason to not follow anyone or anything with a ‘leader’…….they have the map and frequently it seems, lack the skills to know where they are going. Easier to read it yourself!

    #86684
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Picked up a London Zeitgeist leaflet at the camp at St Pauls yesterday evening and was surprised to find that it criticised Monetary Reform which some of them are into (and which many at the camp certainly are). This is what it said:

    Quote:
    PRIMARY GLOBAL CHANGES NEEDEDThe Global Monetary SystemEven if reformed, the Monetary System is incapable of becoming the tool to build the kind of egalitarian emancipated societies we need in order to thrive. Why? Because going back to the gold standard, outlawing interest, letting governments distribute money debt free and such like, have logical merits, but the Monetary System, in whatever form, still maintains resource and equality imbalances and holds back our progress, while creating by its fundamental design, poverty and scarcity of basic needs. This is the underlying problem that needs to be served.Self InterestThe accepted motive of seeking competitive gain at the expense of others remains even in a reformed Monetary System. There may be less pressure if interest didn’t exist, but the scarcity of money would still exist. A Monetary System and scarcity of money are inseparable. This money scarcity, so prevalent today is the basis of corruption and would continue to be a gangrenous reality of business as usual. This is why it’s extremely difficult to “take the money out of politics” . We need to take monetary relations out of everything.Cyclical ConsumptionThis flawed economic doctrine would be present even in a reformed Monetary System. The raison d’etre of each corporation or commercial enterprise is PROFIT at all cost. Since repeat sales for so-called “growth” and profit is required for survival, the monetary system’s own logic demands increased consumption, spiralling debt and, worst of all, massive waste and inefficient use of resources as goods are made as cheaply as possible and discarded year upon year in favour of the marketing hyped “latest model”. This also re-enforces the belief of non-sustainability as an unavoidable “normality”.Technological UnemploymentThe lost jobs that are never coming back. When employers implement new productivity enhancing technology it often displaces labour, which can no longer be absorbed elsewhere. This mechanism will continue in a reformed Monetary System, with growing unemployment increasing the severity of the world socio/economic crisis. War and poverty are inevitable consequences of the Monetary/Market System economy profit at all costs doctrine, reformed or otherwise.

    Ok, there are still limitations in their economic analysis from our point of view, but this is a great advance on some of the ideas some of them used to express on their now defunct global forum.Maybe there’s hope for them yet !

    #86685
    Brian
    Participant
    DJP wrote:
    Thought I’d repost this comment from another thread as it could lead to an interesting discussion

    Ozymandias wrote:
    Just an example of the utterly undemocratic nature of TZM that they can just wipe their forums with no recourse or consultation with any of their “members”. Apparently their supreme leader PJ was unhappy with the amount of “useless noise” on the forums…a crazy decision in my estimation for an organisation that is stagnating, mostly in my opinion due to the stranglehold of PJ’s arrogance and chauvinism. Although in a way he did a bit of a favour to our class by producing his movies, he still just wants his entry in the history books at the end of the day. For me the Zeitgeist global forum was the thing that kept me hooked…in fact it was one of the most entertaining sources of novel information out there. How they expect to grow without it now it is a mystery to me. I think they are on their way out now anyway and are already being replaced by the “occupy” movements sprouting up worldwide. Zeitgeist itself was the child of “reclaim the streets” and the anti globalisation protests of the late 90’s and eventually the occupy wall street movement might very well be overtaken by something else…real moneyless socialism? God knows.

    Whilst I don’t think it’s right to say TZM is a child of ‘Reclaim the Streets’, it’s more the child of the conspiracy-loon circuit, the popularity of this contributing to its initial success.I think this whole episode is another illustration of how this ‘movement’ could by defacto be nothing than a following. The activist arm of the ‘venus project’ ended up looking very strange after the venus project (which is the work of just two people) disassociated itself from it.I can only hope that people who did find Zeitgeist to be an inspiration don’t get disillusioned and take up some form of meaningful activity.

    Its been my experience that in order to obtain a concise evaluation of TZM there’s a need to make a distinction between : 1.  What the de facto leadership of TZM pronounce and; 2. What the followers accept and think in respect of the direction of the movement.  The former is easily attainable given that Peter Joseph misses no opportunity to publicize his current thoughts to wider society and the movement in general.  Whereas obtaining a deeper insight on the latter is not so easily detectable – unless of course you become ‘meaningfully active’ and involved with the membership in general.  Generally there is huge confusion on issues relating to what sort of specific activity the movement should be involved with and the IT tools utilised to carry them out.   On top of that there are also concerns on the obvious contradictions on what Peter Joseph says and what he does.  For on the one hand he states there are no ‘Leaders’ in the movement yet on the other does what he thinks is best for the movement.A current example of this occurring is the manner on how the main global site and teamspeak 3 was redesigned without a proper consultation between the chapters and the global development team who supposedly managed the sites.    However an even better example is the “Mission Statement” issued by Peter Joseph without any consultation with the chapters.  A more recent example is the announcement by Peter Joseph that he’s had a change of heart on accepting donations for the movement.  Apparently, if you make a donation towards the making of his next film it has nothing to do with the movement.  Please pull the other one!How long TZM will stick the pace is a guess but when the inevitable does happen socialists need to be in a position to pick up the pieces, which is not going to happen by not being involved with the activists.  Which means making a clear distinction between “meaningful activity” and “involvement”.     

    #86686
    ALB
    Keymaster
    Brian wrote:
    the “Mission Statement” issued by Peter Joseph without any consultation with the chapters. 

    Peter Joseph may have issued this statement but it is difficult to believe that he actually wrote since he is normally more articulate than that while the statement is very badly written.In one part it states:

    Quote:
    The Movement also recognizes the need for transitional Reform techniques, along with direct Community Support. For instance, while “Monetary Reform” itself is not an end solution proposed by The Movement, the merit of such legislative approaches are still considered valid in the context of transition and temporal integrity.

    So they support some kind of “Monetary Reform” (without specifying which) but does anybody know what “temporal integrity” means?

    #86687
    Brian
    Participant
    ALB wrote:
    Brian wrote:
    the “Mission Statement” issued by Peter Joseph without any consultation with the chapters. 

    Peter Joseph may have issued this statement but it is difficult to believe that he actually wrote since he is normally more articulate than that while the statement is very badly written.In one part it states:

    Quote:
    The Movement also recognizes the need for transitional Reform techniques, along with direct Community Support. For instance, while “Monetary Reform” itself is not an end solution proposed by The Movement, the merit of such legislative approaches are still considered valid in the context of transition and temporal integrity.

    So they support some kind of “Monetary Reform” (without specifying which) but does anybody know what “temporal integrity” means?

    From what I can gather the methodolgy used for the mission statement was:  Peter Joseph wrote the draft which was then passed to Ben McLeish for amendments and additions who then passed it to Ray (Gman) – whose the Linguistic Team coordinator – for proofreading and also further amendments and additions who then returned it to Peter Joseph for final approval.  Such a methodology is fraught with difficulties in maintaining the style of language used and the flow of the text.  Knowing Ray (Gman) and the way he works I would guess he was very tempted to re-write the whole statement but knowing this would entail a confrontation with PJ’s ego he done the next best thing and avoided the problem of semantics and ego by attempting to clarify the text.It didn’t work.  However the whole subject of issuing a “Mission Statement” can cause multiple problems in a voluntary organisation.  Firstly, the use of the term “Mission” has religious overtones and implies an attempt to directly convert the reader rather than the reader going through a process of self-conversion.  Secondly, a “Mission Statement” is usually associated with corporate policy which has a legal entity, whereas TZM is in actual fact a volunteer organisation and an unincorporated association which has no legal entity.  However,  PJ has registered TZM under corporate US law to establish personal ownership of the global site and ts 3.  Which may explain why the title “Mission Statement” was used and also his ego?The implications of taking this legal entity action are obvious and once the followers of TZM understand what they actually entail all hell is going to break loose!The third problem with the statement is its far too long and consequently fails to mention in brief details the conditions and circumstances of capitalism and the tools which will be utilised to bring about the proposals for change.  Far better if a “Statement of Intent” or a “Working Purpose” consisting of a paragraph had been written up which could have then gone out for consultation to the chapters.  This process curtails the problems with semantics, contradictions and disagreement.Ray (Gman) and myself have had some discussion over the term “temporal integrity” but never came to any firm conclusions regarding its meaning, other that is only PJ seems to know. Whether or not Ray (Gman) garners sufficient courage to request an explanation from PJ remains to be seen.  But again knowing how Ray (Gman) works he’s just waiting for the opportunity.My best take on the term is that you suspend your integrity to see you through a transitionary period.

    #86688
    ciro
    Participant

    I believe that the Zeitgeist movement is better than us in communication. In particular, they give the clear idea that they want really to do something and they have a clear idea about to change the word, while we give more the idea to be interested in a never ending debate about people of last 2 centuries. This is not so true. They are good in giving a first general idea that they want to change the word but, as you go more in detail, you only see confusion. While if you go more in detail with us, you discover good ideas and not so much confusion. Most important, Zeitgeist movement is not democratic. For this reason, I believe that it cannot grew too much and is condemned to be followed mostly by young people during the traditional period of their life where they are confused. And I am sure that, if they grew more, they are dangerous as not democratic. Given this, It is obvious that I believe that we should learn from them reg communication. For example, I believe we should five much more attention to this: http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/pamphlets/socialism-practical-alternative

    #86689
    Gian_Maria
    Participant
    ciro wrote:
    believe that the Zeitgeist movement is better than us in communication. In particular, they give the clear idea that they want really to do something and they have a clear idea about to change the word,
    ciro wrote:
    This is not so true. They are good in giving a first general idea that they want to change the word

    I think you meant “world”.

    #86690
    Brian
    Participant

    I agree TZM are better than the World Socialist Movement in utilizing the internet to communicate their proposals.  And some followers seem determined to make it even better! Currently there’s a small dedicated team called the Phoenix project, who are trying to develop an integrated global network platform entitled Global Connect which will have links to a project management system, direct contact between each chapter, links to all the talks by Peter Joseph and co, plus links to other platforms and web pages, etc.I  disagree that a lack of internal democracy is going to hold them back from growing.  In fact this lack of internal democracy is going to bring about their downfall, sooner or later!  Indeed, in my opinion TZM stopped growing once the excitement of the last film wore off and the reality sunk in that TZM is about quantity and not the actual quality of understanding and knowledge on how to bring about a Resource Based Economy.For instance on teamspeak 3 there are numerous quality discussions on what projects would benefit the movements growth but they never really get off the ground because they simply fail to fit in with the de facto leaderships current train of thought.  An example of this is what is currently occurring with the Phoenix project mentioned above. Such a project is ambitious to say the least and it will obviously require separate IT teams developing and creating the content of the platform.  However, its obvious that such a project would eventually make the leadership redundant and consequently its failed in obtaining approval from Peter Joseph and co!   And with the Phoenix project being deemed an unofficial  project by Peter Joseph the project is unable to recruit the necessary IT skills which are essential to its aims.On the other hand to become an official project it has to follow the direction of the leadership and purposely ensure their further entrenchment.   In short if you are a follower of TZM expect to be used and abused.   

    #86691
    HollyHead
    Participant

    Whatever the shortcomings of the TZM it’s clear from the posts and discussion on their now defunct forum that there are plenty of thoughful, concerned, people out there wanting a real change. The question is — where do they go now that PJ has gone in for dummy spitting? How much personal contacts were made between the contributors I wonder? And what might become of those?

    #86692
    Brian
    Participant
    HollyHead wrote:
    Whatever the shortcomings of the TZM it’s clear from the posts and discussion on their now defunct forum that there are plenty of thoughful, concerned, people out there wanting a real change. The question is — where do they go now that PJ has gone in for dummy spitting? How much personal contacts were made between the contributors I wonder? And what might become of those?

    Unfortunately very few socialists have made any personal contact with the activists in TZM.  Why socialists have failed to take an interest beats me.  Personally, my address book has expanded tenfold since I was involved with them.Has to what will occur once TZM goes under I can only try my best to persuade them to take a look at the WSM.  But some will join TVP and others will start up a new movement.

    #86693
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    The Zeitgeist films were what “opened my eyes” so to speak. I’ve since found certain things I disagree with, the biggest being their technocracy-solution. The activism, as in real genuine activism, was so lacking I eventually left. Surprised to learn PJ has gotten so authoritarian in the mean-time.

    #86694
    Brian
    Participant

    Yes I agree the technocracy solution is questionable mainly because of the failure to make a distinction between policy and technical decisions.  It appears TZM assumes that all solutions are only of a technical nature and consequently takes the view its just a simple matter of feeding inputs into a computer until it comes up with the best results scientifically.  Such a decision making process seems to leave to chance what precise information is fed into a computer and who actually feeds the information into a computer.These problems and issues can only be obviated through the adoption of a policy which sets out a criteria that’s acceptable to the community as a whole.  This in turn implies direct participatory democracy needs to be in place to establish what criteria is appropriate to a specific set of circumstances and conditions.Regarding PJ’s authoritarian attitude towards the direction of the movement the latest gaff he’s made is to suggest the possibility of setting up a “paralell government” during the transistion and not entirely clarifiying what he actually means by this term.   Such off the cuff remarks – given his position has founder of TZM – will lead to further confusion and also illustrate that PJ may well have a considerable amount of knowledge at his finger tips but is lacking a basic understanding on the revolutionary process of social evolution.  For the transistion and the next stage in social evolution, wont require a government of any nature but an administration to ensure we have the resources to produce and distribute human needs.

    #86695
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    By PJ’s standards I’m currently a member of TZM (I’m active in the Belgium chapter) There’s lots I don’t like about TZM, for starters the name. I’m still hesitant to talk about TZM and using it’s material because I think it’s incomplete and misleading/vague when it comes to transition. That’s why I try and avoid even mentioning “TZM” or “TVP” until I’m somewhat sure that the person I’m talking to understands the basic train of thought about whats wrong and what needs to happen. Often I don’t get to that point, though.I’m happy working on my own projects with some members of my chapter so I couldn’t care less about what happens to TZM.I’m also quite confident that the people who are already doing good work communicating the ideas will continue doing so regardless of TZM, and those currently “members” who don’t, probably won’t do much in a new movement anyway.We need the masses to understand what is wrong with our systems and the possible alternatives. The masses are very uneducated in general so it will take a lot of dumbing down and spoonfeeding thru visual media and the likes. That for me is the top priority of every activist. This is something PJ and others (including most of the Left) are quite bad at because of their stylistic use of all these complex words that will just fly by the heads of the masses.The occupy movement has done a good job inventing slogans and art that grabs people attention and is easy to understand like “we are the 99%” instantly creates the association with the inequality problems.BTW I completely agree w Brian above, and would like to add that I find it irresponsible to talk about a RBE as if it is already here or for the taking “if only we can get critical mass”We don’t have that level of infrastructure in place and likely won’t in the future. We don’t even have a working small scale model of a RBE yet and TVP is currently focused on making a movie *sigh* We need a LOT of democratic organizing and planning of work before we get to such an integrated automated system as TVP vision and presuming we don’t is likely the main cause why people view TVP as “utopic” and “impossible” and fill the void with their own dystopic imaginations. All that talk about “there is no democracy in a RBE” is definitely NOT helping. 

    #86696
    Brian
    Participant

    By all accounts PJ is now in favour of democracy. 12.32 minutes into the15 Sept interview on Russia Today here is what he says:”If everyone actually was on the plane where they could contribute tosociety, to invent, to engage in a democratic process to create theworld around us technically we would be in a beautiful state”. Nonetheless, after his advocacy of a “parallel government” I’m very dubious of any statement he makes of a poitical nature.Currently there’s a few members in the UK Chapter on TS 3 also advocating the use of edemocracy in a RBE.  They are also into the so called ‘transistional period’ arguments and consequently getting bogged down with a plethora of possibilities.   Which means I’m finding its an uphill battle trying to sort out the wheat from the chaff.  I could do with some help in this respect so the sooner some of you get the courage to venture onto TS 3 the sooner the discussion can broaden into the aspects of the revolutionary process. 

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