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Interview: Peter Joseph on RT: New Value Order (2011)

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If those folks out on the street that Adriana interviewed are representative many people blame Obama or even past-president George Bush for the country's current problems and though we have seen a slew of bad news out for Obama, just to give you a handful: his approval ratings are 43%. They used to be 69%. A NY Senate seat historically held by a Democrat went to a Republican for the first time since 1923. Solyndra, the solar panel making plant who got stimulus money is facing bankruptcy and is now a scandal for the administration and poverty has hit record highs. But my next guest argues this is not about Obama. It's not even about politics. It is about needing a total overhaul of society. And Peter Joseph, filmmaker and founder of the Zeitgeist Movement coming off of his inaugural Zeitgeist Media Festival is here to talk about his solutions. Thank you for being here. It's nice to see you. So to start out...- Thank you for having me. - Absolutely! You argue the solutions to social problems are not politics. What exactly are the solutions called for by the Zeitgeist Movement? To understand the solutions you really have to understand what the problems are. In the broad view what we're faced with right now is basically the end of a paradigm with respect to our social system. It's not ending because of some bad policy or some political malfeasance or any kind of economic issue. It's ending because it can no longer sustain itself by the natural evolution of human society and technology and the inherent mechanisms that define this system which are slowly growing out of control like a cancer. We have a debt-based currency system. Interest is charged on the money that's loaned that doesn't exist outright in the money supply. That, at its very core seed is really why you see these sovereign debt defaults corporate debt defaults, personal debt defaults across the world. We have $60 trillion of private and public debt in America alone. You can do the math on how much that is per person. It's only going to grow as well and this is just the nature of this system. We have an unemployment crisis, which is really driven by technology. Technological unemployment has been the major attribute that has moved people from sector to sector. The illusion of most economists is that they say "Technology is actually creating jobs." That's actually a convoluted logic. What happens is (and you can see this if you track the industrial revolution to the modern point you see this very clearly) but what happens is we start off with a certain sector: everyone's employed. Technology comes in, displaces human labor and slowly other sectors emerge usually on the basis of other technologies. It's a natural consequence but it actually isn't a resolution and actually isn't creating anything. What we're going to end up with is the necessity to have everyone either a lawyer or working in the entertainment industry because there's no way you're going to have a manufacturing sector with people actually employed. There's no way you're going to have a service sector with people actually employed because the cost efficiency that's enabled by technology overrides the need for human labor. What happened to Bank of America recently? They just laid off 40,000 people. Do they understand what they're doing? They're actually laying off... I just want to get in here to continue the conversation because how do you separate out... I hear what you're saying about technology and about the entertainment industry. I've lived in LA but I do want to know how you can separate out all of the jobs that we've seen go overseas to countries like China and all of the people we've seen move into a financial system that people say is overbanked in this country. There have been a transition in industry and jobs. There absolutely have been, but the question is when you have 96% of the human population mostly in the West which has the majority of the labor working in the service sector which is now being replaced by automated kiosks and many other advanced technological mediums, where is the next sector? I want to point out that I look at this on a global scale. I'm not interested in American unemployment or in any country's specifics because it's one society. It's one world, one economy. The question to be asked is: Why will the majority of people eventually be unemployed on the planet? That's because of technology. You can forget about outsourcing and all of that. The only thing to learn from that is that industry and its prime motivation to corporation shareholders, is to make sure they maintain a profit. Displacing human labor because of the cost-efficiency enabled by technological automation is the contradiction and collapse of capitalism that many economic theorists have talked about for the past 100 years including John Maynard Keynes. - Right This is an inevitable evolution and it's not going to stop. You're saying the problem is capitalism. What are you saying is the solution? The solution is a completely different reordering of how we actually engage materials, how we create production and how people actually contribute to society. If you recognize this reality that the market system as we know it which is the bedrock of the capitalist free enterprise system, whatever you want to call it... If we recognize this phenomenon as phasing out and mark my words the jobs are not coming back across the board. They can't! The system will not enable it by its inherent logic. When you realize this, you start to open up your mind. You think to yourself "If technology can provide all of these tools to enhance production..." By the way, technological unemployment is inverse to productivity across the world which means the less people we have working in industry the more we apply technology, the more production capabilities we actually have which is amazing. What this means is that we can use technology. We can free ourselves create an entirely different social system based on maximizing our efficiency hence our sustainability through advanced methods of production and eventually providing for literally the entire human species if we put our mind to it and overcome all the traditionalized barriers that are stopping us because of this traditionalized notion we think is empirical in society. - You're calling for something really untraditional, but what is it? It kind of sounds like getting rid of capitalism and putting in what? You can give it names. It's about appreciating a train of thought about what we're doing and how it can actually benefit human society and create the best public health and safety providing for as many people on the planet as possible. If you want to give it a name, you can call it a Resource-Based Economy or a resource-based economic model because really what is the foundation of human society? It's resources. It's resources, not only of the physical gold food and all of those attributes, it's also the mental resource. We have people wasting their lives as secretaries and in industries that don't produce anything such as Wall Street and advertising. Can you tell me what they're producing that actually helps anybody directly? There really isn't anything. These are filler concepts that actually don't contribute. If you take the approach that we live off of resources and you organize those resources you make the most efficient production system you can based on what technical knowledge allows us to do: scientific understanding. You reorient society to let people actually engage in occupations that actually do something, instead of spending all of our high... taking all of our scientists and putting them on military operations right now. They could be using that same engineering resource and mental capacity to benefit all the world's people and create a material abundance. No one could ever be starving on this planet. This is statistically proven, even with the current inefficiencies we have now. To summarize, we have resource-based economic model. It's a ground-up approach to resource management and we make everything as efficient and productive as possible, technically. No monetary evaluation no monetary association because all that does is interfere and cause more problems and limit our possibility. - I want to keep this conversation going because I do want to hit on a number of things here: What about government? What does that look like? What about individual freedom? - Ask yourself a question: What is individual freedom? Is it walking into a job that you probably had no control over in the sense of your necessity for income more or less a private dictatorship that people go into from 9 to 5? Is that freedom? Is freedom what you get money for to go and buy? Is it your freedom to go into a store and pick between 28 different varieties of cereal that you can choose from. What is freedom? Maybe not. - The system that we talk about...- Go ahead. The system that we speak of actually will enable a level of freedom for human society never before seen. To answer your question: what is government? Government is really a failure of the economic system. What does a government do? They create laws to regulate economic functions, not to mention all the aberrations that come from the lack of economic efficiency that we have meaning violence, property crimes which is the majority of it. They also engage in military operations against other sovereign nations so they can better themselves and protect themselves over time. These are basically the only two things that government actually does if you really sit down and look at it. Politicians have no technical orientation. They mirror value systems. They manipulate people's values so people will identify with them and say "Oh, I like them!" It doesn't matter if they have a plan. None of these politicians running for the US presidency have any plan whatsoever as far as what the unemployment issue and the debt issue really require what the energy issue really requires, which are firmly technical. Government in the future will literally be the management of the planet, producing exactly what we can produce with the highest efficiency to benefit the world's people. This is what a true economic model would be. What is economics? It's defined in Greek as the management of a household. The planet is our household. A true economic model is proper efficient management of this household not the use of money as a commodity and all the distortion that has emerged from that process. - But Peter, it sounds a little bit like this is a utopic vision of society. What is one example you have seen that you believe that this will work because you've seen it happen? - First of all, utopia assumes a finality. There's no such thing as a finality. We're just trying to update society to present-day knowledge. Remember our notions of economics and politics are based on traditional ideas that go back hundreds if not thousands of years. These are completely outdated social structures that do not resemble any of our scientific ingenuity at this point in time and our ability to actually to care for the human population which is what a society is supposed to do, right? The best example you can have are first nations' people that actually understood what it meant to live off the land. They understood the carrying capacity of their region and that you don't pollute the stream that they drink from which is something industry does every single day right now for its necessity to maintain cost-efficiency. The very simplistic notion... - Let me ask you this then. I don't want to go back and work the land. I love what I do. I'm a journalist. I enjoy it a lot. I'm not just going to give that up. How do you actually make what you're talking about, happen? The bio-social pressures that will emerge and inhibit your life and that of your family and everyone else on this planet through time as this system completely deteriorates will make you question what you value with respect to what you like to do. It's not an issue of what any of us like. It's an issue of what is right and what's sustainable for the human species what will actually work for us a society without causing conflict and all the deprivation and problems that continue to deteriorate our standard of living and create much less safety through society. If you ask the question "I like to do this" you'd have to ask yourself why. Is there anything in your history maybe that you liked to do other than that? Is there anything in your childhood that you aspired to that maybe you couldn't do because you had to find a wedge into this system to make sure you got paid for your occupation which is what all of us have to do. It's kind of an open question. I think when people begin to evaluate what's happening now they will change their values. They'll begin to see "Maybe I should contribute to society?" You're speaking to a person who worked on Wall Street and in advertising two of the most meaningless occupations on the planet. I know very much about values because I used to identify with those types of things. I asked myself "What am I doing?" What am I actually doing to contribute to society? This waste of my brain... If everyone actually was on the plane where they could contribute to society, to invent to engage in a democratic process, to create the world around us technically that would be a beautiful state. We would have many Einsteins many Da Vincis, many powerful minds emerge that are not oppressed by this necessity to come into a monetary system that restricts their possibility. What incentivizes them if they don't have the ability to gain anything other than the good of the people? They're gaining much more than they'd ever gain in this system. They're gaining a peace of mind, an understanding. They're gaining the resources they need and a community. They're gaining not a competitive, oscillating defensive posture where you're always out for yourself in this primitive capitalist system that we have today which is actually a pseudo social system because it's assumed by 'the invisible hand' that everyone fighting among themselves will somehow manifest for the greater good which is provably not the case. What we have here is a different value orientation where when you contribute to society, it comes back to you. If I have an amazing invention, I invent it not because I want monetary gain; I know when I invent it, it comes back to me just as it goes to everyone else and when everyone else invents something or comes up with a new idea it comes to them and everyone else . The social interest must become, excuse me... Self-interest must become social interest if we expect to survive as a species. Otherwise you're going to see... - Peter, it doesn't seem like we would be able to convince a large number of people to do this without conflict and some would argue that the Bolshevik revolution showed rulers of the world at that time what happens if you don't listen to the have-nots which are who suffer in the capitalist system that you're critical of. Are we at that moment again, yet? I wouldn't conflate such issues. First, you have to step back and look at the technical orientation. You can't say "This will never happen because of where we are today." That's the wrong train of thought. If everyone thought like that we wouldn't be anywhere. If you realize the technical orientation of what's possible to meet the needs of the human population, to eliminate war. If we simply worked together to share resources, to create almost an infinite amount of energy, if we applied our technology correctly if we applied these things from the ground up, realizing the train of thought there's no argument to what we can do from here. It's simply a matter of getting it done. In my experience as I engage this movement and I begin to talk to people about this issue I'm amazed at how fast they realize it. There might be some baggage there but you're eventually going to hit an exponential increase of people who want a massive social change. Why? Because they have to have it. Their survival depends on it. - But what is it going to be in the form of, some kind of revolution? - It depends on how you define revolution. The real revolution is revolution of values not a violent revolution, not a revolution of overcoming the state. The Zeitgeist Movement's work is here to bring in people with a common value set in a global community (which is why we're a global entity obviously) and from that pressure, from this mere understanding change will be affected. Now I could go on other tangents about how civil disobedience and different programs could emerge within the movement, but that's irrelevant at this point. If people understand, as the human species as a whole what's possible, what the real problem is and what the solution actually is then it becomes a self-correcting system. The problem is educational. I think even politicians, even the highest level people in government, will wake up to this and eventually the transition will emerge on its own accord. - That's pretty optimistic considering how much the political elite benefit from their power but I appreciate you being here to sort this all out with me and tell us your theories and answer some of the questions that come out of them. That was Peter Joseph filmmaker and founder of the Zeitgeist Movement fresh off the Zeitgeist Festival.

Video Details

Duration: 16 minutes and 20 seconds
Year: 2011
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: RT
Director: RT
Views: 160
Posted by: ltiofficial on Sep 20, 2012

Peter Joseph's Sept. 14th 2011 interview with Russia Today News.

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