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Peter Joseph - Defining Peace (Repository)

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Peter Joseph / The Zeitgeist Movement 'Defining Peace' lecture - February 12th, 2012 'ZFest', Tel Aviv, Israel Shalom! At times like this, I really wish I spoke Hebrew. I have no idea what he just said, but I'm going to make a quick introduction before I begin the formal speech in great gratitude to The Zeitgeist Movement Israel that have made this possible. [Applause] So ... my name is Peter Joseph. I work with an organization called The Zeitgeist Movement. While most of my talks are about inherent economic inefficiencies which are fueling the majority of the civil unrest, ecological abuse and general deprivation we see in the world today coupled with highlighting existing, yet unapplied scientific realizations that could solve such problems in general not to mention creating in effect a new societal design originating out of another form of thought that would virtually guarantee environmental and social sustainability if implemented, the central focus of this talk is a little bit more temporal. It's different than any other talk I've ever given. The title of this presentation is 'Defining Peace: Economics, the State and War'. It's divided into 4 sections. The first is entitled 'The History of Human Conflict and the Human Nature Debate'. As the evidence will show, the stubborn concept that we humans are inherently and inalterably aggressive and territorial will be addressed. Finding that early societies actually did not engage in mass warfare and that most conflicts especially the large scale mobilization we see in the modern world are actually the result of conditions real or contrived that lure the human being into a position of aggression. This will then lead us into the consideration of our environmental condition and the structural and psychological modes that encompass it leading to the understanding that when it comes to war the condition as we know it is set by the state generally speaking. Part 2: 'The State: Character and Coercion'. We will consider the origin of the modern state and its characteristics. It's been found that there's an average set of qualities that pertain to these concentrations of power. Moreover and more profoundly, the influence of the state on the values of the culture will be addressed especially regarding loyalty, patriotism and how easy it has been for a very small number of political and invariably commercial interests to entice the public that their wars are moral, right and beneficial. Then in Part 3: 'The Culture of War: Business, Ownership and Competition' a deeper look at the underlying condition motivation which appears to have created the state and its power and the war propensity itself will be considered, focusing on the roots of our social system and how not only is war natural to the current economic methods we use, it is inevitable. It will be expressed that the structural basis and resulting psychology that exists in the monetary market system of economics that governs the world today is the core driver of human conflict in the world overall. In the final section, Part 4: 'Defining Peace: a New Social Contract' we will consider the causal logic of what we have described prior and in a basic reductionist method, deduce what societal characteristics actually support peace, and what do not and inevitably how we as a world society can reset our societal condition to allow for this newfound human balance before it's too late. However, before we begin, I need to address a broader issue that I feel is understated in the world. It seems to sit at the core of society as historically lackluster inability to change (which I think we all might notice) not only in the context of global warfare which we see as almost natural in the world today, unfortunately, but also with respect to common sense social changes for the better which are systematically rejected, without legitimate logical defenses. Very simply, it appears that traditional sentiment is constantly in conflict with emergent knowledge. For example, once an ideological institution is established usually with the basic consensus of the population at large a time-immemorial distinction emerges which implies that this practice or belief is now empirical to the human condition and will last forever. We see this characteristic in religious, political and economic thought most pervasively, but overall no intellectual discipline or social advent seems to be immune. Even those who call themselves scientists claiming to hold dear the vigorous ethic demanded by the scientific method often fall victim to traditional biases and erroneous loyalties, skewing their findings. Those loyalties are almost always born out of a traditional, customary culture and its dominant institutions with which those personalities are groomed. I think Dr. Gabor Maté put this issue very well: "It is simply a matter of historical fact that the dominant intellectual culture of any particular society reflects the interests of the dominant group in that society. In a slave-owning society, the beliefs about human beings and human rights will reflect the needs of the slave owners. In a society which is based on the power of certain people to control and profit from the lives and work of millions of others the dominant intellectual culture will reflect the needs of the dominant group. If you look across the board, the ideas that pervade psychology, sociology history, political economy [and] political science fundamentally reflect certain elite interests. The academics who question that too much tend to get shunted to the side or to be seen as sort of 'radicals'." A cursory glance at ideas which were once considered absurd, impossible, subversive or even dangerous which later evolved to serving human progress shows a clear pattern of how wrong we can be in our loyalties. Hence it is axiomatic to say that many ideas which will enable progress and benefit society in the future will be hideously opposed and fought in the present-day. It seems the more broadly beneficial the new idea, in hindsight, the worse the initial reaction is, by contemporary culture. A classic case and point is the gruelingly slow recognition of the mechanistic nature of scientific causality in the world, an understanding and method which has literally facilitated every single attribute of human progress in history from the solutions of disease resolution to the advent of abundance-producing technology to our understanding of the human condition itself and how the planet works. The scientific method, which is really the materialization of logic and application was not only met with the most heretical condemnation by those institutions of political and religious power historically it is, I'm sad to say, still rejected today in many areas of thought and application. Anti-science perspectives tend to reside with issues of supposed morality argued in a vast wasteland of subjective perspectives. A classic example is the highlighting of technological advances that have been used for detrimental purposes, such as weaponry which of course clearly has nothing to do with technology but with the distortion of motivation by the culture who's using it. A more sophisticated claim is that the scientific method is simply not objective. You will find this view held by early Western philosophers like Thomas Hobbes or Robert Boyle. Here I can actually find some sympathy but only with respect to a certain irony given the ongoing interference of cultural victimization on the outcome of ostensibly scientific conclusions, as noted before. So-called scientists are not to be confused with the method of science. Very often the cultural influence and deposits of value are simply too strong of a bias to allow for the objectivity required. The more controversial the new scientific finding the more dissonance usually occurs, and that's what the historical record shows. In a classic text by authors Cohen and Nagel entitled 'An Introduction to Logic and the Scientific Method' (a book I recommend) this point was very well stated with respect to the process of empirical logical evaluation and its independence from human psychology. It states "The logical distinction between valid and invalid inference does not refer to the way we think (the process going on in someone's mind). The weight of evidence is not itself a temporal event but a relation of implication between certain classes or types of propositions. Of course, thought is necessary to apprehend such implications however, that does not make physics a branch of psychology. The realization that logic can not be restricted to psychological phenomenon will help us to discriminate between our science and our rhetoric conceiving the latter as the art of persuasion or of arguing so as to produce the feeling of certainty. Our emotional dispositions make it very difficult for us to accept certain propositions, no matter how strong the evidence in their favor. Since all proof depends on the acceptance of certain propositions as truth no proposition can be proved true to one who is sufficiently determined not to believe it." What is it that comprises that force that stops what we would call objective thought? Cultural conditioning and its values. Seems very obvious, but unfortunately we're all victim to this. We humans have no spontaneous thoughts or actions. We are causal organisms perpetuating a chain of ideas and reactions always existing in an 'intermediate tenure' if you will. So, coming back to the central context, it is critical to point out that there is nothing more ingrained in a culture sense of identity than the broad social institutions we are born into and the values they perpetuated. The older the tradition is the stronger the fight to preserve it. Hence the world, in many respects, is now an accelerating clash between stubborn traditional conceits upheld by institutions which continue to gain from their exploitation and the emergent, scientific reality and logical assessment that is proven to illuminate the closest approximation to truth we have as a species. As I begin this assessment of the nature of war and peace a controversial subject indeed, I'd like everyone to listen to themselves monitor their own personal reactions to the statements that I make. When you encounter something you don't agree with, honestly ask yourself where is that dissonance originating from? Is it coming from a technical analysis where the variables are being taken into account on their own merit absent the messenger? Or is that disagreement coming from perspectives which just might be based on cultural value comforts, which for better or worse, have defined what you think is empirical normality regardless if it's true or not. That noted, let's get a few things out of the way regarding myself given the sensitive territory I'm about to embark. I am not here to speak with condemnation of any country, political party religious claim or institution at all. I'm not here to argue in favor of war or say against US imperialism. I'm not here to even inflame bias in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict nor am I here to pose judgment on any party or power explicitly despite the endless notable atrocities illuminated by history. Why? Because when it comes to change, and I mean real change all currently received angles of common debate and their postulated, inner-systems solutions 'in the box' are invalid when the broad context is understood regarding war. We need to think on a different level now. Given that frame of reference, I cannot logically be loyal to any country. I have no loyalty to any person, guru or leader or any respect to submission. I hold no loyalty to any race, religion political party or established ideological creed and most importantly, I hold no empirical faith of permanence in any assumption of supposed fact historical, current or future, beyond the understanding that all known human conceptions will evolve change, refine, from here until the end of our existence. The only constant is change. [Applause] The only constant is obviously change. While that seems like a self-canceling paradox the purpose of the historical record itself is really for us to gain inference from everything we see in history whatever the discipline may be and when we apply the scientific method of evaluation to its patterns we can draw relevant conclusions. That is basically what we do with our minds. Science is our tool for creating a better world for all human beings while preserving the habitat and very simply (as this work will describe) it is only when we change the structure of the predominant global social system namely its economic premise, which precedes all others in causality that what could be called 'world peace' is possible. Part One: The History of Human Conflict and the Human Nature Debate. It appears that much of the world's cultures still possess largely superstitious views of human conduct territoriality and supposed inevitabilities of war both from the standpoint of offensive provocation and defense. It has been argued historically that humans have an innate tendency for violence implying at the extreme cases that regardless of the nature of the circumstance violent, domineering behavior will erupt almost randomly like a pressure valve releasing steam. Therefore, as the logic goes, the posture of war and protection is deemed a natural, inevitable consequence for everyone. This idea has taken on various metaphysical forms in history with likely the most notable being the religious notion of evil and good: evil existing as a spiritual force that simply cannot be stopped only protected against. As will be discussed more later, this use of the good and evil duality along with many other truly superstitious assumptions is still very much a part of the motivating political rhetoric that works to entice public support for the states' wars. A powerful tool of propaganda indeed, especially given the fact that the majority of humans on this planet still assume such religious forms of causality, hence the inherent credulity. However, if you were to ask most moderately-educated individuals what they mean by the term 'evil' the definition would probably be relegated ostensibly to the scientific notion of human instinct. Given the near contextual equivalent of these notions in context I think Dr. James Gilligan of Harvard University Center for Study of Violence in America had the most direct response. He states "One reason the instinctual argument for violent behavior is to support the status quo. If violence is innate and instinctual, then clearly there is no point in trying to change our social and economic system." What does history and modern science really show with respect to the human sociological condition regarding patterns of violence with respect to the human nature debate? Have they found the 'war gene' that enables this instinct for us to come in mass and kill other people? Is there anything in the physical sciences that can express an empirical causality residing in the evolutionary biology or even the evolutionary psychology of the human organism to express violence inevitably? The answer as modern sociobiological research has shown is clearly 'no'. It is found that the entire basis of assumption that has drawn the conclusion that humans are innately violent comes from a narrow comparison of events with high levels of omission, with respect to what circumstances or conditions brought about those events. In fact, there is only one universal factor that can be measured with respect to development and execution of violence whether civilian or military, and that is the environment. The only known trackable, universal variable is the nature of the environment, physical and sociological which the human being has been raised into or exists in. In fact, at the very core of our human definition is really the environment itself, something I find quite interesting. As a species, our physical and mental facilities were selected and left remaining by biological evolution with respect to what best enables our fitness and hence survival. We are literally manifest of the physical environment and the natural physical laws that govern that environment. This is what evolution is: a shaping process of the universe to slowly conform new emerging entities to existing conditions so they work. This is why we exist on Earth and have the components we do breathing air versus existing on Venus. If we evolved there, we'd have very different components to be able to survive there, if we could survive at all. Even our gene expression, which is assumed to be at the core of our supposedly fixed human nature psychology is actually controlled by environmental stimulus (something people don't talk about enough). For example, if you take a child at birth and place him or her in a dark room for a certain period, the genetic propensity to see will simply not develop. If you take an infant at birth and feed it and house it yet never touch or give affection to that young infant not only would that child not grow, it will likely die because affection is intrinsic to the infancy stage of development: environmental influence. In the end, what is found is that the single greatest determining factor influencing the human organism in the long and short term is the environment around us, with our genes reacting to that stimulus within a certain range of possibility. The more we learn about this relationship the larger the range of possibility seems to reveal itself, on many levels. The largest range of possibilities enabled by environmental causality is on the level of culture. When we realize the magnitude of cultural influence on human psychology and hence sociology, we are left with the glaring realization that the most profound imperative we have when it comes to changing human behavior is to change the circumstance we exist in both with regard to primal core survival, such as access to the necessities of life and safety, to the subtle educational and cultural influences that shape the way we view the world and each other. To be clear, that isn't to say humans do not have an evolutionarily derived nature. Our general instinct to live, to procreate to even defend ourselves if threatened most certainly we have these tendencies; we are not blank slates. The consideration of our common auto responses or so-called instincts are indeed still factors to consider in general in the equation. But the equation is so greatly skewed that what has been found is that we have a predictable range of behavior based almost entirely upon the conditions present and the difference between one human being picking up a weapon and killing another in cold blood as the institution of war formally demands and one who chooses not to, is purely a cultural contrivance. What separates a serial killer who profiles a group of people for systematic murder and a soldier who does the same thing? Where does the moral line draw? To me, as controversial as it may seem, it doesn't draw for there really is no moral line at all when the circumstances of the person are considered. For each person is and can only be a consequence of their environment whether biologically induced or culturally programmed and the latter holds far more weight than the former when it comes to human behavior and choice. Sorry to drill it in. For those who might think such a notion is dangerous and cold, no morality perhaps with the assumption that we humans require some type of moral guidance for civility, such as the traditional religious commandment: "Thou shalt not kill." I ask you from a more pragmatic standpoint: Have these age-old ideals done anything to stop the seemingly endless global violence human abuse towards each other and the anti-human exploitations that exist on a daily basis? The answer is obviously 'no'. Imposed philosophic morality will not save the world. Only a calculated tangible plan to alter our circumstances so that such actions pose no merit will stop what we consider to be immoral behavior. With that out of the way, let's take a brief examination of history with its relationship to conflict. I'm going to start in a place you might not expect: our primate ancestors. Older anthropological studies that have attempted to justify human violence would often compare humans to our earlier stages of evolution for their pattern recognition. It seems logical on the surface since we share about 95 - 99% of the DNA of chimpanzees and other primates in that spectrum. Sounds impressive. It might also sound impressive that fruit flies share about 60% of human genes but that connection to behavior is dubious at best, I think we'd all admit. That's because the sharing of genes in this context has almost no relevance whatsoever as counterintuitive as that approach is. Regardless, there are indeed common behaviors relating to violence we do see between human society and non-human primate society such as social stratification, even pure murder elements of organized violence, revenge reactions trust and antitrust responses and a number of other reactions that we certainly recognize in our own species. Yet, like human culture, they also show unique variations and exceptions to this behavior based on experiences and conditions which make such notions of trait universality difficult to diagnose empirically. For example, an anthropologist and neuroscientist at Stanford University who spent decades studying a baboon troop in Africa was amazed to witness a social transformation in this troop after the Alpha males of the group became poisoned by accident and died leaving only the lower, less aggressive classes in the troop. This removal of the Alphas and their troop dominance apparently transformed this group into one with much lower levels of violence and aggression than he had ever seen before, not only for that existing generation, even a decade later due to this environmental cultural shift in the troop they still maintained low levels of aggression. Even when they acquire new males that migrate from other troops who have those normal aggressive tendencies. They are actually able to condition those new members into equally lower patterns of aggression on average hence the cultural conditioning. It's a very unique finding. Does that mean that baboons can be conditioned to wear business suits and drive cars to peace rallies and sing John Lennon's song 'Imagine'? Of course not. We're dealing with a range of behavior. Therefore the pertinent question becomes: What is the range of the human being? It appears that the more simple the organism is in biology (especially its cognitive development if there is any) the less flexibility it has. The classic example would be ants, who show steadfast predictable behaviors almost to the extent that they are mere chemical machines unfolding in an automatic way but the more complex the organism, generally speaking, the more versatile. If you examine what we understand now about human brain evolution from its reptilian status to early mammalians to the late mammal changes, reasonable evidence suggests that the current state of our cerebral cortex, especially the neo-cortex is what enables a very unique, adaptive understanding and flexibility we take for granted in human society, or even don't recognize. This is also clearly evident in the vast, varied cultural expressions we see and have seen in the world historically. It's a unique thing, where on one side of the planet you can have pacifist communities with little to no violence while the other side: systematic daily slaughter. Given no evidence to support true psychological differences in say races, only the regional conditions and culture can explain these vast differences. This leads me to a general history of human society and warfare. Likely the best place to start is the vast period of human existence as hunter-gatherers before the Neolithic Revolution and the advent of agriculture and common tools which was roughly 12,000 years ago. We often forget that 99% of what we define as Homo-Sapien (us) existed in largely non-stratified, egalitarian social structures with low levels of violence, and the pattern of mass-mobilization for warfare as we know it, virtually nonexistent. The few hunter-gatherer groups that still exist today in isolated pockets still show support for this general, peaceful manner. However, it appears that after the Neolithic Revolution with the advent of us being able to control our environment hence production and stockpiling of food the creation of tools, the ordering of labor rules, etc., the seeds of our current socioeconomic system were planted. For example it is easy to see how the basic concept of value as derived from one's labor manifested a protectionist and reciprocal system of exchange of labor, even though such value and market notions were not formally realized until the 17th or 18th centuries. As this progression continued from the Neolithic Revolution the passive often nomadic lifestyles of the hunter-gatherer slowly became replaced with the settled, protectionist tribes and then eventually localized city-type societies. It is here where we begin to see warfare as we know it including the technology that enables this weaponry which is a conversation in and of itself. In the words of Richard A. Gabriel in a text called 'A Short History of War' "The invention and spread of agriculture coupled with the domestication of animals in the 5th [millenium] BC are acknowledged as the developments that set the stage for the emergence of the first large-scale, complex urban cities. These societies which appear almost simultaneously around 4000 BC in Egypt and Mesopotamia used stone tools but within 500 years stone tools and weapons gave way to bronze. With bronze manufacture came a revolution in warfare." Likewise, it is also the period that the concept of the state and the permanence of the armed force emerged. "These early civilizations produced the first example of state-governing institutions initially as centralized chiefdoms and later as monarchies. At the same time, centralization demanded the creation of an administrative structure capable of directing social [activity and resources towards communal goals.] The development of central state institutions and a supporting administrative apparatus inevitably gave form and stability to military structures. The result was the expansion and stabilization of the formerly loose and unstable warrior castes. By 2700 BC in Sumer there was a fully articulated military structure and standing army organized along modern lines. The standing army emerged as a permanent part of the social structure and was endowed with strong claims to social legitimacy and has been with us ever since." Since that time of those early forms of modern civilization there have been thousands of wars most of which have to do with the acquisition of resources or territory where one group is either working to expand its power and material wealth or working to protect itself from others trying to conquer and absorb it. This is essentially still the same state of affairs today. The question to be asked is: Why the persistence of the tendency? Where's the root origin? What motivates an army to kill in a controlled cold manner for the sake of the state's benefit? As will be expanded upon as we continue this talk the tendency for war is not a universal human trait that demands expression but a very sensitive vulnerability to one's sense of social identity, sense of acceptance, fear and general personal concern which if properly organized can be manipulated into the service of one group over another. The human nature debate regarding violence which shows no universals does reveal a highly probable response tendency when certain environmental stimulus is presented to the human to generate fear or offense. What has been set in motion since the early period of modern warfare is not some anomaly of human society nor does it appear to be an unstoppable human tendency. Rather, it appears to be a natural characteristic of: 1) The function of the state institution and its inherent need for control along with [2)] the core of its origin the foundational economic assumptions of resource scarcity superstition and the psychology it perpetuates. Part Two: The State: Character and Coercion Since the very nature of modern warfare is almost universally representative of a larger social entity and governmental apparatus known as the state let's consider its basic characteristics in general. The first to note is its basis in self-protection, obviously. Since the state was born out of tribal sovereignty where independent authority is claimed over a geographical area (a region which had been stolen from some other group who will likely claim the same thing at some point) the issue of protection is inherent and consequential Not only protection from external forces but from what can be rightfully called in feudalistic terms 'its subjects'. These subjects are also historically held to hold a duty or responsibility to the state's institutional preservation. This medieval remnant is not only with respect to "serving your country" such as joining the armed forces, but also found in the notions of treason sedition and other legal protections that work directly against the citizenry if they were to get out of line, too far. It is also worth pointing out that these elements of internal protection have been updated by more modern means such as with the fairly new concept of 'the terrorist' and its inherently open, ambiguous distinction which can be applied to both foreign and domestic citizens enabling an even more flexible form of internal protection due to its ambiguity. As far as the broad characteristics and nature of interaction of states state entities (excuse me) across the world it is generally safe to break them up into categories of superpowers powers, sub-powers and in feudalistic terms, vassal states. After the Cold War, the US is noted to have emerged as the world's first superpower as defined by its military and economic might. The powers, many of which are gaining traction today and could now be called parallel superpowers are the other large economies such as China, Britain, Russia, etc. each always with enormous military power as well. The sub-powers could be considered the more passive yet independent states, which is the majority while the vassal states are the ones that operate in subservience to the power states, often providing economic advantage through subjugation, on one level or another. With respect to subjugation, this is a core characteristic of the predatory nature of the state institution. It is worth pointing out that the tactics of subjugation which is what in many ways facilitates the state's power status have changed over time in effect becoming more covert in its warfare. Some of these methods are not physically violent at all at least not on the surface. These include economic warfare approaches which serve as complete acts of aggression in and of themselves or a part of a procedural prelude to traditional military action, which comes in the form of trade tariffs sanctions, debt by coercion and many other lesser known, covert methods which typically have to do with a sense of debt with dealings of the World Bank or the IMF or the United Nations in the sense of sanctions. These globally sanctioned, financial institutions have heavy vested business and hence state interests behind them and have the power to impose debt to bail out suffering countries at the expense of the quality of life of its citizenry often taking charge of natural resources or industries through select privatization or other manners that could weaken a country's ability to the effect that it becomes reliant on others and their industries. This is simply a more covert form of subjugation than we saw with the British Empire during its imperial expansion and the East India Company, the commercial force that took advantage of the newly conquered regional resources and labor in Asia in the 19th century. Some analysts will compare the British Empire to the United States and examine how the fact that the US gained its status through not just military pressure alone but through the presence of this very covert complex economic strategy which repositions other countries into subjugation to US economic and geo-economic interests. Why? Because as will be addressed in more detail in Part Three despite the superstitious rhetoric to the contrary the state is nothing more than a manifestation and extension of the economic paradigm. It is an economic entity in its purest form and this is something many today seem not to fully understand. The conduct of the state is based around methods of re-securing itself by whatever means necessary. Those who condemn for example the United States as a corporate, commercial state empire as though such a disposition is an anomaly of state power behavior are not taking into account the very economic premise upon which it is based, as we will discuss as we go along. Those basic issues aside let's now hone more into the coercive tendency of the state with respect to its war posture. Since behind the state (as with any institution) are human beings and their values, the issue of mass-conditioning to support the state's integrity is paramount to its survival. As history has shown, when it comes to war the public at large rarely, if ever initiates the original interest in conflict only the politicians and their benefactors do. Then, they work to entice their subjects for support. Patriotism, honor, the moral crusade: The first thing to notice about all state wars in preparation is that they never express themselves as being offensive only defensive, the common defense as it's called. In the US, the Department of Defense is the name of our war ministry, really. It sounds noble, while also immediately implying the assumption of fear from the external. While the general public sees this fear in a traditional, invasive sense the more relevant fear is on the state level. It is discrete, and the fear has to do with the state power's fear of loss: the loss of power. Perhaps the best expression of this was exemplified in a work by former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski 'The Grand Chessboard' was the name of his work and this book details a series of extremely accurate observations and predictions with respect to what it will take for America to remain as the world's major power, specifically its necessity to control Eurasia and the Middle East. "In this posture, the fear is generated out of an unargued assumption that American global leadership is the only way. And the chess game to preserve, as it were, always should be in our own favor, or else, perhaps the world at large will suffer as a result." It's a classic imperialist apologist view that we the Americans must take over everything because we know better (we and our allies of course). Coupled with this fear-based assumption is that if the US isn't the empire power, then another one will come along and hurt US interests which of course on the level of social maturity at this stage happens to be true (and this is what Brzezinski argues) but at no point is there a viable reflection on social balance. It's simply not considered which is absolutely characteristic of the state entity and its foundation, so we shouldn't blame Brzezinski for his view. He is simply expressing what is sadly normality even though, as we'll describe, is wholly inhumane and extremely unsustainable. He states "America is now the only global superpower and Eurasia is the globe's central arena. Hence what happens to the distribution of power on the Eurasian continent will be of decisive importance to America's global primacy and to America's historical legacy. To put it into terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires the 3 grand imperatives of imperial geo-strategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals to keep tributaries pliant and protected and to keep the barbarians from coming together. Henceforth, the United States may have determined how to cope with regional coalitions that seek to push America out of Eurasia thereby threatening America's status as a global power." If you read this work, which was written about 15 years ago you will notice even right now immediately that the American imperialist state and its allies have been acting upon this specific interest explicitly. However, you will not see the political establishment or mainstream media expressing this view at all to the public in its day-to-day affairs even though Brzezinski will argue it as though it's common sense. Rather, the media, the corporations and the state go back to age-old tactics of psychological coercion which is based entirely upon a metaphysical fantasy kind of rhetoric which utilizes ideas such as faith and moral good patriotism and the idea of honor, fear and common defense and other largely empty concepts which serve only to mobilize the population to support the interests of the warring party. Thorstein Veblen, a sociologist and economist, who will be quoted quite a bit in this presentation, I think put this best in 1917: "Any patriotism will serve as a ways and means to warlike enterprise under competent management, even if the people are not habitually prone to a bellicose temper. Rightly managed, ordinary patriotic sentiment may readily be mobilized for warlike adventure by any reasonably adroit and single-minded body of statesmen of which there is abundant illustration." Abundant illustration indeed for at the core of all social motivation for war rests a subset of such intangible values which are in all reality exceedingly xenophobic neurotic and irrational. Veblen continues "It is also quite a safe generalization that when hostilities have once been got fairly under way by the interested statesman, the patriotic sentiment of the nation may confidently be counted on to back the enterprise irrespective of the merits of the quarrel." I think this is best exemplified today with the common American phrase which probably carries over to other countries "I'm against the war but support the troops!" This is what could be called 'classic Orwellian doublethink' and has been very effective in reducing public outcry which then plays into the concept of honor and the very sacrificial nature of the soldier entities themselves. Here is where the ceremony and elaborate costumes medals, authority appearances find their place. Honor is formalized through ceremonials, medals and postures of respect events and other adornments which impress the public as to the value of the actions of the soldiers and hence the value of the war that they represent. This also creates a cultural taboo where to insult any element of the war apparatus can be seen as showing disrespect to the sacrifice of the Armed Forces and their honor, hence reinforcing the broad illusion that the initiation of wars are noble acts with noble participants. Paired with the notion of honor and the effect of what it represents resides the ultimate tool to crusade: morality. Veblen continues "Any warlike enterprise that is hopeful to be entered on must have the moral sanction of the community or of an effective majority in the community. It consequently becomes the first concern of the warlike statesman to put his moral force in train for the adventure on which he is bent. There are two main lines of motivation: 1) The preservation or furtherance of the community's material interest, real or fancied 2) Vindication of the national honor. To these should perhaps be added a third: the advancement and perpetuation of the [nation's] culture." This last point on the perpetuation of the [nation's] culture is best exemplified by the Western imperial catchphrase of seeking to spread 'Freedom and Democracy' in a metaphysic/religious notion, pure and simple. The actual meaning of this poetically fanciful yet entirely empty phrase has more to do with the perseverance of private interests and their freedom than some moral objection to another country's supposed inhumanity and the interest to 'liberate them' or whatever. In fact, it is no different than the infamous ideological crusades during the Middle Ages which always had an underlying material and territorial interest for the benefit of the few behind the scenes despite the religious overlay we hear in history. I can think of nothing more powerful than the mobilization of religious moral values in service of the few who actually gain from the war enterprise. The notion of freedom and democracy is equally as persuasive as the historical notion of one religious group seeking to save another by invasion and subjugation. I hope that connection is made. That acknowledged, let's consider the general unfolding of the war venture. With the seed of patriotism and ongoing reinforcement of sentiment in a given population whose political constituents seek to motivate for war the first step is usually an event that creates a direct imposition of fear that's coupled with a violation of the national honor metaphysic. Zbigniew Brzezinski understood this well and he stated on the issue "The attitude of the American public toward the external projection of American power has been much more ambivalent. The public supported America's engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. As America becomes an increasingly multicultural society it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived, direct external threat." This can be not only a threat in a real sense but also a metaphysical one in the sense of intangible moral, honor or outrage. If we go through history, say the United States' wars... (as an American this is the history I'm most familiar with) if we go through the US' wars, we find that the point of provocation that leads to war is almost always of a minor nature in proportion to what follows, exacerbated entirely by the irrational moral outrage and honor neurosis that leads to seeking retribution and revenge manipulating the public to believe such things. From the Mexican-American War for example of 1846 that began with a scuffle along the Mexican domination of Texas the news reports proclaimed 'off the cuff' that "Mexicans are killing our boys in Texas!" plastered all over the news. In this little war, stealing land from Mexico cost 30,000 deaths in total over the course of a few years. 30,000 deaths and that's a long time ago. The Vietnam-American War which was provoked by a supposed torpedo attack that didn't kill anybody, yet opened the public support for an involvement that killed about 3.5 million humans! Nearly all of these imperial wars, including the inclusion of the US in world wars, pose proportionally nominal inflictions statistically yet grossly amplified by the public's jingoistic reactions. The basic sociological understanding was formalized in a CIA created plan called 'Operation Northwoods' when the US was seeking an excuse to invade Cuba in the 1960s. They planned to conduct a series of terrorist attacks internally and then blame them on Cuba for the sake of public perception and support hence exploiting their moral outrage and fear. This is public record. And of course dare I add the king of all modern religious events one that provoked every level of moral outrage honor and patriotic neurosis and the like the events of September 11th, 2001 prove beyond any doubt that the causality of a given provocation need not have any true bearing on the actions that follow by the State given enough shock and jingoistic fervor. Even if the US government's official narrative of this event was absolutely true, 100% truth the actions of the US government and its allies that followed the event had nothing to do with anything that relates to the event itself. Absolutely nothing, if you paid attention. [Applause] It merely opened the floodgates of patriotic retribution and allowed for a virtually open palette of imperial mobilization. Back to the broader point of state character beyond the US the acts of 9/11 also opened the floodgates for a broader redefinition of terms for almost every power structure in the world because intrinsically, the power structures of the world, the state entity are self-contained in their very definition. They don't really care about any other country or about their population. It's not a moral thing. It's the way that they've been constructed. From Turkey to Russia, to Israel, to the UK, etc. the benefit of 9/11 was massive to the State in hindering the public the external, engulfing and exacerbating its power. For the record, there is no war on terrorism. There can be... [Applause] There can be no such thing as a war on an abstraction. It has no universally operational premise. It has no location and even worse, it has no universal notion of success not to mention all acts of so-called 'terrorism' are statistically invalid with respect to true threats to human society and public health, but that's for another conversation. Trillions of dollars being spent on an affair when we have people dying of so many other things that money could take good use with but we all know what the real intent actually is: The real war being waged is actually on problem resolution and human harmony. The real war is on a balance of power and social justice. The real war is on the institution of economic equality. Unfortunately, social stability is not a sought characteristic of large state enterprises for it affords no advantage. The true tool of terrorism is not as an act of violence by an incredibly small desperate subculture that does exist but a tool of excuse by the State for further power consolidation, foreign and domestic. I won't drill it in. As I complete this section of the talk regarding societal manipulation by state powers for the purposes of reinforcing state integrity at the ongoing expense of other states and its subjects, I'm often asked: What defines social cohesion now, and community trust? Isn't patriotism and national pride a positive force on some level? If you think about it, nearly all notions of community have basically been overridden by the ever-dividing premise of market competition and the privatization of everything. There's very little left in the world that instills structurally social capital and community trust anymore. Even the so-called egalitarian states of the world: Norway, Sweden, etc. are showing large patterns of imbalanced growth and income [in]equality hence their loss of community. It's getting worse, in other words. For internal purposes, it could be said that patriotism does serve a role since it's the only thing left, but only within the interests of the isolated community. However, I'm sorry to say, this tribalism can easily be turned around against other forces in the same logic. I'm sure there was great camaraderie and interpersonal support occurring with the 10 million strong Nazi army but that nationalist cohesion also facilitated one of the largest examples of social destruction and division in the modern world. On a different level, on a final note at this point our economies are of scale and they're inherently international by nature. They have to be. Patriotic nationalism has no place in our technical, earthly reality on any level, especially in this regard. The state as it exists is really an incredible reducer of technical efficiency when it comes to supporting the human population through production and the like. The environmental respect as a whole is also lost because of the boundaries that are set up. It really slows down certain attributes and responsibilities inherently having these walls up. It's not economically efficient. It doesn't gravitate towards actually being responsible towards your environment, and I think we're beginning to see those issues even more so today, on multiple levels. Same premise: Even today the idea of 'made in America' (I even saw a 'made in Israel' while I was here) it's a common mantra for commerce advertising now. Yet, that intention is of an immediate technical inefficiency for proper good production is inherently a global affair on all levels including the usufruct of world knowledge. Everyone is contributor to the knowledge; there's no isolated knowledge; it's impossible to assume that only your country could produce isolated things. It's an organism of knowledge that continues to evolve. In the truest sense of the word, economy cannot have boundaries and restrictions. It's simply too inefficient. You can operate that way, but you're not actually operating in the true sense of earthly management which is what an economy is, hence the reduction of waste. Patriotic nationalism is not only dangerous, it's technically inefficient. True social cohesion can only truly be sustained on the human scale globally, with our loyalties to each other, the habitat and the natural laws of nature, a technical reality, not a poetic one. Otherwise, you will have nothing but conflict, inefficiency and degradation which is exactly what we have now. In the words of Albert Einstein "Nationalism is an infantile disease: It is the measles of mankind." [Applause] Part Three: A Culture of War: Business, Ownership and Competition In the prior section, we ran through some core characteristics of the state entity. Now I would like to express the obvious yet grossly overlooked foundational premise of its existence which underscores the logic of all of its characteristics denoted. When we reflect on the core values of the state and its interest in self-protection, coupled with the general propensity for territoriality and commercial expansion hence the rotating empires we've seen historically we find that the core of the institution is really a culmination born out of certain assumptions namely those that define the foundation of what we call modern economics today or specifically market economics today. I would like to first point out that when attempting to speak empirically I see no merit in such terms as capitalism or the free market or socialism or communism or any other 'ism' notions which really serve as limits of debate in the discussion of social operation, as they represent a truncated frame of reference with respect to our economy and what an economy means. The fact is, the real foundational premise of all of those traditional institutions goes back much farther in time than any traditional economic theorist would admit. What we find is that the evolution of the economic system we know today has been in lockstep with the ongoing evolution of the state entity. If we want to diagnose what it is that initiates war, subjugation and territorial disputes and the like, along with a possible resolution for global peace we need to step back much farther and examine the very fabric of where our life-support and hence dominant personal and social values are derived. As noted earlier, the Neolithic Revolution was a powerful turning point for the manner in which human society organized itself. With the sudden, then hidden understanding of scientific causality slowly emerging, our newfound ability to control our environment and strategically produce more than was available before brought about the advent of a producer class and hence the active trade itself eventually as labor specialization became a normal, fixed part of the socioeconomic model. This new basis of social organization then eventually advanced into the use of symbols to represent the exchange value of a producer's good, in the act of trade, known as money which in effect was the introduction of a new commodity in and of itself, an abstraction. This inherent monetary value an abstract notion of value of paper (even with the gold standard, it was still abstract) led to the concept of investment. Labor slowly became more and more centralized as the corporation or plant was owned and facilitated by the investor class that dealt with the money in and of itself, that could buy the producer. Then, as the natural advancement in science and technology slowly reduced the need for humans as a producer (mechanization) of all the new novel concepts of service and production for the sake of maintaining the now established labor system a transformation has occurred where that original role of the person has deviated from being a producer harnessing direct trade for personal interest, to a vehicle of servitude, to the interests of the investment and ownership class. Today, as a consequence, the most rewarded form of social participation which actually has zero bearing on the life-support processes of the original, economic premise itself, is investment. As will be reiterated in a moment, this consequential ownership class is what currently runs the world, colloquially speaking. Sociologist Thorstein Veblen summarizes this issue from a slightly different angle, but in a very acute way: "The standard theories of economic science have assumed the rights of property and contract as axiomatic premises and ultimate terms of analysis and their theories are commonly drawn in such a form as would fit the circumstances of the handicraft industry and petty trade." What he means by that are the simplistic notions of the producer early on before modern technology. "These theories appear tenable on the whole when taken to apply to the economic situation of that earlier time in virtually all that they have to say on questions of wages, capital savings, and the economy and the efficiency of management and production by the methods of private enterprise resting on these rights of ownership and contract and governed by the pursuit of private gain. It is when these standard theories are sought to be applied to the later situation which has outgrown the conditions of handicraft that they appear nugatory and meretricious. The competitive system, which these standard theories assume as necessary conditions of their own validity and about which they are designed to form a defensive hedge would, under those earlier conditions of small-scale enterprise and personal contract, appear to have both a passively valid assumption as a premise and a passably expedient scheme of economic relations and traffic." He continues "Under that order of handicraft and petty trade that led to the standardization of these rights of ownership in the accentuated form which belong to them in the modern law and custom the common man had a practicable chance of free initiative and self-direction in his choice in pursuit of an occupation and livelihood in so far as rights of the ownership bore in his case. The complexion of things as touches the effectual bearing of the institution of property and the ancient customary rights of ownership has changed substantially. The competitive system has in great measure ceased to operate as a routine of natural liberty, in fact; particularly insofar as touches the fortunes of the common man, the impecunious mass of people." He then goes on to elaborate why. This is the most critical point "At least in the popular conception and presumably in some degree also in fact the right of property so served as a guarantee of personal liberty and a basis of equality and so its apologists still look on the institution. In a very appreciable degree, this complexion of things and of popular conceptions has changed since then. Although, as would be expected, the change in popular conceptions has not kept pace with the changing circumstances. On the transition to machine technology, the plant became a unit of operation and control has clearly come to be not the individual or isolated plant but rather an articulated group of such plants working together as a balanced system (a.k.a. corporation) under a collective business management, and coincidentally the individual workmen has been falling into the position of an auxiliary factor nearly into that of an article of supply to be charged up as an item of operating expense so that at this point the right of ownership has ceased to be in fact, a guarantee of personal liberty to the common man and has come to be, or is coming to be, a guarantee of dependence." He wrote that in 1917 to avoid a seeming divergence on the broad flaws of the monetary market economy in general keeping in pace with a specific focus of war, the state and as evolution from this core economic foundation. This point by Veblen is critical to understand as it underscores what is the growth of an abstract economic premise of ownership with a shift of power from the general worker/producer class to the investment and ownership business class which are in effect a detrimental perversion of the producer concept, the very basis of the original theory as these people literally contribute nothing to the technical artistic and scientific basis of common industry; yet, they are now the focal point of interest. Amazingly enough, due to the power now yielded by this ownership investment class we have a state entity which not only operates as a manifestation of those values of competition and ownership but pulls the majority of its governance constituents from the very same wealth, business and operation pool. Surprise, surprise! These values also create and perpetuate a legal system which works to benefit not only the interests of the ownership class but also the interest of its expansion which is a trademark of the capital business venture which manifests into the monopolistic, imperialist tendency that defines a pivotal characteristic of the large state. Like business monopoly in the commercial world the larger in size the establishment the more it tends to want to increase its size. It's a basic business acumen. On this issue of ownership and hence its inevitable morphing into the governance class, Veblen states "The responsible officials and their chief administrative officers so much as may at all reasonably be called the government or the administration are invariably and characteristically drawn from these beneficiary classes: nobles, gentleman or businessmen which all come to the same thing for the purpose in hand; the point of it all being that the common man does not come within these precincts and does not share in these councils that are assumed to guide the destiny of the nations." He adds with respect to the legislative legal orientation to which these beneficiary classes defined by the ownership investment values are in control of "It may confidently be counted on that all the apparatus of law and all the coercive agencies of law and order will be brought in requisition to uphold the ancient rights of ownership whenever any more is made toward their disallowance or restriction. There is a strong and stubborn interest bound up with the maintenance of pecuniary faith (that means money) and the class in whom this material interest vests are also in effect invested with the coercive powers of the law." ... which means you're double screwed. Put another way, those factors that enable the upper and ownership class which have been codified by the near religious acceptance of the rights of property, trade and exploitation as the practice of social governance are reinforced by the direct legal governance via the very same constituency that benefits the most by the economic system itself and all its inefficiency. When it comes to the state initiation of war it does not take a lot of ingenuity to understand the multilevel commercial and financial interests that are really behind it, especially now. It's bad enough that the basic nature of the culmination of the state institution is economic self-preserving and exploitative in general but when the event-to-event wars are taken into account and the specifics of those who gained and those who've lost are figured a whole new level of predatorialism emerges an entirely new level of disgust emerges. In the past, the basic stealing of land and its inherent resources were more or less the central benefit of state wars. Today, we can extend these economic benefits to the massive military expenditures that have huge impacts on GDP and trade the reconstruction of war-torn areas by the conquering state commercial subsidiaries the slow prodding of a country's integrity through trade tariffs debilitating sanctions and debt impositions for the sake of population subjugation for the benefit of transnational industries and many other modern conventions which universally benefit mostly a very small number of people and again, the ownership and investment classes. This point was most likely best expressed by one of America's most decorated Army officers of the 20th century Maj. Gen. Smedley D. Butler. He wrote a book after World War I called 'War Is a Racket'. He had this to say about the industry of war: "War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. I spent 33 years and 4 months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high-class muscle man for big business: for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1902 to 1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China, in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back at it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts; I operated on three continents." It's amazing! [Applause] I'd like to conclude this section by pointing out that this analysis is taking a very broad view for the sake of the global audience that this lecture hits and the relevance as it is in its broadest scheme. War, while its core historic drive is indeed economic can also have the direct force of ideology, crusade and moral right as a central motivator not only with respect to public sanction as noted before but also as an active component of the motivation on the state level. However, this is the exception, not the rule. Even with the ostensibly driven, religious foundation of the state of Israel, and the assumed divine right it has as a backdrop for its claim of ownership against Palestine the deciding factors are still to be found as economic in operation at the core level. As will be noted in the next section, peace will likely not come from the interaction of any state or any level of governance by the ownership class, the beneficiary class. It will come from the people, its subjects... [Applause] who will work to transcend the power of the statehood entirely realizing that the human level of loyalty is the only possible perspective. [Applause] Part Four: Defining Peace: A New Social Contract As we all know peace today is not defined by an amiable reconciliation of differences in larger efforts for collaboration. No, peace today is defined by competitive armament and the general premise of 'Mutually Assured Destruction' as was coined with respect to the Cold War. Peace today is now only a mere pause between conflicts on the stage of global civilization. There is a war going on somewhere virtually all the time. When there isn't, the major powers are busy scuffling moving their little tanks in the sand, building more advanced weapons selling off old ones to some other allied country who are basically posturing in the same way all under the name of not only protection, but good business as well. Military establishments today have at their disposal the most advanced proprietary forms of technology employing some of the best scientists on the planet in this venture for orchestrated death. When we consider the exponential increase of information technology occuring in the world, which facilitates greater and greater levels of material/technical advancement and the advancement of weaponry the realization is that the incalculable levels of possible human and planetary destruction possibly awaits us. In the words of Albert Einstein as he witnessed the expression of the atomic bomb "Our technology has exceeded our humanity." The question to be asked is are we as a society mature enough to handle the incredible possibilities for our new technological advancement? Technology, which could also benefit the world in profound ways or, will our divisive, xenophobic, tribal state premises and economic selfishness prevail? At least in the past, social immaturity, the prevalence of territorialism and dominance had a limited cost, but we have nanotech weapons that will eventually make the atomic bomb look like a Roman catapult a new level of social awareness and responsibility needs to arise, and quickly for this is no longer an issue of national security. It is an issue of world security. To paraphrase one of my heroes Carl Sagan, an American astronomer and avid proponent of scientific thought and its application to society "It's almost as though there is a God and he gives us a choice. We can use our emerging technological abilities to improve the lives of the human species and create an abundance where no one needs to starve or be deprived or we can create a greater means to destroy ourselves. It's our choice." Our global economic system is based on a social Darwinism which assumes that if everyone looks out only for their self-interest often at the expense of others who are basically seeking the same thing in theory a larger order, social balance will magically occur. This is the foundational meta-magic philosophy of figures such as the father of the free-market Adam Smith and his notion of 'The Invisible Hand' but things have changed. We've reached the point where our personal self-interest now desperately needs to become social interest if we expect to survive the many trials ahead of us. Our evolutionary fitness is now becoming a social imperative not a personal, self-interested one. Our self-interest must become social interest if we expect to survive because they are actually one of the same if you really follow the logic. Either we become a globally conscious, singular society with respectable core values on the fundamental level, or we perish. Either we change or we die. Today the US, Israel and other extensions of empire are prodding the states of Iran and Syria growing more and more close to a provocation over energy resources other acts of commerce, geopolitical, geoeconomic control of coveted Eurasia as Brzezinski pointed out 15 years prior. The recent withdrawal of US troops from Iraq has now freed up some resources and given that most presidential campaigns tend to persevere in re-election of the incumbent president it would not surprise me at all if we see conflict emerge before the 2012 US elections. However, Iran is not Iraq. It is in tight economic balance with Russia and China the two other superpowers, with enormous military capacity. It is not out of the question to foreshadow that any invasion of Iran will quickly generate a global destabilization of power to which something of a world war could commence. If you examine the military expenditure of the large powers you will see an upward curve, accelerating in most cases over the past decade. Military trade agreement of these powers, such as the recent selling of $30 billion of arms to Saudi Arabia, revealing a growing intent. On the other side Russia continues to sell arms to Syria, another state in the crosshairs of the US empire. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov stated in mid-January of this year during his annual televised press conference that Russia would use its veto at the UN Security Council to block any resolution calling for military force to be used against Syria also saying that Russia is 'seriously worried' that military action against Iran would be under consideration and vowed that Moscow would do all it could to prevent it. "The consequences will be extremely grave" he said. "It will trigger a chain reaction and I don't know where it will stop." Likewise in late 2011, a Chinese Maj. Gen. commented "China will not hesitate to protect Iran even with a third world war" according to NDTV, a Chinese news station. These reactions make sense since Iran is a key energy component and deeply engrained in the geo-economic interests of those powers in the region. In the end, who will suffer from the interests of these state... these state interventions, the imperialism and even the fighting of it and lack of reconciliation (because it's imperialism on all sides if you think about it. The motivations are equally the same.)? The people will. Possibly on a tragic scale, especially given the growing automation of military adventures where less people are now needed with such drone aircrafts that can be remotely controlled from thousands of miles away engaging in combat without direct military loss on their end. I won't even go into the direct loss of empathy which implies that further cold violence is on the horizon because people are detaching themselves from the act of murder through automated means. I think Dr. James Gilligan put it best "In the past, throughout nearly all of human history the main threat to human survival is nature. Today, it's culture." Therefore, not only does direct, traditional protest need to persist in the limited capacity it has but it's time for the people of the world begin to form a new alliance that challenges not only the drug-addict behavior-like sickness of the state establishment and its endless juvenile, competitive war incentive but also get down to the root of its causal nature which is the monetary market system of economics and its metaphysic notions of wealth, property power, trade, ownership and competition. In the words of Thorstein Veblen from 1917 "It has appeared in the course of the argument that the preservation of the present pecuniary law and order with all its incident of ownership and investment is incompatible with an unwarlike state of peace and security. This current scheme of investment, business and industrial sabotage should have an appreciably better chance of survival in the long run if the present conditions of warlike preparation and national 'insecurity' were maintained or if the projected peace were left in a somewhat problematic state sufficiently precarious to keep national animosities alert and thereby to the neglect of domestic interests particularly of such interests as touch the public well-being. So, if the projectors of this peace-at-large are in any degree inclined to seek concessive terms on what the peace might hopefully be made enduring it should evidently be part of their endeavors from the outset to put effects in train for the present abatement (stopping) and eventual abrogation (ending) of the rights of ownership and of the price system to which these rights take effect." To restate, peace is not characteristic of the current model of economic practice. The question then becomes: What form of economic model (if there even is one) would inherently reward a state of peace by its very construct? As the scientific method of reasoning has made its way into everyday life with the slow dissipation of superstition across the world (at least with respect to social organization) a powerful new train of thought is emerging. This train of thought places the basis of economy on the principles of natural physical law and not the inventive whims of prior, primitive assumptions of human behavior and other false dualities and things that are baggage from our evolution. It is in this work that The Zeitgeist Movement finds its calling. The revolution of our economic premise from superstitious to scientific will not only transcend the grand failure of war the state power neurosis as well while overcoming the grand inefficiencies associated. It will enable and reinforce a world of human betterment beyond anything we've ever seen. Environmental and social respect (which is desperately needed) and a material abundance that our technology could create if we decided to allow it to something that the world has never seen. Just as we had a great social paradigm shift after the Neolithic Revolution we are on the edge of an equally strong shift of consciousness as we inch into an age of post-scarcity and global collaboration. Today there is no technical reason for any human being to starve to be without housing or clothes, to not have advanced education and high public-health, both physical and mental. If we can transcend this dark period which we currently reside future civilizations will surely look back in horror at the enormous insanity of our actions, fears and arrogance. Perhaps a new term will be coined to describe the age that we live in. I would suggest 'The Age of Ignorance'. In conclusion, I'll make one final point with respect to the overcoming of this war machine. It will not come from the state or as they say 'speaking truth to power' nor will it come via the ownership investment classes that control it that have engineered the function of society as we see it. World peace will come from a global rise in public solidarity on the human civilian level and it will come from a mass rejection of the distorted values and manipulation tactics coming from the state and its commercial values. It will come from a worldwide movement, absent borders racial notions or political or religious parties to be based rather on the immutable common ground we all share as a species which simply says "No, we are not going to play this game anymore." As the world is falling apart around us with the growing unemployment the resource depletion, the boundless debt expansion and collapse pressure, all of which could further fuel the motivation for international warfare, as history has shown there is likely no greater time in modern history than to stand up and begin to do something in a very active way. 1% of the world stand in control of over 99% of the population, in the broadest concept. I really personally can't wait to see the look on their faces when the 99% realize how much power they really have. [Applause] In conclusion, in the immortal words of Carl Sagan "The old appeals to racial, sexual, religious chauvinism to rabid nationalist fervor are beginning not to work. A new consciousness is developing which sees the Earth as a single organism and recognizes that an organism at war with itself is doomed. We are one planet." Thank you. [Applause] www.thezeitgeistmovement.com

Video Details

Duration: 1 hour, 29 minutes and 15 seconds
Year: 2012
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: The Zeitgeist Movement
Director: The Zeitgeist Movement
Views: 363
Posted by: ltiofficial on Feb 13, 2012

Lecture given at the end segment of the Tel Aviv, Israel / Mid-East TZM Event which occurred on Feb 6th 2012. The lecturer is Peter Joseph.
Note: This location contains only "official", fully proofread versions of the transcript & translations, whose sharing is encouraged. More will be added as they are completed at: http://dotsub.com/view/3e17c73b-42fc-463d-9b4f-43632bc33778. If your language is not yet represented here, consider helping these efforts by joining your language team at http://tinyurl.com/LTcontacts

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