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Interview: Peter Joseph on RT (Abby Martin): Zeitgeist Revolution (Repository)

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What if politics weren't to blame for the institutional corruption, the endless wars and the burgeoning homelessness? What if rather these are just symptoms born out of an outdated social structure? That's the revolutionary idea behind the explosive Zeitgeist documentary trilogy. Since the first movie's release in 2007, these documentaries have been translated into 40 different languages, and have been seen by hundreds of millions of people around the world. But the ideas brought forward by the documentaries quickly transcended film and spawned The Zeitgeist Movement: a global-sustainability advocacy organization that's revolutionizing the way people think and act. Now, the filmmaker will be re-energizing the Movement with yet another series, titled 'Interreflections'. Here to talk about the 'Culture In Decline', The Zeitgeist Movement, and where there may be a glimmer of hope, I'm joined by the filmmaker himself, Peter Joseph. Peter, thanks so much for coming on. - It's my pleasure, Abby, thank you for having me. - First of all, I think that these movies should be essential viewing for everyone on the planet because you really present these concepts that are not so much new or revolutionary as they are just glaringly obvious truths in the way you articulate them, Peter, but I wanted to get into how you got started. As someone who worked in Wall Street and advertising, when did you step back and analyze your own role in society and decide to radically change course? - Great question; it was a slow evolution really. Like many people brought up in this culture, you end up with a self-interest driven mechanism. I came from a middle class family; we had no real wealth. I came into the world, I went to school, I dropped out due to debt problems like many do today in the educational college/career problem that we have (most college debt is the peak of bankruptcy coupled with medical debts, in aggregate), and I began to realize that there's something going on with this system. I did stuff with Wall Street and advertising trying to keep my self-preservation going, and finally it dawned on me when I made this catharsis film in 2007 just called 'Zeitgeist' which became 'Zeitgeist: The Movie'. It was a frustration piece that I made, it just sort of exploded in my mind to the extent that I don't even know where it came from to be frank. It was a big catharsis that I did which I threw up online, it became viral because I think people identified with the same issues and themes, and then that triggered where I am today. I continue to move forward with representative media that is both entertaining and value-shifting in the quality that it pursues, but also extremely educational and ultimately activist-oriented, and that's the whole purpose of my existence at this point. - Thanks for explaining that; let's get right into this. With the elections coming up in less than two weeks, let's talk about the two-party system which you explore a little bit in a recent video that you made, called 'What Democracy?'. What purpose does this system serve to control the population? Do you advocate people to completely remove themselves from the electoral process, or do you see some merit in supporting third party candidates and local politics? - I think we have to deal with what we have at the moment. People should be supporting referendums because that's a form of direct democracy. But the aristocracy game that has emerged, which is an outgrowth of basically the economic system which inherently generates hierarchy, is completely misunderstood. We think we're in a different paradigm today than we were during the age of kings and queens, but we're really not. Except the kings and queens are behind the scenes and operate within the business/ industrial enterprise, which is of course the driving mechanism of all the values and institutions we have. The figureheads- the elections, the presidents, the Congress- they serve as 'tools' to perpetuate the real driver of our economic system which is the monetary market economy itself. Those values that are there confuse people, and they think that when they go into a voting booth and elect somebody that they're going to change something. But if you look at the historical record (which unfortunatley many have not, especially since the beginning of America), very little change has occurred, really, when it comes to the election of any single individual, or the conglomerate actions of the Congress or whatever: parliament, institution, etc. This statistical element is lost unfortunately. This isn't projection to say that "Oh it's just to be cynical and say it doesn't matter if you vote," this is proven. The effect of these elections is not given the correct gravity because it's very small. I'd say maybe 10% is how effective the election of a new president really may be. - Exactly, and it also serves to disempower and disillusion people into thinking that they do have a choice, and of course every 4 years nothing changes and it really is stifling humanity in that sense. When people look at the current trajectory of the world it's obvious that we're pretty much on a crash course based on a model of unsustainable growth, Peter. When people look at global capitalism some argue that "It's not a free and fair market; if cronyism were removed from the equation, capitalism would work." But is the two-tiered [justice system] that we're seeing today, the plutocratic governance and endless war for resources, an inevitability of the capitalist model? - Unfortunately, I would have to declare that it is. I know it's a heated subject and people love to argue with me. I've had endless debates with people that say that the state is the problem, or regulation, and that the market should just be 'free' to do whatever it wants. I argue back that the market is as free as it ever was, in fact it's more free I would say. At least, in the past, there were restrictions on the market economy and how it could influence the aristocracy's decision to basically rule everything through war, and again nothing has changed in this regard. You go back to feudalism and you have the same tendency. But the idea that that there's something that can be regulated in a system that is inherently corrupt, in my view, a system that clearly says that you can get money and have the freedom to do whatever you want with it, hence the Supreme Court decision that says that spending money for political campaigns is actually equated to free speech. This delusion that we've come up with, to say that we can spend money for whatever purpose possible and influence anything, is at the core of the vast corruption we see. You can go back to Marx, to Thorstein Veblen, you can go back to all sorts of thinkers in the early 20th century that, despite their criticisms, were on to something with this. And it's unfortunate how fast people are to shut down this idea. My friend Lee Camp has a famous joke: "We applaud politicians now, that come and tell us that they're NOT going to give us health insurance in America," or universal healthcare in America. Why? Because this delusion of socialism has come forward, so any type of communal attribute which isn't related to money and the 'freedom' of money, now is being misconstrued as something that will lead to tyranny or oppression. We have F. A. Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, and all these economic philosophers that have compounded this notion, and that's one of the core 'religious rituals' of the political establishment, to reinforce this idea that freedom and democracy is equated to money. This has justified the vast majority of wars; it's justified the disregard for the growing homeless and poverty population in America, and across the world. It has also brainwashed people to disregard humanity on the global scale. We have 1 to 3 billion people either starving to death or in absolute abject poverty, and we don't care about them because our psychology now is so perverted that we can just dismiss them as some anomaly in this social Darwinistic view that we've concocted for ourselves, which unfortunately goes back to Adam Smith. - Absolutely, it does seem we are indoctrinated with this line of thinking; anything alternative to that is bad, as we've learned through pretty much every institution that I've experienced growing up in this country, and I'm sure around the world. Why is it that people adhere so strongly to these archaic, political and religious institutions in the light of the 21st century advancement of technology, the vast knowledge available to expand humanity's collective consciousness? It seems that we constantly regress back to what we're comfortable with even though they've been proven, historically, to have monumental failures. - Yes. I call it a move from superstition to science. If you look at the social structure, really, it goes back so far, and it [ex]cludes so many modern advancements that people's traditional values are so caught up in the voting process, in the delegation of authority, in the general subservience patterns of the peasants, which is what the majority of humanity unfortunately is. They accept it because it's what they've always known and seen. Naturally, people fear change (it's no psychological anomaly for that), but I think the big issue here is education. People need to understand what's possible and the root causes of all the problems out there. They don't understand the prosperity-driven effects that can come from science and technology, not just from the gadgets, etc., but if we actually applied these basic, near empirical principles to social governance, we would end up with a completely new social order. You can call it Natural Law Resource-Based Economy, basically taking this construct of what works; like an airplane that flies, we build society like an airplane, as an engineered type of concept. There's really no other way. We live in anarchy system; that's the best way to describe it. We live in a system where each individual is given this bizarre power to make their own decisions under the assumption that in concert the whole of society is going to work out for itself. It's provably false, that's why you have 1% of the population owning 40% of the planet's wealth, because the value system disorder, the psychology generated by this system completely disallows any type of balance to occur in a structural sense. So sustainability and public health: these issues are thrown out the window in this model. Not only because of the values you denote and people's fear, but because that the very system itself keeps compounding the same old, archaic values and fears over and over again. That is the central problem and why The Zeitgeist Movement does everything it can in an educational sense, why I make the films and media that I do, to really try to drill this home, and also the hope to inspire others out there to begin the same drive. I could talk about a larger project that the Movement's working on if you'd like to hear about it. - Absolutely. Let's get into that in one second, I just wanted to say, it does seem like it's the fear that really drives us; the fear to not (I guess these archaic institutions keep us stifled) the fear of control of our own lives, I guess, when we really do have so much power, Peter. But let's talk about The Zeitgeist Movement. You really advocate action; really, it's a revolution of the mind, of ideas. How do we stop this global empire from crushing us and the planet, which is pretty much the course that we are currently on; what is The Zeitgeist Movement advocating and how can people get involved? - Yes, I agree with you: it's a revolution of values, that's the real revolution. As far as what people can do, The Zeitgeist Movement attempts to take the lowest grassroots level possible. We want to get important information, very technically viable- not speculative- out for people to digest. With other programs that we do, we have our numerous event days for awareness; in March, we'll have our Zeitgeist Day event. The global event will be in Los Angeles this year, but we have about 400 sympathetic events all over the world, across usually about 70 countries on average, every time we do this, this will be the 4th year of it. But all of those kind of intellectual exercises aside, there's another project that we are doing called the Global Redesign Institute. This is a very important idea. It's a macro-industrial approach to show the world what's possible technically, and in effect alleviate all the confusions they have about what a designed, planned system could be and the type of freedom that really could emerge, as opposed to the propaganda of establishment that says that that will lead to tyranny and such. The benefit of such [a system] is so vast, for example, in this project, we'll take different regions and we'll show the technical layout of how we could, say in Los Angeles, have vertical farms of hydroponics and aeroponics run through desalinization processes and nutrient extraction processes from the ocean, so we would be able to feed organic food to everyone, satisfy the entire population of the city of Los Angeles, through these methods, through automated systems. This technology exists, it's been largely dismissed as utopian (as that word loves to fly around when you start to talk about taking care of everybody), but this stuff is there. We're going to map out the entire world through time, through the chapters of The Zeitgeist Movement, to show how every region can be updated in this macro-industrial way to actually resolve the core major problems of poverty, of general disbalance, resource scarcity, and bring these technological fruits to light. I'll stop there because it can go in much larger, complex associations as we build this model. It will be a virtual online model that will be viewable. Then we'll have conferences in partnership with the other events that we do annually to show each region what's possible. I really believe, once this possibility comes forward, rather than everybody being disillusioned by the political and economic establishment, they'll say "This works! Forget complaining!" - Exactly, be part of the solution, be part of the community of ideas, Peter, instead of the naysayers and saying what isn't possible, we really need to step it up, and I really appreciate you exploring humanity's capabilities and capacity for change in a good, alternative and sustainable way. Peter Joseph, The Zeitgeist Movement- everyone check it out, I implore you, you need to see these films!- thank you so much for coming on. - Thank you Abby, I appreciate it. Many people are conditioned to not bring up politics and religions. They're confined to their own rigid perspectives set by biased media outlets. We must begin to challenge this dogma if we ever want to progress our society and evolve the collective human consciousness.

Video Details

Duration: 13 minutes and 41 seconds
Year: 2012
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Russia Today
Director: Russia Today
Views: 361
Posted by: ltiofficial on Nov 18, 2012

Abby Martin talks to Independent Filmmaker Peter Joseph, about the Zeitgeist movement and humanity's capacity to evolve beyond current social structures.

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