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Money breeds crime: 'Give people what they need'

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- Today, RT is talking to Peter Joseph, activist and filmmaker, he's the founder of The Zeitgeist Movement and has recently released his newest film: "Zeitgeist Moving Forward". Now, Peter, thank you for joining us today. For our viewers who may not be very familiar with it, please, briefly explain what The Zeitgeist Movement is. - Well, the Zeitgeist film series, our original, I'll first point out is my own creative expression. And it carried over with an influence, inspiration if you will, to The Zeitgeist Movement through a number of people that wanted to start being active in social change. So, The Zeitgeist Movement overall is built upon the ideology of The Venus Project, which is worth mentioning, which is the life work of Jacque Fresco. What that means is that all of the work that he's done throughout his entire life as an engineer, compiling sustainable designs, compiling ideologies, value orientations, compiling ideas essentially that make us in tandem with nature. If you want to approach all the problems in the world we have to think about it technically, not think about it through political parties, not think about it through the acquisition of money or the movement of money. It's time we just go straight to it, because we understand it now. Science. I say that and people don't quite understand what I mean. I'm not talking about, you know, an esoteric view, but on a firm physical science of what it means to meet the needs of the human population. - You often talk about the problems caused by our current monetary system. How is it that by taking away money from the equation that you really think that we can eliminate such problems as crime and disease? - Well, it's not just taking away the physical currency, it's the entire system itself. Let's make sure that's abundantly clear. When I talk about money, I'm referring to the monetary structure and its holistic entity. So, start with crime. 90/95% of all crimes are based on property. In fact, a guy would run out, and steal a car that's worth $15,000, he'll get arrested and throw in jail for possibly 10 years at the expense of $300,000. Just give him the car. It's inefficient, the entire crime and punishment, so give people what they need. And you'll begin to see that needs and wants start to divide. We live in a subculture based on wants. We create all these artificial wants, people want their stylistic and materialistic ideas and the things they want to own, and show their property and status : this is a concoction. Then, there's needs on the other end of the spectrum. Needs are true viable things. And when people don't have their needs met, crime emerges. So, crime is easily related to money and there's only one small percentage of really serious violent crimes and even many of those come from psychological neuroses. You can research the work of James Gilligan. They come from bad conditions. And in a Resource-Based Economy that is a very important issue, it's not just the technical management of resources, it's understanding that the entire environment has to be low-stressed. - You also talk about our overreliance on fossil fuels and how this will eventually lead to a financial collapse. What do you think that it will eventually take for us to to start looking at our energy issues a lot differently? I mean, does gas have to be 10 dollars a gallon? - If you're born into this system or indoctrinated into it, and you think the system is working : yes, 10 dollars a gallon of gas might be the rude awakening it takes to get society to understand what's happening. - Let's talk about how overconsumption is affecting us in real time. Here in Los Angeles we're dealing with high unemployment, unprecedented hunger, does it really have to be this way? Because I think a lot of us over the years have grown to learn that there has to be some suffering in this world, right? - Capitalist, free-market system, I don't believe is going to hold up for that much longer. I'm not a prophet, but I think that it's going to show itself and people are going to begin to see that it is intrinsically flawed. The collapse of industrial civilization, to put it very exaggeratedly, if you will, because we base everything on oil, it's a very terrifying idea. I'm not a doomsday theorist. I'm simply looking at the statistics. If we are not adapting ourselves to renewables, which we have plenty of, it just needs a system's approach to energize them and get them going to change the global infrastructure which we could easily do if there was an interest to do so. Again, it's a technical phenomenon. We don't need money to do it, we just do it. You know what I mean? If that doesn't ocurr, we're definitely going to see more wars, we're gonna see extremely high gas, we're going to have a huge profiteering subculture, classes of society will be met with a huge profiteering group that are shorting all the interests, that are the owners of the goods that are going scarce, because scarcity equates to more profit. And that's another thing I think people should understand as well. There's no intrinsic interest in the whole of society for the well being of everyone. And there isn't going to be, as far as I'm concerned, a legitimate economic recovery, we're not going to see... The heyday of the human species, as far as I'm concerned, is over until radical shifts are made, because of how important the hydrocarbon issue has been. And again, no one is doing anything to counter it. What we need really is a "Manhattan Project", if you will, but for renewable energy research and without having to worry about limitations of corporations to get it done. So, to answer your question, there's not going to be an economic recovery that people are expecting. - But it was many poor and middle-class Americans who contributed to the victory of our current president, is their voice not being heard? - Well, does anyone have a voice in this democracy we call America? It doesn't matter how loud someone yells, or how many letters they write to their congressman or how much they complain, very little can change what is set in motion by the very nature of the political system, which is simple: it's appointed dictatorship, boom. Once they're in power there's very little anyone of us can do. And since the entire thing is subservient to corporate interests, through taxation and everything else, you see that the political corporate interest the one John Perkins calls the corporatocracy, this is the phenomenon that exists. So, the public is always going to be given the short end of the stick and always has been since the divinity of kings. Nothing's really changed, we live in an advanced form of feudalism and nothing more. - In the past you've pointed out the dangers of our massive debt problem here in America, do you think that this is an issue that's just imposible to resolve, even with the massive austerity measures that are being proposed? - Austerity measures are an abomination, a complete atrocity against the general population, as all austerity measures have been through the World Bank areas, because the problem isn't the people. They cut national programs, they cut NPR, they cut, you know, things like education... These are the core attributes of human survival, they cut welfare... Why are they cutting that? When obviously we're spending a trillion dollars a year at war. Where is the logic with all of this? - In your film, you talk about how robots will eventually be doing all the jobs that humans are doing. To a certain extent that's already happening, robots are taking the jobs of thousands of people. Now, this sounds like a bad thing to those workers that are losing these jobs now, but you think that mechanization will eventually be a great thing. - Technological unemployment has manifested throughout time. In fact, every major of labor change that we've had as a civilization has been based on the advent of technology from agricultural revolution, the invention of the plow to the industrial revolution the invention of the powered machine, large powered machine, until we come to the information age we have now where everyone is interacting with computer systems. The contradiction of capitalism by some economic theorists that investigate this idea, that we are displacing ourselves with mechanization. Mechanization that can create more, can provide more, but yet reducing human purchasing power. So what you have is the more we mechanize, less jobs, less money in circulation. So how can an economy work? It is starting to stifle itself because of this very phenomenon. Technology is more efficient than labor. It's unimaximized. Instead of corporations feeling that they would be providing a social service to keep people employed, we say skip this, skip the labor [?] system. We're in a different paradigm now. We can create abundance on this planet, what I call access abundance. We can have vertical farms, fully automated off the coast of Los Angeles that could produce all of the organic food for all of Los Angeles. - You make the claim that our current socio-economic system is just not working. For people who agree with you or want to create change right away, what suggestions do you have for them? - I mean that if the patterns continue themselves, if the trends that I see continue, if the ignoring of the energy issues, the ignoring of the growing instability through society, the kind of naivety of the general population that think: "oh, everything is just going to be OK." These things will coalesce into what I consider collapse, and it's a multi-faceted, very difficult thing to anticipate. And It won't occur in some big you wake up one day and everyone's running around on fire. It will be a slow grind of more unemployment, more extreme poverty, more suffering, deaths, more wars, by all means, more basic social instability, rationing of resources. I say that people should boycott the major banks, especially the banks that are part of the Federal Reserve cartel. This is a corrupt financial institution that has a cartel of private banks and everyone just seems to think that it's OK. But people are beginning to realize that there are people in power that are preserving themselves and they really don't have a genuine interest to help anyone else. But I do suggest people begin to be more conscious and try to find other sources of information. I happen to enjoy RT. Independent media, more independent media. Get away from the dominant institutions. Imagine, years ago, when you lived in a society where all you had was a newspaper. There was no television, you know. All you got was the newspaper in your front door. How, do you know, easy it was for people to control what people thought. Don't ever join the military. Support the people out of there, respect them as human beings, but I do my best when I speak to people in the military I say : "Just get out!" But keep respect for the people that go in for this. I feel for them. The poorer Americans that have been forced, as far as I am concerned, coerced by the economic structure, to get money for college and, boom, they are thrown into this hugely detrimental psychological environment, the shellshock and everything that emerges, the one in four veterans that commit suicide. It is not in, I believe, our basic human development to just kill each other. I think that it really is a bad state of mind that causes more hurt than anything else, and in the larger perspective, geopolitically, all it does is create animosity. If you took all the money we spend on war and apply it to renewable energies, or apply it to... basically anything social, you could resolve that problem in a second. If you took all the scientists that are currently developing weapons and put them on how to actually redesign a sustainable society... Again, if you get out of the hydrocarbon economy, if you had people actually utilize the interests of the well-being of the planet and its human species. If we just simply made that decision instead of constantly trying to kill each other for whatever temple or purpose, or resource, geopolitical alignment, whatever strategy of dominance happens to be the flavor of the month, if we could just get away from that, well, we'd be much better off, to put it frankly.

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 56 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Russia Today
Director: Russia Today
Views: 151
Posted by: cdf83 on May 10, 2011

RT's EXCLUSIVE interview with the Zeitgeist ideologist, economic activist and film maker Peter Joseph.
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