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Eva Omori - The Transition - Z-Day, 2013 (Repository)

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Good evening. Once again, my name is Eva Omori. Thank you. We're getting to the fun part: The Transition. Let's do this! Yeah! [Applause] OK. If it were only so simple as to speak it. When we think about transition, it's important to remind ourselves what it is we are transitioning to, exactly. A move from the scarcity-driven market economy, to a system of direct resource management and scientific application to meet the needs of the human species and secure the habitat, is a transition of values at its root. It's a transition to reinforce and reward balance, social contribution and ecological respect, rather than what we reinforce today, which is selfishness, competition and exploitation. At the core of our current model is really an anti-society ethic. This disposition has proven deeply destructive in the long run. How to move to such a social model from where we are today? It is, of course, naive to assume we can predict the future, given the pressures that keep the current system in place. All of us are forced into this caustic market psychology in order to maintain survival for ourselves and our family, and hence our values are deeply associated to these methods, whether we like it or not. As we engage the environment, our brains wire themselves in a very literal way, being reinforced by our actions. And just as a person can learn a skill, and have that skill become second nature without much direct conscious thought to execute once learned, we humans perform actions on a day-to-day level with the same kind of learned mindlock. In fact, we often don't even know we are behaving in so-called selfish ways at times, since everything around us appears to be working the exact same way, creating perceived normality. Therefore, The Zeitgeist Movement sees the shifting of peoples' values as the most important necessity. How this is done, is related to education while also attempting to create conditions, which again, hopefully reinforce these new sustainable values, inching out change. There are two ways to think about a social transition, into a Natural Law, Resource-Based Economy. First, a step-by-step scenario, which then lays out a framework for a second scenario. However, the first scenario is really a fantasy. It assumes there is agreement of the political economic power structure, and the community, that the human species has decided to do this move in a step-by-step manner. Of course, we all know it would likely never happen this way. The train of thought is still important to express with respect to how we think about the logic of a transition. Concluding this introduction, it is important to point out that many who criticize The Zeitgeist Movement do so not because they disagree with the direction, but because they do not understand how to get there. The best analogy to counter this is the argument [that] a very sick person seeking to get well, will do whatever he or she has to, even if, at a given point in time, the solution to their illness is not readily apparent. The difficulty in implementing a new social system does not remove the necessity for it. The fact is, we humans can change the world quite easily if we can find a unified common ground to do so. Again, this isn't the intent of the global Zeitgeist Movement. Furthermore, it's also important to note that we are always in transition. There are no Utopias, and even if we accomplish 40% of the move to a Natural-Law, Resource-Based Economy as we define it in theory, it will be worth it. A systematic move from the capitalist market economy to a Natural-Law, Resource-Based Economy could theoretically occur through a step-by- step socialization of the core attributes of the societal infrastructure. Essentially, we dismantle one layer while implementing a new one in the most fluid way we can. This term socialization is appropriate to use here. It simply means that the necessity of money and the market mechanism, as we know it, will no longer apply to the given social attribute. The four core societal layers of food production, utilities, basic goods and transportation will be discussed further. To summarize the approach, the task would be accomplished through the strategic application of technology and efficiency waste removing strategies, along with an adjustment of wages to compensate for job losses, along with the shortening and sharing of the work day, to also compensate for job losses. A critical component that enables the capacity of the new social model to produce our basic standard of living is the liberal application of modern technology and a systems approach to social organization. Since the current model is literally based on a technical inefficiency to keep the system going, the more efficient the system becomes, the less traditional labor is required. Therefore, in transition, starting within a market economy, measures to compensate for this loss are required. The four core societal layers are obviously fragments with synergistic relationships which require other types of technical evaluation. However, for the sake of reasoning here, these core attributes of our day-to-day lives are essentially what maintain our general health and basic standard of living, so it should be suffice for the sake of exemplification. The first core societal layer is food production. The technology for high-efficiency, automated food systems is a reality today, with vertical farm technology and low energy and low impact fertilization methods, such as hydroponics and aeroponics. Desalinization processes could enable the building of these facilities along most major coastlines, producing organic food in quantities to meet the needs of the population regionally and locally. In short, if such advanced methods were implemented, the need for purchasing basic food staples would no longer be required. Even today, the world produces enough food to feed the planet many times over. This shows that the need to place restrictive monetary value on basic food stuff is not required. There's no legitimate technical reason, even within a monetary economy, [that] grocery stores today cannot provide the same type of food stuff to a given regional population without the need for financial exchange. The second core societal layer is utilities. The hydrocarbon economy continues to cause turmoil, not only on the environmental level, but also due to the inevitable scarcity of the resource itself. There is no debate as to the fact that oil is finite, and its combustion is detrimental to the environment. Given solar, tide, wind, geothermal and other means of renewable energy, there is no reason that any of us would need to pay for energy if properly localized and interconnected. Advanced solar panels alone, applied to every house with sun exposure, feeding excess energy back into the community grid would eliminate electricity needs immediately, based on current statistics and capacities. Electricity can be used to replace gas for heating and most other uses. While [with] water (a nominal financial expense even today in the west), further improvements can be made in industrial efficiency to recede pollution and maintain a regional surplus. Those who have had water shortages in the world, have had technical resolutions for years via desalinization and other purification systems. It has been, again, the lack of financial resources of these regions which has caused problems, not the lack of technical ability. So once an advanced system approach is taken to resource management, the marketization of these commodities and services is no longer necessary. Before I go further, this question arises: If we create systems which eliminate the vast majority of employment due to the high level of technical efficiency, don't we need people to service and supervise these systems? The answer of course is yes. This is not a utopia where no one needs to do anything. Imagine if we can have 5% of society, in terms of traditional labor time, serve to operate these systems. It would be to everyone's advantage to donate a certain amount of time in a type of rotational fashion. After all, they are only helping themselves directly. Given the amount of relative free time, working for the whole of society would be the highest form of social contribution, once these systems are in place. Would you work for free if you only had to work 5% of the time you do today to maintain a high standard of living? [Audience answers "Yes".] That was a resounding "Yes". The third societal layer is basic good production. The spectrum of basic good production is wide, ranging from core staples such as household items, clothes and communication technology, to specific tools for specialized tasks, such as musical instruments, and other increasingly less demanded items. The best way to think about this is as a spectrum of demand, with common needs on one side, and specialized, or luxury type goods, on the other. While the advancement of science and technology will likely facilitate a vast amount of variation for production, for the sake of transition in the immediate future, we can simplify. Overall, each industry/sub-industry needs to unify in its operations to enable the highest level of production and output efficiency possible. The corporate structures would combine based on genre, using that collaborative capacity to increase efficiency, while reducing waste and competitive multiplicity. This would set the stage for the creation of a fully synergistic, industrial system, applying advanced automation to remove human labor and inevitably, increase efficiency. In this transitional proposal, hours worked would shift in proportion to job losses coupled with hourly wage rates shifting. In other words, insuming an initial average workday need of eight hours per person, incurring a loss of growth jobs by 50%, the workday then would be cut by 50% as well. So if we have a hypothetical economy with 1000 people, and 50% of them were displaced by technological employment, the day is then divided between them, so everyone now works four hours instead of eight. Again, the fact that goods and services are becoming free in the economy means that there is less need for prior levels of purchasing power. So a 50% cut in wages is directly compensated for. We are phasing the monetary system out in this process. In cases where this isn't feasible, there would be an increase in hourly wage rates in the same basic proportion, compensating for the average loss. Transportation. The production of vehicles which is largely automated today isn't much of a problem. The issue here is access, application and necessity. All of us who travel to centralized offices, usually participating in occupations with questionable relevance, would be amazed at the inefficiency. [Laughter] There are very few occupations today which really require direct location interaction anymore. Even industrial production facilities, once further automated, would only require a small number of people on location, with most processes administered remotely. So a strategic move to stop the wasteful nine-to-five, traditional, travel to work and back would need to be made. Everyone would have the option to be equipped by whatever means to operate their business operations from their home. The amount of saved energy and lives would be enormous given the nature of travel and accidents. Beyond that, as far as infrastructure, systems of sharing, such as they have now with bicycles in Europe, should be applied to vehicles and everything else we can find, coupled with incorporation of mass transit. This, again, is to be a step-by-step process of improvement where different regions are purposefully reorganized to favor the highest level of technical travel efficiency possible. Localizing labor, locations remote access to limit travel needs, sharing systems for vehicles, and liberal mass transit would profoundly change the nature of transport infrastructure, reduce energy use, increase safety and allow for further changes as the transition continues. While other examples of the step-by-step could be given here, I hope the logic is clear. It is not difficult to realize how these moves could be made, if, and I emphasize "if" there was the sanction of the community. Sadly, we cannot expect this type of ease. With this general outline of reasoning stated of how to break down the current system step-by-step to implement the new one in mind, let's now take a realistic look at what a transition to a new society may hold, given the reality we have today. It is important to understand that the intention of transition to social sustainability has been under the surface of our culture for a long time. The notion of the green economy and periodic outbursts by civil rights groups such as Occupy Wall Street, shows a deep interest to change the world and make it more equal, humane and sustainable. It is a deeply important acknowledgement that in order to create a more sustainable humane world, a complete move out of the current social architecture is critical. Once the logic is followed in this regard, you find we simply cannot fix the problems inherent to the current social architecture. We need to evolve out of it. To do this, global social movement tactics become critical to put pressure on the existing system, along with helping change the intents and values of the culture itself. The unfortunate yet predictable consequences of what we could call societal collapse is ever apparent. Societal collapse is not an absolute notion. It is relative. While many of us in the West in our day-to- day lives (even though we may have great amounts of public debt, private debt, overbearing work environments and other stressers) usually don't look around and necessarily deem the society as being in a state of breakdown, because we are now so used to the homelessness, poverty, periodic crises and other inefficiencies. It isn't like one day we're going to go outside and everything is on fire and everyone is suffering or dead in the streets. The awareness is the trend. And if we look at the trend of the core life support attributes, we find that most everything is in a state of decay. Overall the market economy, in whatever form today globally, can be found as the root of the loss of biodiversity, deforestation, pollution, depletion, conflict generation and other issues that continue to produce environmental negative retroactions, with the effects on human health. Both public health and environmental stability are increasingly becoming destabilized in the long run. Furthermore, mechanization, which is becoming a powerful force to enable cost efficiency for corporate savings, is and will lead to vast unemployment. At what point do we think about a failure of the economic model with respect to levels of employment? 10, 20, 40 percent? Needless to say, at some point this clash between mechanization and employment for the sake of profit will generate a severe public revolt. All it takes, for example, is one major transport corporation on the west coast to go on strike and shut down food supplies. This type of reaction could be systemic. Social collapse is a very negative thing, but it is also a natural consequence of evolution. Problems lead to creativity and creativity leads to transition if we are willing to move on. The question is, how much suffering will we endure? It isn't that any of us want to see pain and suffering. It is simply inevitable in the current social system. The faster we can get this information out there in the community regarding actual change to the system, the faster we can move on. The very moment we have one person starving in any society, a society that can produce abundance, we are experiencing the failure of the system. Today there are one billion. With this collapse pressure apparent, coupled with the basic understanding of how a step-by-step transition could unfold, let us now talk about transitional activism. The goal here is to not only facilitate a move to the new model but also work to help the suffering in the current model, basically bringing them in first in this process of transition. With the growing technological employment in the world today and government and corporations looking the other way for as long as they can, if we can continue to support solutions to ease the stress on the population, coupled with removing of support for the current system, we are on the right path. One approach is the use of mutual credit systems. These are currently legal overall and exist today in small pockets of the world, largely hidden from public knowledge. A mutual credit system is a form of barter for services or goods which allow created exchange values to be applied to other goods and services, removing the one-to-one correlation common to simple barter. Local Exchange Trading System (LETS) is an example. It assists an interest-free non inflationary form of exchange where value cannot float as it does today. There are a number of variations of the time-bank kind of system, and they are becoming ever more sophisticated in their programming and malleability. One benefit, for those who do not have a job or money, is the ability to exchange with others without the use of the nation's currency. The other benefit is that each exchange that occurs within this kind of method is a loss of growth pressure in the economy. Imagine if 50% of Americans decided to use these systems. The economy as we know in traditional terms would lose 50% of its GDP. The next tactic is the use of community systems of sharing. For example, in the United States, online resources like and have tools and other items listed in a sharing system where they are made available like a library. Each can check out and borrow these items when needed. As minimal as these may seem, if we use our imagination we could see this library concept extend greatly, such as with automobiles and other items used more sparsely. Sites such as promote waste reduction by making items no longer needed available at no cost. Again, imagine if all communities did this. We would help those who didn't have access, coupled with removing growth pressures on the economic system, forcing change. It would also be more environmentally friendly and sustainable. The final tactic comes from the mass petition campaigns and awareness acts to show the world what we are doing. Obviously TZM is doing this right now across the world with our global Z-Day events. However, more strategic methods to communicate these technical possibilities will occur over time. The Global Redesign Institute, for example, is a large scale macrodesign project to do just this. In conclusion, people always ask about backlash. Clearly, we live in a world where the powers have become rather maniacal in their views and historically. Any attempt at a new social model has been met with conflict from the external. Acts of the state of this nature have usually been given an excuse. Protests which turn violent, for example, open the floodgates for oppression. There is a reason why peace activists in t-shirts are met with police in riot gear and weapons. They need violence to perpetuate violence. TZM cannot let this happen. TZM is not a protest movement in this sense, and you will not see TZM activists throwing stones or yelling at buildings. We are going to do this through strategic action in a very sophisticated, peaceful, intellectual manner. Any other abrasive action will only fail The Movement. This concludes my talk. Thank you so much for listening. And thank you to Peter Joseph. Updated information will be available via the orientation guide "TZM Defined - Realizing a New Train of Thought" Thank you again. [Applause]

Video Details

Duration: 21 minutes and 34 seconds
Year: 2013
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: TZM Los Angeles
Director: TZM Los Angeles
Views: 29
Posted by: ltiofficial on Jan 7, 2014

This is the final talk from The Zeitgeist Movement's 5th Annual "Zeitgeist Day", 2013 Main Event, held in Los Angeles CA on March 17th.

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