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Zeitgeist: Addendum - Part One

Author: Edward L Winston
Added: August 16th, 2009

Peter Joseph (creator of Zeitgeist) believes that I'm mentally ill because I disagree with him. You can read all about it on his forums (linked from this forum post), with a blog-based rebuttal here. You better not disagree with him, or you'll be labeled insane next. Perhaps I'm crazy for pointing out his forum post?

This is part one of four in my series of articles on Zeitgeist: Addendum. Please refer to the introduction if you were lead to this page.

Typical Quotes

"The old appeals to racial, sexual and religious chauvinism, to rabid nationalist fervor, are beginning not to work." - Carl Sagan

This quote originates from Episode 13 of Carl Sagan's television series Cosmos[1]. The overall context of the quote is that humanity seems to be moving towards a greater future, however currently it's still on the edge of self-destruction - and any intelligent species in outer space would either also be going through the same phase we are, or figured out a way to go beyond it.

"...  this business of who I am and weather I'm good or bad, or achieving or not, all of that's learned along the way." - Dr. Richard Alpert

I cannot find an original source for this one, but it's attributed to Richard Alpert, noted Hinduism convert and psychedelic drug advocate[2].

"It's just a ride, and we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money, " - Bill Hicks

Properly attributed to Bill Hicks[3], noted comedian.

"...  to realize that I had the game wrong, that the game was to find out what I already was." - Dr. Richard Alpert

Another quote attributed to Richard Alpert that I cannot find an original source for. I believe this may be from one of his films or talks, but I'm not sure.

"We were saying how very important it is to bring about in the human mind the radical revolution. The crisis is a crisis in consciousness. The crisis that cannot anymore accept the old norms, the old patterns, the ancient traditions. And, considering what the world is now, with all the misery, conflict, destructive brutality, aggression, and so on, man is still as he was. He is still brutal, violent, aggressive, acquisitive, competitive, and he has built a society along these lines." - J. Krishnamurti

This is a largely chopped up quote from Jiddu Krishnamurti's third public talk on November 4th, 1966[4]. You can refer to the source for the complete quote as well as the entire talk.

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society" - J. Krishnamurti

I cannot find an original source for this quote, but there are plenty of places on the Internet that attribute it to him[5].

Peter Joseph Begins

Society today is composed of a series of institutions: from political institutions, legal institutions, religious institutions, to institutions of social class, familial values and occupational specialization. It is obvious the profound influence these traditionalized structures have in shaping our understandings and perspectives.

Yet, of all the social institutions we are born into, directed by and conditioned upon, there seems to be no system as taken for granted and misunderstood, as the monetary system. Taking on nearly religious proportions, the established monetary institution exists as one of the most unquestioned forms of faith there is. How money is created, the policies by which it is governed and how it truly affects society are unregistered interests of the great majority of the population.

I've noticed this myself - it's really unusual when people view the monetary system as the end-all-be-all to the exchange of value.

In a world where 1% of the population owns 40% of the planet's wealth, in a world where 34,000 children die every single day from poverty and preventable diseases, and where 50% of the world's population lives on less than 2 dollars a day, one thing is clear:

Something is very wrong.

These numbers are more or less correct[6], and that's because the figures can be very difficult to nail down.

And whether we are aware of it or not, the lifeblood of all of our established institutions and thus society itself, is money. Therefore, understanding this institution of monetary policy is critical to understanding why our lives are the way they are.

In the first movie he attempted to explain monetary policy, but it was very skewed and incorrect.

Unfortunately, economics is often viewed with confusion and boredom. Endless streams of financial jargon coupled with intimidating mathematics quickly deters people from attempts at understanding it. However, the fact is, the complexity associated with the financial system is a mere mask, designed to conceal one of the most socially paralyzing structures humanity has ever endured.

I'm not so sure if it's just a "mask" as the film puts it, because like all complex systems, it needs even more complex rules to keep it in place and of course the longer capitalism exists the more complex the system gets. Prior to the labor movement in the 1920s and prior, the financial system was less complicated, but still fairly complex and now it's far more complex.

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