Peter Joseph’s July 25th 2009 Zeitgeist Movement Lecture: London , UK Entitled “Where are we now?”
In this video, Peter Joseph summarised the main problems of the current monetary-based socioeconomic system. From my understanding of the presentation, the monetary system has played a role in facilitating the industrial revolution, resulting in the use of technology in the agricultural, manufacturing and service sectors, which gradually replaces human labour in these sectors, starting from agriculture and mining. The flaw of the monetary system is that it is used by corporations to create artificial scarcity and value of resources, which is meant to perpetuate continual or cyclical consumption in order for the corporations to continue to make profits. This resulted in deliberate inefficient use of resources to manufacture goods of less than optimal quality and durability so as to keep consumers buying new goods to replace worn-out ones.
I also learnt from the presentation that the current socioeconomic system has reached a stage where it can no longer sustain itself much longer because technology in the form of automation has mainly replaced human labour in agriculture, manufacturing and increasingly in the service sector. As a result, jobs are becoming increasingly scarce, and without jobs, people will not be able to afford to buy many of the goods, and hence the question was posed: “Should the focus of society be to create and preserve jobs or should the focus of society be to maximize production and create abundance? It is either one direction or the other. You can’t have both. Sadly, what you are seeing in the world today is the deliberate withholding of social efficiency for the sake of preserving the status quo.”
Like what Peter Joseph shared here, the world needs to embrace a new paradigm that will ensure everyone receives the benefits of peak production and abundance equally without the constraints and discrimination imposed by the limiting self-serving monetary system that is becoming obsolete by the day. The challenge is for people to let go of this obsolete system and forget about their status quo and embrace a better and more equitable system that will meet everyone’s needs and remove the problems of war, poverty, environmental degradation and so on, as mentioned in the video:
“While money has indeed served a positive role overall on the course of our social evolution, adaptation and change and improvement is still unstoppable. The fact is, most of the original problems, which required the development of the economic system we see today, are no longer pressing due to the dramatic advancement of science and technology. We now have the means to move in to a new paradigm one where the negative by-products of our current social establishment such as perpetual war, human exploitation, poverty and environmental destruction are no longer tolerable. What is advocated here is merely a next step in our social evolution as dictated not by a person or group’s opinion but by statistics, trends, basic inference and extrapolation all deduced by the scientific method.”
Interestingly, towards the end of the video, Peter Joseph also shared his observation that historically, humans living in indigenous societies are egalitarian and non-hierarchical in their social structures, which shows that humans are not inherently greedy.
“Before the agricultural or neolithic revolution which occurred about 10,000 years ago, hunter-gatherer societies actually had a non-hierarchical, egalitarian social structure. The social values were based essentially on equality altruism, sharing and literally forbid upstartism, dominance, aggression and egoism.”
May we all around the world move towards a new culture based on equality and sustainability and create an environment that cultivates our innate kindness and altruism.
All in all, I think the presentation summarises the problems of the current system well, which provide a strong impetus for people to seriously consider, prepare for and embrace a better and more equitable and sustainable system that will benefit not just themselves but also others.
- Thoughts on Presentation for The Zeitgeist Movement (TZM) (realrest.wordpress.com)
- A Very Condensed Case for Revolution (realrest.wordpress.com)
- Zeitgeist: Addendum (2008) (singulibrium.wordpress.com)
- Resource Based Economy (jacknamaste.wordpress.com)
- Transcript for Peter Joseph: Where are we now?