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Review: Zeitgeist: Moving Forward

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward
Zeitgeist: Moving Forward
Zeitgeist: Moving Forward

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward


It seems constant throughout all the Zeitgeist films that I enthusiastically agree with almost exactly half of Peter Joseph's message, and could not disagree with the other half more vociferously. This new installment is no different it seems.

The first segment of the film examined human nature as a series of experts explained quite eloquently that the popular dichotomy of nature vs. nurture is not only an oversimplification, but also a total cop out. They explain how the argument that negative traits are genetically predetermined has been used in a subtle way to say that the problems of society are inevitable, and therefor can not be solved. The genetic argument also fuels racism, eugenics and class hierarchy, but in reality the process is more complex. For example they show that in addition to explicit memory, where we actually recall events, there is an implicit memory, or what might be called emotional memory, which goes back to the womb. In other words, much of our emotional response to the world is due to imprinting that took place before we have any explicit memory. They focus on something called “Epigenetic Features, ” characteristics for which there is a genetic predisposition, but are triggered by environmental stimuli at key developmental phases in a child’s experience. What they essentially show is that most human traits attributed to nature require a corresponding component of nurture to manifest, and virtually no traits are completely predetermined.

The most important fruit of this research is the discovery that childhood trauma and abuse fundamentally changes the structure of a developing brain, ultimately producing a violent and abusive adult. For more on this phenomena I highly recommend the series The Bomb in the Brain from Freedomain Radio (Thanks Greg).

To be perfectly honest I was somewhat disappointed with the rest of the film.

Apparently what is meant by a “resource-based economy” in the film is not a medium of exchange based on a commodity of intrinsic value. It means a system in which no currency exists at all, in which technology produces such abundance that everything is free and everything man-made is 100% environmentally friendly because scientific calculation makes all economic decisions. It was somewhat reminiscent of George Carlin as Rufus describing the future in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, in which the musical stylings of a garage band bring, “an end to war and poverty, align the planets and bring them into universal harmony allowing meaningful contact with all forms of life, from extraterrestrial beings to common household pets.”

In the film Joseph criticises those who would call him Utopian... so I will refrain.

As usual Joseph brilliantly identifies and articulates the problem with our current monetary system, from the culture of consumerism, to planned obsolescence, to manufactured scarcity, but completely flies off the rails when he starts advocating a solution.

The problem in brief is that paper currency has no intrinsic value. A dollar is not a promissory note, but a record of debt. The Federal Government issues treasury bonds to the Federal Reserve in exchange for dollars. The problem is that Federal Reserve charges interest on that debt, which means that the amount owed to the Federal Reserve is greater than the total money in existence. A system like this can continue through inflation only until a tipping point is reached when the population can no longer be taxed enough to pay the interest on the debt. At this point the entire system must collapse, but not before all manner of tyrannical state interventions are attempted to push that inevitable tipping point out just one more term. Though it is impossible to know when exactly, we are quickly approaching that tipping point.

This kind of malfeasance is not possible when the medium of exchange is a commodity because the currency is not a record of debt, but a resourse. But instead the film completely conflates the two, treating all mediums of exchange as identical when they are not. The film attacks free-market Austrian economists like Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek who were arguing against paper currency, and it completely ignores the the role of state coercion in sheltering monopolistic contractors from liability for their actions.

The rest of the film was a kind of thought experiment called “Project Earth” in which it was hypothesized what the world would look like if we could start over from scratch. This was primarily the vision of Jacque Fresco, who also appeared briefly in the second film.

In Fresco’s vision there is no currency and no market. Instead society is structured entirely in order to allocate resources efficiently. He imagines cities as circular wonderlands of science and technology where all labor is replaced by automated robotics. All demand is calculated based on surveys that people fill out describing their needs. You would basically vote for everything you wanted from essential food and shelter, to recreation and relaxation.

Again he completely ignored the role of state coercion.

To do away with currency completely you must of course do away ownership itself, otherwise people would barter, and an accepted medium of exchange would naturally develop in the market. He embraces this completely saying that exclusive ownership of property would be replaced with communal “access” to property. He imagines that all stores would be operated like public libraries where you would check out the items you needed and return them when you’re done. The vehicle you used to commute to work would be reallocated to another commuter while you were at work. This raises that age-old bugbear of a question, “If there’s no private property do I own myself, or is my body communal property?”

What he is advocating, though he did not say so explicitly, is a centrally planned economy. And he imagines that he has solved the problem of corruption in central planning by seeding decision making authority to a scientific process instead of a human leader. In his animation, as Matrix like tumbles of numbers allegedly calculate supply and demand in elegant efficiency, bold red letters flash across the screen saying “NO OPINIONS!” While I’m certain he intended this as some kind of a virtue of his system, to me it is the worst of tyrants who adopts that as his slogan. In the film he praises a system built on the laws of nature because they are not arbitrary like human law, but then he says blatantly, “like it or not, nature is a dictatorship.”

Scientific calculation does not solve the problem of human corruption because someone has to input the data, someone has to report the results, someone has to give the order how to act upon the results and in a centrally planned economy someone has to punish those who would not follow those orders.

The essential question is, if a scientifically efficient program determines my needs for me, what If my subjective sense of my own needs is different? Am I free to disagree? But he doesn’t seem too concerned with freedom. In fact, he mocks those who would speak of liberty as closed minded, jingoistic misanthropes. And asserts that freewill is an illusion.

Behind all the technobabble is the simple fact that a centrally planned economy is enforced through the threat of violence. Although he does at one point speculate that his idea is so brilliant that people will volunteer in droves. Some will. But if you don’t do your job, if you don’t play along, if you don’t do what the central planning computer tells you is most efficient there must be consequences, or you don’t have central planning anymore. You have a free market.

They say from the beginning that it is essential to raise children without violence. But violence is the final arrow in the quiver of a centrally planned economy. So, if raising children in a violent environment produces violent adults, an authoritarian sociopath will eventually ascend the halls of power in any system predicated on coercion. Such a system, engineered entirely to maximize efficiency, will eventually fall into the hands of dictator. As any good physician will tell you, if you treat the symptom without addressing the underlying cause, the symptom will reemerge.

Further Discussion


  • something missed 5 years ago

    good review, all tho you should not air you insecurities, that is just fartng* in the wind

  • Profile picture of Davi Barker
    Davi Barker 5 years ago

    Can you clarify what you mean by insecurities? I really have no idea what you mean.

  • Jonny 5 years ago

    Great review. i was there, and while part 1 was brilliant, the rest made me sick.

  • Profile picture of Davi Barker
    Davi Barker 5 years ago

    If part one on human nature was your cup of tea, I strongly recommend following the link in the article above to the Bomb in the Brain series, if you look around the Freedomain Radio videos you'll also find a series called Psychohistory that examines similar themes.

  • blake 5 years ago

    Thankyou for taking the time to write this review.
    I must argue that people would not vote for anything. As we identify, nature is a dictatorship. There is no republican way to build an aeroplane or a bridge. It is a technical matter, but with all the technical issues being resolved in the most efficient and sustainable way, you no longer have to submit to debt slavery... now you are actually, properly, free.
    Your interpersonal relationships, where you travel & everything else is no longer dictated by the societal boundaries we experience today. Of course there will still be societal boundaries, as is only natural, but they will not be dictated by border police or any other mentally ill figures of authority. They will be dictated by nature and nature alone. Seems fair enough?
    And yes, your body is communal. You are a part of a symbitoic molecular unity. Once you have understood this through experiencing it, you will be less likely to become afraid against your own will, or sick, mentally or physically.
    Peace the global revolution is now!!

  • Profile picture of Davi Barker
    Davi Barker 5 years ago

    In the film a group people fill out a survey describing their needs, and another group of people scoop beige food out of some kind of dispensary. This is how "demand" is calculated. I realize this is not an election but it is is similar to voting. If more people want eggplants than turnips more resources will be allocated to growing eggplants. Am I free to grow my own turnips, if so do I own them? Am I free to make arrangements with neighboring cities to import turnips, if so how do I compensate them? If I am not free to do these things, who stops me and how?

    You are correct that engineering is a technical matter, but that doesn't mean there is only one way to build a plane. There are priorities that go into the process of engineering. Speed vs. load capacity. Fuel efficiency vs. crash safety. There is a process of cost benefit analysis when engineering that can't be resolved by calculation because value is subjective. I may want a fast plane. You may want a large plane. It is inefficient to give every individual a plane. Which means we must find a way resolve a diversity of demand.

    I am an artist. I may prefer a technically inefficient process because of other advantages.

    This is going to sound harsh... but it is absolutely a serious question. If my body is communal property how can I object to being raped?

  • Spazz 5 years ago

    "Nature is a dictatorship" is a meaningless platitude. It seems Hume wasn't part of Peter Joseph's undergrad sociology curriculum: Just because something exists in nature doesn't mean it OUGHT to exist, and definitely doesn't mean that we should build a political economy around it's existence. Naturalism? Really? Perhaps we should have a system based on cannibalism... since cannibalism is rampant throughout nature.

    Second, didn't socialists argue something similar, with a labor theory of value? Worked well for them, too...

  • Devon Gagnon 5 years ago

    Davi, you haven't done your research at all. You're making the same baseless assumptions every person makes when asking questions, such as "Am I free to grow my own eggplant?"

    Tell me, why would you grow your own eggplants if it's available in abundance? That's pointless. Before you ask "What you are allowed/not allowed to do" or "what will happen if someone does this or that", think about the reason why?

    A huge portion of our actions and speech exists on the social conditioning of the system we live in, you can project those habits in a completely different society with a completely seperate set of needs. Always ask yourself why, the reason before asking that kind of question.

    You need to do more research before you write a review like this, because it's obvious you haven't taken the time to understand what you're hearing. This isn't an entertainment product like almost all other films, this is education, and assumptions are useless.

  • Profile picture of Bob11
    Bob11 5 years ago

    When you say "Scientific calculation does not solve the problem of human corruption because someone has to input the data, someone has to report the results, someone has to give the order how to act upon the results..." I think you are missing the fact that resource allocation will be entirely objective because (ideally) the data will be measured by automated mechanical devices that give real time feedback to the central computer. No one actually does have to give the order on how to act upon the results, because decisions will be arrived at by the computer which is supported by the virtues of Earth and Human sustainability and prosperity. These virtues are not subjective as they coincide with the laws of nature.

  • Profile picture of Davi Barker
    Davi Barker 5 years ago

    Data describing someone's needs can be measured objectively, but it is reported subjectively. What prevents someone from misreporting their needs?

    What are "The virtues of Earth and human sustainability and prosperity"? That sounds incredibly subjective to me. But even if you regard it as objective, am I free to disagree? To remain skeptical and unconvinced?

    If I am free to disagree, am I free to act upon different calculations?

    If I am not free to disagree, is it virtuous to force me to comply with your calculations against my will?

  • Devon Gagnon 5 years ago

    Once again, all you're points are "What if this, What if that". No, sorry, that's unreasonable. People don't JUST do things, they do things because of reasons. Why would someone misreport their needs purposely, in a system where all their needs are met. You have this pessimistic, suspicious way of thinking that's assumes that if a person can do something, they will, which isn't the way things work. People DON'T do things for no reason. You can't use examples that have no relation to the system whatsoever. There is ALWAYS a reason for adherent behavior, ALWAYS.

  • NewPlanet 5 years ago

    Bob and Devon AMAZINGLY well said.
    It completely overrides the question: "who is behind all of this?"
    Who cares?! Why? Because entire world will build it. every nation will participate in a search for dynamically equal community, like the planet we live on. I'm just afraid that it will be too late when we realize that we have to build and test whole new community. I think it is time that this project goes global in order to gain resources to prototype the exact design, enhanced by the vision of world's best designers and every other human craftsman, artist, scientist or engineer.

  • JIMBO 5 years ago

    You said:

    The essential question is, if a scientifically efficient program determines my needs for me, what If my subjective sense of my own needs is different?

    But how/ why would your 'subjective sense of your own needs' differ? If the hypothetical system did what it was supposed to, then there couldn't be any disagreement with it.

    You are simply begging the question by assuming that any such system would necessarily be inadequate. Of course, in order to assess thought experiments properly, we must take the assumptions on their own terms.

    Also, you say:

    If my body is communal property how can I object to being raped?

    But the point is to reject the concept of ownership/property - rejecting property does not imply public property.

    Again, you haven't considered the concept on its own terms.

    Your example, rape, is not a dispute about ownership; it is a matter of one human hurting another. It is entirely reasonable (intuitive, even) to object to being hurt - without implicit reference to the concept of ownership.

  • Profile picture of Davi Barker
    Davi Barker 5 years ago

    Is the purpose of the system to fulfill my subjective sense of my needs? If not they will differ. If so do you assume it would be 100% accurate without error? If so we aren't talking about reality. If not sometimes the computer's determination of my needs will differ from my own.

    I am not assuming that it is inadequate. I am assuming that it is falsifiable which it claims to be, and therefore fallible. Logically this system must sometimes determine my needs to be different from what I determine my needs to be. So, what happens?

    In any experiment you measure the hypothesis against reality, not against it's own assumptions.

    As for the rape question, I feel like I own my body. To me that means that I exclusively possess it and I have exclusive rights to control, and take responsibility for, the actions of this body.

    When you say that a human has a right to be free from harm, that implies both of these things to me. In my understanding harm is a violation of their body ownership. Violence because you damage the body they possess. Slavery because you control the actions of that body. And Rape because you violate both. (which is why I use rape as an example, not to be hyperbolic.)

    If you're telling me I do not possess my body, where am I? If you're telling me I do not have exclusive right to control my body, who else does?

    Or, as I suspect, are we having a disagreement in definitions? What does "ownership" mean to you?

  • JIMBO 5 years ago

    i am concerned that you want to analyse the issue of rape down to a question of ownership, when the only relevant factor is the suffering and degradation of the victim? according to your definition, rape is essentially equivalent to breaking someone's fence. i would say that this misses the point quite severely.

    the concept of ownership is a social construct. that is, if people stopped acting like it meant something, it would cease to have meaning. in order to assess the thought experiment presented in the movie, you must first realise what it means to reject the concept of ownership.
    your mistake was to simply substitute private property for, as you said, 'communal property'. in fact, a little thought will reveal that both are precluded in the absence of ownership.

    as for the first point, i will simply remind you that none of this has been implemented (and i doubt ever will be), and so i don't see what 'reality' you think you are 'measuring against' in your judgement that the hypothetical system would necessarily fail. you are indeed begging the question, even if you haven't yet realised - circulus in probando.

  • Profile picture of Davi Barker
    Davi Barker 5 years ago

    "you must first realise what it means to reject the concept of ownership."

    Exactly.... that's what I feel has not been sufficiently defined.

    I don't know how to reject the concept that I possess and control something that is in my hand.

  • Jonny 5 years ago


    Saying there is no such thing as ownership is a self-denoting statement as you are in fact demonstrating ownership over your body if you're using your mind to think and fingers to type those thoughts.

  • Devon Gagnon 5 years ago

    What the hell are you talking about? This movie is talking about Material Ownership. Physical Property. Your thoughts, your body, has nothing to do with this. Man, talk about confusion. Jesus. He's talking about providing Access to resources, not owning them. Providing abundance to everyone, and tracking and distributing this with electronics and programming. You look at this from the point of a single person, and not as an entire planet. The needs of everybody are the same: Food, Water, Shelter, Energy, etc. You worry and pick at all these irrelevant little details like, "Well, I want my bread thick, but he wants it thin, so it's not fair if I don't get thick bread" Give me a break. While your worrying about these things, the planet is going to collapse, and then guess what, you won't have to worry about it again. This is about the big picture, the survival of everyone. If you don't accept the solution Peter and Jacque have provided, then how about providing a better one, because if there's one thing they've proven, and you said yourself you agree with, is that our current system will be the death of us. So either pony up a better alternative, or help work out the details of this one, because it's the only one I've seen that's worth looking at, and it's a thousand times more sane then what we have.

  • George Orwell 5 years ago

    Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follows.

  • Profile picture of Bob11
    Bob11 5 years ago

    @Davi Baker
    I take back what I said earlier. I agree that what constitutes "human prosperity" is subjective, because these are based upon individual pursuits of happiness. What constitutes "basic human needs" can be partly subjective, but mostly objective. It only takes so many resources for the average human to stay alive and healthy. I think what the Venus Project is trying to get at is that standard of living should be something that is equally shared among the entire human race, and that when the human standard of living is risen by a discovery or invention of some sort, that everyone should equally be able to share that advantage. So we function as one organism.

    Are you free to disagree? Of course. The Venus Project recognizes that our world is constantly changing, and therefore needs and wants are constantly changing. It's not that they have a institutional system that will be set forever as soon as it's put into effect, but they encourage a system that is open to change and open to trying to maximize human standard of living, and thus hopefully the level of individual happiness.

  • Profile picture of Bob11
    Bob11 5 years ago

    @ Davi Baker (Cont.)
    I don't know what you mean by "different calculations". Maybe you are referring to your calculations on what you think your needs are? If you believe you need more than that of your neighbor or friend, then, if you have legitimate reason to (such as a handicap or other needs impeding your will to live comfortably), take more as long as it's not unreasonably excessive (by unreasonably excessive, I mean an amount that does not impede on others' standards of living).

    This system, I might add, doesn't really give anyone reason to take more than they need, though, because the goal is abundance, and when there is abundance, everyone, in theory, should have everything they need and more.

    Does that answer your question? Please let me know. Questions and skeptics are encouraged.

  • Profile picture of Davi Barker
    Davi Barker 5 years ago

    "legitimate reason" sounds incredibly subjective. Who decides my needs are legitimate? I believe my love for the tomatoes is a legitimate reason to possess and control them. I believe my creativity is a legitimate reason to possess and control more paper and pencils. I believe eccentricity is a legitimate reason to possess and control a technically inefficient vehicle.

    Who other than you can determine which needs are "impeding your will to live comfortably."

    From what you're saying, someone must determine (other than me) what is unreasonably excessive for me to possess and control from the fruits of my own labor.

    If my reasons are deemed illegitimate than we've answered my first question. If the system determines my needs different from my subjective sense of my needs... I go without... or at least the system does not provide them.

    So we're back in the loop. If I can't get something I want from the system, am I free to acquire it another way? If not can I negotiate with my neighbor to acquire his? If so, can I compensate him?

    And if not... and this is the most important question of everything we've discussed... who stops me and how?

  • Devon Gagnon 5 years ago

    Your biggest problem that I've noticed is you're so conditioned by the notion of freedom, that you're purposely coming up with the most eccentric examples just to prove a point that is irrelevant. You want to do things, that purposely harm us as a people, only to prove that you have the right to, even if it makes no sense at all. Why? Selfishness, you're unable to make the sacrifices that our children need to survive from the problems we've created for them. In your mind, it's your freedom your right to sleep in a bed of peanut butter and take a bath in pure hot chocolate, regardless of logic. It's absolutely idiotic when a person breaks down this type of mentality. The people of this world need to step up and stop this nonsense...this isn't a matter of "forcing" people to stop doing this or that, it is about "educating" people to become logical, practical beings that know, in their core, what is necessary to better our planet.

    Believe me, I'm a romantic, a dreamer so I undertstand how you feel, but I have completely clarity on the need for this, which is why I always consider the reasons why.

  • Jay G. 5 years ago

    "Scientific calculation does not solve the problem of human corruption because someone has to input the data, someone has to report the results, someone has to give the order how to act upon the results and in a centrally planned economy someone has to punish those who would not follow those orders."

    I find it interesting that you make this statement after praising the first section of the film regarding human nature/behavior. The whole point of the first part is to demonstrate that human behavior can be changed if the environment supports it. Then in the above quote, that idea completely fails on you as you seem to assume that "human corruption" is something that can not be overcome.

  • Profile picture of Davi Barker
    Davi Barker 5 years ago

    I am not assuming that human corruption can not be overcome. I question whether or not this system has overcome it.

    To go back to turnips and eggplants. If I know that their is greater demand for eggplants than turnips in my city, and calculations determine that greater resources are allocated to growing eggplants than turnips, and one year a fungus, or a parasite kills half the turnip crop... from that point on I have a subtle incentive to over report my demand for turnips... which would be corrupt.

    Security is number 2 on Mazlo's hierarchy of needs, but the sense of security is subjective. Human's feel a need to feel secure that their is sufficient supply of the resources they demand. Because of unexpected events, the chaos of nature, that REQUIRES producing a surplus. The surplus fulfills the need for security, not the need for food. The need for security is subjective. Therefore there is a subjective influence, a corruption of an objective calculation, that creates an incentive to misreport the need for food.

    I think the perhaps the census is a greater analogy to the demand survey than voting.

  • Profile picture of Davi Barker
    Davi Barker 5 years ago

    @Bob First off. Thank you for the time you're putting in. I realize I can be difficult. I just feel like we're speaking a different language.

    So, we agree that "prosperity" can be subjective. And "basic human needs" can be somewhat subjective. It seems you're saying resources for life and health are objective (I may agree, let me think about it).

    To me "needs" doesn't just mean food and shelter. I literally believe that humans NEED things like recreation, social interaction, autonomy etc. I consider those part of "prosperity." But not objective. My wife NEEDS much more socializing than me. I NEED much more autonomy than her. Our calculations are different.

    So, for example. I own a small vegetable garden on an apartment balcony. It is utterly inefficient. It is a waste of time. A waste of money. It yields poor harvests. But it helps me to fulfill a NEED for autonomy in an un-free world. I cherish those tomatoes more than gold. Far more than my neighbor would. I like it the way it is. I wish to possess it the way it is. I wish to control it the way it is. If a system, no matter how egalitarian, takes it from me and makes it more efficient in time and harvest it no longer meets my needs for autonomy.

    Would I be free to "own" (meaning possess and control), this small vegetable garden?

  • Jay G. 5 years ago

    "I question whether or not this system has overcome it."

    Oh absolutely not, and that is exactly why the Zeitgeist Movement exists. People have to realize that if we don't make a dramatic shift in the way we conduct society on this planet, we're going to be in for a very rude awakening sooner or later, and that's essentially it. As Jacque says, "the Venus Project is not perfect, it's just a lot better than what we have today."

    And yes the transition will not be easy. People may have to make some sacrifices, but hopefully people will realize said sacrifices are necessary given the collective goal is to eventually have a sustainable culture while simultaneously supporting a 7 billion person population.

    The bottom line is the market system is far too wasteful, we are quickly running out of the precious resources we all need to survive, and if we don't deliberately go into strategic preservation mode we're all basically doomed. The Venus Project is the only group i've seen that really recognizes this fundamental fact.

  • Mikko Laakso 5 years ago

    The thing you say, that you "own" that small vegetable garden is false, because if you die today, that small vegetable garden is still growing. Nobody really "own" anything in this world, we only use things as long as we are allowed by the nature. "Owning" is also a word of monetary system, and since the resource based economy, there would not be any kind of money, there can´t be "ownership" to anything, but like registered usage of apartment. Then when you deside to move, you order a free apartment from another place, and you get that apartment for your registered usage again, and the former apartment will be available to someone else to register. The thing is that nobody will say to you what to do or what to think, you can do almost anything(killing everyone else is not an option).

  • Profile picture of Davi Barker
    Davi Barker 5 years ago

    You seem to be disagreeing with the definition I'm using for "own" which is to possess and control, not to possess and control forever. No one owns anything forever now. Even in this current monetary system no body claims to own a dollar forever. Ownership transfers.

    So let's say I don't "own" my vegetable garden. Let's say I have "registered usage" of my vegetable garden. What has changed? Do I still posses the vegetable garden? Do I still control the vegetable garden? Is it still unacceptable for someone else to damage it or harvest it without my permission?

  • Mikko Laakso 5 years ago

    So if you like gardening, then of course you can be a gardener, and you can also contribute for the society by nurturing the agricultural belt and see that everyhing is working as it should be working. The Idea of not owning and only using, is far more sustainable and efficient, than "ownership" and "property". But still for example, if you would like to play piano, then you could have one into your apartment, if you wish to, that´s your burden. I myself am a hobbyist musician, and I could easily just go to a music centre, and play and compose there with other people and not "own" those instruments. Life is more fun when you do things together, after you have left behind the stratification of the monetary system and you can trust for your neighbours and fellow humans again. Since nobody is any better in real-life than you are, you are one contributor for the benefit for all like everyone else. We are one planet my brother over there. :o)

  • Profile picture of Davi Barker
    Davi Barker 5 years ago

    No! I don't want to be a gardener. The purpose of my garden is not to produce vegetables. It is incredibly inefficient at that. It is not sustainable but wasteful. The purpose of my vegetable garden to fulfill my need for autonomy in an unfree world.

  • Plutotype 5 years ago

    Vegetable garden on a apartment balcony is a product / idea of todays culture. There is no need for that in resource based economy - RBE. Your role and your interests will change 100times if something simillar like RBE would be implemented succesfully.

    Many people's opinions and attitudes ( as a product of todays culture too ) are too havey linked to material form of the world. I want to have a tv, i want to have a special car, i want to be special...because of what? Because of the scarcity of everything and because your mind has been pre-programmed through social trauma. This caused this weakness (for example i was hurt and i need to stand up and show how I can rule ).This was ZG 3 was all about.

    Resource based economy is firstly a major change in the term ownership - as mentioned before, that converts to "access". And this is simply because of the finite resources of Earth. The movie explained it - everyone will have access. If your garden would need to consist of a very rare and finite materials or needed treatment thats uneffective and wasteful, believe me, in RBE you wouldnt accept it simply as a pleasure to run it at all. If somebody has a problem to co-exist with other people as one organism ( one man can not spend 1000x more the other, who has parallely problems to access the 0.1% of what the other has ), than than he has start working on that, because...the Earth belongs to all of us. Finally, we are humans not fighting animals, or not?


  • Profile picture of Bob11
    Bob11 5 years ago

    @Davi Baker
    I see no reason why you wouldn't be able to keep your own vegetable garden. The autonomy of growing your own garden is actually the same sort of theorized culture that will exist in a resource based economy. The autonomy of working to be self-sustaining, along with the autonomy of improving the society-sustaining system in any way you want, and then reaping the benefits of that system and knowing your work improved everyone else' lives in the process.

    On a separate but somewhat related note, The Venus Project recognizes that land is a finite resource. If the human population becomes so great that land essentially becomes scarce, then you would hopefully take that into your consideration of how much your garden is really helping compared to other advanced form of agriculture. This is of course an extreme situation and is not likely to happen.

  • Profile picture of Davi Barker
    Davi Barker 5 years ago


    Is there a distinction in your mind between being able to "have" a vegetable garden, and being able to "own" a vegetable garden?

    The reason I was careful to say that my garden is inefficient is because it is not self-sustaining, or society-sustaining, or society-improving. From a resource-based standpoint it is a net loss, as many of the things that I consider an emotional or spiritual need are.

  • Profile picture of Bob11
    Bob11 5 years ago

    @Davi Barker (Cont.)
    Regardless, anyone anywhere should have have the freedom to have their own vegetable garden, even within the circular city systems and other city designs. Also, keep in mind that no person will be "forced" to live in any of the city systems or specially designed living quarters that Fresco has designed. Although they may be more efficient and offer a higher standard of living, feel free to live anywhere in the world and in any inefficient way you want, as long as it doesn't impede on others' rights or standards of living or isn't hazardous to the environment, etc. This rule, of course, will not be enforced in the system, but would eventually become implied within the culture norms as maturity within a system of abundance is theoretically likely to rise significantly (by maturity, I mean general respect for other living creatures and the planet).

  • Rupert Russell 5 years ago

    Great debate chaps. Isn't this simply a case of the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few? Beyond the socialist dream if you will.
    Can I point you in the direction of an IT engineer and author called Daniel Suarez. He has a very interesting design for how a digital/human hybrid democracy might work that may interest those of you with some technical background.
    The journey is the destination.

  • Profile picture of Davi Barker
    Davi Barker 5 years ago

    "The needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few" - that sounds like a recipe for the eternal oppression of the smallest minority in society, which is the individual.

    To use the coin collection scenario that seems like a justification to forcefully remove the coins I have collected and enjoy having in my home because they would serve the needs of more people as an educational tool in a classroom.

    Is that what you're saying?

  • Rupert Russell 5 years ago

    Hi Davi,
    How does my descision to put the well being of my brother before my own count as oppression? None of us make a descision about anything in isolation, there is no 'I'. No one can exist in isolation. If you choose to keep those coins for your own benefit/need to the detriment of others that demonstrates your lack of understanding the greater good. When asked 'where do you store your surplus harvest?' he answered 'in the belly of my brother'. We are genetically predesposed to share and cooporate. If we can build a system that nurtures and rewards such bahaviours then we are surly heading in the right direction.
    There are elements of the assumptions made by the movement that are certainly unknowns but the more I research into the social and technical difficulties such a system would throw up the more I find potential solutions. A RBE does not claim to offer a problem free world but it does sugest that things could be very different to what we have this day and I for one would love the chance to have a crack at it. Lets face it, it couldn't get any worse.
    If I, or whomever, could convice you to want to give up the coins, they contain a semi-precious material that is needed to build a dialysis machine, there is no argument that your needs are superseded. But you know this.
    Ther is an element of the devils advocate to you position methinks.

  • Profile picture of Davi Barker
    Davi Barker 5 years ago

    "If you choose to keep those coins for your own benefit/need to the detriment of others that demonstrates your lack of understanding the greater good."

    I acquired them myself. If I did not perform that labor the coins are not available for the benefit of others. I only acquired them because I have peculiar fascination with the history of money. If I can't keep that collection... I don't perform that labor.

    If you convince me to want to give up the coins and I give them to you voluntarily for the greater good that is no contradiction with the concept of ownership as I understand it. That is how ownership transfers peacefully. The only reason you would need to dispute my ownership of the coins is if you wished to take them from me involuntarily.

    How does the Venus Project deal with people living in their city who "lack understanding of the greate good"?

  • Rupert Russell 5 years ago

    Does the heat from the sun that warms you body belong to you? And if I stand between you and the light have I taken that from you? If I breath more deeply and more often than you am I being greedy. Just as I could snatch the food from your hand I do not because I have enough to maintain my health.
    I understand your argument to be how do we decide what one persons needs are over anothers.
    I have built a spaceship. It can provide life support to 1000 passengers and crew for the duration of it's mission to Pluto and back. Method and logistics dictate that there are limits to what each person can bring with them on the trip. Spaceship Earth is ready to depart and all on board understand that only through cooporation and concensus has this got a chance of working. If that concensus has been arrived at through oppression then the flight is doomed. If every passenger/crew member, they are one and the same, has arrived at their descision to take the trip through an equal, open and honest eploration of the facts then....
    I have to coerce my wife to get on an aeroplane, she is convinced that it's going to crash. Some do but we still fly.

  • Profile picture of Davi Barker
    Davi Barker 5 years ago

    If we lived in a cave with limited sky lights sunlight would ABSOLUTELY be a scarce resource. If we were on your space ship and and oxygen was limited it would ABSOLUTELY be a scarce resource.

    I completely agree that abundant resources have low market value and little need to own. But you can not possibly make all resources abundant.

    If you force your wife to board a plane against her will that is kidnaping. I suspect rather that you comfort her until she boards the plane of her own volition. You're being hyperbolic.

  • Rupert Russell 5 years ago

    Hi Davi
    My debating skills profer this argument little justice. My lack of ability in engaging with you on an even playing feild will eventually out. You would do me a great honor if you were to look at some of my my brothers work on the subjects discussed here. He has spent the last 10 years seeking alternatives to this current paradigm and has raised some interesting arguments on his blog that you may want to engage with him on, you are more in his league than mine.

    You can find his work at
    You should meet.


  • Brightwell 5 years ago

    Jay G. has a really good point. In a system that is designed for greatest quality of life, a system of abundance, there is nothing to push people toward violence or corruption. With basic needs met, and an immediate and obvious connection between your well-being and the operation of the system you are a part of, it will be obvious that your subjective (self) interests are completely aligned with the aims of the system that supports and nurtures you. Just like it is in your best interest to work hard to support the plants in your garden, it is also of your best interest to support the human system that supports and nurtures you. If a society of people are raised in such a world, efficient cooperation is absolute common sense.

  • Profile picture of Bob11
    Bob11 5 years ago

    @Davi Barker (Cont.)
    I realize that many of these questions you have come as result of the Venus Project being presented in a general sense in the movies and never getting down to the nitty gritty stuff. Many of these types of questions (i.e. What happens if everyone wants to live on a beach? What if I become so emotionally connected to a home that I don't want to give it up for society?) are answered within the many radio shows posted by Peter Joseph on the Zeitgeist Movement website. I know it's difficult to access specifics by just sifting through a bunch of radio shows, but the movement is working on a knowledge base so that people can find easy answers to all of their questions based on the responses from Peter Joseph's radio shows. I have found that the more research I do, the more my questions are answered, and the more attractive a resource-based economy becomes. Just a thought in case you have time to do such a thing.

  • Profile picture of Davi Barker
    Davi Barker 5 years ago

    The long and the short of it is that I'm trying to identify the roll of coercion in this societal model. Because I cannot imagine a population of diverse backgrounds, priorities, and beliefs all demonstrating compliance with a centrally orchestrated system without being coerced.

    Will those who believe in ownership be forcefully removed from what they consider private property?

    Will those who do not believe in this child rearing method be forcefully removed from their children?

    Will those who harm the environment, perhaps because they are unconvinced by the science, be forced to change their behavior?

  • OBPOHR 5 years ago

    At the end of the day "The Resource Based Economy-TRBE" is better then our current monetary system... TRBE is not perfect, but it's more efficient then what we have NOW... TRBE is not utopian, and it will take time for humanity to follow...

    The needs of HUMANITY supersede the needs of the individuals or special groups of Elitism (Government, Religion, Corporations).

    Earth is in chaos due to our current monetary system and we are depleting our resources at an alarming rate, just to benefit the few (Elitist/Elitism)...

    Davi Barker why the need to own? Why the need to posses things?

    These are the very things that produce wars, famine, division, hatred, genocide and other atrocities just to control HUMANITY...

    Part I

  • Profile picture of Davi Barker
    Davi Barker 5 years ago

    "TRBE is better then our current monetary system" - that's not a very high bar to clear.

    "it's more efficient then what we have NOW" - which remains to be demonstrated.

    "The needs of HUMANITY supersede the needs of the individual" - I find that to be a very frightening thing for one individual to say to another.

    "Davi Barker why the need to own?" - To me own means to possess and control. I'm waiting for someone to offer me a different definition. I NEED to possess and control my body. Otherwise I am a slave. I can not feed this body without possessing and controlling the food for at least the moment before it enters my mouth.

    When I claim to own something, and you claim to oppose ownership itself that causes me great anxiety because it means (or seems to mean) that you have no objection to removing it from me by force. Which would mean that you would possess and control it, or "own" it by my definition. So with the words I have now, I can't understand what is that you're saying, other than that others have a right to take things from me by force.

    "These are the very things that produce wars, famine, division, hatred, genocide and other atrocities" - All of those things are violations of property rights... so I'm having trouble understanding how the existence of property rights causes them.

  • OBPOHR 5 years ago

    Davi Barker it is time for change, previous and current civilizations under the monetary system has/have proven to be a failure...

    Davi Barker, in "The Resource Based Economy-TRBE" you will not be raped!!! Your own insecurities are raping and keeping your from true freedom...

    Even if the current monetary/price system implemented changes, by using commodities such as gold, silver, diamonds, and or other instead of fiat paper money; all of HUMANITY would not see the benefits. WAR, FAMINE, POVERTY and ELITISM would continue!

    TRBE during its transition will eliminate the KKK, BLACK PANTHERS, REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS, ELITIST/ELITISM, ALQAEDA, DRUG LORDS, ETA, NGO's/NPO's and thousands of other abhorrent groups who only seek their self interest.

    It is normal to fear change, but change is needed if you care about all HUMANITY and our only blue planet called EARTH!!!


    Part II (The end)

  • Profile picture of Davi Barker
    Davi Barker 5 years ago

    "it is time for change" - I agree
    "the monetary system is a failure" - I agree
    "you will not be raped!" - I'm not suggesting I would. I'm asking, if I do not own (exclusively possess and control) my body... who else has partial possession and control?
    "Your own insecurities" - Security is on Mazlo's hierarchy of needs. Don't dismiss it so readily. If I cannot feel secure from coercion how can you expect me to feel free?

    I'm not saying a resource-based currency would solve the world's problems. Only that it is better than a paper currency. I still don't see how the arrogate of people voluntarily transferring value causes these things that are all involuntary transfers of value.

    "only seek their self interest." - Are you saying you are not seeking your self interest? And not appealing to mine?

    "It is normal to fear change" - I do not fear change. I actively seek change. Please do not invalidate my concerns by dismissing them as fear, selfishness and insecurity. I believe abolishing the monetary system is good. I believe that increasing abundance and efficiency with technology is good. I believe helping the most in need first is good.

    I cannot possibly believe that abolishing ownership is good because I don't even understand what it means.

    I remain very hesitant to think that a centrally planned economy is good, because I don't see how it can be achieved without coercion.

  • The Nutty Professor 5 years ago

    Davi, your concerns have already been addressed numerous times in The Venus Project FAQ. I highly recommend you research the project before assuming it is centrally planned. The design and programming of all necessary production and distribution automation is crowdsourced like wikipedia and is therefore not central. The results of these program designs and platforms remain opensource just like linux. Your dilemma of ownership is solved when studying gift economies or collaborative consumption models. You will see that property is defined here only within the context of produced goods and not humans. The underlying cause of all aberrant behavior is scarcity as it triggers the survival instinct and the need to stockpile. With abundance, the human species resorts to it's natural evolved social state of sharing, caring, and kinship. your response is welcomed.


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