“It takes a different value system if you wish to change the world,” Jacque Fresco said to a sold out crowd of over 800 in New York City’s Upper West Side. Though he may not need to convince these people, many his ardent followers, it will indeed take a restructuring of the mind for those unfamiliar with Fresco’s work to realistically accept the ideas he proposes of a new global society that has given up money and property in favor of a shared, sustainable, technology-driven community. The caustic skepticism can already be heard, critics crying out with pointed fingers, decreeing communism, socialism, insanity! But as Fresco himself will tell you, communism is still just another system with banks and social stratification. The kind of world he imagines for the future is much different. To ease the transition, The Zeitgeist Movement provides a wealth of dizzying information detailing why a new global system is not only preferred, but necessary, and just how we can get there.
March 13th, 2010 was the second annual celebration of ZDay. Coordinated by The Zeitgeist Movement, ZDay is an educational event geared toward raising awareness of the movement. While 337 sympathetic events occurred in over 70 countries worldwide, NYC was home to the main event, a 6-hour live web cast presentation with lectures from the movement’s key figures, and 30 different countries represented in the audience.
So what exactly is The Zeitgeist Movement? Not even two years old, the movement declares itself as the activist arm of The Venus Project, an organization started in the 1970s by Fresco and his partner, Roxanne Meadows. The Venus Project distributes resources promoting Fresco’s vision of an improved society, with the main component being a resource-based economy, rather than a monetary-based one. In Fresco’s resource-based economy, the world’s resources would be considered as the equal inheritance of all the world’s peoples, and would be managed as efficiently and carefully as possible through focusing on the technological potential of sustainable development. It is toward this idea that The Zeitgeist Movement works to educate and inform people.
The movement’s founder, Peter Joseph, came to notoriety with his 2007 internet film sensation, Zeitgeist, and it’s 2008 successor, Zeitgeist: Addendum. While many people may find it hard to digest the idea of a world without currency, Joseph’s argument that our economic system is the source of our greatest social problems was supported with valuable evidence.
Describing how the margin between upper and lower classes is growing larger every day, Joseph cited that 20% of the American population controls 85% of the money. Also mentioning that the Walton family (of Wal-Mart) owns $90 billion while the lower 40% of America own $95 billion. The most startling revelations he divulged, however, were found when he graphed the amount of specific social issues in the world’s richest countries against those countries’ level of income inequality. The results were astounding, showing that America, a wealthy country but with a vast gap between its rich and poor, is plagued with higher homicide rates, drug use, obesity, mental illness, teenage pregnancy, infant mortality, and imprisonment. On the other hand, countries with much more equal income levels, such as Japan, have better educational scores, longer life expectancies, and higher levels of trust among their populations. The strong correlation is difficult to ignore: the higher a country’s income inequality, the more social problems that degrade it, regardless of its GDP.
I really like the Z Movement I think they might be on the right track here, we do need to abolish money if there is ever going to be peace on Earth. We also share the idea of resource-based economy and sharing the planets resource equally and creating an abundance of things for everyone.
So I wish them luck on all there endeavors in the future.