Wednesday, 8 September 2010


This article comes with a health warning. Read it only if you are interested in hearing about a system which, if ever implemented, would tear down the very foundations of the society in which we live. The alternative social system as proposed in Zeitgeist, a bold documentary, and the subject of this article, is brazen. It’s brazen enough to suggest a society that values resources over money and equality over elitism. If you have a vested interest in the latter, the following words will deeply offend you. In fact, your feathers won’t be ruffled, they’ll stand up and grey. If, however, you’re on the other side of the fence, then you’re in for a treat. Here goes:

You’re burning money. How often have those words been directed at you? If you’re like me; regularly. From an early age, we’re taught the importance of currency, its value and the foolishness of wasting it. We treat it as a resource, the most valuable one. But here’s the rub: it’s not a resource, and it’s definitely not as important as, say, water, earth or air. Sound audacious? It’s not, really. It’s just common sense. Truth is, we could live without it. Money is a man-made concept that was created out of thin air (a resource) on the whims of a few very powerful men. It’s an invention.

Invention is synonymous with that time old saying which says that necessity is mother. In the case of cash, currency, legal tender, the green stuff, this is also true. But out of what need was it born? More importantly, out of whose need was it born? Zeitgeist, a myth-busting, cerebral documentary, investigates this question. And then some. 

What is money?

The documentary takes the standpoint that money has been used throughout history to manipulate and distort reality for the purpose of keeping wealth in the hands of a select few. As well as shining a light on injustice, it implores us to remember something we have long forgotten: that all men and women are born equal - with equal rights to the earth and her resources. Money, the narrator argues, is all that gets in the way of this, as well as corrupt religions that have us believe that we are not the masters of our own destiny. The latter is a sensitive subject for many, and one I dare not approach. But the makers of Zeitgeist do, so be warned if you are pro-doctrine and established religion. If you are, Zeitgeist will only offend you or cause you great indignation. If you’re open, and curious, then enjoy the theories it propagates. Definitely, they are food for thought.

What is Zeitgiest?

Zeitgeist is a truly groundbreaking documentary that reveals the corrupt nature of the banking system. You won’t find it on prime time TV because, frankly, it’s just too dissident, too bold and, perhaps, too close to the truth. It is available, however, on google video to download for free.

What’s the message?

Zeitgeist debunks the lie that Western Society has tricked us into believing: that subservience is a necessary part of life. By keeping us in a never-ending cycle of debt, banks maintain their hold over us. We work at menial jobs that do nothing to serve our personal growth, or humankind’s, so that we have money to repay our debts.

How can the banks persuade us to do such a thing? By convincing us that we need the latest and greatest this, the shiniest that. By creating the image of a perfect life, house, car, etc. and enticing us to reach for it. By convincing us that we don’t have a right to our basic needs. By having us believe that the planet’s resources are not for everyone, just those who can afford them. Imagine? It asks rhetorically, that we actually buy into it.

Zeitgeist slaps us about the face, pours a bucket of water over us and screams at us to wake up. Mostly, it calls upon us to believe in our worth as human beings. We are not consumers; it shouts from the screen, we are human beings. And we have worth.

In the follow-up documentary, Zeitgeist Addendum, a bold new system is proposed in which humans are free to achieve their highest potential - without the need for slavery-through-labour, money or a class system. Sound impossible? Airy Fairy? Plain stupid? A shout-out to communism? It’s not. It’s called the Venus Project and you can check it out online for yourself. Its founder, Jacque Fresco, hung out with Einstein. He’s ninety-four years of age, and describes himself as a social engineer. If you’re not at the very least impressed by his vision and intelligence, I’ll eat my hat.

Humans are curious creatures by nature. We want to explore the universe, understand ourselves and find answers to existential questions. The only thing stopping our deepest inquiries is the corrupt system that asks us to live our lives inside a tiny box with tiny windows. ‘Close those curtains!’ it might as well say. ‘There’s nothing to see out there. Get back to work, you lout. You’re losing me money.’

The universe is gargantuan, limitless, infinite and virtually unexplored. Why aren’t we looking up at the stars at night, wondering what’s beyond them? Why don’t we look to a better future? Zeitgeist provides a theory: Because we’re worried sick that our houses will be taken if we can’t meet mortgage repayments, that we won’t have enough money to meet our basic needs, that we’ll end up destitute. We’re in such a tight bind that we just don’t have the mental energy to consider the most wonderful facets of human existence. Is that, or is that not, a tragedy? Zeitgeist asks.

There are enough resources in the world for everyone to, at the very least, survive - not to mention thrive. Why are children dying every day of starvation? Might there be a chance that our collective mentality is very, very malaised? If questioning the system makes ‘weirdoes’ or ‘hippies’ out of us, then maybe we need to redefine our definition of normal. Because it’s not normal to stifle our higher nature. And it’s not normal that children, with imaginations and hopes and dreams, die every day because they have no food. Or is it? Is death through scarcity just the nature of competition? The flip-side of a supply and demand based free economy? Is it only natural that there are unfortunate losers, like dead children? Puh-lease. No one truly believes that. So, why then, do we support the system that does? That’s what Zeitgeist is concerned with.


  1. Although it sounds like a wonderfull and idealic way to live, it too poses it's flaws. WE need the harshness of struggles to want better, we need the fear of mortgage repayments so as to enjoy the simper things in life, we need our place in society to give our life meaning.
    Confucious stated that if religion was not already present we would have to invent one.. People need beliefs, it helps them deal with the unfairness of death and the beauty of life.
    It is at the higher levels of religion that I find to be poisened, religion at a core level is a beautiful thing.
    I love to gaze out at the stars at night and wonder at the many possibilities but I also love to look at sparkly shoes in shop windows!
    Money brings order, and in a world where the only spiecies to harm each other for "fun" are humans, order is much needed. Maybe some day humans will forget their hatred of one another and accept each other as we are, but untill then we still need those horrible suits to make the rules.
    I have hope for our futre, but it's still in the future...

  2. Yeah, what you say definitely resonates in parts. But I, personally, would favour non-dualist thought to religion and freedom over order. At it's essence, yes, religion can be beautiful - but all religions teach that God is an external force, which doesn't really float my boat:)I prefer to think of God as truth - not a guy in a beard or a prophet or anything else. Jesus said "the kingdom of God is within you." I agree with him. Pity the establishment that speaks in his name has usurped his teachings and molded them into a self-serving, powerful institution. I know that the book, Man's search for meaning, encourages people to have beliefs to find meaning in suffering; and for many, many people, it's helpful. But I think there's more. Jac O' Keefe's book, Born to be Free - which I read after Frankl's - really makes sense to me. I don't think we need to struggle to feel good or that money is needed for order. In our fallen world, it's easy to argue the case for money bringing order. But a resource based economy, I think, would end the kind of competition that stratifies societies and leaves children starved. And yes, I think it's OK to gaze at stars *and* look at sparkly shoes - as long as I remember that both are temporary forms - and not a route to happiness. Look beyond the stars and beyond the shoes :) Nice to have this kind of conversation. x