I find Zeitgeist to be a curious phenomenon on a number of levels, but most clearly as a modern form of propaganda, which is biased or misleading
information intended to promote a particular cause or point of view. Colloquially, propaganda is the means by which one convinces someone to do
something that they normally would not.
The other night, I watched The Triumph of the Will
, the 1935
film by Leni Riefenstahl, which documents the 1934 Nuremberg Rally of the National Socialist Party in Germany. Probably one of the premiere examples
of propaganda on film, it is a testament that helps answer the question of why Hitler and the Nazis had the popular support that they did. If you'd
have stopped an average person in Stuttgart in 1925 and asked whether it would be proper to bomb civilians in England, or to perform tortuous medical
experiments on human beings, or to kill someone simply because of their beliefs, it is a safe assumption that the answer would be a shocked "no".
But, after a decade of war reparations, perceived suppression by Germany's foes in World War One, and, most importantly, an economy devastated by
hyper inflation, one can see how the message of the return of German pride and dominance, as exemplified by the imagery and machinations evidenced in
Triumph of the Will
might influence someone to support something that they would not otherwise.
Excellent analysis begins on page 27
If you're not for us, you're against us.
Turn now to Zeitgeist. There are three parts to the first movie, which was released in 2007. None of the subject matter addressed in the movie is
particularly new, nor is it anything foreign to the typical ATS user -- conspiracies of religion, government and big banking. But though the subject
matter has been recycled, Zeitgeist brings it to a new audience, those who are not readers, and in a new manner, a video that takes advantage of film
propaganda methods developed by Riefenstahl.
Though each part of the film has its detractors, if we use Part One, the religious bit, as an example, the intent of the filmmaker becomes clear. As
an attack on Christianity, the movie is very weak, relying on highly unlikely theories backed by questionable evidence that becomes absolutely
disputable once one scrutinizes it. It is so bad, in fact, that skeptics and atheists are among
, the most simple minded Christian can refute
, and the official Zeitgeist forum refers all discussion on the topic to
another web site
But if the evidence is so poor, how can they expect to convince any Christians that Zeitgeist is right? Therein lies the twist -- although Part One
attacks Christianity, in no way is it aimed at a Christian audience. To the contrary, it is aimed away from Christians, to an audience that knows a
little bit about the subject (so that the arguments seem factual) but not enough to know that it's ludicrous.
As with most propaganda, the actual intent is not necessarily to change minds, but instead to convince people of something that they already want to
believe. "Don't like religion? Well, neither do we, and we're going to show you how you've been lied to, and how we're sharing the truth." Someone
who doesn't think much of organized religion is going to think that, not only are these Zeitgeist guys really on the ball, but they're my kind of
people, they think like I do!
No matter how unlikely the truthfulness of something is, if it reinforces a belief, it creates a bond of credibility between the propagandist and the
person that they want to persuade.
Intentionally misleading information becomes truth.
But what about the other part of the propaganda claim, that its true intention is to convince people to do something that they commonly wouldn't?
That is, in fact the heart of the matter, and it is amazing that people don't see it, because the actual intent of the Zeitgeist movement is the exact
polar opposite of what it seems.
Parts Two and Three of the movie extend the notion of societal control, first by government (exemplified by the 9/11 controversies) and then by
international bankers, resulting in a movement toward a One World Government. That's pretty standard stuff, and points to whom Zeitgeist is really
aimed -- those who fear the loss of liberty that such a New World Order would entail.
But, again, if this is propaganda, what is the purpose? To what does it intend to lead those who would be in active opposition to a One World
Government? The surprising answer comes from Zeitgeist, themselves.
Here's what they're on about:
Started in late 2008, The Zeitgeist Movement exists fundamentally as the communication and activist arm of an organization called The Venus
Project. In some ways it could be categorized as a "Sustainability Movement", in part. The basic pursuit of The Movement is to begin a transition into
a new, sustainable social design called a “Resource-Based Economy”. This term was first coined by Jacque Fresco of the Venus Project and refers to
an economic structure based exclusively on strategic resource management, as the starting point for all decisions.
So what's a "resource-based economy?" Well, it's one in which you, Joe Blow, own exactly bupkiss. You're entitled to nothing, because it's all "the
In a resource-based economy all of the world's resources are held as the common heritage of all of Earth's people, thus eventually outgrowing the
need for the artificial boundaries that separate people. This is the unifying imperative.
Does that sound familiar? Peering through the rhetoric (and there is a lot of that, including Zeitgeist apologists who are quick to jump on the "what
is, is not" misinformation bandwagon,) it is abundantly clear that Zeitgeist is promoting old school communism, classic Marxist/Leninist thought.
Think that communism has been disproven as impractical? That the horrors 20th century Soviet Russia, Communist China and Cambodia were sufficient to
close the door on dictatorial communal resource allocation? Nonsense! We just need a different sort of dictator, an enlightened, new age ruling
elite, that truly does have our best interests in mind.
Kind of what this fellow suggested, back in 1845:
For each new class which puts itself in the place of one ruling before it, is compelled, merely in order to carry through its aim, to represent
its interest as the common interest of all the members of society, that is, expressed in ideal form: it has to give its ideas the form of
universality, and represent them as the only rational, universally valid ones.
-- source: Karl Marx, German Ideology
How can a resource-based economy, one which ostensibly holds the world's resources as the common heritage of all the Earth's people, exist within the
current system? A system of capitalism, of nations, of independent thought? The obvious answer is that it cannot be. The only means by which such a
system can be put in place is to do what Marx suggests -- by the claim that they are doing it for the betterment of all mankind, the Zeitgeist crowd
will need to establish their own New World Order, a One World Government that has complete and total authority to dictate the terms and conditions of
"Wake up!" cry the Zeitgeist proponents. Wake up, indeed. Changing from one set of dictatorial overlords to another merely improves the lives of the
new ruling elite -- the eternal game by which those who consider themselves your moral or intellectual superiors use you and your passions to further
edit on 22-2-2011 by adjensen because: oopsies