Zeitgeist: Moving Forward

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward, by director Peter Joseph, is a feature length documentary work which presents a case for a needed transition out of the current socioeconomic monetary paradigm which governs the entire world society. This subject matter transcends the issues of cultural relativism and traditional ideology and move to relate the core, empirical “life ground” attributes of human and social survival, extrapolating those immutable natural laws into a new sustainable social paradigm called a “Resource-Based Economy”.

This film features experts in the fields of public health, anthropology, neurobiology, economics, energy, technology, social science and other relevant subjects which relate to social operation and culture. The three central themes of the work are Human Behaviour, Monetary Economics, and Applied Science. Put together the work creates a model of understanding the current social paradigm; why it is critical to move out of it, coupled with a new, radical, yet practical social approach based on advanced understandings which would resolve the current social woes facing the world today.

One of the unique attributes of this work, which separates it in style from most documentaries, is that it has a parallel dramatic/cinematic theme, with notable actors, which abstractly plays out various gestures related to the overall message of the film. The work also vigorously employs numerous 2d and 3d visual abstracts/animations, while returning to the standard, traditional documentary orientation as the foundation.

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  1. Creating a new man living in an Utopia is not a new idea! I dont know if this would work. The only equal societies we have known are the hunter gatherer societies and they were very small groups of people, a few families. In a Kibboutz, it is the same, everybody knows everybody else. As soon as food production appeared, the demographics changed and we got social classes. Greek democracy, well in fact, only free citizens voted. The labour was done by slaves, who constituted a large proportion those societies (even the majority in the case of Sparta). Rome had its patricians and emperors, the feudal system had nobles who owned nearly all the land, communism generated the Nomenclatura, who controlled all, even the most basic freedoms of everybody else and now we have our capitalism, where a minority controls most of the assets thanks to a complex financial system that is obscure to most people. The thirst for domination of others seems to be one of the constants in all cultures. Maybe we are just getting closer to extinction and that is that. I am quite pessimistic because I think human nature is inescapable. You cannot turn a dog into a docile mount or train a horse to hunt… You reach a point where genetics are inescapable.

  2. It is not simply the climate of media-perpetuated fear, of which arguably this could be part, that makes the Zeitgeist films resonate with me and many others. It is instead this nagging feeling that things are not right, that the human race (not the world, as this will continue long after we’re gone) is heading into trouble. We need only look around at the greed and selfishness that drives the majority of us, as after all, who can contemplate a world without money?

    Technological progress has advanced us to a point where we could destroy ourselves several times over with our collective nuclear arsenal. We are actually running out of finite resources and our population has exploded. Our economies are failing us. Unemployment is on the rise. Pollution and environmental problems are very real concerns and getting worse all the time. Although we in the western world have the luxury of quick, disposable living, and distractions galore in the shape of ipods and ipads, we are still coming up with more and more ingenious ways to kill ourselves, while the majority of the world’s population is disease-ridden, poverty stricken and starving. And the reason for this? Greed. Greed perpetuated by an addiction to power and huge sums of money owned by the very few. So those who have commented here that there is nothing wrong with the world and that we should just leave things alone to ‘flourish’, are either impossibly deluded, or one of those few who hoard power and money. There is nothing flourishing about the human race right now.

    I am a student and teacher or history. I have read enough books to know that more change has occurred in the last hundred years than in the previous few millennia, and this brings with it a host of unanticipated problems. I knew that the way our world is governed by the hegemony of the rich and powerful, and that they will do anything they can to protect that wealth, long before I came across these films. I am not unreasonably paranoid. Nor is this a comfortable realisation. However, it is the only conclusion that can be reached by any intelligent, sensible person. To think otherwise is wilfully ignorant.

    I also know that what the Venus Project represents is neither communist or fascist. It is egalitarian in approach, certainly, but is apolitical otherwise. It may not be perfect and does not own to be. It may not have all the answers. But it is a far more appealing prospect to live in this nurturing, materially comfortable, caring, and ‘utopian’ environment than the world we currently occupy. It gives me great hope that there are people out there who care enough about other people to find an alternative to the monetary system that inevitably breeds unhappiness to all but the very privileged few.

    Furthermore, to suggest that the vision of the Venus Project will breed a stagnant society is incorrect. Progress of a kind – a healthy kind – will likely be made. Think of the possibilities to innovate and explore our realm, and perhaps beyond, and gain a greater understanding of the universe and our place in it if we have the time and freedom to do this. If we are no longer wage slaves or cogs in a great machine, we will have that creative freedom. Indolence and indifference are products of our current society because of the sickness inherent in our money-based thinking. That feeling of helplessness associated with a lack of control over our collective destinies is endemic in a society beholden to money. I am hopeful that given a life without worry about material wealth, we will have a society more well-adjusted, and healthier in mind and body, than any we have seen before. Would this not be a real definition of progress? The desire to strive would not disappear. We would all still need to learn and acquire skills. We would all still derive pleasure from this. We would all still have personal measures of success in these terms to motivate us. These drives will not disappear just because we are not given some little pieces of green paper in return.

    I applaud the Zeitgeist film-makers. They have merely articulated what I, and many other thinking people, have been feeling for a long time. Their intentions are wholly laudable and should be applauded, not vilified. We should be celebrating people like these who have a real understanding of the causes of happiness and unhappiness in the human race, and a real desire to help bring about collective happiness on a global scale. It is high time we saw the truth in our similarities instead of buying into the notion of difference. Those in charge of our current world understand the simple fact that to divide is to conquer. If we are united, however, we are stronger than any government or corporation could ever hope to be.

  3. Zeitgeist is a bunch of crap. Really if you fall for this nonsense, go play a fucking videogame. What zeitgeist proposes is basically communism. You only get to decide on your area of expertise. Expertise you can only get from a government education, expertise you can only apply in a government program. You live in a house the government provides for you, eat the food they give you and tell you is healthy and good for you. And you get decide nothing.. the decisions get made by computers (“we’re sorry…your living here is not optimal to the system.. please remove yourself”) or engineers/scientists. 

    So what if they fuck up? What are you going to do? Call the cops? Lawyer up? ” Oh no sir, we don’t have crime.. we don’t have police..we only have The Greater Good”. And who decides on that? Science? If you haven’t noticed.. science doesn’t agree with itself.. that’s kinda like..the point of it. So all the scientists and engineers will decide together on what’s The Greater Good that we all should be slaves to? How the fuck are they gonna do that? Please remember that in Fresco’s logic everybody is a scientist or engineer else you don’t ‘contribute enough’. But how the fuck are all the scientists and engineers ever gonna find concensus? And what if Teh Science is wrong… ? What if we think we’re doing good, while we’re actually doing harm we don’t know. 

    And what’s to come of this society? It sounds awfully stagnant to me. You need chaos, strife, disorder and competition to progress. You need over ambitious assholes and crooked politicians. That’s what an engineer can’t understand. Ever been to the house of an engineer? You we’re probably blown away by how cozy and homely it was and the great collection of poetry and art, right? Probably not..everything has to fit inside the goddamn system, else it’s redundant.  

    And stop with this bullshit that we need to completely change the system to progress. That’s not true, and it never works anyway ask any veteran of any revolution. The system is fine.. it just gets ruined because people get these crazy ideas for social engineering projects (like zeitgeist), trying to make the system better.. but they only make it better for themselves and their frame of mind. 

    Oh and the systems theory the whole movement is based on? Is old-fashioned and today considered bad science by proper scientists who wouldn’t touch this movement with ten foot pole. 

  4. this was the best zeitgeist movie by far.  I have known about peak oil and population control for some time now so it was awesome to see him connect all the dots.  If we want to keep 9 billion people on this planet in 50 years, global resource management is the only way to do it. We’ve lived in an artificial, cheap energy world for the the last 120 years, this is not sustainable.  and to quote that old guy who STARTED global resource management, “shit is going to go down”

  5. if 95% of the worlds wealth is owned by 5% of the people, whats the point of everyone else renouncing money, surely you’d need those with all the money to renounce it to change anything?

    • that really true? a UN report from 2007 said that 40% of the worlds wealth is owned by 1% of the worlds population. Hard to believe such a jump in recent years.

  6. But not with much attention, I’ve watched all of the zeitgeist films and truly found one interesting aspect. The fact that exposure to this level of observation of our own surrounding does help trigger peoples minds to start thinking in a some what more intelligent way/realm.

    Yeah I do think some of the stuff is quite hard to comprehend especially for one with a clouded mind. But for those who know what does cloud a human mind and hence are able to keep theirs clear, it is possible to comprehend quite a number of facts presented in zeitgeist

  7. I am left wondering what to believe. I don’t find that very encouraging, after watching what you think is a documentary. So, were you people out to make art or defend a thesis? Or you couldn’t make up your mind?

  8. Hi Ellie.
    Like you I see clearly that our world is in need of MASSIVE help and that without such help our poor abused planet can definitely not sustain even a small proportion of the current global population.
    Sadly, most of the other voices on this forum seem to belong to that exact same breed of self centred, self serving, Egoistic ‘greed creeders’, that can NEVER see the validity of any point of view, unless it adds to their own personal trove of treasures.
    Prior to discovering this movie however. I believed that only a VERY small number of folk could see past their pocketbooks to the grim realities that are looming. Now, suddenly, this movie allows me to believe that enough people of REAL intelligence, just might exist and be able to make the future less than “HOLOCAUST”
    PS. Is not the current “Egypt” crisis, a strong indicator that it probably is already starting?

    • Nardie, I don’t see any greedy people in these comments. I see people criticizing the film for it’s logical and factual fallacies, and for being utopian. Other than that I see some well-meaning people who want to believe that the venus project could legitimately improve the world.

  9. I just need to add, it also frustrates the hell out of me that the maker of these films often tries to character assassinate the films critics by trying to seem like the superior intellectual.

    In essence, the critics are wrong, because they’re too stupid to get it.

    Again, very frustrating seeing as he himself wasn’t enough of an intellectual to actually support his film with real, accurate evidence.

    Kind of like…well…religious nuts denying the real evidence (or lack there of) on a leap of blind faith to their cause.


  10. The frustrating thing about Zeitgeist, to me, is that I agree with a number of points that they’re trying to communicate.

    Why that is frustrating is that so much of the information is WRONG. Very wrong. Very very wrong.

    As in historically, inarguably, incorrect.

    I’m not going to go point by point because I would literally have to go through dozens of inaccuracies between the first 2. I haven’t watched this one yet, so I don’t know about the third…but the first 2 are so wrong (again not wrong as in I disagree with some of their opinions, but factually inaccurate)it completely discredits any points that they are trying to make.

    Just Google Zeitgeist debunked, you’ll find many articles pointing out the fallacies.

    Also unfortunately, many of the debunking the debunker responses are also filled with inaccurate, non-factual dung to back up their statements, and strong believers once again don’t look into what they are saying and the source. (especially the “debunking the debunker” threads you may find on the religious symbolism in the 1st)

    Don’t hate me! lol
    I’m on your side on many things…the films I cannot though. As I said, the first 2 are virtually docu-drama/fiction. That’s not how you prove a thesis.

  11. If a person has a genetic predisposition which requires an external environmental causation to be triggered… how on earth is that pre-determined? You make no sense. It is definitely not a certainty and therefore not pre-determined.

    • my dude
      grow your mind a little bit, ok?
      “a genetic predisposition which requires an external environmental causation to be triggered”


      if the external environmental causation is made up in any way of chemicals and is in any way governed by physics then it is pre-determined.

      it is just more variables that you have to account for. because the calculation involved would be immense and difficult does not mean it is impossible.

      because YOU cannot pre-determine it does not mean it is NOT pre-determined.

      the first genes that ever existed were pre-determined by their environment. those first genes constituted a part of the environment for all subsequent genetic development and all epigenetics.

      i mean seriously. you agree genes are determined, and then because epigenetics is the finalized expression of those genes it suddenly is not determined? if there was no switch in the underlying gene which could be “turned on” then there would be no epigenetic expression.

      seriously, reply to this. i want to know if any of your epigenetic switches which relate to understanding predestination have been turned on by my epigenetically determined need to correct you.

  12. Are all these scientists at the beginning retarded?

    One man said it himself, it is a FALSE DICHOTOMY.

    Well no SHIT. If you place a “predisposition” in an environment which is ready to trigger that disposition, is it not determined?

    Your reaction to lie down and cry (or not) after you understand genetics ARE deterministic in their context is also DETERMINED.

    Just because there is no way for you to know which result is the determined one does not mean it is up in the air.

    Jesus fucking christ. That old guy at the beginning said “man is not free from the laws of nature” and then Peter Joseph films a bunch of people saying the same thing, and then undermining that very proposition.

    Zeitgeist was full of shit from the very first. Did you ever freeze-frame and read the sources in the first film? They’re almost all the same authors, and almost none of them are primary sources. None of the sources cited actually cite any sources either. I’m not even traditionally religious, but I would rather argue from reality than to quote a bunch of fiction as the basis of my attack.

    Complete rubbish. If you can’t see through this, I laugh at you. I applaud and respect Peter Joseph’s predatory spirit in taking advantage of you. Good on him. But if you don’t see the contradiction, you are a fool.

    • It’s only determined within that environment. The whole point (that you obviously missed) is that many of our behavioral problems in society can be greatly improved when individuals are exposed to a different environment. Hence, if the environment we live in is one that supports and meets our basic and fundamental needs. The world is going to be a very different place than what we are accustomed to right now. Again, the point was to show that peoples behavior is not solely determined by genetics. And that a different environment will produce different results. This is not “Complete rubbish’. This is a very important distinction to understand. There is no contradiction here. I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding about the point that was being made.

      A predisposition is not determined in a particular environment. It only means a gene has the possibility of turning on if certain conditions are met and a particular threshold is reached. In a sense you could say it is determined if these conditions are met. The movie does not dispute this though. The point is that our current culture/environment is causing most of our problems. And accepting things as just being part of our nature is misleading and in most cases scientifically untrue. And I think you have entirely missed that point.

    • And just to be doubly clear in the point I am making:

      Epigenetics are a result of the environment.
      In the film they use the brains of abuse victims
      to make this point.
      The gentleman pointed out that epigenetics are the
      result of “an environmental effect.”

      If the “abuser” trait is also the result of epigenetic
      DETERMINED AS WELL? What does it matter whether a trait
      is “turned on” initially or only becomes “turned on”
      as an epigenetic effect? EITHER result is determined!

      Even the (epi)genetic trait to refuse this reality must
      be determined. The trait of wanting to “make the world
      better” is determined. There is no escaping genetics, none,

      How is this not glaringly obvious? How do people miss this?

      • I think what they are trying to highlight, Barnes, is that there is a (mis)interpretation by the general public that genes (or nature) are imutable and unchanging. While you may carry a certain gene(or genotype) this does not mean that the expression of that gene will be (determinilistically) expressed (phenotype). This is why genes are said to pre-dispose behaviour/responses and not predetermine them. This is also why the nature/nuture dichotomy is said to be a false one.

        The “abuser” trait you refer to is actually a definciency of a gene which codes for an enzyme that metabolizes neurotransmitters (MAOA). A deficiency in the metabolization of neurotransmitters has been linked to agression in both mice and human studies. However, environment (specifically an abusive one) appears to have an even larger effect on these cohorts – namely being a huge predictor in aggressive/antisocial behaviour. This is to say that the genes do not determine, but predispose behaviour. Research shows that the effect seems to be drastically amplified under certain enironmental conditions.

        The idea in zietgeist is about the importance of child rearing and positive social interaction with regards to violent and criminal behaviour. There are not violent or criminal genes, the behaviour stems from a reaction to social stressors (violence, poverty, etc).

        • Very well stated, Chris. There is no “aggressive gene,” only a deficiency in the enzyme that breaks-down neurotransmitters in the brain, like serotonin and dopamine. The enzymes are controlled and regulated by the MAOA gene. When there is low activity by the MAOA gene, it produces fewer enzymes to break down those neurotransmitters, thus, prompting or resulting in aggressive behavior.

  13. I appreciate your response O.V.O..

    You do not appear callous to me and I find your thinking to be intriquing and your statements make me curious as to your age, and what part of the world you live in. Please do not think of me as being intrusive, I am frequently interested in what a persons’ thought process is when opinions and assessments are shared.

    When I think of the many historical happenings that you may be referring to, I would have to say that the first thing that comes to my mind is that the intentions of the perpetrators were for acquisition of control, power, and money along with a sick desire to see people suffer. I do not see this is the case with Zeitgeist.

    A segment in this current Zeitgeist film, which continues to confirm for me that the world is in danger, (among many other issues presented in the film) delves into corporations’ intentional process of manufacturing products that are of poor quality and will not last which creates a demand for the manufacturers to produce more inferior products, which creates a vicious circle of their acquisition wealth and the depletion of our natural resources and the waste continues to build to a point that it is poisoning and destroying our environment and we are running out of places to put this waste.

    I, like you, allow many situations to be left alone, to flourish, however I believe that in some situations, to leave them alone can and will be detrimental. I believe that there are situations that demand intervention. And I am confident in my belief that the current state of humanity and the current state of the world demands intervention. Not intervention for power or money, but intervention to guide humanity to flourish.


  14. No, you’ve got me wrong, it’s not that I’m callous to all the injustice and inequity in the world. It’s the opposite, history is peppered with well meaning groups of people who build up complex logical rationalizations for their views and then set out to change the world with their philosophy, and all of the successful ones have resulted in bloodshed and disorder. The man-made misery of the world is very much caused by the desire to end the misery of the world.

    I repeat, with feeling, the world is not in danger, it does not need to be saved, it just needs to be let alone to flourish.

  15. This is absolutely fantastic! Everyone should see this.

  16. I was looking forward to seeing what the zeitgeist movement would come with as a plan for social change. It’s disappointing to see that their plans amount to a rather ill-informed advocacy of scientifically rationalized economic scheme. This was tried in the soviet union, and led to bizarre anomalies (for examples see Adam Curtis documentary “Pandora’s Box”)

    I find their reliance on materialism, disheartening. It seems that the zeitgeist movement is as set on dehumanizing society as all the other competing philosophies that have set out to save the world from itself.

    The world does not need saving.

    • O.V.O.,

      I feel like we did not watch the same documentary. I would have to say that I totally disagree with your statement that the world does not need saving. That statement leads me to believe that you are turning your back to the state of the world, denying that humanity has almost permanently damaged our environment to a point of non-return, never mind the long standing damage that has been caused to the evolution of man.

      I understand this Zeitgeist movement to be one that sees the value in EVERY human being, and would like to evolve into a world, and humanity, that provides for and protects each and every human life, and the life of our very planet.

      I also understand that it is almost too much for one person bare, to even consider what the answer may be for a steady, progressional improvement of the state of our world, rather than the destruction that we now face. How overwhelming this may be, we each need to look for solutions, no matter how small, within our realm of living, to improve our state of living. I don’t mean this in monetary terms, or the accummulation of material wants and desires, but rather in an improvement to the human condition, which will affect the improvement to our earth and the universe as a whole.

      I understand this movement to be progressing in the manner I just referred to. I am sure that no one has ALL the answers and changes to future plans must be made as errors in science and judgements reveal themselves. It appears to me that Zeitgeist intends to progess in this manner. Please watch this documentary again, and take time to think this through.

      God Bless, Good Karman, Peace and Health of Mind and Body to you!


  17. how many of these are they gonna make?