Before going into the review of the new documentary, I would first like to talk a about what the previous Zeitgeist documentaries were about and a little history to put this world phenomenon into perspective.

First we need to define what the word Zeitgeist actually means.  As you might have expected it is a German word, and from Wikipedia we have the definition as follows:

“[Zeitgeist] is “the spirit of the times” or “the spirit of the age.”  Zeitgeist is the general cultural, intellectual, ethical, spiritual, and/or political climate within a nation or even specific groups, along with the general ambiance, morals, sociocultural direction, and mood associated with an era.”

Now that we have the definition out of the way, we can take a look at how it all began. The first Zeitgeist film came out in 2007 entitled “Zeitgeist: The Movie”.  The whole thing was written, produced and directed by a man named Peter Joseph. It is a little tricky to actually put it into the category of film since it was initially Peter Joseph’s artistic expression and was not intended to be anything more than that. It was then arbitrarily released into the internet as Peter Joseph states on the films website:

“The history of “Zeitgeist: The Movie” is not what many assume. The original Zeitgeist was actually not a “film”, but a performance piece, which consisted of a vaudevillian style multi-media event using recorded music, live instruments and video. The event was given over a 6-night period in New York City and then, without any interest to professionally release or produce the work, was “tossed” up on the Internet arbitrarily.”

The first film consisted of three parts. Part 1, “The Greatest Story Ever Sold”, this part was mostly regarding the detrimental aspects of religion in general but then quickly focuses on how Christianity came from pagan root’s  as well as stating how Jesus is very similar to many ancient Egyptian god’s such as Horus.  I must say that this part is probably the most controversial of all the Zeitgeist films and have been “debunked” by some scholars. While in one of Peter Joseph’s podcasts he did have an interview with D. M. Murdock (the main source of information for part 1) which was a reply to any “debunking” made, though at this point it is still highly controversial.

Part 2 and 3 were called “All the world’s a Stage” and “Don’t Mind the Men Behind the Curtain” I won’t dwell too much on them in this review as this is about Zeitgeist: Moving Forward, so I shall keep it brief.

Part 2 is about 9/11 and how it was organized by the United States government. I actually found this part very interesting but again, it is pretty controversial. In this case there is some support of the claim that the United States government has not been honest with its citizens (all links at the bottom of this article) and that the twin towers could not have fallen down due to jet fuel as stated by the 9/11 commission report, but in order to actually accept these claims (even if they were true) we would have to accept going into wars, the death of thousands, new restrictive laws such as the patriot act would all be based on lies. Though I must say, after the liberal democrats lied about voting against the tuition fee rise then I don’t think these things are as farfetched as they might seem.

Part 3 is about how international bankers forced USA to go into three wars in the twentieth century and how the Federal Reserve (the central bank of USA) was created in a very deceptive way and that it sustains war so that it can profit. It also states that Federal Income tax in the USA is illegal as it is unconstitutional. I found this part the most interesting simply because it makes you think about where money and laws come from and how they work. It does lead you to think about why wars last so long and make you generally more sceptical of what the government’s state as truth.

Now please bear with me as I quickly go over the second Zeitgeist film entitled: Zeitgeist: Addendum.

This film was released in 2008 and this time it was intended to be used as a film. It starts off with explaining how important money is and how it is created. It then goes on to state  why it is so paralyzing when it comes to sustainability and progress in our society before moving on to the topic of “Economic Hitmen” where John Perkins (author of “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”) talks about how governments are forced to borrow money from the IMF (International Monetary Fund) or the World Bank. It shows how governments are essentially being enslaved by large companies who privatize the state owned companies (such as water supply companies etc) , devalue the country’s currency and then buy their raw materials for very cheap prices and the list goes on.

This film is basically trying to show how detrimental money and profit is in today’s society and the examples given are pretty strong. It makes the viewer think about what big and powerful individuals and companies are doing to the very world they live in and how unfair it is. Though in this case the finger is not simply pointed at some dictator or a corrupt government in the third world, but rather educated individuals and wealthy international organizations. At this point no explanation as to why the problems are there in the first place. This leads us nicely into the last part of the film.

The last part of the film it goes on to talk about the where these problems come from and how we can solve them.  An industrial designer by the name of Jacque Fresco is presented talking about human nature/human nurture and how the environment has to change in order to change people’s behaviour. Having a society which reinforces greed and corruption will inevitably produce war and poverty. He talks about how technology has helped humanity move away from a world of scarcity to a better and more abundant world. But he also talks about how the way we live now is not sustainable and how the monetary system itself is causing these problems.

I find this part most inspiring. This is because you can see a person who has for the past 70 years tried to solve the world’s major issues by using technology and science. His idea is to simply use the scientific method to solve social problems, this means using our current technology to re-design society into something much more efficient and sustainable. As an engineering student I can’t help but to think about what we could do to solve society’s problems if money were not an issue. I also find that his views regarding how human beings are products of their environment is very similar to what I read in Richard Dawkin’s book about evolution (called “The Greatest Show on Earth”).

Ok, so the two of you that have read this far can now finally read the review of Zeitgeist: Moving Forward. This film actually came out only a few days ago (26th of January) and it’s now based on less of the “complaining” of how society is and more on the solutions to the problems we have today.

Part 1: Human Nature

It starts off interviewing quite a few respected academics that talk about human nature versus human nurture. I must say that what they were talking about was very interesting and seemed to really dig deep into our society’s issues. It also featured Jacque Fresco who had formed his opinions during the great depression of the 1920’s. They went through themes such as addiction, violence, obesity and more.

Part 2: Social Pathology

This part starts us off with how money, labour and property are formed in our current system. It also puts into question whether we even need property and what we actually use things for (do we need to have things all the time, or do we just need access to things?) It also digs into the inequality caused by our financial system today and shows recent research done that shows a trend in a society’s health going down as inequality increases. It then goes on to say that money will eventually become worthless as inflation turns into hyper inflation as we continue with this economic system.

Part 3: Project Earth

This part starts us off with a train of thought that takes us through a hypothetical earth, exactly the same as ours, but with no humans evolved. The film then goes through what is best described as a complete redesign of our society to update it to current technology with sustainability and maximum efficiency in mind. It goes through how we could design transport (based on current technology), through to food production and distribution. Many of these ideas are presented as shown by the organization that Jacque Fresco has established called The Venus Project. Personally I find that most of the idea’s that are presented are really not that hard to implement and as Mr. Fresco has stated quite a few times.

It seems like the biggest problems that we have are not actually technological at this point, but rather cultural. If most people understood what we could actually do with our technology today they would probably be shocked as to how inefficient and unsustainable we are compared to what we can be.

Part 4: Rise

The last part of the film shows how we currently live in a world where the top 1% of the world population owns 40% of the world’s wealth. Oil is running out whether we like it or not , we have climate change and overpopulation to handle as well as a long list of extinctions and increasing poverty. As the film goes through these things it ends with another hypothetical scenario where protestors are standing in times square NYC in the middle of a global recession. In the end the economic system collapses while people withdraw all their money and pile it up outside the banks.

In the final scene we see a technologically advanced school in the future where children are looking at an old dollar bill and  at the pictures of the pile’s of money at the doors of the banks. It finally ends by asking people to join the zeitgeist movement.

Conclusion

The Zeitgeist Movies has had millions of views online. Zeitgeist: Moving forward has had 340 screenings in over 60 countries and in over 30 languages. It reached more than a million views in 4 days. It is definitely a modern phenomenon and has spread like wildfire over the internet. It does have some “controversial” aspects   and of course I personally do not agree with everything being stated in the films. Though for the people that do call it a “conspiracy”, “communism” or “socialism” really need to watch the films first, read about what these words actually mean and stop labelling anything they see different so that they can put it into a category.  These films do not advocate a utopia, but simply propose a fresh new way of doing things. Yes, some of the things stated will upset people and may seem very difficult to put into practice, though I must say, from what we have seen throughout history, things that seemed impossible at first are now widely accepted.

These films are first and foremost here to make people think and try to solve the world’s major issues, and they do this in a very interesting and scientifically plausible way. I personally support it and believe that if anyone do believe that all idea’s presented are complete nonsense I hope they can back up their statements and propose another way of solving the world’s major problems.

Links:

The Film Series: http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/

The movement’s website:  http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/

D. M. Murdock Interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/peter-joseph/2009/09/09/90909-the-zeitgeist-movement-bi-weekly-report-with-peter-joseph

News report regarding 9/11: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssuAMNas1us

Interview with Jacque Fresco on Larry King [1974] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCH0BQ2nSMo:

Debunking of Zeitgeist movies:  http://conspiracyscience.com/articles/zeitgeist/

15 Comments »

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  • Nick Mould
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    A lot of the ideas in the film (which I’m currently watching) are similar to that of the Venus Project.
    http://www.thevenusproject.com/

    As well as the book Prosperity Without Growth by Tim Jackson (which I recommend to anyone, as it deals with solutions to our wasteful consumer economy and culture).

    Reply

    Samuel Gilonis
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    The Venus Project and the Zeitgeist movement are intimately entwined. Jaques Fresco, who features heavily in this movie, is the founder of the Venus Project and certainly the ideological forefather of Peter Joseph.

    Fouad, I have just finished this film (almost three hours!) as I wanted to write a response to your article. I think I will do this in an article rather than a comment as there is rather a lot to discuss.

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    Fouad Al-Noor
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    Haha, Thanks! And YES WE DO! Looking forward to your article.

    Fouad.

    Reply

    Nick Mould
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    I’ve just finished watching the film. Indeed the “Project Earth” section is flawed in that it is more an endorsement of the fantasy of the Venus Project as opposed to suggesting solutions to the problems that it outlines in the previous sections. The ideological society it suggests is removed from the current reality. Thereby it doesn’t take into account the crucial factors that it would take to create the world of the Venus Project (for one thing: it would not work with a population as large as the Earth has now).

    Reply

    Anonyous
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    Why would it not work with a population twice as big as the current earth population? The technologies utilized in it will make it possible to support a much larger population and still provide abundance.

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    Douglas M.
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    Nick, we have the natural resources and technical capabilities to adequately provide for a global population twice its current number, although we don’t exactly want that level of population of course.

    Point being that the media (and sadly some one-sided funded scientists) do a great job of trumping up the population “crisis” as a sensationalist piece, when in fact world studies have shown we have the means for providing for levels beyond today, but we’re self restricting and damning a few billion people to suffer because of our outdated socioeconomic system.

    But don’t take my word for it. Just research global food production capabilities and learn how much we could provide for, and how much we waste.
    Namaste. :)

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    Fouad Al-Noor
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    Yeah, it is the activist arm of the Venus Project. Oh and I shall add that book to my (long) book list.

    Fouad.

    Reply

    Sam Whitehall
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    “Though I must say, after the liberal democrats lied about voting against the tuition fee rise then I don’t think these things are as farfetched as they might seem.”

    How are they *in any way* related? A junior coalition partner having to compromise on a position and annoy some students is in no way the same level as a government conspiracy to kill hundreds of its own citizens for no real reason? I was polite on your article, but this, frankly, is just insane.

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    Fouad Al-Noor
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    They are related by the fact that both governments lied to the public’s face (if the 911 part is true).

    “A junior coalition partner having to compromise on a position and annoy some students”

    There were 32, 000 – 52, 000 students protesting JUST in London. It did not just “annoy some”

    students.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_UK_student_protests

    My view regarding the rise are given in my other article so I am not going to go into them here. By that comment I simply meant that governments DO lie to their public in order to serve their own agendas and if that’s a “conspiracy” then I guess you should ignore wikileaks and most of the history of the world.

    I am not stating that governments lie about everything and I am also not saying there are people who sit in a dark room smoking cigars while trying to take over the world. I am simply saying that not everything the government says is true and when it comes to 9/11 there are many holes that need filling.

    I never said I believe they did kill their own citizens (I don’t know enough about it to make such a drastic conclusion) but what I am sure about is that I am not going to accept anything anyone tells me until I see the evidence.

    Also “no real reason”? IF it were to be true then there were quite a few “real reasons”. They did invade two countries (one of whom may have one of the largest oil reserves in the world-namely Iraq) and pass laws that give them the power to imprison anyone under any circumstance without trial.

    “I was polite on your article, but this, frankly, is just insane.”

    Oh and just because something is beyond your personal reality does not make it insane. Worse things have happened in the past and will probably happen again.

    Finally, just to clarify, no I don’t care for “conspiracy theories”, yes I do use reasoning and logic to form my opinions and I do admit not to know everything.

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  • Kay in San Diego
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    I was walking down the street and two young men at a table gave me a sample CD of Zeitgeist movement just before the release, and I finally got curious about this. I agree with the analysis of our problems, but I think – and feel – that the solution is unrealistic. Here is a review that you might want to read because it addresses some of your questions about the reality factor of the proposed solutions in an informed and mild manner: http://www.examiner.com/muslim-in-san-francisco/review-zeitgeist-moving-forward-review

    Reply

    Vixi
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    Hello Kay :)
    Just as you read the comments on this article, I think you should also read the comments on the article you post as reference. You will see that many of the confusions Davi expresses in the review have been well answered, through 9 pages actually!
    Hugs
    :D

    Reply

    Davi Barker
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    Actually they weren’t. Most of my questions were answered with accusations of being stupid or willfully ignorant. After that initial review I wrote 5 or 6 additional articles where I delved into specific questions more fully. None of them were addressed. Continually Zeitgeist supporters commanded, just read more, just read more, just read more, promising that it would eventually make sense. So, as i often do, I requested a reciprocity agreement. I would read as much as they liked if they promised to read an equal number of pages clarifying my position. Immediately their attention dried up.

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  • Vixi
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    Hello Fouad Al-Noor,
    I’d just like to thank you for this article. It’s been a real pleasure to read and see that you have taken the time to really watch and consider with an open mind the message that the movie Zeitgeist: Moving Forward gives, and understand the proposals for a Resource Based Economy.
    Hugs!
    Vixi
    :D

    Reply

    Fouad
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    Aww, you welcome! and thanks for taking the time to read it!

    Reply

  • Human
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    Thank you. Thank you for taking the time out of your daily schedule to consider the ideas in this film. So long as we a capable to refute or agree with these claims and allegations can we collectively take a step towards change. i commend each and every one of you for being inspired by this motivational piece of work. Investing your energy for or against will manifest inevitable change, which spell both chaos and peace. Plant a seed with love or hate and it will grow regardless. Plant an acre of seeds with love or hate and it will grow regardless. All that encompasses the ‘nature’ of things is good at self-preservation. Your need to worry about such universalities has nothing to do with it. Your need to believe in something like this or that is futile and will ultimately lead to undoing everything you are for. Everything you are for empowers you. Everything you are against weakens you. You are a self-aware entity that has the capacity to transcend all that you are! You are capable of so much more! Why not start after taking your next breath and even more so for each sequential breath that you take for granted? You’ve got to be stupefied every time you consider the complexity of you inborn capacity to breathe. You don’t have enough time to worry about being upset at the people and things that have propagated this illusory experience you might call YOUR life. Nor do you have enough time to neatly change the universe to favor your self-created belief system. Remember that these are YOUR perceptions that YOU are responsible for because YOU choose to believe in the things YOUVE seen and heard. i may convince myself through logical analysis that the sky is blue, but the necessity for using a word like that to describe it to you denies everything that it could potentially be in your eyes. Rather than feeding a starving man, teach him how to fish so that he can feed himself for a lifetime and therefore teach everyone who makes the time to see him do likewise. When it comes down to it we all just want to be happy. The road to happiness can be reached when you recognize your self-worth. You are worthy of everything you can feed yourself be it negative or positive; it’s all you choice. And for the same reason You can never arrive at happiness while looking outside, for happiness can only come for within yourself. It’s wonderful how one nine thousand six hundred seconds can raise such spirited rhetoric. This enumerates to all how passionate we can become when we invest our belief in matters that can potentially offer some kind of compensation or fulfillment of expectation. Is it feasible to think that your attachments to expectation can also destroy all the good that you may desire to represent? Do what feels right for the sake of doing it, not for a belief in the necessity to massage the ego or the like. You don’t have to compulsively question everything outside of you in order to validate it. You can grow out of this excuse for living when you understand that you are in control of everything you are for. Your need to describe it to others just tells them how special you think you are and has nothing to do with what you are telling them. You don’t need to instruct a newborn how to breath- life takes care of the ineffable matters. The very life that we desperately hold on to can be a belief as well, so try to treat it that way if it works for you, don’t get worked up over theory’s, ideology, dogma, religion and pragmatism because no matter what you always have the choice to choose peace instead. You can’t arrive at truth because you literally are a manifestation of truth and everything contrary to that is mere conception. All i know is that i know nothing. i expect everyone to live for themselves or others in order to be happy for themselves which encompasses the process to fulfilling that contentment. Happiness is a perception; a very simple concept. All it takes is that you truly believe in yourself and your pristine right to exist. You disservice yourself when you fight for what Jacque Frescos believes in. i expect you to understand that all the unnamed hero’s in history died for this knowledge to reach your eyes and ears. These people will never ask you to take the torch for their sake. They want you to live life for everything you encompass out of a genuine interest so that the integrity of all can be sustained and improved. This is the greatest achievement you can possibly award yourself with. Jacques war in essence is not with others. It’s the battle over self. The same war has been waged since time immemorial. He is telling you to be in control of your universe and not that of another. If it rains on your parade, well believe that you are in control of that as well. Don’t be immobilized by your excuses and perceptions. Countless people and experiences preach these things to you every day. Why bother yourself with being upset at Jacque and company? The universe is perfect; even you desire to improve it! Don’t wait for the whole world to catch up to you, for it will consume you. Don’t even expect the world to catch up to you, for it never will. Be your universe. Now! How can you wage a war for peace when peace has been inside you all along? i am of the human race and i Live on the planet earth! Don’t settle for anything less than you can be. Make your life a masterpiece!
    I have always been regretting that i was not as wise as the day i was born. – Henry David Thoreau
    Every generation laughs at the old fashioned, but follows religiously the new. – Henry David Thoreau
    Loving Kindness to all that is

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