Many of you have probably seen the movie Zeitgeist. For those who have not, simply put this term into your search engine and you can watch the movie on-line.
Like many of you, the criticisms of fiat currency, fractional reserve lending and the state resonated with me. While doing some research, I happened across the website for the Zeitgeist Movement and was intrigued. So I went into the site and started reading.
Once I dug deeper, specifically in regards to something called the ‘Venus Project’, I was shocked at what I discovered. I will leave it my readers to do their research on the Zeitgeist Movement and the Venus Project. What follows are excerpts from a debate I attempted with several of their members. I thought these snapshots might elucidate the sad state of dialogue as it regards the problems so many perceive, and the human knee-jerk reaction to latch onto some great scheme, plan or vision for a ‘better’ society. Also, it will illustrate the poor quality level of debate that’s out there. It took much prodding to elicit any well-thought-out responses. I encourage you to check these guys out. They are absolutely frightening – a mass of otherwise well-intentioned people who sense something is wrong, but are blindly seeking answers. Rather than understand their own history, they reach out to yet another form of statism and control: the centrally-planned collective.
Statement: A Free Society can be Designed
There is no design without control.
There is no control without force.
There is no societal force absent the state/tribe/collective.
There is no state/tribe/collective until the state/tribe/collective monopolizes force.
Once force is monopolized, the human being is subject to control by the whims of the state.
But, you say, WE have good ideas. We love human beings.
That may be so. But will you live forever? Once force is handed over to the state, it is handed over in perpetuity, the people already having been disarmed, controlled and pacified.
Will the next generation of Really Smart Leaders be as judicious with the use of that force as you will?
Ponder this, lest your movement morph into another branch of the statism you abhor.
Statement: This can only be done through proper design.
1. How design does not imply control and therefore, inherently, force ?
2. What do you do with the human beings who do not fit your ‘design’?
For example- John Smith is an investment banker. He represents all that you claim to abhor.
You are ‘designing’ a society. John Smith and his value system does not fit into this design.
What do you do with John Smith?
(The answers to my questions seemed to imply that in the utopian ‘Venus Project’ society, there would be no money and therefore no investment bankers. My question, therefore, was deemed moot. There was little discussion of how the transition to this utopian society would be carried out, however, which is very concerning. The whole line of reasoning reminds me of Mao, or Pol Pot, but in reverse: instead of a forced migration to the fields, it’s a suggestion of a highly technological society in an almost Gene Roddenberry sense. In fact there are frequent Star Trek references to be found on their forum. I suggested they read The Grapes of Wrath.)
Question: What do you think of the 2nd Amendment?
We must not distract ourselves with ‘why’ someone may want to prevent you from owning the means of self-defense, in this case a gun.
We must ask how.
HOW do they propose ‘banning’, ‘restricting’, ‘regulating’, ‘confiscating’, and ‘policing’?
Will the state apparatus be used for these ends, as is so often the case? If not, what controlling body will, through its monopoly on the use of force, ‘ban’, ‘restrict’, ‘regulate’, ‘confiscate’ and ‘police’?
Once this authority, this power, has been handed over to such a body, what will said body do with this power next?
What if someone refuses to comply? What force will be used to compel this human beings action in the determined direction? Do you support the tazing of this human being? Do you support the beating of this human being? Do you support the killing of this human being? Do you support the imprisonment of this human being? If so, for how long?
We must ponder deeply our desires to direct human behavior and understand the dynamics of control utilized by both states and humans to control other humans.
Those who would ‘ban’ must first ponder these issues and draw them out to their logical conclusions.
Statement: You are so powerful when you have weapons , I believe people like you are sissies , without weapons or some brainwashed people doing the job for you , you are powerless , you are too sissies do fight like men.
How wrong you are.
The firearm was the ultimate achievement of mankind, freeing him from the totality of ‘might makes right’. No longer could the state send someone bigger, someone stronger, men in greater numbers, or with more swords to put down those who would not submit to the power of the state. The firearm made men equal.
However, since men are easily brainwashed by the state, man allowed the state to regulate and confiscate privately held firearms, thereby regaining for the state what is crucial to exert its control: a monopoly on the use of force.
Such is the plight of the people, that they so eagerly, through their desire to regulate that which they personally disfavor, grant the state ever increasing authority over their lives.
Statement: Although I support civilian ownership of guns, I believe it must be carefully regulated and all owners need a good understanding of firearms. Again, I don’t want to start a gun control discussion. Just pointing out a few things.
If you don’t want to start a gun control discussion, allow us to substitute peanuts for guns.
Regulated by whom?
Once this individual or group of individuals ‘regulates’ peanuts, how are these regulations enforced?
Note that ‘force’ is explicit in the term ‘enforce’. To whose authority are you willing to submit in order to enforce ‘regulations’ regarding peanuts?
How are you gonig to police these regulations?
What will you do if someone ‘violates’ these regulations? Will you approve of tazing this person? Beating this person? Will you imprison this person? For how long will you authorize the state to imprison this political prisoners who did not follow your ‘regulations’ ?
Statement: What might happen either is (sic) massive anarchy, mass looting, rape, murder and a lot more bad things.
I think there is a misunderstanding of the term ‘anarchy’ here. That is to be expected given the that the term has been manipulated and defined for the people, via the mainstream media, by the state.
One may ask, in response to a criticism of the ‘design’ motive inherent in TVP: “What do you propose? Anarchy!?”
One does not ‘propose’ anarchy. Anarchy is not a proposition. Anarchy is not a destination. Anarchy is a journey. Nor is philosophical anarchy a practical proposal. It is not a system. It is an anti-system. One is correct in suggesting that no historic example exists of functioning anarchy. But the suggestion is oxymoronic. There is no ‘functioning’ anarchy.
Rather than ‘propose’ anarchy, one whittles away at the state control mechanism- at regulation and the monopoly on force.
We could eliminate the overwhelming majority of regulation current in place in the modern, western state and be nowhere near philosophical anarchy. We would, however, be much closer to minarchy – and hence liberty.
“When the government fears the people, there is liberty…” -Thomas Jefferson
However, in order to approach liberty, we must resist in every way possible the state’s attempts at civilian disarmament (what you call ‘gun control’)
However, this does not appear to be the tone of this forum or this movement.
Therefore, TVP will simply replace the existing state paradigm, morphing into yet another tool of control, new state paradigm.
This is unfortunate.
To understand the problems you perceive in society, first understand the mechanisms of control and the reality of force. Force is neither good nor bad. However, it exists. To ignore this fact renders any suggestion for ‘change’ moot. Therefore, to achieve liberty one most ensure the state cannot monopolize force.
Statement: The need for regulation will vanish with proper education. The whole point behind regulating firearms is to ensure that the person in question actually knows how to safely operate one without harming others.
Who determines whether or not ‘the person in question actually knows how to safely operate one without harming others’? Does the state determine this? The vanguard? Do you determine it? Who is the decision-maker? What if I disagree? What force will you exert upon me to ensure my compliance? What testing procedures will I have to go through in order to ensure that I ‘actually’ know how to safely operate a firearm? Who will design the test? Who will administer the test? If I fail this test, will you deny me a firearm? How will you deny me a firearm? Will you unleash the force of the state upon me? Will you imprison me?
These are questions proponents of TVP have not pondered with sufficient intellectual rigor.
Statement: Own firearms in a world where there is no practical reason to own them? I don’t see that anyone would do anything to them for disagreeing. If they used those firearms to harm people then there would of course be a problem. One of the things the Venus Project talks about is using scientific method to arrive at CONCLUSIONS rather then OPINIONS. We HAVE (pondered these issues), and I can assure Jaque has as well.
Then I invite ‘Jaque’ to come debate his vision on my site. Or you, for that matter.
In reading your responses, and the responses of others, it is clear that TVP fits the classic definition of a cult.
You cannot debate your positions logically or apply intellectual rigor to your conclusions because you begin with the premise, rather than derive the premise through questioning and inquiry.
You begin with the premise of a world in which firearms are obsolete.
Yet again, I resist the side-debate over whether this vision is desirable or not, but instead question your premise.
You cannot begin with a world where things that exist in reality are already ‘obsolete’. This is ok in Star Trek. It is not ok in reality. In reality, you must have a plan to implement that which you suggest.
What you have in this community is a commonly accepted starting point that conveniently skips over the realities and challenges of implementation.
You use the euphemism ‘design’. In reality, you imply force. But you are able to gloss over the unpleasantness of this term by starting your thought process, and your debate, far down the road.
Jaque asks: If given a clean slate, how would you design a society?
Pol Pot also asked this question, and then implemented the blank slate upon which to ‘design’ his ideal.
TVP proponents skip over the difficult questions and begin with the blank slate.
Therefore is all serious inquiry glossed over by simply replying that “in a world where X is obsolete, we will not have this problem.”
Where will you find the police to render ‘obsolete’ that which does not fit into your ‘design’?
You will find them from the legions of cultists on this forum.
Statement (In answer to my challenge that the Venus Project does not address how this is to be done and how it will handle objectors): Yes it does actually. You handle people who object by eliminating any reason to object. Not by force or coercion, but by destroying whatever stands in the way of everyone being comfortable with the idea. By addressing the problems that create the objection at their root causes rather then creating laws and expecting people to go along with them. (emphasis mine)
“By destroying whatever stands in the way of everyone being comfortable with the idea”
Do you understand how frightening this is? Do you understand what you are saying?
Can you not see who else has uttered such words in the past, and what the result has been?
And there you have it. The real agenda uncovered in a few short dialogues.
A New Manifesto
I have just read through the Venus Project manifesto and it seems to me the antithesis of what I (and many others) took away from the movie ‘Zeitgeist’.
Regardless of the author(s) intentions, the suggestions contained therein seem the most ambitious manifesto to date for complete central planning and human control I have ever read in my life. The responses of those I encountered on their forum were cult-like.
Therefore I offer up the following:
1. To members of the Zeitgeist Movement and, specifically, supporters of the Venus Project: I offer up my blog to debate you. I invite you to come forth and state your proposals of design for a ‘better’ society. I will give you all the time and space you want to offer up your views. But come prepared. Email me and I will open up a post dedicated to the exchange of views
2. I offer up this counter-manifesto: Those of us who respect liberty and the individual, those of us who respect the fundamental human right to own property, to own the means of self-defense and to resist the tyranny of the majority (or of the individual) will resist you. Those of us who respect our ties to the land, who respect the circularity of nature and the intrinsic human ties to the soil, we will resist you. Those of who respect the hand-made and the local, the wood over the iron, the organic over the genetically engineered and the individual over the collective will resist you. We will resist you utilizing every means possible, at every corner and every step of the way. We will never surrender. And when your technological, ‘designed’ utopia begins to enslave its children, when your ‘benevolent’ leaders give way to your tyrants, we will be there to save you.