Sunday, July 25, 2010

Zeitgeist Movement = Marxist Futurism?

Perhaps. After a barrage of irrelevant comments from supporters of the Zeitgeist Movement on this blog, I did a little research into what they are all about. After reading a good bit of bantering over at the Mises forum, I can say that I am really unimpressed with the Zeitgeist position and their idea of what is called resource based economy. I have a general distrust of anything or anyone that has a disregard for logic and evidence-based argumentation. As indicated by one individual on the Mises forum, logic has been replaced with a sort of mystic hubris:

"lol. I will not debate this, because it is senseless to argue, considering those who argue seldom change their minds. lol. I doubt many will be able to understand the ZM concepts from where they are now. That's ok... it's not a matter of superiority or inferiority... it's all about cultural conditioning, which our present culture is expert at... And that will change anyway because of continuing information flow."

What a ridiculous string of words. It would be nice if these people were as open-minded as they claim to be. A little research and inquiry into the minds of Mises, Hayek, Rothbard et al might glean some understanding on economics and praxeology. They might come to the realization that resource based economy backed by a super computer that will bring superabundance to society is a fantasy that might be fitting for a Marxist science fiction, but not reality. The same poster on Mises forum later said:

And since I am putting in question the very foundation of this forum, I'm not surprised you would find my words useless. But I didn't come here to argue about this stuff, so I am bowing out. I do not wish to step upon your 'religion'. (which is another conceptual system people mistake for reality...)

That is an interesting assertion considering that is exactly what this "movement" appears to be - a religion.

Update (8/30/10): Robert Murphy took a stab at RBE over at Mises today. We share the same concerns.


photo recovery mac said...

Nice point about this Zeitgeist movement. I wonder if they are so popular that they deserve your attention?
Also I can suppose that there are (and there would be even more) interpretations of the whole Zeitgeist conception.

Matt said...

Everything deserves inquiry. Only fools caste off things without any attention. There are thousands of different interpretations and positions of the Communist conception, so I am very sure that there are many different interpretations of Zeitgeist.

Joseph Matthew said...

Your pessimism is evident; I wonder from where it comes from? What more, what good is served by telling another what is impossible?

While considering, here's a list of other achievements once thought impossible / "science fiction" by the world's leading minds:

- understanding of germs
- human flight / heavier than air flying machines
- space travel
- computers that weigh less than 1.5 tons.
- painless surgery
- electric street lights

Once you overcome your programming, you'll see that anything is possible; it's a matter of choice.

Please don't dismiss how good it can be, for the sake of perpetuating how terrible it already is.

If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can't be done.
- Peter Ustinov (1921 – 2004)

It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.
- Robert Goddard (1882-1945)

Matt said...

My pessimism comes from logic. In The Fatal Conceit, F.A. Hayek said that "[t]he curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design."

We most definitely develop technology to greater and greater heights creating things that we never thought possible, but they have all been within the realm of the laws of nature. We will continue to find better ways to operate within the realm of the universe's laws such as human flight in gravity, but we will not change its laws. When a super computer is developed that changes the laws of nature and economic calculation, then I will go along with your fantasy. Until then, I will view it as another religion that requires nothing but faith to believe in.

Anonymous said...

RTFM! It's not Marxism.

Matt said...

I don't know what you think that video shows that disproves a likeness to Marxism. The gentleman in the video states that communism presupposes property and still relies on government control more or less, but Karl Marx own words contradict this "Finally, communism is the positive expression of annulled private property – at first as universal private property...Communism (α) still political in nature – democratic or despotic; (β) with the abolition of the state, yet still incomplete, and being still affected by private property, i.e., by the estrangement of man."

Sorry, but bare-assertion fallacies just don't cut it. The similarities are quite striking if you read Marx's words.

Start by reading this page - Private Property and Communism

My prediction is that if you honestly agree with the tenets of the Venus Project, you will agree with a lot of what Marx says.

Anonymous said...

Crazy freaking people...Liberals always trying to disquise Marxism. Move to Cuba. Too many Americans who will not give up there arms. You first have to take away our guns.

Em_ptySkin said...

ZM and VP is a cult. Like L. Ron Hubbard or Jim Jones, Peter Joseph is a cult leader; a manipulator. He starts off his lectures talking about "psycho social diseases" that the that society as a whole possess. Then say that those "victims" cannot perceive other perspectives because their indoctrination was so thorough.

It is a New Age, Scientistic version of Marx's material theory of history.

Then they go on to say that scarcity can be done away with and that people consume too much (a disguised way of saying there are too many people). Move on to suggest that we input every single factor of biosphere-ic existence that is fathomable on planet Earth into a super computer to determine the "equitable" distribution of, what are ultimately, scarce resources.

So, in essence, they do not move to a state of superabundance, but instead cull the majority of the population and impose a communist computer AI (can you imagine a Soviet develop HAL 9000??) to distribute resources to people that the computer would ultimately regard as parasites...

They base their cult recruiting rhetoric on some more esoteric truths about society. The debt based monetary contradiction which can be explained in Austrian and NeoClassical theories of economics, but then, Pete Joseph tells people not to trust the logic behind economics doesn't he?

Mass consumption and the effects of corporate consumption advertising are very real problems that society has. But, that has more to do with people's weak will and the advertisers almost scientific methods of subversive corporate propaganda.

All in all, ZM and VP are branches of the same New Age ecology cult.