In order to understand what kind of society works and what kind does not, let’s analyze the Zeitgeist trilogy because they cover a lot of the subjects and fallacies I have encountered in the last few years. Perhaps they are the source of such fallacies.
The Zeitgeist trilogy is very good as explaining conspiracies, such as religion, 9/11, some examples of cronyism, and how banking currently works; but it has a very strong progressive socialist technocracy bias. It even has some very good material on history and psychology. However, whereas the film is 95% right about conspiracy and the supporting history and psychology; it is 95% wrong about economics and the supporting history and psychology. In fact, it is so wrong that such error cannot be an accident.
Its major correct themes, both direct and implied, are:
- Religion is a conspiracy.
- 9/11 was a conspiracy.
- Banking as it is today is a very dishonest and harmful conspiracy.
- Many businesses and rich people today are very dishonest and harmful.
- Many kinds of personal problems are caused in the womb or in infancy.
- Cronyism is rampant.
Its major wrong themes, both direct and implied, are:
- America is the worst country in the world.
- The Republican Party is the worst
- Fox is the worst.
- The above are the source of all conspiracy.
- There is no long term or global conspiracy such as the NWO.
- Capitalism is the worst.
- Free-markets are the worst.
- All money is necessarily based on debt.
- The use of money is unsustainable.
- Money should not exist.
- Competition is evil.
- Profit is evil.
- Oil should not be used.
- Governments as they are today are creations of the free-market.
- Everything above is the cause of cronyism.
- The more GDP rises, the worse things are becoming.
- Automation causes unemployment.
- There should be far fewer people in the world.
- Pretty much all problems are caused by everything above.
- The remaining people in the world should be ruled by the experts.
- People can be molded into anything required to achieve utopia.
- Genetics are pretty much irrelevant in human behavior.
- Central planning works.
- The experts will give all remaining people better health, happiness, abundance, efficiency, innovation, and most won’t have to work.
- The experts will create a sustainable society.
Let's first look at just a few examples of the errors and fallacies that permeate every few seconds of any discussion of economics in these films. The continuous barrage of errors and fallacies in economics and any supporting history or psychology is so great that it would literally take a thousand hours to document and explain all of them, so I will only look at a few. Then we will discuss some of the more general fallacies in the film, and contrast them with what we know actually works and is consistent with human nature.
All of the film links below are from points in the third film in the trilogy, which is named "Zeitgeist: Moving Forward."
Reality says: "The invisible hand" sounds ominous, but it just means that in a free-market: supply, demand, and prices reach a natural point of equilibrium, and innovation naturally occurs, all because of the countless individual voluntary transactions where all parties are competing and thus trying to maximize their reputation while providing the best product for the price because otherwise the customer would go to a competitor. This spontaneous order all happens without government or regulation, almost as if there were an invisible hand guiding it – much like how evolution occurs without central planning, but on a much faster timeline. For example, as a resource becomes more scarce, its price goes up, and thus demand goes down. Spontaneous order and the invisible hand are beautifully explained in the essay, I Pencil, by Leonard Read. It is one of the best essays I have ever read.
The film not only takes "the invisible hand" out of context, but really overstated its case because no one thinks of the system (or the free-market) as God. It is ironic that the film makes the straw-man argument that advocates of a free-market see it as God; when it would in fact be far more accurate to say that socialists, progressives, and technocrats think of government as God. It is even more ironic given how the first film in the trilogy does such a good job at debunking religion in general (focusing mostly on Christianity BTW.)
Perhaps the greatest irony is how it continuously blames large systemic problems today on the free-market when in fact our system is nothing close to a free-market. We live in a collectivist technocracy with millions of pages of regulations where government and its experts have almost unlimited power, and these films want even more regulation and more redistribution of wealth. They want to double down on the failed, flawed, fatal policies of the past like central planning and regulation. I would say, "You know, that's what insanity is when you keep doing the same thing over and over again even though it clearly doesn't work." However, these films said it for me!
This is yet another example of how the films claim that money is evil, and yet when they do, they are always talking about fiat money based on debt and printed out of thin air by a monopoly like the Federal Reserve. It never occurs to the film makers that money is a product and just needs competition to solve all of the problems created by such a monopoly, which is largely at the root of What is Wrong With the People. Unfortunately, competition is also evil according to these films.
Zeitgeist says: If you step back far enough, you will realize that the GDP ... is mostly a measure of industrial inefficiency and social degradation, and the more you see it rise, the worse things are becoming with respect to personal, social, and environmental integrity.
Reality says: Rising GDP is primarily the result of more people and advancing technology. It is self evident that a person who can afford more advanced technology has a higher quality of life. GDP does measure economic activity even if it is the result of cronyism, and thus GDP can be misleading to that extent, but cronyism can only thrive under a collectivist government like what we have in every country in the world; whereas, an individualist free-market government would have little or no power to support cronyism, and thus a free-market can only exist under an individualist government (or under no government at all). Ironically, this film is attacking the free market instead of the collectivism that causes cronyism, and thus the film gets it backwards.
Zeitgeist says: You have to create problems to create profit. There is no profit under the current paradigm in saving lives, putting balance on this planet, having justice, and peace, or anything else.
Reality says: It is self-evident that you do NOT have to create problems to create profit. It is self-evident that a person would trade the fruits of his labor to save his life, to improve his environment, to have justice, peace, and everything else.
Zeitgeist says: There's an old saying, "Pass a law; create a business."
Reality says: “Pass a law; create a business.” would only be true under cronyism, which can only thrive under a collectivist government like what we have in every country in the world; whereas, an individualist government would have little power to create laws that would interfere with the free-market by causing the creation of unnecessary businesses, and thus a free-market can only exist under an individualist government (or under no government at all). Ironically, the speaker, Michael C. Ruppert, is attacking the free-market – not collectivism, and thus he gets it backwards – again.
Reality says: It is self-evident that competition causes some companies to compete against planned obsolescence by making a long lasting innovative product. For example, my Honda is going strong after more than 16 years while requiring only one modest repair in that time. Competition from Japanese car manufacturers forced American car companies to start innovating and to improve quality in order to compete with Japanese cars. The only reason American car companies weren't already increasing quality and innovation was because of cronyism under a collectivist government. They had been a cartel because the collectivist government protected them from competition, which is the opposite of the free-market.
The preceding links should be sufficient to prove I am not making this up.
The second hour of the second film, Zeitgeist Addendum, is all about a "resource based economy" which is where no one would have to work and everyone would get everything for free in an economy that maximized innovation, efficiency, and sustainability in a society managed by experts. Most of the third film expands on that and occasionally contradicts it.
The film criticizes the market because it creates inequality, which is another straw-man argument because it is talking about inequality from unfairly acquired wealth. Whereas, any wealth differences in a free-market would be the result of voluntary transactions, and thus would be fair. It is the economy recommended by the film that is unfair because it is unfair to use coercion against the minority who are more productive and more innovative. Such an unfair collectivist society, ruled by experts, would be much like those societies under Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, or Hitler, which all produced rampant inequality and inefficiency, and which were all unfair ... and … well ... just mean. Centrally planned societies just creep me out.
This film, which advocates collectivist government and regulation, again blames the free market for the effects of collectivist government and regulation when it states the common fallacy that in a free-market no pharmaceutical company has an incentive to cure a disease because it is more profitable to treat it. The self-evident reality is that the absence of a cure would create an irresistible opportunity to create new companies to produce a cure as a way to outcompete those companies that already have a treatment. The only reason this doesn’t happen is because collectivist governments create regulations, and the real purpose of regulations is to protect cronies from competition. Zeitgeist gets it backwards again.
In spite of such embarrassing errors, this film goes beyond the usual claims that its authoritarian collectivist government will guarantee that everyone has the same amount of stuff, and that everyone will have abundance and the most advanced technology. The Soviets and others clamed that much (and we see how that worked out). This film goes even further by claiming that no one will have to work!
How would the central planning experts know what people want? They would take a survey!!!
So how can a centrally planned society work this time? Well, we are supposed to believe that none of them thought of using computers before and that no one cared about sustainability or the environment before, and that this time will be different.
The film keeps saying that it wants to apply science, and use only falsifiable ideas, and to abandon falsified ideas. Well … central planning has been falsified.
In the second film, everyone will be given two cars, a flying car, a high tech home, and ride around the world in 4000mph trains whenever they want, and it's all free, and no one has to work, but we discover late in the third film that people will only be given what they need. They don’t mention how the officials and experts will have programmed their computers to place the needs of officials and experts above everyone else – much like how Soviet officials could drive in special lanes to avoid traffic, but that wouldn't be corruption – because we wouldn't call it that.
People would be so nice that they wouldn’t even label racists as bad. Racists would just need to be given treatment, which sounds like the rationale for reeducation camps, which are the most fascist thing ever created. Of course, they don't mention how other kinds of people would also need treatment, such as anyone who doesn't want to live under their system.
People would shop by checking out any product on the shelf in a store just like they would check out a library book, which assumes sufficient production, efficiency, resources, and volunteer labor that it would actually on the shelf for you to check out, which assumes the last guy didn’t break it and didn't possess it any longer than the time he was using it, but why would he care? It’s not his. Needless to say there would be a need for informants in such a society. Creeepy.
The film doesn’t mention how, in order to make things fair and trackable, everyone would have to each be given the same amount of resource credits that they could spend. Resource credits wouldn't be "money" though ... because we wouldn't call it that.
Cars would be driverless. People can’t be trusted to drive.
The films never mention that they obviously would not allow people to have guns. If people can’t be trusted to drive then they certainly can’t be trusted with guns! Of course, their government would have guns, but they don’t mention that either. They never even directly mention that there would be a government.
Their thinking is captured succinctly in the American Progressive Manifesto.
Much later the film admits that some jobs would have to be done by a human. Would humans volunteer if they would get no more resource credits than before? America already tried communism under ideal conditions multiple times 400 years ago and it failed tragically every time because it was so incompatible with human nature because most people were shirkers. Then Denmark leaned the same lesson more recently.
What about innovators who would use extra resources if they had them to do research and create prototypes? Surely the computer would identify and allocate more resources to such individuals, so that would be yet another opportunity for corruption.
When they say their system would produce enough for everyone, they mean everyone in their ideal world, which would have far fewer people, but they don't admit that directly. We have to deduce what they believe from two of their statements: 1) We should not use any oil, and 2) "It is only because of oil that there are 7 billion people on this planet now." Therefore, we know they believe a much smaller population is a necessary and desirable requirement of their system, but it gets creepier than that.
Near the end of the third film, their actress smiles when she sees a news headline that says "Global protests shut down world economy." Therefore, we know the film makers would like to see that happen. Now consider how that would kill off a lot of people and create a pretext for a global government.
In the next moment, everyone is protesting in the streets and takes all their money (trillions), which happens to already somehow be in paper form, and dumps it in front of the World Bank. There is supposedly no violence or death around this time, and then magically we find ourselves in their utopia. I guess they forgot to mention the billions of lives lost and the global police state that occurred before the global government decided to implement their utopia a.k.a. “The Venus Project” …
This reminds me of the book "The Marching Morons" in which a small minority of smart noble people chose to breed only with each other while everyone else became more stupid and petty over the centuries, so the smart noble minority had to work overtime to do all the real work to keep society functioning, but they were too noble to think of a way to get rid of everyone else, so they went with an inferior person's plan to use mass marketing to trick everyone into boarding spaceships that would take them to utopia. Of course, the noble chosen people knew they were just sending the non-chosen into space to die, thus turning the Earth into a utopia for the noble chosenites. The fake utopia in space that lured everyone to their deaths was said to have been on Venus. Maybe that is why the utopia to which Zeitgeist is trying to lure us is called ... The Venus Project ...
I’m sure it is just a coincidence that Zeitgeist is promoting the New World Order agenda as described by its advocates.