Zeitgeist: Moving Forward (2011) Movie Script

In a decaying society, Art
if it is truthful, must also reflect decay.
And unless it wants to break faith with its social function
Art must show the world as changeable.
And help to change it.
- Ernst Fischer
Deadly riots over the government's
plan to avoid defaulting on its loans...
is that the unemployment keeps
rising and it has to keep rising
just because we have an excess supply of goods...
this is all borrowed money...
and that debt is owned by banks in other countries...
M-O-N-E-Y, in the form of a convenient personal loan...
...filter cigarette that delivers the taste...
45 malt liquor... Are You Hot?!...
is the US planning to bomb Iran?...
...America is sponsoring terror attacks in Iran...
Now, my grandmother was a wonderful person.
She taught me how to play the game Monopoly.
She understood that the name of the game is to acquire.
She would accumulate everything she could and
eventually, she became the master of the board.
And then she would always say the same thing to me.
She would look at me and she would say:
"One day, you'll learn to play the game."
One summer I played Monopoly almost every day, all day long
and that summer, I learned to play the game.
I came to understand that the only way to win
is to make a total commitment to acquisition.
I came to understand that money and possessions...
that's the way that you keep score.
And by the end of that summer
I was more ruthless than my grandmother.
I was ready to bend the rules if I had to, to win that game...
and I sat down with her to play that fall.
I took everything she had. I watched her
give her last dollar and quit in utter defeat.
And then she had one more thing to teach me.
Then she said:
Now it all goes back in the box.
All those houses and hotels.
All the railroads and utility companies...
All that property and all that wonderful money...
Now it all goes back in the box.
None of it was really yours.
You got all heated up about it for a while.
But it was around a long time before you sat down at the board
and it will be here after you're gone - players come - players go.
Houses and cars...
Titles and clothes...
Even your body.
Because the fact is that everything I clutch and consume and hoard
is going to go back in the box and I'm going to lose it all.
So you have to ask yourself
when you finally get the ultimate promotion
when you have made the ultimate purchase
when you buy the ultimate home
when you have stored up financial security
and climbed the ladder of success to the
highest rung you can possibly climb it...
and the thrill wears off
- And it will wear off -
Then what?
How far do you have to walk down that road
before you see where it leads?
Surely you understand
it will never be enough.
So you have to ask yourself the question:
What matters?
They're Hot!
They're Rich!
And They're Spoiled!
America's # 1 Show is Back!
Gentle Machine Productions Presents
A Peter Joseph Film
When I was a young man
growing up in New York City
I refused to pledge allegiance to the flag.
Of course I was sent to the principal's office.
And he asked me 'Why don't you want to Pledge Allegiance?
Everybody does!'
I said, 'Everybody once believed the earth was flat
but that doesn't make it so. '
I explained that America owed everything it has
to other cultures
and other nations
and that I would rather pledge allegiance
to the earth
and everyone on it.
Needless to say, it wasn't long
before I left school entirely
and I set up a lab in my bedroom.
There I began to learn about science
and nature.
I realized then
that the universe is governed by laws
and that the human being
along with society itself
was not exempt from these laws.
Then came the crash of 1929.
Which began what we now call
"The Great Depression"...
I found it difficult to understand why millions
were out of work, homeless, starving
while all the factories were sitting there.
The resources were unchanged.
It was then that I realized
that the rules of the economic game
were inherently invalid.
Shortly after came World War II
where various nations took turns
systematically destroying each other.
I later calculated that all the destruction
and wasted resources
spent on that war
could have easily provided for every
human need on the planet.
Since that time I have watched humanity
set the stage for its own extinction.
I have watched as the precious finite resources
are perpetually wasted and destroyed
in the name of profit and free-markets.
I have watched the social values of society be reduced
into a base artificiality of materialism
and mindless consumption.
And I have watched as the monetary powers
control the political structure
of supposedly free societies.
I'm 94 years old now.
And I'm afraid my disposition
is the same as it was
75 years ago.
This shit's got to go.
[Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful
committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
- Margaret Mead]
Part 1: Human Nature
So you're a scientist
and somewhere along the way, hammered into your head
is the inevitable "nature versus nurture"
and that's at least up there with Coke versus Pepsi
or Greeks versus Trojans.
So, nature versus nurture: This, by now
utterly over-simplifying view of
where influences are
influences how a cell deals with
an energy crisis up to
what makes us who we are on the most individualistic
levels of personality.
And what you've got is this complete false dichotomy
built around nature as deterministic
at the very bottom of all the causality.
Life is DNA and the code of codes
and the Holy Grail, and everything is driven by it...
At the other end is a much more
social science perspective which is
We are 'social organisms'
and biology is for slime molds.
Humans are free of biology
and obviously both views are nonsense.
What you see instead is that
it is virtually impossible to understand
how biology works
outside of the context of environment.
[It's Genetic]
One of the most crazy making
yet widespread and
potentially dangerous notions is:
Oh, that behavior is "genetic"...
Now what does that mean?
It means all sorts of subtle stuff if you
know modern biology, but for most people
out there, what it winds-up meaning is:
a deterministic view of life;
one rooted in biology and genetics;
genes equal things that cannot be changed;
genes equal things that are
inevitable and you might as well not
waste resources trying to fix;
might as well not put societal energies into trying
to improve because it's inevitable and it's unchangeable...
and that is sheer nonsense.
It is widely thought that conditions like
ADHD are genetically programmed
That conditions like schizophrenia are genetically programmed.
The truth is the opposite.
Nothing is genetically programmed.
There are very rare diseases
a small handful
extremely sparsely represented in the population
that are truly genetically determined.
Most complex conditions
might have a predisposition that has a genetic component
but a predisposition is not the same as a predetermination.
The whole search for the source of diseases in the genome
was doomed to failure before anybody even thought of it
because most diseases are not genetically predetermined.
Heart disease, cancers, strokes
rheumatoid conditions, autoimmune conditions in general
mental health conditions, addictions...
none of them are genetically determined.
Breast cancer, for example, out of 100 women with breast cancer
only seven will carry the breast cancer genes.
93 do not
and out of 100 women who do have the genes
not all of them will get cancer.
Genes are not just things that make us behave
in a particular way regardless of our environment.
Genes give us different ways of responding to our environment.
And, in fact, it looks as if some of the early
childhood influences and the kind of child rearing
affect gene expression
actually turning on or off different genes
to put you on a different developmental track
which may suit the kind of world you've got to deal with.
So for example.
A study done in Montreal with suicide victims
looked at autopsies of the brains of these people
and it turned out that if a suicide victim
(these are usually young adults)
had been abused as a child, the abuse actually
caused a genetic change in the brain
that was absent in the brains of people who had not been abused.
That's an epigenetic effect.
"epi" means on top of, so that
the epigenetic influence is what happens
environmentally to either activate or deactivate certain genes.
In New Zealand, there was a study
that was done in a town called Dunedin
in which a few thousand individuals
were studied from birth into their 20s.
What they found was that they could identify
a genetic mutation, an abnormal gene
which did have some relation to
the predisposition to commit violence
but only if the individual had also
been subjected to severe child abuse.
In other words, children with this abnormal gene would
be no more likely to be violent than anybody else
and, in fact, they actually had a lower rate of violence
than people with normal genes
as long as they weren't abused as children.
Great additional example of the ways
in which genes are not "be all - end all"...
A fancy technique where you can
take a specific gene out of a mouse
and that mouse and its descendants will not have that gene.
You have "knocked out" that gene.
So there's this one gene that encodes
for a protein that has something to do
with learning and memory and with this fabulous demonstration -
"knock out" that gene and you
have a mouse that doesn't learn as well.
"Oh! A genetic basis for intelligence!"
What was much less appreciated in that landmark study
that got picked up by the media left and right
is take those genetically impaired mice
and raise them in a much more enriched
stimulating environment than your normal mice in a lab cage
and they completely overcame that deficit.
So, when one says in a contemporary sense that
oh, this behavior is "genetic"
to the extent that that's even a valid sort of phrase to use
what you're saying is: there is a
genetic contribution to how this
organism responds to environment;
genes may influence the
readiness with which an organism will
deal with a certain environmental challenge.
You know, that's not the version most people have in their minds
and not to be too 'soap-boxing'
but run with the old
version of "It's genetic!"
and it's not that far from the history of eugenics
and things of that sort.
It's a widespread misconception
and it's a potentially fairly dangerous one.
One reason that the
biological explanation for violence...
one reason that hypothesis is
potentially dangerous, it's not just misleading
it can really do harm...
is because if you believe that
you could very easily say:
Well, there's nothing we can do
to change the predisposition
people have to becoming violent;
all we can do is punish them - lock them up
or execute them
but we don't need to worry about changing the
social environment or the social preconditions
that may lead people to become violent because
that's irrelevant'.
The genetic argument allows us the luxury of ignoring
past and present historical and social factors
and in the words of Louis Menand
who wrote in the New Yorker
Very astutely, he said:
it's all in the genes... an explanation for the way things are
that does not threaten the way things are.
Why should someone feel unhappy
or engage in antisocial behavior
when that person is living in the
freest and most prosperous nation on Earth?
It can't be the system.
There must be a flaw in the wiring somewhere.
Which is a good way of putting it.
So, the genetic argument is simply a cop-out
which allows us to ignore
the social and economic and political factors
that, in fact, underlie
many troublesome behaviors.
[Case Study: Addiction]
Addictions are usually
considered to be a drug-related issue
but looking at it more broadly
I define addiction as any behavior
that is associated with craving
with temporary relief
and with long-term negative consequences
along with an impairment of control over it so that the person
wishes to give it up or promises to do so
but can't follow through
and when you understand that, you see that
there are many more addictions
than simply those related to drugs.
There's workaholism; addiction to shopping;
to the Internet; to video games...
There's the addiction to power. People that have power but they
want more and more; nothing is ever enough for them.
Acquisition - corporations that must own more and more.
The addiction to oil
or at least to the wealth and to the products made
accessible to us by oil.
Look at the negative consequences on the environment.
We are destroying the very earth that we
inhabit for the sake of that addiction.
Now, these addictions are far more
devastating in their social consequences
than the cocaine or heroin habits of my downtown Eastside patients.
Yet, they are rewarded and considered to be respectable.
The tobacco company executive that shows a higher profit
will get a much bigger reward.
He doesn't face any negative consequences legally or otherwise.
In fact he is a respected member of
the board of several other corporations.
But, tobacco smoke related diseases
kill 5 million people around the world every year.
In the United States they kill 400,000 people a year.
And these people are addicted to what? To profit.
To such a degree that they are addicted
that they are actually in denial
about the impact of their activities
which is typical for addicts, this denial.
And that's a respectable one. It's respectable
to be addicted to profit, no matter what the cost.
So, what is acceptable and what is respectable
is a highly arbitrary phenomenon in our society
and it seems like the greater the harm
the more respectable the addiction.
[The Myth]
There is a general myth that drugs, in themselves, are addictive.
In fact, the war on drugs is predicated on the
idea that if you interdict the source of
drugs you can deal with addiction that way.
Now, if you understand addiction in the broader sense
we see that nothing in itself is addictive.
No substance, no drug is by itself addictive
and no behavior is by itself addictive.
Many people can go shopping without becoming shopaholics.
Not everyone becomes a food addict.
Not everyone who drinks a glass of wine becomes an alcoholic.
So the real issue is what makes people susceptible
because it's the combination of a susceptible individual
and the potentially addictive substance or behavior
that makes for the full flowering of addiction.
In short, it's not the drug that's addictive
it's the question of the susceptibility of the individual
to being addicted to a particular substance or behavior.
If we wish to understand what
then makes some people susceptible
we actually have to look at the life experience.
The old idea, although it's old but it's still
broadly held, that addictions are due to some genetic cause
is simply scientifically untenable.
What the case is actually is that certain life experiences
make people susceptible.
Life experiences that not only shape the person's
personality and psychological needs
but also their very brains in certain ways.
And that process begins in utero.
It has been shown, for example
that if you stress mothers during pregnancy
their children are more likely to have
traits that predispose them to addictions
and that's because development is shaped
by the psychological and social environment.
So the biology of human beings is very much affected by
and programmed by the life experiences beginning in utero.
Environment does not begin at birth.
Environment begins as soon as you have an environment.
As soon as you are a fetus, you are subject to whatever
information is coming through mom's circulations.
Hormones, levels of nutrients...
A great landmark example of this is
something called the Dutch Hongerwinter.
In 1944, Nazis occupying Holland
for a bunch of reasons, they decide to
take all the food and divert it to Germany;
for three months everybody there was starving.
Tens of thousands of people starve to death.
What the Dutch hunger winter effect is:
if you were a second or third trimester fetus during the starvation
your body 'learned' something very unique during that time.
As it turns out, second and third trimester is when your body is
going about trying to learn about the environment:
How menacing of a place is it out there?
How plentiful? How much nutrients am I getting
by way of mom's circulation?
Be a fetus who was starving during that time and your body
programs forever after to be
really, really stingy with your sugar and fat and
what you do is you store every bit of it.
Be a Dutch Hunger Winter fetus and half a century later
everything else being equal
you are more likely to have high blood pressure
obesity or metabolic syndrome.
That is environment coming in a very unexpected place.
You can stress animals in the laboratory when they're pregnant
and their offspring will be more
likely to use cocaine and alcohol as adults.
You can stress human mothers. For example, in a British study
women who were abused in pregnancy
will have higher levels of
the stress hormone cortisol in their placenta at birth
and their children are more likely to have conditions that
predispose them to addictions by age 7 or 8.
So in utero stress already prepares the gun
for all kinds of mental health issues.
An Israeli study done on children
born to mothers who were pregnant
prior to the onset of the 1967 war...
These women, of course, were very stressed
and their offspring have a higher incidence of schizophrenia
than the average cohort.
So, there is plenty of evidence now that prenatal
effects have a huge impact on the developing human being.
The point about human development and
specifically human brain development
is that it occurs mostly under the impact of the environment
and mostly after birth.
Now, if you compare us to a horse
which can run on the first day of life
we see that we are very undeveloped.
We can't muster that much neurological coordination
balance, muscle strength, visual acuity
until a year and a half, two years of age.
That's because the brain development in the horse
happens in the safety of the womb
and in the human being, it has to happen after birth
and that has to do with simple evolutionary logic.
As the head gets larger, which is what makes us into human beings
the burgeoning of the forebrain is
what creates the human species, actually.
At the same time, we walk on two legs. So, our pelvis narrows
to accommodate that. So now we
have a narrower pelvis, a larger head
Bingo! We have to be born prematurely.
And that means the brain development that in other animals
occurs in utero
in us, occurs after birth
and much of that under the impact of the environment.
The concept of Neural Darwinism simply means
that the circuits that get the appropriate input from the environment
will develop optimally and the ones that don't
will either not develop optimally or perhaps not at all.
If you take a child with perfectly good eyes at birth
and you put him in a dark room for five years
he will be blind thereafter for the rest of his life
because the circuits of vision require light waves for their development
and without that even the rudimentary
circuit's present and active at birth
will atrophy and die and new ones will not develop.
There is a significant way in which
early experiences shape adult behavior
and even and especially early
experiences for which there is no recall memory.
It turns out that there are two kinds of memory:
there is explicit memory which is recall
this is when you can call back facts
details, episodes, circumstances.
But the structure in the brain which is called the hippocampus
which encodes recall memory
doesn't even begin to develop fully until a year and a half
and it is not fully developed until much later.
Which is why hardly anybody has
any recall memory prior to 18 months.
But there is another kind of
memory which is called implicit memory
which is, in fact, an emotional memory
where the emotional impact and the interpretation the child makes
of those emotional experiences are ingrained in the brain
in the form of nerve circuits ready to fire
without specific recall.
So to give you a clear example
people who are adopted have a
lifelong sense of rejection very often.
They can't recall the adoption.
They can't recall the separation of the birth mother
because there's nothing there to recall with.
But the emotional memory of separation and rejection
is deeply embedded in their brains.
Hence, they are much more likely
to experience a sense of rejection
and a great emotional upset
when they perceive themselves as being rejected
by other people.
That's not unique to people who are
adopted but it is particularly strong in them
because of this function of implicit memory.
People who are addicted, given all the
research literature and in my experience
the hard-core addicts virtually were all
significantly abused as children
or suffered severe emotional loss.
Their emotional or implicit memories
are those of a world that's not safe
and not helpful; caregivers who were not to be trusted
and relationships that are not
safe enough to open up to vulnerability
and hence their responses tend
to be to keep themselves separate from
really intimate relationships;
not to trust caregivers
doctors and other people who are trying to help them
and generally see the world as an unsafe place...
and that is strictly a function of implicit memory
which sometimes has to do with incidents they don't even recall.
Infants who are born premature or often in incubators
and various types of gadgetry and
machinery for weeks and perhaps months,
it's now known that if these
children are touched and stroked on the back
for just 10 minutes a day that promotes their brain development.
So, human touch is essential for development
and, in fact, infants who are never picked up will actually die.
That is how much of a fundamental
need being held is to human beings.
In our society, there is an unfortunate tendency
to tell parents not to pick up their kids, not to hold them
not to pick up babies who are crying for fear of spoiling them
or to encourage them to sleep through the night
you don't pick them up...
which is just the opposite of what the child needs
and these children might go back to sleep because they give up
and their brains just shut down as a
way of defending against the vulnerability
of being abandoned really by their parents
but their implicit memories will be
that of the world that doesn't give a damn.
A lot of these differences are structured very early in life.
In a way, the parental experience of adversity
how tough life is or how easy it is
is passed on to children
whether through maternal depression
or parents being bad tempered with
their kids because they have had a hard day
or just being too tired at the end of the day...
and these have very powerful effects programming
children's development, which we know a lot about now
But that early sensitivity isn't just an evolutionary mistake.
It exists again in many different species.
Even in seedlings there's an early adaptive process
to the kind of environment they are growing up in
but for humans, the adaptation is to the quality of social relations.
And so, early life:
how nurturing, how much conflict, how much attention you get
is a taster of the kind of world you may be growing up in.
Are you growing up in a world where
you have to fight for what you can get;
watch your back; fend for yourself; learn not to trust others?...
or are you growing up in a society where you depend on
reciprocity, mutuality, cooperation, where empathy is important
where your security depends on good relations with other people?...
and that needs a very different
emotional and cognitive development
and that's what the early sensitivity is about
and parenting is almost, quite unconsciously
a system for passing on that experience to children...
of the kind of world they are in.
The great British child psychiatrist, DW Winnicott, said
that fundamentally, two things can go wrong in childhood.
One is when things happen that shouldn't happen
and then things that should happen but don't.
In the first category, is the dramatic, abusive
and abandonment experiences of my
downtown Eastside patients and of many addicts.
That's what shouldn't happen but did.
But then there is the non-stressed
attuned, non-distracted attention
of the parent that every child needs
that very often children don't get.
They're not abused. They are not neglected
and they're not traumatized
but what should happen
the presence of the emotionally available nurturing parent
just is not available to them because of the
stresses in our society and the parenting environment.
The psychologist Allan Surer calls that "Proximal Abandonment"
when the parent is physically present
but emotionally absent.
I have spent...
roughly the last 40 years of my life
working with the most violent of people our society produces:
murderers, rapists and so on.
In an attempt to understand what causes this violence.
I discovered that the most violent of the criminals in our prisons
had themselves been victims
of a degree of child abuse that was beyond the scale of
what I ever thought of applying the term child abuse to.
I had no idea of the depth
of the depravity with which children in our society
are all too often treated.
The most violent people I saw were themselves the survivors
of their own attempted murder often at the hands of their parents
or other people in their social environment
or were the survivors of family members who had been killed
their closest family members, by other people.
The Buddha argued that everything depends on everything else.
He says 'the one contains the many and the many contains the one'.
That you can't understand anything in isolation from its environment.
The leaf contains the sun, the sky and the earth, obviously.
This has now been shown to be true, of course
all around and specifically when it comes to human development.
The modern scientific term for it
is the "bio psycho social" nature of human development
which says that the biology of human beings
depends very much on their interaction with
the social and psychological environment.
Specifically, the psychiatrist and researcher
Daniel Siegel at the University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA
has coined a phrase "Interpersonal Neurobiology"
which means to say that the way
that our nervous system functions
depends very much on our personal relationships.
In the first place with the parenting caregivers and in the
second place with other important attachment figures in our lives
and in the third-place, with our entire culture.
So that you can't separate the
neurological functioning of a human being
from the environment in which he or she grew up in
and continues to exist in
and this is true throughout the lifecycle.
It's particularly true when you are
dependent and helpless when your brain is developing
but it's true even in adults and even at the end of life.
Human beings have lived in almost every kind of society.
From the most egalitarian... hunting and gathering societies
seem to have been very egalitarian
for instance, based on food sharing, gift exchange...
Small bands of people living predominately
off of foraging and a little bit of hunting
predominantly among people you have
at the least, known your entire life
if not surrounded by third cousins or closer;
in a world in which there is a great
deal of fluidity between different groups;
in a world which there is not a
whole lot in terms of material culture...
this is how humans have spent most of their hominid history.
And no surprise, that makes for a very different world.
One of the things you get as a result of that is far less violence.
Organized group violence is not
something that occurred at that time
of human history and that seems quite clear.
So where did we go wrong?
Violence is not universal.
It is not symmetrically distributed throughout the human race.
There is a huge variation in the amount of violence in different societies.
There are some societies that have virtually no violence.
There are others that destroy themselves.
Some of the Anabaptist religious
groups that are complete strict pacifists
like the Amish, the Mennonites, the Hutterites...
among some of these groups, the Hutterites
there are no recorded cases of homicide.
During our major wars, like World War II
where people were being drafted
they would refuse to serve in the military.
They would go to prison rather than serve in the military
In the Kibbutzim in Israel
the level of violence is so low that the criminal courts there
will often send violent offenders
people who have committed crimes
to live on the Kibbutzim in order to
learn how to live a non-violent life...
because that's the way people live there.
So, we are amply shaped by society.
Our societies, in the broader sense including our theological
our metaphysical, our linguistic influences, etc.
our societies help shape us as to whether or not we think
life is basically about sin or about beauty;
whether the afterlife will carry a price for
how we live our lives or if it's irrelevant.
In a broad sort of way different large societies could
be termed as individualistic or
collectivist and you get very different people
and different mindsets and I suspect
different brains coming along with that.
We, in America, are in one of the most individualistic of societies.
With capitalism being a system that allows you to go
higher and higher up a potential pyramid and
the deal is that it comes with fewer and fewer safety nets.
By definition, the more stratified a society is
the fewer people you have as peers - the fewer people with whom
you have symmetrical, reciprocal relationships -
and instead, all you have are differing spots and endless hierarchies...
A world in which you have few reciprocal partners
is a world with a lot less altruism.
[Human Nature]
So, this brings us to a total impossible juncture which is
to try to make sense in perspective science...
as to what that nature is of human nature.
You know, on a certain level
the nature of our nature is not to be
particularly constrained by our nature.
We come up with more social
variability than any species out there.
More systems of belief, of styles of family structures
of ways of raising children. The capacity
for variety that we have is extraordinary.
In a society which is predicated on competition
and really, very often, the ruthless exploitation
of one human being by another
the profiteering off of other people's problems
and very often the creation of
problems for the purpose of profiteering
the ruling ideology will very often justify that behavior
by appeals to some fundamental and unalterable human nature.
So the myth in our society is
that people are competitive by nature
and that they are individualistic and that they're selfish.
The real reality is quite the opposite.
We have certain human needs.
The only way that you can talk about human nature concretely
is by recognizing that there are certain human needs.
We have a human need for companionship and for close contact
to be loved, to be attached to, to be accepted
to be seen, to be received for who we are.
If those needs are met, we develop
into people who are compassionate
and cooperative and who have empathy for other people.
the opposite, that we often see in our
society is, in fact, a distortion of human nature
precisely because so few people have their needs met.
So, yes you can talk about human nature
but only in the sense of basic human needs
that are instinctively evoked
or I should say, certain human needs
that lead to certain traits if they are met
and a different set of traits if they are denied.
when we recognize the fact that the human organism
which has a great deal of adaptive flexibility
allowing us to survive in many different conditions
is also rigidly programmed for certain environmental requirements
or human needs
a social imperative begins to emerge.
Just as our bodies require physical nutrients
the human brain demands positive forms of environmental stimulus
at all stages of development
while also needing to be protected
from other negative forms of stimulus.
And if things that should happen, do not...
or if things that shouldn't happen, do...
it is now apparent that the door can be opened for not only
a cascade of mental and physical diseases
but many detrimental human behaviors as well.
So, as we turn our perspective now outward
and take account for the state of affairs today
we must ask the question:
Is the condition we have created in the modern world
actually supporting our health?
Is the bedrock of our socioeconomic
system acting as a positive force
for human and social development and progress?
Or, is the foundational gravitation of our society
actually going against the core evolutionary requirements
needed to create and maintain
our personal and social well-being?
[Part II: Social Pathology]
So, one might ask where did this all begin?
What we have today... really a world in a state of
cumulative collapse.
[The Market]
You get it started with John Locke.
And John Locke introduces property.
He has three provisos for just private right and property.
And the three provisos are:
There must be enough left over for others
and that you must not let it spoil
and that you, most of all, must mix your labor with it.
It seems justified- you mix your labor with the world
then you are entitled to the product
and as long as there's enough left over for others
and as long as it doesn't spoil
and you don't allow anything to go to waste then that's okay.
He spends a long time on this and his famous treatise of government
and it's since been the canonical text
for economic and political and legal understanding.
It is still the classic text that's studied.
Well - after he gives the provisos
and you're almost thinking at the time whether you
are for private property or not
he has given a very good plausible and powerful defense
of private property here...
Well, he drops them!
He drops them like that. Right in one sentence.
He says, 'Well, once the introduction
of money came in by men's tacit consent
then it became... '
and he doesn't say all the provisos are canceled or erased -
but that's what happens.
So, now we have not
product and your property earned by your own labor -
oh no- money buys labor now.
There is no longer consideration
whether there is enough left over for others;
there is no longer consideration of whether it spoils
because he says money is like
silver and gold and gold can't spoil
and therefore money can't be responsible for waste...
which is ridiculous. We are not talking about money
and silver, we are talking about what its effects are.
It's one non sequitur after another.
Just the most startling
logical legerdemain that he gets away with here
but it fits the interests of capital owners.
Then Adam Smith comes along and what he adds
is the religion to this...
Locke started with God made it all this way
this is God's right
and now we get also with Smith
saying 'it's not only God's... '
well, he's not actually saying this but
this is what's happening philosophically, in principle
he's saying that 'it is not only a question of private property... '
That's all now 'presupposed'- It's Given!
And that there's 'money investors that buy labor' Given!
There's no limit to how much they can buy of other men's labor
how much they can accumulate, how much 'inequality' -
that's all given now.
And so he comes along and what his big idea is
and again it's just introduced in parentheses, in passing...
You know, when people put out goods for sale - the supply
and other people buy them - the demand and so forth
how do we have supply equaling demand
or demand equaling supply?
how can they come into equilibrium?
and that is one of the central notions of economics
is how do they come into equilibrium...
and he says: it's the "Invisible Hand of the Market"
that brings them into equilibrium.
So, now we have "God is actually imminent.
He just didn't give the rights to property
and all its wherewithal and its "natural rights"
regarding what Locke said...
now we have the system itself as "God".
In fact, Smith says, when he talks
and you have to read the whole of the
Wealth of Nations' to find this quote.
He says: 'the scantiness of subsistence
sets limits to the reproduction of the poor
and that nature can deal with this in no other way
than elimination of their children. '
So he anticipated evolutionary theory in the worst sense...
this is well before Darwin.
And so he called them the 'Race of Laborers'.
So you can see: there was inherent racism built-in here
there was an inherent life blindness to kill
innumerable children
and he thought: 'that's the Invisible Hand making supply
meet demand and demand meet supply. '
So, see how wise "God" is?
So you can see a lot of the really virulent
life destructive, eco-genocidal things
that are going on now have, in a way,
a 'thought gene' back in Smith too.
When we reflect on the original concept of
the so-called free market - capitalist system
as initiated by early economic philosophers
such as Adam Smith
we see that the original intent of a "market"
was based around real, tangible, life supporting goods for trade.
Adam Smith never fathomed that the most
profitable economic sector on the planet
would eventually be in the arena of financial trading
or so-called investment
where money itself is simply
gained by the movement of other money
in an arbitrary game which holds
zero productive merit to society.
Yet, regardless of Smith's intent
the door for such seemingly anomalous advents
was left wide open by one fundamental tenet of this theory:
Money is treated as a Commodity, in and of itself.
Today, in every economy of the world
regardless of the social system they claim
money is pursued for the sake of money and nothing else.
The underlying idea, which was mysteriously qualified
by Adam Smith with his religious declaration of the
'Invisible Hand'
is that the narrow, self-interested pursuit
of this fictional commodity
will somehow magically manifest
human and social well-being and progress.
The reality is that the monetary incentive interest
or what some have termed the: "Money Sequence of Value"
has now completely decoupled from the foundational
'life interest', which could be termed the
'Life Sequence of Value. '
What has happened is that there is a complete confusion
in economic doctrine
between those two sequences.
They think that the Money Sequence of Value
delivers the Life Sequence of Value
and that's why they say if more goods are sold
If GDP's rise and so forth...
there would be more enhanced well-being
and we could take the GDP as being our basic layer indicator
of social health...
Well, there you see the confusion.
It's talking about Money Sequences of Value
that is, all the receipts and all the revenues that are
derived from selling goods
and they're confusing that with life reproduction.
So, you have built right into this thing from the beginning
a complete conflation of the money
and life sequences of value.
So, we are dealing with a kind of structured delusion
which becomes more and more deadly
as the money sequence decouples from producing
anything at all.
So, it's a system disorder
and the system disorder seems to be fatal.
[Welcome to the Machine]
In society today, you seldom hear anyone speak
of the progress of their country or society
in terms of their physical well-being, state of happiness,
trust or social stability.
Rather, the measures are presented to us
through economic abstractions.
We have the gross domestic product, the consumer price index,
the value of the stock market, rates of inflation...
and so on.
But does this tell us anything of real value
as to the quality of people's lives?
No. All of these measures have to do with
the money sequence itself and nothing more.
For example, the Gross Domestic Product of a country
is a measure of the value of goods and services sold.
This measure is claimed to correlate to the
"standard of living" of a country's people.
In the United States health care accounted for over
17% of GDP in 2009
amounting to over 2.5 trillion spent.
Hence, creating a positive effect on this economic measure.
And, based on this logic
it would be even better for the US economy
if health care services increased more so...
perhaps to 3 trillion dollars... or 5 trillion
since that would create more growth
more jobs and hence boasted by economists
as a rise in their country's standard of living.
But wait a minute.
What do health care services actually represent?
That's right- the more unhealthy people there are in America
the better the economy.
Now, that is not an exaggeration or a cynical perspective.
In fact, if we step back far enough
you will realize that the GDP
not only doesn't reflect real public or social health
on any tangible level
it is, in fact, 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.
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.
There is just no profit there.
There's an old saying -
Pass a law and create a business'.
Whether you are creating a business for a lawyer or whatever.
So, crime does create
business just like destruction creates
business in Haiti.
We have now roughly 2,000,000 people incarcerated
in this country (USA)
and of those many are in prisons run
by private corporations:
Corrections Corporation of America, Wackenhut
who trade their stock on Wall Street
based upon how many people are in jail.
Now that's sickness.
But that is a reflection of what
this economic paradigm calls for.
So what exactly does this economic paradigm call for?
What is it that keeps our economic system going?
Or more accurately- Cyclical Consumption.
When we break down the
foundation of classic market economics
we are left with a pattern of monetary exchange
that simply cannot be allowed to stop
or even substantially slowed
if the society as we know it
is to remain operational.
There are three main actors on the economic stage:
the employee, the employer
and the consumer.
The employee sells labor to the employer for income.
The employer sells its production services, and hence goods,
to the consumer for income
and the consumer, of course, is simply another role
of the employer and employee
spending back into the system
to enable the cyclical consumption to continue.
In other words, the global market system is based on
the assumption that there will always be enough
product demand in a society
to move enough money around at a rate
which can keep the consumption process going.
And the faster the rate of consumption
the more so-called economic growth is assumed
and so the machine goes...
But, hold on -
I thought an economy was meant to, I don't know...
Doesn't the very term have to do with preservation
and efficiency and a reduction of waste?
So how does our system, which demands consumption
and the more the better, efficiently preserve
or "Economize" at all?
Well... it doesn't.
The intent of the market system is, in fact, the exact opposite
of what a real economy is supposed to do,
which is efficiently and conservatively orient
the materials for production and distribution
of life supporting goods.
We live on a finite planet, with finite resources
where, for example, the oil we utilize took
millions of years to develop...
where the minerals we use took billions of years to develop.
So... having a system that deliberately promotes
the acceleration of consumption
for the sake of so-called "economic growth"
is pure ecocidal insanity.
Absence of waste, that's what efficiency is.
Absence of waste?
This system is more wasteful than all the other
existing systems in the history of the planet.
Every level of life organization and life system
is in a state of crisis and challenge
and decay or collapse.
No peer-reviewed journal in the last 30 years
will tell you anything different:
that is that every life system is in decline
as well as social programs...
as well as our water access.
Try to name any means of life that
isn't threatened and endangered...
You can't.
There really isn't one and that's very, very despairing.
But we haven't even figured out the causal mechanism.
We don't want to face the causal mechanism.
We just want to go on. You know that's where insanity is
where you keep doing the same thing over and over again
even though it clearly doesn't work.
So you're really
dealing with not an economic system
but I would go so far as to say an anti-economic system.
[The Anti-Economy]
There is an old saying that the competitive
market model seeks to
"create the best possible goods at the lowest possible prices"...
This statement is essentially the incentive concept
which justifies market competition
based on the assumption that the result
is the production of higher quality goods.
If I was going to build myself a table from scratch
I would naturally build it out of the best
most durable materials possible, right?
With the intent for it to last as long as possible.
Why would I want to make something poor
knowing I would have to eventually do it again
and expend more materials and more energy?
Well, as rational as that may seem in the physical world
when it comes to the market world
it is not only explicitly irrational
it is not even an option.
It is technically impossible to produce
the best of anything
if a company is to maintain a competitive edge
and hence remain affordable to the consumer.
Literally everything created and set for sale
in the global economy is immediately inferior
the moment it is produced
for it is a mathematical impossibility
to make the most scientifically advanced, efficient
and strategically sustainable products.
This is due to the fact that the market system
requires that "cost efficiency"
or the need to reduce expenses
exists at every stage of production.
From the cost of labor, to the cost
of materials and packaging and so on.
This competitive strategy, of course
is to make sure the public buys their goods
rather than from a competing producer
...which is doing the exact same thing
to also make their goods both competitive and affordable.
This immutably wasteful consequence of the system
could be termed: Intrinsic Obsolescence.
However, this is only one part of a larger problem:
A fundamental governing principle of market economics
one you will not find in any textbook, by the way
- Is the following:
Nothing produced can be allowed to maintain a lifespan
longer than what can be endured
in order to continue cyclical consumption.
In other words, it is critical that stuff breakdown,
fail and expire within a certain amount of time.
This is termed - "Planned obsolescence"...
Planned obsolesce is the backbone of the underlying market
strategy of every goods producing corporation in existence.
While very few, of course
would admit to such a strategy outright
what they do is mask it within the
Intrinsic Obsolescence phenomenon just discussed,
while often ignoring, or even suppressing
new advents in technology
which might create a more sustainable, durable good.
So, if it wasn't wasteful enough
that the system inherently cannot allow the most
durable and efficient goods to be produced,
Planned Obsolescence deliberately
recognizes that the longer any good is in operation
the worse it is for sustaining cyclical consumption
and hence the market system itself.
In other words, product sustainability
is actually inverse to economic growth
and hence there is a direct, reinforced incentive
to make sure life spans are short
of any given good produced.
And, in fact, the system cannot operate any other way.
One glance at the sea of landfills now spreading across
the world show the obsolescence reality.
There are now billions of cheaply made cell phones
computers and other technology
each full of precious, difficult to mine materials
such as gold, coltan, copper...
now rotting in vast piles
usually due to the mere malfunction or obsolescence
of small parts which, in a conservative society
could likely be fixed or updated
and the life of the good extended.
Unfortunately, as efficient as that may seem
in our physical reality, living on a
finite planet with finite resources,
it is explicitly inefficient, with respect to the market.
To put into a phrase:
Efficiency, Sustainability, and
Preservation are the enemies of our economic system.
Likewise, just a physical goods need to be constantly
produced and reproduced
regardless of their environmental impact
the service industry operates with an equal rational.
The fact is, there is no monetary benefit
to resolving any problems
which are currently being serviced.
At the end of the day
the last thing the medical establishment really wants
is the curing of diseases such as cancer
which would eliminate countless jobs and trillions in revenue.
And since we are on the subject...
Crime and Terrorism in this system are good!
Well, at least economically...
for it is employing police
generating hi-value commodities for security
not to mention the value of prisons
that are privately owned - for profit.
And how about war?
The war industry in America is a huge driver of GDP -
one of the most profitable industries -
producing weapons of death and destruction.
The favorite game of this industry is to blow things up
and then can go and rebuild them, for profit.
We saw this with the windfall billion dollar
contracts made from the Iraq war.
The bottom line is that socially negative
attributes of society
have become positively rewarded ventures for industry
and any interest in problem resolution
or environmental sustainability and conservation
is intrinsically counter to economic sustainability.
And this is why
every time you see the GDP rise in any country
you are witnessing an increase in necessity
whether real or contrived
and by definition, a necessity is rooted in inefficiency.
Hence, increased necessity means increased inefficiency.
[Value System Disorder]
The American dream is based on
the rampant consumerism.
It is based upon the fact that
mainstream media and
especially commercial advertising
- All corporations who need this infinite growth -
have convinced us or brainwashed
most people in America and the world
that we have to have X number of material possessions
and the possibility of gaining infinitely more
material possessions, in order to be happy.
That's just not true.
So why do people continue to buy in this way
which is ultimately eco-genocidal
in its systemic effects cumulatively?
And it just is classical & operant conditioning.
You simply put inputs of conditioning into the organism
and you have outputs of desired behaviors
or goals or objectives.
And it has all the resources of technology
and they boast about how they
get into the minds of infants
what they hear is already making them
conditioned to the brand.
Then you see, that's how
people have been such fools.
They have been taught to be fools.
It's a value system disorder.
You know, if there is any testament to the plasticity
of the human mind.
If there is any proof to how malleable
human thought is and how easily
conditioned and guided people can become
based on the nature of their environmental stimulus
and what it reinforces:
the world of commercial advertising is the proof.
You have to stand in awe
at the level of brainwashing
where these programmed robots known as "consumers"
wander the landscape
only to walk into a store and spend, say
4000$ on a handbag
that likely cost 10 dollars to make
in a sweatshop overseas.
Only for the brand status it supposedly
represents in the culture.
Or perhaps the ancient communal traditions
which increase trust and cohesiveness in society -
which have now been hijacked by acquisitive
materialistic values where now we annually
exchange useless crap a few times a year.
And we might wonder why so many today have a
compulsion to shopping and acquisition
when it is clear that they have conditioned from childhood
to expect material goods
as a sign of their status with friends and family.
The fact is, the foundation of any society
are the values that support its operation
and our society, as it exists
can only operate if our values support
the conspicuous consumption it
requires to continue the market system.
75 years ago consumption in America
and much of the 1st world was half
of what we see today, per person.
Today's new consumer culture
has been manufactured and imposed
due to the very real need for higher
and higher levels of consumption.
And this is why most corporations now spend
more money on advertising, than the actual process
of product creation itself.
They work diligently to create a false need for you to fill.
And it happens to work.
["The Economists"]
You know economists, in fact, are not economists at all.
They're propagandists of money value
and you will find that all of their
models basically get down to token
exchanges that are true to profit
of one side or both sides or whatever
but they are completely disconnected from the actually
existing world of reproduction.
In Ohio, an old man failed to pay his electric bill
you may be familiar with the case
and the electric company turned off the electricity and he died.
The reason they turned it off was
because it wouldn't have been profitable
for them to keep it on because he didn't pay his bill.
Do you believe that was right?
The responsibility really lies not on
the electric company for turning it off
but on those of this man's neighbors and friends
and associates
who were not charitable enough
to enable him, as an individual
to meet the electric bill.
Did I hear that right?
Did he just say the death of a man
caused by not having money
was the responsibility of...
other people...
or, in effect, charity?
Well then, I guess we're gonna need
a whole lot of infomercials, little miserable
coin slot donations for bodega counters
and a bunch of pickle jars
for the billion people now starving to death
on this planet...
because of the very system Milton Friedman promotes.
Whether you are dealing with the philosophies of
Milton Friedman, F.A. Hyack
John Maynard Keynes, Ludwig von Mises
or any other major market economist
the basis of rationale
rarely leaves the money sequence.
It is like a religion.
Consumption analysis, stabilization policies
deficit spending, aggregate demand...
it exists as a never ending, self-referring
self-rationalizing circle of discourse
where universal human need, natural resources
and any form of physical life supporting efficiency
is ruled out by default
and replaced by the singular notion that humans
seeking advantage over each other for money alone
motivated by their own, narrow self-interest
will magically create a sustainable, healthy, balanced society.
There is no life coordinate in this whole theory
this whole doctrine.
What are they doing?
What they are doing is tracking the money sequences.
That's all it is, is tracking money sequences
presupposing everything that matters.
One: There is no life coordinates...
whoa... no life coordinates!
Two: That all the agents are
self-maximizing preferences seekers.
That is, they think of nothing other than themselves
and what they can get most for themselves.
That's the ruling notion of rationality:
self-maximizing choice
and the only thing that they are interested in self-maximizing
is money or commodities.
Well, where does social relations come in?
It doesn't, except in the exchange to self-maximize.
Where do our natural resources come in?
They don't, except to exploit.
Where does the family come in as being able to survive?
It doesn't. They have to have
money in order to purchase any good.
Well, shouldn't an economy
deal somewhere with human need?
Isn't that what the fundamental issue is?
Oh, "need" isn't even in your lexicon.
You dissolve it into "wants"...
and what is a want? That means
money demand that wants to buy.
Well, if it's money demand that wants to buy
it has nothing to do with need
because maybe the person has no money demand
and desperately needs, say, water supply.
Or, it may be money demand wants a gold toilet seat.
Well, where does it all go?
To the gold toilet seat.
And you call this economics?
Really, when one thinks of it
it's got to be the most bizarre
delusion in the history of human thought.
[Monetary System]
Now- so far we have focused on the market system.
But this system is actually only
half of the global economic paradigm.
The other half is the "Monetary System"...
While the Market System deals with the interaction of people
gaming for profit across the spectrum of labor
production and distribution
the Monetary System is an underlying set of policies
set by financial institutions
which create conditions for the
market system, among other things.
It includes terms we often hear
such as interest rates, loans, debt, the money supply
inflation, etc.
And while you might want to pull your hair out listening
to the gibberish coming from the monetary economists:
"Modest preemptive actions, can obviate the need
of more drastic actions, at a later date."
the nature and effect of this
system is actually quite simple:
Our economy has...
or the global economy has
three basic things that govern it.
One is fractional reserve banking
the banks printing money out of nothing.
It's also based upon compound interest.
When you borrow money, you have to pay back more
than you borrowed, which means that you, in effect
create money out of thin air
again, which has to be serviced by creating still more money.
We live in an infinite growth paradigm.
The economic paradigm we live in now is a Ponzi scheme.
Nothing grows forever.
It's not possible.
As a great psychologist James Hillman wrote
The only thing that grows in the human body after
a certain age is cancer.
It's not just the amount of money that has to keep growing
it's the amount of consumers.
Consumers to borrow money at interest
to generate more money and obviously, that's not possible
on a finite planet.
People are basically vehicles to just create money
which must create more money
to keep the whole thing from falling apart
which is what's happening right now.
There are really only two things anyone needs to know
about the monetary system:
All money is created out of debt.
Money is monetized debt
whether it materialized from treasury bonds
home loan contracts or credit cards.
In other words, if all outstanding debt
was to be repaid right now
there would not be one dollar in circulation.
And 2: Interest is charged on virtually all loans made
and the money needed to pay back this interest
does not exist in the money supply outright.
Only the principal is created by the loans
and the principal is the money supply.
So, if all this debt was to be repaid right now
not only would there not be one dollar left in circulation
there would be a gigantic amount of money owed
that is literally impossible to pay back, for it does not exist.
The consequence of all of this is that two things are inevitable:
and Bankruptcy.
As far as inflation, this can be seen as a historical trend
in virtually every country today
and easily tied to its cause
which is the perpetual increase of the money supply
which is required
to cover the interest charges and keep the system going.
As far as Bankruptcy
it comes in the form of debt collapse.
This collapse will inevitably occur with a person
a business or a country
and typically happens when the interest payments
are no longer possible to make.
But there is a bright side to all of this...
well, at least in terms of the market system
Because debt creates pressure
Debt creates wage slaves.
A person in debt is much more likely to take a low wage
than a person who isn't
hence becoming a cheap commodity
so it's great for corporations to have a pool of people
that have no financial mobility.
But hey - that same idea also goes for entire countries...
the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund
which mostly serve as proxies for
transnational corporate interests
give gigantic loans to troubled countries
at very high interest rates
and then, once the countries are
deeply in the hole and can't pay
austerity measures are applied
the corporations swoop in
set up sweatshops and take their natural resources.
Now that's market efficiency.
But wait there's more:
you see- there's this unique
hybrid of the monetary and market system
called the stock market
which rather than, you know, actually produce anything real
they just buy and sell money itself.
And when it comes to debt, you know what they do?
That's right - they trade it.
They actually buy and sell debt for profit.
From credit default swaps
and collateralized debt obligations for consumer debt
to complex derivative schemes used
to mask the debt of entire countries
such as the collusion of
investment bank Goldman Sachs and Greece
which nearly collapsed the entire European economy.
So when it comes to the stock market and Wall Street
we have an entirely new level of insanity
born out of the Money Sequence of value.
All you need to know about markets
was written in an editorial in the Wall Street Journal
a couple years ago
it was called 'Lessons of the Brain-Damaged Investor".
And in this editorial, they explained why
people with slight brain damage
do better as investors
than people with normal brain functionality.
Why? Because the slightly
brain-damaged person has no empathy.
That's the key. If you don't have any empathy
you do well as an investor
and so Wall Street breeds people who have no empathy.
To go in there and to make decisions
and to make trades they have no compunction about
no thought whatsoever as to how what they are doing
might affect their fellow human being.
So they breed these robots.
These people who have no souls
and since they don't even want to pay these people anymore -
they are now breeding robots real robots
real algorithmic traders.
Goldman Sachs in the high frequency trading scandal:
they put a computer next to the New York Stock Exchange.
This computer, this "co-located" computer, as they call it:
it front-runs all the trades on the exchange and
hits the exchange with volumes of orders
in ways that "scalp"
pennies and nickels away from the exchange.
It's like they're siphoning money all day long.
They went one quarter last year 30
or 60 straight days without a single down day
and made millions of dollars every single day?
That statistically impossible!
When I worked on Wall Street, the way it works is
everyone kicks upstairs to bribes.
The brokers bribe to the office manager
the office manager bribes to the regional sales manager.
The regional sales manager
bribes to the national sales manager.
It's a common understanding.
At Christmas, who gets the biggest bonus at Christmas
in an average broker job? The compliance officer.
The compliance officer sits there all day long;
he's supposed to be making sure you
don't violate any of the margin rules
and you're "complying" with the law.
Of course, yeah, to the extent that
you can bribe the compliance officer
yeah, that's right, you are complying with the law!
So how has fraud become the system?
It's no longer a byproduct.
It is the system.
It's like that old Woody Allen joke. He says:
Doctor, my brother thinks he's a chicken.
And the doctor says, Take a pill
and that should cure the problem.
And he says, No doctor. You don't understand
We need the eggs.
So, the trading of fraudulent claims back and forth
between banks
to generate fees
to generate bonuses
has become the GDP producing growth
engine of the United States economy
even though they are essentially trading fraudulent claims
that there is absolutely no hope of ever paying back.
They are processing, generating and re-securitizing nothing.
If I write $20 billion on a cocktail napkin
and I sell it to J.P. Morgan and J.P. Morgan writes
$20 billion on a cocktail napkin
and we swap those two cocktail napkins at a bar
and we each pay ourselves a quarter of 1% in a fee
we make a lot of money for our Christmas bonus.
We each have on our books a $20 billion cocktail napkin
which has no real value until such time as
the system is no longer able to absorb bogus
cocktail napkins in which case we go to the government
to get bailed out.
And because of Wall street and the global stock market
there are now conservatively about 700 Trillion dollars
of outstanding fraudulent claims -
know as derivatives
still waiting to collapse.
A value amounting to over 10
times the gross domestic product
of the entire planet.
And while we have seen the bailouts of
corporations and banks by governments...
which, of course, comically borrow
their money from banks to begin with.
We are now seeing attempts to bailout whole countries
We are now seeing attempts to bailout whole countries
by conglomerates of other countries
through the International banks.
But how do you bailout a planet?
There is no country out there that isn't now saturated in debt.
The cascade of sovereign debt defaults we have seen
can only be the beginning, when the math is taken into account.
It has been estimated in the United States alone
that income tax would need to be raised to 65%
per person just to cover the interest in the near future.
Economists are now foreshadowing that within a few decades
60% of the countries on the planet will be bankrupt.
But hold on- Let me get this straight.
The world is going bankrupt
whatever the hell that means
because of this idea called "debt"
which doesn't even exist in the physical reality.
It's only part of a game we've invented...
and yet the well being of billions of people
is now being compromised.
Extreme layoffs - tent cities- accelerating poverty
Austerity measures imposed - schools shutting down -
child hunger... and other levels of familial deprivation
all because of this elaborate fiction...
What are we, fucking stupid?!
Hey! Hey! Mars- my man.
Help a brother out, uh?
Grow up, kid.
Saturn! What's up man?
You remember that smokin' nebula I hooked you up with
a while back?
uh- listen Earth.
We're getting really tired of you.
You've been given everything and yet you waste it all.
You've got plenty of resources and you know it.
Why don't you grow up and learn
some responsibility for Christ's sake.
You're making your mother miserable.
You're on your own, pal.
Yeah, whatever.
[Public Health]
Now, all of this considered...
from the waste machine known as the market system -
to the debt machine known as the monetary system -
hence creating the monetary-market paradigm
which defines the global economy today...
there is one consequence that runs through
the entire machine:
Whether it is market system which creates a natural
gravitation towards monopoly and power consolidation
while also generating pockets of wealthy industries
that tower over others
regardless of utility -
such as the fact that top
hedge fund managers on wall street
now take home over 300 million dollars a year
for contributing literally nothing.
While a scientist looking for a cure for a disease
trying to help humanity
might make 60 thousand dollars a year if they're lucky.
Or whether it is the monetary system
which has class division built right into its structure.
For example:
If I have 1 million dollars to spare and I put it into a CD
at 4% interest -
I will make 40,000 dollars a year.
No social contribution- no nothing.
However, if I'm a lower class person and have to take loans
to buy my car or home
I am paying in interest which
in abstraction
is going to pay that millionaire with the 4% CD.
This stealing from the poor to pay the rich
is a foundational, built in aspect of the monetary system.
And it could be labeled "Structural Classism"..
Of course, historically, social stratification
has always been deemed unfair
but obviously accepted overall
as now 1% of the population owns 40% of the planet's wealth.
But material fairness aside
there is something else going on
underneath the surface of inequality
causing an incredible deterioration in public health as a whole.
Well, I think people often are puzzled by the contrast
between the material success of our societies
- Unprecedented levels of wealth -
and the many social failings.
If you look at the rates of
drug abuse or violence or self harm
amongst kids or mental illness
there is clearly something going deeply wrong
with our societies.
The data I have been describing
simply shows that intuition that people
have had for hundreds of years, that inequality is divisive
and socially corrosive.
But, that intuition is truer than I think we ever imagined.
There are very powerful psychological and social effects
of inequality. More to do I suppose with feelings
of superiority and inferiority.
That kind of division...
Maybe going with the respect or disrespect
- People feeling looked down on at the bottom
which, by the way, is why violence is
more common in more unequal societies -
the trigger to violence is so often people feeling looked down
upon and disrespected.
If there is one principle I could emphasize
that is, the most important principle underlying
the prevention of violence
it would be "Equality"...
The single most significant factor
that affects the rate of violence
is the degree of equality versus the degree of inequality
in that society.
So, what we're looking at is a sort of
general social dysfunction.
It's not just one or two things that go wrong
as inequality increases
it seems to be everything, whether we are talking about
crime or health or mental illness or whatever.
One of the really disturbing findings out there in public health
is never ever make the mistake of being poor.
Or being born poor.
Your health pays for it in endless sorts of ways:
something known as the 'health socioeconomic gradient'.
As you move down from the highest strata
in society, in terms of socioeconomic status
every step down, health gets worse
for umpteen different diseases.
Life expectancy gets worse.
Infant mortality rate -
everything you could look at.
So, a huge issue has been
why is it that this gradient exists.
A simple obvious answer
which is, 'if you're chronically sick, you're not
going to be very productive
so, health causes drive socioeconomic differences. '
Not that in the slightest -
on the very simple level that
you could look at the
socioeconomic status of a 10-year-old
and that's going to predict something about their health
decades later.
So, that's the direction of causality.
Next one- 'Oh, it's perfectly obvious' -
poor people can't afford to go to the doctor...
it's healthcare access?
It's got nothing to do with that
because you see these same gradients
in countries with universal health care and
socialized medicine.
Okay next 'simple explanation':
Oh -on the average- the poorer you are
the more likely you are to smoke
and drink and all sorts of lifestyle risk factors.
Yeah, those contribute but careful studies have shown
that it explains maybe about a third of the variability.
So what's left?
What's left is having a ton to do
with the STRESS of poverty
So, the poorer you are, starting off being
the person who is one dollar of income behind Bill Gates...
the poorer you are in this country
on the average, the worse your health is.
This tells us something really important:
the health connection with poverty
it's not about being poor it's about feeling poor.
Increasingly we recognize that chronic stress
is an important influence on health
but the most important sources of stress
are the quality of social relations.
and if there is anything that
lowers the quality of social relations
it is the socioeconomic stratification of society.
What science has now shown is
that regardless of material wealth
the stress of simply living in a stratified society
leads to a vast spectrum of public health problems
and the greater the inequality, the worse they become.
Life expectancy: longer in more equal countries.
Drug Abuse: Less in more equal countries.
Mental Illness: Less in more equal countries.
Social Capital - meaning the
ability of people to trust each other:
Naturally greater in more equal countries.
Educational Scores: Higher in more equal countries.
Homicide rates: less in more equal countries.
Crime and Rates of Imprisonment:
Less in more equal countries.
It goes on and on:
Infant mortality obesity - teen birth rate:
Less in more equal countries.
and perhaps most interesting:
Innovation: Greater in more equal countries.
which challenges the age old notion that a competitive
stratified society is somehow more creative and inventive.
Moreover, a study done in the UK
called The WhiteHall Study
confirmed that there is a social distribution of disease
as you go from the top of the socioeconomic ladder
to the bottom.
For example, it was found that the lowest rungs
of the hierarchy had a 4-fold increase
of heart disease based mortality
compared to the highest rungs.
And this pattern exists, irrespective of access to health care.
Hence - the worse a person's relative financial status
the worse their health is going to be on average.
This phenomenon is rooted in what could be termed
Psychosocial Stress'
and it is at the foundation of the greatest social distortions
plaguing our society today.
Its cause?
The Monetary-Market System.
Make no mistake:
The greatest destroyer of ecology...
the greatest source of waste, depletion and pollution...
the greatest purveyor of violence -
war - crime - poverty - animal abuse and inhumanity...
the greatest generator of social and personal neurosis...
mental disorders - depression anxiety...
Not to mention, the greatest source of social paralysis
stopping us from moving into new methodologies
for personal health, global sustainability
and progress on this planet
is not some corrupt Government or legislation...
not some rogue Corporation or banking cartel...
not some flaw of human nature...
and not some secret hidden cabal that controls the world.
It is, in fact:
The Socio-Economic System itself
at its very foundation.
[Part 3: Project Earth]
Let's imagine for a moment we had the option
to redesign human civilization from the ground up.
What if, hypothetically speaking
we discovered an exact replica of the planet Earth
and the only difference between
this new planet and our current one
is that human evolution had not occurred.
It was an open palette.
No countries, no cities, no pollution, no republicans...
just a pristine, open environment.
So what would we do?
Well, first we need a "goal", right?
And it's safe to say that goal would be to survive.
And not to just survive, but to do so in an optimized, healthy
prosperous way.
Most people, indeed, desire to live and
they would prefer to do so without suffering.
Therefore, the basis of this civilization
needs to be as supportive and hence
sustainable for human life as possible -
taking into account the material needs
of all the world's people
while trying to remove anything
that can could hurt us in the long run.
With that goal of "Maximum Sustainability" understood
next question regards our "method"...
What kind of approach do we take?
Well, let's see -
last I checked, politics was the method of social operation on Earth...
so what do the doctrines of the republicans, liberals
conservatives or socialists have to say about societal design?
Hmmm... not a damn thing.
Okay then - what about religion?
Surely the great creator had to have left some blueprints somewhere...
Nope... nothing I can find.
Okay then - so what's left?
It appears something called "Science"...
Science is unique in that its methods demand not only that ideas
proposed be tested and replicated...
but everything science comes up with is also inherently falsifiable.
In other words, unlike religion and politics
science has no ego
and everything it suggests accepts the possibility
of being proven wrong eventually.
It holds on to nothing and evolves constantly.
Well, that sounds natural enough to me.
So then - based on the current state of scientific knowledge
in the early 21st century
along with our goal of "maximum sustainability"
for the human population
how do we begin the actual process of construction?
Well, the first question to ask is:
What do we need to survive?
The answer, of course, are Planetary Resources.
Whether it is the water we drink, the energy we use
or the raw materials we utilize to create tools and shelter
the planet hosts an inventory of resources -
many of which are demanded for our survival.
So, given that reality
it then becomes critical to figure out what we have and where it is.
This means we need to conduct a survey.
We simply locate and identify every physical resource on the planet
we can, along with the amount available at each location
from the deposits of copper, to the most potent locations for
wind farms to produce energy
to the natural fresh water springs
to an assessment of the amount of fish in the ocean
to the most prime arable land for food cultivation, etc.
But, since we humans are going to be
consuming these resources over time
we then realize that not only do we need to locate and identify -
we also need to track.
We need to make sure we don't run out of any of this stuff...
that would be bad.
And this means not only tracking our rates of use
but the rates of earthly regeneration as well
such as how long it takes for, say
a tree to grow or a spring to replenish.
This is called "Dynamic Equilibrium"...
In other words, if we use up trees faster than they can be grown back -
we have a serious problem, for it is unsustainable.
So then, how do we track this inventory
especially when we recognize that all
of this stuff is scattered everywhere.
We have large mineral mines in what we call Africa
energy concentrations in the Middle East
huge tidal power possibilities on the Atlantic coast of North America
the largest supply of fresh water in Brazil, etc.
Well, once again, good old science has a suggestion:
it's called "Systems theory"...
Systems theory recognizes that the fabric of the natural world
from human biology to the earthly biosphere
to the gravitational pull of the solar system itself
is one huge synergistically connected system - fully interlinked.
Just as human cells connect to form our organs
and the organs connect to form our bodies
and since our bodies cannot live without the earthy resources
of food, air and water, we are intrinsically connected to the earth.
And so on.
So - as nature suggests, we take all of this inventory
and tracking data and create a "system" to manage it.
A "Global Resource Management System", in fact
to account for every relevant resource on the planet.
There is simply no logical alternative if our goal as a species
is survival in the long run. We have to keep track as a whole.
That understood, we can now consider production.
How do we use all this stuff?
What will our process of production be and what do we need
to consider to make sure it is as optimized as possible
to maximize our sustainability?
Well the first thing that jumps right out at us is the fact that
we need to constantly try and preserve.
The planet's resources are essentially finite.
So it is important that we be "strategic"...
"Strategic Preservation" is key.
The second thing we recognize, is that some resources
are really not as good as others in their performance.
In fact, some of this stuff, when put into use
has a terrible effect of the environment
which invariably hinders our own health.
For example: oil and fossil fuels, no matter how you cut it
release some pretty destructive agents into the environment.
Therefore, it is critical that we do our best to use such things
only when we really have to - if at all.
Fortunately for us, we see a ton of solar wind tidal wave -
heat differential and geothermal possibilities for energy production
so we can strategize objectively about what we use and where
to avoid what could be called "negative retroactions"
or anything that results from production or use
that damages the environment and hence, ourselves.
We will call this "Strategic Safety"
to couple in with our "Strategic Preservation.
But production strategies do not stop there.
We are going to need an "Efficiency Strategy
for the actual mechanics of production itself.
And what we find is that there are roughly
three specific protocols we must adhere to:
One: Every good we produce must be
designed to last as long as possible.
Naturally, the more things breakdown
the more resources we are going to need to replace them
and the more waste produced.
Two: When things do break down
or are no longer usable for whatever reason
it is critical that we harvest, or recycle as much as we possibly can.
So the production design must take this into
account directly at the very earliest stages.
Three: Quickly evolving technologies, such as electronics
which are subject to the fastest rates of technological obsolescence
would need to be designed to
foreshadow and accommodate physical updates.
The last thing we want to do is throw away an entire computer
system just because it has only one broken part or is outdated.
So we simply design the components to be easily updated
part by part, standardized and universally interchangeable
foreshadowed by the current trend of technological change.
And when we realize that the mechanisms of "Strategic Preservation"
"Strategic Safety" and "Strategic Efficiency"
are purely technical considerations
devoid of any human opinion or bias
we simply program these strategies into a computer
which can weigh and calculate all the relevant variables
allowing us to always arrive at the
absolute best method for sustainable production
based on current understandings.
And while that might sound complex
all it is is a glorified calculator
not to mention that such multi-varied
decision making and monitoring systems
are already used across the world today
for isolated purposes. It is simply a process of scaling it out.
Now, we not only have our Resource Management System
but also a Production Management System
both of which are easily computer automated
to maximize efficiency, preservation & safety.
The informational reality is that the human mind
or even a group of humans, cannot track what needs to be tracked.
It must be done by computers and it can be.
And this bring us to the next level: Distribution.
What sustainability strategies make sense here?
Well, since we know that the shortest
distance between two points is a straight line
and since energy is required to power transport machines
the less transport distance, the more efficient.
Producing goods in one continent and shipping them over to another
only makes sense if the goods in question simply cannot
be produced in the target area.
Otherwise, it is nothing but wasteful.
We must localize production, so distribution is simple
fast and requires the least amount of energy.
We'll call this the Proximity Strategy
which simply means we reduce the
travel of goods as much as possible
whether raw materials or finished consumer products.
Of course, it might also be important to
know what goods are we transporting and why...
And this falls under the category of Demand.
And demand is simply what people need to be
healthy and to have a high quality of life.
The spectrum of material human needs
range from core life supporting necessities
such as food, clean water and shelter...
to social and recreational goods which allow for relaxation
and personal - social enjoyment -
both important factors in human and social health overall.
So - very simply- we take another survey.
People describe their needs, demand is
assessed and production begins based on that demand.
And since the level of demand of different goods will
naturally fluctuate and change around different regions
we need to create a Demand / Distribution Tracking System"
so to avoid overruns and shortages.
Of course, this idea is old news
it is used in every major store chain today
to make sure they keep up with their inventory.
Only this time, we are tracking on a global scale.
But wait a minute. We really can't fully understand demand
if we don't account for the actual usage of the good itself.
Is it logical and sustainable for every single human to, say
have one of everything made? Regardless of their usage?
No. That would be simply wasteful and inefficient.
If a person has a need for a good but that need is only for say:
45 minutes a day on average
it would be much more efficient if
that good was made available to them
and to others when needed.
Many forget that it isn't the good they want
it is the purpose of that good.
When we realize that the good itself
is only as important as its utility
we see that "external restriction"
or what we might call today "ownership"
is extremely wasteful and environmentally illogical
in a fundamental, economic sense.
So we need devise a strategy called: "Strategic Access"...
This would be the foundation of our
"Demand / Distribution Tracking System.
which makes sure we can meet the
demand of the population's needs
for access of whatever they need, when they need it.
And as far as physically obtaining the goods
centralized and regional access
centers all make sense for the most part
placed in close proximity to the population
and a person would simply come in, take the item
use it and when finished, return it when no longer needed...
sort of how a library works today.
In fact, these centers could not only exist in
the community in the way we see local stores today
but specialized access centers would exist in specific areas
where often certain goods are utilized
saving more energy with less repeat transport.
And once this Demand Tracking System is in order
it is tied into our Production Management system
and, of course, into our Resource Management system
hence creating a unified dynamically updating
global economic management machine
that simply makes sure we remain sustainable
starting with securing the integrity of our finite resources
moving to make sure we only create the best
most strategic goods possible
while distributing everything in the
most intelligent and efficient way.
And the unique result of this preservation based approach
which is intuitively counter to many
is that this logical, ground up
empirical process of preservation and efficiency
which can only define true human sustainability on the planet
would likely enable something never before seen in human history.
Access Abundance...
not just for a percentage of the global population...
but the entire civilization.
This economic model, as was just generalized...
This responsible, systems approach to total Earth
resource management and processes
designed again to do nothing less
than take care of humanity as whole
in the most efficient and sustainable way
could be termed:
The idea was defined in the 1970s by
Social Engineer- Jacque Fresco.
He understood back then that society was on a collision course
with nature and itself - unsustainable on every level
and if things didn't change
we would destroy ourselves, one way or another.
Are all of these things you are saying, Jacque...
could they be built with what we know today?
Or are you guessing... based on what we know today.
No, all of these things can be built with what we know today.
It would take 10 years to change the surface of the earth.
To rebuild the world into a second Garden of Eden.
The choice lies with you.
The stupidity of a nuclear arms race...
the development of weapons...
trying to solve your problems politically
by electing this political party or that political party...
that all politics is immersed in corruption.
Let me say it again:
Communism, socialism, fascism... the Democrats
the liberals- we want to absorb human beings.
All organizations that believe in a better life for man:
there are no Negro problems or Polish problems
or Jewish problems or Greek problems
or women's problems there are human problems!
I'm not afraid of anybody; I don't work for anyone;
no one can discharge me.
I have no boss.
I am afraid to live in the society we live in today.
Our society cannot be maintained by this type of incompetency.
It was great - the free enterprise system -
about 35 years ago. That was the last of its usefulness.
Now, we have got to change our way of thinking or perish.
The horror movies of the future will be our society...
the way it didn't work
and politics...
would be part of a horror movie.
Well, lots of people today use the term 'cold science'
because it's analytical
and they don't even know what analytical means.
Science means: closer approximations
to the way the world really works.
So, it's telling the truth - is what it is
A scientist doesn't try to get along with people.
They tell them what their findings are.
They have to question all things
and if some scientist comes up with an experiment that shows
certain materials have certain strengths
other scientists have to be able to duplicate
that experiment and come up with the same results.
Even if a scientist feels that an airplane wing
due to mathematics or calculations
can hold up a given amount of weight
they still pile sandbags on it
to see when it breaks and they say
you know my calculations are right or they are not correct'.
I love that system because it's free of bias
and free of thinking that math can solve all the problems.
You have to put your Math to test also.
I think that every system that can
be put to test should be put to test.
And that all decisions should be based upon research.
A Resource-Based Economy is simply the
scientific method applied to social concern -
an approach utterly absent in the world today.
Society is a technical invention.
And the most efficient methods of optimized human health
physical production, distribution, city infrastructure and the like
reside in the field of science and
technology - not politics or monetary economics.
It operates in the same systematic way as, say an airplane
and there is no Republican or Liberal way to build an airplane.
Likewise, nature itself is the
physical referent we use to prove our science
and it is a set system -
emerging only from our increased understanding of it.
In fact, it has no regard for what you
subjectively think or believe to be true.
Rather, it gives you an option:
you can learn and fall in line with its
natural laws and conduct yourself accordingly -
invariably creating good health & sustainability...
or you can go against the current - to no avail.
It doesn't matter how much you believe you can just
stand up right now and walk on the wall next to you
the law of gravity will not allow it.
If you do not eat - you will die.
If you are not touched as an infant - you will die.
As harsh as it may sound, nature is a dictatorship
and we can either listen to it and come in harmony with it
or suffer the inevitable adverse consequences.
So, a Resource-Based Economy is nothing more
than a set of proven, life supporting understandings
where all decisions are based upon
optimized human and environmental sustainability.
It takes into account the empirical "Life Ground"
which every human being shares as a need
regardless, again, of their political or religious philosophy.
There is no cultural relativism to this approach.
It isn't a matter of opinion.
Human needs are human needs
and having access to the necessities of life, such as clean air
nutritious food and clean water
along with a positively reinforcing, stable
nurturing, non-violent environment, is demanded
for our mental and physical health
our evolutionary fitness
and hence, the species survival itself.
A Resource-Based Economy
would be based upon available resources.
You can't just bring a lot of people to an island
or build a city of 50,000 people without having access
to the necessities of life.
So, when I use the term 'a comprehensive systems approach'
I'm talking about doing an inventory of the area first
and determining what that area can supply -
not just architectural approach -
not just design approach -
but design must be based on all of the requirements
to enhance human life
and that's what I mean by an integrated way of thinking.
Food, clothing, shelter, warmth, love -
All those things are necessary
and if you deprive people of any of them
you have a lesser human being, less capable of functioning.
As previously outlined, a Resource-Based Economy's ground up
global, systems approach to extraction, production and distribution
is based upon on a set of true economic mechanisms, or 'strategies'
which guarantee efficiency and
sustainability in every area of the economy.
So, continuing this train of thought regarding logical design -
what is next in our equation?
Where does all this materialize?
The advent of the city is a defining feature of modern civilization.
Its role is to enable efficient access to the necessities of life
along with increased social support and community interaction.
So how would we go about designing an ideal city?
What shape should we make it?
Square? Trapezoid?
Well, given we are going to be moving around the thing
we might as well make it as equidistant as possible for ease...
hence the circle.
What should the city contain?
Well, naturally we need a residential area, a goods production area
a power generation area; an agricultural area.
But we also need nurturing as human beings - hence culture
nature, recreation and education.
So lets include a nice open park
an entertainment/events area for cultural purposes and socializing
and educational and research facilities.
And since we are working with a circle
it seems rational to place these functions in Belts
based on the amount of land required for each goal
along with ease of access.
Very good.
Now, let's get down to specifics:
First we need the consider the core
infrastructure or intestines of the city organism.
These would be the water, goods
waste and energy transport channels.
Just as we have water and sewage systems under our cities today
we would extend this channeling concept to
integrate waste recycling and delivery itself.
No more mailmen or garbage men.
It is built right in. We could even use
automated pneumatic tubes and similar technologies.
Same goes for transport.
It needs to be integrated and strategically designed to reduce
or even remove the need for wasteful, independent automobiles.
Electric trams, conveyors, transveyors and
maglevs which can take you virtually
anywhere in the city, even up and down
along with connecting you to other cities as well.
And of course, in the event a car is required
it is automated by satellite for safety and integrity.
In fact, this automation technology is in working order right now.
Automobile accidents kill about 1.2 million people every single year;
injuring about 50 million.
This is absurd and doesn't have to occur.
Between efficient city design and automated, driverless cars
this death toll can be virtually eliminated.
Today, through our haphazard, cost-cutting industrial methods
using pesticides, excessive fertilizers and other means
we have successfully destroyed much
of the the arable land on this planet
not to mention also extensively poisoning our bodies.
In fact, industrial and agricultural chemical toxins
now show up in virtually every human being tested, including infants.
Fortunately, there is a glaring alternative -
the soilless mediums of hydroponics and aeroponics
which also reduce nutrient and water
requirements by up to 75% of our current usage.
Food can now be organically grown on an industrial scale
in enclosed vertical farms.
Such as in 50 story 1 acre plots -
virtually eliminating the need for
pesticides and hydrocarbons in general.
This is the future of industrial food cultivation.
Efficient, clean and abundant.
So, such advanced systems would be, in part
what comprise our agricultural belt
producing all the food required for the entire city's population
with no need to import anything from the outside
saving time, waste and energy.
And speaking of Energy -
The Energy Belt would work in a systems approach to
extract electricity from our abundant renewable mediums
- Specifically wind, solar, geothermal and heat differentials
and if near water potentials - tidal and wave power.
To avoid intermittency and make sure
a positive net energy return occurs
these mediums would operate in an integrated system
powering each other when needed
while storing excessive energy to large
super capacitors under the ground
so nothing can go to waste.
And not only does the city power itself
particular structures will also power independently
and generate electricity through photovoltaic paints
structural pressure transducers, the thermocouple effect
and other current but under utilized technologies.
But, of course, this begs the question:
how does this technology, and goods in
general, get created in the first place?
This bring us to Production:
The Industrial Belt, apart from having hospitals and the like
would be the hub of factory production.
Completely localized overall
it would, of course, obtain raw materials by way of
the global resource management system, just discussed -
with demand being generated by the population of the city itself.
As far as the mechanics of production
we need to discuss a new, powerful phenomenon
which was sparked very recently in human history
and is on pace to changing everything.
It's called Mechanization
or the automation of labor.
Well, if you look around, you'll notice that almost
everything that we use today
is built automatically.
Your shoes, your clothes, your home appliances, your car and so on...
they are all built by machines in an automatic way.
Can we say that the society has not been
influenced by these major technological advancements?
Of course not.
These systems really dictate new structures
and new needs and they make a lot of other things obsolete.
So, we have been going up in the development
and use of technology in an exponential way.
So, definitely automation is going to continue. You cannot stop
technologies that just make sense.
Labor automation through technology is at the bottom
of every major social transformation in human history.
From the agricultural revolution and the invention of the plow
to the industrial revolution and the invention of the powered machine
to the information age we live in now through
essentially the invention of advanced electronics and computers.
And with regard to advanced production methods today
mechanization is now evolving on its own.
Moving away from the traditional method of
assembling component parts into a configuration -
into an advanced method of creating
entire products in one single process.
Like most engineers, I'm fascinated by biology because it is
so full of examples of extraordinary pieces of engineering.
What biology is - is the study of things that copy themselves.
As good a definition of life as we've got.
Again, as an engineer, I have always been
intrigued by the idea of machines copying themselves.
RepRap is a three-dimensional printer -
that's to say it is a printer that you plug into your computer and
instead of making two-dimensional sheets of paper with patterns on
it makes real, physical, three-dimensional objects.
Now there's nothing new about that
3D printers have been around for about 30 years.
The big thing about RepRap is that it prints most of its own parts.
So, if you've got one, you could
make another one and give it to a friend
as well as being able to print lots of useful things.
From the simple printing of basic household goods in your home
to the printing of an entire automobile body in one swoop
advanced, automated 3D printing now has the
potential to transform virtually every field of production.
Including home construction.
Contour Crafting is
actually a fabrication technology -
the so-called 3D printing- when you directly build
3D objects from a computer model.
Using Contour Crafting, it will be possible
to build a 2000 square-foot home
entirely by the machine, in one day.
The reason that people are interested in automating construction
is that it really brings a lot of benefits.
For example, construction is pretty labor-intensive
and although it provides jobs for a sector of the society
it also has issues and complications.
For example, construction is the most dangerous job that there is.
It is worse than mining and agriculture.
That has the highest level of fatality in almost every country.
Another issue is the waste.
An average home in the United States has 3 to 7 tons of waste.
So this is huge if we look at the impact of construction
and knowing about 40% of all materials
in the world are used in construction.
So, a big waste of energy and resources
and big damage to the environment as well.
Making homes using hammers and nails and wood
with the state of our technology today, is really absurd
and will go the way of our labor class in
regards to manufacturing in the United States.
Recently, there was a study by economist David Autor of MI that states that our middle class is obsolete
and being replaced by automation.
Quite simply, Mechanization is more productive
efficient and sustainable than human labor
in virtually every sector of the economy today.
Machines do not need vacations, breaks, insurance, pensions
and they can work 24 hours a day, everyday.
The output potential and accuracy
compared to human labor, is unmatched.
The bottom line: repetitive human labor is becoming obsolete
and impractical across the world
and the unemployment you see around you today
is fundamentally the result of this
evolution of efficiency in technology.
For years, market economists have dismissed this growing pattern
which could be called "Technological Unemployment"
because of the fact that new sectors always seemed
to emerge to re-absorb the displaced workers.
Today, the service sector is the only real hub left
and currently employs over 80% of the American workforce
with most industrialized countries maintaining a similar proportion.
However, this sector now being
challenged increasingly by automated kiosks -
automated restaurants and even automated stores.
Economists today are finally
acknowledging what they had been denying for years:
not only is technological unemployment exasperating the current
labor crisis we see across the
world due to the global economic downturn
but the more the recession deepens
the faster the industries are mechanizing.
The catch, which is not realized
is that the faster they mechanize to save money;
the more they displace people -
the more they reduce public purchasing power.
This means that, while the corporation
can produce everything more cheaply
fewer and fewer people will actually have money to buy anything
regardless of how cheap they become.
The bottom line is that the labor for
income game is slowly coming to an end.
In fact, if you take a moment to reflect
on the jobs which are in existence today
which automation could take over right now, if applied
75% of the global workforce could be
replaced by mechanization tomorrow.
And this is why, in a Resource-Based Economy
There is no Monetary-Market system.
No money at all...
for there is no need.
a Resource-Based Economy
recognizes the efficiency of mechanization
and accepts it for what it offers.
It doesn't fight it, like we do today.
Why? Because it is irresponsible not to
given any interest in efficiency and sustainability.
And this brings us back to our city system.
In the center is the Central Dome
which not only houses the
educational facilities and transportation hub -
it also hosts the mainframe that
runs the cities technical operations.
The city is, in fact, one big automated machine.
It has sensors in all technical belts
to track the progress of architecture -
energy gathering, production, distribution and the like.
Now, would people be needed to oversee these
operations in the event of a malfunction and the like?
Most probably: yes.
But that number would decrease
over time as improvements continue.
However, as of today, maybe 3% of
the city population would be needed
for this job when you break it down.
And I can assure you:
that in an economic system which is
actually designed to take care of you
and secure your well being
without you having to submit to
private dictatorship on a daily basis...
usually to a job that is either
technically unnecessary or socially pointless
while often struggling with debt that doesn't exist
just to make ends meet...
I guarantee you: people will volunteer their time left and right
to maintain and improve a system
that actually takes care of them.
And coupled with this issue of 'Incentive' -
comes the common assumption that
if there isn't some external pressure
for "one to work for a living"
people would just sit around, do nothing
and turn into fat lazy blobs.
This is nonsense.
The labor system we have today is
in fact the generator of laziness -
not a resolver of it.
If you think back to when you were a child -
full of life, interested in new things to understand -
likely creating and exploring...
but as time went on, the system pushed you
into the focus of figuring out how to make money.
And from early education
to study at a university, you are narrowed.
Only to emerge as a creature which serves
as a cog in a wheel in a model that
sends all the fruits to the upper 1%.
Scientific Studies have now shown that people are, in fact
not motivated by monetary reward
when it comes to ingenuity and creation.
The creation itself is the reward.
Money, in fact, appears only to serve as an incentive
for repetitive, mundane actions -
a role we have just now shown can be replaced by machine.
When it comes to innovation
the actual use of the human mind
the monetary incentive has proven to be a hindrance
interfering and detracting from creative thought.
And this might explain why Nikola Tesla, the Wright Brothers
and other inventors who contributed massively
to our current world
never showed a monetary incentive to do so.
Money is, in fact, a false incentive
and causes 100 times more distortion
than it does contribution.
Good morning class. Please settle down.
The first thing I would like to do is go around the room
and ask what everyone would like to be when they grow up.
Who would like to go first?
Okay, how about you Sarah?
When I grow up I want to work at McDonald's like my mom!
Oh, family tradition, eh?
How about you, Linda?
When I grow up, I'm going to be a
prostitute on the streets of New York City!
Oh! glamour girl, huh?
Very ambitious.
How about you, Tommy?
When I grow up, I'm going to be a
rich, elitist businessman who works
on Wall Street and profits off of
the collapse of foreign economies.
And great to see some multicultural interest!
[Victims of Culture]
As stated before, a Resource-Based
Economy applies the Scientific Method to social concern
and this isn't limited to simply technical efficiency.
It also has the consideration of
human and social well-being directly and what comprises it.
What good is a social system if, in the end
it doesn't produce happiness and peaceful coexistence?
So, it is important to point out that
with the removal of the money system
and the necessities of life provided
we would see a global reduction in
crime by about 95% almost immediately
for there is nothing to steal, embezzle, scam, or the like.
95% of all people in prisons today are there
due to some monetary related crime or drug abuse
and drug abuse is a disorder - not a crime.
So what about the other 5%?
the truly violent...
often seeming to some as being
violent for the sake of being violent...
are they just "evil" people?
The reason that I frankly think it's a waste of time
to engage in moral value judgments
about people's violence is
because it doesn't advance by one iota
our understanding of either the causes
or the prevention of the violent behavior.
People sometimes ask if I believe in "forgiving" criminals.
My answer to that is
No, I don't believe in forgiveness
anymore than I believe in condemnation.
It's only if we, as a society
can take the same attitude of treating violence as
a problem in public health and preventive medicine
rather than as a moral "evil"...
it's only when we make that change in our
own attitudes and assumptions and values
that we will actually succeed in reducing the
level of violence rather than stimulating it -
which is what we do now.
The more justice you seek, the more hurt you become
because there's no such thing as justice.
There is whatever there is out there. That's it.
In other words, if people are conditioned to be racist bigots -
if they are brought up in an environment that advocates that
why do you blame the person for it?
They are a victim of a subculture.
Therefore they have to be helped.
The point is, we have to redesign the environment
that produces aberrant behavior.
That's the problem.
Not putting a person in jail.
That's why judges - lawyers -
"freedom of choice" - such concepts
are dangerous, because it gives you mis-information.
That the person is "bad"... or that person is a "serial killer"...
Serial killers are made
just like soldiers become serial killers with a machine gun.
They become killing machines, but nobody
looks at them as murderers or assassins
because that's "natural"...
So we blame people.
We say, "Well, this guy was a Nazi - he tortured Jews"...
No, he was brought up to torture Jews.
Once you accept the fact that people
have individual choices and they are free
to make those choices... Free to make
choices means without being influenced
and I can't understand that at all.
All of us are influenced in all of our choices
by the culture we live in, by our parents
and by the values that dominate.
So, we're influenced - so there can't be "free" choices.
What's the greatest country in the world?' - the true answer:
I haven't been all over the world and I don't know
enough about different cultures to answer that question. '
I don't know anybody that speaks that way.
They say 'it's the good old USA!
the greatest country in the world!'
There is no survey... 'Have you been to India?' - 'No.'
Have you been to England?' - 'No. '
Have you been to France?' - 'No. '
Then what do you make your assumptions on?'
They can't answer- they get mad at you.
They say, 'God dammit! Who the hell
are you to tell me what to think?!'
You know... Don't forget: you're dealing with aberrated people.
They are not responsible for the answers;
they're victims of culture and that means
they have been influenced by their culture.
[Part 4: Rise]
When we consider a Resource-Based Economy
there are often a number of arguments that tend to come up with...
[EH!] (Interrupted)
[Eh! Hey!]
[Now hold on just a minute!]
[I know what this is. This is called Marxism, buddy.]
[Stalin killed 800 billion people because of ideas like this...]
[My father died in the Gulag!]
[Communist! Fascist!]
[You don't like America you should just leave!]
All right, everybody just calm down...
[Death to the New World Order!]
And as the irrationality of the
audience grew, shocked and confused:
suddenly the narrator suffered a fatal heart attack. '
And the seemingly communist propaganda film was no more.
[System Error]
[Backup Initiated - Restored]
But you know, I've said that sort of thing to people
in 'think tank' type situations
you know these Club of Rome types and so forth...
they say "Marxist!"
What? Marxist? Where did that come from?
They just got this icon they hold onto -
It's their Holy Grail
and it's such an easy one, you know.
People ask if I'm a Socialist or a Communist or Capitalist
I say I am none of the above. Why do you
think that those are the only options?
All of those political constructs
were created by writers who assumed
we lived on a planet of infinite resources.
Not one of those political philosophies even
contemplates that there might be a shortage of anything.
I believe that communism, socialism, free enterprise, fascism
are part of social evolution.
You can't take a giant step
from one culture to another -
there are in-between systems.
Before there's any "Ism", we have a life ground
and the life ground is as I've just described
most easily as all the conditions
required to take your next breath
and that involves the air you breathe
the water you get, the safety you have
the education you can access- all
these things that we share and use and that
no life, in any culture, can do without.
So we've got to reset down to the Life Ground
and the life ground is no longer any "Ism"...
"It's life value analysis."
[Beyond The Pale]
It's simply a matter of historical fact
that the dominant intellectual culture
of any particular society reflects the
interests of the dominant group in that society.
In a slave owning society
the beliefs about human beings and human rights
and so on will reflect the needs of the slave owners.
In the society, again, which is based on
the power of certain people to control and profit from
the lives and work of millions of others
the dominant intellectual culture will
reflect the needs of the dominant group.
So, if you look across the board, the
ideas that pervade psychology and
sociology and history
and political economy and political science
fundamentally reflect certain elite interests.
And the academics who question that too much
tend to get shunted to the side or
to be seen as sort of "radicals"...
The dominant values of a culture
tend to support and perpetuate
what is rewarded by that culture.
And in a society where success and
status is measured by material wealth
- Not social contribution -
it is easy to see why the state of the world is what it is today.
We are dealing with a value system disorder
- Completely denatured -
where the priority of personal and social health
have become secondary to the detrimental
notions of artificial wealth and limitless growth.
And, like a virus, this disorder now
permeates every facet of government
- News media - entertainment - and even academia.
And built into its structure
are mechanisms of protection
from anything that might interfere.
Disciples of the Monetary-Market religion
the Self-Appointed Guardians of the Status Quo
constantly seek out ways to avoid any form of thought
which might interfere with their beliefs.
The most common of which: are Projected Dualities.
If you're not a Republican, you must be a Democrat.
If you are not Christian, you might be a Satanist
and if you feel society can be greatly improved
to consider, perhaps - I don't know -
taking care of everyone?
you're just a "Utopianist"...
And the most insidious of them all:
if you are not for the "free-market"
you must be against freedom itself.
I'm a believer in freedom!
Every time you hear the word freedom
being said anywhere or government interference
said anywhere, it means, decoded:
blocking maximization of turning money
into more money for private money possessors.
That's it. Every other thing they'll say:
'Oh, we need more commodities for people';
'Oh, this is freedom against tyranny' and so forth
every time you see it, you can decode it down to
that and I think you'll find a one-to-one correlation
with every time they use it.
And this, in a sense, we might call:
a Syntax. A governing syntax of understanding and of value.
So, it governs beneath their own recognition of it
so they might say: 'Oh, I didn't mean that at all!'
but in fact, that's what they do.
Just like you may speak a grammar
and you have rules of grammar you follow
without recognizing what the rules are...
and so what we have is what I call the "Ruling Value Syntax"
that underlies this. So, every time they use these words:
government interference'; 'lack of freedom' or 'freedom'
or 'progress' or 'development'
you can decode them all to come back to mean that.
Of course, when you hear the word 'freedom'
it tends to be in same sentence
with something called 'democracy'.
It's fascinating how people today seem to believe
that they actually have a relevant
influence on what their government does
forgetting that the very nature of
our system offers everything for sale.
The only vote that counts is the monetary vote
and it doesn't matter how much any
activist yells about ethics and accountability.
In a market system, every politician, every legislation
and hence, every government is for sale.
And even with the 20 trillion dollar bank bailouts
starting in 2007
an amount of money which could have changed
say, the global energy infrastructure
to fully renewable methods
instead going to a series of institutions
that literally do nothing to help society
institutions that could be
removed tomorrow with no recourse...
the blind conditioning that politics and
politicians exist for the public well-being still continues.
The fact is, politics is a business
- No different than any other in a market system
and they care about their self-interest before anything else.
I don't really, honestly, deep down believe in political action.
I think the system contracts and expands as it wants to.
It accommodates these changes.
I think the civil rights movement was an accommodation
on the part of those who own the country.
I think they see where their self-interest lies;
they see a certain amount of freedom seems good
- An illusion of liberty- give these people a voting day every year
so that they will have the illusion of meaningless choice.
Meaningless choice- that we go, like slaves and say
"Oh, I Voted." The limits of debate in this country are established
before the debate even begins and everyone
else is marginalized and made to seem either
to be communist or some sort of disloyal person
- A "kook" -- there's a word...
and now it's "conspiracy"... See - they made that.
Something that should not be even entertained for a minute:
that powerful people might get together and have a plan!
Doesn't happen! You're a "kook"! Your a "conspiracy buff"!
And of all the mechanisms of defense of this system
there are two that repeatedly come up.
The first is this idea that the system has been "the cause"
of the material progress we have seen on this planet.
Well... No.
There are basically two root causes which
have created the increased so-called "wealth"
and population growth we see today.
One: the exponential advancement of production technology;
hence scientific ingenuity.
And Two: the initial discovery of abundant hydrocarbon energy
- Which is currently the foundation of the entire socio-economic system.
The free-market / capitalist / monetary
market system - whatever you want to call it -
has done nothing but ride the wave of these advents
with a distorted incentive system and a haphazard
grossly unequal method of utilizing and distributing those fruits.
The second defense is a belligerent social bias
generated from years of propaganda
which sees any other social system
as a route to so called "tyranny
with various name droppings of Stalin, Mao, Hitler...
and the death tolls they generated.
Well, as despotic as these men might have been
along with the societal approaches they perpetuated...
when it comes to the game of death
- When comes to the systematic
daily mass murder of human beings -
Nothing in history compares to what we have today.
Famines - throughout at least the last century of our history
have not been caused by a lack of food.
They have been caused by relative poverty.
The economic resources were so inequitably distributed
that the poor simply didn't have enough money
with which to buy the food that would've been
available if they could have afforded to pay for it.
That would be an example of Structural Violence.
Another example: in Africa and other areas -
I'll particularly focus on Africa -
tens of millions of people are dying of AIDS.
Why are they dying?
It's not because we don't know how to treat AIDS.
We have millions of people in the wealthy countries
getting along remarkably well because
they have the medicines that will treat it.
The people in Africa who are dying of AIDS
are not dying because of the HIV virus...
they are dying because they don't have the money with
which to pay for the drugs that would keep them alive.
Gandhi saw this. He said:
"The deadliest form of violence is poverty."
And that's absolutely right.
Poverty kills far more people than all the wars in history;
more people than all the murderers in history;
more than all the suicides in history...
not only does Structural Violence kill more people
than all the behavioral violence put together
Structural Violence is also the
main cause of behavioral violence.
[Beyond the Peak]
Oil is the foundation of
and is present throughout, the edifice of human civilization.
There are 10 calories of hydrocarbon energy oil and natural gas
in every calorie of food you and I eat in the industrialized world.
Fertilizers are made from natural gas.
Pesticides are made from oil.
You drive oil-powered machines to plant - plow - irrigate harvest
transport - package. You wrap the food
in plastic that's oil. All plastic is oil.
There are 7 gallons of oil in every tire.
Oil is everywhere; it's ubiquitous. And it's only because
of oil that there are 7 billion people or
almost 7 billion people on this planet right now.
The arrival of this cheap and easy energy
which is equivalent, by the way, to
billions of slaves working around the clock
changed the world in such a radical way over the last century
and the population has gone up 10 times.
But, by 2050, oil supply is able to support
less than half the present world's
population in their present way of life.
So, the scale of adjustment to live differently is just enormous.
The world is now using six barrels of oil for every barrel of finds.
Five years ago it was using four
barrels of oil for every barrel it finds.
A year from now it is going to be using
eight barrels of oil for every barrel of finds.
What's disturbing to me is the
lack of any real effort from governments worldwide
and industry leaders worldwide to do something different.
We have these, sort of, attempts to build more wind power
and to maybe do something with Tide...
we've got attempts to make our cars a little bit more efficient
but there's nothing which really looks like a
revolution coming along- these are all pretty minor
and that I think is pretty frightening.
And the governments who are driven by these economists
who don't really appreciate what we're talking about
are trying to stimulate consumerism to restore past prosperity
in the hope that they can restore the past.
They're printing yet more money lacking any collateral at all.
So, if the economy improves and
recovers and the famous growth comes back
it will only be short-lived because
within a short period of time counted in months
rather than years it will hit the supply barrier again;
there will be another price shock -
and a deeper recession. So I think
we go into a series of vicious circles
So you have the economic growth going up- price
spike- everything shuts down. That's where we are now.
Then it starts to come up again but what we have now is this
area where there's no more ability to produce cheap energy.
We're at the peak- were on the down slope of oil production.
No way you're going to get any more out of the ground any faster
which means that things shut down, the price of oil drops
which it did in early 2009 but then as you have a recovery
the price of oil starts to come back.
It's recently been hovering at about $80
a barrel and what we see is that at even at $80 a
barrel now, with the financial and economic collapse
people are having a hard time affording that.
World oil production right now is about 86 million barrels a day.
Over 10 years, you're looking at
roughly 14 million barrels a day having to be replaced.
There's nothing around which can come even
within 1% of meeting that sort of demand.
If we don't do something pretty quickly
there's going to be a huge energy deficiency.
I think the big mistake is in not recognizing
a decade or so ago that a concerted effort
needed to be made to develop
these sustainable forms of energy.
I think that's something our grandchildren will look back on with
total disbelief. 'You people knew you
were dealing with a finite commodity...
how could you possibly have build your economy
around something which was going to disappear?'
For the first time in human history
the species is now faced with the depletion of a core resource
central to our current system of survival.
And the punchline of the whole thing is
that even with oil becoming more scarce
the economic system will still blindly push
its cancerous growth model...
so people can go out and buy more oil powered cars
to generate GDP and jobs... exasperating the decline.
Are there solutions to replace the
edifice of the hydrocarbon economy?
Of course.
But the path needed to accomplish these changes
will not manifest through the Market System Protocols required
since new solutions can only be
implemented through the Profit Mechanism.
People are not investing in renewable energies
because there is no money in it in both long and short term.
And the commitment needed to make it happen
can only occur at a severe financial loss.
Therefore, there is no monetary incentive and in this
system, if there is no monetary incentive, things do not happen.
And on top of it all, Peak Oil is
just one of many surfacing consequences
of the environmental-social train wreck gaining speed today.
Other declines include Fresh Water
- The very fabric of our existence -
which is currently showing
shortages for 2.8 billion people
and those shortages are on pace to reach 4 billion by 2030.
Food Production:
The destruction of arable crop land, from which
99.7% of all human food comes from today
is occurring up to 40 times faster than it is being replenished
and over the last 40 years, 30% of the
arable land has become unproductive.
Not to mention that hydrocarbons are the backbone
of agriculture today and as it declines...
so will the food supply.
As far as resources in general
at our current patterns of consumption, by 2030
we will need 2 planets to continue our rates.
Not to mention the continual destruction
of life supporting biodiversity
causing extinction spasms and
environmental destabilization across the globe.
And with all of these declines
we have the near exponential population growth
where by 2030 there might be over
8 billion people on this planet.
Energy production alone would need to
increase 44% by 2030 to meet such demand.
And again, since money is the only initiator of action -
are we to expect that any country on
the planet is going to be able to afford
the massive changes needed to revolutionize agriculture
water processing, energy production and the like?
When the global debt pyramid scheme is
slowly shutting the entire world down...
Not to mention the fact that
the unemployment you currently see
is going to become normality due to
the nature of technological unemployment.
The jobs are not coming back.
And finally, a broad social perspective.
From the 1970 to 2010, poverty on this
planet doubled due to this system...
and given our current state -
do you honestly think we will see
anything less than more doubling...
more suffering and more mass starvation?
[The Beginning]
There is not going to be any recovery.
This is not some long depression
that we're some day going to pull out of.
I think the next phase that we are going to see after the
next round of economic collapses is massive civil unrest.
When unemployment checks stop being
paid because the states have no money left.
And when things get so bad that people lose confidence
in their elected leaders, they will demand change
if we don't kill each other in the process
or destroy the environment.
I'm just afraid that we might get to the point of no return...
and that bothers me to no end.
We do all we can to avoid that condition.
It's clear that we're on the verge of a great transition in human life...
That what we face now is this fundamental
change of the life we've known over the last century.
There has to be a link between the economy and
the resources of this planet
the resources being, of course, all animal and plant life;
the health of the oceans and everything else.
This is a monetary paradigm that will not
let go until it's killed the last human being.
The "in" group will do all it can to stay in power
and that's what you've got to keep in mind.
They'll use the army and navy and lies...
or whatever they have to use to keep in power.
They're not about to give it up
because they don't know of any other system that will perpetuate their kind.
[Live from New York]
[Global Protests Shut Down World Economy]
[South Africa - Live]
[Spain - Live]
[Russian - Live]
[Canada - Live]
[Saudi Arabia - Live]
[Western Crime Rates Soar]
[UN Declares State of Global Emergency]
[Global Unemployment Hits 65%]
[Fears of World War Continue]
[Debt Collapse now causing food shortages]
[Take it Back]
[While no violence has been reported as
the unprecedented protests continue...
it appears that the equivalent of trillions of dollars
are being systematically withdrawn from bank accounts
across the world and in turn...
evidently now being dumped in
front of the world's central banks.]