09 December 2012

Zeitgeist... Ugh

Another post in Open Letter mode, and is directed to Peter Joseph of Zeitgeist fame.
I just watched Zeitgeist: Moving Forward (yes, I finally got around to it. I also watched Alex Jones Anti-TZM Propaganda Debunked by Peter Joseph - Aug15th 2012
The issue you have with Jones… Sometimes I’m not thrilled with Jones’ handling of things. But I have to ask you, what indeed would you do with a group, however large or small, of refuseniks?
On to the film: 
There were big parts of it that I liked. Your open acknowledgement of existing ills of our social and political systems being the best of it. Of course everyone does that. But you were a bit more thorough.

  1. The solutions you pose would put total power of management in the hands of a certain few. All resources would be controlled by that group. Ah, yes, the computer. A computer is only as good as its programming, which is only as ethical as the programmer and the people overseeing program development; and even If that’s all perfect, the computer is also only as good as its inputs, which are only as ethical and accurate as the inputter(s). And who’s to say that the folks thus engaged won’t be slaves to their own preconceptions—and drives? Frankly, even the most cursory study of human nature shows that putting that much power in the hands of even a large committee leads to a huge schism between them and the rest of us, with usually grossly unhappy results. History also shows that whoever controls the resources rapes the buyer. DeBeers is a perfect example.
  2. Number 1, above, could be chalked up to naiveté, but there are also significant points of obfuscation and denial of reality in the film.
    • There is always a market. This is human nature. One can describe the market in different ways, but there will always be a market. It may be in manufactured goods; it may be in raw materials that the regime doesn’t care about; it may be for information; it may be for love or honest feedback. There’s always a market, and the black market tends to be more honest than managed and/or regulated ones.
    • Your conception of “market theory” thus needs to be revisited, codified to separate the sickening market and money gaming that goes on today in the name of markets from what the likes of Smith and von Mises have to say about markets. We don’t have a free market in the U.S. and probably not really anywhere in the world. Yet that is what Smith and von Mises were on about. Still you conflate today’s sick system with them and their theories. That’s … well, it’s either dishonest or uninformed. I agree with you about monetarist Friedman, but if you think he was in the same camp as von Mises or Smith, … … well, that’s pathetic.
    • The movie contradicts itself. First, “it’s the system” (no nod to the fact that the system has been made the way it is by corrupt and disgusting people and allowed to be that way by fearful or subservient people) and “not an evil government, corporation or conspiracy.” Then, later in the film, George Carlin is presented basically proving that conspiracies do exist and in a very large way. Which way is it, Peter? There are other glaring inconsistencies. If pressed, I can go into them; there are many places where things said at the beginning or early parts of the film are roundly contradicted by the later parts. In the interest of time, and not to give out too much free consulting advice, I’ll leave it at that.
  3. Psychologically speaking, while you were great about pointing up that genetics isn’t a valid excuse, you leave us with the impression that “nurture” is only our outside world and not the inner world of the individual. So, you discredit genetic determinism (good on you) and go with something just as incomplete: environmental determinism. There’s also self-determination. If you beg to differ, then what environmental determinism created people who grew up in shit and went on to make something of themselves? 
  4. Science has no ego? Yikes! That’s preposterous. Good science would have no ego. But alas, science is full of people—people who are as prone to egotism as anyone, and maybe more so. Moreover, science is funded by people who have a goal to prove something, and smart scientists have learned the world over that it doesn’t pay to be truthful; it pays to find what the sponsor wants found. This is so prevalent that one would have to be fatally naïve to believe that science is to be believed, because it “has no ego.” What horseshit! Yah, yah, I know it was Fresco who made that absurd statement, but you’re listening to it! And worse, you’re distributing it uncontested. That’s irresponsible.
  5. Clearly, you’re getting fed up with being called a utopian and your idea called tyrannical. That’s reality, though. I understand that you want to build solutions to problems that are at least to some degree real. But even your experts were making statements that are impossible to support, i.e., for every barrel we extract, there are 4 sold. If that were the case, the price would be completely unworkable. The comment is unbelievable on its face and you do yourself an injustice to publish it.
Peter, I admire what you want to do. But it’s clear that your information is incomplete and somewhat confused. I also sense a certain demagogic tendency; it exhibited itself in your final diatribe about people calling it this and that—as if to say, “…and don’t hit me with this, or this or this!” Well, consider yourself hit.

Honestly, if you want to rail against the machine, rail against the fact that we don’t have a free market. If we did, Tesla’s work (and that of who knows how many others who didn’t achieve such fame) wouldn’t be sitting hidden in some classified cave, and we’d all have virtually free electricity as he envisioned (and Westinghouse and offshoots wouldn’t be getting rich plugging rivers, burning coal and gas, and splitting atoms to make the electricity we need at monopoly prices). If we did have free markets, megacorporations wouldn’t be given advantages against smaller upstarts with better products (i.e., by ridiculous EPA and a zillion other government agencies killing the small with big, unnatural costs). If we did have a free market, the FDA wouldn’t be raiding raw milk distributors and destroying their product; we wouldn’t have laws that forbid us sharing our home grown produce with someone else, we wouldn’t have zoning laws that forbid vegetable gardens in your own front yard, we wouldn’t have monopolies in medicine, law, distilling, … I could go on forever. Oh, and we wouldn't have freaking central banks!

The vision I promote is the same as that of von Mises and Rothbard, of Ron Paul, and evidently of Alex Jones, even if Jones lays it on pretty thick sometimes. It’s a vision that allows for no demagoguing, no legal superiority of one group over another, very little police power (the power of the state to compel).

Last note: I think global … something is a reality. Communications and transportation being what they are today, it’s a small world indeed. But a global vision that includes wresting the will of those who just want to be left alone is not workable. It’s not…
Wait for it…

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