Zeitgeist – Schmeitgeist

My first reaction to Zeitgeist and the Venus Project is, “Yeah! Right!” and, in my heart, I stand by that, although, on the face of it, their aims are altruistic and beautiful and you can’t argue with that, can you? Or can you?

I do agree also that a new world order is essential if the human race is ever going to progress beyond its current somewhat unpleasant state. The thing is, though, we do progress – always – not necessarily in the right direction, but nothing ever stays the same, not really. And a new world order, if that’s what you want to call it, will only come about when humanity develops into something that is inherently “better” than it is right now – if it ever does.

However, statements like this (taken from their website) are what worry me…

“As an aside, it is important to point out that society today assumes a very negative posture towards humanity, retaining the belief that if human beings were not “required” to do something, they would just sit around, be lazy, and do nothing. This is absurd propaganda.”

This is totally idealistic and utter bullshit! Believe me, I wish it were not so, but it’s one of the major reasons why welfare, good business, decency and almost everything else desirable ultimately fails in the UK (and is patently doing so right now) and I’m certain it is inherently true in the US too – probably in fact throughout most, even if not all, of the world.

Without education and conditioning when young, we (humans) are no better than many apes and other animals and much worse than many. Without the need to do some kind of work to gain something, we WILL become lazy and do nothing. That will lead to boredom and hence to a further degeneration of our willingness to behave decently. Any other premise is simply fanciful poppycock. I actually observe this happening all the time – daily. I wish I could say it’s not true, but it is. Of course, not everyone is like that, but that’s because of the conditioning attached to people’s upbringing – like their education and parental guidance, particularly when very young.

To me, the suggestion that we are the creation of some super being is both fatuous and the absolute height of arrogance. Simple logic must tell anyone that, if it’s so, then he/she/it could only simply have created the means by which life can come about and has then sat back in disgust to watch the mayhem that has resulted – or maybe we’re all just a giant biological computer game that the somewhat evil masters of the universe manoeuvre into positions they find funny. To say that we are not worthy or able to understand the way God works is simply a stupid copout. Any superior architect would have done a better job and it’s quite obvious to me that there’s nothing very special about us – all life on Earth is nothing significantly more than an infinitely varied set of biological machines. If a god created us, then we are the version 1.1 prototype that failed miserably! In which case, maybe there’s a more successful model out there somewhere in another galaxy.

As we and some of the more intelligent species have become “self aware” we have changed to be both better and worse. We can see and talk about goodness, but we are also daily becoming capable of greater evil. When largely aimless and left alone to behave as other animals do, you can quickly see that we are just that – predatory mammals – and very bad ones, as it happens! If you don’t believe me, consider this: generally, it is only some of the more intelligent animals that derive pleasure from killing. Examples of those that do are orcas, humans, chimpanzees and some other apes and a few other species. There are exceptions, of course, there always are in anything, but most of the rest of the animal kingdom kills solely to eat or to protect themselves and their own, however misguidedly. We and those others I mentioned frequently do it just for sport – for the fun of it – particularly us humans! Some of the “higher species” are very caring, even loving and appear to be what we would regard as decent, but then most of them don’t live in a competitive environment and have evolved over hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of years without pressure because they are in a peculiarly unassailable position, or they were, until man figured out ways to kill them.

We are capable of great love and self sacrifice, but we are also capable of disgusting evil. Most of our existence, though, is about competition. That’s not the result of the environment we are in – we have created that environment because that’s the way we are and the conditions we enjoy most and thrive in. It gets hijacked by the assholes, of course, but it’s still basically a reflection of the way we are and what lies at the heart of humanity. Without the constant competition and striving to “better” ourselves and our lot in life materially, we stagnate and effectively die, or become worthless drifters, vagabonds and thieves without aim, caring or ambition.

We could force our species into being vastly better and more altruistic than we naturally are, but I doubt you’d recognise what we’d change into after a few tens of generations as being entirely human – possibly the species would fail entirely. There is, though, inherent good and bad in all of us and education is absolutely key to everything good that we want and believe humanity can be encouraged to become.

Civilised behaviour is no more than a veneer. When applied properly to a very young child and maintained in place right through into youth, a process akin to osmosis occurs, binding those values throughout that young person’s whole personality. Tacked on later, that veneer may stick, but subject it to any kind of adverse conditions or stress and it immediately starts to peel. If an overriding sense of decency, fair play and consideration for others is instilled into a child from soon after birth right up until about the age of eight or a little more, that young person will usually carry that underlying goodness in their character for the rest of his or her life. It can (and should?) probably be tempered by a necessary degree of self preservation which will otherwise be gained from bitter experience. That, though, is surely a good thing too, because if the good ones get endlessly crapped on and the bad ones prosper, then it’s obvious that’s no incentive to the next generation to be better still. Nevertheless, if you get a large enough body of instinctively decent people in the world, then that will gradually become the norm and take control of everything.

Try to change the system first and you’ll fail. Bad parents and bad schooling gets bad children who become bad adults. The reverse though is also true and there lies our hope for the future. Dilute that idea with misguided idealism, mumbo jumbo and hidden agendas and all the good in the world will fail. In the right circumstances, the world order will change automatically, if we allow and gently persuade people to grow intellectually and emotionally when young in directions that accentuate their good qualities and make them abhor and suppress the less desirable ones. Attempting to alter that world order first in the supposed belief that the human race will willingly change as a result is both futile and authoritarian in principle and I distrust what the Zeitgeist organisation is about with every fibre of my being.

If you’ve read H. G. Wells’ “The Time Machine” then you might think that I see what an uncompetitive and altruistic humanity could develop into as being similar to the Eloi, the small, elegant, sexless and childlike people that inhabit the light in a far distant era on Earth. Those childlike inhabitants are actually fodder for the pale, apelike Morlocks who live underground in darkness and effectively farm the Eloi by providing for them and controlling them and their environment. The Morlocks behave in a way that I see as the potential role for the distant descendants of the Zeitgeist Overlords. Whatever they claim, I see it as an, albeit somewhat covertly, hierarchal organisation and like any other there is always an ulterior motive. It’s my belief that this organisation is really no different from other pseudo religious “save the world” type cults. Scary stuff to me!

Given the opportunity, humanity will develop of its own accord! Educate and guide its members by all means since that’s pretty much essential to its advancement, but decentralise (always) and otherwise leave it alone to do its thing – for anything else is playing God and, if I’m wrong and (illogically) there is such an entity, then look what a crap job he (or she) has done thus far!

14 Responses to “Zeitgeist – Schmeitgeist”

  1. I disagree with you.

    I believe that — no — I know that — given the education, choices, and opportunity — people will work and do work and want to work.

    Some of the reasons people on welfare don’t work or appear not to work are:

    – The do not want to do the kind of work available to them — ie. grunt work for peanuts. (Do YOU?)

    – They are on disability or the industry they work in has become obsolete and haven’t gained transferable skills.

    – They are experiencing a mental illness or are drug addicted.

    – They are illiterate.

    – They have criminal records for which they have not obtained a pardon.

    – The system claws back so much earnings from employment, and gives people so much grief, that it actually dissuades people from work.

    – They do work but under the table or at some illegal occupation.

    – They do work but for low-paid (care-giving) or volunteer positions.

    – They do not have adequate child care.

    … I can go on.

    Furthermore, Zeitgeist isn’t suggesting people shouldn’t be educated — quite the contrary. They recommend people be highly educated so that they can pursue their passions and interests without coercion.

    • Hi, Blue Eyes. I thought you might feel the need to comment. However, whilst I agree with (almost) everything you say, the list of reasons why I also disagree with most of it is also huge. I’ll just say, what you say is true of SOME people – what I say is also true of SOME people. Sadly though, even under our current system (and I believe it would be much worse if Zeitgeist had their way) the ones I’m right about have an extraordinarily disproportionate effect on society – trust me, I know and suffer from the effect of far too many of the idle, good for nothing, cheating bastards – and that’s being polite about it!

      MOST importantly, though, even if everything you and Zeitgeist say were true and we did live in a potentially much more ideal world than I believe, what the f*** have Zeitgeist got to do with it? What is their raison d’etre? I DON’T TRUST THEM! Sorry…

    • “Furthermore, Zeitgeist isn’t suggesting people shouldn’t be educated — quite the contrary. They recommend people be highly educated so that they can pursue their passions and interests without coercion.”

      Who’s going to do the crap jobs that no one want to do, then?

  2. Want to be scared silly?

    Apply your logic to the writings of Bill Ayres and Saul Alynsky and see if the result is Acorn/SEIU?

    • I don’t know enough – yet. I’ll investigate and get back to you.

    • Yes. Well. Following an, at the moment, very cursory confirmation of the little I already “knew”, my answer is yes, because people are always people and can ALWAYS be manipulated by other more devious people. Which is why I distrust Zeitgeist and their motives.

      If it were not possible to appeal illogically to people’s baser intincts for spurious purposes, where do suicide bombers come from? Furthermore, why are they always taken from the “cannon fodder” and the so-called devout leaders never do it themselves? Such people are often misguided, but not always per se bad, until they are manipulated and brainwashed by the more evil “leaders” in society.

      Added to all that, I should point out that, crap as I think our current political systems are, even the USSR and the Chinese have discovered that communism simply doesn’t work because it relies upon the basically selfless loyalty of the population, which doesn’t exist and then forces the leaders into endlessly more authoritarian measures to make something that is not viable work until the point where it finally breaks down irrevocably.

  3. Poverty is not a result of laziness. Poverty is an built-in consequence of our economic system — a certain percentage of the population will inevitably be unemployed and living in poverty. I learned this in political science class twenty years before I heard of Zeitgeist.

    • We’re not talking about poverty – all poverty is in any event inherently relative.

      We’re talking about Zeitgeist and the (in my view) fanciful belief that more people are more good than are not. One day maybe, but without the right education and teaching people properly to think for themselves rather than following some off the wall “ism” or cult, it’ll never happen!

      If your political science professor knew what he/she was talking about twenty years ago, why are things worse now and not better?

      However, I suspect we will always differ about this. I’d love to debate it face to face with you one day – if you ever come to Tenerife on holiday, let me know and I’ll happily pay for dinner 🙂

  4. *Looks up the regional dishes.

    It sounds like a paradise over there.

    • It’s far from that, but the stress is far less (the old work to live, not live to work cliche), it’s almost always sunny and the (local) people are mostly lovely. It is, it’s true, a somewhat “macho” society and yet there is FAR less racism, sexism, sexual assault, rape and almost any other crime. Certainly the Spanish don’t behave like that and they are friendly and outgoing. For a Catholic society, they are amazingly tolerant of almost everything good and have almost no sexual hang-ups.

      Of course, there are the assholes in any country, but they are few and far between outside of government and, in general, the Canarians are some of the most good-natured, friendly people I’ve met anywhere. Probably my best friend (male at least) in the world is a Spaniard and we speak endlessly in “Spanglish” – a combination of my crap Spanish and his slightly better English.

      If I wanted it, I’m sure he would lend me anything he has. So far he’s not offered his girl friend who is both gorgeous and adorable … but I’m always hopeful… 😉

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