The Rio Grande Valley Zeitgeist Movement Interview with RGVPride.com
The Rio Grande Valley Zeitgeist Movement, formed in August of 2010, is the local chapter of the global Zeitgeist Movement (www.thezeitgeistmovement.com). We are an open membership organization that promotes and advocates for radical changes in society that would allow for our scientific understanding, technical capability and an enlightened social consciousness to provide for every human need for every person on our planet. While this goal is a technical and feasible reality today, we are, as a species, crippled by traditional, institutional and social methods, mechanisms and ideas that hinder our progress. As a local chapter, we have held several community events, engaged in public awareness activism, hosted practical demonstrations, and encouraged discourse on these and related subjects. We also regularly attend local events and functions in order to help spread information and ideas that are usually counter to the mainstream ways of thinking. We have also been highly gratified to be a part of and continuing supporter of #OccupyMcAllen (www.occupymcallen.org), representing an explosion of public awareness of the invalidity of the current economic model, and a growing desire to change it to something better. We invite all people to learn more about the Zeitgeist Movement, the idea of a resource based economy, and to join us in our ongoing efforts to help promote a better world for all people.
Explain what you just said to a 3rd grader.
The way many people live today is shaped by money, government, tradition and other very big and old ideas that were around long before any of us here today. The Zeitgeist Movement is all about telling people that we must start thinking really hard about changing these big ideas because they are becoming more and more difficult to live with, mainly because we as a technological society have become so different. The people who started using money or, the people who invented government, were living in a very different world and worked with very little information about how it actually works. We want people to see the universe as it really works and use those ideas to guide society instead of older and less useful ones. This will let us live in a safer world that cares for everyone who lives on it, not just a smaller group who lives well while many, many more people suffer needlessly.
Do you believe advancing technology has no place for helping our society reduce our constant consumption of resources?
Quite the contrary, we advocate the advancement of technology, scientific understanding and efficiency on an unprecedented level. Advanced technology is critical in producing more efficient systems to provide for basic services, needs and a relevant education to everyone on the planet. When it comes to our societal consumption habits, we have to look at the behaviors and thought patterns that are promoted and reflected throughout our pervasive media and advertising landscape. We have, as a society, been trained to consume over twice as much in the last half century, and that trend does not appear to be slowing down. It is caused by the unending need for cyclical consumption, which drives the economic and financial indicators that are seen to have supreme importance in the eyes of so many leaders. The infinite growth paradigm, as we are beginning to see, is completely incompatible with a sustainable society, global security and the ability to provide the most basic of needs to all people. We will not see significant change with these and many other issues until we recognize and abolish the fundamental economic models that support this kind of eco-genocidal madness.
How would you suggest we fix our Ponzi scheme called Social Security?
We advocate a resource based economy, wherein all of the earth's resources are declared the common heritage of all people, and used for the benefit of everyone on the planet. The idea that a monetary system, which promotes waste, fraud, abuse, corruption, death and war will ever be able to provide "social security" is quite frankly laughable. The Ponzi scheme of Social Security is based off of the Ponzi scheme of the fiat fractional reserve currency called the US Dollar. It would not be possible to "fix" either one because failure, default and bankruptcy are their intended result. We must recognize this and other institutional systems and mechanisms for what they are, and choose another course of action that will responsibly and meaningfully meet the challenge of providing for a society worthy of the name.
What would be the ideal supply and demand plan for energy?
A resource based economy recognizes the paradigm called dynamic equilibrium, in which both supply and demand are constantly changing and must inherently come into balance in one way or another. Based on our current technological and scientific understanding, we can cleanly harness and produce enough renewable energy to provide for all the world's energy needs many times over. We also have the means and capability to store and transfer this power for use at different times and places according to its demand. If we chose to work with this naturally abundant supply of energy, and designed an infrastructure that was both socially responsible and highly adaptive and dynamic, we would not have to worry about the kind of lives that future generations would have. We can implement this and other important social and technical redesigns today if enough people knew that such options existed and chose to demand their implementation.
Your site states the Zeitgeist Movement does not have a chosen leader. It also states the chapters in the Zeitgeist Movement are supposed to mirror the other chapters. How do you do this with no defined leader?
We recognize that no one person has all the answers, can wield all authority or make every decision. We are engaged in a collaborative, decentralized and holographic endeavor, where there is no authority, no formal structure and no subordination. What we have in common that guides our activity is the knowledge that we can have a better world for all people; that we can help to make that a reality and the desire and ability to do whatever we can to make it so. This leads to countless projects, events, activities and other forms of expression that would not have evolved under the leadership of a single individual. We recognize that strict organizational hierarchy, complete adherence to arbitrary rules and the dominant personality traits that can result from such an environment are all symptoms of the model that we are trying to render obsolete. We would be ineffectual as agents of change if we were to continue in that fashion.
What are the differences and the similarities between you and the 99%ers?
We certainly share many similarities, such as the lack of formal structure, the desire to inform people about the world and help to change it and the completely decentralized and myriad expressions that it has produced. We are very gratified to see this social immune system phenomenon starting to happen and become so influential so fast. Our major difference, however, is the proposed courses of action that are being advocated. While we want to see radical changes to the foundations of our society and culture, the Occupy movement, in general, is advocating modifications and "improvements" on the existing systems. While such changes would be helpful to many in the short term, the Zeitgeist Movement recognizes that such changes are not significant enough to thwart the growing problems that we are faced with. We are, however, currently and will continue to support them and their efforts, and are continuing our efforts to engage these and all people with the ideas of a radically different society in which everyone benefits.
Would you like to tell our readers anything else?
These ideas and concepts may be overwhelming or too difficult to understand. I encourage everyone who wants to learn more about the changes we advocate, the basics of a resource based economy or even to learn about the institutions that have such a great effect upon our society to visit www.thezeitgeistmovement.com, see the excellent and eye-opening series of documentaries at www.zeitgeistmovie.com and to get involved with or start your own local chapter of the Zeitgeist Movement. More importantly, besides doing all or none of those things, I encourage you to think critically about the world in which you find yourself. Ask questions about the reasons for your circumstances, search for answers beyond what the major media want you to think, and to be aware that everything you are, everything you think and everything you believe is shaped by the contours of your environment. We want to make that environment better for everyone, and we hope that you join us in this effort. Thank you for your time, your attention and your interest.