ZEITGEIST ADDENDUM – A CRITICAL REVIEW
ZEITGEIST ADDENDUM – A CRITICAL REVIEW
© 2008 by G. Edward Griffin. Updated 2008 October 13
Hello Mr. Griffin. I’m sure you have heard of the popular movie on the internet, Zeitgeist. It had three separate parts about Christianity being fake, the Federal Reserve being a conspiracy and bad, and that the government was involved in 9/11. Well the sequel just came out, Zeitgeist Addendum, and it seems very dangerous. This movie screams controlled opposition/false solution propaganda more than anything I have ever seen.
The movie starts off with why the Federal Reserve is bad. It seems to latch onto valid concerns that the freedom movement/Ron Paul supporters have been worried about. But its solution is really, really bad and is already sending a lot of people in the wrong direction. It goes on to say that money is evil and has caused every problem in the world. If only we abolished all money and private property everything would be great. All resources should collectively belong to all humans of the world. Intelligent management of resources and technology could allow everyone to be free. The world would turn into some utopia. All crime would go away and greed and corruption would go away. We should be a one world community. It even specifically says that voting for liberty candidates like Ron Paul is the wrong thing to do. I guess we should give up all hope and let bad politicians do whatever they want to us.
It is full of doublespeak, wild assumptions, and crazy socialist propaganda. It also put in more about how religion is bad. I am convinced this thing was specifically made to stop the liberty movement from achieving anything. It puts in just enough truths that we believe in to trick people into following the wrong path.
I think statements about what is wrong with this film from liberty organizations like Freedom Force International would do a lot of good and would prevent some people from going in the wrong direction. Some people might think the best idea is to just ignore it and it will go away. But it appears to be incredibly popular online and gaining support. Even the most popular Ron Paul website posted the video. And the most popular Ron Paul message board has three threads with hundreds of posts talking about it.
-Jonathan, 2008 Oct 6
REPLY FROM E.G.:
Jonathan, I don’t like to criticize anything that is helping to spread the truth about the Federal Reserve and 9/11 but I must agree with the substance of what you have said about this video. I watched it two nights ago and was deeply disturbed by its message. At first, I thought it would be best to just let it play itself out in expectation that most viewers would cross it off as whacky. However, the production value is high, the effects and sound score are compelling, and there is enough truth embedded in the beginning to capture the attention and possibly the trust of many within the freedom movement. So here are my comments on a few items of concern:
1. The information about the Federal Reserve is, for the most part, right on target. However, I practically fell out of my chair when the program repeated that old, silly argument about the Fed not creating enough money to cover the cost of interest on debt; and, therefore, the world must forever be in debt. I knew right there that the writer did not read The Creature from Jekyll Island or, if he did, he forgot my analysis of this common myth. For those who are interested in that topic, it is fund on pages 191-192 of The Creature.
2. The next jolt came when the program praised Civil War Greenbacks, calling them debt-free. Actually, Greenbacks were contrary to the U.S. Constitution and, although they were not fiat money issued by the banks, they were fiat money issued by the government. That was better than paying interest on nothing to bankers, but they still wiped out the purchasing power of American money through massive inflation. They can not correctly be called debt-free, either, because they represented debt on the shoulders of the government, which means, of course, on the shoulders of the taxpayers. It never ceases to amaze me how people think that the solution to money created out of nothing by those big, bad bankers is to have money created out of nothing by those nice, trustworthy politicians. Yet, that is what this program supports.
3. There is a lengthy segment in which the author of I Was an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins, tells the story of how propagandists in the U.S. manipulated public opinion to support military action against several Latin American countries. Then Perkins says that these propagandists scared Americans by telling them that the leaders of these countries were Marxists who were aligned with the Soviets. This, of course, is a half truth that is just as dangerous as a total lie. It is true about the propagandists and their strategy to scare the public into supporting military intervention in those countries, but it is false to portray those dictators as great humanitarians who cared only for the well being of their people. That is total bunk. They WERE aligned with the Soviet Union and they WERE part of a Marxist/Leninist strategy to dominate Latin America; a strategy that continues to this day.
There was plenty not to like on both sides of that struggle, but objective historians would never depict the Rhodesians (the CFR crowd in the U.S.) as bad guys but depict the Soviet puppets as good guys. In his book, Perkins reveals this same slant. He exposes the foul tactics of international corporations, the IMF, and World Bank, but he never mentions a Leftist dictator, such as Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez without praising them. Perkins is a collectivist aligned with the Left, and that strongly influences his telling of this story. Yet the producers of the video make no mention of this bias and give him an inordinate amount of time to present his slanted view without challenge.
4. Perhaps the biggest insult to our intelligence is the main theme of the program. It is that profits are the root of all our problems today. That being the case, we must change mankind to reject profit and we must work together on some other basis. It is never quite clear what that basis is, but, whatever it is, it will be administered and directed by an elite group, at least in the beginning. I was stunned by the fact that this is pure Marxism. Marx theorized that people had to be re-educated (in labor camps, if necessary) to cleanse their minds of the profit motive. He and his disciples, such as Lenin and Stalin and Khruschev, said that, eventually, the character of man would be purged of greed, and then the state would wither away because it no longer would be needed. Sure! We saw that in the Soviet Union and China, right? Yet this Marxist nonsense is exactly what is offered in this video program. It is Communism without using the name.
The profit motive is neither good nor bad. It can be applied either way depending on social and political factors. The desire for profit is merely the desire to be compensated for our labor, our creativity, our knowledge, or even for our risk. Without profit, very little would be accomplished in the world – not even if everyone spent a few years in labor camps to be re-educated. It is a basic part of man’s nature and is the mainspring of human progress, as Henry Grady Weaver described it in his book by that same title. Throughout history, whenever man lived in a system that allows him to be rewarded for his work, there has been great productivity and abundance. By contrast, where social engineers gained control of the state and restricted people from receiving the fruits of their labor, productivity fell, and scarcity was the norm.
The profit motive functions differently in different political systems. In a free system where government does not intervene in the market place, the profit motive always will manifest itself as competition, each person or each company trying to deliver better quality products and services at lower prices. That was how it used to be in the early days of America, and that is what led to the greatest outpouring of productivity and abundance the world has ever seen. However, in a collectivist system where government controls every conceivable aspect of economic and commercial activity (the system that now exists in America), the profit motive always manifests itself as a quest for political influence and laws to favor one group over another. The net effect is to eliminate competition in the market place. Under collectivism, success is achieved, not by creating better products and services for less cost, but by controlling legislators and government agencies. It is a system of legalized plunder, as Frederic Bastiat called it in his famous treatise, The Law. Unfortunately, it is the system that dominates most of the world today.
Zeitgeist Addendum ignores this reality. At one point the narrator even says that the greatest evil in the world today is “the free enterprise system.” That’s an incredible statement, especially inasmuch as the free enterprise system has been dead for several decades. It lives in name only. The whole world now is in the grips of non-competitive monopolies and cartels that have forged partnerships with governments. All of the evils to which this program alludes are the result, not of the free enterprise system, but of the abandonment of free enterprise and the adoption of collectivism. This program creates a mythological boogeyman and then advocates more of the very thing that has brought us to the mess we are in today.
The enemy of mankind is not profit. It is a political system of big government. Yet, this program is supportive of some of the most notable big-government collectivist on the planet. Marxist/Leninists may be enemies of collectivists in Washington, DC, but they are collectivists in their own right. The Communist model is no better than the Nazi model.
There is much more that could be said about other program topics such as technology supposedly being our salvation, about the a future world in which no one has to work, and about common ownership of land, oceans, natural resources, etc. but, for the most part, these merely are sub issues to the ones already described, so I will spare my readers the pain of further discourse.
In summary, this program does NOT offer a cure. It offers a mega dose of the disease itself.
-Ed Griffin, 2008 Oct 9