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Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by caparison_x, Apr 6, 2011.
Try to string a coherent sentence together please.
Internet conspiracy theory films like this got old about five years ago.
I can respect the ambition behind the project, but trying to tie everything that's wrong with history and the world together into some nebulous unity just doesn't work.
We want to believe that there's a conspiracy behind everything so that at some point we can wisen-up, identify our all-of-the-sudden-clearly-defined enemies and thwart them, all these problems will go away, and life will be good again. It's just not that easy.
This more or less rehashes what hippies have been saying for almost fifty years.
Nothing new here, just a bunch of caricatures placing blame on something they can't comprehend.
Well now there's a good way to start a conversation.
Ha fail you didn't even watch the film. It's about the Economy not 9/11
I guess the aim of the films authors was to promote a not for profit based society.
Im guessing since the majority of the film is based on the US' economy its a bitter pill to swallow.
I seem to have missed the part where it's explained how a not-for-profit-based society would work. How 'bout some people start raising solutions instead of "raising awareness," which inevitably puts the onus on someone else to actually expend the elbow grease into fixing the problems... that's essentially how despots come into power anyhow.
Anyway, the problem isn't capitalism by itself- it's greed. Greed and capitalism go great together; well, greed and communism/socialism aren't exactly oil and water, either. Here's the thing, though- one can beat their chest and point at capitalist countries and say "shame!" and ride the moral high horse, BUT if one arrives at the point where they have to diagnose the problem as greed as possibly human nature, they have to blame themselves, too.
It depends on whether you believe greed is something inherent in the human race. Either Western societies don't realise their impact on the wider world, or they just don't care as long as they get to live the easy life; I'm not sure which is more contemptible tbh. Ignorance is no excuse.
When you start to question the purpose of economies, then you realise that however you look at it, too much of this planets efforts are misdirected. Surely whatever encourages the population to be "employed" in sectors that ultimately do good for people, is the important thing. How many great minds, and how much hard work is lost to the financial services?
Zeitgeist, just as many other of the shock docs of recent years are terribly sourced, and the moment you look beyond the surface then you realise this. However, they are at least doing some good in that they cause people to think and be critical; which is NEVER a bad thing.
What did you mean by this?
For a more legitimate, well-sourced look at the economy, I can highly recommend the documentary 'Inside Job' which looks at the financial crisis of the past few years. Don't be fooled by the title, the claims of conspiracy are kept to a minimum.
I think he was talking about how, at least in the US, the "brightest" students from esteemed universities go to work for financial institutions instead of something more worthy of their intellectual prowess (such as physical sciences).
Their is more incentive to get a job in which you sacrifice your morals, and take value for a service that is not making any-ones life better than there is for producing something to improve the quality of others lives, or helping someone, or even furthering human understanding of the universe we live in.
As utopian a comparison as it may be, it'd be like a commune of 50 people where 45 worked their asses off to grow the food and produce the shelter for the 5 that inherited a position where they could make the laws and convince the others that they were "free" and could dream of being one of the five, all they had to do was to tread on one of the other 45, and convince their sons and daughters that it was "natural" to do the same. Eventually, the families standing would lead to true, bourgeois freedoms. And the myth of social mobility would take its hold, you just have to emotionally disconnect yourself from strangers.
Dumb analogy, I know. And yes I'm bitter. I'm from the north of England, what d'ya expect? I've seen good, hardworking, intelligent men struggle their entire lives, and unethical, greedy morons prosper. And this is by no means the exception.
A system where the decisions of how capital (something raised by society as a whole) is spent should surely be based on something more than profitability. Sure it may be at the cost of efficiency. Efficiency only lines the pockets of the top few percent anyway. Efficiency will eventually be the downfall of capitalism in any case, at least theoretically.
I'm not nearly as well studied on economy as I want to be, and I cannot suggest a perfect alternative. All I know, is that the current system stinks.
I figure I'll tackle the film part by part:
Intro: Big speech about Monopoly and how the fact we are mortal renders all possessions or accomplishments worthless (back in the box, after all). Now, this just opens up a giant philosophical can of worms, but this movie is about a 'broken' economic system, not philosophy, so I'll let it slide. The green tinted montage is actually offensive, it seems to insult my morality by providing me with a caricatured world full of very black and white puppets if you will, attempting make any moral judgments for me. Then there's the animated bit discussing the depression, and the one child who wouldn't conform. Again, the film is making judgments for me, but still only giving me anecdotes, nothing concrete.
Part 1: Starts out stating that nature vs. nurture is a 'false dichotomy' because both genes and environment come into play regarding behavior. Fine, I'll buy that. However, the next person attempts to pin everything on prenatal development and the environment. This all seems very important because they are attempting to claim that money, power and profit are addictions, in the vein of drugs.
Part 2: Here we go. This is where the argument becomes very stale. Capitalism is evil and goes against human nature. Individualistic societies are inherently unfair and therefore impinge on proper social interactions. Comparing the 'invisible hand' to God was a nice touch, speaking of non sequiturs. The film doesn't take into account that supply only equals demand in a purely competitive market, and even then, only in the long run. This ignores the three other market models, monopolistic competition, oligopoly and monopoly, nor does it take into account regulation, focusing instead on supposed negative externalities. Totally ignoring hundreds of years of developing economic theory. Considering the nations that adopted Smiths ideals have the highest standards of living on Earth, I find this to be laughable at best. Their analysis of monetary value terrible, they don't explain the four functions of money at all (medium of exchange, store of account, standard of deferred payment, and store of value). Nor do they take into account that inflation is a two way street (based both off of the aggregate supply and aggregate demand for money).
Part 3: My personal favorite. They propose, in essence, that most entities of authority, most existing infrastructure and (by extension) population centers be dismantled so that they can be redistributed in an 'optimum' fashion. No regard for individualism, but I suppose that's already been established.
Part 4: Scare the audience, really simple as that.
The movie is simply too driven by ideology for me to really take it seriously. There have been people attempting to create utopias for millenea and their plans pretty much always fall through. I probably came up as harsh, but there was a caffeine shortage in my house this morning.
I like Zeitgeist.
Maybe I'm a little off about this.
The first thing I noticed in the film was that the grandmother in the first story talked about how, once you die, those possessions no longer matter... to *you.*
If you had a child, would it matter to you if you left possessions and money to that child, to make their life easier?
If you genuinely cared about the welfare of your tribe, would you attempt to help their continued success, or not care?
To look at it a different way, if you have one set of parents who attempt to help their offspring, and another set who doesn't attempt so... which set of offspring will likely be more successful? Even those the most against the idea of evolution will have to concede that, all other things being equal, the person who gets help will get farther than the person working alone.
Societies over the millenia of known history inevitably have a few with power grabbing more power. It's the nature of primates (homo sapiens sapiens included) to strive for power within their troop, and to rally with their troop against outsiders. Monarchies, feudal states (including socialist/communist societies), and other societies will always go in that direction, unless there are safeguards built in.
There has not been a utopian society of any sort which has been successful in the long term. Unless a society has safeguards against man's inherent tendencies built in, such systems get subverted fairly easily.
The foremost political scientists of their day looked at the idea of Levianthan (look it up, kids! it's worth the search!) and built in safeguards against Leviathan when they wrote the US Constitution. The society arising from that document has been the most successful and long-lived experiment in freedom in known history.
I'm going to turn off that film at this point. I don't think it's going to actually get to something worthwhile at any point. If anyone wants to mention something worthwhile which arises later, and which doesn't fall under the utopian idealism which never works out, I'll be interested in learning about it.
As it is, I have better things to do.