I watched Zeitgeist: Addendum not long after it was released, but I haven’t gotten around blogging about it until now. What made me do it was the blog post by Tim Exile, a music producer who’s using Reaktor to do wicked stuff, whom I respect and admire. He’s soon to release a new album which is different from his previous raw DnB/techno. I have yet to decide whether I like it or not.
Anyway, for those of you who don’t know, Zeitgeist: Addendum is an addendum to the documentary Zeitgeist, and where the original movie analyzed religion and human nature in general, the addendum analyzes modern economy and banking. It’s divided into four parts, and I will not go into detail what each part is about, but I recommend you to watch the movie, despite my criticism towards it.
I also recommend anyone who has watched or will watch it to read this blog post which talks about a number of things I thought about when watching ZG: A, but didn’t really know how to express. Do not just read the post, read the comments as well. A lot of great points are being made there.
The following can also serve as a summary of Point’s post.
- Currency is not the same thing as money. - Money is anything with value that can be traded. It’s simply another word for value. Currency is a concept for organizing value. No matter what political and financial system is in place, there will always be a market where people can buy what they want. Currency is certainly not the only kind of money; goods, services, gold, power and violence are other likely candidates in a system without currency. And even if today’s currency system is flawed, it’s not an argument why the general concept of money should be abolished. (In fact, it can’t, unless resources are completely abundant)
- Capitalism is not the same thing as imperialism. - Part 2 of the movie goes on to link economy with corruption by listening to the confessions of a so called “economic hitman”. The problem here is not the accuracy of his accounts - I’m sure each sory is accurate en ough - but the confusion between capitalism and imperialism. What causes large scale corruption is ultimately imperialism - concentration of power. It might true that capitalism implies imperialism, but so does just about any political system. The phrase “Even the Romans” might seem like a cliché but is in fact very relevant. Corruption has always existed and will always exist. By removing capitalism, we do not remove imperialism, we just make it change forms, since every political system implies imperialism.
- Human desire is unlimited. - I’ll copy and paste a quote from the comment section of the blog post I linked to above.
Money is a concept, not an object. It is anything that can be exchanged for something you want, and human desire is unlimited. There will always be something people want beyond what they have, sometimes it’s a physical object and sometimes it’s not. There is no way all of those desires can be satisfied for all people so somebody will always be deprived of something and willing to trade to acquire it, and thus money will never go away. Making stuff abundant is technically the same as making money scarce, you will only make it more valuable by making it more difficult to find items or services that people are willing to accept in exchange for the stuff they trade. And the idea that resources on this planet are unlimited is absolute nonsense. Go watch Chris Martenson’s “Crash Course”. Google that.
My advice is to both watch the Zeitgeist: Addendum and read that blog post, and most importantly, approach both with caution and use your critical thinking.