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Lecture: “Improbable Democracy”, Peter Joseph 9/8/17 [ The Zeitgeist Movement ]

Improbable Democracy
The New Human Rights Movement, Sept 9, 2017
Peter Joseph I’m Peter Joseph and I founded a non-profit a long time ago
called The Zeitgeist Movement and it’s an organization that
still has numerous chapters, hundreds of chapters in 60
countries and we’ve done about a thousand public awareness events
since its inception. And beyond that social
experiments working in the hope to unify the world in a common direction, desperately needed of course
due to the ecological crisis and the social instability
that we’re seeing emerge. I also produce educational and
socially conscious activist media including these two books. I wish I’d brought some books
actually but I couldn’t get the weight in my luggage or
I would have given you all some. The ‘Zeitgeist Movement Defined’
was the original text, kind of a joint effort but mostly
written by myself, produced in 2013. It’s the root thesis of
The Zeitgeist Movement and it advocates in pretty
extended technical detail what we do and what we promote. The second book,
‘The New Human Rights Movement’, was published by BenBella
earlier this year and it takes a more
social justice approach and a public health approach if you will, focusing on what really underscores
a stable, healthy and peaceful society including the active reduction
of intergroup conflict, oppression, bigotry, racism,
xenophobia and so on, something that this
country and the world is starting to see a resurgence of. Today’s talk will be more or less
a derivative of this book, specifically in regard to the history, structure
and nature of modern political economy. Again since I refuse to repeat my talks, and you can go on and see about 20
or 30 hours of my lectures online, I apologize if this moves
quickly for those that are new. But if anything is unclear –
this will be about 45 minutes or so and I’m definitely always into questions –
so make some notes if anything jumps out at you. So to jump to the work’s
conclusion for the sake of clarity the bottom line is that
without the removal of socioeconomic inequality – meaning the various levels of
inequity we see both domestically and internationally
as linked to economic roots – there’s a serious need for concern
about what the future holds. Unannounced to most, there’s a
strong public health argument against the existence of economic
stratification and class. And by extension this means that there
is a strong public health argument against the mechanisms of
our society that create this destructive imbalance, namely the market system of economics: a system that is also leading to
the destruction of our habitat due to its archaic basis
in cyclical consumption, perpetuating a built-in
incentive to create waste, inspire more purchases
to create more jobs … And when you step back
and take all this in, you realize that an economy
powered by consumerism, which is what it is,
is in fact not an economy at all. A real economy by definition is about the strategic and efficient use of materials
and means to preserve sustainability in the process of meeting human needs. Yet our system does the opposite: not only inspiring vast wealth imbalance, limiting in fact the well-being of
60% of the human population today, in the context of relative
and absolute poverty, but also in the sense that the
entire system is really backwards in terms of extended sustainability
and effectively earthly economic goals; a complete omission from all economic textbooks. And it’s worth pointing out that this
seed of unsustainability really wasn’t easily to recognize centuries ago, as the process and means of production
was quite manual and arduous. But since the Industrial Revolution and the introduction of mechanization
and increased efficiency – increased production I should say because
it’s not really efficient, it’s just the more of production that
we’re able to increase – the tables have turned. What was once an agrarian
economy that worked to meet core needs of a scarce society,
generating jobs to facilitate those needs, has transformed into an economy
that has become so productive that our sense of social inclusion must now be manipulated by marketing and advertising, producing a neurotic, insatiable
and materialistic culture seeking to buy, own and accumulate simply for the sake of buying,
owning and accumulating. And without that value system,
the economy wouldn’t work today. So coming back to my broad point here, the current state of evolution
of the market economy not only requires an insecure,
immature and selfish population, it also requires that nothing
really work too well, for too long: planned obsolescence. For true preservation,
efficiency and sustainability is really the enemy of market economics. It’s the enemy of the
foundation of our society and the result as we see is enormous amounts of waste,
pollution and resource overshoot. And it’s interesting
today with all the talk about ecological degradation, climate
change, biodiversity loss and so on, very rarely do people speak of the
most important consequence of this: we’re not destroying the earth, we’re destroying our future
capacity to coexist peacefully and productively as a growing species. We’re setting the stage for new forms
of unnecessary scarcity and limitation. And this is and will continue to translate into more extreme degrees
of socioeconomic inequality, reducing public health, and this increased socioeconomic inequality
as social science has long confirmed, will fuel further social fragmentation, conflict and disorder,
both domestically and internationally. I apologize if this idea
is new to some of you here as it is something I have written and
talked about a great deal in the past, linking socioeconomic
inequality and economics to increased violence,
heart disease, mental health disorders, child abuse, loss of lifespan and so on. But I encourage you to look into this
largely ignored public health issue because it’s the most critical one,
and no one’s really talking about it. The central message of this talk – as rambley as it’s going to be due to
the limitations I had in creating it – is that our economy poses
many serious problems, not only as an instrument of human
manipulation in terms of politics that we see, but as a structural phenomenon in its root core foundational logic. Or more bluntly, the real problem – in stark contradiction to our prevailing entrepreneurial romanticism
and free-market mythology – is the very nature of business itself: the inherent dynamics and
incentives that are immutable to the logic of engaging and
winning in competitive trade is the binding destructive force that while creating the world we see,
with some material positives of course, is also simultaneously destroying it at a far more rapid rate,
in the context of sustainability and a loss of democracy,
as I will discuss. And with all the debate today about
party systems and corruption and lobbying and war and so on,
you will notice, with the exception of say conversations
about democratic socialism or other more – more or less – passive still ultimately pro-market
socioeconomic adjustments the political landscape shows
very little real reflection on what the structure of our
economy is actually doing. Even worse, those rare few who do approach
in a critical and thoughtful way are quickly dismissed by myopic
and emotional impulsive reactions and symbolic irrationality. In fact I would have to argue that the
greatest failure in the world today is that of creativity,
and an expanded sense of possibility. People are afraid of things
they can’t see of course or don’t understand or
haven’t learned about – a kind of indoctrination and laziness
continues to limit the debate of what our future could be, locked into bogus identity politics, isms, unnuanced childish
distractions of left and right, alt right, centric, capitalist, socialist, communist, and a host of other unnuanced labels that serve only to keep
people thinking categorically, ignorant, polarized,
and easily manipulated. The power of language and the
associative symbolic myopic nature of political discourse now blinds us, and it’s time we snap out of it and expand our sense of possibility. Brings me to part one –
Structuralism: Culture and Biology. Again I’ve spoken a great deal about
things like structuralism in the past and this will be more
of an overview of it. And if you want to look into this
concept as I will go through a bit, I encourage it. But the details by which I’m gonna go
through this will be relatively advanced. I’m going to expand the
context of structuralism from the influence of culture,
environment and social system to include how those inputs
interact with our biology, given the biopsychosocial nature
of the organisms that we are. While there is ongoing debate about
time scales of biological evolution, specifically with respect to the human
brain and behavioral variability, it’s safe to say that if you took a
newborn child from say 25,000 years ago, and raised him or her today, the characteristics of that child,
and eventually adult, would be indiscernible from the
average person born in the present day. Likewise it is a fact that we modern
humans can trace our genetic lineage to a woman from East Africa
commonly termed ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ who lived roughly 150,000 years ago. Hence we are all African,
we have all been set in motion so to speak, with the same basic genetic makeup. And while there have certainly been
selective genetic changes in groups such as the development of
different skin colors and physical features due to exposure
to different areas of the planet, the idea that any groups of humans on this
planet are genetically superior or inferior, or perhaps having developed novel
cultural behaviors driven by genetics is completely unfounded. And what this means is that the vast array of human behavior we
have seen historically on the cultural level, from the routine human
sacrifice of the Aztecs to the polygamy of Mormonism to the end of cannibalism of
the Amazonian Yanomami tribe, to many other examples, can only be linked to the influence of environment and the social institutions and traditions of a given society and period. This is not to discount
the role of biology, evolutionary psychology,
or in effect what is, again the biopsychosocial
synergy of our existence. This isn’t about behaviorism,
in lieu of say BF Skinner. The nature of our brains and our
genetics have an integral role in all outcomes of behavior on some level. But they are not actively
deterministic influences when it comes to the
phenomenon of culture. Sorry to drill this in: pop society loves to separate
nature, nurture, or more accurately
genetics and environment. Yet biological evolution
is also a kind of molding of our genetic makeup
through natural selection, which basically started with a
single-cell organism some 3.5 billion years ago. The complexity of your form,
who you are physically, is really an environmental outcome, and with this kind of
genetic play-doh that’s been utilized since the
single-celled organism. And it’s evolved through
environmental interactions into the complex organisms we are today,
driven by environment. Now the reason I bring
all this up is because one outstanding myth that
leads to a set of other myths we have in support of
the way the world is, is that “society reflects
our immutable human nature,” as if in the long term our
nature can be called “fixed.” It’s a legitimizing
establishment-preserving myth, for if society is a reflection of our
immutable human nature, well guess what – there’s no reason to
attempt to change society. We see this worldview
throughout recorded history to one degree or another especially in the
realm of political economy and philosophy. In fact I am unaware of any historically
recognized political or economic theorist that didn’t propagate the
false notion that humanity’s apparent brute,
selfish and competitive nature was simply an immutable
law of our existence and something to be dealt with. For example Thomas Hobbes, considered
the father of political philosophy, famously proposed that humanity’s
state was one “of war,” therefore he implied in fact that a dictatorial sovereign power
and hierarchy was actually needed to oversee and control society. When Charles Darwin came along
with his theory of evolution his ‘survival of the fittest’
notion was quickly bastardized, distorted to support elitism,
oppression and dominant power. This misconception further added fuel to
yet another highly influential economist, someone of particular despotism:
Thomas Malthus. While Malthus’ fatalism is different
from general human nature myths, his theory of population,
if you’re familiar, is still generally accepted today,
albeit rarely verbalized, as it is very politically inconvenient
to talk about something like this, with the basic idea that the poor
of the world cannot be helped since nature will always be
in deficiency to some degree in meeting an inevitable
growing population. Malthus even went so far in his time to
criticize Europe’s Poor Laws as they were called and rejected the idea of social
compassion when it came to poverty. He stated “To act consistently
therefore we should facilitate, instead of foolishly and
vainly endeavoring to impede, the operations of nature in
producing this mortality. Instead of recommending cleanliness
to the poor we should encourage contrary habits. In our towns we
should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into the houses
and court the return of the plague. In the country, we should build
our villages near stagnant pools, and particularly encourage settlements
in all marshy and unwholesome situations. But above all,
we should reprobate specific remedies for ravaging diseases, and those
benevolent but much mistaken men, who have thought they were
doing a service to mankind by projecting schemes for the total
extirpation of particular disorders.” As an aside I wish to point out that much of the world as it exists today begins to make a whole lot of sense when you consider the influence
of Malthus, who is probably one of the first world economists
of the British East India Company, coupled with the haphazard
conception of social Darwinism. Whether noted in public policy or not, this overall worldview is
clearly in the general philosophy, [in] the back pockets of big
business and world governance, justifying continued inequality,
social dominance, oppression, rampant poverty, and the vast,
direct and structural violence inherent to our economic system. … once again from the
inherent dynamics incentives of an economy based on scarcity
and trade-strategizing dominance, which I’m going to expand
upon in the next section. Trade strategizing dominance: I want that phrase to stick with you guys. This Malthusian,
socially Darwinistic perspective is a significant reason
why we have seen very little real progress in the developing poverty-stricken
and disease-laden nations today, or even in the relative
poverty and homeless crisis we see in the affluent nations. I’m sorry to say it is an unspoken yet
ever-present value system and mindset that the poor should suffer and die,
and the rich should live and prosper. And it is this manifest structural
violence that kills more people than all the wars,
dictators and plagues combined. Estimates put this death toll
at about 18 million a year due to socioeconomic inequality. That’s numerous holocausts a year. That’s more than communism
claimed to kill in a century, in 6 years, due to socioeconomic
inequality and poverty. Meanwhile, 5 people today have more
wealth in the entire 50% of the world. So tangent aside, and returning to my central point
regarding biological determinism, culture and the various naturalist myth’s
“appeal to nature” fallacies we find that preserve the status quo, show through cognitive
neuroscience and other studies, prove, and there’s no reason to assume, that there’s any kind of predominant,
competitive, acquisitive narrow self-interest in-group
out-group biased society propensity which is some “law of nature.” In the same way there is no reason to
conclude poverty is a social inevitability. The human mind is an extremely
powerful and flexible system when it comes to behavior. It can be an organ of thoughtfulness, compassion, extensionality
and collaborative incentive, as evidenced by the later stage
development of our frontal cortex, or it can be an organ of fear,
hate, selfishness and domination as evidenced by our older,
lower so-called reptilian areas such as the amygdala and limbic system. And when you combine
the power of culture – the fact every word I’m saying
has been taught to me, the fact that I’m an amalgamation of
everything that I’ve been born into, the fact that I’m not wearing
a Victorian gown right now – is because I’ve learned through
this society the way I should be or in the sense of the feedback system, the way I will end up invariably being because of my exposures
to the environment. And you combine this force with the
variability you see in our mind and biology as proven by cognitive neuroscience, and this is my point,
we realize a kind of dynamic structuralism that very much underscores and controls what we call our
consciousness or free will. And we can’t expect to change
our society or civilization without understanding ourselves; what influences us
and our shared biological reactions. This mythology that we are strong,
individual, rational human beings walking the earth with complete
conscious control, is a myth, as paradoxical and complex as
that is to say to yourself because your brain is telling you
something different all the time. Now, stepping back,
I first heard the term “structuralism” used by Johan Galtung
of the Gandhi Institute, As a scholar of Gandhi he had this to say, which I think is an
insightful qualification. “Gandhi saw conflict in the deeper sense as something that was built
into social structures, not into the persons Colonialism was a structure
and caste was a structure; both of them filled with persons performing
their duties according to their roles or statuses. The evil was in the structure, not in the
person who carried out his obligations. Exploitation is violence, but it is quite clear Gandhi sees
it as a structural relationship more than the intended evil inflicted
upon innocent victims by evil men. It’s a deeply thoughtful and compassionate
and systemic type of perspective, that’s dramatically limited
in the modern world. The profoundness of this, that we humans can become subservient
to social institutions and systems, takes a while to sink in. To believe this is to admit to yourself that depending on the nuances of
your biology and social condition, you can effectively be manipulated by larger order forces
beyond your control. And most people’s egos once again have
a very difficult time with this idea, as it contradicts again everything
that your experience is telling you. But the truth is, the social condition
or culture you find yourself [in], how society is organized and incentivized, plays a profound role in
your sense of identity while pinging or exciting parts of your brain that
amplify the probability of certain behaviors to occur, or not. If you generate a social
structure that creates a culture of insecurity
and fear like we have today, you’re going to excite
older parts of the brain: the limbic system that compound, but are in effect primitive,
old primate reactions such as competition and violence, apathy. In contrast if you have a structure
that creates a sense of safety, fairness, justice, security, you will bypass primitive brain reactions and excite areas of the mind related
to higher order intellectual functions, leading to a strong sense of trust, social capital, collaboration,
empathy and so on. In fact,
this structuralist perspective forces us to rethink our ideas
of morality and ethics. The conclusion is that morality
and ethics can really only follow from the social or environmental condition and are in fact painfully subjective
from the standpoint of history. And if you need evidence of that
think of the countless soldiers raised by wonderful church-going families who
never had a violent bone in their bodies who, sanctioned by their government, are incentivized by some
abstract external threat and are willing to murder other human beings that they have never met, in the military. Or perhaps consider the
numerous studies done by people who have been tested for their sense
of responsibility or lack thereof, such as the Milgram experiment, the shock experiment I suspect some of you have heard of. They’re incentivized to hurt others under
the protection that it isn’t really their fault because they’re just following orders. Or perhaps the Rwandan genocide of
800,000 Tutsis in a 4-month period, all sanctioned by government
and propagandized media creating a vicious period
of mass hypnosis in effect that was based on a kind of distorted
class war that didn’t actually even exist. So I hope my point is clear. You’re not an individual
in any technical sense. We are all deeply vulnerable
to the social structures, dominant institutions and culture that invariably guide our perception, and accentuate and attenuate, attenuate aspects of our brain chemistry. And since we can’t change our brains
in biology, at least in the short term, at least not now to any relevant degree (someone could debate
transhumanism and things like that) this means that we’re
left with one real option. If you want to change human behavioral
patterns and the institutions that are political,
economic and philosophical, you have to change the
structure we find ourselves, or better yet to use a medical term, you have to change the
social precondition. And the most powerful precondition
ever-present in our lives will be found to be the economic structure as I’ll explain in the next section. Part 2
Origins: Power, Class and Inequality In this section I’m going to go
through the history of our economy: where it came from and the
core attributes that define it. If I was to frame the academic
context of this analysis it would be one of cultural anthropology, a subject I hope people will look into, with the theme being how the
logic of our existence today, especially that of our economy, has been carved out over
time by external forces which could be termed
geographical determinism, like sand and wind
that erode mountains over time. Roughly 12,000 years ago the
human species transitioned from nomadic hunter-gatherer societies, tribes foraging and hunting
with no agricultural skills, to farm-cultivating settled societies. This was termed the Neolithic Revolution. In form this change marked a
kind of technological shift. Like the advent of mechanization
and the Industrial Revolution, this development of agriculture was
basically the application of new technology, as primitive as it seems. I point this out because it’s worth noting that the most influential
characteristic of a civilization is the kind of technological means it has,
and how its applied. When very large-scale changes
in applied technology occurs, human culture and behavior
tend to change as well. Before the Neolithic Revolution, as corroborated by
numerous anthropologists studying both existing and
historical hunter-gatherer societies, small bands and tribes operated
without money or markets: they were egalitarian. In fact 99% of human history had
no money or markets by the way, with no economic dominance hierarchy. It’s also well established that
they had much less violence and certainly no large-scale warfare. And while modern culture would gawk at
the seemingly crude and minimalistic reality of hunter-gatherer life today,
it’s thoughtfully argued that there really existed a
kind of minimalistic affluence, a simplicity that was accepted
and made people happy, a unique distinction
because it really challenges what we think of today as
progress in social success, which unfortunately is so deeply
tied to material progress. To highlight this contrast here is a
quote by anthropologist Marshall Sahlins. “To accept that hunter-gatherers are
affluent is therefore to recognize that the present human condition
of man’s slaving to bridge the gap between his unlimited wants
and his insufficient means is a tragedy of modern times. Modern capitalist societies,
however richly endowed, dedicate themselves to the
proposition of scarcity. Inadequacy of economic
means is the first principle of the world’s wealthiest peoples.” “The market-industrial system institutes scarcity
in a manner completely without parallel. Where production and distribution are
arranged through the behavior of prices, and all livelihoods depend
on getting and spending, insufficiency of material
means becomes the explicit calculable starting point
of all economic activity.” I’d like to highlight this notion
of a society based upon scarcity because I’ll be returning to that in a moment; it’s a very critical theme. In modern terms, hunter-gatherers basically had a
gift economy as we’d call it today, where they shared with no direct
expectation of reciprocation. There are even modern stories of
outsiders being given handicrafts from existing hunter-gatherer tribes only to feel the need to
give something in return, as many in our market,
effectively agrarian-based cultures do. This reciprocal behavior was
considered offensive by the tribe, as they felt the exchange
was a refusal of friendship. British anthropologist Tim Ingold highlights
that the difference between giving and exchange has to do with a social
perception based around autonomous companionship
versus involuntary obligation. He states: “Clearly, both hunter-gatherers
and agricultural cultivators depend on their environments. But whereas for cultivators
this dependency is framed within a structure of
reciprocal obligation, for hunter-gatherers it rests on the
recognition of personal autonomy. The contrast is between
relationships based on trust and those based on domination.” I’m going to read that final part again. “The contrast is between
relationships based on trust and those based on domination.” This is a subtle but powerful distinction. Cultivator society, which almost always is a market society, generates a social perception NOT based upon mutual concern, but rather trade-strategizing dominance: gaming for survival. So in short the Neolithic
Revolution set in motion the core framework of the modern world: settlement, property, protection, labor specialization, trade, governance,
capacities for war, and so on. Each one of these characteristics
was born out of the natural logic based upon the new settled,
and producing paradigm, hence the geographical determinism, translating survival requisites
into eventual tradition. We also get the formation of a culture that learns to perceive life through this
scarcity-and-protectionist worldview. And given disproportionate
labor skills, means, and the unequal benefits of certain
geographical features (capital), the outcomes of inequality,
competition and mass conflict were simply inevitable as
this evolution continued. In turn, ever-hardening values around
competitive self-interest manifest, with these psychological gravitations
extending into sociological ones, forming social structures,
institutions and customs derived from the scarcity, competitive
and protectionist worldview once again. Again all this was set in motion
by the geographical determinism of the Neolithic Revolution. Now, some may ask
“Why couldn’t it have gone another way?” In this book ‘Man’s Rise to Civilization’
by Peter Farb, he describes numerous cultures
that were in fact agrarian that lived very very differently
and very egalitarianly. So why couldn’t it have gone another
another way on a large scale? If people realized they have disproportionate
skills in different regions of different qualities, why didn’t just a larger,
more communal connected society form based upon the original hunter-gatherer
value system and principles? Because hunter-gatherers didn’t just
have a natural sense of egalitarianism per se, they actually actively
preserved their egalitarianism. It was called reverse-dominance
hierarchy by some theories and they worked against anyone that did rise up and start
to pollute the community with overt self-interest. It was an active recognition
in hunter-gatherer society. Well, as I said historically it
did go the other way in rare cases. We have knowledge of agrarian First Nations
people – indigenous populations – that due to the small size of community
and the benefits of their region – effectively surplus –
they did not fully succumb to this overt competitive
scarcity-based dominance outcome. But those are exceptions to the rule, and the very fact that most of
those cultures are now extinct today shows the power of the
underlying framework of the survival mechanism set in motion. In the words of neuroscientist
Robert Sapolsky: “Hunter-gatherers had thousands of
wild sources of food to subsist on. Agriculture changed all that,
generating an overwhelming reliance on a few dozen food sources. Agriculture allowed for the
stockpiling of surplus resources and thus inevitably the
unequal stockpiling of them – stratification of society
and the invention of classes. Thus it has allowed for
the invention of poverty.” So to summarize for clarity: “Since the Neolithic Revolution, we’ve had a process of
economically-driven cultural adaptation built around the survival
requisites of the relatively new, settled agrarian paradigm. The evolution of post-Neolithic
culture was self-guided by systemic environmental pressures and survival inferences –
geographical determinism – common to the natural dynamics
of the new mode of production. This gave birth the dominance-oriented
incentives, values, and protections, evolving patterns of conflict,
hierarchy, elitism and disproportional allocation of
physical and social resources.” To translate in terms of modern
political economy as we know it, “You thus have the basis
of property (ownership), capital (means of production), labor specialization (jobs),
regulation (government), and protection (law/police/military). In other words you have grounds for what
is now the ultimate mechanism of survival – the market system of economics.” To which all of these aspects are
actually intrinsic and immutable despite the utopian ideals and
abstractions of libertarians and those effectively basking in the
sociopathic free-market delusions of Ayn Rand. Pick up any introductory
textbook on market theory and you’ll notice the rationale
of the market’s very existence starts with one fundamental premise: “Resources and means are scarce.” There’s no qualification other than that. It doesn’t matter if you’re a billionaire, these people still have the mindset
of operating as though they’re poor, at least in terms of how they
work and engage trade with others. Their little compassion is shown in the
act of competitive trade from billionaires. In fact as social studies have shown,
psychological studies have shown, it actually gets worse
the more money they get. And from this premise –
resources and means are scarce – the architecture of not only the economy
but of society itself has been derived. I call it the root socioeconomic
orientation of our world. Root Socioeconomic Orientation. It justifies brute competition,
narrow self-interest, elitist hierarchy,
inequality, and oppression. And the central mechanism of this system – what keeps society divided and
accentuates the endless abuse we see, whether individual or by
whatever elite minority – is again trade-strategizing dominance: the kernel incentive rational process. It has been the root logic of trade despite material progress
we have seen over time, since especially the Industrial Revolution that ruins humanity’s capacity to function in a socially just and sustainable way. This gaming mentality, which is also a core prerequisite
for racism, bigotry, and xenophobia, rooted deep in the
cultural norm that we live, and this dysfunctional scarce idea where any surplus that happens,
any abundance, can only appear to be transient. You can’t rationalize a world where
there’s actually enough to go around even if it was mathematically possible, which it actually is. And again if you dig deep into the worldview
of some of the most dominant and revered Western political and economic
philosophers from Adam Smith to John Locke, to again Malthus,
to John Stuart Mill and many others, you find little deviation of
this social preconception: one that says it is natural for us to fight,
because that’s just the way it is. In the words of John McMurtry, “This tendency prevails from
the Continental Rationalists on. Leibniz, Spinoza, Descartes,
Berkeley, Kant, Hegel, for example, more or less entirely presuppose
the social regime of their day and its constituent forms as in some way the
expression of a divine Mind, which they see it as their rational duty only to accept or to justify.” It’s the climate of opinion. Part 3
The State, Democracy and Fascism So. If global society as we know it has undergone a systemic unfolding
from the Neolithic Revolution, what can we learn about
the nature of government within this unfolding and climate?
Well first, we see that government actually proceeds
from the economic premise of a society and not the other way around. It is the preordained
economic mode of society that decides what government is, what it does and where
its loyalties reside. If you examine historical
variations of social systems, historical capitalism,
communism, socialism, feudalism, mercantilism and so on – and you’ll notice I said
historical and not theoretical – you realize that the governing
architecture of those systems served to protect and perpetuate the
prevailing economic and class structures that ultimately define them. Feudalism for example was a
structure based upon land ownership, the means of production, labor,
and class interdependence going from the peasant up to the king. Capitalism in contrast is based
upon dynamics of private property, buying and selling and ownership, and the mechanism of ownership
and wealth translating into power and control. Here is a quote by Australian
economist John C. Wood, who was a scholar of a sociologist that I often recommend named Thorstein Veblen. And I think this summation of Veblen – who is extremely verbose and
rather complicated to read – gets to the heart of what
we’re facing in terms of the structure of government
within capitalism. He states
“Veblen wrote extensively and insightfully on the relationship between capitalist
government and the class struggle. For Veblen, the ultimate
power in the capitalist system is in the hands of the owners
because they control the government. The government is the
institutionally legitimizing means of physical coercion in any society. As such, it exists to protect the
existing social order and class structure. This means that the primary duty of
government is to enforce private property laws and protect the privileges
associated with ownership.” “Veblen repeatedly insisted that
‘modern politics is business politics.’ The first principle of a capitalist
government is that – to quote Veblen – ‘The natural freedom of the individual must not transverse the
prescriptive rights of property. Property rights have the indefeasibilty
which attached to natural rights.’ The principle freedom of capitalism
is the freedom to buy and sell.” “The laissez-faire philosophy
dictates that – to quote Veblen – ‘So long as there is no
overt attempt on life … or liberty to buy and sell,
the law cannot intervene, unless it be in a precautionary way to prevent prospective
violation of property rights.’ Thus above all else,
to quote Veblen again, a ‘constitutional government
is a business government.'” In a detailed 2014 study
conducted by professors Martin Gilens of Princeton and Benjamin
Page of Northwestern University, concluded in their extensive
study which I recommend you read, “the preferences of the average American
appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically nonsignificant
impact upon public policy.” The researchers concluded that lawmaker’s policy actions tend to support
the interests of guess what- the wealthy Wall Street
and big corporations. And what stuns me is that many in America act like this is some anomaly, as though the US government,
and in effect the governments of the world (because this system is just existing on different stages and levels of
incorporation in every country) haven’t always been driven by financial
business interests since inception. As though society wasn’t set to favor the wealthy minority and
business elite freedom to begin with! James Madison, the father of the
US Constitution as he’s referred, made it very clear in the
Federal Convention of 1787 as to why the Senate was to be created. He stated “There ought
to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The Senate therefore ought to be this
body and to answer these purposes, they ought to have
permanency and stability.” Madison had a unique perspective
on what he considered majority and minority interests,
and if you read his work in the Federalist Papers, it’s very
unique to see how the language is used, because ultimately there
is a fundamental elitism, which is often interpreted as
against special interest minorities but actually goes the other way. And I hope people understand that
when you really look at the foundation of America with all of its plusses, it really had no interest in the
resolution of class differences, and ensured, as it remains today,
the disproportionate support and power is given to the opulent rich minority. They knew that a true democracy would
force a vast redistribution of wealth since of course, the vast majority
historically have always been poor. In fact it should be a fairly obvious
feature of all national governments that this kind of protection of
the rich is structurally secured through government policy. And if there is any catchphrase
that I am so tired of hearing, it’s this thing that people say about
getting money out of politics. What?! First, while it may seem morally sound, it’s extremely idiotic in principle
given how the world operates. In a world where everything is for sale, in a world where gaming through
trade and trade-strategizing dominance is the prevailing ethos, it’s the most dominant mode and in fact
communication in the process of our society. Why should government be off-limits?
Why not buy legislation? In fact if we’re to be
consistent as a society, it’s actually poor form to
object at all to this reality of lobbying and political
special interests. We should LET the Koch brothers
buy and run America! Why not? It’s the purest and most natural
outcome suggested by this system: for the billionaires to run everything,
which is what this system assumes, its natural gravitation,
and you’re never going to stop the force of financial and business power as long as
our society is grounded in the way it is. And by the way,
the election of Trump is not an anomaly. It’s just another step toward
the natural gravitation that our system generates:
a world again run by rich monarchs. And to some degree or another
it has always been this way since again the Neolithic Revolution. So needless to say when it comes
to the true nature of our system, the very idea of any kind of effective
democracy becomes increasingly illusory. The system simply isn’t designed to cater to the well-being and democratic
control of the general majority. Rather it is designed to
facilitate the affairs of business and most of all the
protection of big business, which are naturally the dominant interests
in the revolving door of government. Put another way,
the system is fundamentally fascist. This is a book by Robert Brady called ‘Business as a System of Power.’ It was written in 1943
in the heat of the 2nd World War. It is a comparative study
of a number of nations including fascist Germany,
Japan, Italy and others, and it links the root structure
and incentive of business – businesses by the way which loved
the fascist institutions of this time – to the rise of fascist
controls historically, specifically in that period which
is very unique in terms of history. And it’s frightening. Because when
you really read this book from 1943 and you start to dissect the
structures of these economies, it becomes euphemistic to see how they’ve
actually changed, because they haven’t. Things really haven’t changed, they’ve
just become more politically correct in the way the world is perceiving the structures of totalitarianism
that are actually in play. The forward of this text
was written by Robert Lynd and I think he states the issue
very well with respect to America. “Thus political equality
under the ballot was granted on the unstated but factually
double-locked assumption that the people must refrain from
seeking the extension of that equality to the economic sphere. In short, the attempted harmonious
marriage of democracy to capitalism doomed genuinely popular
control from the start. And all down through our national
life the continuance of the Union has depended upon the unstated condition that the dominant member, capital, continue to provide returns to
all elements in democratic society sufficient to disguise the
underlying conflict in interests.” Sufficient to disguise the
underlying conflict in interests! “The crisis within the economic
relations of capitalism was bound to precipitate a crisis in the
democratic political system.” Part 4
The New Human Rights Movement The solution to a world at war with itself
and at war with the environment is to change again the social precondition from one that emphasizes scarcity,
competition and hierarchical dominance to one that emphasizes and incentivizes
effectively the exact opposite. Since the Industrial Revolution
humanity has been handed a gift to change course in a
completely different direction, with the option to create in fact a
strategic and sustainable abundance to meet the world’s needs: a phenomenon Buckminster
Fuller called ephemeralization, or what Jeremy Rifkin refers to more
technically as a “more-with-less” phenomenon. As time moves forward we’re able to do more and more and more
with less and less and less. That means that we can
create an increased abundance without heavy impact on society; they move in contrary patterns now, as abstract and odd as that is to realize. If strategically utilized this pattern, if we adjust our society –
adjust our economy – will put to rest the
dysfunctional social system that is based on the exploitation
of scarcity and other human beings. Now due to a lack of time in the
preparation of this as I mentioned, it’s not the scope of this
talk to delve into the subject of what a new economic precondition [is],
or how to get there. That’s detailed in my book and this slide right here, this figure is a brief summation
of the types of transitions that the world needs to see,
all of which are actually happening now. And I’m not here to plug a book but I do encourage anyone
that wants to think about this particular subject to
read that section of it. So in conclusion, I do want to state that the New Human Rights Movement has the following four realizations
before anything can actually change. Number one. The structuralist realization that the most
detrimental social patterns existing today are sourced to a flawed
economic orientation. Number 2. These resulting detrimental
social patterns include socioeconomic inequality as
the core public health threat. Socioeconomic inequality is the precondition
for a spectrum of other problems, also linking to unsustainable
negative externalities produced by the market: resource overshoot,
diversity loss, climate change, endless pollution,
destruction of the oceans, and so on. Number 3. Adjusting away from
this flawed economic orientation and seeking to reduce
socioeconomic inequality and generate environmental sustainability means shifting focus to
maximize economic efficiency through strategic,
systems-based, technical design. (something I haven’t
had a chance to get into but that is what the secret of
economic efficiency is: its design.) This will reduce scarcity, reduce inequality,
and reduce the environmental footprint. It will also better harness
ephemeralization as I mentioned, moving us closer to what could be called a
“post-scarcity” abundance or post-scarcity society. That’s not a society where there’s
an infinite amount of everything. It’s a society where
people are actually focused on creating enough for everyone as opposed to exploiting the fact
that people don’t have things. Number 4. Accomplishing this transition
will require creative initiative and activist initiative. The creative initiative has to do with
developing the efficiency-enhancing systems that will compose the new economic mode. The activist initiative has to do
with strategic pressure and demands placed upon the existing power structure, effectively coercing
change from the bottom up. Because none of this is
going to come naturally. It is antithetical to the culture that’s been
created in the dominant class, and it’s going to take a kind of galvanization
that the world probably hasn’t seen, even though all these paths are
actually being suggested right now, and these trends are really
not surprising in terms of the vast positive potential
we can have in the future: an equitable society where
people’s needs are met, derailing all the social distortions and
intergroup conflicts and bigoted patterns that will continue to be amplified, as long as this system
continues as it does. Thank you. [Applause]


  1. Missy V
    Missy V September 15, 2017

    Around approx. 15:00 on up to about 19:30…can't get enough of tearing apart the political highjacking and misinterpretation of Darwin nor the incredibly inverted narrow sightedness of Malthus.

  2. The Compassionate World
    The Compassionate World September 15, 2017

    Wow, this is one of Peter's best lectures. But let me be a bit more direct. Let's always call it capitalism as the only term that should be used for complete clarity, and then say that central banking must be dismantled and replaced with a resource-based economy. The main reason for this dramatic change that Peter did not acknowledge because he probably has not heard this quote.

    Prof. Stephen Hawking: “A more immediate danger is runaway climate change. A rise in ocean temperature would melt the ice-caps, and cause a release of large amounts of carbon dioxide from the ocean floor. Both effects could make our climate like that of Venus, with a temperature of 250 degrees.”

    Again, a hard bluntness: Our species must dismantle capitalism or mindless industrialization will kill the entire planet. Money must be disconnected from Earth's Resources so that civlization can move to the scientific management of Earth that benefits every human.

  3. The Compassionate World
    The Compassionate World September 15, 2017

    One example of how our social structures control behavior: Do you really think a banker wants to foreclose on a home a family lives in? The banker's innate compassion of just being human, his heart, is turned off when he walks into his bank. His preformatted mind takes over with the rules, laws, and protocols embedded into the social structure of money. These laws will then dictate the banker's behavior and he will foreclose on a family for the social structure. We need to dismantle these laws that distort our mental consciousness and prevent us from being compassionate humans – our real nature. Just look at any 5-year-old kid.

  4. Brandon Bakhtiar
    Brandon Bakhtiar September 15, 2017

    I hope our policy makers start to appreciate Peter's points. It will probably take mass demonstrations beyond those against the Vietnam war.

  5. akbrs
    akbrs September 15, 2017

    Brilliant talk

  6. Rivonautas
    Rivonautas September 15, 2017

    Keep it up, good work pete!

  7. James Skinner
    James Skinner September 15, 2017

    Please please please can some one point me to this "creative initiative" that is happening now. Are there actually skilled workers designing a lay out and are about to start construction soon on creating this "structure". Because there are thousands of people wanting to transition to say a "Holistic structure" of society, the activist arm is constant and nobody seems to know how to actually get started. A lot of what might be and what could be, but not so much on the how to start.

  8. J Rhoads
    J Rhoads September 15, 2017

    Yay! PJ knocks it out of the park yet again.

  9. flchange
    flchange September 15, 2017

    Peter, congratulations!!! I am writing from Argentina. Been following your work from your first movie all the way thru now. I love the concept of RBE and truly believe it is the only path for humanity and our planet. Keep up the great work! We love you!

    LIQUIDSNAKEz28 September 15, 2017

    This sounds like commie propaganda to me

  11. Imper 5
    Imper 5 September 15, 2017

    Together with Jaques Fresco, this is the greatest thinker of our time.
    Always a pleasure to hear this guy.
    A pity his videos don´t have millions of views,the oppressive capitalist system and its mainstream media, is successful for now, in keeping people in ignorance.

  12. Lll Nnn
    Lll Nnn September 15, 2017

    Peter please consider debating Ben Shapiro.

  13. VeracityMedia
    VeracityMedia September 15, 2017

    Peter is the epitome of, as the young-lings like to say, "woke af"

  14. Sebloe
    Sebloe September 15, 2017

    Peter, please wear a Victorian gown for your next talk! Really good work by the way. Interesting to see how you have developed your approach in conveying such complex ideas and understandings.

  15. gofres
    gofres September 15, 2017

    It's so refreshing listening to Peter's talks. It's how I wish politics operated, in a calm, rational, logical and collected way of looking at the world, it's issues, and possible solutions. When i look at politicians, all I see is a bunch of 10 year old arguing about what colour is the best.
    It would be nice to think that someday, humans will become rational enough to see past our differences, and realistically attempt to solve our problems. However, realistically I don't think this will happen in my lifetime so long as money, politics and power remain the leading forces of society.

  16. Fernando Almeida
    Fernando Almeida September 16, 2017

    Top moments:
    First (about the problem):
    Second (about solutions):

  17. Corey Grandmaison Archive
    Corey Grandmaison Archive September 16, 2017

    Love this presentation. I've been waiting for a faster deeper dive (a bit more advanced) for some time. I love all of PJ's interviews and presentations as well as many of the other day presenters but somehow this video scratched an itch that I've had for a long time. Made today something more then it was. Much love to you all working to make the world a better place. We are the sustainable culture.

  18. blowera1
    blowera1 September 16, 2017

    Where's the Q & A?

  19. Lama Jigme Gyatso: the Rational Contemplative
    Lama Jigme Gyatso: the Rational Contemplative September 16, 2017

    well done Peter 👍

  20. FaF
    FaF September 16, 2017

    If a high iq is representative of a persons ability to successfully navigate and benefit from a system of cruelty and exploitation and never question the validity of the system itself… THATS NOT BRAIN POWER, IT'S BRAIN DAMAGE!!!!

  21. Edgar Mirth
    Edgar Mirth September 16, 2017

    imho, the most valuable person to the species outlining major problems that need to be corrected….soon, if not yesterday….as fat asshole swivels in his chair and plays with his phone. That's unfortunately why we're most likely fucked.

  22. Randall Aamot
    Randall Aamot September 16, 2017

    8:00 to 10:00 mark…Yo!!!!

  23. Dan Campbell
    Dan Campbell September 16, 2017

    This was masterful. It should be considered summary and supplement to A New Human Rights Movement.

  24. Mont Blanc
    Mont Blanc September 16, 2017

    Indefinite economic growth on a finite planet is an impossibility. The reason a human baby leaves the womb is because he or she is outgrowing the carrying capacity. All humans have the same needs, the need for clean air, clean water, arable land, love, nutritious food, relevant education and safety. If an economy provided for human needs as it should then sustainability would follow not long after. We need a world that shares ideas, solves problems and bridges the differences between nations. Anything less than that will create lesser human beings and problems for all of us. We will eventually need to intelligently manage earth's resources like how the nervous system in our bodies operates without the use of money. It would be an artificial nervous system for homeostatic control. We need to look after nature's gifts – these are priceless and the best that money can't buy. Everyone should be a shareholder.

  25. Mont Blanc
    Mont Blanc September 16, 2017

    Yes, humans are wired to care about themselves first – this is called self-interest. The monetary system amplifies this self-interest but even then we still cooperate to a limited extent. However, in a resource based economy, the infrastructure is set up so that self-interest AND social interest reinforce each other continuously. In order to help yourself, you need to help society. This is accomplished by removing the interference factor which is money and having an artificial nervous system with which we interact with. Think of people living in an apartment block, it serves no purpose for a resident living in that block to take the mains power out as that only removes the power for him as well. Same thing with a resource based economy. We ALL depend on the health of planet.

  26. Mont Blanc
    Mont Blanc September 16, 2017

    Most jobs are boring as hell. People don't want a job and a paycheck. What they want is what the job can provide! And that is free access to the necessities of life. And we can do that today. Look, an automated, vertical farm can output far more than any individual can with his own two hands. A machine can not eat money and nor can a human being. We have the knowledge and creativity to DESIGN the environment in everyone's favour. This is what Jacque meant by a redesign of a culture. We can now produce an abundance and give it away in an intelligent resource management system. With robotics, automation and Artificial Intelligence in full swing looking after the environment, we can all go back to school, play or travel. Do you honestly think life was all about working for money?!? Haha, they did a good job on you.

  27. II
    II September 16, 2017

    Why can't you get the fucking sound right?

  28. Mont Blanc
    Mont Blanc September 16, 2017

    Life is about survival, yes, but it doesn't have anything to do with money and prices. Abiogenesis did not spark life on earth with the aid of money. You won't find money in the table of chemical elements. You can't put money in the fuel tank of your automobile. It's a distribution tool. I'm not interested in politics, I'm interested in ideas and problem resolution. An economy should be about providing for human needs and looking after the environment to which it depends on. Look at the nervous system in your body, all the cells get whatever the hell they need to survive in a homeostatic control system and it doesn't use money. I think if the world shared ideas rather than kept it to themselves through patents, we could let science and technology move quickly in everyone's benefit.

  29. Mont Blanc
    Mont Blanc September 16, 2017

    Indefinite economic growth on a finite planet is an impossibility. The reason a human baby leaves the womb is because he or she is outgrowing the carrying capacity. All humans have the same needs, the need for clean air, clean water, arable land, love, nutritious food, relevant education and safety. If an economy provided for human needs as it should then sustainability would follow not long after. We need a world that shares ideas, solves problems and bridges the differences between nations. Anything less than that will create lesser human beings and problems for all of us. We will eventually need to intelligently manage earth's resources like how the nervous system in our bodies operates without the use of money. It would be an artificial nervous system for homeostatic control. We need to look after nature's gifts – these are priceless and the best that money can't buy. Everyone should be a shareholder.

  30. Travis Grant
    Travis Grant September 16, 2017

    Supporters and contributors to The Zeitgeist Movement maybe interested in a project I contribute to: The Auravana Project (the design specification for what is a stable and healthy society).

  31. Gaia Coop
    Gaia Coop September 16, 2017

    Amazing as always. However, I would like to see Peter's mind to use not in the continuous arguing for the RBE and against the current socioeconomic model, but rather for the step-bystep processes needed to achieve the construction of the first RBE city, as that is what is needed (it seems to me at least) at this point in the transition.

  32. ozwhistles
    ozwhistles September 16, 2017

    Well put Peter! .. I think it would help your cause to look more closely at the limits of stable social groupings.
    "Dunbar's number" seems to be an absolute which must be configured into any new stable social structure.
    It is my observation that over-crowding leads to class structures, which are abusive by definition.
    You might also benefit by looking at inequality and abuse as a self-reinforcing feedback loop rather than a linear causal dynamic.
    IF you want to create a new economic structure, I suggest you start by disrupting the abuse feedback loop.
    This might first be done by setting-up nurturing communities which conform to the Dunbar limit and network these communities in a way that evades abuse and actively provides the nurture/healing dynamic as part of these social units. A contagious healing structure.

    In the past, religion has been used to do this. It has failed.
    We need a structural alternative based on reality, not dogma.
    I am in awe of your progress on these matters over the last decade – and excited to observe the evolving maturity of your ideas.

  33. Vincent Zetta
    Vincent Zetta September 17, 2017

    Can we all die now ? Is that too much to ask. Fuck I'm depressed.

  34. Bari Ruberg
    Bari Ruberg September 17, 2017

    Thank you. But please don't quote Thornstein Veblen again we don't want to alienate people from these ideas with complex over worded language 🙂 I jest. Seriously this stuff can get a bit terminology heavy, It's rather easy for me to see are system is unfair. "Where there is division, there is confict" – Jiddu Krishnamurti. That's what the current system promotes – division. We have to get rid of the division if we are ever going to get to the new society. Stop voting. Stop consuming. And stop supporting the very system that is enslaving you. Thanks Peter for your work. It is very much appreciated 🙂

  35. Paul Thomas
    Paul Thomas September 17, 2017

    I could listen to Pete all night…. and to think there is any other way for our society/species to survive other than through the new human rights movement or the Zeitgeist movement is just wrong………..

  36. Titus Adeodatus
    Titus Adeodatus September 17, 2017

    Thanks for the intervention. Always good to have you Peter Joseph. The work you do is important even if you never see the change you talk about.

  37. Sam S
    Sam S September 17, 2017

    obama gave this speech (in africa, i think) where he said the world can't support everyone having a middle class lifestyle.
    send me a link if you find it.
    it shows what the “powers that be” really think- that there’s not enough resources for everyone, so they try to manage the decline of living standards for everyone except their rich friends.
    “want a great new deal? mmm, sorrynotsorry- how bout you settle for just a ‘better’ deal?"

  38. Quantum Artist
    Quantum Artist September 17, 2017

    A global revolution is needed, why not just have a global strike.

  39. John Stockwell Major Smedley Butler
    John Stockwell Major Smedley Butler September 18, 2017

    Another great talk Sir.
    IMHO we suould just begin walking away from the machine. Even if we walk in small groups at a time becoming self reliant, I wonder if we could spark a real direct acti OK n campaign?

  40. Fletcher 88
    Fletcher 88 September 18, 2017

    What I would give to see him live… 5yrs ago I found the 1st zeitgeist & since then, I don't see the world the same way anymore… Peter Joseph is a gift for the psychology of human beings… KEEP UP THE GOOD FIGHT!!!

  41. Nicholas Peter
    Nicholas Peter September 18, 2017

    Too bad he refuses to talk to YouTube channels that don't agree with him 100%

    How can he expect to reach new people, who are already against the entire concept of government, if he doesn't try to reach them.

    He will go on the bought and paid for The Young Turks. But not Press for Truth or The Corbett Report.

  42. Singingway
    Singingway September 18, 2017

    why didn't they have a camera in front of him? would've made it easier to share with people to whom these ideas are new…

  43. Singingway
    Singingway September 18, 2017

    Is there any online forum where people discuss and create new social and governing systems?

  44. Singingway
    Singingway September 18, 2017

    re: neolithic revolution — read the Clan of the Cave Bear series by historian Jean Auel. This author adds into the hunter-gatherer changes, the change from matriarchal lineage which emphasized equal and complimentary male-female partnerships, to patriarchal lineage, ownership of children, and domination and exploitation of women.

  45. Singingway
    Singingway September 18, 2017

    I'd like to see TZM partner with the Green Party and create a shadow government,a working governance model which will be ready to coordinate and step in, when the current system implodes…

  46. Jim Hewes
    Jim Hewes September 19, 2017

    This may be the wrong place to ask, but the registration for the Zeitgeist Movement website has not been working. How does one get in touch with others in your local area? Are there any actions being done or is it just talk?

  47. warhol20000
    warhol20000 September 20, 2017

    Post-scarcity society: a society where people are focused on creating enough for everyone, as opposed to exploiting the fact that people don't have things.
    Great words Peter!

  48. Umm iThinkiAm
    Umm iThinkiAm September 20, 2017

    "Weak" and "Strong" should be reversed!  21:15

  49. eXtremeDR
    eXtremeDR September 21, 2017

    The first order problem still remains: The one with the most advanced weapons/army gets it all, regardless of regulations, laws and words.

    “And advanced forms of biological warfare that can target specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool." – The Project for a New American Century, Rebuilding America’s Defenses, p. 60, Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz

  50. abr cae
    abr cae September 21, 2017

    Hi, Peter,
    whenever i'm engaged in discussions about politics, economy, society etc. i'll find myself being one of very few people that actually know you and even be interested in your work. i really think that your work is highly valuable but yet hard to grasp for mediocre english speakers. therefore i'd like to know what you think about me doing a translation into german ( speaking about subtitles).
    thanks and regards from germany

  51. mountaingoat1003
    mountaingoat1003 September 21, 2017

    This is a great lecture!  I love Peter Joseph's work.

    Great to hear.

  52. Ewald Eicher
    Ewald Eicher September 22, 2017

    Democratise Europe!
    The EU will either be democratised or it will disintegrate!

  53. kyle eaton
    kyle eaton September 24, 2017

    I thank everyone in the world who happened to make it to this video and listened somehow. You people are the real family.

  54. paradigmdashed
    paradigmdashed September 24, 2017

    it is beyond me that anyone listen to what this man has to say, in this and any of his other material, and argue against it.. even more baffling are those who outright dismiss the message.. my instinct is to rage, say, "what an idiot you are!" and immediately roll up my intellectual sleeves and prepare for a battle.. but then i remind myself, well wait, if peter joseph, in all his articulation and cited sources and research, can't get through to the keepers of the status quo, than who am i to waste my breath.. it really is sad when you think about it.. to be so brainwashed, you can't even accept or even hear new information? what a truly pathetic existence..

  55. Oscar Veliz
    Oscar Veliz September 24, 2017

    PJ on point as always 👍🏼

    Would love to see him get more mainstream coverage

  56. edvolve
    edvolve September 25, 2017

    I wonder if most of the audience here are new to hearing from Peter.

  57. VindoViper
    VindoViper September 26, 2017

    i have respect for a lot of things Peter has to say, 'Bio-psycho-social' is a stretch though mate, doesn't sound credible.

  58. Youssef Almkari
    Youssef Almkari September 26, 2017

    Brilliant as ever. I agree with the community here that Peter is one of the most over-looked intellectuals of our time. I have no doubt the future will look back at his archive and will repeatedly face palm on how the current zeitgeist was so ignorant to the reality of our current system. With time and effort my friends.

  59. Aurora
    Aurora September 27, 2017

    Enlightening talk as always. Capitalism needs to be reassessed and reanalyzed for the masses, and have itself abolished in due time.

  60. Commercial Art Services
    Commercial Art Services September 28, 2017

    He should be talking in much bigger rooms.

  61. abr cae
    abr cae September 29, 2017

    hey guys,
    great work, but still i wonder what you think about me doing a translation into german subtitles. would you activate subtitle edit for the community?

  62. Notmi Relnam
    Notmi Relnam October 3, 2017

    Who can sew a Victorian gown?

  63. Sun Worshiper
    Sun Worshiper October 13, 2017

    This is revelation. To hear ideas that have nebulously encircled my own imaginings of a better world be put so eloquently in proper linguistic form is indeed the very first step towards that world.

    Profound gratitude to the messenger.

  64. George Thompson
    George Thompson October 17, 2017

    Peter and all like him are revealing little popping bubbles in the cauldron of insanity known as planet earth. The details of his presentations are entertaining extra icing on the cake, but the gist has been common sense from the beginning – if one travels toward a given destination long enough, one will arrive there. It really doesn't matter how, why or when this arrival will happen anymore, the only point now is that it will and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Label it good or bad, that doesn't matter anymore either. Get strapped in as best you can, because even if you are the most privileged, luxury bunkered sociopath in the universe, you will not escape that which is neither science or religion. None flies over this cuckoo's nest.

  65. Summondadrummin
    Summondadrummin October 19, 2017


  66. wth olyf
    wth olyf October 24, 2017

    Weak and Strong are reversed 21:15

  67. ManufacturedReality
    ManufacturedReality November 19, 2017

    He's been around for about a decade now….and the channel only has 106k subs…..that's sad. 🙁

  68. Drake Santiago
    Drake Santiago November 26, 2017

    This was an engrossing presentation. While many, within scholarly circles, seek to address what truly ails society, Peter Joseph has done the best job at synthesizing their many approaches into a unified cohesive theory, and he articulates this theory in such a lucid and engaging manner. My complements to Mr. Joseph. I wish more people would be exposed to his ideas.

  69. Colum Lynch
    Colum Lynch November 28, 2017

    Peter is telling us that we are at a major crossroad for mankind of one of two paths. My fear is that we will continue with the path were on of selfdestruction dispite new technological capabilities to do otherwise. Is he a lone voice in the wilderness or is he heralding a new beginning? .

  70. BtotheDtotheF
    BtotheDtotheF December 4, 2017

    He's just a top-notch analyst and is gifted to convey this to other people so goddamn well.

  71. HudahMan 813
    HudahMan 813 December 5, 2017

    I don't believe in the "all humans are from africa" theory but I do believe no race is more "superior" than the other and that we do indeed have a common ancestor of some sort that brings all races together, maybe outside of earth tbh. who knows.

  72. HudahMan 813
    HudahMan 813 December 5, 2017

    I don't really care about the bible's interpretation of freewill. What I perceive freewill to be is that we simply have choices. They say "I pick the cup up because I'm thirsty not cause I wanted to.. Therefore do I really have freewill?" however we all know that we can choose to not drink anything even if we are thirsty, We all know that we can drink even more water after our thirst has been quenched, we can eat food after we are full, we have the choice to kill ourselves right now if we all wanted to… My point is, that trying to disprove freewill is only serving to dig people deeper and deeper in that "I'm a victim of my reality" hole and that's not good. From my perspective circumstance doesn't matter because we all have a choice who we say we are at the end of the day and we have a choice how we react to any given situation. Saying freewill doesn't exist is like saying choices don't exist which is obviously not true otherwise peter, you wouldn't have CHOSEN to make the Zeitgeist films, you wouldn't have CHOSEN to do this lecture and I wouldn't have CHOSEN to write this long ass comment.

  73. Gregor Lawrence
    Gregor Lawrence December 7, 2017

    not to sound judgmental, but did anyone else watching this wonder how the guy that shows up late wearing a flat brim ended up at a peter joseph lecture??

  74. TheCausation
    TheCausation December 7, 2017

    Outright anti-scientific denial of human biodiversity is a hallmark of crypto-Marxist ideology.

  75. Jeri Lynn
    Jeri Lynn January 3, 2018

    No person in the public today speaks the truth in such a cogent fashion as Peter Joseph. Especially impressive is the framing of his argument for structural change as a public health issue,

  76. Tommy1
    Tommy1 January 16, 2018

    evolution is slow………………………………………………………….

  77. brotherinbooks
    brotherinbooks January 23, 2018

    Great speech. The fear for most people stems from the believe that if they stop consuming, the economy will collapse and consequentially, they will lose their jobs and their livelihood. As such, there will always be a growing pressure to stimulate demand.

  78. sedeslav
    sedeslav January 31, 2018

    "Not matter how much millions of dollars you have , you still can eat one breakfest, one dinner and one supper a day." (Dražen Petrović- basketball player in NBA)

  79. JD Ickshot
    JD Ickshot February 7, 2018

    It's nice to hear this guy speak without Stefan Molyneux continually interrupting him :D.

  80. Cat April Watters
    Cat April Watters March 3, 2018

    That's right,, we live in Social, Health climate change,, where health and basic sanity has been so deteriorated, that now, just being sane is like having a Phd. That should not be. The same goes for when people say, "Go to Therapy",, as if Only people with an "advanced" degree should know how to have the basic relationships skills of listening, validating and just being there for someone. Those are basic skills ANY person should have and yet, we've assigned them to people with "phd's" so we could turn it into a $ when it should be free!

  81. Cat April Watters
    Cat April Watters March 3, 2018

    We are in a Raging Health Crisis. Arrested development is the "norm". It should not be rocket Science that we should be aligning and turning to nature and health and how they work and yet, fake $ seems to have taken too much of a hold on people falsely believing it has the real value instead of what really does.

  82. Cat April Watters
    Cat April Watters March 3, 2018

    I "grew up" in abuse not just in the "home" but, ignorant neighbors and relatives who Bailed out the Abuser like the banks. The scaled down version of the larger system. I fought my entire life trying to get people to accept the basic fact that, to grow to be a healthy, mature, full potential adult you needed to be brought up right. That should Not be rocket science, and yet, because that basic truth makes people uncomfortable they dismissed it. I can't tell you how many people had the attitude of "just get over it", wave the magic wand and you're supposed to just turn out Responsible out of the clear blue sky. Their idea, of turning out "good', however, was just getting a job and having kids instead of living to one's potential like I was trying to tell them we all ad a right to be. Not just be a slave, ignorant with a job.
    As long as people think just having a Job is all there is to being an "adult", having such a low bar, then, instead of living to one's fullest health and potential, then what? If they had to admit that children needed to be raised healthy then they would need to look in the mirror and take responsibility for actually raising someone to their fullest instead of the bar the system sets.

  83. foolioay
    foolioay March 7, 2018

    Oh goody… Communism redefined for the information age!

    design= central planning (with computers);
    culture can only be linked to environment = why not make the new soviet man?
    Market economics is the enemy of society = don't even need to translate that one.
    None of this is going to come naturally = Viva La Revolution, Comrade!

    Sure, he doesn't advocate gulags, but neither did the reds, at first. What do you do when half the society refuses to go along with the new value system? How do you convince 300 million people ( or 7 billion) that the desire to exchange the fruits of their labors for an equal or greater value (to themselves – value is subjective) of the fruits of someone else's labor is immoral? If the changes he seems to think need to occur are to ever actually occur, it can only happen through societal evolution and the natural development of a new economic model through the development of new technology (just like the agricultural revolution he blames for all the misery in the world) – forcing the change will result in the murder of millions to make way for the new order. We've seen it before.

  84. TheIncomeBuilders
    TheIncomeBuilders March 13, 2018

    This Toronto group offers an ideas exchange for online projects, socio-political action, digital activism, alternative financial strategies & a critical world view – pass on the info so people can join

  85. Douglas Kay
    Douglas Kay March 13, 2018

    If there is one homeless person, one person without good health care, one person going hungry then that society is a failure. It is nothing to do with right and left but all to do with good government.

  86. Gioachino Rossini
    Gioachino Rossini March 25, 2018

    Very interesting talk. I wonder what he thinks about race realism?

  87. Clean Water Nasenyi Uganda
    Clean Water Nasenyi Uganda March 29, 2018

    Space age communism!

  88. Wayne Davis
    Wayne Davis April 25, 2018

    put your money were your mouth is and burn your money , in a public out cry,and start your movement that way,not possible
    ,you need money firstly to fight the capitalist system and lots of it,then start your utopia.

  89. I. Kaminskiy
    I. Kaminskiy May 4, 2018

    so much knowledge here!

  90. I. Kaminskiy
    I. Kaminskiy May 4, 2018

    thank you!

  91. Mark Arandjus
    Mark Arandjus June 18, 2018

    I find Peter Joseph quite unlikable, but he's so damn right I easily looks past that.

  92. Vincenzo
    Vincenzo August 9, 2018

    Countless universities, including the Ivies (personal experience) teach so-called "Western Civilization," including Locke, Hobbes, Malthus and Mill; hence, they turn out to be nothing but propaganda purveyors for the status quo of unequal dog-eat-dog societies in the west. This is hardly the promotion of independent critical thinking, but rather is the initial inculcation into our capitalist social structure. It's no wonder that so many intelligent college students diverge from their gut instincts and interests and end up in banking/financial "services."

  93. Hypnofunk
    Hypnofunk November 15, 2018

    Tons and tons of respect for your continuing patience and will to plow on through

  94. Carlo Rossi
    Carlo Rossi December 6, 2018

    Watching peter joseph is more exciting than watching youporn

  95. Cole Turner
    Cole Turner December 11, 2018

    Great job Peter! But you need to “dumb down” and simplify these concepts if you wish the mainstream to catch on to these ideas.
    I’m aware that this is much easier said than done, as the points are very deep and nuanced. Jacque Fresco had this ability though, which I guess he developed from decades of debating people.

  96. Matthew
    Matthew January 31, 2019

    Peter needs to do a solid speech for the masses in every university and library in every US city simultaneously with 3D hologram technology.

  97. kaxitaksi
    kaxitaksi March 13, 2019

    31 neocons don't like this..

  98. Oberon Pan
    Oberon Pan April 8, 2019

    I want to live in a world in which wealth is measured by how much stuff you DON'T have.

  99. Oberon Pan
    Oberon Pan April 8, 2019

    PJ claims at the beginning of the talk to refuse to repeat his lectures then proceeds to repeat his lecture. LOL!

  100. The Neverending Fallacy
    The Neverending Fallacy May 27, 2019

    An intellectual who really wants to do something. Peter Joseph and "his" movement is so needed.

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