Placeholder Image

字幕表 動画を再生する

  • [Intro Music]

  • The Empire Files .

  • The Empire Files with Abby Martin

  • [Abby] Peter Joseph is the founder of The Zeitgeist Movement,

  • the grassroots worldwide organization that advocates an alternative economic system

  • based on sustainability, cooperation and human need.

  • His most recent book 'The New Human Rights Movement'

  • delivers a startling expose' about the violent oppression that defines our economic order

  • while issuing an urgent call for global activism to unite to replace it.

  • I sat down with Joseph to talk about the contradictions and crises of capitalism

  • and what he advocates to save the future of the planet from catastrophe.

  • Peter you have a very interesting background

  • having worked both in advertising and equity trading.

  • Let's talk about advertising first.

  • What function does this industry serve in today's society?

  • [Peter] The best way to explain that is to look at the fact that our economy

  • is based on consumption,

  • and advertising is the arm of creating artificial demand.

  • And without that arm - and it's so polluted as you know,

  • I can't even imagine what the world be like without advertising -

  • but without that arm

  • you wouldn't have people aspiring to things that are highly irrational,

  • abused by our social inclusion.

  • When advertising presents something into the community

  • that seems to be something that some people want

  • it spreads like a virus and then everybody wants it

  • because it's an issue of social inclusion which is a part of our biology,

  • because that's how we identify.

  • We identify and define ourselves by how others see us

  • and how we are included in the group.

  • So it manipulates our most primal sense of humanity

  • in order to sell things, and again back to my original point:

  • if you didn't have that arm

  • in our consumption-based society since the Industrial Revolution,

  • the economy would collapse.

  • That's a very unique point to make because

  • when you first start an economy of this nature

  • like in the agrarian society and then in the handicraft industry, you're MEETING demand right?

  • That's the point! and that makes sense.

  • But at some point this kernel seed had to change

  • because when you have such a highly efficient productive society that we have now,

  • at least in the technical sense,

  • (not in a distribution sense because we have poverty and all that)

  • at least in the technical sense of what we can create, the efficiency, abundance,

  • you have to have demand CREATED now.

  • And that's basically the kernel seed of one of the central flaws

  • of market economics, your capitalism,

  • that has come to fruition today.

  • Not only in destroying human psychology

  • but destroying the environment simultaneously

  • because you have an insatiable culture that's been literally generated!

  • And as I detail in my book, in the National Association of Manufacturers

  • in the 20th century, they were actually arguing

  • that consumerism was the best defense against communism and totalitarianism.

  • They had this incredible PR campaign that went on for,

  • well it still goes on really but it's echoes of the original intent

  • to transform society into one that just wants to buy and consume,

  • and then progress of course being defined by what we produce,

  • the more stuff we produce, the more you buy the more you own:

  • that must be progress now!

  • - It's an incredibly disturbing,

  • just realization that this does nothing to benefit society,

  • in fact it's just literally

  • created to keep society afloat, the economy afloat.

  • - Yeah, it's a kind of cultural violence.

  • The more people promote consumeristic values,

  • vain materialistic values, the more they want, more and more

  • this and that, the more they flaunt that kind of phenomenon,

  • the more they create what is termed by Johan Galtung "cultural violence."

  • Because if you create a society that thrives in this type of self-identification

  • you're basically also promoting not only the destruction of the environment

  • but the diminishment of others because you're saying that

  • "I can afford this, I have the status, and I'm better for that,

  • and this person can't."

  • And we see that phenomenally amplified today in the modern world

  • with the "winning" community and our lovely president and his rhetoric.

  • It also carries over into misogyny and everything else as I'm sure you know.

  • Fairly recently he said

  • "We want to have rich people in charge of the economy

  • because clearly they must be good at it!"

  • So we have a complete absence of "where's the sympathy?"

  • Where is the actual binding

  • purpose of an economy which is to provide for everyone ideally?

  • No. So the sickness has become increasingly more palpable.

  • I often wonder what a world would be like without advertising,

  • which would be a world without marketing and markets.

  • And I can tell you it would be a whole lot different

  • and far more peaceful and sustainable and

  • amiable, and just humane than what we see today.

  • - From an insider's perspective how exactly does the stock market work?

  • The stock market is a proxy system that was developed-...

  • It was contrived out of the original foundation which

  • were a board of directors for a company, so a bunch of people,

  • each have a million dollars, they get together, they invest say 10 of them,

  • $10 million into a company and then they get dividends, right?

  • That made basic sense, you know, years ago.

  • But someone said "You know what? I want to sell this stock

  • and this guy's gonna buy it from me for a little bit more and I make money off of that."

  • And then suddenly the exchange system began.

  • And slowly but surely, the idea of selling artificial shares of nothing effectively,

  • became a means of making money.

  • I call it drone warfare economics.

  • It's just like people that drive drones.

  • They don't see any kind of humanity as they drop bombs across the world.

  • The people that trade the stock market have no idea what they're doing

  • when they're shorting say the currency of some small country,

  • effectively contributing to that country's decline.

  • But back to your question, it started off as an innocuous kind of investment strategy

  • and then it moved into this thing where you have

  • people artificially trading things for no other purpose.

  • 83% of all stocks are owned by 1% of the population.

  • It is one giant money-making machine for the elite.

  • And the financialization of it all because financial services had become so large,

  • and the money! Only 5% of the US population is in financial services yet

  • 30% of all GDP is taken by that,

  • and that doesn't even count for all the growth over the years

  • that is attributed that we know to the upper 1%, upper 10%.

  • So this is one of the most powerful political centers now simultaneously.

  • And it's truly despotic that you have

  • effectively the most powerful and profitable system on the planet now,

  • one that creates nothing!

  • It's there to simply make money out of money.

  • So it's a cancerous disease.

  • It's what happens in financially mature nations that have

  • pretty much run out of the angling required to keep

  • as maximizing profits in a given industry,

  • so instead they move to financialization

  • and then it moves into all sorts of other despotic things like

  • dead peasants insurance.

  • These are companies like Walmart that would take out insurance on their employees

  • and get paid when they die!

  • Things like that. So it's just this commodification of everything,

  • put a dollar sign on it, no relationship to anything any more,

  • abstraction become reality once again.

  • - And high-frequency trading is almost just done with computers-...

  • - Oh yeah. When I was in trading

  • it was the start of artificial intelligence and the traders around me were like

  • "Oh man this is, it's over!"

  • Once Goldman Sachs gets their supercomputers together-...

  • Most of these companies when they trade -

  • it's just a little detail some will find interesting -

  • the amount of time they're in a trade is pretty much seconds

  • because they're fronting other orders,

  • because that's what these companies can do; in other words

  • they're trading tiny little spreads of pennies

  • but with heavy amounts of shares in front of other orders.

  • And then they use computers to do this.

  • And then they can generate literally millions of dollars off of fractions of time

  • spent in and out of the market on a

  • giant micro processing level.

  • Anyone that thinks today especially that

  • Wall Street isn't rigged needs to wake up because

  • there's no way artificial intelligence isn't dominating.

  • It's pretty much all the big investment banks with their artificial intelligence

  • versus other people's artificial intelligence at this point.

  • There's no there's no rhyme or reason to it when it comes to human perception.

  • So in effect you have this giant money-making machine

  • that the public has been roped into

  • such as their retirement

  • and all the things, the IRAs that for some reason are now connected to the market.

  • The market is inflationary-driven which gives it its artificial sense of progress,

  • meaning the more money that we pump into our society

  • the more it goes into the market, the more it keeps rising.

  • So yeah, if you put in your retirement into the stock market

  • it will probably rise.

  • It'll crash periodically and then people will make a fortune off of that too.

  • So anyway the whole society has been coerced into this nonsensical participation

  • that effectively holds up the most giant and powerful political subclass,

  • the financial sector,

  • and if anyone wanted to see another level of sanity emerge on this planet

  • in a step-by-step process rather than complete structural change,

  • I suggest the abolishment of Wall Street.

  • There's nothing positive about what this institution does.

  • And those that say that it's there to help investment,

  • you can invest in anything with direct money

  • without the need to go IPO.

  • The $700 billion float of Apple has nothing to do

  • with what it actually produces, at all.

  • It's just what the people are trading and buying and moving the stock around;

  • it's just a game,

  • and it's too bad that people are so ignorant about that.

  • It's a siphoning machine that is taking basically money from the lower class

  • and bringing it to the upper class through different mechanisms.

  • - And a lot of people who are middle class/lower class don't invest in Wall Street

  • because it's just completely too abstract for them.

  • But everyone participates in debt-based currency

  • and the way that the currency operates.

  • How does it make sense that there is more debt than there is currency?

  • - That's a good question. Mainly because of the interest that's charged.

  • In capitalism every product has to have something, that makes a profit,

  • and then in the sale of money, which is what banks do,

  • they create and sell money effectively.

  • When they lower and raise interest rates

  • they're changing the price of what it's going to cost you to get money in a loan.

  • And then they produce interest obviously and that interest doesn't exist in the money supply.

  • So you have today about $200 trillion in debt in the world and about

  • $80 trillion in currency. So what does that mean?

  • It means that those that are holding the bag in the lower class

  • are the ones that get screwed when you have economic declines.

  • There are always going to be bankruptcies and things like that, that happen

  • in a kind of classism, this structural classism that I call it,

  • that effectively hurts the lower class.

  • And the fact that people don't see that either- I mean that goes back 5,000 years.

  • It has been in lockstep of something else that we're familiar with called slavery!

  • So debt peonage, slavery, convict leasing.

  • Even today in certain areas of Asia

  • they have debt that's passed through generations,

  • from farmer to child,

  • and that child has to continue working off its father's debt

  • and effectively a kind of post-neofuedalism.

  • So this phenomenon is there,

  • and it's unfortunate that more people don't see the actual

  • intrinsic problem of debt.

  • And the solution to that,

  • you can argue that you could get rid of a debt-based currency and so on,

  • and I've had many conversations with people about that

  • but the question is: why hasn't it happened?

  • Because it's intrinsic to the function of capitalism.

  • And it's not even that they act insidiously,

  • it's just what their job is.

  • Their job is to make money on nothing and sell it to people

  • and then when the people can't pay it they take their property.

  • And that property goes- it's just another funneling system.

  • Here's another thing I'll mention.

  • All the money that's made in the world

  • comes from the lower class taking loans.

  • So, right now less than 63% of Americans have a thousand dollars in savings.

  • Yet the lower class, that same subclass

  • is what takes on all the major loans:

  • home loans, car loans. That money comes in,

  • the people buy all this stuff,

  • and then that money that's spent goes basically right back

  • up to the upper class again.

  • Because as we know from the growth of the past ten years

  • all of the major income has gone to the upper ten,

  • 5 to 10 percent.

  • So it's even worse now, so you see my point?

  • The people take on all the loans of the entire collective money in society

  • and then that money is extracted through