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- So, welcome to Tribeca Cinemas
And we are here to answer any questions regarding
"Zeitgeist Moving Forward" and we're here with The Venus Project
our New York chapter coordinator
and you are also our New York chapter coordinator.
I'm not sure... We haven't given a categorization yet, have we?
- We're co-coordinators... - Co-coordinators, very beautiful.
I figured as much.
And open to any questions you guys have to ask.
(Interviewer #1) The third film is very ambitious and very radical.
How do you think that it could become a reality
when you step outside into the city and you see the condition.
Take a city like New York, for instance. You look at the skyline
you look at the people, you look at the piles of trash.
How do you think that we can really transition?
How realistically speaking, what do you think is...?
- Well, there's two angles of transition:
There's the physical transition and then there's the cultural transition.
And out of both sides, the latter is much more complex.
The physical transition, rebuilding of buildings:
this is all technically feasible. It's provably and scientifically concrete
that we can do much more advanced things with extreme high efficiency.
So the physical transition isn't a problem to me at all.
It's the cultural transition. It's the people that are locked
into this system. It's the people that identify so dogmatically
that they feel that anything that alters their sense of identity
is an attack on them. And often
people identify with social systems.
They want to believe that their social systems are for them
just like they want to believe that their governments are for them.
Just like they want to believe that marketing and advertising
or corporations like Apple Computer
has a huge following of people that identify strongly.
Same thing goes for corporations and social systems.
So we have the "free market". We live in "freedom" and "democracy"
and these words have resonant meanings with people
whatever you want to define them as. It's a whole different subject
because of the ambiguity of what people have been conditioned
to believe those words mean. Point being, the cultural transition
is by far the most difficult. We have to educate people
on what it means to be sustainable, and get them to understand the need
to identify with that for their own purposes
for the reasoning of their own survival
the survival of their kids and their grand-kids.
To give it a more concrete definition
of time span or technical transition
once you have enough people that believe in this
then you begin to slowly change certain environments
and certain regions to more sustainable practices
more sustainable practices not only regarding industry
but also what people actually do or engage in.
And then slowly the system will shift and then hopefully that will spread.
One more thing I'll add though is that there will be a social breakdown
which has already been underway for many decades
which people don't seem to reconcile or pay attention to
such as the continual doubling of poverty
the tremendous suffering, the extreme class division
the onslaught of all sorts of mental diseases, neuroses
and many things covered in the film as a result literally of this system.
These things are eventually going to come to a head, when people
will step back and finally say, "We can't do this anymore!"
This is affecting all of our health.
We are suffering tremendously at multiple levels.
We have energy deficiencies. We have health deficiencies.
And all of these things will come to a head to an effect where I think
eventually, slowly, they will permeate
most consciousness, and people will wake up
and realize that we have to do something new.
Either that happens or we're going to move into something
much, much worse, frankly.
(Interviewer#1) Right, and that's I think the area
that I'd like to talk about. How then would the movement
encourage people to get in front of that or get behind it?
- I feel my big influence
I say this, people find it cliché, is the American Civil Rights Movement
because it actually did work to a certain effect.
It was allowed to work, if you will
because of the fact that so many people got behind it.
The power is in critical mass. I don't believe that politicians
will do anything. To get into a position of political power
you have to navigate a certain path
that automatically creates a void
for challenging the system, to put it along with its sense.
You have to orient the status quo to even be in a position
to have a relationship with the status quo.
That's just the inevitable motion. You can't possibly have...
and if they do get in power, something will remove them from it
and that has been historically true or they're demeaned.
And the few people that are in power today in the Congress of the US
Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul
that have hints of trying to change things for the better
they get more attacked than any other politician out there.
They are stifled in their communication.
So the change will not come from any political system
and it certainly won't come from a corporate system.
You are not going to see corporations magically trying to be
actually sustainable because as I point out in the film
it is mathematically impossible for them to do so.
The entire financial system is driven by consumption
and the more consumption the better; therefore, sustainability
is intrinsically thrown out the window, and that's just one facet of it.
So the change will come from critical mass and people understanding...
Hopefully grassroots level through the Zeitgeist Movement Chapters globally
it will rise up. It will become dominant
in the sense that everyone knows about it
and eventually those status quo institutions
will have to step back and say "OK
we can no longer ignore this gigantic, global movement."
And that will be a peaceful type of interaction. Compromises will be made.
I'll just add one more thing. If things don't materialize
if things continue to get worse and worse. If things don't operate
in a relatively rational way
where people are paying attention to each other, where the governments
the United Nations, for example, says "OK. We are going to bring in
this new organization to see what they have to say
because they have hundreds of millions of people that follow it."
If that doesn't happen, then I think
certain acts of civil disobedience would be necessary.
(Interviewer#1) They are happening now. - There are, but on a global scale
not country specific. Civil disobedience on a global scale that
if any actions are taken, they are presented globally.
I think one action like that to show that there was a power to do so
would rattle the system to such an effect
that I think it could be very, very positive to get people
to finally want to listen to what we have to say, in power.
(Interviewer#1) But you take a look at all the austerity measures
that happened in Europe this past summer
and you see the protests in England and in Greece
and you see all that, and you see it in the media
the images of the firebombing from the police and the students
just the street violence that's occurring
at an alarming rate all through Europe... - Absolutely.
- And nothing is being done. - True. - Nobody cares.
People look at the images, and they don't see that it's a problem.
- They are getting used to it; they are getting numb to this.
What happens in society as the breakdown occurs
is people just start to say "Oh, that's the way it is."
They just say "That's the way it is that we have protests
or crime. That's the way it is that we have poverty."
And then generation after generation more "that's the way it is"
and everyone slowly accepts it and eventually
you have four or five, six billion people, many decades from now, starving
and they'll just say "Oh, it's our natural resources;
we don't have enough resources."
That's their conditioning to believe and that's the way it is.
So I don't advocate protest at all.
I don't believe in war protest in a direct sense.
I think it does something; I don't put it down
but I advocate actual action, so you're not going to see
the Zeitgeist Movement with signs held up in front of Congress
or anywhere in any country. That's not the point.
The point is, to actually, if there is a need
to actually do something that causes an act.
So to give a hypothetical, which I'm not advocating by the way
to show the power of critical mass
if 50% of the US population decided not to pay income taxes
there's no way the US government can prosecute all of these people.
(Int#1) I completely agree and I haven't paid income taxes in 10 years.
- So point being once the masses come together
and the strategy of divide and conquer is finally nullified
which has been with us for centuries and centuries
that's how you control people: divide them.
Once the artificial boundaries are overridden
by this core necessity of life
the life ground necessity that is talked about
life value analysis that John McMurtry describes
which is essentially implying exactly what the Venus Project is about
then people will come together and realize that we have to work
to preserve resources. We have to work to create a stable environment
for the benefit of everyone. We have to work to create equality
because of the evidence I've shown by Richard Wilkinson:
a stratified, divided society is one of the most unhealthy societies
you can possibly have and causes a vast spectrum of disease and illness.
It's scientifically proven in that sense
social science. I'm not going to say it's a technical science
but right now all stratified societies
the more stratified, the worst their health is overall
and that is something that has to be recognized.
We can't have a society that is so unhealthy when we know it's unhealthy
and hopefully people will begin to understand that and want to work
towards something that actually is in line with nature
and in line with what it takes to actually have a healthy society.
(Interviewer#2) As far as moving steps forward...
The whole design of the city as it's presented seems really...
...worthwhile but also perhaps expensive
in the first iteration, in transition from what we've got now into...
It'll be one thing once there are 50 of those cities
and people are living in a different mind-set and in a different system
for those to regenerate is one thing. How do you get the first one?
But what can people start doing so it's not purely ideas but practice
because at a local level what people respond to is a better option
an actual better option they experience as a better experience.
You win over that many more people because...
It might not be the full city the first time.
It might be aspects of it... at a community level to build towards...
I'll wait until the camera's in. I'll respond
and I'll tell Jacque the question and he can respond as well.
- We're ready to go. - OK. With respect to what communities
can do to try to inch towards this type of environment
especially with respect to the city systems
which are an intricate part to... I mean you can...
The depiction of the city system is only one depiction
and I think Jacque Fresco would point out, but it's logical.
And it just shows what you would do to make
the most efficient, energy efficient, ease of transport.
You make things localized. These are very common things
and yes, I do believe that people can do this on a local level
on a low-fi way. That's the term I use, "low-fi"
as opposed to the hi-fi technical stuff that we point out.
But it doesn't create the real resolution of applying technology
in the highest order. That's all that has to be kept in mind
and when it comes to money...
You know, Jacque, people always ask
how much will it cost to build your city.
What do you say when they ask you that question in the sense of
what's relevance of cost. Is it relevant to cost?
- No, it's not. Do we have the resources to do it?
I mean the physical resources like trucks
to deliver materials: concrete, steel...
We have more than enough resources
but we don't have enough money to do it.
So if a country goes broke
as long as they have arable land and factories
the factories close because people don't have money to buy anything
and then the factories are taken over by local governments
because people don't pay taxes on the physical equipment.
So what happens? You get a lot of confusion, and
if people have information before the breakdown, they know what to do.
During the breakdown, they riot, break windows...
This is normal for people
that can't eat, do not get enough funding
from the government to buy food. They will riot.
The government will use the army, the navy
the National Guard to put down the riots.
And since I feel most riots
will be committed by younger people, so they will make new laws:
Everybody has to be in the house by nine o'clock.
Do you understand me? That's what governments always do.
It has nothing to do with reason or logic.
It has to do with a collapsing system.
Now even the collapsing system...
The Chevy company could not compete with the Japanese companies.
So they... bailed them out.
Bailing them out does not mean sustainability.
If you bail out a company and they can't turn out a better car
an electrical car, better than the Japanese, they won't survive.
And if they don't survive
the company falls into the hands of the government.
The government doesn't know how to use those companies
so you have a lot of riots, confusion.
And during the change, many new systems will not work
and they'll blame the new system.
And the public doesn't know which way to go
so you have what they call "social chaos".
In order to put down social chaos, you have to use the army, the navy
or the National Guard to put down the chaos. That's called fascism.
But if you can't pay people, if you can't pay them a wage
which the government won't have the money to do...
See, if I were a Senator, I would immediately
cut my salary in half to show that I care.
I haven't heard that yet. I haven't heard the President say:
"I've got enough to live on. I don't want any salary.
Let it go to help people." And people would identify with him.
The banks do not think that way. Most businesses think in terms of profit;
otherwise, they wouldn't outsource. Do you understand what I mean?
If they cared for the American people...
So what they do, they ask people to join the armed services
as loyalty, although they'll get a minimum wage and food and clothing.
They will try to get larger armies to maintain control of people.
But in the meantime, in Europe, they will respond faster;
I mean because they're having a harder time than we are.
So nations will be fighting each other.
The majority and minority people
that are exploited most by this system will be the most active.
It's not going to be smooth. I always said the transition
will be the most painful thing up ahead
because just fighting for women's rights took a lot of battles
or giving them the right to vote or getting rid of child labor
in factories. That took a long time.
And when you have children working for you
you can maintain the competitive edge.
If you have to pay a higher salary, you can't maintain the competitive edge.
So if you free children, the factory goes broke
because they can't maintain the competitive edge.
All that industries want to do is contain
and maintain the competitive edge.
And if they can't do that, they will use the army and navy.
They control the army and navy. Not the wealthy people.
- Unfortunately, people aren't wise enough intellectually or emotionally
to sit back and look at society and say:
"What's wrong, where do we need to go in order to
maintain a civilization and a future for us?"
We feel it will take the breakdown as we talked about
and people losing their jobs, losing confidence in their elected leaders
and losing their homes before they'll start to look around
and say "Where do we go? What do we do?"
And even then, they won't know unless we have enough information
out there to point this direction
to point this direction out to them
because there really are no viable alternatives out there.
It's back to God
or back to the good old days or law, civil law...
So the job now, it's really critical
to get this information out there while we still can.
- I'd just add one more thing
someone brought this up last night and it's completely in line
with what you're describing, but it's another variation is that Earthships
transition towns... these community things...
These might be needed in a very short term sense as things start
to break down. (Int#2) They're not called transition towns.
- Exactly, which I have no disrespect for, but they're not a solution.
They might probably recognize that... (Int#2) A short-term solution...
- A short-term solution, but what's going to happen is:
say we all got together and we started a nice community somewhere.
Say... I don't know...the number doesn't even matter
And it's outside the city of New York, say...
-Sure, and things start to break down and we're doing great.
We've got our food grown, we're living decent...
You know what's going to happen? Those people that are starving
and displaced will come straight for whatever is working.
And that's just a natural tendency of any organism that's starving.
They'll do whatever they can, so unless you want to have men
with automatic weapons at your gates...
So it's important that people not try to find intermediate
patchwork solutions. We don't have time for that.
I have friends that are doing it right now. They're going to places
and they're growing their own food because they're so tired
of being poisoned by industry, and they understand what's happening.
But I try to explain to them that it's not the solution.
We have to work together. There's nowhere to hide, in other words.
(Interviewer#1) I think that's sort of how I feel.
I'm kind of caught in the middle, you know. - Sure.
- I could at anytime drop off the grid, you know.
I can grow potatoes in my house plants. I know how to do it.
I know how to remediate any kind of parasites...
- That's good information to have. I certainly don't put any of that down
but if we want to change, we have to change the society.
There's no way around it, especially with the growing population.
I couldn't sit back, say in my own little community village
and just watch the death of billions of people
which I am not saying is going to happen, but it's already slowly happening.
And it can only get worse based on the financial outlook and everything
that's happening with the scarcity that's being generated by this system.
(Interviewer#1) How optimistic are you that we can do this?
- It depends on how you define optimism. I think as Jacque and Roxanne
just pointed out, there's going to be a tremendous amount of suffering
because, unfortunately, people are not really rational in any direct way.
They have to feel the problem. They have to be hit with something.
You can't just tell somebody that this is happening. And believe me
out of all the work I've done for the past few years, and the things I bring up
you can't rationalize with somebody whose emotional identification
is so strong, with whatever idea that is fallacious.
You can't... You have to wait for them to experience the problem.
(Interviewer#1) And what if they don't... because we're so far gone.
- I think eventually they will though. (Int#2) This is the question
I think, and it sounds like from something you said last night
maybe you also think this way. It's going to go one of two ways:
It's either going to completely collapse on its own
the thing, the system. - I can clarify that...
- It's been happening for a long time. (Int#2) I guess what I'm saying is:
Will people do something before that in preparation
or will it just happen, and then they're just all going to be standing...
- Most people are not going to have anything. (Int#2) Most people
are not going to do anything. - I can refer to the last depression
the '29 crash. I remember that wealthy people
that had yachts, had their yachts stacked with food.
They were ready to leave the country.
If they succeeded, pirates would form
of other people and they take their yachts away from them.
You can't live to yourself anymore. Only they don't realize it.
Even though they have guns on the boat
once that happens, piracy, it's very hard to control.
You generate thousands of people forming groups
invading coop communities that don't want anything to do with the system.
And they start coop growth and they're eating, so they will invade them.
If you have your own little farm, and you say "Well, the hell with people!
I'm growing my own chickens. I'm raising food for my family."
They will invade your farms. You can't live to yourself anymore.
But knowing that will not cause people
to come around and say "That's logical and reasonable."
People are neither logical nor reasonable.
They'll kill each other, take what they can and form lots of gangs.
I don't know whether we'll ever see the Venus Project. I don't know that.
It depends on how many people can identify with it.
They look to me and say "Jacque, when will you build these new cities?
I'd like to move in." I said "It depends on what you do and other people."
We have no power. We can only point to a direction.
The only direction that'll save society, as I understand it
is to share all the earth's resources
to remove all the artificial boundaries that separate people
and to bring in a Resource-Based Economy
where we share resources. If this comes about...
or I can address the United Nations and point these things out.
They're trying to set up a meeting to do that. If I can point out
if the nations join together now, before the collapse
the severe collapse, join together, share resources
they can maintain a degree of sustainability.
When other people use the word "sustainability", I say "For whom?
The banks? Wall Street? Who do you want to sustain?
If you want to sustain everybody, they're not interested."
So they control the media, they control the press, the newspapers...
(Interviewer#1) That's changing a lot though.
- Sure, it is, we can see that. (Int #1) I mean they're also going to stop it.
And I know this, I know this for a fact. They're going to shut it down.
What we do... They're not psyched. What he does...
They are not psyched that people are aware. You know people who are...
- Oh, believe me, I completely understand... (Int. #1) This shit's got to go!
- Think about the period like when you grew up, Jacque
when all you ever got was a newspaper about how the world worked.
Complete control of the medias. You had no outlet, even no television.
We have a very different world
and they've been doing their best to figure out how to try and continue
their positions of control, just as any government does.
(Interviewer #1) Well, I mean their neutrality will go.
- We'll see what happens.The only problem with that
is that there's so much money being made on the Internet right now.
It interferes with commerce. (Int#1) And this is exactly why
somebody like Murdoch and Jobs
have decided to create their own daily-paper. - Sure.
(Interviewer #1) This is exactly why this is happening.
There's no other reason for the merger of these two assholes, really.
- One thing I want to comment, I'm sorry to interrupt you
on the point of breakdown before I forget, is that a lot of people say:
"Oh, well when is the breakdown going to occur?" I'm like:
"You've been living through the breakdown for at least 40 years
the onslaught of more diseases, of more poverty, of more..."
Well, not necessarily more wars per se
but the anticipation of many more wars
the onslaught of resource depletion, the onslaught of...
virtually everything, every life support system going into decline.
This is what it is, and people just keep saying to themselves
as I've said "That's the way it is."
We have more starving people on the planet than ever before
and that's only going to get worse. It can't possibly get better.
With what's happening right now, there's more debt.
The only thing that has magnified this now is the debt collapse.
That's really because it brings it to an optimized focus
that the public still never would have thought of prior.
And most people today still think that we're going to recover.
There isn't going to be an economic recovery from this point on
if the monetary system game is adhered to.
And that's what people need to understand... (Int#1) According to America...
- Well, globally though. If the monetary system of the global market
which is what it is... I mean, the American philosophy
and the virus of the cancer of capitalism have permeated the entire world.
There's no one that can escape. Those that even claim to be socialist
are just capitalist. I mean to provide, say, free education:
someone's paying for it. It's still being paid for.
There's still money in every facet of motivation in the system.
And, one small aside, that I want to just throw out there
and this notion of sustainability: I read a book recently
and they use the term "sustainable business".
And it was the most comedic thing I've ever heard.
It was written by this very prominent wealthy environmentalist
and he was trying to explain how business can be sustainable.
How can you possibly have sustainability in a paradigm, in an approach
where you have organizations in competition with each other
that can't produce anything of high quality because of the need
to have cost efficiency and preserve market share and cut corners at all times?
How can you have sustainability when all industries are all for themselves
and they're only worried about the resources and everything that relates to them
and they have no symbiotic or synergistic relationship to anything else?
How can you have sustainability when they're obviously polluting
and keep polluting on some level or another
because it's framed in the network, excuse me, it's framed in the context
of the establishment, which means they have to cut costs. Excuse me...
framed in the context of the monetary system when they have to cut costs;
so they can't possibly have output of efficiency, meaning:
You have to have landfills. No one can afford proper disposal.
No one can afford to do all the things that are really necessary.
No one can care about having sustainable goods
nor is it possible to have sustainable goods
in order to keep the consumption going. So I laughed comedically
when I was reading this entire book on sustainable business
because it's completely relative. They make it a little bit more sustainable.
They say "Oh, we're going to recycle a few more things."
His name is Hawken, Paul Hawken.
He's a very famous economist/ecologist. "Economist" might not be
the right word, and I have a great deal of respect for him
but he's trapped in the system. He's also well-to-do in the system
like many different people that have these types of opinions.
I have a great deal of respect for many different people out there
and I'm not going to actually name any names because it might be misconstrued
but they don't go far enough. A lot of people that are praised
as activists in ecology...
They go just to the edge of the monetary system
but they're so indoctrinated they think the monetary system is a given.
It's presupposed, religiously ordained...
(Int#2) And they're literally invested in it.
- ...but that doesn't mean that they can't acknowledge it.
Anyone has to make money in this system, but...
(Int #1) Take someone like Dickson Despommier who you featured in your film.
"Vertical Farming". He's a hero of mine. I love him. I think he's great.
I've had many exchanges with him
and he's really very inspiring, and the work that he does...
What he's done for a lifetime, dedicating his life
to the concept of vertical farming. - Absolutely, it's very important.
(Interviewer #1) But all he's doing, at every TED conference I see him
and I go to every single TED conference there is
and at every TED conference all he's really looking for is an investor.
And all he really wants is an investor to say "Listen
let's convert Newark, the building in Newark
let's try this." But you know, he's not trying to profit.
He is trying to feed the world. - I attempted to interview him.
You're speaking of the individual of Columbia, right? -Dickson.
I tried to interview him and he said "I'm sorry, I can't do
any video interviews, film interviews, because Sting
has the right for all my video interviews."
- It's true. - I thought to myself... I don't know if that's good or bad.
I have no idea... (Int #1) It's bad. He had to take the money from Sting
because he needed to continue doing his work. Funding was tough...
- I don't put him down for that, but It just goes to show
the nature of this system and how it automatically blocks everything.
(Int#1) He'll meet you face to face. - Sure. He seems like a very nice guy.
(Int#1) The nicest guy and really a great thinker
but at some point, in his research years, he hit a wall.
And he had to keep going and then there were these people who were...
I mean Sting is committed to... - Sure.
I'm not putting down any of the characters. I'm just saying that
it's unfortunate that the word can't continue to be spread.
I could have had his stuff exposed to millions and millions of people.
I sort of do, but if he was in it it would be a little more powerful.
To know that we could produce organic...
(Int#1) Again, it's about joining forces.
It's about inclusivity and not exclusivity. - Exactly.
The monetary system confirms exclusivity... (Int #2) And competitiveness.
- Absolutely. And why Sting would restrict something like that is also problematic.
(Int #1) That's Sting's ego. It's like Sting's battalion of managers...
I don't mind. - I'm just kidding. - I'm saying this...
I don't put down anyone in the sense that I understand the way
people operate in this system. Everyone does what they have to do
and I look at even the most vile company like Monsanto
as, in fact, just another example of the matter of degree
of what this system creates. That's all they are. It's just a matter of degree.
So I try to convince people that I talk to that try to...
They hone in on singular corporations...And by the way I think
that you need to be activist oriented against these...
- I think that all these corporations should be targets...
- Absolutely (Int #1) They should not be spared.
The only problem is that you have to make sure
that the larger order point is always made
that these are products of a system. (Int#2) They are symptoms.
- Symptoms, exactly. So that's what I'd say about that.
- It's an endless battle when you pick out corporations like that
and continuously try and stop that.
You might get some legislation through;
and then, when the next government comes in it'll revert right back.
That's really not the solution to the problems.
We really need to advocate a total world, global Resource-Based Economy.
And to the extent that we don't advocate that
and work toward that, that will determine
the amount of problems that we will have remaining.
- When a few nations control most of the Earth's resources
others will try to invade and get a piece of the cake...
- Which is what's happening right now. - So you have no
intelligent plans out there. The more intelligent, the higher the order of intelligence
meaning better management of the Earth's resources
the more difficult to reach people. People understand things like:
"It's our country, right or wrong? Let's get out there and defend it!"
They'll join with that. But people say to me:
"Jacque, every time I ask you a question, I get a lecture, not an answer."
Because there are no answers. There's no simple answer.
It's very involved. And the average person is not equipped to handle that.
That's why I keep saying there will be a lot of trouble ahead
a lot of assassinations, wild people, groups breaking windows.
They don't know what else to do. They don't know how to handle the problems.
Like in the Arab world a guy might beat his wife three times a week
to a pulp, to get her to obey him. That's normal to that culture.
They don't know anything else. Now, giving women equal rights is unthinkable
in that type of culture. Do you understand?
So you've got the scar tissue of hundreds of years in people.
And you don't come out in one day "Oh! Here's the answer!"
Even if it were the answer. If they don't understand it
it's not the answer. What they do is the answer
and if they kill each other, which is what I think they will do.
And there may be few people that can escape the system.
All I can talk about is what happened during the Depression.
There were many men sleeping in the winter over gratings
hundreds of them. And that bothered Al Capone
and he opened the first soup kitchens. Did you know that?
...more than the federal government. Was he evil?
...in some areas,yes, in other areas, no.
So Al Capone started feeding people.
And then the Italian Americans were feeding one another.
And then the Jews pulled in, in their own corner.
And the Irish were beaten up because during the potato famine
a lot of Irish men came to America, and they worked
for one half the amount what Americans would work for.
So the Americans said "Those God damned Irish men!
Let's beat them up, because they're taking our jobs away!"
The whole reason for aberrant behavior
is fear of scarcity or unemployment.
During the Depression there was a factory that had a sign "Help Wanted".
And I saw lines all around the block.
And the guys would say "Hey, let's get rid of that fat Jew!
Let's get rid of that Irish man! Let's get rid of that Arab!"
But during the war, they wanted all the help they could get.
They didn't care who was in line as long as there were jobs for everybody.
So you're dealing with social chaos
and there's no clean line that people will follow.
So whatever happens is real. What you think should happen is unreal.
And that's what people get disappointed in, not the world.
Whatever the world does is real; whatever happens is real.
What you think should have happened disappoints you.
H.G. Wells, in his book "The Shape of Things to Come"...
He died broken-hearted. He said:
"The world should be so far along." He suffered from his own projections.
The world will do what it does, not what Fresco thinks is right
or Peter Joseph thinks is right.
They will do whatever the hell they have to do to survive.
Whether you'll see a saner world is highly improbable
unless you begin to talk.
All the people that come to these meetings, if they talk
to other people and advise them in different directions
bear with them, stay with them until they understand.
If everybody works at it, the transition
will be less painful, not eliminated.
I'm sorry that I have this to say. I'd like to say:
"I see glorious days ahead."
That would please everybody, but it's not true.
- I don't think it's so much we're optimistic or pessimistic.
I think we're really scared shitless as to what's happening
what's happening now and what the immediate future might bring.
And we see a viable alternative
that could eliminate a lot of suffering for a lot of people
so we're advocating it and asking other people to look into it
and learn it, and talk to others about it.
And get the information out there any way we can: movies
books, radios, Internet, while we still have the ability to do that.
(Interviewer #1) Now, have you considered working with other movements?
- Well, people ask that question...
Well, the thing is, I have yet to meet a movement
or an activist group that really identifies
with the complete direction.
And it's not to say that they are...
Frankly, one attribute that any organization that...
Excuse me, any organization I think could possibly come in line with this
the one attribute they have to get definitively
is the fact that the monetary system is the root of most of the problems
if not all the problems that we generally face on a severe level.
That is it. And no, you know, Greenpeace
all the environmental organizations, they think
that if they go after the corporations that they can influence...
Even Wikileaks is an interesting example because they're exposing
always exposing... I hate to say it and I said this last night:
Months from now, no one will remember a damned thing.
(Interviewer #1) That's not true. - Well, I think...
If they remember it, it's not going to change a damn thing.
(Int #1) It won't change anything but he will have left some sort of indelible...
- Oh, I agree with that. Let me rephrase that. I forget to say "remember".
There will be a fall of confidence on many different levels
because of those releases which are viably so...
But the general consciousness of the public, general awareness of the public
it goes through them.
Has there been any prosecutions because of that? Not that I've heard of.
Has there been anything that has really culminated
because of the really severe things that were revealed in these cables?
(Int#1) The only prosecution has been the one of Bradley Manning. That is it.
So if there is a prosecution, there is a young man
in a 12 by 10 jail cell right now. - So, and my point is that
the goal here is to provide a solution, not to talk about problems anymore.
I spent that time in "Zeitgeist" and even "Zeitgeist Addendum".
That's why I barely talk about... I bring it up like Wall Street and stuff
but it's not focused on as though I'm trying like expose, expose, expose...
I don't believe that's the route to... - (Int #1) But don't you think
that in the grand cosmology of things, that we're all connected
and that we all have our own part to play? - Of course...
(Int#1) Set that puzzle, make it work? - By all means
but I think my point is more of a central strategy
an effective strategy and that is actually showing a new direction
not advocating, not constantly exposing. So
back to my point about activist groups and other organizations:
They're constantly harping on what they think is right
and what right or ethical, and what government "should do"
in the sense that it's always contained within the system.
What do they say about ecological organizations?
We need to do this and this. We need the money to do it.
And they look for money. And that's what everyone essentially does.
We need more funding so we can fight these fish loitering ships
for Greenpeace. They frame everything in the system
not knowing that the system itself is the problem. And what they also do
is they create their own establishments. This is something else
I ran into with contacts of many organizations that I won't name.
They see what we advocate. They have thousands of employees
pseudo-volunteer employees. They still get paid.
Many of these organizations are non-profit and actually still get paid:
Non-profit is just a subset of profit. It's just less profit, is all it really means.
So they're in a world where they're surviving off of their activism.
And that's a big problem. They have a career in fighting the problem
and there are some radio talk show hosts that advocate things...
(Interviewer #1) I mean, we're not even pretending. I'm surviving.
- I just want to point that out for the sake of those that are listening
that we create establishments, and the larger the establishment becomes
such as the global warming establishment
such as the cancer establishment. "Hum, let's resolve cancer!"
You know how many trillions of dollars and how many thousands of people
will be out of work if someone...and by the way, these resolutions do exist.
I won't go into that. They've been around for decades
but they're completely ignored and they're prosecuted
and the doctors are... Anyway, it's a long tangent.
Anything they can do to stop... Servicing problems is how things work
and it goes for the activist community as well. So...
these are the types of things that I hope if any group realizes that
they say "We recognize the monetary system is the problem."
By all means, they can come in. And, frankly, I hope
they would just come in under the umbrella of the Zeitgeist Movement
so they don't have to worry about these two different organizations
and people getting confused by different names.
I can easily make a list of organizations that are in harmony with us
but within the movement. So you don't have this abstract partnership
and all these different... It's an ego thing.
There are people that have already broken away from the Venus Project
and the movement because they have their own ego. They're like:
"We're going to do our own thing. We don't like this aspect."
It's so counterproductive; it's self-defeating.
- That's goes back to the cultural aspect that's so hard to change.
We're all conditioned to have that kind of ego mentality
when we're pitted against each other for survival and we have to compete.
It's only natural that everybody wants to glorify themselves
or have their own independence and everything.
- That's what's been reinforced in this system since the moment
they're born. It's reinforced competition. It's a natural response
in this system. It's not necessarily a human response.
(Int#2) Some of our lessons may come from people...There are people on this earth
that are just barely in this system; it does still exist.
And so, it's not maybe that they have the entire program
as far developed as what you're discussing.
Let's say the Zapatistas, which are just people living in the jungle
that don't want to hear about government systems
they don't want to hear about money or about any of that shit.
They just all want to go about their lives. They are remarkably participatory
in their governmental thing or whatever.
Versus in Argentina, when their economy went down...
And there's a question about the degree of collapse, right?
Because if it collapses somewhat, but a government
can still pay its soldiers and its police, that's one thing.
If it collapses more, when they cannot pay their policemen anymore
and they cannot pay their soldiers anymore, this is something else.
And you end up in a situation in Argentina where people
were going back into the factories, and reopening them on their own
just because it's like "There are resources all around me
I'm going to go to work."
And they get into fights with the guy who thinks he owns the place
from before or whatever. But sometimes these...
I think at an individual level in some of these other more far...
I mean I don't know how far-flung Argentina is per say;
but it's not New York City anyway and it's not London.
And they're coming from a different social upbringing
a different culture... - Non materialistic. - Less...
let's says less materialistic. - (Int#1) I wouldn't say that about Argentina.
- I don't know about Argentina, but another example:
There are also interesting examples in the Soviet Union when it collapsed
where factories started these really elaborate barter chains
because they didn't know what else to do. So, one factory
that made tires would call up somebody that made trucks and be like:
"We give you tires?" And then the people who made trucks
would call the company that made sugar and be like:
"Do you need trucks?" And they'd work out these elaborate barters.
- One thing I'd like to point out is that the collapse that's happening now
is extremely different than any collapses that have occurred
because of financial purposes. This is a resource collapse
coupled with a debt collapse, coupled with a pollution acceleration
coupled with a destabilization of the atmosphere and the climate.
This is an amalgam of problems
both man made, in the sense of abstraction, like the monetary system
and what we've created as a result, the consequence of
what we've been doing for so long. So even if the soldiers are paid
they're going to come home to ravages. They're going to come home to lack of energy.
They're going to come home to a depletion of food in many cases.
So it's not going to work, even if they keep printing more and more money.
This is the big difference with what happened in the Great Depression
when there was plenty of resources. The fall of Argentina
which was the credit expansion collapse...
This is an completely new paradigm that we're entering into right now.
So it's important to make that point. (Int#2) In Zimbabwe or something
if your soldier's going home and he's being paid with a trillion dollar bill.
- It's a marvel... (Int#2) It may break morale a little bit.
- It's a marvel that it can even make it to a trillion dollar bill in my mind.
So it's actually rationalized. "Oh, we need a trillion dollar bill?
All right, let's do that one!" What the hell...?
- It goes to show how arbitrary it is! - It is, but the fact
that they even get that far blows my mind. (Int#2) They won't let go.
There's ego for you.
(Int #1) Does the movement have any presence at all in East Asia
and China specifically? - China? No, not that I know of.
You know, China... There are a few people. I've got a few e-mails from China.
They've snuck through their Internet system evidently, and
as far as I know, there was a few people that were trying to do something
but there's no official chapter.
There are other Asian countries that we have a presence in
you can go to... (Int #1) Indonesia? - I think we have an Indonesian chapter
a very small one. We have Singapore, yeah. (Int #1) Singapore's huge...
- We have to start somewhere. - Singapore is an ideal city, actually, to have a...
- The major land masses we don't have any real presence in is Russia.
We have a Russian chapter but it's not very active
as of last I checked. Russia is gigantic.
And then Africa...
We have a South African chapter now, but again
it's a very small group, as you can imagine.
And I guess those are the two dominant land masses.
If you look at the maps of our chapters and the maps of Z-Day
and the maps of this film. - Antarctica... - What's that?
- As a continent, there's nothing on Antarctica. - That's true.
They don't have to worry about that too much. The Eskimos, I don't think
need a Resource-Based Economy. Are Eskimos on Antarctica ?
That's a projection. I don't know anything about Antarctica.
- I have something that I can say about the nature of the collapse
and the transition. I think a lot of people have this notion
that we're waiting to see this massive earthquake when suddenly
everything stops, and overnight everything is a disaster.
I don't think we're ever really going to see that, like you've been saying
and I agree. We've been living in the collapse for the last 40 years.
I mean, people are dying everyday. How many homeless do we have?
The transition is going to be the same thing. I don't think overnight
we're going to suddenly have "Fresco Cities" all over the world.
It's a sliding scale, and in order for that sliding scale
to start sliding back up towards positive transition
we're going to need more and more people to wake up and realize
that they have a choice. They can participate. Voltaire said
that "Man is free the moment he chooses to be." So it's really up to us.
I mean the Venus Project has been around for how long?
And the Zeitgeist Movement has only been around for a few years
and we already have about 500, 000 members or more.
- It's been two years. - Two years...
So that's a really short amount of time. Imagine what we could accomplish
in another two years if that number doubled or tripled.
And that's the point. That's how things are going to work
if we have that critical mass. - Absolutely.
- And the Venus Project was two before that.
- Right. - Was what ? - Was two before that... the Zeitgeist Movement.
(Int #1) Are you not concerned, from the perspective of hard science?
We really are looking at a lot of solar activity.
There is a lot of solar activity happening. The sun is emerging
from an eleven years sleep cycle. - OK.
- It does that every eleven years... (Int#1) ...and we are looking at...
(Int#2) And it fries satellites every eleven years too.
- ... a potentially large solar storm that could wipe out the grid.
- Well, that's a whole new level of concern. - Technology.
- I'm not as familiar with that... Sure...You know what ?
Jacque poetically stated, and that'll always stay with me
the only problems that exist are the problems
that affect the whole of humanity, in the sense of human problems.
We have no approaches holistically as a globe to resolve
any global problems. That's a problem in and on itself
that generates the need for a global system of some kind.
(Int#1) Right. My question was, would that not be, almost
a nice segway into a future Fresco city
for something like that to happen, would that be... ?
(Int #2) Again, necessity creates action sometimes. - Sure.
I'm quite understanding your point though. (Int#2) If the grid went out.
- Oh, right. - This is not a new thing. It's not a hypothetical thing.
It happens every cycle. Satellites get... - Interesting.
- The Carrington Event...was the most famous incident
and it lit telegraph machines on fire. I mean, it happens.
(Int#1) We have a lot more for it to fry.
- It's going to be an interesting future. - There are backups.
- And that might be an excuse to shut down the activity
because then only essential commerce would be allowed.
So I can see it being contrived in a sense... - All problems are used
by the political establishment. (Int#2) We never waste a crisis.
- Absolutely. That's the first thing that all politicians
even news media, when they see any event
whether it's just for their self-interest on a shallow level
or for something that they want to promote on their own extreme.
- Anything that happens, they try to orient it
for their self-interest in whatever way they can.
So that's to be expected. It's an important point for people to remember
especially every time we see any type of catastrophe.
I won't even go into, what's inspired the wars that we've seen
and all the press issues that come out with different individuals...
Anyway, that's for another conversation. - I think about the question
about whether or not the grid collapsing
would help move us towards a Fresco city. It could or it couldn't.
The collapse might speed that up, but it also might make it
far more difficult now because we can't use technology.
If the grid collapsed, how are people going to use the Internet to communicate
which is one of our greatest assets right now, especially as a movement?
(Int#1) It wouldn't even collapse forever. I mean it would be a collapse of
probably 3 or 4 weeks, but what would happen in those 3 or 4 weeks?
- Anything can happen I think... (Int#2) It's hard to predict.
We had an east coast blackout a handful years ago, right?
But it only lasted a day or two, so it was beautiful.
In most parts of New York City it was considered as a holiday.
It was beautiful. Everyone treated each other... I mean it was really
an indication of what humans would like to be with each other
rather than like the system tells them to be. - Right.
- For that night, everybody was gorgeous to each other.
- Ask anybody that was here in 2003 about their blackout experience
and some people had bad moments, but there was a lot of love going on.
That was the overall instinct for most people.
And so now, if the blackout had lasted two weeks
when everybody's blood sugar starts to kick in, like on the fifth day.
And they run out of food and then suddenly people start to remember