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The following presentation is designed to give a basic overview of the tenets
philosophy and goals of The Zeitgeist Movement.
This orientation has been extracted from the more expansive "Activist Orientation Guide"
which is available for free PDF download at thezeitgeistmovement.com
All source references for material in this video presentation can be found in that document.
The Zeitgeist Movement - Activist Orientation www.thezeitgeistmovement.com
The Zeitgeist movement is not a political movement.
It does not recognize divisionary notions such as nations
governments, races, religions, creeds or class.
Rather, we see the world as one organism
with the human species as a singular family.
Simultaneously, we acknowledge that we depend entirely on our environment,
not only in regard to the necessities of life such as food, air and water,
but also for influence and guidance in regard to life's processes.
We recognize and understand that aligning ourselves with natural processes
is the most progressive and productive disposition we can have.
The Zeitgeist movement in fact, is the activist arm of The Venus Project
an organization which constitutes the lifelong work
of industrial designer and social engineer Jacque Fresco.
Simply put, what The Venus Project represents
and what the Zeitgeist movement hence condones, could be summarized
as the application of the scientific method for social concern.
One of the greatest discoveries of humankind
which has allowed for tremendous advancement in our abilities on this planet,
has been the understanding and application of science.
Through the humane application of science and technology
to social design and decision making
we have the means to transform our environment
into something exceedingly more balanced
organized, humane, productive and most importantly, sustainable.
As many are aware at this time, both our societal integrity
and ecological integrity are in serious question.
The current economic system is falling apart at an accelerating rate
with the prospect of worldwide unemployment and destabilization
occuring possibly on the largest scale ever seen.
Simultaneously, we are courting the point of no return
in regard to the destruction of the environment.
Given the current state of affairs, many of which
will be addressed in the first part of this presentation
the viewer should find that we not only need to move in another direction
we have to.
In order to understand where we are and how we have gotten
to this point in history, we need to address those societal attributes
which have greatly affected our social conduct.
The most important observation in this regard
is our use of a monetary system.
In this section, we are going to address the mechanisms
of our world monetary system, pointing out the consequences
this type of organizational structure has produced.
These consequences include: 1. The Need for Cyclical Consumption
denoting the economic requirement that products and services
are perpetually bought and sold regardless of quality and waste.
2. The Abundance of Scarcity
denoting how resources, goods and services
are deliberately made scarce to ensure profitability
within the supply and demand equation.
3. The Priority of Profit
denoting the vast corruption commonplace in the world
due to the need to generate income.
4. Fiscal Manipulation
denoting how the central banking systems of the world
work to control the economy for the benefit of their corporate constituents
and establishment power.
1. The Need for Cyclical Consumption
The roles of people on a monetary system
are basically broken into three distinctions:
the employee, the employer and the consumer.
The employee performs tasks for the employer
in exchange for a wage, or monetary payment
while the employer sells a good or service to the consumer for a profit,
another classification of monetary payment.
In turn, both the employer and the employee function as consumers,
for the monetary payments they obtain
are used to purchase goods and services relevant to their survival.
This act of purchasing goods and services
is what allows the entire system to perpetuate
thus allowing for the employer and employee to make money
and thus continue consuming.
In other words, it is the requirement of perpetual or cyclical consumption
that keeps the entire economy going.
If consumption was ever to stop, the whole system would collapse.
This produces two severe consequences for society:
1. Nothing physically produced can ever maintain a lifespan
longer than what can be endured in order to maintain
the needed 'cyclical consumption'.
In other words, everything must break down
in a respective amount of time
in order to continue the financial circulation
needed to power the economy.
This characteristic could be defined as 'planned obsolescence'.
Planned obsolescence is essentially
the deliberate withholding of efficiency
so the product in question breaks down respectively fast.
This happens both intentionally, with manufacturers timing their products
for breakdown, often as soon as the warranty runs out;
and indirectly, where profit-based shortcuts taken in production
usually in the form of cheap materials and poor design
translates into an inferior product immediately
with the failure of the product simply a matter of time.
The second consequence is that new products and services
must be constantly introduced regardless of functional utility
generating endless waste.
The result of these two issues are nothing but unacceptable
for not only are resources being neglectfully used in products
that are designed not to last, wasting human energy and materials
the amount of frivilous waste and pollution that results is staggering.
In other words, waste is a deliberate byproduct of industry's need
to keep 'cyclical consumption' going.
The obsolete or expired product is trashed,
often to landfills, polluting the environment
while the constant multiplicity accelerates this pollution.
To express this from a different angle
imagine the economic ramifications of production methods
that strategically maximize the efficiency
and sustainability of every product, using the best known materials
and techniques available at the time.
Imagine products so well designed
that they didn't need maintenance for say, 100 years.
Imagine a house that was built from fireproof materials
where all appliances, electrical operations, plumbing and the like,
were made from the most impermeable
highest integrity resources available on Earth.
In such a saner world, where we actually created things to last
minimizing pollution and waste, a monetary system would be impossible
for cyclical consumption would slow tremendously
forever weakening the so called economic growth.
Mechanism two: The Abundance of Scarcity
In monetary economics, supply and demand
is partly how goods and services obtain value.
The more there is of something, the less it is worth in respect to itself.
If we woke up one day and for some reason, hypothetically speaking,
there were only 100 oranges left in existence
with no possibility to grow more,
the value of those oranges would skyrocket,
for they are now extremely scarce.
In other words, it is profitable for resources to be scarce.
If a company can convince the public that their product is rare
the more they can charge for that product.
This provides a strong motivation to keep items and resources scarce.
The ramifications of this are psychologically profound;
for if companies know that they can make more money
by having their items scarce, the propensity to deliberately
limit production or be dishonest about available resources is high.
This means that the monetary system rewards mechanisms
that inherently discourage abundance and equality.
Even more offensively, profit can actually be made
as a result of scarcity generated by environmental pollution,
such as what is now happening with our water supplies.
This creates a perverse reinforcement of indifference
to environmental concern by industry, for the more damage there is
the more profit that can be obtained by offering solutions.
And this leads us to: 3. The Priority of Profit.
A monetary system's foremost motivating principle
is profit, or more generally, income.
All people must seek out a strategy to acquire money.
A wage earner seeks out the best possible pay
he can get for his services, while the employer
seeks to constantly reduce costs in order to maximize their profit.
This competitive mentality extends into all facets of society,
and it should be no surprise that those who are in positions
of great wealth are often the most ruthless and indifferent.
Now, before we move any further into the negative consequences
of the profit priority, let's first consider
what many think to be the good side of this system: incentive.
As the theory goes, the need for profit provides a person or organization
with motivation to work on new ideas and products
that might sell in the market place.
In other words, the assumption is that if people were not motivated
by their need to obtain money, nothing would be invented
and little social progress would be achieved.
First of all, the most powerful contributions to society
did not come from people seeking profit.
Louis Pasteur, Charles Darwin, the Wright brothers, Albert Einstein
and Isaac Newton did not make their massive contributions
to society because of material self interest.
While it is true that useful inventions and methods
do come from the motivation for personal gain,
the intent behind those creations typically have nothing to do
with human or social concerns and everything to do
with detached self interest and blind personal gain.
The pursuit of profit almost always comes before human concern
and a simple glance at the cancer causing preservatives in our foods,
the planned obsolescence of nearly everything manufactured
along with the health care industry that charges 300 dollars
for a single antibiotic pill, will indicate
that the profit incentive is actually a detriment.
Problems in our monetary-based society will only have resolution
if money can be made from solving those problems.
Now, more specifically, to put the spectrum
of monetary derived corruption into a workable perspective,
we will divide these behaviors into three classifications:
general crime, corporate crime and government crime.
General crime in a monetary system ranges from petty theft
to illegal sales, to fraud, to violent robbery.
This by-product of the system is often not given
the thought needed to understand its source
for many tend to dismiss these so called criminals
as some kind of social anomaly.
The reality is that the stress, conflict,
poverty and thus deprivation generated by the monetary system itself
is the foundational cause.
In the 1990's, a research project
called the Merva-Fowles study was conducted
which found powerful connections between unemployment and crime.
They based their research on 30 major metropolitan areas
with a total population of over 80 million.
Their findings found that a 1% rise in unemployment resulted in:
a 6.7% increase in homicides
a 3.4% increase in violent crimes,
a 2.4% increase in property crime.
During the period from 1990 to 1992, this translated into:
1459 additional homicides,
62,607 additional violent crimes
and 223,500 additional property crimes.
This is very revealing.
A person living in a deprived environment, with little resources,
poor education and few opportunities for work
will simply do what they need to in order to survive.
While the neuroses generated from the stress of the situation
often leads to violent and socially offensive acts.
In other words, the environment is creating the behavior.
Corporate Crime
Corporate crime, which is almost exclusively profit related
takes many forms: planned obsolescence,
monopolistic collusion, market manipulation
outsourcing, price fixing, labor exploitation
and governmental collusion are just a few to note.
From Enron's deliberate shutting down of California's power plants
to boost its energy stocks to the Bayer Corporation's
knowing distribution of HIV-tainted drugs,
it should be clear to most people that corporate crime is constant
and oftentimes much more insidious than general crime
for the repercussions tend to affect very large groups of people.
The corporate criminal's need to secure profitability
is no different in basis than the general criminal's need to survive.
While the latter typically commits crimes to live
the former commits crimes to further secure their positions of power,
lifestyle and wealth. It is based on fear.
The notion of greed, which manifests from a perpetual insecurity
derived from the fear of losing what one has
serves as the motivating factor for most corporate crimes.
This neuroses is perpetuated and reinforced by what we could call
'the luxury stratification' that the monetary system creates;
for in this system, there is a neverending progression
of products available, as one's purchasing power increases.
And then, there's government crime.
Government crime is one of the more complex
and difficult forms of conduct to consider
for perception of goverment is highly modified
by the prevailing values this ruling class perpetuates through society.
For example, patriotism is often used to encourage support for war.
Making people feel like they have an obligation
to agree with the government's decision.
That being said, let's take an objective look at
what government within a monetary system actually is and represents.
The central role of government is basically the invention of
regulatory legislation and policies to handle the functioning of society.
Idealistically, the broad interests of the public
would be the first priority of government.
Unfortunately, as history has shown
this is not, and has rarely been the case.
Rather, government as we know it is actually a parent corporation
to all the other corporations working within the country's economy.
This, of course, makes sense; for the value of any nation
is really determined by the state of its economy.
This means that the government has a vested interest
in the economic position of its nation,
most specifically with those interests that benefit them directly.
Lobbying and contributions in America alone
constitute billions of dollars a year
and this money is given entirely under the pretense
of putting the donating party's agenda in action.
Now, while the examples of government and corporate collusion are vast
the greatest monetarily derived crime of government is its use of war
for the benefit of its corporate and financial constituents.
In the words of two-time Congressional Medal of Honor recipient,
Major General Smedley D. Butler, "War is a racket.
It always has been. It is possibly the oldest
easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious.
It is the only one international in scope.
It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars
and the losses in lives."
Accelerated industrial creation, military contracts,
reconstruction contracts, energy and resource acquisition or theft
high interest austerity-driven world bank and private bank loans
for post-war economies are just a few
of the highly profitable mediums utilized.
The true motivation for war today is actually threefold:
industrial commercial profit maximized for the elite,
resource acquisition or theft as was the case with Iraq
and Afghanistan, and strategic geopolitical alignment
to increase the ease of further industrial profit and resource theft.
War is probably the greatest sickness
caused by the desire for wealth and power.
Government, with its team of brainwashed assassins on hand
is involved in the ultimate form of self preservation
and as long as the resources of the world remain horded and restricted
for the material benefit of the few, this pattern of war will never end.
Now, these classifications of corruption are only a generalized grouping.
Vast nuances of human behavior in everyday life
are also very much poisoned by this mechanism for profit.
For if you look closely enough, you will see that nearly every act
of strategic monetary gain is corrupt by its very construct.
It is just accepted as normal by the conditioned culture.
And 4. Fiscal Manipulation
The currency used today is fiat
which means its value comes essentially from government decree.
Monetary value in the fiat system
is actually derived from how much money is in circulation
within an economy, generally speaking.
Just as with any natural resource, the more money that is in circulation
the less each unit of fiat currency is worth.
When less money is in circulation, it makes each unit
worth more respectively. This phenomenon could be called
inflation and deflation, generally speaking.
Now, the increase in the supply of money available in an economy
is called monetary expansion.
While a decrease in the supply of money is called monetary contraction.
Generally speaking, the expansion period
is usually associated with so called "economic growth,"
for more money is available and able to be put to use
and often more jobs are thus created.
Conversely, monetary contraction is often called
a recession or depression
for money is drying up and hence there is less money to put to use;
so jobs are lost and companies fail.
Economic growth is typically defined as:
the increase in the amount of the goods and services
produced by an economy over time.
However, let it be understood that economic growth
is really a zero sum game.
There is no such thing as true economic growth in and of itself,
for the underlying mechanism is based almost entirely
on the amount of liquidity, or money in the system.
In other words, if I counterfeit 100 million US dollars
and give it to you to start a business, and you buy and fix up
an old building, hire a team of employees
and start to produce a product that the public buys
this would be considered an expansion of the economy.
You have invested in real estate, increased the employment rate
and created new products that others buy
therefore exciting the circulation of currency
hence the consumption cycle.
Now, what if the authorities found out that all the money
you had used was actually counterfeit
and thus they shut down the whole operation?
This would be a contraction of the economy, for the money thus vanishes.
Your employees would be laid off, the building foreclosed upon
and the production halted.
One should ask, "What was the real growth?"
If the increase or expansion in the supply of money
can result in the creation of jobs and production,
while the decrease or contraction
results in the loss of jobs and production,
what exactly was gained and lost? What was the point?
Let's now consider how money is created and regulated
by the government and its central bank.
For this example, we will use the United States
and its central bank, The Federal Reserve.
The expansion and contraction of the money supply
is what really creates the so called 'business cycle'
you hear about in classic economics.
This cycle is largely controlled and manipulated
by the central bank, by way of interest rates.
An interest rate is a fee charged to a borrower
for the use of credit, or an amount of money.
All money in the U. S economy, and virtually every other economy
in the world is created out of debt, through loans.
Every dollar in someone's wallet is borrowed from the banking system.
This is important to understand: All money is created out of debt.
Thus the rate by which the money comes into existence depends on
how much a person is willing to pay in interest to acquire that loan.
The commercial banks base their interest rates
on values set by the central bank.
When the Federal Reserve lowers its interest rates
so do the commercial banks, and credit
or borrowing becomes less expensive.
When the Fed raises its rates
credit becomes more expensive, and hence borrowing slows.
The point here is that The Federal Reserve has the power
to influence the interest rates of all banks.
This translates into the power to control
the amount of money being borrowed, and hence the amount in circulation
and, to a certain degree,
control over the growth periods and recession periods
known as the business cycle.
Why does the Fed need to control this?
It basically comes down to controlling debt and inflation.
If the money supply was allowed to constantly increase or expand
it is simply a matter of time before the market becomes saturated
with excess liquidity, stifling the resulting economic growth.
This will lead to inflation
depreciating the value of the currency, raising prices.
Likewise, since outstanding debt is
directly proportional to the money supply
because money is created out of debt, the more an economy expands,
often the greater the debt that is created.
This sets up an inevitable systemic crisis
for the money needed to pay the interest charged on the loans
does not exist in the economy outright.
Therefore, there will always be
more outstanding debt than money in existence;
and once the debt grows larger than a person or a company can afford
defaults begin, loans slow and the money supply begins to contract.
This particular scenario of debt overpowering and nullifying expansion
could be termed financial failure, very simply.
And this leads us to the next section:
In this section we will discuss the nature and ramifications
of the current worldwide economic collapse
and how it has been compounded by the gross selfishness
and social irresponsibility of the government and corporate powers.
Then more profoundly
we will discuss the role technology is having in displacing workers
and the powerful changes this phenomenon is going to force
in the world economy at large.
1. Beyond Irresponsibility
The collective external debt of all the governments in the world
is now about 52 trillion dollars according to the CIA's "World Fact Book."
Of the roughly 203 countries in the world today,
only four do not owe others money.
The United States alone has over 12 trillion of this debt as of 2009,
and a study authorized by the U. S treasury in 2001
found that in order to keep servicing the debt at its current rate of growth,
by 2013, income taxes would need to be raised to 65% of one's income.
The whole world is basically bankrupt - but how?
How can the world as whole, owe money to itself?
Obviously it's all nonsense.
The monetary system is nothing more than a game.
Those in positions of social power alter the rules of the game at will.
The nature of those rules are guided by the same
competitive, distorted mentalities
that are used to compete in everyday monetary life
only this time the game is rigged at its root
to favor those who actually run the show.
For example, if you have one million dollars and
put it into a C. D at 5% interest,
you are going to generate 50,000 dollars a year simply for that deposit.
You are making money off of money itself:
no invention, no contribution to society, no nothing.
That being denoted, if you are a lower or middle class person
who is limited in funds and must use credit cards
and get interest-based loans to buy your home,
then you are paying interest to the bank
which the bank is then turning around and using, in theory
to pay the persons return with the 5% C.D.
What the bank is basically doing is
stealing from the working poor to pay the leisurely rich.
Simply put, the social stratification we see in the world today
is maintained and guaranteed
by the monetary system's underlying mechanisms.
That reality aside
let's return to the subject of the so-called business cycle.
When money is added to the money supply
that money is then typically put to use for some reason.
Very often these reasons include: starting a business, buying a home,
investing in the stock market, etc.
This increase in the money supply often translates into the so called
economic growth and hence the boom period of the business cycle.
Unfortunately, money can not be added to the economy indefinitely,
for the debt and inflation caused by the expansion
will eventually overcome the growth benefits.
When problems begin to arise after periods of monetary expansion,
such as rising debt levels, slowing people's desire to take on new loans
the Central Bank and government regulators
have basically two choices: They can either
1. Attempt to continue the expansion by infusing even more money
often by lowering the interest rates, making credit cheaper, or
2. Let the contraction, hence the recession
run its course, raise the interest rates
and bring the economy back to some kind of equilibrium.
As far as history is concerned, the pattern has been for them to do both
basically with the idea being to ease the recession by increasing liquidity.
The reasoning is simple: It is politically unpopular
for the ruling class to have unemployed, poor citizens.
This can lead to contempt for leadership and instability.
Therefore, there is always the game of
placating the public with false security
in order to avoid the truth coming out about the inherent dysfunctionality
of the monetary system itself.
The result of this easing of the contraction simply delays the inevitable,
and since the US government has eased
virtually every contraction period since the Great Depression
by infusing more money into the system
a doomsday scenario likely awaits-- the big contraction,
and it might be happening right now.
As noted earlier, money can not be added into the economy indefinitely
for the debt and inflation caused by the expansion
will eventually overcome the growth benefits.
This is what is now happening on a massive scale
and no intervention to ease this crisis is likely to work.
Why? Mainly because the debt levels are way too high.
The total debt of the US government plus its citizens private debt
was about 53 trillion dollars in 2007.
This is simply an absurd amount of debt.
The total US money supply M3, was only about 12 trillion in 2007,
while the annual GDP of the US was only about 14 trillion.
Unfortunately there is very little the US government
can do to stop this large contraction
if they adhere to the tenets of the monetary system.
Even with the insertion of tens of trillions of dollars,
it can not compensate for the imbalance.
Plus, if they did this type of liquidity injection
the result would simply exaggerate the stagflation we are now seeing
where inflation and economic stagnation occur simultaneously.
2. The Ultimate Outsource
Now, in response to these issues, very often
people suggest monetary reform as the solution.
These suggestions often include:
going back to the gold standard, outlawing interest,
shutting down the Federal Reserve, giving the power
of printing money back to the government, etc.
While these reforms and others all pose logical merits
to a certain degree, they do not recognize an overshadowing
little discussed phenomenon that has accelerated
since the 20th century, nullifying the monetary system in and of itself :
the replacement of human labor with machines.
At the core of the economic system itself
is the mechanism of labor for income.
Our entire economic system is based on human beings
selling their labor as a commodity in the open market.
If humans do not have the option to work for a living,
then the monetary system as we know it, is over.
No one can buy goods if they don't earn money.
Companies can not afford to produce if the consumer
has no purchasing power to buy anything.
As John Maynard Keynes disdainfully pointed out:
"We are being afflicted by a new disease
of which some readers may not yet have heard the name
but of which they will hear a great deal in the years to come:
namely 'technological unemployment'.
This means "unemployment due to our discovery
of means of economizing the use of labor, outrunning the pace
at which we can find new uses for labor."
While politicians, business leaders and labor leaders bicker
over issues they claim are responsible
for the growing unemployment in the world
such as foreign company outsourcing or immigrant labor,
the real cause is going unaddressed in the public debate
and that is 'technological unemployment'.
Since market capitalism is built upon the logic
of reducing input costs to increase profits
the inclination to replace human labor whenever possible
by machine automation, is a natural progression of industry.
After all, a machine doesn't need to take breaks.
It doesn't require health insurance or benefits
and it isn't a part of a demanding labor union.
A simple glance at US historical labor statistics by sector
shows the pattern of machine automation replacing human labor definitively.
In the agricultural sector, almost all traditional work-flow
is now done by machine. For example
in 1949, machines did 6% of the cotton picking in the South.
By 1972, 100% of the cotton picking was done by machines.
In 1860, 60% of America worked in agriculture
while today it is less than 3%.
When automation hit the US manufacturing sector in the 1950's
1.6 million blue-collar jobs were lost in 9 years.
In 1950, 33% of all US workers worked in manufacturing
while by 2002, it was only 10%.
The US steel industry from 1982 to 2002
increased production from 77 million tons to 120 million tons
while the steel workers employed went from 289,000 to only 74,000.
In 2003, a study was done of the world's largest 20 economies
ranging from the period of 1995 to 2002
finding that 31 million manufacturing jobs were lost
while production actually rose by 30%.
This pattern of increasing productivity and profit,
coupled with decreasing employment, is a new
and powerful phenomenon with no changes in sight.
So this might beg the question: "Where have all those jobs gone?"
The Service Sector
From 1950 to 2002, the percentage of Americans employed
in the service industries went from 59% to 82%.
For the last 50 years, the service sector has been absorbing
the job losses from agriculture and manufacturing.
Unfortunately this pattern is slowing fast
as computerized automation takes hold there as well.
From 1983 to 1993, banks cut 37% of their human tellers
and by the year 2000, 90% of all bank customers
used teller machines or ATM's.
Business phone operators have almost all been replaced
by computerized voice answering systems.
Post office tellers are being replaced by self service machines,
while cashiers are being replaced by computerized kiosks.
There isn't one area of the service industry that isn't being affected
by computerized automation. Economist Stephen Roach has warned:
"The service sector has lost its role
as America's unbridled engine of job creation."
Given this reality, where is the emerging new sector
to employ all of the newly displaced workers? There isn't one.
And while economists struggle to create models
to deal with the issue of nearly unstoppable unemployment,
most refuse to consider what is really needed
in order to prevent a total breakdown of society.
The solution lies not in attempting to fix the issues that have emerged,
but rather it is time we transcend the system in its entirety.
For the system of monetary exchange, along with capitalism itself,
is now completely obsolete, in the wake of technological creativity.
If people do not have jobs they can not support the economy
by purchasing anything. This reality is the final proof
that our current system is now completely out of date, and if we want to
deter riots in the streets and poverty on a scale never before seen,
we are going to have to revise our traditionalized notions
about how society functions at a fundamental level.
We require a new social system
that is updated to present-day knowledge and modern methods.
Part 2 : What Is Relevant?
In this section we will discuss the idea of natural law
specifically pointing out the symbiotic and emergent nature
of the physical world; the scientific method,
which is the most affective technique of decision-making we have to date;
and the important concept of dynamic equilibrium
which expresses the most foundational ecological factor to our survival.
We will also show how, through the intelligent use of technology
and proactive resource management, we have more than enough
to go around on this planet, enabling an accessible abundance
for all the world's people.
Natural Law
There's a tremendous amount of noise in our system.
In other words, the fundamentals of life have been lost
in a sea of social, occupational and financial obligations
many of which are largely artificial.
For example, the need for money and income
puts the human into a position where choice is often very limited.
Usually the jobs found do not reflect the genuine interests
of that particular person, nor the true interests of society as a whole.
If we were to examine the occupations that exist today
we would tend to find that a great majority of them serve
no larger function than the perpetuation of cyclical consumption
to keep the economy going. This arbitrariness constitutes
a tremendous waste of life and resources.
Consequently, the entire educational system in the modern day
is nothing more than a cookie cutter processing plant that prepares
humans for predefined occupational roles.
This element of human life has become so traditionally ingrained,
that many falsely consider the nature of having a job
some form of human instinct. Even parents will blindly ask
their kids: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
as though there was only one thing to prefer.
Putting the traditional norms and modes of conduct in society
aside for a moment
let's stop and consider what is actually relevant.
Let's pose the question: "What are the near-empirical aspects of nature
and what do these understandings teach us about
how we should govern our conduct on this planet?"
Natural Law One
Every human needs adequate nutrition, clean air and clean water
and therefore must respect the symbiotic
environmental processes relevant to those needs.
Most people today do not understand or consider
the inter-connectivity of nature and the chain of processes
by which our food, air and water currently come about.
However if we recognize, examine and learn from these processes
a logical train of reasoning, coupled with suggestive inference,
will guide us to more appropriate human behaviors
that will help fulfill our needs.
For example, water and air are naturally abundant planetary resources
that only require that we, the human population
maintain them and preserve their sources.
Sadly, our impulsive and narrow-sighted profit system
have seen to it that usable water is now approaching crisis scarcity
for industry continues to pollute the system at every turn.
In the United States alone, about 3 million tons of toxic chemicals
are released into the environment every year
contributing to birth defects, immune system disorders
cancer, and many other serious health problems.
The symbiotic relationship of natural processes has a built-in
frame of reference, which is accessible by understanding
how the world actually works, via scientific investigation.
Very simply, our behavior should be guided by the priority
of seeking the highest optimization of circumstances
that preserve and maximize the abundance
and quality of our necessities of life.
Sadly, this is not happening.
The fact is: Our sustainability is under severe threat
by the current methods we are using.
The monetary system continues to operate with the interest
of short-term gain at the expense of long-term destruction.
As natural law denotes, we need high quality air, food and water to live.
Therefore, we must overcome any practices which disturb
or create the propensity to disturb
the symbiotic environmental processes
which keep our basic needs in order.
If we don't, the consequences of our violation of this law
could put us past the point of no return environmentally; and thus
the survival of the human race would be in question.
Natural Law Two: The only constant is change
and human understandings are always in transition.
There is no evidence to support the idea that
anything we think is true today will maintain its integrity tomorrow.
While certain observed natural phenomenon may seem near empirical
based on current scientific evidence,
the specifics of each notion will always be altered
for our tools and methods of analysis are always changing
and hopefully, improving.
In the words of C.J Keyser:
"Absolute certainty is a privilege of uneducated minds and fanatics."
A cursory glance at widely defended historical notions
from the earth being flat, to the sun revolving around the earth
teaches us that intellectual change is constant;
and in turn, humans must keep as open a mind as possible to new information
even if it challenges that person's sense of identity.
Everything we think and know are only probabilities
and with modern methods of analysis which have proven
to have proactive benefits to society over long periods of time
we can now weigh our understandings and beliefs on a revolving
sliding scale, ranging from the least probable, to most probable.
This is based not on human opinion or subjectivity
but on concrete feedback responses from the natural world.
And this point brings us to the scientific method.
Nature itself, has its own set of rules
and it doesn't have the capacity to recognize or care
about what you or anyone else wants to believe is true.
Given this reality, it is in our best interest
to learn, and align with nature as best as we can.
The best known method for the discovery and application
of the laws of nature is termed: The Scientific Method.
The scientific method basically has three steps:
recognizing a new idea or problem that needs to be solved,
the use of logical reasoning to create a hypothesis
considering all information available,
and the testing of that hypothesis
in the physical world through observation.
The scientific method of inquiry is what has allowed the human species
to gain comprehension of themselves and the physical world.
For better or for worse, it is what's behind virtually every advancement
that has improved the lives of the human species.
However, most in our romanticized world still tend to
view science as a cold, heartless medium
while citing distorted human value abominations
such as the atomic bomb in refutation of the scientific perspective.
In reality, science and technology are only tools and like anything else
they can be used for productive or destructive purposes.
That is our choice.
Dynamic Equilibrium
A dynamic equilibrium occurs when
two or more opposing processes proceed at the same rate.
There is an equilibrium that exists in the physical world which
dictates on some level what the possibilities are
for those organisms that utilize the available resources for survival.
With respect to our planet, we would call this
the "carrying capacity" of the Earth.
The human management of dynamic equilibrium on this planet
which is the most important initial variable regarding the
management of society itself can only come from first understanding
what the carrying capacity of the Earth actually is.
The needs of the human population must be in balance
with resources of the planet.
That being said, let's now examine what we know
or can infer about the planetary resources available.
The fundamental building blocks of society consist of the following:
Energy; Industrial and technological raw materials
Food, Air and Water.
Energy is the cornerstone of society today.
It is one of the most critical factors to all social functionality.
The age of oil and fossil fuels
along with all the resulting pollution, is coming to a close.
There is no reason to burn fossil fuels at all anymore
other than the profit-orientated, vested interest
that keeps new clean energy prospects at bay.
Remember, the last thing the energy industry wants is abundance
for that translates into a loss of profit in the monetary system.
One of the important sources of energy to recognize today
is geothermal power.
According to a 2006 MIT report,
about 2000 zettajoules of power is currently tappable worldwide.
The total energy consumption of all the countries on the planet
is only half of a zettajoule a year.
This means about 4000 years of planetary power
could be harnessed immediately, in this medium alone.
As far as wind energy, a 2005 Stanford University study
published in the journal of geophysical research found that
if only 20% of the wind potential on the planet was harnessed
it would cover all of the world's energy needs.
As far as solar energy
the sun's radiation striking the Earth's surface each year
is more than 10,000 times the world's annual energy usage.
From simple photovoltaic panels
that can capture energy into storage batteries for private use
to full scale solar power plants
new technology is constantly emerging
which is vastly improving this potential.
Lesser known is tidal power
which is derived from tidal shifts in the ocean.
Installing turbines which capture this movement generates energy.
In the United Kingdom, 42 sites are currently noted as available
forecasting that 34% of all the UK's energy
could come from tidal power alone.
However, more effectively, wave power
which extracts energy from the surface motions of the ocean
is estimated to have a global potential
of up to 80,000 terawatt hours a year.
This means that 50% of the entire planet's energy usage
could be produced from this single medium.
In view of all of these options
energy is nothing but abundant on this planet.
The only reason people today think it might be scarce
is because of the monetary system's strategic propensity
to create the scarcity.
The next question is: What about industrial raw materials?
Can the Earth's supply of raw physical materials
such as wood, iron, or aluminum and such
support the needs of the world's population?
Global mineral reserves are currently measured
by commercial output production.
Sadly, this does not give a clear picture of what is actually available.
While some elements and minerals are vast and abundant
such as silicon, aluminum and iron
others are seemingly growing scarce
such as copper, lead, zinc, gold and silver.
As far as we know, there has never been a complete geological survey
of the Earth's minerals and elements, only regional ones.
This must be done in the future for us to have an understanding
of the dynamic equilibrium inherent.
Regardless, there are basically three components
to understanding of the carrying capacity of the Earth:
knowing exactly what the Earth has
as far as component elements and materials
where technology is in regard to creating synthetic substitutions
for certain elements and materials
and how society organizes and manages its use of these resources.
The first thing we need to do is
have a full survey of all of the planetary resources.
This will give us key information on how to proceed with our operations.
For example, if we have an acre of land that we want to grow food with
the first thing would be to test the soil
to understand what type of propensities it has.
This information would have a direct relationship to what can be grown.
This would illuminate the carrying capacity of the land, so to speak.
In regard to scarce materials
finding substitutions is always an important pursuit.
Many scarce industrial materials today
now have synthetic counterparts
and the focus of scientific problem solving in this regard
is very important. With this understood
we should realize that the scarcity of most raw materials
are only as relevant as the amount of work being invested
into finding a substitute or workaround.
More important than substitutes and workarounds
is the varied nature of the usage of our planetary resources.
Production output today is staggering compared to the past.
With the use of technology we are able to produce more
with far less people, faster than any other time in history.
However, due to the profit system
there are tons of manufacturers producing the same things
as they compete for market share.
As noted before, the world's people function within a monetary system
that rewards scarcity, planned obsolescence
waste, pollution and multiplicity.
The true cause of scarcity on the planet
has less to do with the available resources
and more to do with our wasteful and exploitive modes of conduct.
Virtually no regard is given to conservation
or strategic use until it is too late.
In a saner society, the raw materials of the planet would be assessed
industry would be organized as a whole
to produce in relationship to what was available
and each item produced would be designed to last as long as possible
causing reduced industrial output and hence resource preservation.
Now, when it comes to food production and water preservation
the same monetary system problems of pollution
cost-cutting processes and scarcity come into play.
Water covers 70% of the Earth's surface.
Technological advancements such as desalinization processes
can make fresh drinking water
both from sea water and even brackish sources using reverse osmosis.
This is yet another example of how technology is just as much a part
of resource management as resources themselves.
The idea that usable water is scarce is true only in relationship