Capitalism is a system which dominates our lives whether we want it to or not. Our lives revolve around money. Many philosophers and social scientists have been critical of capitalism in the past. Even the likes of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Albert Einstein were all anti-capitalist. Activists such as Malcolm X, Angela Davis, and Bell Hooks all argued that it is capitalism which perpetuates classism and thus racism and sexism. According to them, the only way to tackle the problem of social inequality is to dismantle the capitalist hierarchy itself. In a system that thrives on competition and selfishness, not only is corruption inevitable but also the need to blame each other for injustice when we should really be blaming the system itself.
Nonetheless, the most well-known philosopher who proposed an alternative to capitalism is undoubtedly Karl Marx, known for developing the political ideology of communism. Despite Marx’s idea of communism having never been fully achieved and only practised in different ways by controversial leaders in history, (such as Vladamir Lenin, Mao Zedong, and Fidel Castro) it remains an ideology with an infamous reputation. This has promoted the idea that capitalism despite its flaws, is the only viable option for humanity. In the USA, there is not a single anti-capitalist political party that runs during the presidential election. The same goes for the United Kingdom. The common belief has become that a classless society without discrimination and poverty is simply unrealistic and unachievable.
However, what if there is indeed an alternative to the current social system that people simply choose to ignore? Not communism, not democratic socialism but a completely different system entirely; a resource-based economy. What does that mean? A system without money? That’s impossible, right? Well actually, it may not be as impossible as you think according to Peter Joseph, founder of the Zeitgeist Movement. Not only does it provide a solution to economic and social injustice but also the problem of global warming.
“There are ideas that are so dangerous, they’re not allowed on our mainstream media at all, usually because these ideas, if accepted, would mean the end of our profit-over-people, war-for-wealth, greed-over-environment, wage-slavery-system. The Zeitgeist Movement is one of those ideas. Even though it has millions of followers with hundreds of chapters worldwide, and films that have gone viral and been viewed over a hundred-million times, you will never hear it uttered on a corporate media outlet” – Lee Camp
I recently watched a fascinating documentary series on Netflix directed by Joseph called “the Zeitgeist film series”. It is a trilogy consisting of “Zeitgeist: The Movie“, “Zeitgeist: Addendum” and “Zeitgeist: Moving Forward“. (If you don’t have Netflix they’re available for free on YouTube!). In this trilogy, which went viral achieving over 30 million views on YouTube alone, Peter Joseph explores the link between politics, corruption and organised religion. His detailed and in-depth analysis of society will change the way you look at the world entirely. Not only does he investigate these global systems but also explores the root of social corruption and proposes the idea of a resource-based economy (through the work of Jaque Fresco) as being the only real solution to poverty and global crises. Joseph goes in detail as to how a non-monetary system can be achieved and what stands in our way of achieving a resource-based economy. He aligns his ideas not with Karl Marx but more with Thorstein Veblen, another critic of Capitalism.
The Zeitgeist Movement does not identify with any particular ideology on the left-right spectrum as it is opposed to the idea of money and the Establishment altogether. However, one could argue that Marx himself wanted a moneyless system to be achieved eventually due to his advocacy for a post-scarcity economy, and so the zeitgeist movement bears similarities with left wing ideologies, particularly anarchism.
Furthermore, Peter Joseph also produced a web-series called ‘Culture in Decline’ which is also free to watch on YouTube. Regardless of your political stance, the Zeitgeist trilogy is very much worth watching due to its amazingly compelling analysis of humanity. Watching the Zeitgeist trilogy and/or Culture in Decline will undoubtedly leave you wanting more. Peter Joseph has also released a new book called ‘The New Human Rights Movement’ and is making another movie called ‘InterReflections’. You can read about more of his projects here.