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New Hampshire Underground => Voluntaryism/Anarchism => Topic started by: memenode on January 10, 2009, 02:31 PM NHFT

Title: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: memenode on January 10, 2009, 02:31 PM NHFT
Today I watched Zeitgeist Addendum (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7065205277695921912) and I have to say the authors have a talent for making modern propaganda movies. They clearly explain the fraud inherent in the current prevailing monetary system, the corporate abuse of government power (corporatism) and its globalization (involving bribe and coercion) and so on. So far so good.

But then they make a fatal mistake. Instead of blaming coercion as the fundamental problem they turn to the profit motive and self interest as the root cause, and base their proposed solutions roughly on that idea.

I say roughly because what they're also proposing is effectively elimination of all institutions. With their abolishment of so called "monetary-ism" it seems like they would abolish governments and laws too, replacing it with technology (because as they say laws are solutions to problems to which a technological solution has not yet been found). From what they're saying they seem like individualists, but their attack on self interest and propagation of common good and holding all resources of Earth as in common would contradict otherwise individualist notions. Because of that they are quite vague about the specifics of their new system.

From what I can tell it almost seems like some form of entirely technologically backed voluntaryist communism. I say voluntaryist because they seem to believe in self determination, and do not seem bent on forcing, but rather convincing people to enter their movement, since they reject political action and will thus not use government to gain traction. Of course, to me, voluntaryist communism seems almost like an oxymoron, but that's exactly why I picked the term to describe them; to express the good intentions poured into a conflicted ideology. Their vision of the world also very much reminds me of Star Trek, where there is also no money and technology is what allows for peace, prosperity and order.

What do you think about it?

I've written a sort of a review on my blog (http://www.memeverse.com/2009/01/10/zeitgeist-addendum-truth-mixed-with-lies/) too.

Thanks
Title: Re: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: thinkliberty on January 14, 2009, 11:46 PM NHFT
They are talking about the Venus Project. See: http://www.thevenusproject.com/

They blame the fundamental problems of society on scarcity. By using technology to eliminate scarcity they eliminate the need for government, (Based on the idea that government is created to manage scarcity.) Because all human objects of desire(cars, ipods etc... ) and needs can be automated. In their techno future things like food are grown in robotic greenhouses. (I am really over simplifying things here.)

I think it has promise. Using Linux as a model. Before Linux you had to look to a company to buy software to run your PC. Now you can get a whole os and office suite to run your PC for free, you just pay for the bandwidth to download it and you go for free. People gave their time to do something they like and told others to share with them as long as they share back. It works.
Title: Re: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: dalebert on January 15, 2009, 09:06 AM NHFT
We will eliminate scarcity with technology. It's just a matter of time, assuming we don't kill ourselves first. At such a time, I could see capitalism becoming kind of irrelevant, i.e. Star Trek. Of course, Star Trek didn't even go far enough. The reality will make Star Trek look rather silly, kind of how the computers on the old Star Trek set look silly to us now, aside from the fact they could talk in a monotone voice and make some basic decisions.

In the meantime, as long as there is scarcity, we can't be both anti-slavery and anti-property at the same time. It's paradoxical. Respect for property is essential to freedom.
Title: Re: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: BillKauffman on January 15, 2009, 03:36 PM NHFT
Quote
their attack on self interest and propagation of common good and holding all resources of Earth as in common would contradict otherwise individualist notions.

Common rights ARE individual rights.
Title: Re: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: BillKauffman on January 15, 2009, 03:39 PM NHFT
Respect for property is essential to freedom.


Property is theft!
Property is freedom!

~Proudhon
Title: Re: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: William on January 15, 2009, 04:19 PM NHFT
I think this would be the end result of a truly free market. Example: The government get out of the food business, it becomes so cheap that the percentage of your life spend working for food is so small you can afford to educate yourself and help others etc. The same goes for energy housing etc. Suppressed technology is one of the worst evils.
Title: Re: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: K. Darien Freeheart on January 15, 2009, 04:28 PM NHFT
I'm not sure I buy that whole scarcity thing. Wealth is unlimited.
Title: Re: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: Moebius Tripp on January 15, 2009, 04:35 PM NHFT
I'm not sure I buy that whole scarcity thing. Wealth is unlimited.

We have huge sections of the populace living off the refuse of whole, as it is.  I believe we're seeing the labor pains of the advent of an economy of plenty, as opposed to artificial scarcity.  It's a paradigm shift that is easily made by those not blinded by greed.
Title: Re: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: memenode on January 16, 2009, 07:48 PM NHFT
I think they're right that scarcity is an illusion and that technology is that which eliminates it, considering that technology comes from human creativity. However their rejection of property contradicts individual wholeness and with that individual freedom without which creativity cannot blossom. So they're effectively shooting their own cause in the foot.

Voluntaryists and anarcho-capitalists fix that and are therefore capable of creating a society that not only matches but exceeds both The Venus Project's vision and that of Star Trek.
/me raises a glass to the end of the era of scarcity and collectivism! Cheers!  :occasion14:
Title: Re: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: memenode on January 17, 2009, 02:11 AM NHFT
I was watching some recent Stefan Molyneux' videos and then saw one where he also reviews Zeitgeist Addendum: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1JcUBx2dxU&feature=channel

I think it's a pretty good rebuttal of Zeitgeist answers.
Title: Re: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: John Edward Mercier on January 17, 2009, 02:31 AM NHFT
I think they're right that scarcity is an illusion and that technology is that which eliminates it, considering that technology comes from human creativity. However their rejection of property contradicts individual wholeness and with that individual freedom without which creativity cannot blossom. So they're effectively shooting their own cause in the foot.

Voluntaryists and anarcho-capitalists fix that and are therefore capable of creating a society that not only matches but exceeds both The Venus Project's vision and that of Star Trek.
/me raises a glass to the end of the era of scarcity and collectivism! Cheers!  :occasion14:

Star Trek's replicators had it a little more complex than that.
You really wouldn't 'own' anything... you'd just simply be occupying the energy that quanitifies the mass of the object.
Title: Re: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: BillKauffman on January 19, 2009, 04:18 PM NHFT
Quote
You really wouldn't 'own' anything... you'd just simply be occupying the energy that quanitifies the mass of the object.

And because energy is limitless there would be no issue of two people trying to occupy the same space at the same time violating someone's self-ownership rights.
Title: Re: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: Lloyd Danforth on January 19, 2009, 07:05 PM NHFT
Aren't markets based on scarcity?  I'm thinking that there will always be scarcity.  Even after technology makes things once scarce, common, new things  that people will want will show up and be scarce at first.
Title: Re: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: John Edward Mercier on January 19, 2009, 08:02 PM NHFT
But in that world, its almost like your a Q.
If you can imagine it and quantify it... the holodeck can imitate it... and the replicators can make it physical.
Title: Re: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: Moebius Tripp on January 19, 2009, 08:12 PM NHFT
Replicators are a reality, and will only get better, if we can compare this to the Apple I back in '78 or '79 ===

http://reprap.org/bin/view/Main/WebHome (http://reprap.org/bin/view/Main/WebHome)
Title: Re: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: memenode on January 19, 2009, 08:35 PM NHFT
One thing that might always remain scarce is energy. Replicators and holodecks requre energy to work. Even in Star Trek their ships constantly need to replenish their supply of energy source materials such as those famous dilithium crystals. It's just that since they tend to be explorers and can easily get to so many places in the galaxy they also seem to have no trouble founding energy sources and therefore scarcity isn't really felt so much..

Still, I think that so long as there is such a thing as human values there will be trade. Even if anything physical in the universe that you can imagine you can just replicate out of an endless pile of raw materials, you may still be capable of loving someone's company, of appreciating someone's ingenuity, creativity and so on. The fact that people evolve means that there will always be a new frontier to explore, something new to create and so on. And this stuff is always going to be precious.

In other words, the services market will always exist, where it's people actually doing something for other people, even if it's only developing ideas, making tech work or entertaining each other.
Title: Re: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: John Edward Mercier on January 20, 2009, 03:10 AM NHFT
There isn't a scarcity of energy in the universe. Though the First Law of Thermodynamics may some day be proven incomplete (sort of like Newtonian physics), its our technology that has the limitations.
Title: Re: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: memenode on January 20, 2009, 09:59 PM NHFT
Good point.

So that means our tech can really be developed to the point at which no actual physical scarcity exists.

Still, the services market I think will remain. :) Even if we were all as powerful as Q, we still communicate and act and what we have to say or do may be what another values, and where there is value there can be a market.
Title: Re: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: John Edward Mercier on January 21, 2009, 01:12 AM NHFT
True. In the Newtonian example, Newton didn't sell his ideas in a capitalistic sense... but he did acquire recognition, which has value on some level.
Title: Re: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: J’raxis 270145 on February 02, 2009, 03:55 PM NHFT
One thing that might always remain scarce is energy. …

O RLY.

(http://www.channel4.com/4homes/images/mb/Channel4/4homes/diy-and-self-build/diy-building-advice/major-projects/here-comes-the-sun-(natural-light-guide)/sun-sky-lg.jpg)

Good for the next 4–5 billion years or so, at least.
Title: Re: Zeigeist Addendum: Voluntaryist technology backed communism?
Post by: memenode on February 03, 2009, 09:01 PM NHFT
One thing that might always remain scarce is energy. …

O RLY.

(http://www.channel4.com/4homes/images/mb/Channel4/4homes/diy-and-self-build/diy-building-advice/major-projects/here-comes-the-sun-(natural-light-guide)/sun-sky-lg.jpg)

Good for the next 4–5 billion years or so, at least.

Good point. And beautiful too. :)