Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Spirit of the Times

I just watched Zeitgeist and it's sequel over the weekend, and I have to say, it's more than a bit unsettling. I like a good controversy every so often, but I can't make up my mind about Zeitgeist. I'm thinking that perhaps there was a bit too much to swallow too quickly. Can't say for sure, but here's the gist of the first Zeitgeist movie. Its divided into three major sections:

1. Debunking Christianity - This section mostly dissects the Bible as a massive collection of allegory and plagiarism. I've read quite a few dissections of the Bible before, and seen the odd compilation of contradictory statements that punctuate it, reducing it to a text of pretty much no intellectual value whatsoever in terms of moral guidance. Zeitgeist dealt with it quite differently, claiming that Jesus Christ never actually existed and his story is in fact allegorical, based largely on ancient astronomical observations of the Sun, mixed in with the catchy bits of whatever myths happened to be popular at the time. Of course, Mithra makes an appearance.

Personally, I wasn't particularly fussed by this section. I've done quite enough digging on my own in the past, and the matter has already been dealt with at great length by any number of intellectuals in defense of reason. The conclusion I've drawn for myself remains clear: The Abrahamic religions are nothing but a lot of catchy words to control inferior minds. Still, I suppose it was interesting to see a bit more information on the origins of the most infuriatingly persistent silly myths of our times.

2. 9/11 - This section examines the kamikaze hijiackings of Sep 11, 2001. I've no idea where in blazes those videos are from, but assuming they're not photoshopped or some such, they're very, very interesting indeed. The theory being put forward in Zeitgeist is that the Sep 11 attacks were in fact staged, i.e. a False Flag attack, in order to persuade the US public to start a war with Afghanistan and Iraq. Oh, and to justify a perpetual war against "Terror", which, as we all know these days, is a catch-all phrase for anyone who doesn't agree with US foreign policy.

What struck me as particularly interesting about this section was footage of the collapse of WTC 7, which very promptly collapsed on itself in a way that could only be described as too neat. It didn't get hit by a plane, but it had a little trouble with fire and I hear it got whacked by a chunk of debris from one of the two major towers. Neither the fire nor the debris seem like they could feasibly topple WTC 7 in the manner that it did. Well, I'm no engineer, but seriously, do look up the fall of WTC 7. It really, really doesn't look right.

There was another thing about the 9/11 attacks that was a bit odd: The other two planes. EVERYBODY saw the strikes on the WTC. Fair enough, perhaps, that no-one saw the one that hit the Pentagon. And obviously no-one saw the Shanksville crash. But what about the wrecks? If what turned up in Zeitgeist is true, there wasn't enough to build even a fraction of a plane in Shanksville. Or even at the Pentagon, for that matter.

I suppose that the possibility that 9/11 was a False Flag attack is painfully ugly to contemplate. That having been said, were I not already familiar with a bit of what Chomsky has to say on US foreign policy, I'd say such a conspiracy theory is too ugly to contemplate. But, horribly enough, it makes sense, in an unconscionably cold and Macchiavellian way. How does one push through an imperialist agenda while maintaining the facade of a democracy? Nothing unites a people faster than a common enemy. Haven't got one? Make one! Preferably one that can't put up much resistance. No point picking fights you can't win, eh? Anyway, moving on...

3. Central banks - This section more than any other worried me, and I've been wondering if I read into it wrongly from the outset. In addition to masses of supposed evidence highlighting the diabolical agendas of banks to dominate the world, this section points out an aspect of the central banking system which absolutely ensures civilization is locked into an inexorable less-than-zero-sum game. So, I'm going to lay out my understanding of it here and hope someone can pass useful comment if I'm drastically wrong.

Simply put, a central bank, specifically the Fed, does 2 things - control interest rates and churn out money, thus regulating the value of said money. Easy enough. But what is stated in Zeitgeist is that every dollar printed is a loan, with interest, from the central bank to the government of whatever country houses it. But if some amount X is lent out from the central bank, requiring payment of (X + x), where is x supposed to come from? So the central bank prints more money. To lend to the government. At interest, of course. And this is the very foundation of the rat race - a perpetual cycle of debt to the central bank. A game that can't be won, and the bank is holding all the cards. A glorified pyramid scheme, basically.

And while everyone else is left scrabbling for whatever money they can lay their hands on, for whatever petty reasons they may have, the banks sit pretty, barely having to lift a finger because they're the ones who ultimately control the money. Now, if a nation were a closed system, this state of affairs would quickly burn out the country. Hence, the need to prey on other nations, to strip them of their resources, to cripple them with debt and, should they be so unsporting as to be unwilling to play this fool's game, to wage war on them. Waging war is apparently lots of fun for a central bank, because it means the nation has to find funds for the war effort - more debt!

If this view of the central bank system is true, then a large part of modern civilization is essentially built on slavery to little bits of paper that aren't actually worth anything.

In fact, the 2nd movie, Zeitgeist: Addendum, focuses mainly on the horrors perpetrated by the Fed, linking it to US involvement in WWI, WWII and the Vietnam War. It's like seeing a bad conspiracy theory magazine come to life. I honestly don't know what to make of it. Seriously, I do try very hard to examine closely every aspect of my life and the world around me and I try even harder not to fall into the trap of assuming something to be morally correct because it's a social norm*. But what the Zeitgeist movies have pointed out... it beggars belief. Whatever the truth may be, do watch it. I for one think it's worth thinking about.

Tune in next time, and we'll see if I remember to talk about Zeitgeist: Addendum, and discuss the suggestions put forward on how to escape the clutches of the banks.

* Partly because I'm in Malaysia, and what passes for a social norm here can be pretty disgusting.

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