Some Important Questions: Zeitgeist Movement

To

Prabir Ghosh

General Secretary

Science and Rationalists’ Association of India

Sub: Zeitgeist movement

Dear Sir,

I’m a regular visitor to www.srai.org and wish to put forward my reaction in regard to your post captioned “ What is Zeitgeist Movement?” uploaded on 13th May this year.

Since the day, I glanced through that post; a hell lot of queries have cropped up into my mind. To be candid, those were not just questions, but apprehensions, doubts or maybe a few plain curiosities, the present political scenario in India, providing the necessary backdrop.

Without extending further, let my make an attempt to offload those…

1. Like me, millions know and adore you as the nucleus of the Neo-Socialist movement where communes & co-operatives are being formed and successfully operated in the most remote and neglected parts of India, under the active participation of the population at grass-root level living below the poverty line.

According to reliable reports, this movement has already gripped more than 1/3rd of India, besides other parts of the globe like Nepal, Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, Chili etc. To my surprise, I didn’t find anything similar to such principles of Neo-Socialism in the aims & goals of Zeitgeist Movement. So, the obvious question is whether Zeitgeist has anything in similar to your ideology?

2. What is the opinion of the leadership of Zeitgeist about the Neo-Socialist movement?

3. How do the leadership of Zeitgeist propose to reach their 17 goals as mentioned in the post?

4. At present the Indian Government has declared an absolute one-sided war (state sponsored genocide to be specific) against the poorest of the poor belonging to various tribal community, under a glorified billboard named “Operation Green Hunt”. Under this operation the Indian State machinery has resorted to unprecedented terror tactics that include cold- blooded murders, razing up houses, rapes, illegal detention etc on the poor tribal who dare to protest against state atrocities & corporate sharks who are hell-bent on grabbing their land and perhaps everything to fill in their coffers. I wish to know the reaction of the Zeitgeist’s leadership on it and the nature of support they will extend to that huge section of the mass who are continuously being heckled, humiliated and throttled from every aspect by the Indian State.

5. I have concrete information from very dependable sources that recently, millions of dollars are being rolled in from some American multi-national giants to various Indian state governments with an objective to build up “self-sufficient” villages, though the requirement of cash is bare minimum for such projects. From such development, I have a serious misgiving that this lately cropped up Zeitgeist Movement is a well-devised plot and a part of the ongoing “brain war”, with a mallafide intention to annul the Neo-Socialist phenomena which is gaining and winning new grounds and momentum with every passing second. I am eager to know your reaction on it.

6. I find the goals of Zeitgeist intangible and mystifying. I’m curious to know whom they intend to work for. If they are for the deprived people, then why are they being so abstract?

7. What is the opinion of Zeitgeist about human right violations by Indian Government and their execution of inhuman and illegal laws like UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) and Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA)? If they are working for humanity, will they join other human rights group in their demand to repeal such ruthless and illegitimate statutes?

8. The goal of the Zeitgeist Movement indicated in Sl # 4 of your post reads “Reclaiming and restoring the natural environment to the best of our ability”. May we know from Zeitgeist stalwarts, it’s reclaiming from whom? And restoring to what? I might sound cynical, but I can’t just resist stating that this particular goal of Zeitgeist reminds me of a comment made by Mr P Chidambaram, Home Minister, Government of India, in a summit of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), a few months back. Incidentally, there too, he promised the industrialists present there to reclaim the land from “Maoist infested” (read rebellious tribal) areas and restore “rule” of the state. Don’t you too think, one of the declared goals of Zeitgeist is an echo of what the Home Minister said?

Thus, as an adherent student of the school of rationalism and one of the many follower of your principles, I am trying to point at the possible fall-outs of the Zeitgeist, which is seemingly designed to counter and mislead Neo-Socialism. I therefore, urge upon you to gather specific answers/ opinion to the pertinent questions/ issues stated in this letter from the controllers of Zeitgeist. I also opine that unless their objectives and ways are defined in clear terms and their reaction to the ongoing tribal movement in India isn’t known, you must avoid getting associated to such “brain-wave” of Jacque Fresco, the founder of The Venus Project, of which Zeitgeist Movement is an activist arm.

I earnestly expect your kind response on the matter.

Thank you,

Yours truly,

Anirban Sen

***

Reply from Biplab Das, Secretary, Science and Rationalists’ Association of India, 23 May, 2010

Thanks for posting the letter of Mr Anirban Sen. I fully agreed with Anirban.

After posting the article ‘What is the Zeitgeist movement?’ I thought why the editor posts this article.

As, one of the secretary of ‘Science and Rationalist’s Association of India’ (Juktibadi Samiti), I want to write something regarding the article ‘what is the Zeitgeist movement?’

There are 15 points in the article where the editor says the aim and goal of Zeitgeist movement. Some of them are- Conserving all the world’s resources as the common heritage of all of the Earth’s people, Transcending all of the artificial boundaries that separate people, Sharing and applying all of the new technologies for the benefit of all nations etc. etc.

Look, all of above are match with the ideology of communism extract from the renowned left pensive of twentieth centuries Marx to Charu Majumder. Therefore, the article gives us neither a new idea nor a new path. I had searched the internet to meet up my eager-website of Venus project. However, it is true that the Venus project cannot answered regarding the path of achievement.

Let consider the first goal of the Zeitgeist movement -Conserving all the world’s resources as the common heritage of all of the Earth’s people. How is it possible? Existing political, economical and social infrastructure never permit. To achieve this goal firstly need communism. The second goal of Zeitgeist movement is – Transcending all of the artificial boundaries that separate people. Well. It is a good conception. But how? Political leaders of the countries will agree in this proposal. Never have they agreed. To fulfill such goal a public revolt against current infrastructure is need and it is not in single country. If maximum people of the world want to break the barrier then it may true. It may be through republican process or public revolt.

As we know Juktibadi samiti and Prabir Ghosh is the pioneer of neo-socialism. They want a socialist revolt by gradually struggling of the common people. Neo socialism thinks revolution will come systematically- first time neo democracy, second time socialism then communism. Cash less society is possible after coming of communism or partly communism. Otherwise, it is impossible at this moment. It is also impossible, to establish the cashless society automatically in the current infrastructure in our country or any country of Indian sub continental, in African countries, even in America.

Dear leaders of Venus Project, we want the specific path or way out to reach of your goal. Otherwise, the conclusion of your big achievements is only theoretical blank sound like religious philosophy.

The readers of srai.org are invited to participate in this debate. I think, debate can give us an ultimate result.

***

Reply from Anindyasundar, Secretary, Humanists’ Association, 23 May, 2010

One sided affair is not possible. If the both person love each other, then affair may take place. For two friend organizations or friend movements, both must be interested to each other. But there are reasons to think that, our interest to Zeitgeist Movement is one sided. Are the leaders of Zeitgeist Movement interested to us? We never have seen that, they campaigned for Neo-Socialism.

I hope that, the leaders of Zeitgeist Movement will answer to the questions; at least.

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7 Responses to “Some Important Questions: Zeitgeist Movement”

  1. Saikat 23 May 2010 at 11:18 PM #

    Zeitgeist Movement is a very good dream.But it is do not possible to reach the goal without planing. Have an any planing ? Please say details about it.

  2. Avik sarkar from Jalpaiguri 23 May 2010 at 11:30 PM #

    I am Avik.I have little idea about Neo socialism.I know Prabir Ghosh from 1999.I am a fan of Mr. Ghosh. I read GARILA JUDHHER A T Z….I do not understand what is the relation between Zeitgeist Movement & Rationalist Movement?

  3. rationalistbiplab 23 May 2010 at 11:32 PM #

    Mr. Anindya you are worng this time. I think we have no interest in Zeitgeist Movement. Becz the path of them is fully separate from us.
    We simply published the ideas of Zeitgeist Movement to tell our readers what the movement originaly is.
    So there is no question of interest, affair, campaign etc. etc.

  4. kavatkar.prashant 24 May 2010 at 12:09 AM #

    It seems that one of the cherished goals of the Zeitgeist movement is to create a global village or a border-less society.
    I think that’s what they mean when they declare “Transcending all the official boundaries that separate people”, as one of their objective.
    I would like to know about their “well researched methodology” to create that political consensus.

    Is it possible that for instance, the Government of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh will forgo their boundaries and unite into one land? If the leaders of the Zeitgeist Movement, have the formula,why don’t they declare and start applying it? Else, we will take their goals as nothing but as a hoax, framed with the sole aim to distract the ongoing Neo-Socialist movement.
    A close study and political analysis reveals that such border-less societies can be attained only by way of construction & generation of self-reliant villages and rural communities,which forms the core of the Neo-Socialist movement.
    Finally, I humbly appeal to the founders of Zeitgeist Movement to come out with clear answers to the questions raised, else, their seemingly dubious intentions will fall flat even before they expect.

  5. Arijit Mitra 24 May 2010 at 3:32 PM #

    Hello Anindya Sundar, Anirban Sen & Biplab Das,

    It seems there is a fundamental misunderstanding among some of you about the Zeitgeist Movement. Hence before I attempt to respond to your notice/questions/objections/apprehensions I’d like to mention the following points

    – The Zeitgeist Movement is not a political movement. It is a social movement which exists to share information and raise awareness about The Venus Project and if majority of the earth’s population wants this to happen, then gradually, together transit into a resource based economy from the current monetary economy by abolishing scarcity using technology and human unity. We are not here to convince or force anyone into anything what so ever. We do not resort to any kind of violence, protests or demands etc.

    – The Zeitgeist Movement is a grass root movement and does not have any leaders. We have realized whenever there is a leader there is a possibility for exploitation of the rest, especially those who are not followers of that leader. Please do not misunderstand this statement as me saying that your leaders have any wrong intentions or would resort to exploitation. From whatever little I have heard so far, I know that they are people who do deserve a lot of respect for the self less work they have been doing. We are not saying anything against your leaders, but we are against the concept of leadership itself. Although Jacque Fresco is the founder of The Venus Project he does not consider himself a leader. To give you an example when someone asked him, “can you tell us the exact steps I should follow, in order to help the movement”, his response was “If I told you that then all you would have is a job.”

    – Regarding our views on Operation Greenhunt and how we intend to support to those being exploited: This is nothing different from the British ruling & exploiting us for 200 years, the Mughals attacking us before that, the Americans attacking Iraq for their oil reserve, and before that what they did to the Red Indians and numerous other examples. This is simply the powerful elite taking advantage of their power and exploiting innocent people for their greed. This is a symptom of the monetary society, which in its very basic design perpetuates greed. So we are working to eradicate the root cause and not treat symptoms.

    – Regarding our views on Neo-Socialism – we are not qualified in responding to this point since we have not studied it in depth. This being a political movement we have not attempted to understand it either. Having said this, I also wish to point out that we know what your organization is doing, is to make this world a better place, and you are simply following what you think is the best approach. So are we.

    As far as the rest of your points are concerned, they seem to be inferences and opinions and not queries to understand what the Zeitgeist Movement is. To those points I really have nothing to say as I do not want to convince any of you, or get into a debate or an argument.

    If you really wish to understand what we are trying to do, how we will achieve what we are trying to etc. you are welcome to visit our website – http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.in and http://www.thevenusproject.com. The FAQ sections will further clarify most of these points. After going through them thoroughly if you still have any queries or doubts I’d be happy to answer.

    Regards,

    Arijit Mitra
    The Zeitgeist Movement – India Chapter
    arijit@thezeitgeistmovement.in

  6. rationalistbiplab 24 May 2010 at 5:55 PM #

    Dear Mr Arijit Mitra, The Zeitgeist Movement – India Chapter

    At the very outset, we extend our honest appreciation to your response and feel obliged to revert back with utmost sincerity.

    Please remember that what we are looking for is a conclusive response reached through your scientific and thoroughly researched methodology, rather than random opinions, which we too are against.

    Here’s how we feel to go about it…

    * How exactly do you discriminate between a social and a political movement?

    * What is your ‘modus operandi’ of making over an economy from monetary based to resource based?

    * How much time, roughly, you think is necessary for such transformation in a society prevailing in India?

    * Do you think, superstitions play a role to maintain the status-quo, where a society is split between richest and poorest, without much complain from the latter? Is eradication of superstition a part of your program? If it’s not, we would be certainly eager to hear about the reasons.

    * In what way do you plan to abolish scarcity in tribal dominated areas of India, where movement against State terrorism and intimidation is taking place?

    * Is your perception regarding elimination of shortages related to the ideology of Socialism?

    * In Indian context, will you or do you resort to similar pathway, to reach your goals for people living in Bangalore & Dantewada?

    * How do you propose to carry on with your mission without trying to “convince anyone into anything”?

    * Can you please provide us with some glaring instances of movements which were only social and not political?

    * How do you react to State sponsored terrorism? What if, seeing your bid to eradicate the root causes, the State decides to choke the voice of your movement? As you do not believe in resorting to protests, demands etc., we are honestly curious to hear about your action plan, in case that happens? Also, please let us know whether you are against the right to self-defense? In case you are not, please let us know the way you do it, without resorting to protests.

    * As stated in your reply, you are against the concept of leadership & your movement has no leaders. Without any presence of leadership, how do you make sure that your movement is not distracted from your declared goals? How do you ensure organizational discipline and frame policies in your group? What do you do if someone betrays your movement? Do you expel him/ her? If yes, who decides the quantum of punishment? If you do not believe in leadership, why is that your founder refers him as Director? Can you please enrich us with some instances of successful movement that had no leader?

    * Are you for or against “Operation Green Hunt”? What’s your proposed remedy to eradicate the “root causes” of the tribal movement, where the above operation is on?

    * Without having studied in depth (as claimed by you in your reply), what makes you think that Neo-Socialism is a political movement and not a socio-political one?

    * In your reply, you have mentioned about human unity. Can you please extend on it? In a class-divided society, how will you form a unity between the economically highest and lowest class, say between Mukesh Ambani & Chhatradhar Mahato?

    * From some of your points, we do feel that your movement is for a class-less, cash-less, border-less society, which is nothing but a loaned concept from the principles of Socialism & Communism. Do you agree?

    Your response on the above is earnestly solicited.

    Thank you,
    Biplab Das
    Secretary
    Science and Rationalists’ Association of India

  7. Anabil 25 May 2010 at 1:05 AM #

    Dear Mr.Mitra, Some Questions about ZM: 1.Some point of ZM is for a classless, border-less,cash-less socity which is nothing related about politics? I know that class, cash or border main view point of world politics. 2.Did you know 30% Indian yearly income less than 500 rupees. That is proved cash-less society ? 3.20% people in world absorb 80% power, asset & resource in world & their happy. Why donate their power, asset & release their resource? What about doing ZM ? Anabil Sengupta, Burdwan