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A Brief Review of Zeitgeist: Moving Forward

October 18, 2011

The third Zeitgeist movie, “Zeitgeist: Moving Forward,” is against capitalism and provides some interesting arguments against capitalism as it exists today. It does not deal with capitalism in the abstract (ideal) and only focuses on our actual flawed economy. Objections include (1) our economy is uneconomical (wasteful), (2) debt is spinning out of control, (3) destroying the environment is profitable and helping the environment isn’t.

However, it all-too-briefly discusses the ideology behind capitalism, and glosses it over in a very unsatisfying way. John Locke’s theory of property rights and “just acquisition” and Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” were both discussed, but (a) they didn’t properly describe the invisible hand and (b) they dismiss Smith’s “invisible hand” out of hand. Adam Smith had a more nuanced understanding of economics and would have not endorsed crony capitalism. He was well aware that the economy will likely be unfair because of those in power want advantages rather than a “free market.”

Finally, it discusses a “solution”–an abundance-based economy. The solution is not discussed to the extent that we need, but more discussion would require more than a movie–especially when it’s only a small portion of the movie. Keep in mind that discovering how a purely theoretical alternative society can function is one of the most difficult of all tasks a person could ever perform. Especially if that “alternative” is completely different yet plausibly better than what actually exists.

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