October 21st 2008

One hour ago I've watched Zeitgeist Addendum, the follow-up to the Zeitgeist documentary. Basically it explained the monetary system we live by, why it is broken (one reason being interest), and how the USA more or less controls other countries with forced on debts. With multiple banks and several countries (Iceland) going bankrupt nowadays, something's definitely going downhill and a global crash seems inevitable.

On the bright side, Zeitgeist Addendum offers a solution: The Venus Project, a resource-based economy where "nobody gets left behind". The scenario is painted kinda like this: Humanity gets rid of the boundaries of the current monetary system - which in essence means the artificial scarcity, competition and inefficiency - and starts extracting all required energy out of tidal, wave, solar, wind and geothermal power instead of coal, oil, gas, biomass, hydrogen and similar finite, dying or dangerous sources. This should provide the whole world with enough power for everyone. Then, technology should advance so far that it supports everybody, automating almost all processes - until in the end nobody has to work any repetitive, monotonous jobs anymore.

And, to trump it all, everybody should finally grasp that we're all stardust, all deriving from the same origin, all sailing in the same boat. And swim in collective harmony.

Well, this is where I come into play.

First of all, let's take a look at a world in peace. And I mean, complete romantic peace. The documentary suggests that with the monetary system gone and with everybody being given what they need, greed would be eliminated and in turn crime would be eradicated. Military, police, and prisons would be reduntant and could be shut down. Honestly, that sounds wonderful. It sounds like Star Trek without Klingons and Borg. It sounds -


Have you ever noticed what people do when they get bored? They destroy things. They team up against one person and see what it feels like to completely destroy an individual. Just out of collective boredom and playfulness. Even babies already sit around throwing stuff off the table just for fun. If the whole world were at peace, people wouldn't even know what peace means. Without police or some kind of apparent force of control (like religion - ha!), people would suddenly become very creative on how to massacre and rape each other.

Have you ever been in a traffic jam after an accident and you realize that the only reason that there's a traffic jam is because people drive by slowly just so they can see if there are any injured or dead bodies lying around?

People long for sensations, for mind-twisting tales. That's why stuff like Saw sells like hotcakes. That's why people are going crazy over news flashes of a woman being rescued out of a thirty year imprisonment in a basement. It thrills their minds, it stimulates the much needed dark side. It challenges their view of good and bad when they suddenly catch themselves sympathizing with a psychopath who claims to be simply lonely. And they enjoy it.

But - that is not the only reason why I can't believe in a completely peaceful environment. There will always be competition and greed. There will always be alpha people who rise above others, take control over a group, and send them against another group just because their opinions differ. Zeitgeist Addendum claims that we have the resources today to house everyone. Imagine that. Absolutely everyone on this planet being taken care of in a standard citizen way. I have absolutely no doubt that there will arise several issues because some people may think they deserve better than others. They will scream and waggle and cry until they get what they want. Then, everybody else feels left behind and so they want a bigger house as well, resulting in several riots. Well, maybe not by humans, rather by robots sent by their masters.

But not only that, imagine all those bored people (that are not on a killing spree) and think of Rome. What did those rich senators and caesars do all day long? That's right: Orgies. Now, a highly technologically advanced society surely comes up with several new 100% safe contraceptives. But who cares? Who wouldn't want children in paradise? Besides, machines (roboters) will take care of those little buggers anyway. Feed them, educated them, swaddle them. The birthrate would rise insanely! Somebody will stand up and say: "Hey, uh, it's getting a bit tight around here. How about birth control?" And you can bet that there will be blood.

I realize though that with incredible technology comes the possibility of settling on other planets and inflicting paradise on the whole 'verse. Which would probably result in getting even more energy, making even more people happy, and further increasing the rate of newborns.

And one day people will look up at the stars in the night sky and it will feel crowded.

That thought scares me.