Abolishing Capitalism

2017, Economics  -   23 Comments

Is capitalism destroying the fabric of our society? Peter Joseph, the founder of the Zeitgeist Movement, argues that it is. His philosophy is at the center of Abolishing Capitalism, an Empire Files documentary hosted by acclaimed journalist Abby Martin.

The film is essentially a long form interview with Joseph as he sounds off on a variety of topics, including banks, the stock market, debt, and class division. In his view, capitalism is a scourge that has eroded our capacity for empathy. It promotes the irrational consumption of goods and services, shamelessly appeals to our primal need for social inclusion, and corrupts in its ability to reshape our priorities. In the process, it sets the stage for bringing out our worst misogynistic, racist and exclusionary instincts. Advertising is the means by which the system is able to perpetuate itself.

The average person often fails to recognize the cancer of capitalism. By design, the process is covert and muddied in complexity. The movers and shakers of the financial industry in the United States - the Wall Street traders and tycoons - create nothing. They merely make money from money. The elite line their pockets with increasing bundles of wealth while the lower and middle classes continue to struggle. Corporations are equally ruthless in their attempts to exploit the vulnerable masses. In one such scenario, Joseph exposes a major company that takes out life insurance policies on its employees. Every aspect of the financial sector is driven by profit, including the sanctity of life and death itself.

Joseph extends these grievances to the state of the world's underdeveloped countries, global starvation and poverty, and the degradation of the environment.

It's not all doom and gloom, however. His message is also aspirational. Collectively, our best and brightest have the power to transcend the capitalistic model, fully commit to the promise of renewable energy, conserve our precious resources, dismantle class divides and cure societal ills.

Abolishing Capitalism offers no counter argument to Joseph's assertions. But it does provide viewers with concepts that are worthy of careful thought and debate, and which might inspire activism for change.

Directed by: Abby Martin
Ratings: 7.69/10from 137 users.

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23 Comments / User Reviews

  1. James

    73% of all tax revenue is paid by the top 10% of the country's wage earners.

  2. Gil

    @ussr: Go shop at your empty grocery stores in the days of the old Soviet empire.

    It is the incrementally increasing Socialism that has caused much of the problem in the once great usa. And the corruption that fosters.

    The larger more centralized power the govt is, the more problems for the people.

    1. Bill

      You misrepresent communism. America defines communism as the system imposed by Stalin (Stalinism) which is much different from what Marx/Lenin aspired to. Indeed, Lenin, on his deathbed, warned the communist party against allowing Stalin to take power. They failed. Stalin even initiated famines against the populace and true communist philosophy (see the Great Famine of Ukraine in 1930s).

      You assert socialism causes problems ... ? Hmm... Look at the socialism of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland ... As societies, on an objective scale, they are considered far superior to American society ... health, education, crime rate, happiness, etc. As to corruption, how many politicians in America (who are supposed to be our best and brightest) go to jail for corruption ...? Much much more than in the socialist countries in Europe.

      Centralization causes problems? Really...? As a former civil rights lawyer, police officer, professor I can confidently assert (and prove) that more problems are caused by poverty, income inequality (1000 times greater than the time of the Great Depression), secrecy in government, media control (four corporations (highly conservative) control 99% of the media today), corporate control of government, military-industrial complex, and corrupt judges cause far more problems than centralization.

  3. the ussr

    we NEED to abolish capitalism. i told yall it would destroy us all.

    1. Not stupid

      Did you not pay attention? The problem is more fundamental than whatever 'ism' you throw on top. Try paying attention to the video and what it is saying BEFORE you comment.

  4. DustUp

    What to do about the Corporations and Corporatism? They broke up AT&T didn't they? Better yet if you stop buying what they are selling and buy from a smaller sweeter nicer company, more of those will be created.

    If you stop voting for the corrupt and corruptible and see to it the swamp is drained, then the polluters (including govt) and bankster scams will be stopped.

    What they don't tell you is that Corruption is inherently ingrained and far worse in Socialism-Communism than with Capitalism. You just don't get to hear much about it because along with Central control they must control the media for it to continue. Obviously they have owned the major media in the usa for a long time. That is Not compatible with The Constitution since they seek to undermine it and have. Need to require all those major medias from calling any shows a "News" segment or "the news". That very title does the majority of the damage. They should be entitled "the Marxist propaganda segment" or similar. That would be truth in advertising, which was required years ago. Companies had to prove what they were going to say in a TV ad in the 1980s, at least in some cases, such as one company saying their product was better than another company's similar product.

    Politicians need to be put in jail. Judges need to be put in jail. As Martin Armstrong, the subject of the Movie/Documentary "The Forecaster" has said, govt should not be allowed to file charges on anyone, it must only be brought by people lest we have a tyrannical govt getting rid of the opposition or bending those to its nefarious will. Grand juries are mainly used as a rubber stamp these days.

    Again the problem is us. We are too lazy to stand up and fix the actual root problem. Clean out govt, prevent its corruption, stop corporations from having as many or more rights than an individual. Make it so psychopaths cannot hide behind them. No immunity for Judges. They allow fraud at every turn.

    Or sit on your backside and watch it all transform into a living hell with no incentive to work and therefore no food available to buy. Brilliant. Just like the old Soviet Union

    There is a reason Russia and China had to include a large dose of Capitalism in order to make headway into solving several of their problems.

  5. DustUp

    Nice to have @Nemo's confirmation. I was going to state that it is clear the fast talker is a Marxist i.e. Socialist-Communist. Abbey Martin is a Socialist-Progressive liberal as well. Different flavors of the same I-scream. They both like to pretend they are intellectual, especially this Peter Joseph guy, but really, if you don't understand the reality of much of what you are blathering about, then how intelligent are you? Neither do. Citing ultra liberal university studies? Gee that carries a lot of weight with me too, cough cough.

    @DGG The reason Soros isn't mentioned is because he is a Marxist fellow traveler. It has always been the method of the left to blame Capitalism for all the problems of the ever increasing Socialism-Communism has caused. The extra big laugh is that Trump could have easily ran on the Democrat ticket but that wouldn't have set well with the Clintons, who he called beforehand to let them know he was running. Bill didn't have a problem with it since he was going to run on the Republican side. So now that he has an "R" in front of his name he is automatically evil. Such a joke, since if he would have run on the Democrat ticket he would have been praised and whomever the "R" guy was would be the evil one, probably Ted Cruz or Ben Carson or such. If Trump would have been a true Republican, he would have done a clean sweep of the Administration and not have all the Marxist insiders still there lying their hineys off trying to take him out. Live and learn, and he is learning the hard way.

    It wouldn't surprise me to find that the majority of stocks are owned by the upper 1%. I believe the largest majority are owned by the banks. This is how the banksters, the owners of the robber baron banks, put an information shield between themselves and the public. The banks are probably held by holding companies, etc. Whether it is 83% as claimed, I have no idea. All I do know is to never believe anything a Marxist says. Their more recent playbook, more recent than Karl Marx's book anyway, "Rules For Radicals" by Alinsky instructs to lie, lie, lie; because they would never go for it if you told them the truth. And that is exactly what Obama and Hillary did. Hillary being a disciple of Alinsky and Obama clearly having studied his work following it play by play.

    What they clearly avoided saying is that the huge Corporations or Corporatism is at the root of most of the problems since they buy govt. Yet these Corporations are also for Socialism-Communism because that WILL eliminate most all of their competition. Then there will be no collaboration, just dictation.

    I do agree that much of the financial sector does nothing useful, especially the stuff most retail traders don't or cannot trade, such as derivative swaps. Mutual funds were one the reasons the big 1929 crash took so many down with it. People couldn't get out right away. They had to contact their Mutual Fund and that Fund would decide when to get out. Even in more recent times the mid 1990's or so, a friend wanted to get out, sent in the required notification, a week later they sent back a letter asking him why he wanted to liquidate. Luckily a crash wasn't happening at that time. However, it was when my Grandparents suffered through the 1929 crash. They weren't too keen on Mutual Funds. Did you know they were outlawed for many years after?

    These people want to "transform" society. Yet they don't say to exactly what, just allude to it being better. That is the same BS Obama fooled way too many people with.

    Much of Peter Joseph comments are based on false premise. Does the super Abbey Martin even question any of these premises? No. Pollution is a problem. Govt causes most of it because govt is bought by the Corporations = Corporatism or Fascism. Mussolini later stated that a better term for his coined Fascism would be Corporatism.

    Imagine NO govt at all. No Kings, dictators, warlords, etc. Just people. What would develop? Joe with chickens would trade eggs for some of Jim's sausage. And there would be NO taxes. THAT is Capitalism. To make those exchanges easier Money would be invented. To create a Tractor manufacturing company Stock would be sold to raise the capital needed. Voila after a couple hundred years here we are today. Except we haven't been smart enough to keep govt out of our wallets and the Marxists off the boob tube and out of the universities, propagandizing the world into hell on earth.

    What Peter Joseph fails to mention is this: They want to be just like the Soviet Union was ..."only this time it will be better!" Abbey Martin is just a useful idiot who wants to throw the baby out with the bath water rather than clean house. Trump is on the right track. If he actually could drain the swamp, that would go a long way to fixing a lot of things. These weasels want open borders because they know they can dupe many of them into voting for free stuff (buy their votes). Yet all any sane person wants is LEGAL immigrants who are a benefit. We cannot afford to cure everyone of everything. Why can't Mexico help its own people? It could but for corruption. Same reason we have poor people.

    In other words ...or using Peter Joseph mentality, if we could force the system to prevent vote buying, stealing from one group to give to another group, MUCH of the problems Socialists-Communists create would be eliminated. Because by FAR the largest recipient from the stolen, is the govt class. That is why it has grown immensely in the 2000s. Bush was no conservative. In actuality he was a progressive trying to march us toward a new world order NWO = Communism, just like his daddy who was great friends with Bill Clinton back from their black budget drug running days when Bush Sr. was CIA director and Bill was gov of Arkansas.

    Question everything. Do your homework.

  6. Nemo

    I've met and spoken with Peter and his Mother in Winston (where she lives)

    Long story short: Peter is wrong/Communist, Communism is evil and kills and does not work, and a quick watch of his debate with stefan molyneux will leave you a serious skeptic of his premise. Otherwise, smart guy.

    1. NemosNotTooBright

      What are you talking about? Stefan molyneux kept backpeddling that entire debate. You have to pay attention to how someone defines things within a given context. You can't just call someone wrong because your understanding of something used the incorrect terminology. Peter Joseph explains his terms very well. Please try paying attention to them. It's incredibly hard to not be so condescending to someone who watched that debate and though stefan was correct. He simply denied things without proposing evidence, just anecdotes. Sorry, but anecdotes aren't proof, so you should go back and rewatch that debate. Try actually paying attention this time.

  7. normroussy

    The book, The Web of Debt explains the problem.The book , The Public Bank Solution, explains the best possible solutions.Both books are written by Ellen Hodgson Brown, who is brillant.

  8. poorboy

    Purchase voucher concept of money creation, if a car manufacter produces ahundred cars at a ten thousand purchase price.it may produce purchase vouchers correspondingly.100x10,000.If the manufacter produces purchase vouchers of greater value that would consitute fraud.

  9. James

    I applaud Peter Joseph and his economic insights. One major element within our society not discussed or acknowledged to any degree is that of religion. There will continue to be religious warfare I think regardless of whatever economic revelations. I could be wrong but history says otherwise.

  10. Jay

    I like how after 10 + years of talking about how bad all these problems are this "movement" is still content to only point to lofty solutions while offering absolutely no detailed plan or framework on how to get there from where we are. Absolutely worthless, please cite me more Harvard studies on the problem, thanks. Please write another book rehashing problems we all know.

  11. Irwen

    Peter Joseph has good insights on the societal effects of oppression and exploitation. He talks rather quickly though, and uses some acronyms that he doesn't define (QE = quantitative easing, I assume). I'm not too sure about vertical farms being the final answer to the world's food supply issues, because from what I've seen they can mostly be used only for growing leafy greens like lettuce, and not staple crops like rice or wheat. My take on some of these issues:

  12. Stefan

    @DGG: your tiny stock pile probably accounts for those 15% that are not owned by the 1%. Remember, it's the sum, it's not about how many actually one just one stock. But it shows how easily people play along with keeping this system alive. I'd rather say that this system makes the worst out of people. Hence the theft, deception etc. And this just being "human", is as wrong as the "jealousy towards the rich" argument for people wanting another way in life and society.

  13. DGG

    It is human nature to want more than the other guy. It's called ego, and out of that comes competition, theft, deception, and everything else he is blaming on a capitalist system. And his claim that 85% of stocks are owned by 1% of the people which he calls "the elite" is nonsense. I own stock and I am FAR from the elite as he describes it.

  14. DGG

    How come they don't show pictures of George Soros? He has as much money as President Trump.

  15. Shane

    Try subscribing to TZMOfficialChannel on Youtube. Seaching 'Peter Joseph' on Youtube will also give you loads of hits. I also suggest TeleSUR English with Abby Martin.

  16. Sharon

    I can't find anything online more recent than about 2013 for the Zeitgeist Movement. I live in LA, where Peter is based. How to find out more and plug into this group?

  17. Shane

    “In a way, the world−view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird.” - George Orwell, 1984

  18. Chris

    We need a real revolution in this country, but unfortunately it probably won't happen in my lifetime, only when the masses really get desperate and fed up will we see the population of the world stand up but it might be to late.

  19. Titus

    A main problem is that you can't just try to inform people about the problems and issues and expect the masses of sheep to do anything about it. People are ignorant. That is a fact. And it isn't just that the information isn't out there, or that it's hard to understand, it's that the majority of people refuse to change their minds, won't except facts that don't fall in line with their cliques(political parties usually) or are simply incapable of fathoming the drastic problems our society faces(or outright causes).

    The only way we are going to change things like stopping our freedoms from continuing to disappear, gaining back the freedoms that have already been taken by greedy and oppressive governments, and preventing the earth from being irreversibly damaged (although to some extent it already is) is for those who actually can use logic properly and are disgusted by the path we are on now, to FORCE change. Belief in our joke of a democracy, by those who know change must occur, can very well be our downfall.

    - The logic and Common Sense Guild

  20. Greg

    The only REAL starting point for any radical transformation in the current world order must be a reformation of the monetary system. Currently all new wealth is generated by the process of fractional reserve banking. All NEW money and therefore new wealth (money that never existed before) is created through fractional reserve banking. This is a wholly immoral system for introducing NEW money into the world because that NEW money then must be paid back to the banker once it has been spent. This makes the bankers the REAL owners of ALL NEW money being created in the world. NEW money should only be allowed to be created through a Universal Basic Income. This is the only moral way to create NEW money and therefore the only logical way to have a sustainable monetary system.

    Most world economists agree the current method for introducing NEW money in the world is inefficient and becoming more and more ineffective at spreading wealth to developing countries. If they would just open their eyes a little wider they would realize just how immoral it is for bankers to be the sole owners of all NEW money being created.