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  • In a decaying society, Art, if it is truthful,

  • must also reflect decay.

  • And unless it wants to break faith with its social function,

  • Art must show the world as changeable.

  • And help to change it.

  • -Ernst Fischer

  • ... deadly riots over the government's plan

  • to avoid defaulting on its loans ...

  • is that the unemployment keeps rising

  • and it has to keep rising

  • just because we have an excess supply of goods...

  • this is all borrowed money...

  • and that debt is owned by banks in other countries...

  • M-O-N-E-Y, in the form of a convenient personal loan...

  • ... a filter cigarette that delivers the taste...

  • 45 malt liquor... Are You Hot?!...

  • is the US planning to bomb Iran?...

  • ...America is sponsoring terror attacks in Iran...

  • Now, my grandmother was a wonderful person.

  • She taught me how to play the game Monopoly.

  • She understood that the name of the game is to acquire.

  • She would accumulate everything she could

  • and eventually, she became the master of the board.

  • And then she would always say the same thing to me.

  • She would look at me and she would say:

  • One day, you'll learn to play the game.”

  • One summer, I played Monopoly almost every day, all day long.

  • And that summer, I learned to play the game.

  • I came to understand the only way to win

  • is to make a total commitment to acquisition.

  • I came to understand that money and possessions-

  • that's the way that you keep score.

  • And by the end of that summer, I was more ruthless than my grandmother.

  • .

  • I was ready to bend the rules if I had to, to win that game.

  • And I sat down with her to play that fall.

  • I took everything she had.

  • I watched her give her last dollar and quit in utter defeat.

  • And then she had one more thing to teach me.

  • Then she said:

  • Now it all goes back in the box.

  • All those houses and hotels.

  • All the railroads and utility companies...

  • All that property and all that wonderful money...

  • Now it all goes back in the box.

  • None of it was really yours.

  • You got all heated up about it for a while.

  • But it was around a long time before you sat down at the board

  • and it will be here after you're gone: players come, players go.

  • Houses and cars...

  • Titles and clothes...

  • Even your body.”

  • Because the fact is that everything I clutch and consume and hoard

  • is going to go back in the box and I'm going to lose it all.

  • So you have to ask yourself

  • when you finally get the ultimate promotion

  • when you have made the ultimate purchase

  • when you buy the ultimate home

  • when you have stored up financial security

  • and climbed the ladder of success

  • to the highest rung you can possibly climb it...

  • and the thrill wears off

  • - and it will wear off -

  • Then what?

  • How far do you have to walk down that road

  • before you see where it leads?

  • Surely you understand

  • it will never be enough.

  • So you have to ask yourself the question:

  • What matters?

  • They're Hot!

  • They're Rich!

  • And They're Spoiled!

  • America's #1 Show is Back!

  • Gentle Machine Productions Presents

  • A Peter Joseph Film

  • When I was a young man

  • growing up in New York City

  • I refused to pledge allegiance to the flag.

  • Of course I was sent to the principal's office.

  • And he asked me, 'Why don't you want to pledge allegiance?

  • Everybody does!'

  • I said, 'Everybody once believed the Earth was flat

  • but that doesn't make it so.'

  • I explained that America owed everything it has

  • to other cultures and other nations

  • .

  • and that I would rather pledge allegiance

  • to the Earth and everyone on it.

  • .

  • Needless to say it wasn't long before I left school entirely

  • .

  • ...and I set up a lab in my bedroom.

  • There I began to learn about science and nature.

  • .

  • I realized then that the universe is governed by laws

  • .

  • and that the human being, along with society itself,

  • .

  • was not exempt from these laws.

  • Then came the crash of 1929

  • which began what we now call

  • The Great Depression”.

  • I found it difficult to understand why millions

  • were out of work, homeless, starving,

  • while all the factories were sitting there;

  • the resources were unchanged.

  • It was then that I realized

  • that the rules of the economic game

  • were inherently invalid.

  • Shortly after, came World War II

  • where various nations took turns

  • systematically destroying each other.

  • I later calculated that all the destruction

  • and wasted resources spent on that war

  • .

  • could have easily provided for every

  • human need on the planet.

  • Since that time,I have watched humanity

  • set the stage for its own extinction.

  • I have watched as the precious finite resources

  • are perpetually wasted and destroyed

  • in the name of profit and free markets.

  • I have watched the social values of society

  • be reduced into a base artificiality of materialism

  • and mindless consumption.

  • And I have watched as the monetary powers

  • control the political structure

  • of supposedly free societies.

  • I'm 94 years old now.

  • And I'm afraid my disposition is the same as it was

  • .

  • 75 years ago.

  • This shit's got to go.

  • [ ZEITGEIST ]

  • [ ZEITGEIST: MOVING FORWARD ]

  • [ Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful

  • committed citizens can change the world.

  • Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead ]

  • .

  • [ Part 1: Human Nature ]

  • So you're a scientist, and ...

  • somewhere along the way, hammered into your head

  • is the inevitablenature versus nurture

  • and that's at least up there with Coke versus Pepsi

  • or Greeks versus Trojans.

  • So, nature versus nurture: This, by now

  • utterly over-simplifying view of

  • where influences are-

  • influences on how a cell deals with

  • an energy crisis up to

  • what makes us who we are on the most individualistic

  • levels of personality.

  • And what you've got is this complete false dichotomy

  • built around nature as deterministic

  • at the very bottom of all the causality.

  • Of 'life is DNA' and the 'code of codes'

  • and the Holy Grail, and everything is driven by it.

  • At the other end is a much more social science perspective

  • .

  • which is: We are 'social organisms'

  • and biology is for slime molds;

  • humans are free of biology.

  • And obviously both views are nonsense.

  • What you see instead is that

  • it is virtually impossible to understand how biology works

  • .

  • outside of the context of environment.

  • [ It's Genetic ]

  • One of the most crazy making yet widespread

  • .

  • and potentially dangerous notions is:

  • Oh, that behavior is genetic.”

  • Now what does that mean? It means all sorts of subtle stuff if you

  • .

  • know modern biology, but for most people out there

  • what it winds up meaning is:

  • a deterministic view of life,

  • one rooted in biology and genetics.

  • Genes equal things that can't be changed.

  • Genes equal things that are

  • inevitable and that you might as well

  • not waste resources trying to fix,

  • might as well not put societal energies into trying to improve

  • because it's inevitable and it's unchangeable.

  • And that is sheer nonsense.

  • [ Disease ]

  • It is widely thought that

  • conditions like ADHD are genetically programmed,

  • conditions like schizophrenia are genetically programmed.

  • The truth is the opposite. Nothing is genetically programmed.

  • .

  • There are very rare diseases, a small handful,

  • .

  • extremely sparsely represented in the population,

  • that are truly genetically determined.

  • Most complex conditions

  • might have a predisposition that has a genetic component,

  • but a predisposition is not the same as a predetermination.

  • The whole search for the source of diseases in the genome

  • was doomed to failure before anybody even thought of it,

  • because most diseases are not genetically predetermined.

  • Heart disease, cancer, strokes,

  • rheumatoid conditions, autoimmune conditions in general,

  • mental health conditions, addictions-

  • none of them are genetically determined.

  • Breast cancer, for example. Out of 100 women with breast cancer

  • only seven will carry the breast cancer genes.

  • 93 do not.

  • And out of 100 women who do have the genes

  • not all of them will get cancer.

  • [ Behavior ]

  • Genes are not just things that make us behave in

  • a particular way regardless of our environment.

  • Genes give us different ways of responding to our environment.

  • And in fact it looks as if some of the early

  • childhood influences and the kind of child rearing,

  • affect gene expression:

  • actually turning on or off different genes

  • to put you on a different developmental track

  • which may suit the kind of world you've got to deal with.

  • So for example,

  • a study done in Montreal with suicide victims

  • looked at autopsies of the brains of these people.

  • And it turned out that if a suicide victim

  • (these are usually young adults)

  • had been abused as children, the abuse actually

  • caused a genetic change in the brain

  • that was absent in the brains of people who had not been abused.

  • That's an epigenetic effect.

  • Epimeans on top of, so that

  • the epigenetic influence is what happens

  • environmentally to either activate or deactivate certain genes.

  • In New Zealand, there was a study

  • that was done in a town called Dunedin,

  • in which a few thousand individuals

  • were studied from birth into their 20s.

  • What they found was that they could identify

  • a genetic mutation- an abnormal gene-

  • which did have some relation to

  • the predisposition to commit violence,

  • but only if the individual had also

  • been subjected to severe child abuse.

  • In other words, children with this abnormal gene

  • would be no more likely to be violent than anybody else,

  • and in fact, they actually had a lower rate of violence

  • than people with normal genes

  • as long as they weren't abused as children.

  • Great additional example of the ways

  • in which genes are notbe all - end all.”

  • A fancy technique where you can

  • take a specific gene out of a mouse,

  • that mouse and its descendants will not have that gene.

  • You haveknocked outthat gene.