Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles 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 inevitable “nature 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. “Epi” means 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 not “be 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 have ”knocked out” that gene.