The Zeitgeist Movement is a non-profit organization established in the United States in 2008 by Peter Joseph. The organization advocates a transformation of society and its economic system to a non-monetary system based on resource allocation and environmentalism.
In 2007 Peter Joseph produced and self-financed a live performance art piece which ran for six nights in lower Manhattan that he entitled “Zeitgeist”. According to Joseph in an interview in 2012, he was surprised after a version he made of this performance (Zeitgeist: The Movie), the first film in the Zeitgeist film series, went viral on social media with millions of views.
The Zeitgeist Movement was formed in 2008 by Joseph shortly after the late 2008 release of Zeitgeist: Addendum, the second film in the ‘Zeitgeist’ film series.The ideas were based on the Venus Project, a societal model created by social engineer Jacque Fresco. In the Venus Project, machines control government and industry and safeguard resources using an artificial intelligence “earthwide autonomic sensor system”, a super-brain connected to all human knowledge.
In its first year, the movement described itself as “the activist arm of the Venus Project.” In April 2011, partnership between the two groups ended in an apparent power struggle, with Joseph commenting, “Without [the Zeitgeist Movement], [the Venus Project] doesn’t exist – it has nothing but ideas and has no viable method to bring it to light.” In an interview, Fresco said that although the Zeitgeist Movement wanted to act as the ‘activist arm’ of Venus project, Joseph never clarified what that would entail, and Fresco’s ideas of how to change society were not followed. As a result, Fresco withdrew participation in the Zeitgeist Movement.
The group is critical of market capitalism, describing it as structurally corrupt and wasteful of resources. According to The Daily Telegraph, the group dismisses historic religious concepts as misleading, and embraces sustainable ecology and scientific administration of society.
The first Zeitgeist documentary which predates the organization Zeitgeist movement, borrowed from the works of Eustace Mullins, Lyndon LaRouche, and Austin radio host Alex Jones. Much of its footage was taken directly from Alex Jones documentaries,such as his documentary Terrorstorm.
VC Reporter’s Shane Cohn summarized the movement’s charter as: “Our greatest social problems are the direct results of our economic system”.