Wow Rob you've joined a diverse crew of immortals! ;) I was reading Charlie Chaplin's autobiography and that's the term he used for people who've successfully spread their meme across time. I don't mind the plug at all!
Hey Michel I hope you don't mind that I'm gonna defend what they're saying because I believe they're definitely on the right track!
I must ask myself: the world today as opposed to what? Before? After? My friends, the in respect to what is written above, the world was much worse before! Please, believe me; corruption, wars, etc. was much, much worse! Read history?
Before human "civilization" - did we have any of these things? War, corruption, elitism, poverty, epidemic disease, human rights abuses, inequality and crime. Maybe epidemic disease, but that's it. The rest are indirect results and labels of the society we have set up with faulty backings that engender these as natural outcomes. We do have something better to compare our society to that existed for billions of years beforehand - NATURE. Our society is an emergent property of the original one, which is based on symbiotic relationships between plants, animals and minerals. Our relationships are largely parasitic and its results are immediately obvious. Things have gotten marginally better over time, sure, but they aren't going to get dramatically better (when they obviously CAN) if we continue to function within the faulty systems we've constricted ourselves to. If we base our society on the success of the past pre-humanity with the promise of the future post-humanity (the current definition of humanity, anyways) then we will have a constantly evolving and progressive culture eternally locked into extracting the best from the present.
I remember once on a discussion of the need for a democratic world government that someone answered: "No, not democratic but republican!" ... it took me a few seconds to understand that, that person couldn't differentiate between the world and the US two political parties.
They may also have been distinguishing between a democracy and a republic - the US is a constitutional republic, not a democracy. I think a world government is a great idea, but NOT with the obvious problems and corruption we continue to condone within our current governments (and world bodies like the UN and the G8). Serious systematic change to the global economy is absolutely essential before we fix anything else (or jump to a world government that has more control than our current manifestations). With an economy that encourages self-interest, other-interest is quietly edged out of political and social spheres automatically.
Anyway, I find it strange that the Zeitgeist Movement, being much centered on science, doesn't point out the fact that if we fight wars, gather wealth and are corrupt, it is simply because it is what made us best fit to survive in the course of evolution.
I understand what you're saying but you're failing to acknowledge that evolution didn't teach us to fight wars, gather wealth and be corrupt - we taught ourselves this based on its inherent evolutionary advantage. HUGE DIFFERENCE. Evolution is not responsible for our behavior, we are. The Addendum mentions that when scarcity was a reality for ancient humans, this was most definitely advantageous to survival. HOWEVER, in modern society with the technology and technical expertise we have available, NONE of those things you've mentioned are now an evolutionary advantage, in fact, they are exactly the opposite - a major disadvantage. With all three of those things out of the way, technology and society would progress so rapidly that our rate of positive change today will be considered abysmally slow.
Once again, it is easier to blame "the others" - whoever that might be - than ourselves.
You keep mentioning this, but the Addendum is blaming both/neither. The other is a direct extension of ourselves, so yeah we have to fix our personal viewpoint, but the next step is to change the other that was the result of our previous selves. You can't just change yourself and then expect the other to just magically fix itself. Change is responsible in both parties.
Allow me an example: The manifesto says something about the way we render justice by revenge. I agree; I am against death penality simply because it is wrong to kill in order to prove that killing is wrong.
But how do we change that? I thought death sentence was still practiced in some States because there was a majority in favour. We can change the governor, the judges, the police ... we won't get anything if the people still want to see murderers on the death rows, right? Or did I miss something?
I see your point. Like I just mentioned above, the change is necessary in the individual FIRST. Then, changing the system that was brought about by the individual's inclinations before their change of heart will inevitably have to change - but it's not going to if the individuals don't do anything! In the personal sphere, reflection definitely provides the proper solace to cultivate positive value. However in the external sphere, action is necessary to produce positive change.
Self-serving institutions aren't going to dismantle themselves!