I hadn’t intended to blog about the Zeitgeist Movement again but seeing their worldwide map of Z-Day events this morning impressed me enough to make me want to write about what’s going on.
what the hell is Z-Day?
Z-Day is an annual event held in mid-March which serves a dual function as a kind of international assembly for Zeitgeist Movement members and a major recruitment drive.
Essentially this means that members all over the world are encouraged to organise their own local events which are then linked to the website. These local events usually take the form of film screenings with the addition of other features on an ad-hoc basis. In previous years a ’main event’ has been held in New York, organised and attended by the group’s founder Peter Joseph.
I mentioned in a previous post that the Zeitgeist Movement were quietly amassing a significant global following and that they are actively seeking to raise their public profile, so I suppose that the Z-Day map is a testament to their achievements thus far in this regard. Following on from their most recent documentary/manifesto film Zeitgeist: Moving Forward, which was released less than two months ago, it seems that this year the Zeitgeist Movement are aiming to make their most concerted push for attention yet.
the flip side?
Detractors have claimed that members of the Zeitgeist Movement display such cult-ish behaviours as circular beliefs (a belief system that references and reinforces itself), insisting that they alone see the truth and abusing anyone who disagrees. That certainly sounds like cultish behaviour (and part of me suspects that Jacques Fresco is being held up as something of a messiah figure for the group) but such evidence is purely anecdotal.
I personally haven’t seen any ZGM members debating outside of the YouTube comments below the films and it is probably safe to say that such comments aren’t likely to be representative of the membership as a whole. If they are indeed a cult then they are an atypical cult – one that doesn’t demand money from its members or promote belief in any kind of supernatural/paranormal agents.
It is difficult to know where the Zeitgeist Movement goes from here. The documentaries are certainly popular on the web, but can such efforts to raise public consciousness ever really translate into meaningful action?
Is this really a unique movement for global change – the likes of which hasn’t been seen before – or a pleasant but irrelevant side-show for idealists?
Are they an international vanguard or wanna-be Levellers?
Time, exposure and membership numbers will tell.