Monday, August 06, 2007

Liberalism and the monist-dualist conflict

A left/liberal/technology blog, BoingBoing, provides a review of a currently popular Google video. Billed as a "documentary," Zeitgeist, the Movie claims to show that Christianity, 9-11, and international banking are all evil conspiracies. From Jay Kinney's review:
The latest bit of guerilla media to take the online universe by storm is “Zeitgeist, the Movie.” Clocking in at close to two hours’ length, and with over a million views on Google Video since its June 26th “official” release, Zeitgeist is a grabby, cranky, can’t-stop-watching-it documentary that purports to tell the real truth about Christianity, 9/11, and the International Bankers. ....

And what is [the movie's] worldview, pray tell? Religions in general, and Christianity in particular, are primarily systems of social control. 9/11 was an inside job and the destruction of the WTC twin towers and building 7 were aided by controlled demolition. And finally, International Bankers, through the Federal Reserve and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), control our money and our future, leading to, ta da, the coming One World Government and the microchipping of everyone.

Exactly how all this fits together is left to the viewer’s imagination or, presumably, the film-maker’s hash pipe. Are those who manipulate Christianity for control purposes in cahoots with the Bankers, and were the Bankers in on the 9/11 caper? Zeitgeist sidesteps such logical questions through the use of the all-purpose term, “the elite,” a shadowy group of rich and powerful men who want nothing more than to enslave humanity and reap block-buster profits through the promotion of wars and financial crises.

For conspiracy buffs, this is all pretty standard fare, and, indeed, aficionados of the genre will find little new in “Zeitgeist.” ....

The over-all temper of the video is rather like the John Birch Society on acid, with interludes by Harry Smith. Incongruously, after spending nearly two hours trying to scare the bejeezis out of its viewers, Zeitgeist ends on an oddly upbeat note, telling us that Love — not Fear — is the answer, We are all One, and featuring sound-bites from Ram Dass and Carl Sagan. [emphasis added]
Notice that the monist theme ("we are all one") co-exists in this film with the dualist theme (good vs. evil, where, in this case, evil is represented by Christians/Bankers/whatever). These two themes may be logically in conflict but the human mind appears happy to believe in both at once.

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