He sat behind a table in the corner of a small café I passed a million times but never noticed, and he looked at me with his chestnut brown eyes. With his indicator pointing at me he said: “Be the change you want to be in the world”. And I knew Gandhi had been quoted.
Let’s start. Who is Brane Aljaž?
Should I be honest? O.K., let it be. I was born in a small village, surrounded by peaceful nature and lots of animals on the farm that I loved. Then I went to school at the age of 7 and started to be very critical about the society I was living in. What affected me the most was realizing that people mostly care about themselves and then, having gained this insight, I decided to continue my studies with a concentration in psychology, where the fundamental theories served my further research into the structure of society.
And you soon decided to join the Zeitgeist Movement.
Yes and no. I mentally joined it long before I was even aware of it. I also believed in a human species long before.
Are you saying you don’t believe in it anymore?
We have to believe in it.
Then please, tell the readers more about the Zeitgeist Movement.
Officially, the Zeitgeist Movement has existed since 2008 and as we like to highlight, it has no allegiance to any country or political platform. It views the world as a single system and the human species as a single family and recognizes that all countries must disarm and learn to share resources and ideas if we expect to survive in the long run. Hence, the solutions arrived at and promoted are in the interest of helping everyone on Earth, not a select group… Did you notice I’ve just cited that from the official web page?
I must admit it sounded familiar …
It did, because that is our main statement. I see the Zeitgeist Movement as a way ford individuals to express themselves through membership in a non-violent, global sustainability advocacy group. You know the Movement currently has chapters in 70 countries.
Working through global and regional educational projects and community programs, the intermediate goal is to establish a worldwide movement, essentially unifying all people, regardless of country, religion or political party. It might sound ambitious and I must admit it is, but we want to survive in a truly responsible and sustainable global society.
Seems idealistic. Where can we see the Zeitgeist Movement at work?
True, we converse at length, but behind the talk there’s a vision of action that is soon implemented. For example, we put out a great deal of information about Joseph Kony’s guerilla campaign in Uganda. So based upon simple empirical understanding, it is self-evident that any effort to resolve the LRA’s cycle of inhumanity must be focused on removing the environmental reinforcement for this behavior. Just catching the “Bad Guy” will solve very little in the long run, so we are striving to enlighten the masses with the whole picture and not just a short-term solution.
But don’t you think your ideas take enormous effort to implement?
Look at it this way. Everything starts small and needs to grow. The people who have issues or dislike the Movement and the concepts presented, do so because they are thinking in terms of our current evolutionary status. In order to achieve these goals, humankind will have to continue to evolve through body, mind and spirit. We cannot continue to be barbaric, greedy, and ignorant much longer. Either we evolve, or we will destroy ourselves. These concepts are a great step in the right direction so we can all become better people for ourselves, our neighbors and our Earth.
What is Zeitgeist Day?
Zday is a global conference which happens in March every year and tries to present the Zeitgeist Movement to the masses. It is fully supported by all kinds of media and through lectures, panel discussions, questions and answers, people at the grassroots get a clear picture of the important matters we are dealing with. The more people hear about it and the more people join it, the more possibilities we have of transforming the current society into a much better one.
So, it basically depends on involving the masses?
Contrary to most conferences of this nature, the Zeitgeist Movement does not foresee needed social changes coming from the political or economic establishment. It sees it coming from the public itself through grassroots reform since the core problems in the world actually originated with the very foundation of the eco-politico establishment from the start. The problem is the system itself.
With Zday, do you think there is a revolution on the way?
The real revolution needed is the revolution of values. Human society appears centuries behind in the way it operates and hence what it values. If we wish to progress and solve the mounting problems at hand and, in effect, reverse what is an accelerating decline of our civilization in many ways, we need to change the way we think about ourselves and hence the world we inhabit.
Founded in 2008, The Zeitgeist Movement is a sustainability advocacy organization, which conducts community based activism and awareness actions.The Movement’s principle focus includes the recognition that the majority of the social problems that plague the human species at this time are not the sole result of institutional corruption, absolute scarcity, a political policy, a flaw of “human nature” or other commonly held assumptions of causality. Rather, the Movement recognizes that issues such as poverty, corruption, pollution, homelessness, war, starvation and the like appear to be “symptoms” born out of an outdated social structure. The Movement’s defining goal is the installation of a new socioeconomic model based upon technically responsible resource management, allocation and design through what would be considered the scientific method to analyze problems and find optimized solutions.