As sometimes comes up we have TZM supporters interested in putting energy into a local project such as: a sustainable intentional community, or some form of tech-farming, or off-grid initiatives for living, etc. The information provided in this article is to reiterate what has already been discussed in prior meetings regarding these projects and non-profit status in the U.S.
Just so you are aware, if you, or any TZM chapter member, or a coordinator, plans to create an Intentional Community or Non Profit Organization, these are NOT ZEITGEIST MOVEMENT ORGANIZATIONS! They are LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS managed by those individuals. TZM volunteers/admins take no responsibility for the management of any such local projects. While these projects may offer fantastic experiences for you to participate in locally, they are outside of what the Movement actually advocates.
You may certainly get involved in various communities or npo's if you feel so inclined. But, we need to clarify this often because so many people want to use the Movement’s momentum, resources and mailing lists to support alternate initiatives which takes the focus away from our actual movement causes (i.e. to address systemic root causes of socioeconomic problems). As a point of clarification: Such outside projects/communities/agendas NEED TO BE SEPARATE from what you focus on in meetings and activist events that are meant to officially represent TZM. These community projects could be mentioned in forum posts and meetings, but NOT listed as the agenda for meetings, or as a main focus of a chapter's purpose. Using TZM time for such initiatives are separate and distinct from Movement chapter purpose and should be facilitated through their own separate forum, group or cause.
It is best not to confuse what The Zeitgeist Movement advocates with the many causes & initiatives out in the world. A NL/RBE structure is a global system by means of a 'systems approach' to resource management, and addresses root-causes to persistent problems through scientific unfolding. If you are engaged in a project that is focused on something else please act in an honest and responsible manner about your project or idea. Remember to clarify to TZM members that it is a personal side project and not an official Movement initiative.
You may ask: Isn't my idea related to what The Zeitgeist Movement advoates? and if so, then why can’t it be a TZM project?
It is fairly easy to find a common parallel between community-living initiatives and TZM (i.e. my project is about sustainability, or we use technology that might be part of an RBE, etc.) and then use that single attribute to paint your project as The Movement. This form on intellectual dishonesty is epidemic in our society and is baseless as an argument for changing the Movement's train-of-though to facilitate the needs of one's personal agenda.
Hopefully you can see the necessity to keep things relevant.
All these great projects require significant time, energy and funding to accomplish. If chapters break off into these different focuses then we lose the unified direction, energy and resources that could have gotten us ALL to an RBE that much quicker. It ultimately detracts from the Movement's efforts and delays the progress we could have made in the dominant value sets.
If you have a great idea that is scientific, sustainable, humanitarian, a breakthrough in technology like we’ve never seen, etc- we applaud you. But please, take responsibility for your own project. If you have the passion to think it up and talk it up then it can be assumed you also have the passion to do your own legwork to get funding and promote it yourself in your community without taking focus and resources away from TZM awareness initiatives.
If you or anyone in your chapter is interested in participating in an Intentional Community, be aware that a many already exist. Here is an online directory on how to find them so you can get involved: www.ic.org This might save you the costly investment of starting your idea from scratch.
The above link gives a place to direct people who are so enthusiastic that they can’t imagine any RBE-type city unless they have their hands on the technology in action, or they are worried about how to provide for their kids if the economy collapses and the electricity goes off, etc. (Yes, please…teach these folks how to grow a garden, to make rainwater into clean drinking water, to tell their electric company to F-off by getting off-grid, and to get to know their neighbors in person and not just from Facebook updates to alleviate some stress they have about the state of the world.) It’s just that The Zeitgeist Movement acknowledge these as patchwork projects, conducted by concerned individuals in local communities that wish to learn how to take care of their own. Please do not confuse such efforts as “Zeitgeist Movement” causes. This way we can keep our focus in a unified, global systems direction and make progress sooner than later.
Also, it is important to note that often the very people who critique the Movement for being only “awareness” focused instead of “building a city” focused, are almost always touting this stance because they personally approached TZM to support their OWN city project or NPO and we did not change course to accommodate their project as a new focus of the Movement's chapters.
If you investigate the critic’s personal goals, you will likely find that their critical stance is actually a ‘sour grapes’ reaction to a thwarted agenda of their own. The question I like to pose to them is: If “awareness” is not all that crucial to success in this direction, then why are you so passionately targeting a group that is awareness focused? Can’t you simply build your city and show us all what we’re missing? What was your initial interest in TZM to begin with if you have all the answers and the better way to bring about a NL/RBE?
The ironic answers usually lie in a desire to have their personal project benefit from our ongoing awareness efforts, though they will probably not readily admit this. So if a Chapter Coordinator and/or supporter in your chapter pressures you to start a non-profit org that or some form of intentional community, know that they are operating completely independent of TZM. You may wish to recommend a web-search on the resources below where they may more enjoy participation in similar projects:
- Resource Based Economy Foundation
- Free World Charter
- Atlas Initiative Group
- We World Technologies
- Planetary Skin
- European Organization for Sustainability (EOS)
- Factor e Farm / Open Source Ecology
- Directory of Existing Intentional Communities: http://www.ic.org/
- The Forward Movement http://zeitgeistworker.wordpress.com