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FINALLY: Stefan Molyneux debates Peter Joseph of ZeitGeist Movement + Moly on Joe Rogan Show - 9/24/2013!

Zeitgeist Versus the Market - Peter Joseph Debates Stefan Molyneux

Stefan Molyneux
Published on Sep 24, 2013

Stefan Molyneux debates Peter Joseph of the Zeitgeist Movement on the nature and reality of the free market system.

For more information on Peter Joseph, The Zeitgeist Movement and the Culture In Decline series, please visit: http://www.peterjoseph.info - http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com - http://www.cultureindecline.com

The Joe Rogan Experience with Stefan Molyneux - Sep. 20, 2013

Stefan Molyneux
Published on Sep 24, 2013

Stefan Molyneux speaks with Joe Rogan on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. JRE #396 - Recorded on Friday September 20th, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Subjects include: media hypocrisy, wasted human potential, nature vs. nurture, epigenetics, fragmenting the central narrative, the availability of information, confirmation bias, changing the world through better parenting, daycare, single mothers, pharmaceutical drugs, why marijuana is illegal, the difference between boys and girls, memory, the corrupt financial system, connecting at a primal level, the backgrounds of MMA fighters, managing aggression, the mind/body dichotomy, making mistakes, circumcision, Joe's childhood, violence in involuntary relationships, drones, chemical weapons, accidents of birth as virtue, success through hard work, acting, stand up comedy preparation, the horrors of divorce for men, gender/intelligence, gender equality, lying to get laid, discipline and the future of mankind.

MP3: http://media.freedomainradio.com/feed/FDR_2491_Joe_Rogan_Exp...

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True-ish is the most deceptive sort of lie

What compels people to trade is the fact division of labor. Everyone does some things better than they do others. If they had to do the things they do poorly along with the things they do well they would be worse off. Instead people do what they do best and trade with other people that do what they do best.

Both are better off as a result. That's it, that's all. Everyone could go live in the woods and set squirrel traps but they don't want to.

And we have abundance. The state ensures that it is all collected by the ruling class.

We will have no scarcity however. Scarcity is about us, and about marginal utility. You have enough of something, you want something else. That will always be the case.

Highly intellectual exchange so let me break it down...

for people like myself to understand.

Human Nature is flawed. Given that fact, there has never been and will never be a system of government or economics that will achieve utopia for all.

Both gentlemen make good points advocating their position and both would be correct if it were not for human nature.

Given human nature, free-market capitalism will always morph into crony-capitalism to socialism then to slavery.

Our systems of government and economics always runs in cycles and repeat, no matter where they start, they cycle.

In other words, we're screwed and will never achieve utopia until we die.

Have a good day!


Yes, that about sums it up. But thou should not listen to people, including myself at times, who tell you how screwed you are.

This is why people listen to the Ron Paul's and Tom Wood's of the world because they don't end on the note we're all screwed. They go one step further tapping into their wells of optimism to remind you that it is not about being screwed. It is about fighting the good fight and liberty is worth advocating for.

Nothing wrong with being optimistic....

but don't be disappointed when it doesn't work out. It was never meant to work out.

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SteveMT's picture

Just 38 minutes into this debate, but this is already great.

Stefan is very well prepared and is already dominating with unavoidable facts. Thanks for posting.

SteveMT's picture

Just finished, and no change in my impressions.

Stephan scored the most points.

Voluntarism is an impossible

Voluntarism is an impossible notion so long as there is scarcity and Peter is right that the base problem stems from scarcity.

Realize that fully ubiquitous voluntary free trade is nearly impossible given human psychological propensity to envy, greed or even survive...

an example... Think of a plantation owner and his slaves, it's technically free market but not voluntary for the slaves. This is no different then government because banks can now buy whole countries which allows those banks to set the rules to benefit them.

The fundamental base problem is money and all schools of thought that comes with money based market forces.

So Stephens ideological purist market with voluntary trade is a pipe dream currently. That said, so is Peter's idea that centralized planners will have the people's best interests at heart is also flawed..

The reason I side with Peter is because the "central planner" in his pipe dream doesn't have to necessarily be central or even human... by that, I mean the central planner could(basically must) be an open source computer AI that takes care of the whole notion of market planning(aka the economy as it currently is)

Basically peter Josephs idea of the "central planner" is like Wikipedia. Masses of people all contributing to the programming of the system to benefit humanity best.

Tools of war are not always obvious. The worst weapon is an idea planted in the mind of man. Prejudices can kill, suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has an everlasting fallout all of its own.

Peter scarces me! :D

"Voluntarism is an impossible notion so long as there is scarcity"

How does scarcity make volunteerism an impossibility?
And by the way, "scarcity" is relative and subjective. It also begs context. Scarcity of gummi bears might have a slightly different impact than scarcity of water or air. Joseph seems obsessed with scarcity. He is unbelievable and therefore untrustworthy to follow into his future concept of general abundance when he generally implies all current resources to be scarce. That's absurd. Even while finding scarcity beneath every stone, he deems the stones scarce and remains oblivious to his ultimate implication that even scarcity is scarce. Yes I absurdly digress, but he expresses no working grasp of the terms [scarcity and abundance]. He injects the terms lazily and whimsically or worse rhetorically, one to induce fear, the other to seduce. He also ludicrously claims that free markets cause scarcity. Not even a hardcore [well educated] communist would back him up on that one. He'd do better to stick with concepts of allocation and avoid reference to "scarcity" altogether.

"Realize that fully ubiquitous voluntary free trade is nearly impossible given human psychological propensity to envy, greed or even survive"

Say what you like regarding "human psychological propensity to envy, greed or even survive", but these propensities issue equal potential as motivators toward both voluntary and involuntary transaction, both trade and theft, both love and rape.

an example... Think of a plantation owner and his slaves, it's technically free market"

I don't get it. I'm missing something. What does a plantation owner and his slaves have to do with a free market? What's your point there? It seems an example of nothing, nothing contextual anyway, but perhaps slavery, which is a very odd thing to confuse with a free market.

"This is no different [than] government because banks can now buy whole countries which allows those banks to set the rules to benefit them."

You DO have context! It IS an example of something! This is a great analogy you've made. It also happens to match Stefan Molyneux's continuous assertion toward Peter Joseph.

"The fundamental base problem is money and all schools of thought that comes with money based market forces."

I've heard nothing from Molyneux to think that he would disagree with you there. You did however begin your comment with "Peter is right that the base problem stems from scarcity". I sort of follow you there, but to make sense of your terms one must infer that you [at least initially] don't see scarcity as a problem.

"So Stephens ideological purist market with voluntary trade is a pipe dream currently. That said, so is Peter's idea that centralized planners will have the people's best interests at heart is also flawed.."

You have that exactly backward. It is Peter's idea that is the pipe dream. It is Stefan's market that is flawed. Stefan's market has existed as long as humans have existed. It has been flawed as long as there have been grandiose visionaries like Peter.

"Basically peter Josephs idea of the "central planner" is like Wikipedia. Masses of people all contributing to the programming of the system to benefit humanity best."

That's a brilliant analogy... in describing a free market! :D


Scarcity makes volunteerism impossible(I should note on large scale and long term basis) BECAUSE it is relative.

A slave owner system is free trade, but not voluntary for those without recourse. It's a system to achieve abundance in a world of scarcity at the expense of some(or most).

The point of Stephan's idea is noble... but so long as people band together in consolidation of power, it will inevitably become what we have today because of human nature to use whatever tools he can to achieve whatever ends. People will ALWAYS end up abusing the system to take another's resource.

Stephan's idea of voluntary free trade is flawed for the same reason's as Peter's idea of "central planning"... human nature in a world of scarcity.

and to your last point. Wikipedia is not voluntary for an individual to control their own personal information... you only have a say in the outcome of any other wiki except your own.

Tools of war are not always obvious. The worst weapon is an idea planted in the mind of man. Prejudices can kill, suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has an everlasting fallout all of its own.

BECAUSE of human greed, anarchy is the only answer

Voluntarism doesn't assume humans will become the new men. It assumes they may not.

There is no central plan without a central planner. There is a programmer.

If you can accomplish your ends without violence, go on with your big self. If you can't, then you are the same as all tyrants.

Your big idea is, to you, more important than my freedom.

Ultimately you will be forced to use guns to get people to stay in your system. Peter knows this, this is exactly why he does not repudiate the state.

If his system could attract people voluntarily, he would not need guns.

I do not think ethier idea is nessarily a good idea for all peop

I do not think either idea is necessarily a good idea for all people all the time. I'm only making an observation of what I think would be the better path of the 2 given current conditions.

Best case, both of them would be right. People would voluntarily engage in a Venus project like system to achieve super abundance for all people, preserve civil liberties and band together ONLY to deal with outside threats to that said system.

worst case scenario... is what we already have(or at least are heading towards).

Tools of war are not always obvious. The worst weapon is an idea planted in the mind of man. Prejudices can kill, suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has an everlasting fallout all of its own.

Who plans the computerized

Who plans the computerized central planner? What happens to people who deviate from the plan?

If people are allowed to deviate in your utopia, then you're back to the market, where creative individuals endlessly try to beat the system because that's what creative individuals do....If people aren't allowed to deviate then you just have a communist hell run by some idiot's already-obsolete computer program.


In the "Project Venus" version of society, there is no central planning. There is no central authority. There is no government. There is no work. There is no money.

But mostly, there is no scarcity. The idea is that we have the technology to gather all the resources we need and shelter everyone on the planet. Instead of people spending their day working to survive, you spend your day doing what you want, whatever that may be.


...spend your day doing what you want...

For most people, that would be making more people. What could be the problem here?

Maybe that's what you would do?

Thanks for the insight about yourself.

I would spend my time researching and looking for answers for my numerous questions. Many intellectually curious people would do the same. Imagine the possibilities.

There is always scarcity.

Scarcity isn't about the universe. Scarcity is about human nature. This isn't Misesian, much as I respect the man, but scarcity isn't the property of the universe.

The Austrian insight of marginal utility makes this clear.

Even if we believe a central planner can do what no central planner has ever done, create an absolute abundance, it would make no difference.

How do we know?

Because the poorest American lives a lavish lifestyle compared to his brethren a century before. Yet there is still scarcity. No one starves but complaints are not in scarcity.

It doesn't matter how much can be produced. Whatever there is a lot of, people will discount, this is natural, why should anyone value what is abundant? There is no such thing as post scarcity, because there will always be something that is scarce because humans will always find something they want when all of their other previous desires are satisfied.

If all material wants are satisfied, which is something central planning cannot ever provide because doing so would remove the power of the planners, there will still be scarcity.

If all women are, by the beneficence of the central computer, provided with a Brad Pitt clone, then they would want a Christopher Hemsworth, or Jude Law, or Sean Bean or Daniel Craig, etc.

Scarcity is built into us. There is no end to scarcity until there is an end to humanity.

You're missing the point entirely

As did Stephan. Take an evening and watch this:


I'm still a libertarian because people aren't ready to see what we can do with the knowledge we have collected.

In my view, freedom to be dictated by market forces is the next best thing to actual freedom.

Faulty assumption

I nor Stef is missing the point. The point is that the proposed collectivist 'solutions' always have and always must make things worse.

I'm not an ancap because I don't care. I'm an ancap because I do care.

Freedom is what disperses resources.

The fundamental and only purpose of the state is to protect capital from market forces. If you build this tool, no matter WHAT your intent that is the only purpose for which it can be used

You can't 'do' something with the knowledge 'we' have collected without making things worse.

We wish the best that is possible. And that best won't have people dying of starvation. It will have some with more. But the sort of privation we both despise is only the result of the state.

There is no state in the Venus Project...

There is no collectivist mindset. There are people working together through volunteerism; but nobody is forced into anything. There are no laws, there is no state.

In a resource based economy, you can do whatever you want, whenever you want to. Let me repeat, THERE IS NOBODY IN POWER AT ALL!!!

You've got to watch the second and third Zeitgeist to understand. Too put it lightly, it's a "far-out" idea; but one that can happen as soon as people wake up.

Sure there is a state. That's

Sure there is a state. That's why JP makes apologia for the state.

Look, the problem isn't that is won't work.

The problem is that it can't work. At least not without guns, and is smart enough to know this.

I would like to see the next debate where JP tries to explain how he gets around the calculation problem. This will be where it gets embarrassing.

In short there is no possible computer, or anything else, than can ever solve the calculation problem. Because people will adapt to any such solution. Sure, the god-computer can theoretically in turn adapt to that adaptation, this is what all planners always do.

But that perpetual conflict, which by definition is preventing people from doing what they prefer, is a state.

More importantly, it is inefficient.

To solve the calculation problem you need time travel and a god. Neither is likely to be available to JP.

The calculation problem can no more be solved than entropy can be reversed, and it is related to entropy.

The social implication is as simple as it is unavoidable, free people will always be more wealthy, in terms of what THEY consider to be wealth, than any planned economy can POSSIBLY be.

Now ethically I have no problem if a bunch of people want to run off somewhere and try this, or any other collectivist crap they want to.

The problem is when it doesn't work, because it's impossible for it to, they will blame it on someone else and inevitably come after them. A free society would never agress on some collective. They would have nothing to take anyway. But the collective will always lust after the wealth of their more free neighbors, and blame the misery they brought on themselves on the 'greed' of the neighbors.

We would let them live in peace. They will never let us live in peace.

And lets not pretend this isn't collectivist crap, he's got a plan for the 'greater good'. But like all the other collectivist crap, and specifically just like communists and anarcho-syndicalists, they think they can make the impossible happen without forcing people at gunpoint.

Well let's say the rubes think that. The smart ones know this, and for them, the guns are the point. The collectivist crap is just the ruse to get the rubes to give up their guns.

The smart rubes realize that it can only happen with guns and admit it up front, but think once the guns are in the hands of the party elite everything will become bunnies and rainbows. So not so smart.


There is no state in the Venus Project. There is no pretend computer running everything. F.Y.I. JP didn't invent this idea. Jauque Fresco did.


I'm telling you, as someone that researched this. You don't have the right idea about how this would work.

This is why I'm a libertarian. I think people are ready for what the Ron Paul idea of liberty is. Obviously, we are no where near ready for the Venus Project, which is complete freedom. Like I said, no state, no computer running your life, no police force, nothing.


We have the technology because of lots of intense competition on a lot of levels over many millennia leading up to driven, highly intelligent people in settings that gave them incentives to overachieve. Now that the technology exists, it might be easy to fantasize about utopias, but remove the tensions that lead to creativity and you don't have a lot of hope of the species improving.


Technology grows because people are able to spend more time researching and less time surviving. As more technology becomes available, less work is needed to acquire resources to survive. Therefore, the tensions you speak of are becoming more rare and innovation is becoming more abundant.

other way around

Technology grows because of different varieties of competition. People spend all that time researching because they want to gain something. The research gets more elaborate because previous advances free up time and make other resources available, but nobody has ever moved mankind forward, technologically, artistically, etc., without some form of insecurity motivating them.

The tensions causing technological creativity are, if anything, more intense than in previous eras, because technological creativity is the primary area of competition in today's world.

I don't think that's true...

The people that make technology grow usually aren't researching for purely competitive reasons. The space race led to many advancements in the world today, and although the government may have only sponsored advancements in space for political reasons, the engineers involved worked because they love space exploration.

When people do things out of love rather than survival, amazing things happen. Work is so much better when you love your job. I personally do things for happiness, not money or competition; but everyone is different.

weak retort

Space race was political, driven by people obsessed with international competition who vacuumed resources out of the free market. The worker bees were given superior quality of life. Personal gain. Placed above their fellow man.

Henry Ford loved machines. Would have tinkered with motors no matter what. His work took on a striking new shape because he was competing against other engineers, gauging his success by, and striving toward, public approval--which was measured by profit.

You need to define your terms. "Love" and "survival" are meaningless generalizations, gray areas you're creating so you don't have to commit to any hard, nuts n bolts facts of life.

I think it's time to be done.

No need to be rude. I would just watch the movie, you don't have to agree.


But if you learned this thinking from the movie, I'll probably pass.

I believe you might need professional deprogramming.

Your the programmed one...

You haven't seen the movie and your bashing it because that's what your programmed to do.

I think the Venus Project is a good idea; yet I'm a Ron Paul supporter. I have the ability to think past Austrian Economics; although I think it's one of the best ways for an economy to operate. You pigeon hole yourself into one idea and you shut yourself off from everything else.