Zeitgeist: Addendum premiered at the 5th Annual Artivist Film Festival in Los Angeles, California on October 2, 2008, winning their highest award. It was released free online on October 4, 2008. Director Peter Joseph stated: “The failure of our world to resolve the issues of war, poverty, and corruption, rests within a gross ignorance about what guides human behavior to begin with. It addresses the true source of the instability in our society, while offering the only fundamental, long-term solution.”
Part I follows on from Part III from the original film, citing the specific process of fractional-reserve banking as detailed in Modern Money Mechanics, released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. In detailing the process of so-called money creation in banks, the film suggests that society is manipulated into economic slavery through debt-based monetary policies by requiring individuals to submit for employment in order to pay off their debt.
Part II is a documentary-style interview with The New York Times best-selling author and activist John Perkins based on his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, in which he describes his role as a self-described economic hit man. In that capacity, he claims to have helped the CIA, as well as various corporate and political entities, to undermine or corrupt foreign regimes that put the interests of their populations before those of transnational corporations. Perkins denies the existence of a conspiracy, because he sees the US as a corporatocracy, in which there is no need for a plot, as politicians like Dick Cheney—who first was a self-professed “public servant” congressman, Secretary of Defense then served as the head of a construction company Halliburton before becoming Vice President—are alleged to be working under the same primary assumption as corporations: that maximization of profits is first priority, regardless of any social or environmental cost.
Part III is a documentary-style interview with futurist Jacque Fresco. The film looks at Fresco’s proposal of a “resource-based economy”, which he states would create abundance, is environmentally friendly and sustainable. He goes on to discuss technology which he sees as the primary driver of human advancement and he blames politics as being unable to solve any problems, because of a lack of “technical capabilities”. Fresco states that his approach is not perfect, but that “it’s just much better than what we have. We can never achieve perfection”.
Part IV of the film suggests that the primary reason for what it sees as society’s social values (“warfare, corruption, oppressive laws, social stratification, irrelevant superstitions, environmental destruction, and a despotic, socially indifferent, profit oriented, ruling class”) is a collective ignorance of “the emergent and symbiotic aspects of natural law.” The film suggests several actions for “social change”, which include: boycotting banks who are claimed to make up the Federal Reserve System, such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank Of America and Citibank, turning off TV news, not joining the military, refusing energy from energy companies in favor of making homes self-sustainable with clean energy, and rejecting the political structure. It also implores viewers to join The Zeitgeist Movement by visiting the movement’s official website. The film closes by asking everyone to “eliminate the divisionary, materialistic noise, we have been conditioned to think is true … while discovering, amplifying and aligning with the signal coming from our true, empirical oneness.”
A third film was released globally on January 15, 2011 called Zeitgeist: Moving Forward. its topics focused on human behavior, technology, and rationality. The third film is scheduled to be released online January 25, 2011.