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What is The Venus Project?
Very briefly, The Venus Project is an organization that proposes a feasible plan of action for social change, a holistic global socio-economic system called a Resource Based Economy; that works toward a peaceful and sustainable global civilization. It outlines an alternative to strive toward where human rights are not only paper proclamations but also a way of life.
The Venus Project presents a vision not of what the future will be, but what it can be if we apply what we already know in order to achieve a sustainable new world civilization. It calls for a straightforward redesign of our culture in which the age-old problems of war, poverty, hunger, debt, and unnecessary human suffering are viewed not only as avoidable, but as totally unacceptable. Anything less will result in a continuation of the same catalog of problems found in today's world.
The Venus Project presents an alternative vision for a sustainable world civilization unlike any political, economic or social system that has gone before. It envisions a time in the near future when money, politics, self and national-interest have been phased out. Although this vision may seem idealistic, it is based upon years of study and experimental research. It spans the gamut from education, transportation, clean sources of energy to total city systems.
Many people believe what is needed is a higher sense of ethical standards and the enactment of international laws and treaties to assure a sustainable global society. Even if the most ethical people in the world were elected to political office, without sufficient resources we would still have many of the same problems we have today. As long as a few nations control most of the world's resources and profit is the bottom line, the same cycle of events will prevail.
As global challenges and scientific information proliferate, nations and people face common threats that transcend national boundaries. Overpopulation, energy shortages, global warming, environmental pollution, water scarcity, economic catastrophe, the spread of uncontrollable disease, and the technological displacement of people by machines threaten each of us. Although many people are dedicated to alleviating those conditions, our social and environmental problems will remain insurmountable as long as a few powerful nations and financial interests maintain control of and consume most of the world's resources and the monetary system prevails.
If we really wish to put an end to our ongoing international and social problems, we must declare Earth and all of its resources the common heritage of all of the world's people.
Earth is abundant and has plentiful resources. Our practice of rationing resources through monetary control is no longer relevant and is counter-productive to our survival. Today we have highly advanced technologies, but our social and economic system has not kept up with our technological capabilities. We could easily create a world of abundance for all, free of servitude and debt based on the carrying capacity of Earth resources. With the intelligent and humane application of science and technology, the people of the earth can guide and shape the future together while protecting the environment. We don't have enough money to accomplish these ends but we do have more than enough resources. What is a Resource-Based Economy?
To transcend these limitations, The Venus Project proposes we work toward a worldwide, resource-based economy, a holistic social and economic system in which the planetary resources are held as the common heritage of all the earth's inhabitants. The current practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant, counter-productive, and falls far short of meeting humanity's needs.
Simply stated, within a Resource Based Economy we will utilize existing resources - rather than money - to provide an equitable method of distribution in the most humane and efficient manner. It is a system in which all goods and services are available to everyone without the use of money, credits, barter, or any other form of debt or servitude.
To better understand a resource-based economy, consider this. If all the money in the world disappeared overnight, as long as topsoil, factories, personnel and other resources were left intact, we could build anything we needed to fulfill most human needs. It is not money that people require, but rather free access to most of their needs without worrying about financial security or having to appeal to a government bureaucracy. In a resource-based economy of abundance, money will become irrelevant.
We have arrived at a time when new innovations in science and technology can easily provide abundance to all of the world's people. It is no longer necessary to perpetuate the conscious withdrawal of efficiency by planned obsolescence, perpetuated by our old and outworn profit system. If we are genuinely concerned about the environment and our fellow human beings, if we really want to end territorial disputes, war, crime, poverty and hunger, we must consciously reconsider the social processes that led us to a world where these factors are common. Like it or not, it is our social processes - political practices, belief systems, profit-based economy, our culture-driven behavioral norms - that lead to and support hunger, war, disease and environmental damage.
The aim of this new social design is to encourage an incentive system no longer directed toward the shallow and self-centered goals of wealth, property, and power. These new incentives would encourage people toward self-fulfillment and creativity, both materially and spiritually. Why do you feel that an approach as revolutionary as The Venus Project is necessary?
Our current system is not capable of providing a high standard of living for everyone, nor can it ensure the protection of the environment because the major motive is profit. Businesses aren't entirely to blame; they are forced to operate this way in order to retain the competitive edge. Additionally, with the advent of automation, cybernation, and artificial intelligence, there will be an ever-increasing replacement of people by automated systems. As a result, fewer people will be able to purchase goods and services even though our capability to produce an abundance will continue to exist. This is well-documented in Jeremy Rifkin's book The End of Work: The Decline of the Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the Post-market Era (Putnam, 1995). The Venus Project offers a fresh approach that reverses the negative aspects experienced in our current applications of automation and artificial intelligence. This project eliminates the disastrous consequences that such approaches can have on our society, i.e. the displacement of millions of workers, skilled and unskilled alike. Isn't it just decent people that we need in government?
It is not enough to criticize, point out the shortcomings of society, or advocate that people of high moral character be elected into office; this would do little to advance civilization. What is needed is the intelligent management of the world's resources, and a comprehensive and workable arrangement of environmental and social affairs that are in strict accord with existing resources and the carrying capacity of our planet. Even with the election of men and women of impeccable character into government, without available resources and advanced technology, war, poverty, and corruption will prevail no matter how many new laws are passed or treaties signed. It is not democracy that elevated our standard of living, it is our resources, water, arable land, and new technology. Rhetoric and paper proclamations are irrelevant in the management of human and social affairs. Elaborate a bit, if you will, on your views regarding money.
If all the money in the world were destroyed, as long as we have sufficient arable land, the factories, the necessary resources, and technical personnel, we could build anything and even supply an abundance. During the Depression, there were vacuum cleaners in store windows and automobiles in car lots. The Earth was still the same place. There was just no money in people's wallets and very little purchasing power. At the beginning of World War II, the U.S. had about 600 first-class fighting aircraft. We rapidly overcame this short-supply by turning out over 90,000 planes per year. The question at the start of World War II was: Do we have enough funds to produce the required implements of war? The answer was No, we did not have enough money or gold, but we did have more than enough resources. It was the available resources and technical personnel that enabled the U.S. to achieve the production and efficiency required to win the war.
It appears that the real wealth of any nation is in its natural resources and its people who are working toward a more humane life-style through the elimination of scarcity. All social systems, regardless of the political philosophy, religious beliefs, or social mores, ultimately depend upon natural resources -- i.e. clean air and water and arable land area -- and the industrial equipment and technical personnel for a high standard of living. The money- based system was designed hundreds of years ago and was hardly appropriate for that time. We still utilize this same outmoded system, which is probably responsible for most of today's problems. I have no doubt that even the wealthiest person today would be far better off in the high-energy society that The Venus Project proposes. What are some of the detrimental effects of The Monetary System?
There are many disadvantages to using this old method of exchange for goods and services. We will consider just a few here and let you add to this list on your own.
1. Money is just an interference between what one needs and what one is able to get. It is not money that people need, it is access to resources.
2. The use of money results in social stratification and elitism based primarily on economic disparity.
3. People are not equal without equal purchasing power.
4. Most people are slaves to jobs they do not like because they need the money.
5. There is tremendous corruption, greed, crime, embezzlement, and more caused by the need for money.
6. Most laws are enacted for the benefit of corporations, which have enough money to lobby, bribe, or persuade government officials to make laws that serve their interests.
7. Those who control purchasing power have greater influence.
8. Money is used to control the behavior of those with limited purchasing power.
9. Goods such as foods are sometimes destroyed to keep prices up; when things are scarce prices increase.
10. There is tremendous waste of material and strain on available resources from superficial design changes for newer later fads each year in order to create continuous markets for manufacturers.
11. There is tremendous environmental degradation due to the high cost of better methods of waste disposal.
12. The Earth is being plundered for profit.
13. The benefits of technology are only distributed to those with sufficient purchasing power.
14. Most important, when the corporation's bottom line is profit, decisions in all areas are made not for the benefit of people and the environment, but primarily for the acquisition of wealth, property, and power. You mentioned economic collapse in your book. Do you believe this is the only way our society can escape a monetary economy?
No government in history has ever planned ahead and directed society into the next phase of social evolution. Established orders want to perpetuate themselves. Unfortunately, it may take an economic breakdown and people becoming disillusioned with their leaders before they will seek an alternative social direction. Social change was always brought about by economic collapse, corruption in government, abuse of the population, etc. Governments are generally comprised of businessmen, lawyers, and other self-appointed individuals with personal and corporate interest rather than upgrading society as a whole. Wouldn't there be Resistance of the Rich and Powerful?
What you had to say about the rich and powerful being resistant to such a society in many cases is true, however if they keep using automation in their industries, as they have to in order to compete, millions of people will be replaced by machines. This includes not only the assembly line workers but also doctors, engineers, architects and the like. As they lose their purchasing power, the very industries that depend on them can no longer function. This will bring an end to the old outworn monetary system. It is not a question of them giving up their industries; it is that their greed will eventually render them obsolete.
Only when science and technology are used with human concern in a world in which all of the earth's resources are held as the common heritage of all of the earth's people can we truly say that there is intelligent life on earth. In the idea of future, do you think that the regional differences will still have the greatest influence as they do today? Or will these differences disappear?
Our problems today are enormous and global in their scope and impact. They cannot be solved by any one nation. The concept of common good is global in nature, but local in implementation.
We must start with what we have in common. All social systems, regardless of political philosophy, religious beliefs, or social customs, ultimately depend upon natural resources like clean air and water, arable land, and the technology and personnel to maintain a high standard of living. This can be accomplished through the intelligent and humane application of science and technology using a global systems approach. When money and self interests are outgrown, interaction between nations won't be based on self interest, but on mutual interest. This approach will help eliminate artificial boundaries that separate people. What types of pressures would be alleviated in The Venus Project's designs?
The greatest lesson we might learn could be that human beings free of debt, insecurity, and fear become much more amiable. No one will be out to sell anyone anything or to deprive another of possessions or money. In a resource-based economy, the basis for unhealthy human aggression will be outgrown. People will no longer be burdened by the nagging concerns that consume so much of our attention, such as mortgages, health care costs, fire insurance, economic recession, the loss of jobs, depression and taxes. With the elimination of these burdens and the removal of the conditions that create feelings of envy, greed, and competition, our lives would be far more meaningful. For the first time we may begin to know what it means to be human.
As we enhance the lives of others, protect our environment, and work toward abundance, all our lives can become richer and more secure. If these values were put into practice, it would enable all of us to achieve a much higher standard of living within a relatively short period of time; a standard of living that would be continuously improved.
People would be free to pursue whatever constructive endeavor they choose without the economic pressures, restraints, and taxation that are inherent in the monetary system. By constructive endeavor, we mean anything that enhances the lives of the individual and others. When education and resources are available to all without a price tag, there will be no limit to human potential. With these major alterations, people would eventually live longer, more meaningful and healthier lives. The measure of success would be the fulfillment of one's individual pursuits rather than the acquisition of wealth, property, and power. What is the single most important aspect of the project?
The single most important aspect of the project is the social direction of all nations working together on the restoration of the environment in a resource-based economy. The aim is to establish all of the Earth's resources as the common heritage of all of the world's people. This we see as the only process to end the present cycle of events of war, poverty, hunger, political corruption, and environmental degradation. The technology that we present can make it possible for the global population to obtain a very high standard of living that is higher than ever imagined possible.
We could eventually surpass the artificial boundaries that divide people. If you fail to grasp the significance consider this: in the United States when the states joined together the militias disappeared at the borders and Americans were free of territorial disputes. This same process can be applied globally where all science and technology are utilized for the benefit of all of Earth's inhabitants. What is the Plan?
It is far more efficient to build new cities as self-contained systems from the ground up than to restore and retrofit old ones. New cities can take advantage of the latest technologies and be clean, safe, and desirable places to live. In many instances, a circular arrangement will be utilized.
We need a current survey of all available planetary resources. The first experimental city or planning center will conduct a global survey of arable land, production facilities, transportation, technical personnel, population, and all other necessities required for a sustainable culture. This survey will enable us to determine the parameters for global planning for humanizing social and technological development, based on the carrying capacity of Earth and the needs of its people. This can best be accomplished with a constantly updated, computerized model of our planetary resources.
The function of the first city is to test the validity of design parameters and make necessary changes as needed. It will further this new social direction on many fronts with books, magazines, TV, radio, seminars, theater, and theme parks , as well as designing and experimenting with automated building processes for the next city. Research will also seek the development of clean alternative energy sources, and to overcome shortages through the development of new materials.
The new system will provide all the necessities required to support people during the transitional period. To sustain civilization, we must coordinate advanced technology and available resources within a humane global systems approach. For instance, the characteristics of the population in a given area will determine how many hospitals and schools are built and the equipment needed. Some medical systems will be mobile and others will be prefabricated on land and sea.
During the transition, scarcity regions will be provided with heat concentrators for cooking and sterilizing water. Food for those areas can be dehydrated and compressed to save shipping space. The packaging will be biodegradable and may double as non-contaminating fertilizers. Regions without arable land will use hydroponic farms, land-based fish farms, and sea farming. Energy will come from wind, solar, heat concentrators, photovoltaic, wave, biomass, geothermal and other sources.
An interdisciplinary team of qualified personnel, in line with the project's requirements, will work on automated systems to produce and supply goods and services on a massive scale. These can be the armies of the future, a large peaceful mobilization to restore and preserve the earth and its people. This has never been done before and can only be done when money is no obstacle. The question is not do we have the money, but do we have the resources and means to accomplish this new direction. Phase One
The first phase of The Venus Project's long-term plans is already underway. Jacque Fresco, futurist, inventor, industrial designer, and founder of The Venus Project, and his associate Roxanne Meadows, have constructed a 22-acre research center in Venus, Florida to help present the proposals of The Venus Project. Four DVDs, pamphlets, and the book, The Best That Money Can't Buy: Beyond Politics, Poverty, and War, have been created to help raise awareness about this project and its many proposals. Hundreds of futuristic models, plus many computer animations and renderings, have been completed to help visualize this attainable future.
A major documentary on the life and work of Jacque Fresco is available completed by William Gazecki, an Academy Award nominated and Emmy winning documentary filmmaker. http:// www.FutureByDesignTheMovie.com
Also the film Zeitgeist Addendum about the aims and directions of The Venus project can be viewed at www.ZeitgeistMovie.com Phase Two
Phase Two includes the production of a full-length feature film depicting how a world embracing the proposals advanced by The Venus Project would work. This film would provide a positive vision of a peaceful society in which all human beings form a global family on planet Earth. A civilization where all people engage in the pursuit of a better understanding of the world they share. This film has been designed to be an entertaining and educational experience for both adults and children. It also provides a methodology for bridging differences between nations. Phase Three
To test its designs and proposals, The Venus Project is working toward putting its ideals into practice with the construction of an experimental research city. Blueprints for most of the initial technologies and buildings have begun. Fund-raising efforts are currently under way to help support the construction of this first experimental city. This new experimental research city would be devoted to working toward the aims and goals of The Venus Project which are:
1. Recognizing the world's resources as the common heritage of all Earth's people.
2. Transcending the artificial boundaries that separate people.
3. Evolving from money-based, nationalistic economies to a resource-based world economy.
4. Assisting in stabilizing the world's population through education and voluntary birth control in order to conform to the carrying capacity of Earth's resources.
5. Reclaiming and restoring the natural environment to the best of our ability.
6. Redesigning our cities, transportation systems, agricultural industries, and industrial plants so that they are energy efficient, clean, and able to conveniently serve the needs of all people.
7. Sharing and applying new technologies for the benefit of all nations.
8. Developing and using clean and renewable energy sources.
9. Manufacturing the highest quality products for the benefit of the world's people.
10. Requiring environmental impact studies prior to construction of any mega projects.
11. Encouraging the widest range of creativity and incentive toward constructive endeavor.
12. Outgrowing nationalism, bigotry, and prejudice through education.
13. Outgrowing any type of elitism, technical or otherwise.
14. Arriving at methodologies through careful research, rather than from mere opinions.
15. Enhancing communication in schools so that our language corresponds to the actual physical nature of the world.
16. Providing not only the necessities of life, but also offering challenges that stimulate the mind while emphasizing individuality over uniformity.
17. Finally, preparing people intellectually and emotionally for the changes and challenges that lie ahead. Phase Four
After the experimental research city is built, a theme park is planned that will entertain and inform visitors about humane and environmentally friendly life-styles. It will feature intelligently designed cities; houses, high-efficiency, non-polluting transportation systems; advanced computer technology; and many other innovations that can add value to the lives of all people - in the shortest possible time.
We are quite aware that no one can actually predict the future. We can only extrapolate from present information and trends. Population growth, technological change, worldwide environmental conditions, and available resources are the primary data required for future projections.
There is no single philosophy or religious, political, scientific, or ideological point of view that someone would not take issue with. We feel certain, however, that the only aspects of The Venus Project that may appear threatening are those that we impose upon ourselves.
The Venus Project is neither Utopian nor Orwellian, nor does it reflect the dreams of impractical idealists. Instead, it presents attainable goals requiring only the intelligent application of what we already know.
We encourage you to become informed about our proposals in this project through our books, videos and seminars. If you identify with this direction, we encourage you to join with us and work toward its realization. www.TheVenusProject.com How do you see the collapse of the present system occurring?
Government and industry will continue to assign more and more responsibility for decision making to intelligent machines. Today's machines handle trillions of bits of information per second, far more than is manageable by any number of industrial or political decision-makers. They can also assemble and assign constantly updated information.
The other side of this trend is that so many people will be replaced; we will no longer have the purchasing power needed to sustain a monetary-based system that burdens the entire population and government with insurmountable debt.
As the old monetary system begins to displace more and more people by its reliance on automation, these people will cease to respect the authority of industry. The time-honored pattern of living in all industrial countries, the balancing of work and family interest, would become impossible to maintain for the majority of people displaced by automation.
As artificial intelligence develops, machines will be assigned the tasks of complex decision-making in industrial, military and governmental affairs. This would not imply a take-over by machines. Instead, it would be a gradual transfer of decision-making processes to machine intelligence as the next phase of social evolution.
Many people believe that government leaders bring about change with a deep concern for the well-being of their citizenry. Nothing could be further from the truth, nor did past shifts in society come about as the results of changes in the schools or the home. All established government systems tend to preserve and uphold their own interests and power-base.
The real forces responsible for change have more to do with unforeseen, external events or biosocial pressures that physically alter our environment and established social arrangements: for example, the infusion of machines and processes that replace people and remove their means of making a living, adverse natural conditions of drought, flood, storm, and earthquake, manmade disasters of economic oscillations, or some outside threat of hostile nations. How do we get from here to there?
The Venus Project is in the process of introducing a set of values and procedures that may enable us to achieve social nucleation. Our project will provide the designs and blueprints for a prototype community to test the validity of our proposals; we will strive to achieve a relevant orientation by which people may adapt intellectually and emotionally to our new technological age. We feel that anything short of overall social design would be inappropriate and ineffective.
Since we begin in a monetary-based society, the means for raising funds to construct this experimental community can be accomplished in several different ways. One is through the production of a major motion picture depicting the advantages of this new social system for all of the world's people. Another possibility is the building of a theme park where visitors would actually experience some of the many benefits of The Venus Project's proposals. Books, videos, blueprints, models, a movie script, and the 21-acre research and development center have already been completed.
Any funds raised by these proposed projects, along with contributions, publications, videos, seminars, lectures, and grants, will be used to help initiate and construct the first experimental city.
Our proposals are submitted to the general public and to all educational institutions. We invite your participation. If enough people find the proposals acceptable and join with us in this new advocacy, we could form the nucleus of an organization to more forcefully implement the aims of The Venus Project.
During the great depression of 1929 when banks failed and people were laid off, things seemed hopeless. Those conditions brought about new organizations to address the many problems--everything from Mankind United, Socialism, Communism, Technocracy, and The World Federalist. They produced social awareness on a large scale. These conditions are sometimes referred to as bio-social pressures or the march of events.
At present, people are not well enough informed to devise a relevant and workable social system through rational methods. The Venus Project will not be installed by today's political leaders who are not appointed to change things but to keep things as they are. It is only through the failure of existing social institutions and political incompetence that people will seek other possible social alternatives. They are mainly motivated only by severe conditions that threaten their safety and existence.
No nation today is about to give up its sovereignty for a social arrangement that has never been tried. Therefore it will take a social breakdown to stimulate the search for alternative social designs. This has been the case throughout human history. The Breakdown
The Venus Project can not be put into practice on a global scale until the economic systems of the world fail to provide for the needs of people.
What will bring about the collapse of the world's monetary systems is the infusion of automation and the outsourcing of jobs. This includes not only assembly line workers but also doctors, engineers, architects, and the like. As workers and professionals lose their purchasing power, the industries that depend on them can no longer function. This will bring an end to the monetary system. It is not a question of owners giving up their industries so much as the fact that people will not have the purchasing power to sustain this system. Even the motion picture industry is generating computerized people who will replace many TV announcers and personalities.
This breakdown is already well underway on a global scale.
While these drastic conditions will help produce the motivation for social change, no individual or organization has laid out what changes are necessary and how to bring them about. Our current system is not working. Unless people are aware of, or knowledgeable about what is needed, they will continue to repeat the same mistakes--war, recession, boom and bust, hunger, poverty, and much unnecessary human suffering.
The aims of The Venus Project cannot be achieved until people become aware of its proposals and aims. To introduce to the world this new social direction, the best vehicle is a major motion picture. It will present simply and understandably the advantages to all nations of participating in a resource-based economy. This film will be both entertaining and educational. It would present the limitless possibilities of an evolving society which surpasses politics, poverty, money, and war.
A major film could reach the largest number of people the world over in the shortest possible time. We feel it is necessary to produce this motion picture in advance of the social breakdown to help prepare people for this transition and present them with a direction to work toward. There is a lot of work to be done. We hope enough people will become aware of the proposals of The Venus Project before social collapse, so that this new social design may be implemented.
Another way to visualize and accelerate an understanding of this bold new vision is with a TV series.
Therefore, our main objective is education through the media. If enough people learn about this direction, accept these proposals, and wish to organize to bring it about, we will then work toward the building of a first experimental city. The Venus Project has designs and blueprints for a prototype community.
To further clarify: Experimental City
The Venus Project proposes the building of a new experimental city whose purpose is two-fold:
(1) To test the workability of The Venus Project's designs and proposals, and to provide the information necessary to enable people to adjust intellectually and emotionally to social transition.
(2) To establish a permanent planning center that will be used for future long and short-term planning of global projects to help implement a resource-based economy and overcome scarcity, hunger, poverty, and other social ills.
This would not be a private enterprise venture for a select few but would be an open city for the public to visit. The proposed circular configuration of these new cities is not just stylized architectural conceptualizations; they are the result of years of research into providing an environment that can best serve the needs of the inhabitants and yet conserve resources. Without extensive knowledge of the symbiotic relationship between humanity and its environment, it would be extremely difficult to develop workable solutions to our many problems. The Venus Project has taken this and many other factors into careful consideration.
The decisions of a transitional government in this environment would be based upon what is needed to reach the goals of a humane, environmentally sound, and technically sustainable society.
Like all other innovative social projects, it starts out with a few devoted people who dedicate their time to informing others about the humane benefits of this new direction. People are invited to help in whatever capacity they can during the initial phases of the new experimental city. An interdisciplinary team of systems engineers, computer programmers, architects, city planners, sociologists, educators, etc would also be needed.
The design of The Venus Project does not regard environmental conditions as fixed or static. We must allow for adaptation within the system as a continuous process. This will avoid perpetuating temporary arrangements beyond their period of usefulness.
This circular design could be the prototype for a series of new cities to be constructed in various places throughout the world. The rate of progression will depend upon the availability of funds raised and how many people identify with, participate in, and support this direction.
As these new communities develop and become more widely accepted, they may very well form the basis of a new society, preferably through the process of evolution rather than revolution.
The Venus Project does not advocate dissolving the existing free-enterprise system--we believe it will come to an end of its own accord as a part of social evolution. We encourage you to become better informed about the proposals of this project through our books and videos, and invite you to join with us in working toward the realization of a new civilization that could provide a better life for everyone. In Conclusion
Many people want to know what to do immediately to help bring about global unification. If you identify with the proposals of The Venus Project, you can help bring it about by learning more about us through our books and DVD's. You can help promote this direction in any way you are able. Speaking to others about these ideas, fund raising, grant writing, helping with publicity, promoting lecture tours, or helping to produce promotional materials will all help. If you are in a position to initiate the motion picture this would be very important. There is a lot to do and we need the help of many people in bringing these ideas to the public.
Our findings and design proposals will be submitted to the general public and all educational institutions. If enough people find the proposals acceptable and choose to join with us in this new advocacy, they will help form the nucleus of an organization to carry out our aims.
The future is our responsibility; if we fail to accept this responsibility, others will do our thinking for us. What are the first steps taken toward a global resource based economy?
After agreement is attained by nations to move toward unification and sharing of the earth's resources, a global survey of available resources, technical personnel, production plants, arable land etc. has to be done to provide us with sufficient information in order to ascertain the parameters of social design. During the initial phase the cybernated system being developed will serve as a data bank to tell us what is available. This will enable us to proceed with the design. The major initial task will be to provide food, water, shelter medical care and clean sources of energy.
During the transition, scarcity regions will be provided with heat concentrators for cooking and sterilizing water. Food for those areas can be dehydrated and compressed to save shipping space. We would extrude many food products which consist of high protein foods containing most of the necessary nutrients to sustain those in the underdeveloped regions. The packaging will be biodegradable and may double as non-contaminating fertilizers. Regions without arable land will use hydroponic farms, land-based fish farms, and sea farming.
Most of the world's universities will partake in the basic designs of cities, production facilities, transportation of goods and services. The basic design parameters are the aims and end goals of The Venus Project. Some of these may be the efficient, economic and safe utilization of resource for the benefit of people and the environment while considering the recycling of materials. The units of construction would be easily assembled and disassembled by prefabrication, automation and shape memory materials.
Clean sources of energy will be a priority in all of the infrastructure. Energy will come from wind, solar, heat concentrators, photovoltaic, wave, biomass, geothermal and other sources.
Although many ideas will be submitted, the methods of selecting will be based upon energy determinants or the required energy to produce a given product. There will be many materials that will not be readily available. The research departments throughout the world will be assigned the tasks of developing alternative systems and materials to overcome shortages. One must remember that the research and development does not depend on funding and resources will be assigned where most needed so development will be tremendously accelerated.
Along with these developments we need emergency contingency departments that can act immediately in the event of any unforeseen events.
The function and use of computers will be to provide information on what is available during the transition from a monetary to a resource based economy. As the needs mentioned above are being initiated, the automated systems will be in development to help eliminate shortages.
All media will be used to expose people to this new emergent direction.
The new system will provide all the necessities required to support people during the transitional period. People will be working in all areas to help eliminate scarcity. To sustain civilization, we must coordinate advanced technology and available resources within a humane global systems approach. For instance, the characteristics of the population in a given area will determine how many hospitals and schools are built and the equipment needed. Some medical systems will be mobile and others will be prefabricated on land and sea.
An interdisciplinary team of qualified personnel, in line with the project's requirements, will work on automated systems to produce and supply goods and services on a massive scale. These can be the armies of the future, a large peaceful mobilization to restore and preserve the earth and its people. This has never been done before and can only be done when money is no obstacle. The question is not do we have the money, but do we have the resources and means to realize this new direction. What can be "the turning point" of the future? Do you have any idea about it?
I see the "the turning point" of the future as resulting from a social and economic breakdown of existing social designs as older values become less effective. The direction we take will be forced by social circumstances and the march of events. Unless we accept responsibility for a more appropriate social design, we are bound to repeat the same cycle of war, poverty, hunger, homelessness, crime, territorial disputes, etc. Only with the intelligent management of earth's resources can we overcome these problems. Our social designs must also reflect the carrying capacity of the earth and its resources. We must someday realize that the only solution is to mandate that all resources are the common heritage of all. How would you describe the recent economic crisis? Can it be a lesson in today's society?
This could be a useful lesson if it resulted in a direction where this would not occur again. But most people aren't aware of the prime causes of social development and how that affects their values and behavior. They do not learn anything from it, despite going through the suffering. There have always been wars, and booms & busts, but most people don't seem to learn much from them.
Unfortunately, even when rational solutions are presented, people are not educated enough to assess the validity of alternative proposals. Most people are not trained in methods of critical thinking, but only in how to perform a task to earn a living. By the way, what do you think about the "New World Civilization"?
I must emphasize that the approach to global governance I advocate has nothing whatever in common with the aims of an elite to form a world government with themselves and large corporations in control, with the vast majority of the population subservient to them. My vision of globalization empowers each person to be the best they can be, and to not live in subjugation to a corporate governing body. You couldn't just plop the first city down and expect people to respect it.... you would need to slowly develop the cities as it becomes harmonized with the evolving social consciousness. What are some of the steps to accomplish this?
We cannot, as you mention "plop the first city down and expect people to respect" or accept it. First people have to be informed about this direction and it has to be presented in an acceptable manner for the general public. We feel we need to present a film that would help to introduce a sustainable value system and that this is needed prior to the building of the city or the planning center. This new sustainable value system is needed in order to get us from here to there. It will depict a set of values more appropriate to our needs to survive and thrive.
This film will be designed to provide the necessary information that will help develop a global sustainable culture by providing the means of harnessing clean sources of energy and a relevant educational system free of nationalism and propaganda. It will attempt to unify all nations by providing them with methods of overcoming their limitations. For example nations that do not have arable land for the growth of food stuff will be provided with the methods of hydroponic agriculture. It will also demonstrate to people the design parameters for sustainable cities and adequate international transportation system for goods and services. These cities will contain housing, industry, wind farms, photo voltaics, heat concentrator, health care, education, and all of the other necessities essential to the improvement of all members of society. Many cities will be self sufficient.
The film will identify the problems and the best methods with today's technologies to overcome many of the problems that plague the world today. It will show how to provide a sustainable diet for the worlds hungry. It will deal with methods of providing health care to all the worlds' people through efficient mobile transportation of medical equipment and staff by utilizing air, land and sea similar to emergency systems.
It will also provide methods and processes for desalinization without the use of fossil fuels by heat concentrators, mobile photovoltaic systems, wind generators and more. Where feasible we will harness all moving water streams such as the Gulf Stream, Icelandic current and other ocean currents that can be directed toward the development of energy.
The film will also depict how mass housing, cities, industrial plants, transportation and bridges can be developed in the shortest possible time by using prefabricated structural elements. It will show how the Polar Regions can be used to store seeds and food stuff for any international emergency. It will demonstrate how to develop canals and water ways to prevent flooding and other national disasters. It will portray processes that will help eliminate malaria and other diseases prevalent in underdeveloped countries.
There will be a great deal of computer animation used to depict these things in an comprehensive and exciting manner. The film would debunk the belief of a technical elite or any other advantage group controlling the system. It would show just what is achieved by applying the methods of science and technology to the way we live. It will demonstrate how decisions are arrived at, with the end goal of enhancing everyone's lives while maintaining a clean environment with no vested interest groups, thus surpassing the need for military systems.
The film differs from all others in that it will supply solutions and methodology for accomplishing a unified, sustainable global culture. This will have to be a sophisticated and well done presentation that will be both entertaining and informative.
The building of a new city alone will not accomplish the changes needed without preparing people with an acceptable direction to move towards and the values needed to accomplish this. The film would help inform and provide a possible, positive alternative to war and social upheaval. It would emphasize that which nations have in common; we all need clean air, water, arable land. It would set forth a relevant point of view for sustainability and an education system to maintain this new direction. This is not designed to impose a value system upon any nation, but to invite all nations to participate in the restoration of the environment, as well as a method for a positive future.
It will be a vehicle to gather people who are environmentally and socially concerned and provide them with more information about this direction. It would lay out an attainable blueprint. We could then form an organization to gain funds to do a first city which will be a planning center to further these aims. What is, and what do you think about it, the relationship between habitat and place of living? Which variables do you consider in conceiving architecture, or even a city?
The city of the future must be designed as a totally integrated environment with clean renewable sources of energy, schools, shopping centers, health care, education, transportation, waste recycling, agriculture and entertainment. These city systems can not be built by architects alone but also require an interdisciplinary team of professionals such as sociologists, computer analysts, material scientists, environmental scientists, systems engineers, behavioral scientists, educators, etc.. I noticed a certain nearness between your thinking and the French architect Le Doux about the concept of ideal city: do you believe that the eighteenth century idea of ideal city could apply also to a future city?
There are no ideal cities any more than there is an ideal television set. The future requires flexibility and a capacity for change and an adaptation to newer concepts and technologies without any utopian notion of final development. I believe future generations will evolve their own social arrangements. I do not believe in any final frontiers, and the future will continue to undergo changes based upon successive phases of social development.
Being civilized is an ongoing process and not attainable. The same is true for intelligence. An intelligent electrical engineer of 75 years ago could not get a job today. He would be educated in antiquated terms that evolved from earlier times. What would you consider to be the most difficult technological hurdle to overcome before building the Circular City?
Social and cultural lag. All people are always immersed in a culture which is responsible for the levels of education. Today unfortunately most education is designed as propaganda rather than information related to the physical laws that govern all living and non-living systems. Many of your designs seem to reflect retro-mod trends. What was your thinking behind the shapes and the black/white faÃ§ades of the structures?
Most of the designs of the city systems, industries, transportation and associated industrial requirement such as automation and cybernetics are based upon the physical carrying capacity of Earth and its population. The design parameters are extracted from the physical equipment that exists along with today's technology and personnel. What would be done with the old cities?
Most of the old cities would be leveled and mined for their resources. They are too inefficient to maintain. Some of the cities would be set aside as museum cities. What main concepts do you keep in mind whenever you design structures or transportation?
Keeping it simple and efficient, the availability of resources and the methods for carrying out structural design. Can you briefly describe the process you used in designing the Circular City? What factors where most important?
The factors that were most important were to design a self-sufficient system where schools, transportation, housing, agriculture, health care, research facilities for innovation, and a productive healthy lifestyle for all were incorporated into the total design. What kind of change do you expect in architecture?
Ending pollution and waste while keeping a high standard of living will require profound changes in the way we plan cities and conduct human affairs.
While some advocate modifying existing cities and spend lots of time and resources attempting to update them, I find such attempts inadequate. Modification carries a large price in dollars and sustaining resources. Modifying and building onto what we have means supporting older infrastructure and energy requirements, a high cost for operation and maintenance thereof, overall inefficiency, and detrimental effects on occupants. It is less expensive to build new cities from the ground up than to restore and maintain old ones, just as it is more efficient to use state-of-the art production methods than to upgrade obsolete factories.
The innovative multi-dimensional circular cities I propose use the most sophisticated resources and construction techniques. The geometrically elegant circular arrangement, surrounded by parks and gardens, is designed to operate with a minimum expenditure of energy while obtaining the highest possible standard of living. The city would use totally clean technology in harmony with the local ecology.
When we see a city as a biome that grows and adapts, and requires energy, food, water, disposal systems, and arteries for transportation of goods and people, our ideas about space and permanence change dramatically. Our present haphazard growth patterns reflect available space and access rather than cohesive planning. Joining city elements together in a predetermined way conserves energy and provides easy access to all portions of the city. The prefabricated elements comprising the city would be designed to permit modification as needed. As newer materials come on line, the city design can be continuously upgraded, while also keeping in mind new technological and structural progress, and evolving human patterns. All systems would be of an emergent nature and constructed to allow maximum latitude in accommodating change. This would permit the city to function as an evolving integrated organism rather than as a static structure.
The design and development of these new cities emphasize restoration and protection of the environment: in my view, technology without human concern is meaningless. How would one choose a home?
An example of the wide range of choice available in a resource-based economy is the way one selects a house. For instance, a man and woman may visit an architectural design center and sit in front of a clear hemisphere approximately six feet in diameter. The woman describes the type of house she would prefer and her areas of interest. The house appears as a 3-dimensional image in the center of the hemisphere. It rotates slowly to present a view of the interior and exterior. Then the man describes his major interests and preferences and suggests a larger balcony. The 3-dimensional image is adjusted. When they have finished requesting changes, the computer presents various alternatives to consider. They will also enter a sensorium to experience a walk-through of their preferred design and continue to make changes.
When they arrive at a final design, construction procedures are set in motion. The computer selects materials for efficiency and durability. None of the architecture is permanent and can be modified and updated at the request of the occupants.
This is real individual choice. In a monetary system, most live near their work with a house, car, and lifestyle they can afford (or all too often cannot afford), rather than one they prefer. Today we are only as free as our purchasing power permits. Lacking a true sense of self worth, many buy houses as status symbols just to impress others.
A resource-based economy changes the nature of our dwellings from that of status symbol, or just basic shelter, to a reflection of individuality and personal interests. Is everything going to be easier than today regarding the materials we use at home for example, white goods, furniture, etc., then how is it going to be changed?
In the future, people may be shielded from weather by electronic means. Newer technologies may make walls transparent so that occupants can view the surrounding landscape without those on the outside being able to see in. Daylight could be softened and subdued according to the preferences of the occupants. Dwellings could provide a barrier to sound, insects, and dust, while also maintaining an optimal internal temperature. The building's materials may generate energy and control the surrounding climate.
The home will be engineered to do its own maintenance. For example, a floor surface could be ceramic without the grout. It will be micro-etched so that moisture or fungus cannot adhere. There would be many sensors throughout the home for optimal cleanliness, interaction with the occupants to meet their needs, and for energy conservation. In some cases, the interior walls and ceiling will be luminescent rather than using any single source of light. Color would change on demand. Speaker systems and other electronic devices could be an inherent part of the structure. The telephone may be invisible and a component part of the interior structure. It may focus sound to the location of your ear. The furnishings may consist of totally different configurations that automatically adjust to our bodies as we move. In your project new social mentality is introduced. What novelties in architectural forms and constructions does the Venus project offer?
While some advocate the modification of existing cities and spend much time and resources attempting to update them, we find such attempts inadequate. Modification carries a large price in dollars and sustainable resources. Modifying and building on what we have means we must continue to support a combination of older systems' infrastructure and energy needs, their high cost of operation and maintenance, and their overall inefficiency, not to mention their detrimental effect on the occupants. It is actually less expensive to build newer cities from the ground up than to restore and maintain the old ones, just as it is far more efficient and less costly to design a flexible, state of the art production method than to attempt to upgrade an obsolete factory.
To live in a world without pollution and waste, yet keep parks, playgrounds, art and music centers, schools, and health care available to everyone without a price tag, profound changes are required in the way we plan our cities and conduct human affairs. To support this new aim and direction, our city designs, industrial plants, waterways, energy systems, production and distribution centers, and transportation systems must be re-designed and operated as a coherent, integrated, global energy system enabling them to be safe, clean, and energy efficient. In this way we can use our technology to overcome resource shortages, provide universal abundance and protect the environment.
In this society, construction techniques would be vastly different from those employed today. It would combine the most sophisticated utilization of available resources and construction techniques. Self-erecting structures would prove most expedient and efficient in the construction of industrial plants, bridges, buildings and eventually the entire global infrastructure.
This would not create cookie-cutter cities. The notion that intelligent overall planning implies mass uniformity is absurd. Cities would be uniform only to the degree that they would require far less materials, save time and energy and yet be flexible enough to allow for innovative changes, while maintaining the highest quality possible to support the local ecology - both human and environmental. Utilizing technology in this way would make it possible for a global society to achieve social advancement and worldwide reconstruction in the shortest time possible.
The circular arrangement employs a systems approach, efficiently applying resources and energy conservation, ease of fabrication and relative freedom from maintenance. The process of assembling entire cities through the standardization of basic, structural systems prefabricated in automated plants and often assembled on site, permits a wide range of flexibility in design and takes advantage of interchangeable units to permit changes for new and innovative installations. All systems would be of an emergent nature and constructed to allow the maximum latitude in accommodating change. This could permit the city to function as an evolving, integrated organism rather than a static structure. It is far less expensive to build entire efficient sustainable cities even in today's monetary system because we only design one eight of the circular city and reproduce it.
The buildings would be so designed for easy assembly or disassembly. In this way cities could take on new and different appearances depending on their function. Each would be unique. This approach does not reduce the lives of people to a subsistence level; rather, it makes available all the amenities that modern science and technology can provide. Even the wealthiest people of today could not achieve a standard of living equal to that of a resource-based economy. What kind of change do you expect in health equipment?
Health equipment will be in each home and it will automatically monitor the physical conditions of the occupants. It will make various adjustments to maintain optimal health. What kind of change do you expect in communication?
Communication will be more signal and less noise. People will be educated in a much more precise and productive language. The language used by the average person is inadequate for resolving conflicts, but the language of science is free from ambiguities and the conflicts found in everyday emotionally-driven language. It is deliberately designed - as opposed to having evolved haphazardly through centuries of cultural change - to state problems in terms that are verifiable and readily understood by those who use it. Much of today's confusion is the result of our inability to state problems precisely. When one can state problems precisely, we are more than half way to the solutions.
Most technical strides would have been unattainable without this improved communication language. Without a common descriptive language, we wouldn't have been able to prevent disease, increase crop yields, talk over thousands of miles, or build bridges, dams, transportation systems, and the other technological marvels of this computerized age.
Unfortunately, the same is not true of conversational language. Attempts to discuss or evaluate newer concepts in social design are greatly limited by existing systems and beliefs. What kind of change do you expect in transport?
Transportation will be rapid, clean, silent, and safe. In the new cybernated cities, mag-lev transveyors will move horizontally, vertically, and circumferentially within and without. Over long distances, people can travel in trains inside tunnels. The trains could electrically repel air away from their surface, thereby diminishing skin resistance and permitting speeds up to three thousand miles an hour. This could replace most aircraft. Is it possible to see flight cars in the near future?
Individual transport systems would be inefficient compared to integrated transveyors. I see totally integrated global transportation systems for freight and passengers. This integrated transportation network would consist of maglev transveyors, submarines freighters, boats, VTOL type aircraft, and vector-jet systems. I regard these methods as the most energy-efficient transportation systems available with today's technology. What kind of change do you expect in urban development?
In these new total city system designs, all aspects of the city are well integrated. For example, in the agricultural belt electronic probes embedded in the soil automatically inventory the water table, soil conditions, nutrients, etc., and act appropriately without requiring human intervention as conditions change. This industrial electronic feedback could be applied to the entire system.
The new city would be an environment featuring clean air and water, health care, good nutrition, entertainment, housing, access to information, and education for all. It would have art and music centers, fully-equipped machine shops, science labs, hobby and sports areas, and manufacturing districts. These new cities would provide recreation within a short distance of the residential district. This technology is inevitable. Waste recycling, renewable and clean power generating systems, and other services would be managed by integrated cybernated methods. Life styles and personal preferences are totally decided on by the individual.
Some of the cities would be circular while others may be linear, underground, or constructed as floating cities in the sea. Eventually, many cities may be designed as total enclosure systems much like cruise ships outfitted for a six-month cruise. From technological point - is the Venus project real?
Technically The Venus Project is feasible today. Are there necessary materials, technologies of constructing and maintenance of eco-cities nowadays?
There are more than the necessary materials available for the construction and maintenance of such eco-cities. What present-day materials, technologies can be used in constructing the Venus project?
More efficient application of present day materials for light weight, high strength would be applied. Some of the materials that could be used are composites of high strength inner and outer surfaces with a foamed inner core. The exterior surfaces could be of a ceramic material, glass, or pre-stressed, lightweight concrete. All the electronics could be an integral part of the building's modular components, each one easily connected to existing clean sources of energy. Many of the buildings could be self-contained with thermal generators, heat concentrators and photovoltaic arrays built into the skin of the building, and with thermo panes to tint out the bright sunlight by variable patterns of shading. Outer surfaces will change color in different seasons to take advantage of heat loss or gain. These features would help to supply more than enough of the energy required to operate the entire building.
Buildings may also contain a precise combination of dissimilar metals utilizing the thermocouple effect for heating and cooling, and other materials embedded in solid state plastic or ceramic, structural materials. The warmer it gets on the outside, the cooler it becomes on the inside. The application of this principle can serve to heat or cool the buildings. What scientific developments (materials, technologies) should be done to realize your project?
Innovation and exploration will be a major concern in these new cities and the future will generate newer materials and methods, which will result in vastly different expressions of structure, form, and function, each consistent with an evolving and changing world. The future technologies used in the construction of these new advanced cities are based on extrapolations and projections of feasible technologies and can be developed today. These newer materials will probably serve multiple purposes. They could be lightweight, high strength, and low maintenance, with acoustical properties not found in today's structures. Some new structural materials may be of a sandwich-type construction that is semi-flexible, with an inner foam core and a glazed ceramic, outer surface to allow for expansion and contraction without fracture. This will require no maintenance. Their thin shell construction can be mass-produced in a matter of hours. With this type of construction, there would be minimal damage from earthquakes, hurricanes, termites, and fires. These newer materials could combine all of these factors as an integral part of the structural components. How do you imagine the building processes of the projects - standard, using prefabricated units or some other technologies?
To achieve world wide reconstruction to obtain a very high standard of living for all, large machines are needed that can handle huge building sections similar to the way ships are built today. Mega-machines could construct entire buildings by computerized, pre-programmed instructions, reducing construction time considerably. This programming could be readily altered to fit changing conditions.
Many of the cities architectural elements can be constructed in dry docks and floated to their destination. They can be moved off the flotation units by the means of water jets. Water jets require one pound of force to move one ton of weight. In other words the completed buildings can be moved from the flotation units to their foundations eliminating the necessity of bringing building materials for on site construction.
Eventually these structures will be self erecting and use composites such as shape memory materials. These are materials that can be pre-shaped for such items as contoured furniture. They are then flattened for easy shipment and activated electrically to assume their original shape. This process can be applied to portions of the structure as well. With advances in nanotechnology, their performance and durability will be increased considerably toward self repair and automatic maintenance. Is there a preliminary cost of this kind of the complex? Is it cheaper or not?
It is far less expensive to build entire efficient sustainable cities even in today's monetary system because we only design one eight of the circular city and reproduce it and because of the other efficient building methods already mentioned. In your opinion, when will such towns be constructed?
No government has ever advocated social change. The established order tends to perpetuate itself. Unfortunately it may take an economic breakdown and people becoming disillusioned with their leaders to have them seek an alternative social direction. But if the direction of The Venus Project is not widely known, we will surely continue with our destructive policies. When these social methods will be employed we can not say. It is not up to us but up to depends on what we all do to bring it about. Is there any one field of discipline you find most promising right now, as far as technological advancement? Architecture? Material science, perhaps?
The viewpoint of the generalist which incorporates all of the factors necessary to sustain a highly technical, advanced civilization. Could individuals live outside the cities?
Yes people can live where ever they wish especially when there is more research done on self-sustaining houses in terms of energy, but there are would be so many advantages of living in this type of city.
What the new city would provide is a total environment, with clean air and water, health care, good nutrition, access to information and education for all. The city would have art and music centers, fully equipped machine shops, science labs, hobby and sports areas, and manufacturing districts. These new cities could also provide all manners of recreation within a short distance of the residential district. This type of technology is inevitable. Waste recycling, renewable and clean power generating systems, and all manner of services would be managed by integrated, cybernated methods. The management of human affairs, such as life styles and personal preferences, are totally selected by the individual.
Of course, people will be free to live wherever they choose. But these cities are planned with plenty of open country, parks, and wooded areas. In the areas for individual housing there will be enough vegetation and trees between houses to impart a sense of privacy.
Our proposal for a city of the future represents an achievable, sustainable, and sophisticated environment, one that is designed to help bring out the best in the human potential. These cities will not only provide resources and information but will be university cities of continuous growth, designed to encourage individuality, creativity, and cooperation, with concern for the total person and the environment in which they live.
It is not the intent of The Venus Project to foster uniformity. It is our intent to provide the best tools and information relevant to the needs of each individual. The system also welcomes constructive criticism of its proposals, architecture, and all other aspects of the social system. But, what if someone wanted to go out into a remote area, far from the cities?
For remote traveling, we propose air cars that propel the vehicle about 4-6 feet off of the ground and are propelled by a ring vortex. There would be individual aircraft accessible to anyone that don't require the type of operating skills necessary today. These transport units are likely to appear about 10 to 15 years following the transition.
We don't try to patch the current infrastructure. First, we work at designing infrastructure, transportation and new cities and then, while in transition, we continue to use conventional vehicles; land, sea and air, including other available methods from helicopters to all-terrain vehicles. We could put units on the conventional cars that avoid collisions by sonar, radar, or other means that slow the vehicles when needed. Tires will have a rim built in so if they go flat they won't lose control and whatever safety devices that can be used on conventional cars until we get the other systems and cities underway. It really depends on what is new at the time.
During the transition participation is voluntary. We don't need that many people. You don't need to convince everyone. I was trying to think of an intermediate/bridging solution to the problem of automobile collisions. I'm curious as to his thoughts about such a common problem. 6,289,000 occur every yr.
Yes you can make cars collision proof but it is much less expensive to redesign our cities with built in transportation to any portion of the city, just as elevators are used in large buildings instead of a separate cubical operated by each person with a separate motor. These elevators transport millions of people each year without accidents or collisions.
In the interim you can put sensors on cars to diminish accidents. They can be driven by electrical motors that put the brakes on before hitting something. The sensor can help maintain a safe distance between cars but the cost would be enormous and detract from conservation of resources and the real solutions that could be worked on. This intermediary approach would be inefficient and more costly compared to redesigning the transportation system in an environment that includes this in the overall design. This type of thinking merely prolongs a more efficient system. Tying to patch up this technical infrastructure that we have is wasteful, detrimental and in the long requires more energy.
To a certain extent moving people from one place to another is considered in the overall design of modern airports with conveyers and automated trains that takes one anywhere in the airport without accidents.
Either we take on the job of conserving resources or face the consequences. It is not only the problem of accidents with cars but take for instance the mammoth undertaking they did in Boston to tunnel under the ground for more highways. It is a ridiculous and costly approach that ultimately does not take care of the problem. Also the inefficiency of the situation when there is an accident on a busy highway and people are stopped for miles. This could be true even with sensors in cars when there are other technical problems with individual cars that cause the accidents.
There are many laws for cars on the highway and when one violates the laws there is another extremely costly system in place to penalize people. All this has to be taken into account for the cost of the automobiles. There are no laws for the speed or operation of elevators that the users are confronted with. Laws are merely to deal with technical inefficiency.
The reason that Jacque redesigned the cities is that he took all the detrimental factors into account to start with. He started by designing cars that were safer but realized that was not the answer. Even suggesting that we can patch this system is putting the brakes on.
After WWII there was a good opportunity to redesign cities and solve the transportation problems but we put up the same type of inefficient infrastructures. This will demonstrate the problem with our thinking process. We have to rethink our planning and update our cities to comply with new advances in technology. It shows you how hard it is to get an overview of our social designs and pose the right questions.
We do not need to try and patch up an old established culture but we need a new type of thinking to create an ever changing emergent culture. It is dangerous and inappropriate to dwell on trying to make this system more efficient and it is actually condescending to people to perpetuate the same kind of thinking and limiting factors that got us into this mess. The nation that has no vision for the future will be surpassed by those that do. It is not really an "intermediate bridge" when you hold people and technology back by trying to make inefficient changes that only serve to delay social advances. I put John Perkins in this same category trying to make this system work (and ethical) when it is responsible for creating the problems in the first place. Why is this concept superior to other intentional community projects?
Intentional communities attempt to have a better standard of living within our current system but we see this as patch work. If there is an economic break down, the intentional community falls apart. From our point of view it is not a feasible solution, it is patchwork of private capitalism for a selected few. We are not against intentional communities, but it does not address the problems, it avoids addressing national and international conflict, unemployment, displacement of people by machines, environmental degradation, political corruption and all the other artificialities of our civilization. How are Resources Distributed Equitably?
Distribution of goods and services without the use of money or tokens would be accomplished by establishing distribution centers. These centers would be similar to expositions, where the advantages of new products are explained and demonstrated. Exhibition centers will display what is new and available and will constantly be updated. If you visited Yellowstone National Park, you could check out a camera or camcorder, use it, and then return it to another distribution center or drop-off, eliminating storage and maintenance.
Besides computerized centers throughout the communities where products would eventually be displayed, there will be 3-D, flat-screen imaging in each home. If you desire an item, an order can be placed and the item automatically delivered directly to your place of residence without a price tag, servitude, or debt of any kind. This includes whatever people need such as housing, clothing, education, health care, entertainment, etc.
Raw materials for products can be transported directly to manufacturing facilities by automated transportation "sequences" using boats, monorails, mag-lev trains, pipelines, and pneumatic tubes. An automated, computerized inventory system would integrate the distribution centers and manufacturing facilities, coordinating production to meet demand. In this way, a balanced-load economy can be maintained. Shortages, over-runs, and waste could be eliminated. Eventually goods and services will be mass-produced in such abundance as to be too cheap to monitor.
Today there is more than 75% waste in the production of material goods. In a resource-based economy, all waste would be recycled. A priority would be designing things of the highest quality so that products would last longer and require little or no service. Many electronic parts will use plug-in components for convenient repair. There would be no planned obsolescence just to sell the latest designs or fashions. This would eliminate considerable waste.
Energy can also be conserved in the loading and unloading of materials in transport systems. For instance, instead of unloading separate containers, an entire freight section will be disengaged from a cargo ship and replaced with another so that the ship does not waste time at the dock during loading and unloading. The same method can be applied to trains and planes. There will be one compartment for passengers and baggage, which can be disengaged from the plane or train as a new section is loaded, so that the vehicle is more effective and conserves time and energy. All transportation will be operated electrically.
In a cybernated society, people will have more time for individual interests such as going back to school, working in the arts and sciences, traveling, etc. There will be many choices for exploring, studying, enjoying, and participation.
Professions that are non contributing, such as banking, insurance, advertising, marketing, sales, the military, lawyers, stockbrokers, etc., will evolve into activities that are more useful. What is the role of the family?
At present, both husbands and wives work. Monetary economics has undermined family cohesion and childcare. Parents have little time to spend with their children, and they are constantly stressed by ever-rising medical bills, insurance payments, educational expenses, and cost of living expenses.
In this area, one of the most profound benefits of this new civilization can be realized. Shorter workdays will provide greater opportunity for family members to pursue areas of personal interest. Free access to goods and services will make the home a pleasant place, without the economic stress that causes so much family turmoil. Would people be happier in this kind of society?
Perhaps it isn't happiness that we seek: happiness is relative to each individual's distinct nature, and is thus individually defined and achieved. We seek to create a society where people are free to choose their life's work, develop hidden potential, and pursue dreams without government intervention or financial constraint.
A resource-based economy would provide art centers, music centers, theater projects, and opportunities for people to return to an educational environment, allowing them to pursue their interests. Although people would be economically secure, they would still find real challenges that would maintain incentives and enhance creativity. What is the approach to professionals running this new society?
Many of the professions familiar to us today will eventually be phased out. With the rate of change now taking place, a vast array of occupations will become obsolete and disappear. In a society that applies a systems approach, these professions will be replaced by interdisciplinary teams - the systems analysts, computer programmers, operation researchers, and those who link the world together in vast communications networks.
We have the skills and the knowledge to apply interdisciplinary teams to problems. However, only in times of war or national emergencies do we call upon and assemble interdisciplinary teams to help find workable solutions to social problems. If we mobilize the same resources for our social problems as we do during a war, beneficial effects on a large scale can be achieved in a relatively short amount of time. This could easily be accomplished by utilizing many of our universities' training facilities and staffs to best determine possible alternative methods to solve these problems.
This approach would be an important initial phase to define the possible parameters for the future of all civilization.
The process of social change must allow for changing conditions that continuously update the design parameters, and for the infusion of new technologies into emerging cultures. Design teams, utilizing socially integrated computers, can automatically be informed of any changes in conditions. Will there be a government?
As to the need for government, only during the transition from a monetary based society to a cybernated high-technological resource based economy of common heritage would it be necessary to utilize the services of systems analysts, engineers, computer programmers, etc. They will not dictate the policies or have any more advantage than other people. Their job will be to carry out the restoration of the environment to near natural conditions as possible on land and in the sea. They will also economically layout the most efficient way to manage transportation, agriculture, city planning, and production. This too is always in the process of modification and updating to fit the needs of an ever-changing civilization. There are no final frontiers. What is the role of Cybernation as Decision Makers?
When computers eventually have sensors extended into all areas of the physical and social complex, we will be able to achieve centralization of decision-making. In a global resource-based economy, decisions would not be based on local politics but on a holistic problem solving approach.
This centralized system could be connected to research labs and universities, with all data monitored and updated constantly. Most of the technology needed for such infrastructure management is currently available. The major difference between today's computer technology and the system we recommend is that our system extends its autonomic nervous system (environmental sensors) into all areas relevant to the social complex. It coordinates a balance between production and distribution, and operates to maintain a balanced-load economy. This technology of industrial electronic feedback can be applied to the entire global economy.
For example, with electrical sensors extended into the agricultural region, computerized systems would manage and control agriculture by monitoring the water table, insects, pests, plant diseases, soil nutrients, and so forth. The information processed will enable us to arrive at more appropriate decision-making based on feedback from the environment.
Computers and artificial intelligence will serve as catalysts for change. They will establish scientific scales of performance. It is doubtful that in the latter part of the twenty-first century people will play any significant role in decision-making. Eventually, the installation of AI and machine decision-making will manage all resources serving the common good.
This will result in a more humane and meaningful approach for shaping tomorrow's civilization that is not based on the opinions or desires of a particular sect or individual. All decisions would be made on the basis of a comprehensive survey of resources, energy, and existing technology without allowing any advantage to a particular nation or select group of people.
This may be accomplished with large-scale, computer-based processors that can assist us in defining the most humane and appropriate ways to manage environmental and human affairs. This is essentially the function of government. With computers processing trillions of bits of information per second, existing technologies far exceed the human capacity for processing information and they can arrive at equitable and sustainable decisions about the development and distribution of physical resources. With this potential, we would evolve beyond political decisions made on the basis of power and advantage. How do you evaluate the robot conception in the future? As in the science fiction movies, everything is going to be done by robots. Is everything going to be different or will humans be the most effective factor?
SiFi movies are written by artists and writers who are seldom qualified to describe technological developments, particularly as applied to the social system. Many express a fear of technology, and lack a deeper understanding of the humane potential of technological development. Technologies are simply extensions of human attributes.
In technologically developed countries, industry and the military are assigning more and more decision-making to machine technology. Machines will not take over, but they will eventually be assigned the tasks. Today's machines can handle one thousand trillion bits of information per second. No humans have this capability. In the near future, the operation of a global society will be far too complex for any sophisticated group of humans to manage.
That is why I urgently advocate that society utilize cybernetics not merely for tabulation and measurement, but also to process vital information and channel it for the benefit of all humankind. Only our most capable computers can store and sort through the data necessary to arrive at equitable and sustainable analyses and decisions about the development and distribution of resources on a global scale.
The most visionary writers and futurists of the twentieth century would have had difficulty accepting the possibility of robots replacing surgeons, engineers, top management, airline pilots, and other professionals. It is no longer unthinkable that machines may one day write novels or poems, compose music, and eventually surpass humans in government and in the management of world affairs.
This is not about the morality and ethics of human participation, but a straightforward description of future technological trends. Is this what Karl Marx advocated?
Although Marx was a brilliant man for his time, he did not foresee the methods and advantages of a high-tech resource-based economy. Communism used money and labor, had social stratification, and elected officials to maintain the communists' traditions. Most importantly, Communism did not eliminate SCARCITY nor did they have a blueprint or the methods for the production of abundance. Machine production rather than labor will dominate the future. Perhaps through no fault of their own, they also had to maintain huge military expenditures to protect themselves from invasion of fascistic and capitalistic institutions. How does The Venus Project Compare with Communism?
Communism being similar to a resource-based economy or The Venus Project is an erroneous concept. Communism has money, banks, armies, police, prisons, charismatic personalities, social stratification, and is managed by appointed leaders. The Venus Project's aim is to surpass the need for the use of money. Police, prisons and the military would no longer be necessary when goods, services, healthcare, and education are available to all people. The Venus Project would replace politicians with a cybernated society in which all of the physical entities are managed and operated by computerized systems. The only region that the computers do not operate or manage is the surveillance of human beings. This would be completely unnecessary and considered socially offensive. A society that uses technology without human concern has no basis of survival. Communism has no blueprint or methodology to carry out their ideals and along with capitalism, fascism, and socialism, will ultimately go down in history as failed social experiments. How does this system differ from Marxism, besides the technological use?
Communism is a political system managed by a form of ideology, which does not necessarily relate to human or environmental needs. Communism uses money, banks, armies, police, prisons, charismatic personalities, social stratification, and is managed by appointed leaders and uses indoctrination. The Venus Project's aim is to surpass the need for the use of money. Police, prisons, banking, advertising, stockbrokers, military, and government would no longer be necessary when goods, services, healthcare, and education are available to all people. The Venus Project would replace politicians with a cybernated society in which all of the physical entities would as quickly as possible be managed and operated by computerized systems. The only region that the computers do not operate or manage is the surveillance of human beings. This would be completely unnecessary and considered socially offensive. A society that uses technology without human concern has no basis of survival. Communism has no blueprint or methodology to carry out their ideals and along with capitalism, fascism, and socialism will ultimately go down in history as failed social experiments. One of Communism's concerns is the condition of labor and the working class. The Venus Project's major concerns are producing products with limited labor and eventually eliminating labor and at the same time giving people all the amenities of a prosperous, high energy society. It is not our aim to produce a society that does nothing but enjoy leisure time. Instead people will be introduced to limitless opportunities to explore, create, participate, and learn. How does this differ from Communism?
While communism is a much more humane social system than what we have today, we feel it does differ considerably from the direction we advocate. While Marx offered a bold new direction in his time, it falls far short of what can be accomplished with today's technology applied with human and environmental concern.
The Venus Project offers science and technology in the service of humankind on a global scale and eventually helps to eliminate all the artificial boundaries that separate people. The system uses no money and makes goods and services available without a price tag, debt, barter, or servitude of any kind. If we use our technology intelligently, we can create an abundance of goods and services for the entire planet. We use machines and automation to produce and distribute all manufactured products, which will be available at distribution centers to everyone. The purpose of this high technology is to free people so they can pursue their own interests and fulfillments.
We would surpass the need for human participation in the production of goods and services. There is no taxation or obligation of any kind. We advocate no government by human systems. They have always proved inadequate. Computerized systems and cybernetics would be applied to the social system and must comply with the carrying capacity of our global resources. The machines' main purpose is for the manufacturing and distribution of goods and services while maintaining a clean environment with service to all and profits to none. When people have access to resources, most crimes will disappear. The need for police, military, and prisons will eventually vanish with it. Of course this will coincide with the necessary changes in education. I hope this helps to clarify some points. We realize this is a simplified description of how it differs from communism. Could you respond to the 1949 essay I sent you from Albert Einstein regarding his views on socialism?
Socialism as regarded by Einstein was based on the times in which he lived. Socialism, updated, would no longer be concerned with employing millions of people. Its major concern would be the production of goods and services by the best means available in the present. This would call for automation and new, more efficient arrangements of the social complex no longer based just on the opinions and ideals of social radicals. The new direction would be based on the carrying capacity of the earth which is to say, the availability of resources and technical personnel. Even this approach would be transitional.
We must consider the drawbacks of an established social arrangement and evolve toward an emergent social system based on the latest social innovations that will eliminate scarcity and provide for the needs of all.
Rather than decentralizing I now believe it is possible, through computer technology and advanced cybernetics, to return to centralization with some advantage. That is to say, from a centralized point of view, we can now observe conditions worldwide and make corresponding adjustments to meet human needs. The old concept of centralization used the governing bodies of social systems to benefit only those in positions of differential advantage. With centralization today, it would be possible to provide the governing body, whether machines or personnel, with information on a global scale.
In future production technology, designs of machinery and industrial plants would no longer be based upon sales or monetary gain. Instead, production facilities would make the most efficient use of resources to provide human needs on a global scale. This changes all previous concepts of production facilities. And also, in this new emergent global society, newer technologies would be applied in all areas in the most efficient manner.
The objectives of this new global social system would be the well being and education of all people.
The new technology would not monitor people; this would be considered socially offensive and non-productive. The purpose and use of advanced technology is to free people from boring and dangerous tasks. It will enable them to pursue their own interests in arts and sciences which would be directed toward social improvement.
A society based upon limitless and continual innovation has no final frontiers. How can the use of Laws be eliminated?
Today we try to control human behavior by enacting laws or signing treaties without changing the physical conditions responsible for aberrant behavior. When Earth's resources are seen as the common heritage of all people, irrelevant laws and social contracts will vanish.
In a resource-based economy, social responsibility would not be a function of artificial laws or force. Safeguards against abuse could be designed into the environment. An example of this is the proposed design of cities where people have free access to resources without debt. This would eliminate theft. Such measures are not a matter of passing and enforcing laws to prevent and punish abuse. Rather, they are a means of designing the flaws out of any social venture, thus eliminating the need for many laws.
We are proposing doing away with the systems that cause corruption and human suffering in the first place. In a city with safe, clean, mass transportation, we do not need police to monitor drivers' speed, behavior at stop signs, or proper papers.
Other examples are the air and the water. Although both are necessary to our well-being and survival, there are no laws regulating how many breaths are taken per hour because we have such abundance at this time. No one monitors a gushing spring to see how much water is taken from it, although fresh water is absolutely necessary for the support of life. If it is abundant, no one monitors it.
I must emphasize that this approach to global governance has nothing in common with the present aims of an elite few to form a world government with themselves at the helm, and with the vast majority subservient to them. This newer vision of globalization empowers every person on the planet to be all they can be, without living in abject subjugation to a corporate governing body.
A society with human concern "designs out" laws and proclamations by making all things available to all people, regardless of race, color, or creed. When governments make laws, we are led to believe that these laws are made to enhance people's lives. In truth, laws are byproducts of insufficiency.
The question is, "can we grow beyond thinking that "someone" has to make decisions for us?"
A better understanding of natural law involves human's relationship to the environment, which supports all life. All of nature is subservient to natural law. Natural law cannot be violated without serious consequences to individuals or societies. Natural laws dominate all living systems. For example, without water, sun, or nutrients, plants and animals die.
An environment of scarcity, hunger, and poverty is a threat to everyone. In all your books, but most of all in The Best That Money Can't Buy, you deal among other subjects (as the need to rethink the set of priorities of society, to suppress crime and war, to take care of our planet's health...) also with the need to understand the close bond that man entertains with nature: which are the properties of the world (planet-society) that have to change to re-establish this bond?
Great achievements of present day technology were developed by very few people. The future does not depend on political solutions-rather, they are technological in nature.
Social change is not brought about by individual ideas, but more or less depends upon the evolution of society and the bio-social pressures responsible for social change. It is brought about by natural or economic occurrences, which threaten large numbers of people.
Some of the conditions responsible for social change are limited resources, war, overpopulation, epidemics, natural disasters, economic recession, downsizing on a mass scale, technological displacement of people by machines, and the failure of their leaders to overcome these problems.
The changes that may occur are not necessarily for the betterment of society unless a large number of people are familiar with the physical nature of the earth and the interrelationship of ourselves with it. In other words, our decisions must be in accordance with natural law and with the carrying capacity of the earth's resources. A given amount of land can only support so many people. If the population exceeds the carrying capacity, there will be territorial disputes, crime, wars, homelessness, poverty, and countless other hardships.
All man-made laws and treaties are artificial. They are rarely based upon the physical factors responsible for human values and behavior. People brought up in scarcity are more apt to steal no matter how many laws and treaties are enacted. It is not laws and treaties that people need--it is access to the essentials of life - clean air, water and arable land along with a relevant education based upon the physical sciences. Wouldn't change come about through a reasonable and logical progression?
I do not believe it can be brought about by the free exchange of ideas alone. It takes more than words and verbal exchange to bring about an innovative society. It will require a new set of values more appropriate to our needs. The solutions to our problems will not come about through the application of reason or logic. We do not live in a reasonable or logical world. There is no historical record of any society that deliberately and consciously modified their culture to fit changing times. The real factors responsible for social change resulted from biosocial pressures inherent in all social systems. It is brought about by natural or economic occurrences that immediately threaten large numbers of people.
Some of these conditions responsible for social change include limited resources, war, overpopulation, epidemics, natural disasters, economic recession, downsizing on a mass scale, technological displacement of people by machines, and the failure of their appointed leaders to overcome these problems.
Change can come from disasters or from major technological advances. The introduction of agriculture brought about a significant change in society, as did the Industrial Revolution and the introduction of the medium of money to the exchange process. From a historical perspective all of these appear positive. At the time of their inception, however, people lost jobs, new skills were required, and entire ways of life disappeared.
The direction change takes is not always for the better or for the improvement of the human condition. Change is risky. Deprivation or scarcity that is artificial or real drives the economy. Power-seeking leaders command weapons powerful enough to annihilate entire populations and render our planet uninhabitable. Humankind's potential for creativity and innovation far exceeds its inclination to destroy, yet every time that we exercise destructive power, we take a thousands steps backward for every few forward.
History shows that not all change has been beneficial to humanity or to the integrity of the planet's life support systems. For this reason, many people desire a return to earlier and simpler times.
I am not advocating that these older institutions be overthrown: it is just that they are becoming unworkable. Unfortunately, it will most likely take a social and economic breakdown to bring about the demise of the old system and its institutions. At this point the only significant social change will probably occur when a sufficient amount of people, through economic failure, lose confidence in their elected officials. The public will then demand other alternatives. While we would like to think that this could usher in a bright new chapter in the human drama, it is far more likely that the most probable course will be a form of dictatorship, perhaps even an American brand of fascism, ostensibly presented to the people as a way of protecting them from the products of their own inadequate culture.
However, it is not enough to point out the limiting factors that may threaten the survivability of all nations. The challenge all cultures now face in this technological age, some more than others is to provide a smooth transition towards the introduction of a new way of thinking about ourselves, the environment and the management of human affairs. It is now mandatory that all nations engage in a joint venture, planning on a global scale for new alternatives with a relevant orientation toward social arrangements. This is the only option if we are to avoid the unavoidable decline of the civilized world. If humankind is to come together toward a mutual prosperity, universal access to resources is essential. What Guarantees People The Right Of Participation?
Without vested interests and the use of money, there is little to be gained by squelching opinion, falsifying information, or taking advantage of others. There are no underlying rigid social barriers limiting the participation of anyone or restraining the introduction of new ideas. The main objective is full access to information and the delivery of goods and services to all people.
Today, any child hanging out at a street corner or mall, or shooting up drugs, is a wasted life that society ultimately pays for. In a resource-based economy, there will be places for children to go, to learn, and to experiment. The more intelligent our children are, the better everyone's life will be. What do you consider a "high standard of living", which everyone in the world is entitled to? And who is the one to decide this?
In a resource-based economy many of the shortages that we have today could easily be overcome by technological ingenuity and the reduction of waste. For example, we could use a form of evaporative condensation in all areas where there are water shortages. We could provide canals from the sea into the land and cover the canals for several miles with transparent enclosures. These would be used for evaporative desalinization. In the state of Florida alone, we have close to 50 watts per square yard, which is not harnessed at this time by solar heat concentrators. All highways, parking lots, and rooftops in the new cities would be used to heat water for all of the community needs without the burning of fossil fuels. By using geothermal energy alone (the natural heat of the earth), we could propel the world's society for the next thousand years but this is relatively untapped. There is also wave power, wind power, heat concentrators and many sources of untapped power. Science has never been given the assignment of the production of an abundance for the benefit of all of the earth's people.
A high standard of living would mean that all members of society would have access to all of the necessities to sustain life - medical care, education, food, clothing, housing, entertainment, leisure time and more. Man-hours could be reduced considerably until completely eliminated. By eliminating planned obsolescence and the replication of the same products by many different manufactures and by surpassing the need for advertising, sales, lawyers, business personnel, bankers and all of the other non-productive profession we could easily provide many more goods and services to all people. Today's middle class lives better than all of the kings of the past. In a resource- based economy, when the main thrust and total aim of science and innovative technology are directed towards a higher standard of living for all, our life style could far surpass anything imagined today. Who makes the decisions in a resource based economy?
No one does. The process of arriving at decisions in this economy would not be based upon the opinions of politicians, corporate, or national interests but rather all decisions would be arrived at based upon the introduction of newer technologies and Earth's carrying capacity. Computers could provide this information with electronic sensors throughout the entire industrial, physical complex to arrive at more appropriate decisions. Will people all be alike?
Yes in these ways:
â€¢ Interested in latest science and technology
â€¢ Never accept anything unless fully explained
â€¢ Not judgmental of different cultures
â€¢ Curious of things that are new
â€¢ Instead of few people carrying the nation many will participate
â€¢ Allegiance to methodology, will have ability to solve problems and recognize that contributions come from all different cultures thus helping to eliminate prejudices
â€¢ Share resources and ideas Will people who do more work, such as doctors, demand more resources than someone like an artist?
When resources are available to everyone without a price tag and not rationed, human values undergo considerable change. Most of us have been indoctrinated in civilization immersed in scarcity - artificially generated with planned obsolescence. I am highly suspicious of those whose incentives are motivated by money. I also believe in the incentive system but not the shallow, self-centered incentives perpetuated by our monetary-based institutions.
There would be no need for any high stressed jobs; there could be a large enough rotation of personnel to practically eliminate any high stress jobs until they can be phased out by innovative technology. Inventors and designers are constantly improving methods and technology, yet can like-minded people work towards goals similar to the ones you presented in your book, while still operating within a monetary system? How do you suggest we keep ideas and technology from contributing to the cycle (away from military hands, etc.)?
Yes by presenting the ideas of common heritage of all the world's resources and a global resource-based economy, which will eventually outgrow the need for politics and money. The monetary system will eventually out live its usefulness which is already underway. As more jobs become phased out through automation the majority of people will not have the purchasing power to sustain a culture whose bottom line is profit. It is only through exposing the limitations of a monetary based system and pointing out the gains of a global system of common heritage can we attain the direction of The Venus Project. This is done just as any new ideas become infiltrated into society through book, video, schools, publications, websites, movies, TV shows, word of mouth, role models, etc.
If we fail to accomplish this, the established order will do our thinking for us by controlling the means of communication, television, radio, motion pictures, publications and education. The better informed the public, the smoother the transition.
The Venus Project can not of itself affect significant social change unless people like yourself accept the responsibility of exposing people to the direction of The Venus Project. What are the safeguards against abuse of power in the society you envision?
In a resource-based economy, we surpass the need for money which is the basis for most corruption. The society we envision makes all goods and services available for everyone without a price tag. This is what the function of government could be, by surpassing the need for politics in the management of human affairs. At present, governmental decisions have always been subject to the influence of the power elite. The cybernated complex would only manage and improve the distribution of resources, to provide clean air, clean water, and all of the amenities that enhance human life. Again, it does not control people or manage the lives of individuals -- on the contrary, it could encourage the development of individual initiative and creativity far beyond that of our present-day money- oriented culture.
There are many who fear the installations of cybernated systems. This fear is unfounded. It is not technology that is to be feared. Our concern should be with the abuse of this technology, rather than with the inanimate technology itself. Do we have enough energy to eliminate scarcity?
Yes. The potential of untapped energy sources is almost limitless if we utilize desert heat concentrators, wind, wave and tidal sources. Even portions of the Gulf Stream, the Icelandic Current, and the Japan Current could eliminate all of the energy shortages in the world today. If we had utilized the money that we spent on military systems for the last 40 years and put it toward developing clean sources of energy, the world would be a far better, safer, and cleaner place for all of humankind.
The potential of geothermal energy is almost limitless and can easily supply enough energy for all of the world's needs. Even if we harness only one percent of the geothermal energy of the earth's outer crust we would have available approximately five hundred times the energy contained in all of the gas and oil reserves in the world. This source of energy gives off little or no sulfur compared to fossil fuel fired power plants and they emit no nitrogen oxides. In addition, geothermal installations require very little dedicated land as compared to other power plants. The drilling of geothermal wells has far fewer environmental impacts than other energy resources, and there is no need for mineshafts, tunnels, open pits, or waste storage.
A great deal of this energy is available in the outer most layers of the earth's crust which is approximately six miles and this potential energy source is available throughout the world from the Andes Mountains in South America to the Gulf of California, The Rift Valleys of Africa, the Mid Atlantic Ridge, and along the Bering Strait. In a system where everything is available without a price tag, would this eliminate incentive?
We do advocate that all people have access to all goods and services, medical care, education, shelter, food and so forth.
It is not enough to provide the necessities of life alone. We feel that our proposals will generate a new incentive system. Human beings need challenges in order to evolve intellectually and maintain a high level of curiosity and a need to overcome shortages. The type of education that we advocate is the intelligent use of existing resources and the protection of the environment.
The shameful thing about the free enterprise system is the wasted lives of many people - young girls standing behind counters in department stores waiting for a sale, men and woman working in industrial plants using a small part of their mental capabilities. In the schools of tomorrow people will learn how to relate to others intelligently, cooperate and share ideas to help make the world a far better place, and not to squander resources in wars and military expenditures. Would people lose their incentive?
You have been brought up to believe people are inspired by rewards or money.
The free-enterprise system does create incentive to achieve, however it also breeds the incentive for corruption, theft, and greed. Our aim is to encourage a new incentive system, one no longer directed toward the shallow and self-centered goals of wealth, property, and power. Today, financial barriers place enormous limitations on innovation, individual creativity, and personal incentive. In The Venus Project, money would not be required to help one achieve or create, as facilities would be made available to serve everyone's needs.
I worry about people whose main motivation is money. For instance, if this is the motivation of a doctor instead of the desire to solve problems in the field of medicine and health and enhance people's lives, to many others, and me the services are not very trustworthy. It is a tremendous myth perpetrated on people in a monetary system that people are mostly motivated by money to achieve and produce. I could give you endless examples of people who fought, studied, created, and excelled without the allure of money as a reward, there are much more meaningful rewards than that. It depends on the value system that one is given and the culture that one is raised in that reinforces what is meant by a reward.
In essence all of the people we have admired in the past, Michael Angelo, da Vinci, Bell, the Wright Brothers, Darwin, and many others worked because they were interested in problem solving, not financial gain. This in some cases was a by-product. Usually money-oriented people become business men, or stock brokers; they are rarely creative. I have always felt threatened by people whose sole motivation is financial gain. On islands in the South Pacific, people had more than enough resources. Although banana, coconuts, fish and breadfruit were abundant, the natives worked continuously building navigation equipment, canoes, huts, and weaved cloth. Although no money was used, their incentive improved their standard of living.
In the early days in America a man and wife could build a log cabin in several months. Today it takes 30 years or so to pay off a house with the additional funds to bankers and others that actually have nothing to do with the building of the house.
If you examine your statements carefully of people who have access to all the necessities of life you will find that many wealthy people do not eat 25 meals a day even though they have access to it and they do not stuff their environment with hundreds of musical instruments and accumulate hundreds of cars. It is not the availability of resources that is disturbing to people, it is the lack of resources that is responsible for most crimes, embezzlement, deception of all kinds, etc.
Consider this when few nations control most of the worlds resources and exploit other nations with their positions of differential advantage.
All of the technical staff and everyone else will have access to a very high standard of living; the incentive, which will propel people, is the end of war, territorial disputes, economic hardship, debt, and the basis for most crimes as they will all be eliminated. In this new society as proposed by The Venus Project, the environment in which people are raised and educated will be based upon the fundamental principles of science and the comprehensive knowledge of the interrelationship between people and the environment, which sustains all life. Why the emphasis on the cybernated approach to the social operation?
There is sufficient evidence to show that technology is evolving in this direction. As computers and artificial intelligence continue to evolve through environmental feedback, computers can arrive at more appropriate decisions in the operation of our social system. Today, automated systems can launch and guide the flight path of spaceships to distant planets. In a cybernated society with sophisticated technology, we will ultimately surpass the need for human participation in government, manufacturing, and distribution of goods and services. Through cybernated systems, a balanced-load economy can easily be maintained. This will free human beings from the boring and monotonous tasks of the work-day world. Yes, most jobs will eventually be phased out. The world you describe requires the planetary resources of legions of engineers, artists and craftspeople to design, fabricate, assemble and calibrate. What happens three or ten generations later when the back-up systems are breaking down and the population has only poets and theoretical physicists?
This is totally your projection with a set of values based on past events which have little to do with The Venus Project. The world The Venus Project proposes, if you have read our literature and books, is to bring out the best in each individual throughout the world and constantly updating our relationship to one another, technology and the environment. People would be free from boring and monotonous jobs, which will encourage and enable them to solve the problems of the present and near future. Prior to the construction of anything new cities, power systems, etc. a carful study of the negative effects of all projects would be done. This includes human evolution.
A society that does not provide adequate stimulation will decay. History shows that advanced technologies and skills have been lost within generations and a fully automated cybernetically managed economy/ecology/society would be vulnerable to system decay, malfunction and collapse in a way that would render humanity helpless and then destitute with neither the technical skills nor the emotional maturity to resolve the resulting crises.
This is true in a monetary system but has nothing to do with the proposals of The Venus Project. The Venus Project maintains an overview of the global economy. Any catastrophic event that may occur in which technology is destroyed or malfunctions people will be prepared to handle. The new education systems will provide each and every human being with the means intellectually and emotionally to handle these variables. They will be able to make bow and arrows or any other operation necessary for survival. They are trained in the widest possible range to handle many unforeseen variables both technically and emotionally. They are not a bunch of dummies that sit around enjoying the high output of new technology, they are continuously engaged to handle "what if" situations.
This is erroneous projections from movies and books by authors in the arts and poorly informed about technology, culture and behavior. Technologically informed people are not multi-disciplinarians. That is why fascist and neo fascist utilize them to spread propaganda, uphold their established system and make war machines. Politicians are elected not to change things but to keep things as they are. Unfortunately science and technology and the arts have been used by various social systems to maintain the status quo.
The multi-disciplinarian that The Venus Project's refers to is not patriotic. Their only loyalties are to the earth and the people that inhabit it.
Unfortunately many people project obsolete values into proposals of The Venus Project. So why not plan on simple modular self-sufficient economies, or inter-dependant low tech economies that advance sustainable technologies and skills within each community?
Because this will not solve our global problems and those that lie ahead. We can not freeze the progression of technology or advanced ideas or return to yesterday's values. This has little or no relevance for solving existing global problems. Could you describe the distribution of food and/or other objects of desire, like telephones, computers, or books?
Distribution of goods and services without the use of money or tokens would be accomplished through the establishment of distribution centers. These distribution centers would be similar to expositions, where the advantages of new products could be explained and demonstrated. For example, if you visited Yellowstone National Park you could check out a camera or camcorder from a distribution center, use it and then, if you choose to, return it to another distribution center or drop-off, eliminating storing and maintenance.
Besides the computerized centers throughout the various communities where products would eventually be displayed, there will be 3-D, flat-screen imaging capabilities in each home. If you desire an item, an order can be placed and the item automatically delivered directly to your place of residence.
All raw materials for the manufacture of these products can be transported directly to the manufacturing facilities by automated transportation "sequences" such as boats, monorails, mag-lev trains, pipelines, and pneumatic tubes. An automated inventory system would be connected to both the distribution centers and the manufacturing facilities, thus coordinating production to meet demand and providing a constant evaluation of preferences and consumption. In this way a balanced-load economy can be maintained. Shortages, over-runs, and waste could be eliminated. What will people do?
I find it so sad when people ask, "What will people do?". Their brains have been so flattened that they have no other options in their lives other than a job and in most instances it is one that they do not like. Children are curious about everything and if nurtured they could have a much greater range of interests and abilities. This culture does a wonderful job of limiting peoples' interests, opportunities, and abilities, and it conditions them to be lazy. People are not born that way any more than they are born with bigotry, hatred, prejudice, or particular values. We are aware that it is the environment that shapes people and if the culture is not changed there will be little change in human behavior.
Monotonous and dangerous jobs will inevitably be done away with by the advance of technology. People in a resource-based economy will be given the opportunity to engage in all manner of research and development, the creative arts and crafts, travel and exploration, and participation in all of the other limitless horizons the future has to offer.
The ultimate realization of the potential of cybernated and computerized technology solely to improve people's lives could produce the most revolutionary system ever to evolve. It will eventually eliminate all superficial boundaries set up by nations; as we are beginning to witness with the introduction of satellite communication and personal computers, it is almost impossible for nations today to censor ideas and information. You place great emphasis on human behavior as opposed to human nature. Would you define both?
There is no such thing as human nature in the conventional sense of being a set of predetermined, preprogrammed behaviors and values to which all human beings are predisposed. What we are concerned with is human behavior and values, which can certainly be changed. If they could not, we would still be living in caves.
The question we should be concerned with is, "What are the factors that shape human behavior?" We feel that human behavior is just as lawful as any natural phenomenon. Our customs, behaviors, and values are by-products of our culture. If the environment is unaltered, similar problems and behaviors will reoccur. The Venus Project proposes to provide an environment that will bring out the best in human behavior and to extend maximum courtesy to all nations.
Take, for example, the situation witnessed after W.W. II: even the most respectable families could be seen fighting over scraps of food. When people's basic needs are not met, they resort to whatever behavior is necessary to ensure the necessities of life for themselves and their families. By making the necessities of life available to all in this participatory democracy and through a meaningful and productive education, we can dramatically reduce counterproductive behavior. Isn't this against Human Nature?
From H. G. Wells, "The anti-progressives of the early twentieth century loved to assert that "Human Nature" never altered; to imagine that the men of the Stone Age felt and thought like bank clerks picnicking in a cave, and the ideas of Confucius and Buddha were easily interchangeable with the ideas of Rousseau, Karl Marx or De Windt. They were not simply ignorant, but misinformed about almost every essential fact in the past experiences and present situation of the race."
The New Utopians by Robert Boguslaw: "As Norman R. F. Maier (and others) point out years ago, the term "Human Nature" is characteristically used as a screen to hide our ignorance about man in general. And one of the more elementary oversights made in discussions of human behavior consists of ignoring the fact that the actions of men are set in motion by external as well as internal forces."
As Arthur C. Clark and many other forward writers have pointed out, anyone who brings up the human nature question is naÃ¯ve. From the book Looking Forward, by Jacque Fresco:
"When little was known about cultural anthropology, sociology, and psychology, it seemed quite valid to resist proposed reforms by saying, "it won't work. It is against human nature." It is difficult for many people to appreciate the fact that what they call "human nature" just doesn't exit. People are like mirrors they largely reflect their surroundings. If people were to come into the world with a fixed "nature" consisting of automatic responses, civilization would be impossible. Like the ants, we would live out our lives in patterns that are modified but little with the passing of time. The wonderful thing about us is that we come into this world with maximum flexibility." From The Best That Money Can't Buy, Page 89, by Jacque Fresco
Bigotry, racism, nationalism, jealousy, superstition, greed, and self-centered behavior are all learned patterns of behavior, which are strengthened or reinforced by our upbringing. These patterns of behavior are not inherited human traits or "human nature" as most people have been taught to believe. If the environment remains unaltered, similar behavior will reoccur. When we come into the world we arrive with a clean slate as far as our relationships with others are concerned.
In the final analysis, any judgment regarding undesirable human behavior serves no purpose without an attempt to alter the environment that creates it. In a society that provides for most human needs, constructive behavior would be reinforced, and people who have difficulty interacting in the community would be helped rather than imprisoned.
Aspiring to a particular ethical behavior has to do with human aspirations and ideals. Functional morality is the ability to provide a process level to achieve a sustainable environment for all people. By this, we mean providing clean air and water, goods and services, and a healthy and innovative environment that is emotionally and intellectually fulfilling. It is difficult to conceive of any solutions that would serve the interest of the majority in a monetary-based system. None of this can be accomplished without a comprehensive redesign of our social system and eventual replacement of the monetary-based system by a resource-based economy. How do "Restless Teenagers" fit into the system? Or rather, what is available for them to do?
Although many forms of arrogant behavior and racial prejudice have been with us for centuries it is because the conditions that produce this behavior remain relatively unaltered. Insane behavior cannot be changed unless the conditions responsible for it are removed.
From our point of view the difference between a peace loving humanist and a warlord will not be found in the genes of the individual but in the environments they live in.
Most of the education of the future will be that of a generalist in which people are exposed to many of the factors that comprise the web of life and their interrelationship.
Behavior in a resource-based economy will reflect that culture. Will all people then be alike? Yes in certain areas. They will all work to protect the environment and extend maximum courtesy to one another regardless of race, color or creed. They will promote individuality and creativity and reject the notion of any final frontiers.
During the transition from a monetary based society to a resource-based society many of the older patterns will still prevail.
Children have insatiable curiosity. The aim of the future is to harness this rather than to destroy it. Would The Venus Project be for deviants?
James Harvey Robinson believed that the proper study of man was man. There is no evidence to support this statement. A plant cannot grow of it own accord. It requires an environment of soil, nutrients, sunlight, etc. Any plant put in the polar regions will not grow no matter how well endowed it is genetically. Human beings are subject to the same physical laws that govern the entire evolutionary process. Human behavior and values are not self-generating; they are byproducts of culture.
Perhaps future historians will look upon us as deviants with our artificialities, violence, and superstitions, a society that spends a great deal of its income on military expenditures when the methods of science could be applied to bridge the difference between nations. Deviant and socially offensive behaviors are byproducts of deprivation or the fear of it.
The Venus Project proposes the redesign of education in which people will be provided with the interrelationship of living systems as a symbiotic whole. Children brought up without bigotry, racism, or greed, will no longer manifest patterns of behavior that are socially offensive. For example, even the most sophisticated of German families were fighting over food in garbage cans near the end of World War II. Mass lynching in the south was also a byproduct of indoctrination.
The question that remains is how much of our value system is programmed by our society's values designed to perpetuate existing and established institutions. It is not human nature but rather human behavior that we have to be concerned with, and that can easily be changed by an appropriate and relevant education and environment, which coincides with the carrying capacity of the earth.
If you elect honorable, ethical people to office but there is no support in the environment to implement the decent laws passed, they cannot be adhered to. For example, if there is not enough arable land to grow food, then behavior will revert to stealing, and corruption to attain what food there is. What would be done with that percentage of society that would be agitators or malcontent such as Timothy McVeigh who were brought up with a normal upbringing?
Your reference to people like Timothy McVeigh, who was brought up with what you call "a normal upbringing" must be subjected to a more critical analysis. What you refer to as "normal" is a society that is nationalist and takes by force or violence whatever it needs. It makes laws in its own interests and breaks them when they no longer serve those interests. It also limits education, especially in scientific and critical thinking. Its people are not medically cared for and aren't cared about at all when the bottom line is profit. This is true not only in the US, but in all countries.
Behavior is generated by culture. McVeigh was reacting with tools he found appropriate to situations in the culture he felt were unjust--mainly the bombing of the people at Waco. Our nation reacts in similar ways to countries we take issue with, but on a more massive scale. It is not the case that a certain number of people are born as "malcontents or agitators", as you claim. Rather, they are reacting to conditions in the culture that they regard as unjust or inequitable. In apartheid South Africa, Nelson Mandela was considered an agitator but later became president. Hundreds of such examples can be given.
I often wonder why there are not millions protesting for an end to war, poverty, crime, homelessness, and scarcity when it is certainly possible to do so. It is easy to see that established governments have done a very good job in dumbing down the public so that they accept the status quo, along with philosophical explanations to keep conditions as they are. We are trapped with inappropriate terms like malcontents or agitators when we should be looking at conditions in society that generate these behaviors. We should look for ways to change society so it could outgrow them instead of just suppressing them.
It is not the business of The Venus Project to attack the belief systems of other cultures, or to attack the way they treat women, or their values regarding other nations. This has accomplished very little. In our own nation, we mistreated Native Americans and down- graded other belief systems without sufficiently analyzing our own shortcomings. Over the centuries, nations have committed crimes against one another based upon nationalism, propaganda, and inappropriate descriptions of different sovereign nations. Since our identity as a nation is viewed in many different ways due to many years of propaganda and indoctrination, we have not evolved an objective viewpoint about our behavior or the behavior of other nations. I have often mentioned that criticism of one's country without offering a workable alternative accomplishes nothing.
We can not solve our problems with the same type of thinking that got us into the situation in the first place. The only true measure of a workable system is whether or not it achieves its objective ends.
For centuries, nations have abused one another to the point that trusting other nation's intentions is viewed with great skepticism. We and other powerful nations have not come together to really help one another. Instead we remove valuable resources, exploit the labor, pay off leaders to do our bidding, assassinate those who don't conform to our wishes, and use our military to enforce our economic advantages. These are some of the reasons for the difficulties.
If powerful nations were to assist undeveloped countries without exploitation of resources or cheap labor, they would not be seen as a threat. As long as we continue international agreements that serve our interests only, we will be looked upon with skepticism by less developed nations. It is our national behavior over the years that has generated skeptical attitudes about our intentions.
What The Venus Project proposes is to join with other nations in restoring the damaged environment to as near a natural conditions as possible, and to assist nations in overcoming scarcity. The process for accomplishing this will in and of itself generate more appropriate behavior in our own and other nations. If you have difficulty agreeing with this analysis, let's examine some scientific principles accepted by all nations. For example, when engineers in any country wish to build a bridge, they use scientific methods and calculations to determine the design characteristics. With continuous improvements in technology, the scientific method appears to have been a saner approach. All nations use scientific methods to achieve the benefits of technology.
In our present state of social development national interests have subverted, to a large extent, the true benefits of the methods of science. This is due to nationalism and short-sighted self interests. When scientific methods are applied intelligently for the benefit of all with human and environmental concern, these methods will eventually alter the way we think about ourselves, our country, and the world around us. What about crimes of jealousy?
The way people are raised in The Venus Project is different than they are today. Jealousy with "love" relationships would be dealt with in the early education. People would learn how to relate to one another and obtain a relevant language not based so much on feeling tone but on how well the relationship works. Relationships would be based upon being helpful to one another and the community.
People are not objects of possession. Marriage and engagement do seem to produce aberrant behavior and possessiveness. People will do whatever they need to but if they examine their own values closely they will find that a lot of decisions they arrived at were superimposed by their environment. With a better understanding of semantics, communications and relating to one another in constructive, non competitive ways many of the aberrant behavior will diminish.
Today people are not exposed to other methods of relating to one another during their education. It is more traditional rather than rational. Passiveness is not something one usually outgrows unless they become better informed as to their own behavioral limitations. Possessiveness is mainly an expression of insecurity or a low self-sufficiency.
It is not possible in these questions to go into this fully. For reasons best known to geneticists, some people inherit different colored eyes from those of other people around them. In a grand overall vision of social and economic reform such as The Venus Project, what about those few who will always exhibit aberrant behavior under any system?
You must remember that Jacque has been at this almost all of his life, and so have I for the last 33 years. He encountered these questions early in his youth. That's why he joined the KKK and the White Citizen's Council and worked on ways of turning them around. He was successful at this. If genetics were a fixed part of human nature, then behavior could not be altered. He also worked with "juvenile delinquents" who were called some of the worst kids in NY, and changed them into constructive citizens who still call him today. He also worked with drug addicts and alcoholics who, in turn, worked with other groups to alter their behavior in a positive way using his methods. He had motorcycle gangs and members of the Nazi party come to his lectures and he changed all of these people. There are processes that work with different kinds of people.
Fresco has developed precise incremental steps for altering human behavior. Genetics determines the function and replication of internal organs, the color of the eyes, a propensity toward certain physical disorders, etc., but has nothing whatever to do with values, bigotry, prejudice, or other learned behaviors. Genetics does not make a person mean, selfish, self-centered, or greedy. If genetics endowed humans with preset behaviors, then people would be unalterable.
Animals seem to possess inherited patterns of behavior such as nest building, defending their young, and feeding their offspring, but most of this behavior is based on imprinting and internal body chemistry. Animals with large adrenal glands and a large brain will tend to perpetuate those characteristics in their offspring. Bull dogs of several hundred years ago were very ferocious, which was thought to be inborn. Since then, most of that has been bred out of them by reducing the size of their adrenal glands, which lessened the violence of the animals. It was not the case that the violence was inherited, but rather that the size of the adrenal gland caused the aggressive behavior that characterized the species.
Fresco is interested in ascertaining the precise mechanisms responsible for behavior.
Geneticists can invent a word like genes, and yet still leave out all the details responsible for behavioral variations. Some imply that through the protoplasmic bridge, acquired behavioral patterns are inherited, thus making genes a scapegoat for the real determinants. It is difficult to go into this if you haven't read the books Jacque gave you such as Brain and Mind, Mind in the Making, and books on Semantics. In the absence of a serious familiarity with these books, it is nearly impossible to do justice to this type of information.
In essence, Jacque is concerned with the precise mechanisms that impart values and determine behavior, and he rejects terms like instinct, human nature, and inheritance across a protoplasmic bridge. These do not describe a precise process. If we used only names and neglected processes, we could not make progress in science. We could not build bridges, make telephones, design computers, etc. It would just be an intellectual hobby in linguistics. This inadequate process would not suffice for designing a more positive future.
Linguistic and intellectual engagement has been used by many philosophers and intellectuals who saw that process of evaluation as constituting advanced and deep thinking. From Fresco's point of view, their writings look like the musings of artists who dream that someday people will develop ways of reaching the heavens, but who don't provide any information for attaining those ends. It is the work of people who develop precise methodologies for accomplishing these ends that can translate them into reality. Most people are engaged in a jungle of linguistic abstractions with little or no precise insight into cause and effect or methodology. This, for Fresco, was never an acceptable way of accomplishing anything. Do you advocate killing people with aberrant behavior?
By "mentally unstable" or "aberrant people" do you mean those of GE who are some of the biggest polluters of the environment and knowingly exposed their workers to carcinogens that caused their deaths, or those that manipulate money for profit without contributing to the well being of people's lives, or those who lend money for an automobile for example and if the person cannot pay off the last payment they do not take a tire and the steering wheel equivalent to the payment, they take the whole car? Or perhaps you may mean judges who put people in jail for life for killing over resources, yet the leaders of nations bomb and kill entire cities and countries for resources and to secure markets and then put statues in parks to honor the ones who carry out this procedure?
There would have to be an awful lot of killing going on if a saner society wanted to rid itself of "unstable" or "aberrant" behavior. No, we do not advocate killing anyone. We think that this system is like a cancer on a cat that is eating its host and it will do away with itself in time. The mere march of events of technology will eventually do away with jobs that enable people to buy the goods turned out, and new social designs will have to emerge. We feel that at that time a military dictatorship will most likely occur. We would like to introduce the concepts of a resource-based economy to the public so they will understand that there are other possible alternatives. Isn't technology very often detrimental to people and the cause of many of our problems?
Regarding your concerns about technology bringing out aberrant behavior, note that whether we like it or not, we are depending more and more on technology. Our concern is about whether technology will be used in a society like the one we have now, which is abusive to people, or in one where it can free people and provide them with more constructive options. The scenario you gave sounded like the dictatorial futures artists put forth when they know little about technology. If The Venus Project does not generate a warm, loving, and supportive environment, it will not work. Society would not be organized so as to be subservient to machines but rather, machines would enhance people's lives. We view machines as extensions of our human capabilities. You don't see people getting mad at their washing machines or refrigerators because they are afraid they might take over. Massive construction machines eliminate the need for thousands to toil with low-tech hand tools. I don't think anyone would object to that unless it meant, as it does today, that some may lose their income.
The system we advocate may never be perfect, but it would be a tremendous improvement over the way we organize the provision of goods and services today. It would be an emergent system continuously improving and developing new resources for research to further the process. In this new culture, do you propose to utilize a technical elite that would decide the direction for society?
No. The Venus Project calls for a cybernated society in which computers could replace the outmoded system of electing politicians that, in most cases, represent the entrenched vested interests. Technology will never dictate or monitor individuals' lives, as this would be considered socially offensive and counterproductive. Motion pictures such as 1984, Brave New World, Blade- Runner, and Terminator 2 have spawned fear in some people regarding the takeover of technology in our society. The Venus Project's only purpose is to elevate the spiritual and intellectual potential of all people while also providing the goods and services that will meet their individual material needs.
It has been said that many people employed by private corporations feel they serve in private dictatorships from the moment they step though the door and punch the time clock. The Venus Project, on the other hand, would utilize the best of technology to better the lives of everyone. In the proposed system, the workday will be shortened, thus providing individuals with more leisure time, a healthier life-style, and a stress-free environment. How does one solve the problem of excess (say a person or people wanting more than is available)?
In regards to excess. In times of WWII the US had 600 fighting aircraft and we could not enter the war with that so we ended up producing 90 thousand planes a year plus submarines, aircraft carriers, anti aircraft weapons and a more than adequate medical staff to care for injured veterans. Of course we mobilized for war. To my knowledge we have never mobilized for peace to supply the abundance that we are capable of suppling. We have more than enough resources if intelligently managed and used. There is not enough money to even build the hospitals needed that is why we must move away from the monetary system to a resource based system.
Just imagine what would happen to the world's supply of resources if we mobilized for peace. To clarify particular aspects, when people go to work the car sits idle outside the factory for 8 hours. In a resource based global economy very few cars would remain idle, few freight cars would be stored in railroad yards, few ships would remain in storage. Just like a war effort we would put everything to use. The major difference is rather than training humans to be killing machines they would serve with machines to produce more than enough goods and services for all people. How will people get along in the Middle East? How will the question of religion be resolved?
In a resource there is material gain for everyone if their country participates in a project called common heritage which will advance all nations. Those that refuse to participate will miss the advantages gained.
Everyone is free to practice whatever belief system they have but can not force it upon others. Everyone can go anywhere they want to without restrictions of any kind. If they fail to behave constructively they are helped rather than put in prison or punished. There will be a constant effort to help present the advantages to even those nations who feel that they want to go it alone.
This will not interfere with their religious beliefs, social customs of traditions. These can not be forced out, you can only educate out beliefs that are irrelevant. We prefer to use that approach rather than a military one. Although it may take longer, we feel they will eventually see the advantages of this point of view of joining together and sharing resources, just as all of the United States joined together and the fighting between borders stopped.
All of these countries have resource shortages and we feel they will see the advantages. Nothing is forced upon them. What about religion?
The concepts presented by The Venus Project are in no way inconsistent with most of the religious teachings of the world. Perhaps the major difference is that we would like actually to transform these lofty ideals into a working reality for the nations of our planet. Many people claim that when spirituality fails in bringing up social changes, the use of violence is rationalized. Do you agree with this opinion?
If we don't make the appropriate moves there will be violence. It has nothing to do with wishes or aspirations. We feel our direction can translate spiritual teachings into a working reality that avoids violence. What can you tell us about The Venus Project's approach to education?
A high emphasis would be placed on education. The better informed children are, the richer everyone's life could be. Every child shooting up drugs today is a wasted life that you and I will ultimately pay for. Although books, videos, computers, and virtual reality would be used, most of the educational processes would be of a participatory nature in which students could interact directly with the physical environment. They would become aware of the symbiotic interrelationships between plant and animal life. They would learn by doing in a hands-on approach in which education and the communicative sciences would be brought into sharp focus, enabling the student actually to grasp the significance of physical phenomena in a much more concrete way. Above all, they would learn how to interact effectively with others, to share experiences, examine alternative approaches to problems, and accept ethnic and cultural differences, replacing intolerance with understanding.
A comprehensive overview of the history of all civilizations would be essential to understanding other cultures, values, and the forces that shape them. The generalist education, as proposed by The Venus Project, will enable students to gain a better understanding of cultures that differ from their own, leading to a better understanding of the advantage of all nations joining together for the preservation of life on planet Earth. With emphasis on a world viewpoint, it would be more difficult to persuade anyone to engage in aggressive, offensive, or belligerent behavior toward individuals and other nations. With this broader education, children would come to see that the Earth is a fantastic and bountiful place where all nations can share and prosper. What would the education be like?
Education should be more than the presentation of many facts to be memorized by students. The first aspects of an innovative education should have an emphasis on communication and the ability to resolve and avoid conflicts. This can be accomplished through an exposure to general semantics.
Although books and computers will be used in the future of education, an exposure to basic science is an absolute necessity. This would include an exposure to the scientific method and how it applies to everyday living. But most of all, science and technology must be applied with environmental and human concern, without which technological development in itself would be meaningless.
Another portion of education that should be emphasized is the contributions of many different nations to the arts and sciences that are used in the world today. The tendency to use education to enshrine a particular nation is more of a propaganda approach than the presentation of genuine information. It is not possible for people to understand other cultures without an overview of many of different cultural practices. No civilized culture today has lifted itself by it's own bootstraps. Instead all nations evolved as a result of many creative people throughout the world that have contributed to the arts and sciences. How are Learning, Cooperation, and Gaining Health, Built into the System?
If we want children to achieve a positive constructive relationship with one another, and become contributing members of society, an effective way to accomplish this is by designing an environment that produces the desired behavior. For example, when the children want to learn how to assemble a small motor vehicle, the design would require four children to lift the car while two others attach the wheels. The rest of the car would be assembled in a similar manner, needing the help and cooperation of all to complete the vehicle for use. This enlightened form of education would help students appreciate the advantages of cooperation.
Exercise in our schools would not be mandatory, monotonous, or involve competition, but would be incorporated directly into the classroom experience. For instance, a craft shop the children enjoy using might be located on a hilltop in the middle of a lake. To get there, the children would have to row a boat, and then climb the hilltop. This not only provides exercise, but also a sense of achievement, which improves mental health and incentive. What about food? Would people eat meat?
Food and nutrition would be based upon personal preference and if studies indicate that eating living animals are detrimental to health the information would be there for all people. Through time and education and the manufacturing of synthetic proteins we could do away with killing fish and animals. We can not outlaw what people eat but we can outgrow the need for eating animal protein. During the transition to a better diet for those who need it we could also develop foods that taste and feel just like the ones they like eating but are healthier for people.
We are also against experimenting on animals or people. What about drug addicts and alcoholics?
They can be educated out of the need for requiring artificial stimulants. Life would be much more interesting, exciting and always evolving.
All drug addicts would be taken care of and provided with the necessary treatment to overcome their problems without the dependence on drugs, alcohol or tobacco; all without a price tag. Not using money would eliminate the sale of drugs, prostitution, etc.
In a society where people are brought up with access to information and resources, there would far less stress or need for these artificial substances.
Meditation, exercises and other means in many instances will serve to relax tensions. People would also learn how to express themselves without needing substances to say what they think. Is The Venus Project interested/capable of co-ordinating with other groups, intentional communities, individuals, to organize a resource based society distributed throughout the current society? Put another way, is TVP organizing the transition itself? Or just providing an example of what is possible with the intention of society as a whole enacting the switch over?
We are not about intentional or sustainable communities living well to themselves. We are introducing an alternative global society. If there are intentional communities that are interested in working with us towards the aims and direction of The Venus Project we would welcome this but we know of no other groups who have been advocating this direction. We have always been trying to inform people, groups and communities about this alternative direction. We can use all the help we can get to bring this about.
At this stage we are not in a position of power in order to make a transition. We would like to initiate as much of it as we if we get that opportunity. We are always working toward this. How do you think people react to your proposals, that I would label "virtual proposals", about the future of the world, and what is your relationship with them? How important is fulfilment in terms of credibility and concrete experience?
I do not depend on present day values, language, and customs since they were designed centuries ago. Nor am I affected by what the majority of people believe. At one time the majority of people believed the earth was flat. They believed in many different gods and demons who they thought were responsible for their predicaments.
I also disagree with the concept that humans actually communicate with one another. This would not be possible unless they have common backgrounds in technology and science. In most instances, people talk at each other rather than to each another.
When stating this, I always try to explain in simple terms the positive gains of the social directions that I propose. To clarify these concepts of a possible sustainable future for all of the world's people, we produce videos and books available on our website at www.TheVenusProject.com
There is no question of credibility. If we continue in the direction we are going we will destroy the environment and one another. Is The Venus Project a Utopian society?
The Venus Project is not a Utopian concept. We do not believe in the erroneous notion of a utopian society. There is no such thing. Societies are always in a state of transition. We propose an alternative direction, which addresses the causes of many of our problems. There are no final frontiers for human and technological achievement - it will always undergo change. Even if we can design a society having all of the modifications to improve the lives of people and protect the environment we will still be at the beginning of the next phase. We are always in transition and learning new things.
The survival of any social system ultimately depends upon its ability to allow for appropriate change to improve society as a whole. The patterns we choose determine whether or not there is intelligent life on earth. In closing, to achieve this new social design, it will require much voluntary, unselfish participation for its realization. The future does not depend solely on The Venus Project. We only propose a direction. Our future depends on the decisions we make today. Future plans? What are you going to do now? What are you going to do next?
We are working on a motion picture script depicting the aims and direction of The Venus Project. We feel such a movie is a necessary and effective way to expose the public to new possibilities where science and technology are used intelligently for the benefit of all. More than a few people would say they are fed up with living in a money-driven society, and wish to live a more self-fulfilling life. What advice would you give these people?
Learning about the direction and aims of The Venus Project and help with building a larger following and support group. Do we have enough time to see all of these changes?
I really do not know the answer to this, and I don't control these variables. But all of my life, I have been working on alternative strategies to accomplish a sustainable future for all people, as well as fundamental changes in how we regard one another, our world, and ourselves. It is a vision of a new social system unlike any that has gone before. It calls for a straightforward approach to the redesign of a culture so that war, poverty, hunger, debt, and unnecessary human suffering are viewed not only as avoidable, but as totally unacceptable. This new civilization uses technology, cybernetics, and science--applied with human and environmental concern--to secure, protect, and encourage a more humane world for all. Anything less results in a continuation of the same problems inherent in the global, corporate economy of today. If you had to choose one idea that would describe the essence of this new society, what would it be? Unity? Discovery?
Common heritage of all of Earth's resources by all the world's people along with a global resource-based economy. What about the use of drugs in the future?
There is a tremendous incentive today for the selling of drugs and making people addicted as it is very profitable. Yes during the transition there will be problems because people need and require drugs. They will be able to attain them. But there will be more information out in regards to the negative and positive effects of taking various drugs. There will also be a tremendous amount of help for those who want to get off of them but today they can not afford the facilities today. There will be no moral judgments with the rehabilitation from drugs but the main concern is health both physically and mentally.
We ultimately hope to provide an environment that is interesting and challenging enough that very few people will have a need for drugs. Through education and a much less stressful atmosphere the need will be surpassed. People will be equipped with a healthier mental outlook or better tools for handling situations that confront them. What is your take regarding Sexuality?
We view the facts of sex are as follows: If children are raised in an environment where nude swimming is the norm, then their sexual attitudes and behaviors will evolve differently than in situations where their bodies are always covered and hidden. Aberrant sexual behavior and fetishes would probably disappear in cultures where unclothed bodies are regarded as natural. Deviant sexual behaviors like Peeping Toms, selling nudity in magazines, exhibitionism, and similar activities are mostly generated in societies where sex is covert and people are deprived about it. Unfortunately, much religious training seeks to perpetuate conventional sexual attitudes with particular emphasis on feelings of guilt. Societies, which accept unscientific values and beliefs about sex, are bound to generate unhealthy deviations involving cruelty, sadism, etc.
Sexual attitudes and behaviors in a saner society will evolve very differently from conventional societies today. We think nudity will become more commonplace on beaches, parks, and elsewhere, and that this will, in fact, become the norm in the future. Non-judgmental attitudes about sexual preference will eventually prevail. Sex in the culture will lack inhibition, thus reducing the interest in dancing girls, enticing displays, sexual extravagance, etc. Sexual distortions and abnormalities result from judgmental religious concepts regarding nudity and sexual preference.
Jacque Fresco, founder of The Venus Project, once lived on a Polynesian island in the South Pacific where the natives wore no clothing. This was associated with a completely different value system concerning sex and nudity. They did not behave like people do in a sexually deprived culture. The males didn't stare at the female body, but rather looked into their eyes when speaking to them. During sex they stroked the entire body. When you pet a dog you don't stop at the balls--you stroke the entire dog. They were uninterested in photos of nudes, male or female. They didn't brag about sexual conquests or emphasize their sexual behavior, and it appeared to be as natural as any other activity among them. They engaged in sex when they were old enough to do so and did so without cruelty or fetishes. Those distortions mostly occur in modern "civilization" where deprivation and sexual morality are dominant. The Venus Project feels that sexual preferences are byproducts of a person's experiences and we make no judgments regarding those preferences. Our aim is to find out what conditions are responsible for deviant behavior in all aspects of society and then to scientifically design an environment that will evolve the best in human values and relationships. A better social design in a resource-based economy will evolve productive and cooperative citizens. What is your take regarding the removal of the Zeitgeist Movement as the activist arm of The Venus Project?
The Zeitgeist Movement under the direction of Peter Joseph was not representing the needs or direction of The Venus Project. You can find a video response about the split here: Video Response