The Venus Project
is an organization that advocates the futurist visions of the American Jacque Fresco
Jacque Fresco , is a self-educated structural designer, philosopher of science, concept artist, educator, and futurist. His interests span a wide range of disciplines including several in philosophy, science, and engineering...
, with the aim of improving society with a global sustainable social design that it calls a "resource-based economy". The system aims to incorporate sustainable
Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use, that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come...
cities and values
In ethics, value is a property of objects, including physical objects as well as abstract objects , representing their degree of importance....
, energy efficiency
Energy efficiency may refer to:*Efficient energy use, sometimes simply called energy efficiency.*Energy conversion efficiency, the ratio between the output and input of an energy conversion machine....
, collective farms, natural resource management
Natural resource management refers to the management of natural resources such as land, water, soil, plants and animals, with a particular focus on how management affects the quality of life for both present and future generations ....
and advanced automation
Automation is the use of control systems and information technologies to reduce the need for human work in the production of goods and services. In the scope of industrialization, automation is a step beyond mechanization...
The name of the organization originates from Venus, Florida
Venus is an unincorporated community in southeastern Highlands County, Florida, United States. It is located on County Road 731 off U.S. Route 27....
, where its research center is located, near Lake Okeechobee
Lake Okeechobee , locally referred to as The Lake or The Big O, is the largest freshwater lake in the state of Florida. It is the seventh largest freshwater lake in the United States and the second largest freshwater lake contained entirely within the lower 48 states...
. Within the center are ten buildings, designed by Fresco, which showcase the architecture of the project. Future by Design
, a film about the life and work of Jacque Fresco, was produced in 2006.
The Venus Project was started around 1975 by Jacque Fresco and by former portrait artist Roxanne Meadows in Venus, Florida, United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
The Venus Project is a two-part business called "Future by Design" and a for-profit company called "Venus Project Inc./Global Cybervisions Inc."
The Venus Project was founded on the idea that all nations are fundamentally corrupt and that this corruption comes from the use of money. Fresco instead advocates what he refers to as a "resource-based economy", which is an economy where resources are allocated by a computerized automated system referred to as the Cybernation.
- Realizing the declaration of the world's resources as being the common heritage of all people.
- Transcending the artificial boundaries that currently and arbitrarily separate people.
- Replacing money-based nationalistic economies with a resource-based world economy.
- Assisting in stabilizing the world's population through education and voluntary birth control.
- Reclaiming and restoring the natural environment to the best of our ability.
- Redesigning cities, transportation systems, agricultural industries, and industrial plants so that they are energy-efficient, clean, and able conveniently to serve the needs of all people.
- Gradually outgrowing corporate entities and governments (local, national, or supra-national) as means of social management.
- Sharing and applying new technologies for the benefit of all nations.
- Developing and using clean, renewable energy sources.
- Manufacturing the highest-quality products for the benefit of the world's people.
- Requiring environmental-impact studies prior to construction of any mega-projects.
- Encouraging the widest range of creativity and incentive toward constructive endeavour.
- Outgrowing nationalism, bigotry, and prejudice through education.
- Eliminating elitism—technical or otherwise.
- Arriving at methodologies by careful research rather than random opinions.
- Enhancing communication in schools so that our language is relevant to the physical conditions of the world.
- Providing not only the necessities of life, but also offering challenges that stimulate the mind while emphasizing individuality rather than uniformity.
- Finally, preparing people intellectually and emotionally for the changes and challenges that lie ahead.
Sustainable cybernated economy
Fresco suggests that in a "resource-based economy", resources would be allocated into the goods and services in consumer demand, based on factors of availability
Abundance may refer to:In science and technology:* Abundance , the opposite of scarcities* Abundance , growing food with plentiful resources that will not run out -- sunshine, CO2, and waste or brine water....
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of union, an interdependent relationship and mutual responsible position with all living and non...
and technological advancement. The role of money would be phased out; instead, central computers would serve a lineup of goods and services, which citizens could order upon demand. Central computers would serve a variety of goods based on sustainability and the latest technological advances; obsolete, unwanted, or unused goods would be recycled, reduced and/or reused. Resource waste is a burden which the system must eliminate to function efficiently.
Relation to the market economy
A "resource-based economy" would use machines as labor to deliver goods and services from resource mining to the finished product, distribution centers with drive-throughs for each category that consumers collect and courier home; there would be no charge at the point of consumption. It is supposed that the cost is the energy and resource used in the process, and that this would fall onto automated machines to regulate, removing the burden from consumers.
A resource-based economy aims to supplant the market economy
A market economy is an economy in which the prices of goods and services are determined in a free price system. This is often contrasted with a state-directed or planned economy. Market economies can range from hypothetically pure laissez-faire variants to an assortment of real-world mixed...
as the entity to which people turn for goods and services. It aims essentially to take the market out of the market economy, replacing it with automation based on the assumption that machines do not profit and do not maintain an environment of scarcity to gain indebtedness and servitude from the population. Machines would act as the mediator to deliver goods and service to people in-place of the market and the government.
Fresco provides an example of this confusion in the following quote:
- "At the beginning of World War II the U.S. had a mere 600 or so first-class fighting aircraft. We rapidly overcame this short supply by turning out more than 90,000 planes a 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, nor did we have enough gold; but we did have more than enough resources. It was the available resources that enabled the U.S. to achieve the high production and efficiency required to win the war. Unfortunately, this is only considered in times of war."
Fresco states that for this to work, all of Earth's resources must be held as the common heritage of all people and not just a select few; and the practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter-productive to the survival of human civilization.
Critical theory of the market economy
According to Jacque Fresco (unless otherwise stated)
The advance of technology, if it were carried on independently of its profitability
In economics, the term profit has two related but distinct meanings. Normal profit represents the total opportunity costs of a venture to an entrepreneur or investor, whilst economic profit In economics, the term profit has two related but distinct meanings. Normal profit represents the total...
, would make more resources available to more people by producing an abundance of products and materials. This new-found abundance of resources would reduce the human tendency toward individualism, corruption, and greed, and instead rely on people helping each other. Fresco imagines a society in which people would live "longer, healthier, and more meaningful lives."
Fundamental to the project is what Fresco calls a "resource-based economy". Such a system uses 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. And human error will not be left to chance, but compensated by cybernated structures, these will manage the risk to minimize or eliminate the opportunities that allow damage to the functioning of society. Offenders will not be killed, instead they will be re-educated, provided with the pieces of information for them to be altruistic, the integrity of a peaceful sustainable society will hold priority. Predatory drives are bred within the individual, in a monetary system, drives as these are conditioned by culture, and combined with a lack (scarcity), these predators will take offensive action against the better-off or helpless whatever the power differentials are; resulting in social consequences like poverty, crime, corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...
and war, when the root cause is removed (the flow of money) these troubles will vanish.
His ideas stem from his formative years during the Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...
The proposed way to transition to a resource based economy is as follows:
- Phase One — build a research centre ✔
- Phase Two — produce a full-length feature film to premiere globally
- Phase Three — construct an experimental research city (test prototype) including a theme park to show people how the future can be.
The Venus project claims that all funds raised go back to developing the project, which provide a viable alternative to the market system, for when the market economy falls their solution will provide. As mentioned by Jacque and Roxanne, it is imperative that a motion picture be made before Jacque dies, so that the vision will be readily and easily accessible and apprehensible into the far future. This would continue the cause into building a research city founded on principles laid out by Jacque, establish through years research, experience and experiment.
The Venus Project was featured prominently in the 2008 documentary film Zeitgeist: Addendum
Zeitgeist: Addendum, is a 2008 documentary film produced and directed by Peter Joseph, and a sequel to the 2007 film Zeitgeist: The Movie. Zeitgeist: Addendum is itself followed by the 2011 film Zeitgeist: Moving Forward.-Synopsis:...
, as a possible solution to the global problems explained in the first film and first half of the second film. The film premiered at the 5th Annual Artivist Film Festival in Los Angeles
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...
, California on October 2, 2008, winning their highest award, and it was released online for free on Google video on October 4, 2008. Following the movie, an organization called the Zeitgeist Movement was established to promote the aims of the Venus Project. In 2011, an additional film, Zeitgeist: Moving Forward
Zeitgeist: Moving Forward is the third installment in Peter Joseph's Zeitgeist film series. The movie was independently released in over 60 countries and in over 30 languages starting on January 15, 2011 with over 340 screenings worldwide...
, was also released. The movement functioned as the activist arm of the Venus Project. However, in April 2011, the Venus Project formally disassociated itself from the movement as it no longer felt represented by the direction the movement was heading in.