Tag Archives: Founder of The Venus Project

In today’s society, there is much concern about the dissolution of the conventional core family structure, and the societal values associated with it. The family is seen as the primary, most basic venue for acquiring such life skills as caring, sociability, responsibility, stability and concern for others. The increasing unrest and lack of direction exhibited by many young people today seem to validate these concerns.

At present, it is necessary for both husbands and wives to work. Monetary economics have to a large extent undermined family cohesion. Parents lack adequate time to spend with their children, and they are constantly stressed by ever-rising medical bills, insurance payments, educational expenses, and the high cost of living. It is in this area that one of the most profound benefits of this new civilization could be realized. The proposed shorter workdays would provide more time for family relationships. Free access to goods and services would make the home a much more pleasant place, with the removal of economic stress that causes so much family turmoil.

With the enhanced level of sociability that would naturally come from not having to compete for access to goods and services, we would see a tendency toward extension of the family unit into the community. As may already be observed in other cultures, the rearing and development of children would become the responsibility of both the family and the community at large.

With the elimination of debt, the fear of losing one’s job will no longer be a threat; this assurance, combined with education on how to relate to one another in a much more meaningful way, could considerably reduce conflict and stress both mentally and physically. When education and resources are available to all without a price tag, there would be no limit to the human potential.

The fear of uniform behavior in a cybernated resource-based economy of the future is unfounded. The only uniformity one would find would be a concern for the environment and the importance of extending maximum courtesy to all nations and to one another. All would likewise share an intense curiosity for all that is new and challenging. With a better understanding, people could possess a flexibility of outlook unknown in previous times, free of bigotry and prejudice. In addition, the people of this innovative society would have concern for their fellow human beings, and for the protection, maintenance, and stewardship of the Earth’s natural environment. Additionally, everyone, regardless of race, color, or creed would have equal access to all of the amenities that this highly productive culture could supply.

In more advanced and humane systems of education people would acquire this new type of value system. They would also realize the many advantages of cooperation rather than competition. In a society without vested interest it would be impossible to harness the talents of scientists and technicians to engage in weapons research or any other socially hostile endeavor. We call this approach “functional morality.” This newer, more humane, and more productive approach would advocate finding non-military solutions to international differences. This calls for a global view, which would be a considerable improvement over narrow national and self-interests. We could use knowledge and information as tools that would be surrendered when evidence of more appropriate methods are introduced.

Some people question the morality of seemingly receiving something for nothing. At a recent college lecture one student was opposed to the idea of “getting something for nothing.” I then asked him if he were paying his own way through school, or if his parents were paying for him. He admitted that his parents were. I also pointed out that if he really did believe that people should not receive something for nothing, then in the event of the death of his rich relative he would prefer that their inheritance be left to the heart or cancer fund, rather than being passed on to him. But the student, needless to say, was opposed to this idea.

By merely being born in a developed country, we have access to many things that we put no effort whatsoever towards, such as the telephone, the automobile, electricity, running water, etc. These gifts of human ingenuity and invention do not degrade our lives, but rather they enrich and enhance us. What degrades us is our lack of concern for those unfortunate enough to experience poverty, hunger, and homelessness. The social designs that are proposed in this writing merely provide the opportunity for individuals to develop their fullest potential in whatever endeavor they choose without the fear of loss of individuality or submission to uniformity.

A resource-based economy by definition includes the participation of all people in its benefits. In a monetary system there is an inherent reason for corruption and that is to gain a competitive advantage over someone else. Without vested interests or the use of money, there is no benefit to squelching one’s opinion or falsifying information or taking advantage of anyone. There would be no need for any underlying rigid social barriers that would limit the participation of anyone or restrain the introduction of new ideas. The main objective is the access of information and the availability of goods and services to all people. This would enable people to be prepared to participate in the exciting challenges of this new society A resource-based economy could create an environment that would encourage the widest range of individuality, creativity, constructive endeavor, and cooperation without any kind of elitism, technical or otherwise. Most significantly, a resource-based economy would generate a far different incentive system, one based on human and environmental concern. This would not be a uniform culture but one that is designed to be in a constant process of growth and improvement.

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–one that would be continuously improved. At a time when commercial institutions no longer exist, the necessity for prisons, lawyers, advertisements, banks and the stock exchange will serve no useful purpose. In the society of the future, in which the monetary system of scarcity has been surpassed by a resource based economy and most physical and creative needs are met, private ownership as we know it would cease to be a necessity to protect one’s access to goods and services. The concept of ownership would be of no advantage whatsoever in a society of abundance. Although this is difficult for many to imagine, even the wealthiest person today would be immensely better off in the highly productive resource-based society. Today in developed countries the middle class live far better than kings and the wealthy of times past. In a resource based economy everyone would live richer lives than the powerful and wealthy of today, not only materially but spiritually as well.

People would be free to pursue whatever constructive field of endeavor they choose without any of the economic pressures, restraints, debts and taxation that are inherent in the monetary system of today. By constructive endeavor, we mean anything that enhances the lives of the individual and others while protecting the global environment. When education and resources are available to all without a price tag, there would be no limit to the human potential. With these major alterations people would be able to eventually live longer, more meaningful, healthier and productive lives. In such a society, the measure of success would be based on the fulfillment of one’s individual pursuits rather than the acquisition of wealth, property, and power.

Published with permission from the author: Jacque Fresco, Founder of The Venus Project, www.thevenusproject.com

It is claimed that the so-called free-enterprise system creates incentive. This may be true, but it also perpetuates greed, embezzlement, corruption, crime, stress, economic hardship, and insecurity. In addition, the argument that the monetary system and competition generate incentive does not always hold true. Most of our major developments in science and technology have been the result of the efforts of very few individuals working independently and often against great opposition. Such contributors as Goddard, Galileo, Darwin, Tesla, Edison, and Einstein were individuals who were genuinely concerned with solving problems and improving processes rather than with mere financial gain. Actually, very often there is much mistrust in those whose incentive is entirely motivated by monetary gain, this can be said for lawyers, businessmen, salesman and those in just about any field.

Some may question that if the basic necessities are accessible to all people, what will motivate them? This is tantamount to saying that children reared in affluent environments, in which their parents provide all the necessary food, clothing, shelter, nutrition, and extensive education, will demonstrate a lack of incentive or initiative. There is no evidence to support this fallacious assumption. There is overwhelming evidence to support the facts that malnutrition, lack of employment, low wages, poor health, lack of direction, lack of education, homelessness, little or no reinforcement for one’s efforts, poor role models, poverty, and a bleak prospect for the future do create monumental individual and social problems, and significantly reduce an individual’s drive to achieve. The aim of a resource based economy is to encourage and develop a new incentive system, one no longer directed toward the shallow and self-centered goals of wealth, property, and power. These new incentives would encourage people to pursue different goals, such as self-fulfillment and creativity, the elimination of scarcity, the protection of the environment, and the alleviation of suffering in their fellow human beings.

People, provided with good nutrition in a highly productive and humane society, will evolve a new incentive system unattainable in a monetary system. There would be such a wealth of new wonders to experience, explore, and invent that the notion of boredom and apathy would be absurd. Incentive is often squelched in our present culture, where a person dare not dream of a future that seems unattainable to him or her. The vision of the future that too many see today consists of endless days of mindless toil, and a wasted life, squandered for the sake of merely earning enough money to survive from one day to the next.

Each successive period in time creates it’s own incentive system. In earlier times the incentive to hunt for food was generated by hunger; the incentive to create a javelin or a bow and arrow evolved as a process supportive to the hunt. With the advent of an agrarian society the motivation for hunting was no longer relevant, and incentives shifted toward the cultivation of crops, the domestication of animals, and toward the protection of personal property. In a civilization where people receive food, medical care, education, and housing, incentives would again undergo change and would be redirected: People would be free to explore other possibilities and lifestyles that could not be anticipated in earlier times.

The nature of incentive and motivation is dependent upon many factors. We know, for example, that the physical and mental health of an individual is directly related to that person’s sense of self-worth and well-being. Furthermore, we know that all healthy babies are inquisitive; it is the culture that shapes the particular kind of inquiry and motivation. For example, in India and other areas of great scarcity there are many people who are motivated not to accumulate wealth and material property; they renounce all worldly goods. Under the conditions in which they find themselves, this is not difficult. This would seem to be in direct conflict with other cultures that value the accumulation of material wealth. Yet, which view is more valid? Your answer to this question would depend upon your frame of reference, that is, your culturally influenced value-system.

Many experimental psychologists and sociologist have shown that the effects of environment play a major role in shaping our behavior and values. If constructive behavior is appropriately rewarded during early childhood, the child becomes motivated to repeat the rewarded behavior, provided that the reinforcement meets the individual needs of the child. For example, if a football were given to a child who is interested in botany, this would not be a reward from the child’s point of view. It is very unfortunate that so many individuals in our society today are not appropriately rewarded for their creative efforts. In some instances individuals are seemingly able to overcome the shortcomings of their environment in spite of an apparent lack of positive reinforcements. This is due to their own “self-reinforcement” in which they can see an improvement in whatever activity they are engaged in, and achieve an intrinsic sense of accomplishment; their reinforcement does not depend on the approval of others, nor on monetary reward. Those children who do depend on the approval of a group tend to be afflicted with a sense of low self-esteem, while children who do not depend on group approval usually acquire a sense of self-approval by improving upon their own performance.

Throughout history, there have been many innovators and inventors who have been ruthlessly exploited, ridiculed, and abused while receiving very little financial reward. Yet, they endured such hardship because they were motivated to learn and to discover new ways of doing things. While creative individuals like Leonardo de Vinci, Michelangelo, and Beethoven received the generous sponsorship of wealthy patrons, this did not diminish their incentive in the least. On the contrary, it empowered them to reach new heights of creativity, perseverance and individual accomplishments.

This is a difficult concept to grasp because most of us have been brought up with the value system that has given us a set of notions about the way that we ought to think and behave about money and motivation. These are based upon ancient ideas that are really irrelevant today.

It has been stated that war generates creativity. This deliberately falsified concept has no basis in fact. It is government financing of war industries that helped to develop many new materials and inventions. There is no question that a saner society would be able to create a more constructive incentive system if our knowledge of the conditions that shape human motivation were applied.

In this new social arrangement of a resource-based economy, motivation and incentive will be encouraged through recognition of, and concern for, the needs of the individual. This means providing the necessary environment, educational facilities, nutrition, health care, compassion, love, and security that all people need.

Published with permission from the author: Jacque Fresco, Founder of The Venus Project, www.thevenusproject.com