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The capacities of computers today exceed five
hundred trillion bits of information per second. The complexity of today’s
civilization is far too complex for human systems to manage without the
assistance of electronic computers. Computers of today are relatively
primitive compared to those that will evolve in the future. Eventually the
management of social systems will call for require electronic sensors
interconnected with all phases of the social sequences thus eliminating the
need for politics.
It is not my purpose to write an article that
would be acceptable to people this is not the concern of science.
Although such individuals as,
...all made some attempts to present a new civilization, the established social order considered them impractical dreamers with Utopian designs that ran contrary to the innate elements of human nature.
Arrayed against these social pioneers was a formidable status quo composed of vested interests that were comfortable with the way things were, and a populace at large that, out of years of indoctrination and conditioning, wanted no radical changes. These were the millions of unappointed guardians of the status quo.
The outlook and philosophy of the leaders were
consistent with their positions of differential advantage.
What appears to be lacking in most of these
concepts, however, has been an overall plan and the necessary methods for a
transitional system to enable the idea to become a reality. Most of the
early visions of a better world did not allow for changes in either
technology or human values, tending to arrest innovative efforts.
Additionally, all have lacked a comprehensive set of blueprints, models, and
a methodology for implementation. Finally, they lacked competent individuals
to bring about such a transition.
A film called "The March of Time" had this to say about Soviet Communism:
The failure of communism to provide for human
needs and to enrich the lives of its citizens is not unlike our own
failures. Both failure and success are inherent in the on-going experiment
that is social evolution. In all established social systems it is necessary
to devise different approaches to improve the workings of the system.
All of the technology we use today, such as computers, cellular phones, the Internet, aircraft, and automobiles, are in a constant state of improvement and modification. Yet our social system and values remain largely static.
An inscription on one of our government buildings reads as follows:
Attaining visions requires change. The major reason for resisting change is that it tends to threaten the established interests. Actually, the fear of social change is somewhat unfounded when we consider that the entire history of civilization has been, in a sense, an experiment.
Even the American free-enterprise system, during its earliest stages, faced a multitude of problems much more severe than they are today. These included long work hours, exploitation of child labor, inadequate ventilation in industrial plants, lack of rights for women and minorities, hazardous conditions in mines, and racial prejudice.
Despite its many problems, it was the greatest
social experiment in history in terms of diversity of lifestyles and
individual freedoms, innovations in architecture and technology, and overall
progress in general. It is imperative that we continue the process of social
experimentation in order to transcend our present limitations and enhance
the lives of everyone.
The paths that we choose will ultimately
determine whether or not there is intelligent life on earth.
We have seen this behavior repeated time and time again throughout the centuries, during times of flood, famine, fire, or other natural disasters. Once the threat is resolved, however, scarcity patterns once again begin to steer people back to their behaviors of seeking individual advantage. Sensationalist motion pictures such as Independence Day depict a world united for the purpose of repelling an invasion by a hostile alien culture.
Indeed, it seems that the only force that would mobilize the world in a unified direction would be one that poses a common threat, such as a colossal meteor hurling towards the earth, or some other major catastrophic event. If such an event were to occur, all border disputes would become irrelevant in the face of impending disaster.
While many would call upon divine intervention for salvation, all nations would surely combine their efforts and call upon science and technology to deal with this common threat. Bankers, lawyers, businessmen, and politicians would all be bypassed. Every resource would be harnessed and mobilized, without any concern for monetary cost or profit.
Under this kind of threatening condition, most
people realize where the key to their survival lies. For example, during the
Second World War, it was the collective mobilization of both human and
material resources that lead to a successful resolution for the U.S. and its
What is not touched upon is how these new
technologies of the future can be used to organize societies and economies
efficiently and equitably, without the necessity of uniformity, so that
everyone would benefit from them. The few think tanks devoted to
brainstorming newer approaches to bring social organization up to speed with
today’s technological capabilities do not deal with social change as a
global systems plan.
In the event of such a breakdown the existing
government would most likely
declare a state of emergency in an attempt to prevent total
chaos. It would then institute measures that may address immediate problems,
at the same time attempting to preserve existing institutions and power
structures, even though these may be a chief contributing factor to the
There are growing indications of awareness on
the part of people in many areas of the world that events have gone beyond
the control of their political leaders. Everywhere we see political figures
and parties come and go, political strategies adopted and discarded for
their inability to satisfy the demands of one faction or another.
If the public were better informed,
only then would it be possible to introduce a new and improved social
When faced with intolerable social conditions, many of the older patterns will emerge again as people attempt to find someone or something to blame for the conditions, e.g.,
True social change is not brought about by men and women of reason and good will on a personal level.
The notion that one can sit and talk to
individuals and alter their values is highly improbable. If the person one
is talking to does not have the fundamental knowledge of the operation of
scientific principles and the processes of natural laws, it is difficult for
them to understand how the pieces fit together on a holistic level.
There appears to be no historical record of any established society’s leader who deliberately and comprehensively redesigned a culture to fit the changing times. While there is no question that political leaders, to a limited extent, modify some modes of behavior, the real factors responsible for social change are brought about by bio-social pressures, which are inherent in all social systems.
Change is brought about by natural or economic
occurrences that adversely affect the immediate circumstances of large
numbers of people.
The concepts of proprietary rights, intellectual
property, copyrights, and patents manifested in corporate entities and in
the sovereignty of nations, preclude the free exchange of information that
is necessary to meet global challenges. The European Union represents an
attempt to bridge the present with the future, but it falls far short in
that it relies on the crutch of the monetary system.
With the rate of change now taking place, a vast
array of obsolete occupations will disappear more rapidly and more
extensively than at any other time in history. 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 that
are assisted by high-speed digital computers. They will eventually lead us
to large-scale computer-based methods of social operation. Social operations
are far too complex today for any elected politicians to handle.
If we apply the same efforts of scientific
mobilization as we do during a war, large-scale beneficial effects can be
achieved in a relatively short time. This could readily be accomplished by
utilizing many of our universities, training facilities, and staff to best
determine possible alternative methods to solving these problems. This could
eventually help us to define the possible transitional parameters for the
future of a sustainable global civilization.
In this manner, the earth and our technological
procedures could provide us with a limitless supply of material goods and
services without the creation of debt or taxation whatsoever.
In a monetary-based system, the major concerns of industry are profit, maintaining a competitive edge, and watching the bottom line, rather than the wellbeing of humanity.
The social problems that arise from mass unemployment of people, who are rendered obsolete by the infusion of automation, are considered irrelevant, if they are considered at all. Any need that may be met is secondary to acquiring a profit for the business. If the profit is insufficient, the service will be withdrawn. What industry seeks to do is improve the competitive edge to increase the profit margin for their shareholders.
It does not serve the interest of a monetary based society to engage in the production of goods and services to enhance the lives of people as a goal.
With rising public concern regarding the
greenhouse effect, acid rain, polluted air and water, etc. some companies
are also beginning to realize that for sustained market presence it is in
their best interest to heed social and environmental concerns. While such
trends are commendable, they are insufficient as a method of solving the
overall problems of waste, environmental degradation and unnecessary human
Individuals and groups, now as in the past,
however, still need to exchange objects and labor for today’s goods and
services. The unequal distribution of skills, resources and materials
throughout the world necessitates global trade.
Planet earth is in crises and the majority of
world population cannot meet their basic needs because people do not have
the means to purchase increasingly expensive resources. Money is now the
determinant of people’s standard of living rather than the availability of
The replacement system is therefore logically a
resource-based economy. This global resource based economy would be
gradually phased in while the monetary system is phased out.
This crude and violent way of attempting to
resolve international differences has taken on even more ominous overtones
with the advent of elaborate computerized thermonuclear delivery systems,
deadly diseases and gases, and the threat of sabotage of a nation's computer
networks. Despite the desire of nations to achieve peace, they usually lack
the knowledge of how to arrive at peaceful solutions.
Unfortunately, this may not be accomplished
prior to the point of no return in the global economy.
This new social design works towards eliminating the underlying causes that are responsible for many of our problems. But, as stated previously, they cannot be eliminated within the framework of the present monetary and political establishment. Human behavior is subject to the same laws that govern all other physical phenomena. Our customs, behaviors, and values are byproducts of our culture. No one is born with greed, prejudice, bigotry and hatred - they are learned.
If the environment is unaltered similar problems
Furthermore the belief that advanced technologies would lead to an improvement in the quality of life for most people is not the case in a monetary system. More and more companies are adopting the tremendous benefits of automation, resulting in increased production with fewer employees. Corporations’ short-term concern with profit will ultimately result in the demise of the world monetary based economies. If the monetary system continues to operate, we will be faced with the condition of more technological unemployment, today referred to as downsizing.
From 1990 to 1995, companies dismissed a staggering 17.1 million employees, many of these due to automation. Automation will continue to replace people well into the foreseeable future, resulting in the lack of purchasing power for these displaced workers. Despite expanding global markets, the human cost in terms of displaced workers and a disenfranchised populous, will inevitably bring about massive and unmanageable social problems.
Jobs were provided through the,
Ultimately, however, World War II pulled the U.S. out of that worldwide depression.
If we permit current conditions to take their natural course, we will soon be faced with another international recession of potentially greater magnitude. At the time of this depression the US had only 600 first class fighting aircraft at the beginning of World War II, we rapidly increased production to 90,000 planes per year.
Did we have enough money to pay for the required
implements of war? The answer is no. Neither did we have enough gold. But,
we did have more than enough resources. It was the available resources and
personnel that enabled the U. S. to achieve the production and efficiency
required to win the war. Unfortunately, such an all-out effort is only
considered in times of war or disaster.
Today our practice of rationing resources
through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter-productive to the
well-being of people. Today’s society has access to highly advanced
technologies and can easily provide more than enough for a very high
standard of living for all the earth’s people. This is possible through the
implementation of a resource-based economy.
A resource-based economy would utilize existing
resources from the land and sea, and the means of production, such as
physical equipment and industrial plants, to enhance the lives of the total
population. In an economy based on resources rather than money, we could
easily produce all of the necessities of life and provide a high standard of
living for all.
On the other hand, if people were stranded on an island that was abundant with natural resources producing more than the necessities for survival, then a monetary system would be irrelevant. It is only when resources are scarce that money can be used to control their distribution. One could not, for example, sell the air we breathe, the sand on the beach, or the salt water in the ocean to someone else on the island who has equal access to all these things.
In a resource-based economy all of the world's
resources would be held as the common heritage of all of the earth’s people,
thus eventually outgrowing the need for the artificial boundaries that
separate people – this is the unifying imperative.
Globalization in a resource-based economy
empowers each and every person on the planet to be the very best they can
be, not to live in abject subjugation to a corporate governing body.
The real wealth of any nation lies in its developed and potential resources and the people who are working toward the elimination of scarcity and the development of a more humane way of life.
A resource-based economy would use technology to
overcome scarce resources by utilizing renewable sources of energy;
computerizing and automating manufacturing, inventory and distribution;
designing safe, energy-efficient cities; providing universal health care and
relevant education; and most of all, by generating a new incentive system
based on human and environmental concern.
For example, it is an ironic state of affairs when the U.S. Department of Agriculture, whose function is to conduct research into ways of achieving higher crop yields per acre, pays farmers not to produce at full capacity while many people go hungry. Another example is the choice of some companies to illegally dump solid waste into oceans and rivers to save money, when more ecologically sound disposal methods are available.
A third example is the failure of some industries to install electrostatic precipitators in their factories’ smokestacks to prevent particulate matter from being released into the atmosphere, even though the technology has been available for over 75 years.
The monetary system does not always apply known methods that
would best serve people and the environment.
It could enable one to return to the Greek concept of leisure, where slaves did most of the work and men had time to cultivate their minds. The essential difference is that in the future, each of us will command more than a million slaves - but they will be mechanical and electrical slaves, not fellow human beings. This will end forever the degrading exploitation of any human being by another so that he or she lives an abundant, productive, and less stressful life.
Perhaps the greatest aid in enhancing the
survival of the human race is the introduction of cybernation, the
electronic computer, and artificial intelligence, which may very well save
the human race from its own inadequacies.
Decisions would be arrived at on the basis of
feedback from the environment. Despite today’s mania for national security,
and subsequent intrusions into everyone’s personal affairs, in a world-wide
resource-based economy where no one need take from another, it will be
considered socially offensive and counterproductive for machines to monitor
the activities of individuals. In fact, such intrusion would serve no useful
All transportation systems are fully utilized in
both directions. There would be no empty trucks, trains, or transport units
on return trips. There would be no freight trains stored in yards, awaiting
a business cycle for their use. 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 statistics. In this way a
balanced-load economy can be assured and shortages, over-runs, and waste
could be eliminated.
These distribution centers would be similar to a public library or an exposition, where the advantages of new products can be explained and demonstrated. For example, if one were to visit Yellowstone National Park, one could check out a still or video camera on-site, use the camera, and if they do not want to keep it, return it to another readily accessible distribution center or drop-off point, thus eliminating the individual’s need to store and maintain the equipment.
This reason is simply because ease of repair is not the concern of the manufacturers. They do not have to pay to service the car. If they did, I can assure you, they would design automobiles that consist of modular components that could be easily disengaged, thus facilitating easier access to the engine. Such construction would be typical in a resource-based economy. Many of the components in the automobile would be easily detachable to save time and energy in the rare case of repair, because no one would profit by servicing automobiles or any other products.
Consequentially all products would be of the
highest quality, and they would be simplified for convenience of service.
Automotive transport units engineered in this way can easily be designed to
be service-free for many years. All the components within the car could be
easily replaced when needed with improved technologies. Eventually, with the
development of magnetically suspended bearings, lubrication and wear would
be relegated to the past. Proximity sensors in the vehicles would prevent
collisions, further reducing servicing and repair requirements.
There would be no "planned obsolescence," where
products are deliberately designed to wear out or break down. In a
resource-based economy technology intelligently and efficiently applied will
conserve energy, reduce waste, and provide more leisure time. During the
transition, the workweek could be staggered thus eliminating traffic jams or
crowding in all areas of human activity, including beaches and recreation
To eliminate waste such as newsprint, books, and
other publications, these could be replaced, for example, by an electronic
process in which a light-sensitive film is placed over a monitor or TV,
producing a temporary printout. This material would be capable of storing
the information until it is deleted. This would conserve our forests and
millions of pounds of paper, which is a major part of the recycling process.
Eventually, most paperwork would no longer be required, i.e. advertising,
money, mail, newspaper, phonebook.
Enormous amounts of time and energy would also be saved by eliminating the duplication of competing products. Instead of having hundreds of different manufacturing plants and all the paperwork and personnel that are required to turn out similar products, only very few of the highest quality would be needed to serve the entire population.
In a resource-base economy planned obsolescence
would not exist.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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 means providing the necessary environment,
educational facilities, nutrition, health care, compassion, love, and
security that all people need.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Its 25-acre research and design center is located in Venus, Florida where the future is taking shape today. The function of The Venus Project is to design, develop, and prepare plans for the construction of an experimental city based on the -principles outlined above. Here we have constructed nine experimental buildings, are developing alternative energy systems, city designs, transportation, manufacturing systems, and more.
In support of this research we are creating blueprints, renderings, and models, holding seminars, producing books, videos, and other written material to introduce people to the aims of The Venus Project.
The Venus Project is in the process of introducing a set of values and procedures that may enable us to achieve social transformation.
The Venus Project will provide the designs and blueprints for a prototype community to test the validity of its social proposals and to establish a permanent planning center that could be used for future short-term and long-term project planning.
It also proposes a relevant orientation for people to be able to adapt intellectually and emotionally to our new technological age.
Anything short of overall social design would be
inappropriate and far less effective. Our proposals will be submitted to the
general public and all educational institutions, and we invite their
participation. If enough people find the proposals acceptable and choose to
join with us in this new advocacy, this could help to form the nucleus of an
organization to further the aims of The Venus Project.
Without sufficient knowledge of the symbiotic interrelationship between humanity and the environment, it would be extremely difficult to develop workable solutions to our many problems. In the planning of this new city The Venus Project has taken this and many other factors into careful consideration and study.
This new experimental city would be devoted to working towards the aims and goals of The Venus Project, which are:
Like all other innovative social proposals, it starts out with a few devoted people that dedicate their time to informing others of the humane benefits of this new direction.
People are invited to participate in whatever capacity they can to help carry out the initial design phases of this new experimental city. An interdisciplinary team of systems engineers, computer programmers, architects, city planners, sociologists, psychologists, educators and the like would also be needed.
The design of The Venus Project does not
regard environmental conditions as fixed or static. We must allow for
adaptation and change within the system as a continuous process. This would
avoid the tendency to perpetuate temporary arrangements beyond their period
As these new communities develop and become more widely accepted, they may very well form the basis of a new civilization, preferably through the process of evolution rather than revolution. We are well aware that no one can actually foretell the shape of the future. We can only extrapolate on present information and trends.
Population growth, technological change, worldwide environmental conditions, and available resources are the primary criteria for future projections. We are also aware that there is no single philosophy or point of view - religious, political, scientific, or ideological - 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
others project into it.
If you identify with this direction, we welcome you to join with us and work towards its realization.