Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Venus Project

I stumbled across this while looking at the Zeitgeist website.

It is a refreshing new vision for the future.  A future not ruled by money, politics or religion.  A future in which clean energy is the only energy used.  A future in which the world's people embrace their symbiotic nature, and work as one to better life as a whole.  A future where every person on Earth can enjoy a high standard of living.

When monetary profit is the main goal, most people get the short end of the stick.  Products diminish in quality and value.  Technology becomes outdated in the blink of an eye.  The wealth is held by a very small minority.  Poverty thrives.  Scarcity thrives.  Debt thrives.  Crime thrives.

Think of how much money a movie star makes.  Millions of dollars.  Millions of dollars that could be better spent:  using agricultural technology to reverse poverty, setting up schools around the world for all of Earth's people, rebuilding third world countries (so that when earth quakes happen, the concrete buildings don't collapse and kill thousands), providing high quality medical care to all, providing housing for all.

But The Venus Project goes much farther than proposing the allocation of money for important solutions.  It proposes to eliminate the root of the problems: money.

The Venus Project proposes a "resource based economy".  Jacque Fresco is the originator of this proposal.

"It is a system in which all goods and services are available without the use of money, credits, barter or any other system of debt or servitude. All resources become the common heritage of all of the inhabitants, not just a select few. The premise upon which this system is based is that the Earth is abundant with plentiful resource; our practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter productive to our survival." -- quote taken from The Venus Project website.  

If humans no longer had to work to provide their needs, think of the endless untapped potential.  Humans would be free to pursue their passions.  Free to pursue their pleasures.  Free to contribute to society without worrying about how much profit it would make them.   Take a moment to imagine this.  No longer a slave to your job 40+ hours a week.  Resources in abundance.  Meg-lev trains that could take you across the World in a few hours, at no monetary cost.  The possibilities for humankind would be endless.  How many more artists, scientists, doctors, writers, travellers.... would there be?  The bounds of creativity and ingenuity are limitless.

To those that think this is only the dream of visionary idealists, I dare you to think again.

Think about changes society has already made.  Take, for example, the abolition of slavery.  It did not happen overnight.  It did not happen all at once.  But it did happen.  And who made it happen?  People made it happen.  People who helped in the Underground Railroad, and thus opposed slavery.  Social reformers like William Lloyd Garrison.  Writers like Harriet Beecher Stowe.

People once thought the Earth was flat.  People in ancient times probably thought travelling through the air was impossible.  The truth is, "the only limitations are those which we impose upon ourselves", as the Venus Project so aptly puts it.

In the words of Langston Hughes:

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow

I urge all to check out The Venus Project throughly, and to watch Zeitgeist Addendum.

Their proposals will not be easy to accomplish.  Not everyone will agree.  Their visions will not be quick to come to realization.  They may never come to realization.  But think of how wonderful it would be if they did.