“Money is only important in a society when certain resources for survival must be rationed and the people accept money as an exchange medium for the scarce resources. Money is a social convention, an agreement if you will. It is neither a natural resource nor does it represent one. It is not necessary for survival unless we have been conditioned to accept it as such.”
Imagine a world where naturals resources form the basis of an economy instead of abstract numbers, diamonds, or gold. Greed and the desire to accumulate wealth are diminished along with the institutions that thrive off of debt and servitude. From food to energy, the world’s resources would be the common rights of all, utilizing technology to supply the human population with what they need to function, improving the standard of living for all and breaking the monopoly of the financial elite. This is the vision of Jacque Fresco and the Venus Project. By integrating science along with social movements, economics, and political discourse, it is the Project’s hope to form a more equitable and just future for civilizations living in a technological age.
Fresco cites his experience of living through the Great Depression as a major influence that helped to shape his views on society and commerce. He remembers the suffering of a population that potentially had access to goods, but not the capital to acquire basic necessities. Motivated to alleviate the ills of greed, war, and government incompetence, he engages cross-disciplinary methods to to look outside the narrow focus of politicians and businessmen. With a background in the aviation, industrial and structural design, Fresco recalls the manipulation of the economic system during WWII to allow for planes to be produced when there was not enough cash but sufficient materials to manufacture them. If this effort could be undertaken in times of war, he reasoned, then there is a possibility that an exception for strife could be extended to every day life.
Is such a utopian view realistic? Can we take advantage of scientific progress and altruism to create a more sustainable global community? In light of recent political protests, is the Venus Project a relevant model for transformation?