By Jacque Fresco


This book is dedicated to the youth of the world who, with the aid of computers, will be the trustees of tomorrow's civilization and the stewards of the Earth's natural environment.


I wish to express my appreciation to the following friends who have contributed to the development of this book: Sam Laurie, Steve Doll, Wilson Hawthorne, and Patrick Brostowin.

A special thanks to Ben Garen, the senior editor, who worked diligently on the revising and editing of the book.

I deeply appreciate the support and encouragement of Angelus Philolias and Clarisa Molina.

Thanks to Birgit Lahaye for the preparation of many of the drawings and models.

Most of all, I would like to thank Roxanne Meadows for her assistance and dedication to the aims of the Venus Project for the past 22 years. She has worked on the manuscripts, layouts, drawings, models, photographs, and video productions. In addition, she has been my close assistant in all areas of the planning and actual building! of The Venus Project. Without her help and support, it would not have been possible.


With the dawn of the space age we have had the opportunity for the first time to observe our relatively tiny planet suspended in the dark void of space, free of any of the artificial and ever-changing boundaries that divide humankind. We once thought that the earth and all its resources were unlimited; now we know better. We have come to realize that if our fragile planet is to survive, we must all strive to protect it for ourselves and for generations to come.

While the advent of computers and high technology have provided us with a limitless potential for human development, the inappropriate infusion of this advanced technology into the social structure has also caused a great deal of stress and social upheaval on a global scale. The time is long over-due for us to reexamine our values and to reflect upon and evaluate some of the underlying issues and assumptions we have as a society about the very nature of what it means to be human, what it means to be a member of a "civilization," and what choices we can make today to ensure a prosperous future for all of the world's people.

Humankind has for thousands of years been effected by "the march of events" in which bio-social forces have influenced their cultural, social, and technological development. During the early phase of world civilization most cultures began as hand-tool economies requiring the extensive use of human labor. As machines have progressed in both sophistication and number, we have witnessed rapid changes throughout society, most particularly with regard to their replacement of human energy. The advent of automation and cybernation has accelerated these trends, and brought about an ever-increasing replacement of people by automated systems. As the current method of assigning purchasing power is based on trading human effort for wages, it is only a matter of time until the purchasing power of the vast majority will be considerably reduced, and finally eliminated.

As a result of this replacement of human labor by machines, fewer people will be able to purchase goods and services even though the capability to produce an abundance will still exist. This may very well threaten our present free-enterprise system as the dominant system in world affairs, and possibly result in a dramatic reduction in the quality of life for most people. The statistical evidence of this trend is well documented in Jeremy Rifkin's book The End of Work: The decline of the Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the Post - Market Era (1995).

While at one time it could be argued that machine technology had created many new jobs in the fields of electronics, computer sciences, the entertainment industry, etc. all economic indicators show that a drop in man-hours coincides with a substantial increase in productivity. This trend will accelerate exponentially, and the myth of retraining will be as short lived as the immediate profits that come from shifting production to those countries where labor is relatively inexpensive. And, it is only a matter of time before cheap human labor is replaced by even less expensive and more efficient automation that requires no housing, training, feeding, health insurance, or any of the other human considerations and liabilities. As futurist Frank Ogden says in his book The Last Book You Will Ever Read and Other Lessons from the Future (1994), "Jobs are going the way of child labor, slavery and indentured service." In the short-term, the only ones who will benefit from this trend will be executive levels of automated, future-oriented industries that have strong R&D programs; and even their positions, with the present rate of change, are threatened.

It appears that most of the Earth's inhabitants are losing confidence in their political leaders' ability to find workable solutions to these and the other multitudinous problems that threaten the world's economies. At present we are left with very few alternatives. The answers of yesterday are no longer relevant. Either we continue as we have been with our outmoded social customs and habits of thought, in which case our future will be threatened I or we can apply a new set of values that are relevant to an emergent world civilization.

The Venus Project proposes a fresh, alternative vision -one that is dedicated to human and environmental concerns. It is an attainable vision of a bright and better future, one that is appropriate to the technological age in which we live, and is both practical and feasible. It proposes the redesign of our social institutions in as expedient a manner as possible by applying the latest technologies directly to the social system in a way that will benefit the lives of everyone.



Unfortunately, we as a people have been unable to make the necessary adjustments to these rapidly developing technologies and their negative effects on our lives and on society as a whole. Thought patterns reminiscent of scarcity and exploitation still dictate many of our decisions, for example, in our habits of competition, and in our practices of inadequate compensation for people's efforts, i.e. the minimum wage. Additionally, in times of international conflict we immediately institute a system to develop weapons of mass destruction and train people to use them. When we desired to be the first to put a man on the moon, we assembled the necessary personnel and technologies to accomplish this end. Although there have been numerous small-scale attempts to establish cooperative social groups, there has never before been a project as large and well-financed as the Manhattan Project directed specifically toward improving the lives of everyone and anticipating the needs of the future.

The same energies that went into the Manhattan Project could be channeled to improve and update our way of life, and to achieve and maintain the optimal symbiotic relationship between nature and humankind. With our present state of technology we can direct our energies toward creating such an environment if we as a people choose to do so. All of the limitations imposed upon us by our present-day monetary system can be surpassed by adopting a resource-based economy, which would provide us with a limitless supply of material goods and services without any taxation whatsoever.

Our present, outmoded political and economic systems are unable to apply the real benefits of innovative technology to achieve the greatest good for all people, and to overcome the inequities imposed upon so many. With centralization, rather than the decentralization of information, and the absence of vested interest, this would become possible.

In this new, participatory democracy in which everyone contributes to their level of competency, we will be able to ensure social and economic stability, provide an environment where people will be better educated, and enable everyone to have access to all of the amenities that a prosperous and innovative society can provide. With The Venus Project's approach and with our current technologies we will be able to eliminate war, poverty, hunger, debt, crime, and all of the other social ills that currently plague society. This is not a mere paper proclamation, but instead it could be transformed into a working reality ... if we choose to make it so.

The concerns of The Venus Project are environmental reclamation and protection, assuring abundant food supplies, and establishing an international code of ethics that would enable diverse cultures and peoples to constructively coexist. The predominant paradigm in our modern-day society seems to emphasize the conquest of nature. We must come to realize that nature is not something for us to conquer, but rather it is a process, and humankind is an integral part of the natural symbiotic whole. In addition, we feel that there are certain concerns that are common to all people, and that could be easily agreed upon even by nations that hold entirely different religious and cultural beliefs. For example, who would argue the importance of maintaining a sustainable environment with clean air, water, and arable land? In addition, a free international exchange of technologies could be another basis for constructive, global cooperation. This could only be accomplished through the establishment of a global resource-based economy.



During the 1930's the Roosevelt administration enacted new social legislation designed to minimize revolutionary tendencies and to address the problems of unemployment by providing jobs through the WPA, CC Camps, NRA, transient camps, and the federal arts projects, which industry was not able to do. Unfortunately, it was a world war that pulled the US out of that world-wide recession. We are currently faced with another international recession, but of a much greater magnitude. If we permit current conditions to take their natural course, the result will be social chaos. Many of us believe that a concerned government and responsible citizens will rise to the occasion and address these tendencies. However, this is highly improbable: Although sincere, they lack sufficient information regarding the primary factors that govern human, social, and ecological systems. In addition, most people are trying to find solutions within the framework of the existing monetary system, which is in fact the very source of many of these problems.

Who will pay for the realization of The Venus Project's proposals? At present there is not enough money available to pay for any of the required changes, but there are certainly more than enough resources. With a resource-based economy as a workable alternative we
could make all of this possible.

Simply stated, a resource-based economy utilizes existing resources rather than money, and provides an equitable method of distributing these resources in the most efficient and humane manner for the entire population.

All social systems, regardless of political philosophy, religious beliefs, or social mores, ultimately depend upon natural resources, i.e. clean air and water, arable land and the necessary technology and personnel to maintain a high standard of living. The real wealth of any nation lies in it's developed and potential resources and the people who are working toward the elimination of scarcity, and toward the creation of a more humane life-style. This can be accomplished through the intelligent application of science and technology.

Unfortunately, today science and technology have been diverted from these ends for reasons of self-interest and monetary gain through the conscious withdrawal of efficiency. For example, we will generally place signs next to a highway that read "Caution: Slippery When Wet," when a more effective approach would be to design a road with abrasive strips that would not be slippery. Another example is the dumping of waste into rivers and waterways because it is more profitable in the short term than other, more responsible disposal methods. Yet another example is the failure of most industries to install electrostatic precipitators at their plants to prevent toxic particulate matter from being released into the atmosphere from industrial smoke-stacks, a technology that has been available for over 75 years. Finally, it is a shameful irony that the US Department of Agriculture, who's function is to conduct research into ways of achieving higher crop yields, actually pays farmers not to produce at full-capacity while there are hungry people in the world. The monetary system tends to hold back the application of improved methods that we know would serve people and the environment better.

If all the money in the world were destroyed, as long as topsoil, factories, and other resources were left intact, we could build anything we choose to build and fulfill any human need. It is not money that people need, but rather it is freedom of access to most necessities without ever having to appeal to a government bureaucracy or any other agency. In a resource-based economy money would be irrelevant. All that would be required are the resources and the manufacturing and distribution of the products.

In a monetary system purchasing power is not related to our capacity to produce goods and services. For example, during the great depression, there were vacuum cleaners in store windows and automobiles in car lots, but most people did not have the purchasing power to buy them. Although at the beginning of World War II, the US had only 600 first class fighting aircraft, we rapidly increased production to 90,000 totally redesigned planes per year. Did we have enough money to pay for the required implements of war? No, we did not have enough money or gold, but we did have more than enough resources. It was the available resources and personnel that enabled the US to achieve the production and efficiency required to win the war.

For one final illustration, if a group of people were stranded on an island their gold, silver, diamonds, and cash would be irrelevant to their survival if the island had lacked the necessary resources to sustain their existence. On the other hand, if people lived on an island abundant with natural resources a monetary system would not come about. It is only when resources are scarce that money can be used to control their distribution - one could not, for example, sell sand or salt water on the beach.

A monetary system evolved many years ago as a device to control human behavior in an environment with limited resources. Today money is used to regulate the economy not for the benefit of the general populace, but for those who control the wealth of the nation. A resource-based economy would use technology to overcome scarce resources by utilizing renewable sources of energy; computerizing and automating manufacturing and inventory; designing safe, energy-efficient cities; providing universal health care and better education; and most of all by generating a new incentive system based on human and environmental concern.

There are those who claim that limited resources prevent us from achieving a society of abundance. This is simply not so, we still have enough resources to achieve a high standard of living for everyone through innovative solutions that could be readily applied if we were to direct our attention to these ends. For example, we could utilize solar concentrators to generate heat rather than fossil fuels. The Argonne National Laboratory and ARDI are currently developing a production technique for solar cells that will be nearly 70% efficient and whose cost will be one-tenth that of silicone-based cells. There are many other possibilities for developing photovoltaic systems that generate electricity while at the same time harnessing the currently unused radiant heat energy. Additionally, there is the untapped potential of other clean energy sources such as "Fresnel" lenses, wind generators, and tidal power. A massive drive to obtain additional energy sources to permit a higher standard of living for all would only be feasible if we did not have the artificial limitations of a price tag.

How would resources be distributed equitably throughout society? Possible methods for achieving this might be to establish computerized centers throughout the various communities where products would be displayed, or offer 3-0, flat-screen televised imaging capabilities right in the convenience of one's own dwelling. If an item is desired, an order is placed, and the item can be automatically delivered directly to a person's place of residence. All raw materials for the manufacture of these products can be transported directly to the manufacturing facilities by automated transportation "sequences" such as boats, monorails, mag-lev trains, pipelines, and pneumatic tubes. An automated inventory system would be connected to both the distribution centers and the manufacturing facilities, thus coordinating production to meet demand. In this way a balanced-load economy can be maintained and shortages, over-runs, and waste could be eliminated.

When goods and services are made available to all there would be no limit to the human potential. Everyone would be free to pursue whatever constructive field of endeavor they choose without any of the economic pressures that are inherent in the monetary system. By constructive endeavor, we mean anything that enhances the lives of others, as well as the life of the individual. The measure of success would be based on the fulfillment of one's personal interests rather than on the acquisition of wealth, property, and power.



It would be far easier and would require less energy to build new, efficient cities than to attempt to update and solve the problems of the old ones. The Venus Project proposes a city that would use the most sophisticated available resources and construction techniques. Its geometrically elegant and efficient circular arrangement will be designed to operate w1th the minimum expenditure of energy using the cleanest technology available in harmony with nature to obtain the highest possible standard of living for everyone.

The outer perimeter of the circular city will provide recreational facilities such as golfing, bike paths, and riding or hiking trails. There will be a circulating waterway surrounding the agricultural belt, which will be supplied with indigenous plants that will remove contaminants and harmful bacteria from the water. The agricultural belt, with its transparent, enclosed buildings will be used to grow a wide variety of plants in a controlled environment without the use of pesticides. There will be eight sectors to provide and store clean, renewable energy through the use of wind generators, heat concentrating systems, and photovoltaics. In addition, roadways, walkways, and bicycle paths will be specially designed to collect and store rad1ant energy from the sun, which will then be used for heating or cooling through a process similar to the "Peltier Effect." Along the edges of the roadways will be removable sections or gratings to permit new installations and up-grades without damaging the roads each time a new installation is made.

The residential belt will be beautifully landscaped featuring lakes and winding streams, and homes will be biomorphous with graceful contours influenced by nature to blend in with the landscape. A wide variety of innovative architectural designs will reflect the diversity and the preferences of the occupants. The exterior surfaces of these homes will be thermally activated so that the warmer it gets on the outside, the cooler it can become on the inside at a rate that is regulated by the occupant. The buildings will be prefabricated with a new type of foam-reinforced material that is strong and light-weight. Their heat-reflective external surface will be relatively maintenance-tree, impervious to weather, and fire resistant. Insects will be repelled by sonic and other electronic means. With this type of construction there will be minimal damage from earthquakes, hurricanes, and fires.

Adjacent to the residential district will be the dining areas where one can find a wide selection of food, much of which will be organically grown. Next will be the apartments, design centers, and research labs. The eight domes surrounding the central dome will house the library, science, art, music, research, exhibition, entertainment, and conference centers. There will also be "access centers" where one will have access to a wide variety of products such as cameras, waterskis, recording equipment, boats, etc. in a manner similar to the public library. The only requirements necessary to obtain these items would be to familiarize oneself with the necessary information for the products' safe and proper use.

One of the major reasons for this energy efficient new social design is to allocate enough resources to meet the needs of all people so that there will always be more than enough equipment available at any time. The central dome, or "theme center," will house the core of the cybernated system, educational facilities, shopping centers, computerized communications networking systems, health-care, and child-care facilities.



Cybernation is the linking of computers with automated systems. In the cybernated city, the central  cybernated system will coordinate all of the services and functions of the entire city. One can think of this as an electrical autonomic nervous system extending into all areas of the city and social complex. For example, in the agricultural belt the computers will automatically monitor and maintain the water table and soil chemistry, and coordinate the planting and harvesting of crops. In the residential sector, the system will maintain environmental cleanliness and the recycling of waste materials. In addition, to ensure the efficient operation of the city's various functions, all of its processes and services can be equipped with electronic environmental feedback sensors. These sensors can be coordinated with redundant, back-up systems that will operate in the event of failure or break-down of any one of the city's primary systems.

When cybernation is integrated in1o all aspects of this new and dynamic culture, only then can computers appropriately serve the needs of all people. No technological civilization can ever operate efficiently and effectively without the integration of cybernetics as an integral part of the social system. Eventually, monotonous and boring jobs can be phased out, and a higher standard of living with more leisure time for everyone can be achieved. With an opportunity for constant growth and achievement people will have the time and the freedom to choose the life-style they find most fulfilling.



There are some who fear that such a highly computerized society would invade one's personal privacy. The Venus Project's proposed computerized system will act only to enhance people's lives, to monitor and serve the needs of the population. Its primary function would be to ensure the efficient operation of services such as the production and distribution of goods; environmental cleanliness; and energy generation, transmission, and storage systems. It would not, however, monitor or dictate any of the activities of individuals.

When our social aims are directed toward creating a better life for everyone. and when we confront our problems directly. the need for personal monitoring and surveillance will become both offensive and counter-productive. In a resource-based economy such activities would serve no constructive purpose. The Venus Project does not necessarily prevent the monitoring of people, rather it eliminates the need to do so.



From early civilizations to the present day most humans have had to work to earn a living. Most of our attitudes about work may be carry-overs from earlier times. In the past, it was absolutely necessary for people to fetch water and carry it to their dwelling places; they had to gather wood to prepare fires for heating and cooking; and they bad to prepare fuel to burn in their lamps. It would have been very difficult for them to conceive of a time when water would rush forth in their own dwelling with the turn of a handle; to press a button and have instant light would have been within the realm of magic. People of ancient times probably wondered what they would do with their time if they did not have to engage in these burdensome tasks that were so necessary, and were considered right and normal at that time. In most developed countries of the world today these tasks that were once so vital to a people's very survival are no longer necessary thanks to modern technology.

In education today people attend schools to acquire the marketable skills that will enable them to earn a living in the "work-a-day" world. Recently this cherished belief that one has to work to earn a living is being challenged; working for a living to supply the necessities of life may soon be irrelevant due to the ability of modern technology to provide for most of these needs. As a result, many jobs have gone the way of the ice-man and the elevator operator. Perhaps we have a semantic problem with the word "work." The idea of "freedom from work" should be equated with the elimination of repetitive and boring tasks that hold back our intellectual growth. Most jobs, from blue-collar assembly workers to professionals, entail repetitious and uninteresting tasks. All human beings possess a tremendous, untapped potential that they will finally be able to explore when they have the opportunity to do so, and are free of the burden of having to work to earn a living.

The intentions of The Venus Project are to eventually surpass the need for work of all kinds and free all of humanity from this boring, abusive activity. Freedom from work as proposed by The Venus Project does not mean the elimination of incentive and productive engagement. On the contrary, it provides the time and opportunity to pursue areas most of us dare not dream of today. With the advantage of cybernated technology we can replace most human labor, which will permit people to explore new dimensions in human existence through the pursuit of knowledge in any area of their choosing.

At present there are no plans in government or industry to make the necessary economic adjustments to deal with the issue of the displacement of people by automated technology. It is no longer the repetitious work of just the laborers that cybernation is able to phase out but many other vocations and professions as well. Engineers, technicians, scientists, doctors, architects, artists, and actors will all be replaced by technology in the coming years. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative that we explore alternatives at this time to improve our methods of social operation in order to secure and sustain a future for all members of society.



Some people question the morality of receiving something for nothing. Several students at a recent college lecture, for example, were opposed to this idea, although most of them admitted that their parents were paying their way through school. It stood to reason that if they really did believe that people should not receive "something for nothing," then in the event of the death of a rich relative they would prefer that their inheritance be left to the heart or cancer fund, rather than being passed on to them. But most of them, needless to say, were opposed to this idea.

Merely being born in a developed country we have access to many things that we put no effort toward, 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 us. What degrades us is our lack of concern for those unfortunate enough to experience poverty, hunger, lack of medical care, and war. The social designs proposed by The Venus Project merely provide the opportunity for individuals to develop their fullest potential in whatever endeavor they choose.



It is claimed that the free-enterprise system creates incentive. This may be true. but it also perpetuates greed, embezzlement, corruption, crime, stress, and economic hardship and insecurity. In addition, the argument that the monetary system and competition generate incentive does not always hold true: most major innovations today were brought about by individuals who were genuinely concerned with solving problems and improving processes, rather than with mere financial gain.

Would incentive be diminished if the design of a social system provided for most human needs? On the contrary, it would encourage initiative and creativity. The conditions that are responsible for loss of incentive are lack of employment, minimum wage, malnutrition, poor health, a lack of direction, little or no reinforcement for one's efforts, and poor role models. Our aim is to encourage 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 toward different goals, such as self-fulfillment and creativity, the elimination of scarcity, the protection of the environment, and most of all concern for other human beings. As we enhance the lives of others, protect our environment, and work toward abundance all our lives can become richer and more secure. It these values are put into practice it would enable all of us to achieve a high standard of living within a relatively short period of time - one that would be continuously improved. This would not be a uniform culture but one that is in a constant process of growth and improvement.

Each successive period in time creates its own incentive system. In primitive 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 the agrarian age 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 level of motivation and productivity. 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 elsewhere there are many people who are motivated against the accumulation of wealth and material property - they renounce all worldly goods. This would seem to be in direct conflict with western culture's emphasis on the accumulation of material wealth. Yet, which is more valid? Your answer to this question would depend upon your culturally influenced value-system.

In some instances people 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 it is they are engaged in, and achieve an intrinsic sense of accomplishment - their reinforcement does not depend on the approval of others. Those children who do depend on the approval of the group tend to be afflicted with a sense of low self-esteem. Children who do not depend on group approval usually gain a sense of self-approval by bettering their own performance whether it be running, drawing, dancing, or any other endeavor.

Throughout history, there have been many innovators and inventors who have been ruthlessly exploited, ridiculed, and abused while receiving very little financial incentive. Yet, they endured such hardship because they were motivated to learn and to discover new ways of doing things. On the other hand, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Beethoven, a few of history's most creative minds, received the generous sponsorship of wealthy patrons. Yet, this did not kill their incentive in the least; on the contrary, it empowered them to reach new heights of creativity and individual accomplishment. There is no question that a saner society would be able to create a more constructive incentive system if our knowledge of the factors that shape human motivation were applied.

Many experimental psychologists have shown that the effects of environment play a major role in shaping our behavior. 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 is given to a child who is interested in model airplanes this may not necessarily be an incentive 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 behavior.

In The Venus Project, 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, good nutrition, health care, love, and security that people require.



Throughout history, the societal decision-making process has gone though a number of evolutionary changes. At one time, primitive tribes and their ruling class of chieftains and kings decided upon a set of laws, beliefs, and mores designed to support and defend the ruling oligarchies. As primitive cultures joined together, possibly for mutual protection, some decision-making was shared by the chieftains of the various tribes. With the formation of nations, councils were appointed to participate in decision-making in an attempt to prevent any one of the leaders from dominating. However, the lesser privileged were not included in this process. As the ruling classes imposed greater hardships on their subjects through taxation and other abuses of power, uprisings by the oppressed people forced changes in decision-making which eventually became the laws of the land. Govern1ng bodies were then appointed to carry out and uphold such laws.

With the discovery of scientific principles, the validity of any proposal could be tested. If someone were to claim that a particular structural element could support a specific number of pounds per square inch, this hypothesis could be tested and either substantiated or negated based upon the test results. It is precisely this process of testing materials which enables us to design and construct bridges, buildings, ships, aircraft, and all other mechanical wonders. In The Venus Project the application of scientific scales of performance can be applied not only to all of the technical components of society but to all human aspects as well.

Today, the laws that govern the operation of our society are not based upon these principles. For example our current approach to dealing with an increase in crime is to build more prisons rather than to attempt to alter the conditions that are responsible for socially offensive behavior. In a recent discussion with criminologists, it was pointed out that if our crime rate were to continue at its current rate, more than half the US population would be in prison by the year 2010, and it would require the other half to look after them. Shifting our attention to over-crowding, unemployment, malnutrition, poor role models, stresses in family life, lack of purchasing power, people's inability to resolve conflict without the use of physical force, etc. would be a much more effective approach to solving these problems.

Who, then, will make decisions in this new society? During the initial phase of the project decisions will be arrived at through statistical mechanics, and carried out by a competent staff of sociologists, ecologists, engineers, and many others. The basic principles that would underlie the method for arriving at decisions could be as follows:
  1. To reclaim and restore the natural environment.
  2. To attain a balanced-load economy that does not over- nor under-produce, but rather manufactures goods and services of high quality at a level that is balanced to meet human needs.
  3. To replace the monetary-based economic system with a resource-based economy.
  4. To redesign our cities, transportation systems, and industrial plants so that. they are energy efficient, clean, and conveniently serve the needs of all people. (Prior to the construction of any of the mega-projects proposed by The Venus Project comprehensive environmental impact studies would be of prime importance.)
  5. To use clean, renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, tidal and other forms of clean energy whenever possible.
  6. To eventually transcend the need for all of the artificial boundaries that separate humankind.
  7. To ultimately utilize all of these new technologies for the benefit of all of the world's people.
  8. To encourage the widest range of individuality in constructive endeavor and creativity.
  9. To assist in stabilizing the world's population through education and voluntary birth control.
  10. (This would considerably reduce local and international conflict and other population related problems. A society that does not concern itself with the problems of an ever expanding population will ultimately self-destruct due to an uncontrollable spread of hunger, poverty, disease and territorial conflicts.)


Mark Twain stated it well when he said that there is probably not an acre of land on Earth that belongs to its rightful owner. In its very basic definition, crime is the taking of something from another without consent. If we are to reduce the crime rate that has become so prevalent in our nation and throughout the world, we must alter the environmental factors that are responsible for this socially offensive behavior. Unfortunately the so-called advanced nations have made many attempts to eliminate crime but have yet to establish a specific process for eliminating the causes. Crime comes about when an unmanageable group of people become victims of insufficient purchasing power; do not identify with the direction of society; or have little knowledge of the consequences of their actions to themselves or to the environment. To help clarify this concept, consider this example: in regions on earth where there is low population density and an abundance of food and water there is no need to steal. If the population exceeds the resources of the land then what we call criminal behavior will arise as a result of scarcity.

Governments can only legislate human behavior to a limited extent-most behavior, however, is determined by the environment. If we change our social environment from a monetary system of differential advantage to a resource-based economy where goods and services are made available we can eliminate much of the so-called criminal behavior. All of us derive our values from our culture. If the culture is unaltered, undesirable patterns of behavior will continue whatever they may be. Additionally, If people have access to goods and services but have a fear that the supply may be threatened, then they may engage in so-called criminal behavior.

The dominant laws governing the conduct of people in this new society will be based upon natural law: by violating the symbiotic process of natural law we injure ourselves and society. For example, if we disregard nutritional requirements we hurt ourselves. If we offend individuals of a different culture or race a negative reaction will most likely result. Most man-made laws in our present culture are contrived in an attempt to control the behavior and values that serve the vested interests. At present we cannot conceive of any solutions that would serve the interest of the majority of people in a monetary-based system. While such legislation may diminish criminal behavior, it is not possible to entirely prevent such behavior through legislation that does not correlate with natural laws and principles. What we can do, however, is remove the conditions that generate criminal behavior.



All human behavior is lawful, that is, it follows natural law. Today, our efforts to deal with socially offensive behavior are inadequate and inappropriate. In a society that provides for most human needs, behavior that is constructive would be rewarded, and people who have difficulty interacting in the community would be helped rather than imprisoned.

Much of the behavior acceptable today would be considered socially offensive in a saner social design. But whatever values, ideals, and behavior people aspire to cannot be realized when there is hunger, unemployment, deprivation, war, and poverty in society. In most instances, for example, people deprived of their income will do whatever is necessary to ensure the necessities of life for themselves and for their families - their values may be exemplary, but their behavior will reflect the reality of the situation. After World War II, for example, even the most respectable German families could be seen f1ghtmg over scraps of food in garbage cans 1n order to survive; in a scarcity-oriented soc1ety generosity is often a rare occurrence.

When human behavior is examined in the same manner as any other physical phenomenon it will enable us to better understand the physical factors that are responsible for our values and behavior. In the natural sciences all physical phenomena are acted upon by resident forces. For example, a sail boat does not sail of its own accord; rather, it is activated by the wind. A telephone pole does not simply fall to the ground; it is acted upon by rain, gravity, wind, and a number of other variables.

Human behavior in all areas is just as lawful as these simple examples; it is generated by many interacting variables in one's environment. This applies even to behavior that is socially offensive. It is often influenced either by one's experiential background, nutritional factors in one's early life, or a number of other interrelated environmental factors.

It is unfortunate in this phase of our social development that we still seem to be unable to appreciate the major role that environment plays in shaping our behavior, while in the physical sciences it is a fundamental consideration that one attempt to identify all of the physical factors responsible for certain outcomes. For example. when an automobile acts in an unusual way most mechanics can account for the reasons and identify the physical factors for that condition. When a human being appears at a hospital with a certain kind of injury even if he or she is unconscious and unable to identify the cause of the injury a competent medical staff can usually identify the probable cause. With certain forms of aberrant behavior neurologists, biochemists, and psychiatrists can, to a limited extent, usually identify some of the conditions responsible for this behavior. In our everyday life there is sufficient evidence to support the connectivity of influential events all around us. What we often fail to grasp is that the same methods of evaluation used in the physical sciences can be applied to human behavior as well.

In many instances our collective values are influenced by an existing social structure or sub-culture within society. Unfortunately, social systems generally tend to perpetuate themselves, and all of their shortcomings. In our era of mass-communication, much of our behavior and values are influenced by the media, whose values and viewpoints in turn tend to support the existing institutions. Today most of us tend to perpetuate those conditions that may have served well in earlier times but have little relevance today.

In order to affect positive change in human behavior, we need to ask ourselves "what are the conditions that shape behavior?" Today we are aware of many of the factors that shape human behavior. It is only through the redesign of the social system and the elimination of the problems and insecurities that are an outgrowth of the monetary society, that we will be able to alleviate socially destructive patterns of behavior. In an environment of abundance, people will engage in considerably less aggressive, competitive behavior. In addition, people must have access to adequate food, clothing, shelter, heating, energy, and education. They must also receive a sense of acceptance, belonging, self-worth. The Venus Project proposes just such an environment.



Perhaps the greatest limiting factors of our present-day culture can be traced to our language, habits, social customs, and values, which were conceived in earlier times, and are inadequate in an evolving culture. The proposals of The Venus Project will not only be applied to cities, industrial processes, and the environment, but also to education, where the subjects of study will be relevant to the direction and needs of this new, evolving culture.

The more intelligent our children, the better our lives and the richer our culture will be. Today, each and every child using drugs and living a life without direction and purpose is a damaged life we will all pay for in the future. It is our children who will inherit the future; they will be the trustees of the new civilization. Therefore, children in the new culture will be raised with both human and environmental concerns. They will come to understand that the earth is a fantastic place capable of providing for the needs of everyone very well.

Although books and computers will be used in the schools of the future, most of the educational processes will be of a participatory nature in which students will interact directly with the physical environment. They will learn by doing in a "hands-on" approach which will enable them to grasp, in a much more significant way, their intimate relationship with all the elements of the physical world.

But perhaps the most important aspect of our educational approach will be our emphasis on learning how to interact effectively with others, how to share experiences, to be open to alternative approaches to problems, and to allow for cultural and individual differences. This will reduce personal and interpersonal conflicts considerably, and contribute to a more humane society.



One of the unfortunate aspects of our present-day society is that all of us are victims of our culture; the environment in which we grow up profoundly effects our beliefs, our values, and our choices without our conscious awareness of the possible limitations of such factors. In our culture, greed and self-centered behavior are rewarded, respected, and even encouraged in many instances. Many people today believe that greed is an in-born characteristic. However, this is a misconception that is reflective of the limitations of our present society.

While some of the major emphases of The Venus Project are concern for the environment, human habitats, and social institutions, our primary concern is with the evolution of a new outlook that we believe will help to improve the lives of everyone. The dominant values of this new paradigm call for a generalist point of view, with a sense of social and global awareness. It is no longer practical, nor is it possible to isolate ourselves from the rest of the global community. For example, if a foreign power were to contaminate the gulfstream, the Icelandic current, or the air above its own borders, the injurious effects would be felt by any number of other, neighboring nations.

Our broad educational approach will make it difficult to channel values into a narrow perspective, and will surpass over-specialization. Would all the people in such a cybernated society be uniform? Yes, in many ways, they would. For example, everyone would possess an understanding of the importance of extending maximum courtesy to all nations and individuals; and they would have an intense curiosity for all that is new and challeng1ng. People would possess a flexibility of outlook unknown in previous times, free of bigotry and
prejudice. In addition, the people of this new society would be concerned for their fellow human beings, and for the protect1on, 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 innovative culture can supply.

In a society without vested interests it would be impossible to harness the talents of scientist 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 interests. We would use knowledge and information as tools that would be surrendered when evidence of more appropriate concepts are introduced. Through this approach, conflicts between individuals and nations can be diminished considerably, and human deprivation would eventually be overcome. Ultimately, international joint-ventures will render all political boundaries obsolete.



The Venus Project's emphasis on cybernated technology, along with the development of mega-projects and the redesign of our social institutions, is intended to provide all members of the global community with the advantages that intelligently applied technology can make available. By outgrowing the need for a monetary system it would become possible to supply anyone with access to the world's resources, products, and services.

Some people are concerned that there is too much emphasis on technology in our plan. In fact, it is our concern for humanity that has inspired us to initiate The Venus Project. We must keep in mind that it is not automated technology that we should be wary of. Rather it is the abuse and misuse of this technology that we should fear. We can build rockets to explore outer space and to enhance the quality of life on Earth, or we can use them to destroy other nations. Ultimately, It has been the choices of people that have determined the uses to which these inanimate machines were to be put.

The aims of The Venus Project are to apply advanced technology to produce an abundance, and to enhance the human potential by providing more leisure time.



The aims of The Venus Project have no parallel in history - not with communism, socialism, fascism, or any other political ideology. All of these previous social designs evolved within a system of scarcity. In addition, cybernation, an integral component of our proposals, is of recent origin. The proposals of Plato's Republic, the writings of Karl Marx, H. G. Wells in his book The Shape of Things to Come, Edward Bellamy in Looking Backward, and many others all represent attempts to find workable solutions to the many problems that earlier civilizations were unable to resolve.

Perhaps a major influence on the origins of the earliest utopian concepts were some of the world's religious teachings. In these teachings concepts of heaven included no property lines, banks, money, police, prisons, militarism, or private ownership. All proposals of a so-called better life for humankind were created in an attempt to better the lives of everyone. At the time of their conception many of these proposals were inadequate due to a lack of knowledge of how to effectively translate them into workable systems, that is, how to turn ''verbal behavior" into "overt behavior."

Many years ago an attempt was made in the US to understand a social system different from our own. A film called ''The March of Time" had this to say about Soviet Communism: "We believe that the American free-enterprise system will function better than the collective system proposed by Karl Marx. However, we wish you the best of luck with your new and unusual social experiment." The failure of communism to provide for human needs and to enrich the lives of its citizens is not unlike our own failures, which have always been part of the history of social evolution. In all established social systems it is necessary to devise different approaches to improve the workings of the system.

In the development of the airplane, there were thousands of failures before the first workable model was produced. Dr. Ehrlich attempted over 606 different approaches to controlling syphilis before one was finally proven successful. Some of the technologies we use today, such as televisions, radios, aircraft, and automobiles are in a constant state of improvement and modification.

An inscription on one of our government buildings reads as follows: "Where there is no vision the people perish." The major reason for resisting change is that it tends to threaten the established vested interests. Actually the fear of social experimentation is somewhat unfounded. Even the American free-enterprise system, during it's earliest stages, faced a multitude of problems, such as long hours, exploitation of child labor, inadequate ventilation in industrial plants, hazardous conditions in mines, and racial tension. Despite its many problems, it was the greatest attempt in history in terms of innovation in lifestyles, architecture, technology, and the general pursuit of progress. All that The Venus Project recommends is that we continue our process of social experimentation in order to better the lives of everyone.

Society will continue to undergo change regardless of the dominant views of the time. Our future does not depend on our present-day beliefs or social customs, but will continue to evolve a set of values unique to its own time. There are no utopias. The very notion of "utopia" is static. However, the survival of any social system ultimately depends upon its ability to allow for appropriate change to enhance society as a whole.



The shape of the tomorrow's cities, i.e. their geometry, external appearance, and total configuration, may be determined by the function they are to serve, similar to the structures that comprise living organisms. With this in mind, cities may be designed as convenient extensions of human activity. Most designs will be determined through the use of computers and statistical data to meet human needs. In addition, their structures will be multi-dimensional and their patterns will conform to environmental requirements.

Some cities will be vast networks of web-like configurations that integrate harmoniously with the natural surroundings; high-technology and nature will coexist in a symbiotic relationship with one another. Other cities will be designed to float upon or beneath the sea, while yet others may be constructed underground.

The shapes of tomorrow's cities may evolve on an entirely different basis from those of today. They could be part of an over-all social continuity, and their structural elements may be flexible and coherently arranged to best serve an evolving community. These structures may be joined together in a predetermined way so as to conserve energy and provide easy access to all portions of the city. Most of the high-quality, prefabricated modular units that comprise the buildings of the city could be designed to permit easy modification as required. Even with the introduction of newer materials, the cities could be designed to permit continuous modification and improvement, thus enabling them to function as evolving organisms.

With the advent of cybernation it is now possible to develop automated facilities for the mass production of architectural components and structural units. Such systems will permit the widest range of expression, as well as efficiency, in architectural configuration and city design.

The criteria used by city planners of the future may be vastly different from those of today. The structures shown here represent a few of the many possible shapes and forms that evolving architectural design criteria could generate. Many of the buildings of the future will be free-formed and curvilinear configurations, while others may be domed and cylindrical in shape. The future will provide newer materials and methods, which in turn will result in vastly different expressions of structural form and function that will be consistent with evolving and changing social needs. Most of the new materials will be multi-functional. For example, they may not only provide protection from the elements, but they may also be equipped with photovoltaic capabilities. They may be light-weight and strong, and require very little maintenance. In addition, they may possess acoustical properties not found in many of today's structures.

It is through a process of utilizing combinations of innovative technologies that will make it possible to conserve resources, and make them available to lesser developed countries. It is only through this process of applied innovation that we can further our desired end goals.

Today at many of our major universities young engineers constantly experiment with new ideas and seek approaches to limitless, unresolved problems. This acts as a stimulus to curious and imaginative minds. They seek out materials capable of withstanding tremendous forces, and develop newer materials capable of resisting temperatures that would reduce conventional materials to a molten mass within minutes. Others participate in the space program and are faced with entirely different challenges. The clothing astronauts wear must be capable of withstanding the vacuum of outer space and the enormous temperature differences. Yet, these garments must remain light-weight and permit a high degree of flexibility. This new type of approach may even call for the development of "smart" materials that are self-repairing. It is exactly the challenge of the space age that generates this relentless search for newer and better ways of doing things. As scientists continue to probe deeper toward the outermost limits of our universe this new breed of technicians must generate new technologies for unexplored frontiers. If these innovators of science and technology were to cling tenaciously to the concepts of their earlier training, the state of the physical sciences would have progressed little more than the development of the covered wagon.

Many young engineers, scientist, and architects are faced with this dilemma; Bold and creative, they exit their institutions of higher learning and step out into the world to realize their creative visions of a better tomorrow, only to be rapidly squelched by the status quo. Occasionally some men and women break away from traditional concepts and set out as innovators. Most of them meet such tremendous resistance from antiquated values, building codes, and other restrictions that they are usually forced to relinquish their daring, innovative spirit in order to survive.

The Venus Project recommends that the present state and aims of architecture be redefined to fit the needs of this new, emergent culture. In its simplest definition a dwelling may be any type of enclosure that protects the inhabitants from varying weather conditions and provides for some of the primary needs of the occupants: a place to rest, sleep, work, and to carry out the business of ordinary living.

Throughout history dwellings have taken on many, various forms. Early people found shelter from the effects of weather in simple caves. Later people devised wigwams, lean-tos, floating habitats, bamboo huts, day shelters and countless others, depending on the materials that were available. At present people are seriously considering the possible colonization of the sea and outer space. Since shelters take on multitudinous forms, we shall have to broaden our terms concerning the possibilities related to their design.

Although one does not ordinarily think of an early diving suit as a shelter, it protects the diver from the immediate hostile surroundings and elements of the sea. At present the space suit provides for similar protection. It also enables people to function in an environment that could not ordinarily support life. From body enclosures to single- and multiple-dwellings, perhaps the further development of shelters may very well lead to total enclosure systems in which the entire city functions as a single, complex organism. Some of us would immediately react adversely to such an idea. But in our view this would mean tremendous advantages in terms of easy access to a number of conveniences such as art and music centers, craft shops, theater groups, film production facilities, and a limitless variety of other facilities and amenities.

Many of us presently think of a shelter or dwelling as a suitable structure fabricated of wood, steel, concrete, and glass or a combination of all of these materials. Additionally, today we generally think of a home as having a particular shape and form to which we have become accustomed. Most of our notions about a home are generally limited to these habituated concepts. In order for us to better plan for the future and for the probable changes that lie ahead we must acquaint ourselves with a wide range of possible alternatives.

In times to come the definition of an object in the physical world will not be restricted to appearance only, but rather will be thought of in terms of the end function it is to serve. For example, if one were to walk into a home of the future and ask for the telephone it may not have the physical appearance to which we are presently accustomed. It may be an invisible, integrated part of the interior structure, and might even be capable of focusing sound to the proximity of one's ear by electronic means.

In addition, the furnishings of a home may consist of totally different configurations from what we are used to today. Furniture may be capable of automatically adjusting to an individual's body contours. Special materials may be incorporated into the building's design that would enable natural sun-light to be used for lighting, and to be softened and subdued to the desires of the occupants. These buildings would be insulated from noise, insects, and dust, and they would be able to maintain the optimal desired internal temperature. Such structures would be simple, unencumbered, and fresh-looking, free of the extraneous and extravagant paraphernalia we have become accustomed to seeing in today's architecture.

The interior pattern of these new buildings, with their surrealistic configuration, might be discomforting to someone of a more conventional mind-set. It might even be difficult to describe these new, innovative designs with the restrictions of our current language. In times to come definitions may be broadened to include a wider range of interpretations for what a home "ought" to be.



Many of the ideas in this book are being translated into reality NOW. Phase One of The Venus Project is the twenty-five acre design center in still pristine south-central Florida where the future is currently taking shape.

The actual buildings and conference center, along with the models, illustrations, blueprints, posters and a video presentation are the first steps that have been completed to help one see, feel, and touch the future.

To make the transition from our present culture, which is politically incompetent and scarcity-oriented, to this new, more humane society, it will require a quantum-leap in both thought and action. Throughout history, change has been slow. One group of incompetent leaders has been replaced by another. The problems we are faced with today cannot be solved politically or financially because they are technical in nature. There may not even be enough money available to pay for the required changes, but there are more than enough
resources. This is why we advocate the transition from a monetary-based society to the eventual realization of a resource-based world economy.

When Galilee discovered that the Earth was round, he presented his findings to the church. Even though the scientific advisor to the Pope at the time agreed with his conclusions, he suggested that Galilee "go easy." Does this mean that he should have stated that the Earth was a "little round" and a "little flat?" Perhaps many of our values and social customs are a "little round" and a "little flat;" it is often difficult to accept new ideas. However, the future does not depend on the dominant values of today.

While some of the world's leading scientists are trying to probe the outer reaches of the galaxy in search of intelligent extra-terrestrials, at present The Venus Project is more concerned with the application of human intelligence to resolving the problems here on Earth. Although The Venus Project may appear to be an over-ambitious, unattainable goal, the only limitations that could prevent the attainment of its realization are those we impose upon ourselves. The technology and resources necessary to realize The Venus Project's
goals only await our decision to use them intelligently. But before it can become a reality, we must act in a supportive manner to bring it about. The Venus Project is neither utopian nor Orwellian, nor does it reflect the dreams of impractical idealists. Instead, it presents attainable goals requiring only the intelligent application of what we already know to the dilemmas of our time.

There is no doubt that there will be shortcomings and inevitable modifications during this transition - we fully accept and expect this. But the final test of the practicality of any system is simply how well it works. Today many of us cannot even imagine what the world would be like if people were to have access to all the necessities of life, and were to possess the wisdom to use them intelligently. We expect The Venus Project's experimental city to rapidly gain acceptance by proving to be a highly successful, peaceful, and desirable place to live.

The purpose for building this new, experimental city is two-fold: (1) To test the workability of The Venus Project's designs and proposals; and (2) To establish a permanent planning center that will be used for future long- and short-term project planning. This would not be a private enterprise venture for a select few, but would be an open city for the public to visit. As these new communities develop and become more widely accepted, they may very well form the basis of a new society, preferably through the process of evolution rather than revolution.

The Venus Project does not advocate dissolving the existing free-enterprise system we believe it will come to an end of its own accord in due time. Rather, we hope to provide an alternative approach for your consideration. We encourage you to join with us and work toward the realization of a new civilization that could provide a better life for everyone.

We welcome inquiry, careful analysis, participation, and financial support of our proposals to enable us realistically to transcend most of our present limitations and to build a civilization truly worthy of humankind. The shape of our future will ultimately depend on the choices we make today.



Futurist Jacque Fresco is a forerunner in the field of Industrial Design and Human Factors Engineering. Over the years, he has conceived a vast array of creative and innovative designs and plans for such things as prefabricated houses, automobiles, electronic and medical equipment, and hundreds of commercial products and inventions. Included among his many inventions are a radical aircraft wing structure, and a technique for viewing three-dimensional motion pictures without the need for special viewing glasses. In addition, he has served as technical advisor for a number of motion pictures. His works and ideas have been presented on numerous television and radio talk shows, and articles about him have featured in many national and international magazines and newspapers. Not only does he write and lecture about the future, but he actually lives in a future-oriented environment with his associate Roxanne Meadows. Together they have constructed a 25-acre research and development center in Venus, Florida where the future is unfolding. The Venus Project reflects the culmination of his life's work: the integration of the best of science and technology into a comprehensive plan for a new society based on human and environmental concern. It is a global vision of hope for the future of humankind in a technological age.