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1996-12-01 — Computers Could Eliminate Government — The Farmington Daily Times

Sunday, Dec. 1, 1996; p. 4D


by Anita Lindsay

Imagine computers coordinating all the functions of entire cities, the elimination of crime and poverty, and a society that banks on natural resources rather than an inadequate and inefficient monetary system. That vision the future is within reach according to industrial designer, research engineer and renowned futurist Jacque Fresco. He points the way to a resource-based economy that employs cybernation, the linking of computers with automated systems, to reinvent social institutions and, possibly, eliminate the need for government.

According to Fresco, "There is not enough money to take care of society's problems, but there are more than enough resources." Cybernation can manage those resources, monitoring water supplies, sustaining environmental cleanliness, maintaining automatic inventories for production and distribution  and operating environmentally safe transportation. This efficient and humane application of technology, Fresco says, will benefit all social systems, regardless of political philosophy, religious beliefs or social mores.

Fresco's Venus Project proposes a fresh, alternative vision — one dedicated to human and environmental concerns. "With our present state of technology," Fresco says, "we can update our way of life, and achieve, and then maintain, the optimal symbiotic relationship between nature and humankind. The Venus Project recommends an environmental reclamation and protection program that will insure abundant food supplies for everyone around the world." It also establishes an international code of ethics that would enable diverse cultures to coexist.

Although it may sound like a utopia, Fresco is quick to point out that the concept of a utopia is static and that the survival of any social system depends on its ability to allow for changes that enhance society.

The Venus Project proposes a city that would use the most sophisticated resources and construction techniques available. Its geometrically elegant and efficient circular arrangement will operate with a minimum expenditure of energy using the cleanest technology available. The result, Fresco says, will be the highest possible standard of living for everyone.

In Frescoes city of the future, a central cybernated system will coordinate all services and functions. In the residential sector, the system will maintain environmental cleanliness and handle the recycling of waste. In the agricultural belt, computers will automatically monitor and maintain the water table and soil chemistry, and coordinate the planting and harvesting of crops. All processes and services will be equipped with electronic, environmental-feedback sensors to ensure the efficient operation of the city's various functions.

Eventually, cybernation will eliminate the need for work. Freedom from work, as proposed by the Venus Project, doesn't mean the elimination of incentive and productive engagement. Instead, it provides the time and opportunity to explore the individual's untapped potential. Fresco explains, "With the advantage of cybernated technology, most human labor can be replaced, permitting people to explore new dimensions in human existence through the pursuit of knowledge in my area."

Fresco is convinced that the future does not depend on me dominant values of today, where greed and self-centered behavior are rewarded, respected and even encouraged. Fresco's future society depends on the public-spirited values of the new ideal which require a generalist point of view, with a sense of social and global awareness.

Fresco's vision of the future is coming to life in a remote area of south-central Florida. His 25-acre research center, located in Venus, Florida, about 100 miles south of Orlando, is where Fresco is translating his ideas into reality.

Jacque Fresco has been compared with other visionaries, including the late Buckminster Fuller and Paolo Soleri, and praised by The World Future Society for his ability to convey grand visions of an advanced future world in practical terms.