Sunday, October 11, 2009


by Angela Corrias

LONDON – “They call me a dreamer,” told me industrial designer and author Jacque Fresco with a hint of surprise. At the end of the day he only wants to change the world.

For over forty years he has been challenging all kinds of authorities, be them political, religious or economic, saying out loud that our system is not working to make everybody happy and wealthy but is oppressive and unfair. Finding hard to respond with strong arguments, authorities prefer to boycott him or, at best, ignore him.

As a matter of fact, it’s by no means easy to respond to his attacks: Fresco, founder and director of the Venus Project (www.thevenusproject.com), and his associate Roxanne Meadows have scientifically proved that world’s resources are more than enough for everybody and that the elites in power are not using them properly, but instead causing poverty, injustice and one crisis after the other. Fresco’s and Meadows’ unapologetic call for revolution is being welcomed worldwide, increasingly after the economic downturn that has hit all countries and made the middle class the new poor.

“At the moment we are lecturing and explaining what the Venus Project is all about, and we hope to gather enough people to put it into practice in many countries,” explained Roxanne Meadows. “In the society we envision people would carry on with what they like to do, without the need to work ten hours a day, because resources will be available to everybody.”

But what about the next step? “The next step, after education” said Fresco, “is to do a global survey, to see what resources exist, what diseases exist, what arable fields we have. We need to do a survey of materials such as concrete, cement, wood, everything. After your survey you’ll know what is, for example in America, the capacity to build, and after we study what diseases dominate, AIDS, heart disease, we’ll know what to assign hospitals to work on, the dominant diseases. We assign that by survey, not what Fresco believes! After that we need to build the cities, designed to meet the needs of people that live there, not what the architect thinks.”

Jacque Fresco doesn’t believe there is shortage of resources and advocates for a society where human rights are a way of life instead of mere paper proclamations: “If we have a high-tech nation we can make replicates of materials we have shortage of. If we have a shortage of building materials, whatever it is, we work on other things, right away, not one lab, thousands of labs are assigned. For example, we have a lot of people in this area but not arable land, so we work on soil recycling buildings. And near the ocean we start working on materials suspended under the ocean in different layers of sole water cultivated food, loads of research in that area. See? We have a lot of things to do.”

What about energy? “People think of photoelectric cells” he retorted, “there are temperature differences in the ocean that can generate electricity. Under the earth there is the geothermal energy, enough for thousands of years. Then there is solar, wind power, wave power, underwater turbines, all energy generators we are not using efficiently. As long as this civilization goes on, it may come to a point of no return, then we can’t do anything, I can’t control that, I can only say today we can solve most of the problems.”

In a world where the elites in power control natural resources, wasting them and causing starvation to two third of the earth’s population, what can we do to prevent that? In a system where the erroneous belief of the scarcity of resources is used as a means to control the population, how do we force our political class to share abundant resources fairly? “We can’t,” Fresco answered, “we need the system to collapse, which is happening all over the world. If you belong to any clubs or any groups, run films on the Venus Project and then invite criticism, participation and read what the Venus Project has found in relation to human nature: if someone grew up in a house of abundance, they don’t even know what scarcity is and then a guy says ‘How would you like to run a political office?’ he answers ‘That’ll be nice’ so he’s elected but he doesn’t know a damn thing.”

Fresco doesn’t put any trust in the political class: “Politicians, not one of them, throughout American history ever gave us anything, like the electric light, air conditioning, agricultural improvement, education. No politician ever gave us anything except words. ‘Be nice and proud to be an American’: politicians say things people would like to hear, nothing to do with the truth.”

Jacque Fresco is the most revolutionary thinker of our times, he sees earth’s resources as common heritage of all its inhabitants and the current monetary system as corrupt and contradictory: “It’s shortage that makes the monetary system, but monetary system can’t exist if there is abundance. The things you learn in school,” he went on, “are things that will keep you working to keep the system go on, they don’t teach you how to think, how to relate, how to share ideas with people you disagree with, without getting mad. No people are civilized yet, as long as we have war, prison, police, we are not civilized.”

Does Fresco have the hope that the Venus Project will be soon realized? “I can’t answer that,” he said, “that depends on what people do, I have no power at all. It’s what people do that determines what the future will be. I heard saying that what I was doing will make the world a better place: if I was that way, I would be romantic. I don’t know what the future will be, nobody does, so you do the best you can, and that’s all you can do.”

Unlike intellectuals who only criticize the current system, Fresco offers practical and feasible solutions to our present problems, drawing a plan for a new society, based on human and environmental priorities. The resource-based economy envisioned by Fresco and Meadows emphasizes the intelligent use of modern technologies to ensure abundance for all, reducing humanity’s worst afflictions such as poverty, crime, homelessness.

Jacque Fresco very outspokenly points his finger against today’s society: “In this monetary system there’s no such a thing called democracy, we need to base the economy on resources instead of money. Every job is social, repetitive and as boring as hell, education is more propaganda than information. We’ve never tried to bring democracy to another country because we don’t even have our definition for democracy. What we need is to organize a society that makes everybody live at the very top level, a multidisciplinary society where people wouldn’t be stuck in one field.”

The Venus Project has inspired activists worldwide. In the UK the non-profit organization “The Venus Project Design” has recently launched its website www.thevenusprojectdesign.com with the aim to recruit volunteer architects, engineers, animators and scientists to work on the Venus Project, and movie director Maja Borg is shooting “Future For Sale,” documentary on Jacque Fresco and his suggested society.