Tuesday, March 10, 2009


by Rossella E. Frigerio

Ask any man on the street what he thinks of our world today, and you are likely to receive a response riddled with negatives. The environment is deteriorating, politicians are failing to deliver, the recession is eating up savings, and surviving the everyday has become difficult if not impossible.

In these turbulent economic times, the tsunami wave of panic that has been offset by the frenzy of the media and politicians is causing many to barricade themselves indoors awaiting the end of the world. Driven by the shouts of panic, few are listening to the voices of calm solutions, such as those of Jacque Fresco.

An incredibly versatile individual who may be described as everything from an industrial designer to a pioneer, Fresco is the founder of The Venus Project. Offering a revolutionary yet feasible blueprint for living a life in symbiosis with our planet and without the artificial need for money, The Venus Project turns our current social structure upside down and demonstrates how fantasy can truly become a reality. Because, as Fresco aptly states, ‘All the wonders of technology mean very little unless they serve to elevate all human beings to their highest potential and help bring about world unification.’

Chic Today is honoured to present an exclusive interview with an individual whose incredible ideas, projects and vision are set to open your eyes in ways unimaginable.

If you had to condense the essence of your vision into a brief paragraph, what would you say to convince skeptics that your idea is truly feasible?

It is not possible to describe a new social system in a brief paragraph. However, The Venus Project’s plans for social change work toward a peaceful and sustainable global civilization. I believe it is now possible to achieve a society where people can live longer, healthier, and more meaningful lives. In such a society, the measure of success would be the fulfillment of one’s individual pursuits rather than the acquisition of wealth, property, and power.

Today, many think what is needed is a higher sense of ethics and international laws to assure a sustainable global society. Even if the most ethical people in the world were elected to political office, without sufficient resources we would still have many of the same problems. As long as a few nations control most of the world’s resources and the bottom line is profit, the same cycle of events will prevail. What is needed is the intelligent management of Earth’s resources.

If we really wish to put an end to our ongoing international and social problems, we must declare Earth and all of its resources to be the common heritage of all the world’s people and work towards that end. Anything less will result in the same problems we have today.

The Earth is abundant with resources; rationing resources with monetary methods is irrelevant and counterproductive to the well-being of people. Today we have highly advanced technologies. But our social and economic system has not kept pace with our technological capabilities which could easily create a world of abundance free of servitude and debt for all. This could be accomplished by implementing a global resource-based economy.

Simply stated, a resource-based economy uses resources directly rather than through the interface of money, and provides an equitable distribution of goods and services in a humane and efficient manner for the entire population. It is a system in which goods and services are available without the use of money, credit, barter, or any other form of debt or servitude. A resource-based economy uses resources to enhance the lives of the total population. In an economy based on rationally used resources rather than on money (which is an extra degree of separation from the things needed), we can easily produce the necessities of life and provide a high standard of living for all.

To better understand a resource-based economy consider this: if all the money in the world suddenly disappeared, but topsoil, factories, and other resources were left intact, we could build anything we chose to build and fulfill any human need. It is not money that people need, but access to the necessities of life without the interface of a government bureaucracy or any other agency. In a resource-based economy money is irrelevant. What’s required are resources, manufacturing, and distribution of the products.

A resource-based economy would use technology to compensate for scarce resources, and would utilize renewable sources of energy.  It would computerize and automate manufacturing and inventory, and design safe energy-efficient cities with universal health care and a relevant education. It would encourage the evolution of a new incentive system based on human and environmental concerns.

If the thought of eliminating money still troubles you, consider this: If a group of people with gold, diamonds, and money were stranded on an island that had no resources, their wealth would be irrelevant to their survival. It is only when resources are scarce that money can be used to control the distribution of things we need. One could not, for example, sell the air we breathe or water abundantly flowing down a mountain stream. Although air and water are valuable, when abundant they cannot be sold.

All social systems, regardless of political philosophy, religious beliefs, or social customs, depend upon natural resources, on clean air and water, arable land, and the technology and personnel necessary to maintain a high standard of living. This can be accomplished through the intelligent and humane application of science and technology.

The real wealth of any nation is its developed and potential resources, and the people who work for the elimination of scarcity and the creation of a more humane society.

Do you believe the current global recession is one of the first steps in the move away from the freemarket to the resource-market approach you propose?

Yes, this will assist in helping to establish a new social concept. A resource-based economy can only grow out of the failure of the monetary system. Only when conditions become unacceptable to most people will change occur. When people lose confidence in leaders who don' t solve social problems, they will seek alternatives. This may not necessarily be for the better. Change that would be acceptable to most people will be somewhere between the dominant system of values today, and the emergent values of The Venus Project. The degree of change will depend on the severity of the recession. This does not imply that the future will be better unless there is a relevant direction to work towards. T feel that The Venus Project will serve these needs.

'No system has ever looked forward and said this is where they are going. They can not normally think outside of their social institutions. They tend to merely perpetuate themselves. The monetary system does not represent goods and services. It is merely an agreement amongst people as an exchange for goods and services. It does not represent resources available for solving problems, but rather. inhibits social development. Money is a social convention, an agreement if you will. It is not a natural resource and it doesn't represent one. It is actually no longer necessary and relevant to our survival.

Have you considered establishing an educational institution for teaching the principles of The Venus Project to future generations?

This is what we are doing now at our research center in Venus, Florida by holding lectures, publishing books, DVD's and also lecturing throughout the world.

The concept of money, of battering, is entrenched in society, and dates back to at least 100,000 years ago-realistically, how much time do you predict the transformation proposed by The Venus Project will take?

This depends on the severity of recession. If the system is unable to recover, it may result in a military dictatorship to maintain law and order. !low quickly a resource-based economy might come about depends on how much exposure people get to this new direction and their ability to understand the advantages of it.

We must also consider the severity or environmental damage at the time. So it is difficult to predict a time without having access to data on exposure of people to The Venus Project's proposals. It can also be delayed by the established soda! system. All we can do is work towards it and introduce the aims and proposals.

With a broad and comprehensive exposure, the time line for realizing these aims could be accelerated. This is why we feel it is necessary to produce a major motion picture depicting, in an entertaining and informative way, the lifestyle in a sustainable global civilization and bow we get from here to there.

The Venus Project assumes that everyone accepts and seeks to attain the same goal: that all of the Earth's resources become the common heritage of all the world's people. Have you considered that a separate group of people may emerge that will continue to uphold the current principles of power, greed, and elitism and may seek to destroy the Venus ideals? How would The Venus Project deal with such individuals?

The Venus l'rojec1 does not assume that everyone accepts and seeks to attain the same goals. Perhaps there will be some who will continue to perpetuate the old established system of power, greed, and elitism and may seek to destroy The Venus Project's ideals.

But nations that fail to join in this direction will be subject to social upheaval, riots, and economic disparities. That system will ultimately fail and those nations will eventually be surpassed because their behavior is based on opinions rather than the carrying capacity of earth's resources.

In order to turn The Venus Project into reality, you propose that an internationally acceptable comprehensive blueprint – dictated by the 'carrying capacity of our planet' – be drawn up. This approach is reminiscent of the spirit of unity which pervaded the creation of the United Nations Charter in 1945. On paper, the UN is a glorious idea, in practice, its workings are directed primarily by hegemonic powers. How would The Venus Project avoid repeating the mistakes of the UN? Do you truly believe that vastly different nations have the ability to act united both in form and in substance.

This has nothing in common with the UN 's proposals. They have many ideals to work toward but have failed to lay out the method for attaining such ideals, nor do they touch the real conditions responsible for our social problems. The UN's main purpose, as I understand it, is to maintain and uphold the established advantages of each separate nation. Although their ideals may stress the common good, they have failed to attain a workable system to achieve these ideals.

The Venus Project has nothing in common with the UN 's approach. At one time in the US, the individual states sought their own advantages resulting in border and territorial disputes. They used militias at their borders. Once the tales joined together the problems were reduced considerably. It may be possible to have different nations work toward a uniform direction if exposed to the methodology for attaining such a direction.

Your resource-based model provides for the elimination of certain professions, such as those of lawyers, bankers, insurance agents, marketing and advertising personnel, salespersons and stockbrokers. Yet there exist such professionals who are driven by passion and who, through their work, acquire great pleasure and satisfaction. Above all, they do their jobs well Do you not perceive it as highly unfair to these individuals that their right to their profession be trampled upon and sacrificed in the name of resource market economy?

The Venus Project will enable us to outgrow professions that have long outlived their usefulness. At one time icemen, elevator operators, the Cavalry, switchboard
operators and many other professions were dominant but have since been replaced and surpassed by technology. This will continue to happen even in a monetary system no matter how much people like their jobs.

In the future, within a resource based economy, the professions will help to make a fundamental contribution to the well-being of all, and the protection of the environment.

How would you like to be remembered?

This is of no significance to me. What I would like to see is a world without war, poverty, hunger, or territorial disputes. I feel The Venus Project can overcome the conditions responsible for aberrant behavior and social inadequacies. I work toward these ends not to be remembered, but to play some role in bringing about a saner world.

Do you believe in God?

Which one?