Vol. 11, No. 5
October 2003; p. ?


By Debbie Ellison

A world where war, poverty, hunger, money, environmental degradation, and corruption in government do not exist. A future where all people, regardless of age, sex, color, nationality, or financial status, live as one family in financial abundance, peace, and harmony. A society in which machines do the work and humans enjoy their families and their creative pursuits. Welcome to Jacque Fresco's world, a world, he says, that is within our reach, if only we will wake up and grasp it.

Fresco is a futurist, an industrial designer, a visionary, and a humanist who has spent most of his 86 years devising ways to make the world a better place to live. When he speaks, his passion to fulfill his vision of such a society fills the space of the world he wishes to unite. He is a man who does not just talk and wish and hope for a better world, he is doing something about it. He is driven by his vision of using science and technology to create a new global society based on human and environmental concern.

His book The Best That Money Can't Buy: Beyond Politics, Poverty, and War outlines The Venus Project, his detailed plan to redesign culture as we know it today. The book, as does The Venus Project, addresses environmental, economic, and human rights issues. Cybernation , or the application of computers and automation to the social system, used humanely and intelligently, is a cornerstone of Fresco's plan for the future and calls for the redesign of cities, transportation systems, and industrial plants to be energy efficient, clean, and to meet the needs of all people both materially and spiritually. Machines will do the work, thus freeing humans to pursue and take delight in their personal development, creative pursuits, and increased time with family and friends.

The Venus Project is based on Fresco's belief that we as a society are not living in accordance with the laws of nature, and, thus, are destroying our environment and our freedom to make a life rather than make a living. Our main problem, Fresco believes, “is a lack of understanding of what it means to be human and the full realization that we human beings are not separate from nature. Our values, beliefs, and behavior are as much a part of the natural law as any other process. We are all an integral part of the chain of life.”

The Venus Project's 25-acre research and development center in Venus, Florida, is home to Fresco and his associate, Roxanne Meadows. It is a working example of how the future will look, if Fresco has anything to say about it. “We here at The Venus Project,” he continues, “work on ways of solving problems, how to clean the ocean, how to diminish crime in America and all over the world, how to do away with armies as a means of solving problems.”

“We must learn to live in accordance with nature, not our own just grab all you can from the earth and just cut down the trees without concern for the future.” Fresco predicts that in less than ten years environmental and social conditions will be so bad, we will be forced to totally change the way we live. He says we will either use the earth intelligently or kill each other. He speaks of conditions we are all too aware of today, severe traffic problems, safety, crime, pollution, war, ineffective and greedy politicians. “It's not a question of people being intelligent,” he says, “it's a question of conditions getting so bad that it forces us to make the change.”

He asserts that, using the proper technology and a change in society's values, it would take ten years to change the surface of the earth into a second Garden of Eden. “With an all-out effort, like we did in the Manhattan Project, it would take ten years to wipe out the slums all over the world and get rid of hunger and misery and most crimes.”

His center in Venus houses ten experimental buildings and research labs where development is underway for alternative energy systems, city designs, transportation, manufacturing systems, and more. Blueprints, renderings, and models are being created for the construction of an experimental city based on Fresco's research. In Venus, many of the machines and systems he talks about are already operational.

“We've turned it back to the wetlands,” Fresco explains. “We dug waterways and lakes and canals and streams. And then the alligators came, the turtles came, they settled down here, and it looks just like it used to look 200 years ago. We have about ten buildings, domes, which are earthquake proof, fireproof, do not have termites, you don't have to spray them with poison, and they last a thousand years.”

Fresco's book features seventy of his industrial designs, including sea cities, apartment structures, automated construction systems, future aircraft, bridges, geothermal energy plants, and many more incredible inventions. He has appeared on the Discovery Channel and many national television programs and has lectured all over the world. Among his many inventions are an aircraft wing structural system patented by the United States Airforce; a technique for viewing three-dimensional motion pictures without special viewing glasses; and noiseless, pollution-free aircraft. His inventions span the fields of technology, science, and medicine.

“What The Venus Project is trying to do,” Fresco explains, “is to declare the earth as the common heritage of all the world's people. In that way, there would be no more territorial disputes. And then, if all the nations join together, like the United States of the World, and used the earth to benefit the lives of all the world's people, this will be the beginning of the civilized world. Right now, I think that there's really no intelligent life on earth. We're looking for intelligent life out there. There's hardly any down here. Human beings have destroyed the oceans, the atmosphere, not because they're mean, because they're ignorant of the laws of nature.”

Fresco advocates many changes in society and the world as we know it – a resource-based economy; cybernation; an education system teaching compassion and understanding nature and the unity of all humanity; a global alliance to solve the problems we share; a clean, sustainable environment; and a government based on these principles.

“The monetary system,” he says, “is now an impediment to survival rather than a means of facilitating individual existence and growth. This imaginary tool has outlived its usefulness. It is not money that people need but the access to goods and services.”

The Venus Project concludes that “The earth is abundant with plentiful resources. Our practice of rationing resources through monetary control is irrelevant and counterproductive to our survival.” A resource-based economic system utilizes existing resources rather than money and provides an equitable method of distribution in the most humane and efficient manner for the entire population. All resources are available to everyone without the use of money, credits, barter, or any other form of exchange.

Goods and services are available through distribution centers similar to the public library system, where goods and resources would be available to all. There would be 3-D, flat-screen televised imaging capabilities in each home where orders are placed for a desired item; the item is then automatically delivered directly to a person's home.

Among the many ideas Fresco is working on: putting an abrasive substance in highways to eliminate dangerous slippery conditions when the pavement is wet, cars that receive impulses in school districts to keep them from going more than 15 miles an hour, radar units in cars that stop the car when another car or person gets dangerously close, and a net that would cover the bottom of all swimming pools to prevent anyone from falling in and drowning.

What makes The Venus Project different and more attainable than earlier visions of a better world, according to Meadows and Fresco, is that The Venus Project provides a comprehensive set of blueprints, models, a methodology for implementation, and competent individuals to bring about such a transition.

“I became interested in Jacque's work,” Meadows says, “when I heard him lecture.” She says that what he was saying “sounded more significant than anything I had ever learned and more relevant to the things we need to learn and what we need to know to be able to live on earth peacefully.”

“Today we still live in a world where we keep things scarce and we still fight and try and maintain control of resources. Today, with all our technology, we can surpass that if we use our technology wisely to create an abundance on earth and enable all people's needs in terms of school and even spiritual needs, education, and housing and clothing, So we can kind of jump in evolution, and for the first time, if we do that, if we set that up in society, then we can begin to know what it's like to be civilized. We don't even know that today. We're still grabbing for resources, fighting for resources, and keeping them scarce for people and having a lot of people suffer. The Venus Project talks about the next step in evolution.”

Education, as proposed by The Venus Project, will be designed to teach children the brotherhood of humanity, sensitivity to and caring for nature, and the elimination of bigotry and prejudice. Although books, videos, computers, and virtual reality would be used, most of the educational processes would be of a participatory nature in which students interact hands-on with the physical environment, learn to interact effectively with others, share experiences, and examine alternative approaches to problems. Students will be taught tolerance of cultures that differ from their own, leading to a better understanding of the advantage of all nations joining together for the preservation of life on planet Earth.

Fresco and Meadows have submitted a manuscript for a new motion picture called “And the World Will Be One.” They have produced videotapes, written books, and lectures to get their message out into the world. They are working with some of the people who worked on the Star Trek series to do a new TV series and a movie. They have no outside funding, so they put their own funds toward the project. They believe educating the public is the first step to making this new society a reality.

Fresco concedes that to make the transition from our present culture, “which is politically incompetent, scarcity-oriented, and obsolete, to this new, more humane society will require a quantum leap in both thought and action.” The Venus Project asserts that the only limitations to the future of mankind are those we impose upon ourselves.