A Conversation About The Venus Project with Jacque Fresco and Roxanne Meadows

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In this interview, Jacque Fresco and Roxanne Meadows of The Venus Project answers some inquisitive questions about everything from design to decision making, with the interviewer playing ‘devils advocate’. The interview aims to get answers to questions not answered before by The Venus Project.

All images and designs in the video is attributed to The Venus Project and Jacque Fresco.

“The Venus Project advocates an alternative vision for a sustainable new world civilization unlike any socio-economic system that has gone before. It calls for a straightforward redesign of a culture, in which the age-old inadequacies of war, poverty, hunger, debt, and unnecessary human suffering are viewed not only as avoidable, but totally unacceptable.” – The Venus Project

You might also want to see this recording from their lecture in Stockholm 2010: http://www.theresourcebasedeconomy.com/2011/03/the-venus-project-stockholm-lecture-july-2010/

Experience more on their website: www.thevenusproject.com

With The Help of Technology

What is technology? Really. There is so much talk of technology this, technology that, and all the time, it is implied that we all know what ‘technology’ really is. But do we? I think we will all agree that a car is one type of technology. But what about our bodies? Wikipedia defines ‘Technology’ as ” the usage and knowledge of tools, techniques, craftssystems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or serve some purpose”.

Well, with our bodies we can walk, talk, hear, see, feel, etc. We use the tools our hands are when we write, eat, drive and fish. We use the tools our eyes are when we see and focus. We use the tool our brains are when we solve a problem. So, yes, I’d definitely say that our bodies are one form of technology. And when we use a fishing rod, we extend the tools our hands are to that fishing rod. When we use a calculator we extend the tool our brain is to that calculator. And not only humans have built in technology, all animals and plants have that too. Like when a fly uses it’s wings to fly. Or when a leaf converts CO2 in to organic matter with the help of solar power.

Our world is filled with technology. Every plant, insect, animal and human is a walking, swimming or flying technological wonder. And Man has through the inspiration from the world around him created new technology that extends Man’s capabilities in countless ways. So, technology is not only all the wonders Man has created. No, technology was here long before us.

Since Man’s first use of external technology with clubs and the discovery of fire Man has developed technology that has helped him fly like the birds, dive like the dolphins and go faster than an antilope. Today we have technology that was unimaginable only 20 years ago. Many people think we have come far and are in awe of all the new technology we have. Others doesn’t like the technology, thinks it ruins nature, are afraid of it, and want’s to live without it. Still others are afraid the technology will take their jobs and leave them unemployed. They are all in their full right to think this way.

It can certainly seem like technology is the one to blame when it comes to the pollution of the planet, wars and bombing, technological unemployment and the dumbing down by television. But, is it really ‘technology’ per se we can blame for all of this? Isn’t ‘technology’ only a neutral tool that can be used as the user wishes? Certainly, a knife can be used both to kill with….and to cut bread with. Is it the knifes fault if someone uses it to kill his neighbor? It most certainly isn’t. It is the user’s fault, not the knife’s.

And this can be extended to all technology. Bombs doesn’t drop themselves. Guns have to be aimed and the trigger pulled for it to harm anyone. Even with today’s advancement in war technology, the computers that run the missiles still have to be programmed. So, is it ‘technology’s’ fault? All the wars, the pollution, the ‘alienation’. No. Technology is not at fault. At best, we can excuse ourselves with saying that ‘we were taken by surprise’. That the technology has developed so fast that it can be hard to keep up and put the technology to the right and good use, but not more. We can’t blame technology.

Technology is neutral. Technology is nothing but a set of tools that we can use to better our lives and the environment on this planet to it’s fullest, or it can be used to destroy ourselves. And it is certainly not technology’s fault if we use it to the latter.

Technology has gotten a ‘bad reputation’ in a lot of ways, but this reputation is definitely undeserved if we just open our eyes to look at what the development of technology has done for us. Things that was utterly impossible a hundred years ago. And the things I am thinking of are obvious and too many to count. We can fly from Paris to New York in a few hours. We can look through our bodies and get clear images of the inside. We can talk to anyone anywhere on the planet at anytime from almost anywhere. I can sit and write on a keyboard and letters pop up in black and white on a crisp and clear screen. I can even record moving images in crisp color and transfer them to the other side of the globe in a matter of minutes. If you have bad vision you can get it fixed in minutes with a lazer beam. We have satellites mapping the planet, making it possible to navigate anywhere with a little flat box with a screen.

Today, technology has come so far that we doesn’t think of it anymore. We take electricity for granted, running water, computers, the internet, shoes, nylon stockings, loud speakers, windows, DVDs, television, plastic bags, cardboard, paper, books, stainless steel, aluminum, concrete buildings, cars, planes, space shuttles, printers, cell phones, ovens, refrigerators, watches, water closets, rubber balls, sunglasses and cameras are all just ‘there’. We don’t gasp in awe anymore when someone turns on the fosset.

Hollywood and media has depicted technology as something to be afraid of, through films like Terminator. It should be utterly clear, though, that it is not ‘technology’ we have to fear, only some mad men’s use of it. As we can see, technology has helped, and is continually helping Mankind in it’s quest towards a better life. Even if you are a ‘nature person’, likes to be in nature, grow your own vegetables, doesn’t have television, maybe not even electricity, heats your home with a wood stove and copes without the internet.

Even you are using technology when you use your spade instead of your hands to dig with. Or when you put wood into your stove instead of burning it on the ground. Even using wood and fire is use of technology. Or when closing the door to your house behind you instead of living outside. Or when you put on a warm jacket in the winter. Or….well, you get my point. We are all using technology in some way or another. As mentioned earlier, even our hands and brains can be called technology, since they are tools that can help us solve problems and serve a purpose. And with them, we might even design a needle and a thread to sew together the two fur parts of the bison we just killed with the spear we had also made from a rock.

We can’t escape technology. Since we have hands to do things with and brains to think with, we are doomed to solve problems and try to make our lives easier for our selves. And in that, we most certainly have succeeded, even though it might not feel like it, since technology can be quite overwhelming at times. But for those who think we have ‘come far’ when it comes to technology; this is only the beginning. The technology will continue to develop beyond our wildest dreams in the years to come. And it will be far easier to use, safer, more user friendly, more integrated with Man, and we will notice it even less. It will be built in to our environment in a larger degree than ever before.

Some might be afraid that ‘the machines’ will ‘take over’. That maybe some day, when our lives are so controlled by technology that we can not control it anymore, one computer will say ‘Man is a threat to this planet’ and simply annihilate us. Or they may be afraid that technology will replace all our jobs, and we will all be out of work. In any case will neither of these scenarios be the fault of ‘technology’, but rather the fault of Man and the systems Man has created for herself through the mindset he has harbored and through technology she has created. So, technology is not to fear, only our mindsets and the systems it creates. Bear in mind that we already let technology control a huge part of our lives, even today. When we get in our cars, we trust the speedometer to tell us the speed, the cruise control to hold it and the breaks to stop the car when we press them.

If we are to ‘save’ this planet, we can only hope to do it with technology, not without. If we are to do it without any of the present or coming inventions we have to do it without humans as well. The question is how we use the technology. We have established that the technology itself is not to blame for the problems we have, our mindsets and systems are. And the biggest system to blame, is the monetary system with the free market system. The system of money and profit is a so ingrained mindset in the mind of humanity, that few people even think of it as anything ‘unnatural’, but rather take it for granted, as air and water, something that has always been there, and that has to be there for our survival. But, has it? Certainly not. There are no money in nature. And guess what? It thrives and grows abundantly.

A lot of the technology we have today has been developed to maximize profit and to serve the monetary system in one way or another. This is the reason technology is not always serving Mankind and planet Earth. This is the reason technology has been used to develop weapons for wars, gas guzzling and polluting engines for cars, lightbulbs that only last a 1000 hours, nylon stockings that rip for a good word, genetically modified soy plants that harm the environment, supertankers that leaks and kills millions of birds and fish, cell phones that breaks and cars that rust. Instead we could have had electric pollution free cars that outrun gas driven ones, if the development of batteries hadn’t stopped a 100 years ago, when the electric car was invented. We could have had nylon stockings and light bulbs that had lasted a lifetime, if it wasn’t for the profit motive. We wouldn’t have had huge oil tanker accidents, atom bombs and wars if it wasn’t for the monetary system, demanding we all hoard for our selves.

No, technology is not to blame, we are. When we finally wake up, we will see that technology is, and will always be, like a knife. We can use it to cut apples and share them with our neighbor, or we can use it to kill our neighbor for taking them. The choice will always be ours. When we realize that money is not what we need, but rather the communion with each other, and the sharing of experiences and information, water and food, land and energy. Then we will realize that technology will be our indispensable and invaluable helping hand in all of this. With a new mindset, a mindset freed from the slavery of money, trade and ‘ownership’, then we can start to create a truly sustainable world and use technology in it’s fullest extent to help us with this.

The Awakening of Humanity

“How can we get a resource based moneyless economy without a global totalitarian dictatorial regime? Wouldn’t we have to kill off populations to preserve resources for others?” Someone asked this recently.

It’s a very good question, and one I’ve been asking myself several times. The only answer I can come up with to this is this:

  1. The global population in general has to have a ‘spiritual awakening’ where we see all people as One, as we see our close family and friends, wanting to share equally with them.
  2. In addition, the ‘no money’ paradigm has to be seen as more beneficial for everyone than the money paradigm we’re in now. People have to share more and more without money, and this praxis has to ‘take over’ from the trading praxis we have today with money.

I can see many evidences for both of these directions today. There is a huge global rising awareness about ‘who we are’, about consciousness, about how our thoughts influence the world, etc., both within and outside science, and there are more and more people doing things ‘for free’ all over the planet. I am thinking about everything from volunteers in, which you find millions of, in all kinds of projects and organizations, free software (like Linux, WordPress, etc. etc.), free information (Wikipedia, + + + + + + ), and free efforts in all kinds of places.

Throughout history, there has been several ‘paradigm shifts’, like when the earth turned from flat to round, or when the earth was not longer the center point of the universe, but actually circled around the sun.

We’ve been living in a ‘money paradigm’ for millennia, and I think we are on the tipping point today. On one hand, money has a bigger stronghold on the planet than ever before, with millions of people in need of money, not knowing about anything else. On the other hand, there’s a strong rising of people wanting to simply share and stop this whole ‘money charade’ and create a moneyless society.

In any case, most people on the earth are fed up today with the situation we are in, and something has to happen. Which way we will fall depends on the totality of the people on this planet. But the more people wake up and become aware of the ‘no money’ possibility, the bigger is the chance that we will get there.

So, I can not see any ‘totalitarian world regime’ controlled by machines. Far from it. What I see, IF we get a no-money-paradigm, is something completely different.


How will people act? And what will the world look like?

Of course, most greed has to be gone, most ego has to be gone. We have to realize that what we do for others we actually do for ourselves. And this can be illustrated well when one person makes an invention that will benefit both her AND society. When someone comes up with an idea to a betterment of something, one usually does that because it is something that one wants oneself. So, to realize this invention through the joint effort of others will of course a very exiting thing. It has got nothing to do with money. The same goes for art, or food, or basically everything you can imagine. Creating and sharing something and taking part in this is what it is all about. Not hoarding, competing and trading. This is a game we have played for so long. Now it is time to change.

People think that ‘we need money’. They live in this mindset and that is why everything is the way it is on this planet right now. The so-called ‘scarcity’ is money based. There is no real scarcity, and there definitely is no need to ‘kill off’ parts of our population to ‘save resources’. All of these thoughts are based in the old money mindset. There’s more than enough land, water, food and resources on this planet for everyone and then some. I have to say it again; ALL scarcity is money based. All scarcity is PERCEIVED. The system NEEDS us to feel this scarcity for the system to stay alive. If we were to wake up and realize that there’s abundance all around us, and that with our own minds, we can create more of this abundance, the system would simple cease to exist. And of course, the system doesn’t want that.

‘Famine’ is economically based, not environmentally. Today, we have the ability to change, design and help nature give us it’s best, and at the same time create sustainability. We can produce food for everyone, there’s no doubt about that. 50% of all food is thrown away today. And this is because of our economic system, the monetary based market system. It is because food needs to be sold to those who have money. If is was simply given away instead, based on who needed it, one could streamline the distribution 100% without waste. This is but one example of the wasteful system we have today.

The capitalistic system produces more waste than any other system on this planet. Which means that without this system, but RBE instead, the resources we HAVE will go a whole lot longer. That’s the point of RBE. It is resource based, not money based. There IS enough resources for everyone WHEN they are managed properly.

Instead of hundreds of TV and computer producers competing with each other, releasing hundreds of new models each year, each model doing almost exactly the same, and depleting resourced needed to produce these models, a resource based economy would never let that happen. In RBE, we would rather produce ONE model, the best. Or maybe 5 models, of say different sizes, to cater for some different needs. But we don’t need one model WITH USB, and one model without. ALL models would have USB, if you see what I mean. There are minuscule differences on different models of products today, only to give the manufacturers more to sell, and the consumers (it’s a shame we are called ‘consumers’) a so-called ‘choice’. In RBE, we would focus on producing the best, most efficient solutions for everything. We would focus on not producing any waste, and make lasting products for all people of the planet to enjoy for a much much longer time than today.

So, what will society be like when people wake up from this mindset? If people woke up, say, tomorrow, what would happen…?

Well, that is many things. With a ‘no money’, ‘no property’, mindset based on sharing, accessibility, compassion and real resources instead of trading, competition, ownership and fake money, we would:

  1. Close down all banks and other so-called ‘financial institutions’.
  2. Get rid of the so-called ‘government’ and develop a direct computer aided democracy instead, to take care of real needs, rather than fake ‘money needs’.
  3. Start to survey what we actually have in terms of resources on this planet. Both human, animalistic, plants and minerals. Both locally and globally.
  4. Start to make sure everyone has what they need in terms of food, housing, clothing, medicine, etc.
  5. Start to develop new more efficient and automated distribution systems.
  6. Start to develop and use new sustainable energy and materials.
  7. Start to respect each other more and more.
  8. See this planet as ONE HOME for everyone, and think in terms of all people on this planet, rather than ‘this country’ and ‘that country’.
  9. Get rid of all artificial borderlines.
  10. Get rid of all military.
  11. Start to organize ourselves based on need, want, skills and abilities, rather that ‘heritage, race, money and greed’.
  12. Educate everyone about real and important aspects of life.
  13. Not get too many children, knowing that we have to stay within the caring capacity of the planet.
  14. Not need to punish each other, but rather help each other reach our full potential and get well of any disease.
  15. Work together to develop the best technology for the planet and everyone.
  16. Still have ‘jobs’, some more desirable than others, which of course depends on your interests, but be able to change ‘job’ more often, and do tasks that are really fulfilling, because you will know that what you do is actually needed here on the planet.
  17. Utilize this planet and this world to work for everyone in every way, everywhere.

When we truly get out of our money mindset, this is all feasible. Not only feasible, but desirable and the best we can all experience. ‘When we all share, we all get more’. Instead of being limited to ‘one car each’, we could have automated cars (Google have developed that already) that we can simply order when we need it. Much fewer cars would be needed, and we would all have access to a whole lot more cars!

Access, rather than ownership would be the new value, when people really open their eyes. Instead of ‘owning land’, we could use land where and when we need it. We could travel anywhere we want. We could move to anywhere we want and live anywhere we want. We could basically DO anything we want, as long as we all live in this NEW MINDSET. As long as MOST PEOPLE live in this ego-, money- and propertyless mindset, this mindset of giving, sharing and collaboration, this world will change automagically based on this mindset.

This whole blog is about ‘what it will be like’ and ‘how society will work’. This blog is about visualizing this new society, keeping a steady focus on this until we get there, and then keep focussing and creating. Not focussing on what we don’t want. We have to constantly imagine, visualize and focus on what we want in order to get there.

These new times is not about ‘grabbing positions’, ‘running in the rat race’ or ‘competing for resources’. No, these new times is about realizing that every little thing I do, I do not only for myself, but for everyone. For everyone to benefit. Even if it is me making myself a better person in any way, this will also benefit others and the whole. When everyone benefits from what I do, I will benefit too. In a much much higher degree than ever before, because it will all be free. For everyone. Even the richest of today will be freer, since they too will benefit from this new society. A society where true collaboration and sharing is possible and where everyone can travel freely everywhere and contribute anywhere it is needed.

It is about doing things for the joy of doing them. Just like I do now. I write this because I enjoy using my mind to visualize this new world. Not for money. Not for any egotistical reasons. Not even to be credited, as I even do this anonymously. I write this because I believe this world will be a better world to live in. Both for me, and for everyone else. And everything written here I share freely for anyone to copy.

So, in answer to the question I would say that this new world will not work through any dictatorship of any kind. No, it will be created through the awakening of Humanity, and work through self governance, with people deciding over their own lives wherever they might live, or want to live. And it has to be based on the notion that ‘it is better to share and collaborate than to trade and compete’. This notion has to be the NEW BASIC VALUE, like money and trading is the basic value today.

It has to be like this: Instead of the majority of people thinking ‘what’s in it for me’, the majority has to start thinking ‘what’s in it for all of us, both locally and globally’. This mindset has to WIN, somehow.

Many people think this way already today, working ‘for free’ on projects, but they haven’t realized that it might be possible to build a world totally with this mindset. Even those people; volunteers, developers of free software, artists, doctors that work for free, etc. etc. think that ‘yes, I suppose we need money to build roads, hospitals and schools and to pay for resources, teachers, doctors and nurses’ and so on. Actually, most people don’t even think this. Most people think of money and ownership as AIR: It is something that’s always been here, that always will be here, and that we can’t live without. Most people doesn’t really think about the possibility that we can live without money. It doesn’t occur to them. It didn’t occur to me either, until I heard about TVP and TZM a couple of years ago.

Now I see these ideas are spreading like an unstoppable wildfire. Projects are popping up everywhere. New thoughts are emerging. More resources are shared. More people are collaborating.

As you can see, the new ‘no money’ mindset will change this world so drastically in itself, that it is difficult to imagine exactly what it will look like in praxis. But if you imagine a world where the emphasis lies on global cooperation, rather than competition, global sharing, rather than hoarding, free travel, rather than restricted, a focus on fast development of new efficient technology, rather than sticking with old outdated models, global and local direct democracy, rather than fake politics, and compassion rather than cynicism, well, then you’ve come a long way in picturing this world.

And if you’ve read this far, you’ll probably be interested in seeing this:

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