When one considers the enormity of the challenges facing human society today, we can safely conclude that the time is long over-due for us to reexamine our values and to reflect upon and evaluate some of the underlying issues and assumptions we have as a society. This self-analysis calls into question the very nature of what it means to be human, what it means to be a member of a "civilization," and what choices we can make today to ensure a prosperous future for all the world's people.
Our current monetary
system is not capable of providing a high standard of living for everyone,
nor can it ensure the protection of the environment because the major
motive is profit. Strategies such as downsizing and toxic dumping increase
the profit margin. With the advent of automation, cybernation, and artificial
intelligence, there will be an ever-increasing replacement of people
by machines. As a result, fewer people will be able to purchase goods
and services even though our capability to produce an abundance will
continue to exist.
At present we are left with very few alternatives. The answers of yesterday are no longer relevant. Either we continue as we have been with our outmoded social customs and habits of thought, in which case our future will be threatened, or we can apply a more appropriate set of values that are relevant to an emergent society.
What follows is not an attempt to predict what will be done - only what could be done. The responsibility for our future is in our hands, and depends on the decisions that we make today. The greatest resource that is available today is our own ingenuity.
The Venus Project advocates an alternative vision for a sustainable new world civilization unlike any social system that has gone before. Although this description is highly compressed, it is based upon years of study and experimental research.
The Venus Project calls for a straightforward approach to the redesign of a culture, in which the age-old inadequacies of war, poverty, hunger, debt, environmental degradation and unnecessary human suffering are viewed not only as avoidable, but totally unacceptable. While social reformers and think tanks formulate strategies that treat only superficial symptoms, without touching the basic social operation, The Venus Project approaches these problems somewhat differently. We feel we can not eliminate these problems within the framework of the present political and monetary establishment. It would take too many years to accomplish any significant change. Most likely they would be watered down and thinned out to such an extent that the changes would be indistinguishable
The Venus Project
proposes a fresh, alternative vision--one that is dedicated to human
and environmental concerns. It is an attainable vision of a bright and
better future, one that is appropriate to the times in which we live,
and both practical and feasible for a positive future. It is now mandatory
that we work towards having all of the Earth's resources as the common
heritage of all the world's people. Anything less will simply result
in a continuation of the same catalog of problems inherent in the present
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. Throughout history, change has been slow. One group of incompetent leaders has been replaced by another. The problems we are faced with today cannot be solved politically or financially because they are highly technical in nature. There may not even be enough money available to pay for the required changes, but there are more than enough resources. This is why we advocate the transition from a monetary-based society to the eventual realization of a resource-based world economy.
The money-based system
evolved centuries ago. All of the worlds economic systems - socialism,
communism, fascism, and even the vaunted free enterprise system - perpetuate
social stratification, elitism, nationalism, and racism, primarily based
on economic disparity. As long as a social system uses money or barter,
people and nations will seek to maintain the economic competitive edge
or, if they cannot do so by means of commerce they will by military
intervention. We still utilize these same outmoded methods.
A monetary system
developed years ago as a device to control human behavior in an environment
with limited resources. Today money is used to regulate the economy
not for the benefit of the general populace, but for those who control
the wealth of nations.
Simply stated, a resource-based economy utilizes existing resources rather than money, and provides an equitable method of distributing these resources in the most efficient manner for the entire population. It is a system in which all natural, man-made, machine-made, and synthetic resources are available without the use of money, credits, barter, or any other form of debt.
The Earth is abundant with plentiful resources; today our practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter productive to our survival. Modern society has access to highly advanced technologies and can make available food, clothing, housing, medical care, update our educational system, and develop a limitless supply of renewable, non- contaminating energy such as geothermal, solar, wind and tidal. It is now possible that everyone could enjoy a very high standard of living with all of the amenities that a prosperous civilization can provide. This can be accomplished through the intelligent application of science and technology.
Unfortunately, today science and technology have been diverted from these ends for reasons of self-interest and monetary gain through planned obsolescence sometimes referred to as the conscious withdrawal of efficiency. For example, the U. S. Department of Agriculture, whose function is presumed to be conducting research into ways of achieving higher crop yields per acre, actually pays farmers not to produce at full-capacity. The monetary system tends to hold back the application of these methods that we know would best serve the interests of people and the environment.
A resource-based economy
would use technology to overcome scarce resources by applying renewable
sources of energy, computerizing and automating manufacturing and inventory,
designing safe energy-efficient cities, providing universal health care
and better education, and most of all by generating a new incentive
system based on human and environmental concern.
Human behavior is just as lawful as any other natural phenomenon. Our customs, behaviors, and values are byproducts of our culture. No one is born with greed, prejudice, bigotry and hatred; these are all learned behavior patterns. If the environment is unaltered, similar behavior will reoccur.
When education and
resources are made available to all people without a price tag, there
would be no limit to the human potential. Although this is difficult
to imagine, even the wealthiest person today would be far better off
in a resource based society as proposed by The Venus Project. Today
the middle classes live better than kings of times past. In a resource
based economy everyone would live better than the wealthiest of today.
In such a society, the measure of success would be based on the fulfillment of one's individual pursuits rather than the acquisition of wealth, property, and power.
The only limitations
are those we impose upon ourselves. The Venus Project is neither utopian