[Larry King, host] Alright, let’s explore the thinking of Jacque Fresco and the society that he’d like to see. (Jacque Fresco) The reason we emphasize machines and technology is to free man to pursue the higher things. Machines ought to do the filthy, repetitious, or the boring jobs. It would take ten years to change the surface of the Earth. To save our environment, [considering] our stupidity, our conflict, we’ve got to reorganize our way of thinking and reconsider our social aims. We must put our mind to this as we do to put a man on the moon. [Jeff Hoffman, retired NASA astronaut] Like many kids, when I was 6 years old I dreamed of flying in space. I’m old enough that, back then, the only astronauts were Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers.
I went on and became a professional astronomer. I was lucky enough to get selected in the first group of shuttle astronauts. We trained for a long time. Of course, you go through many different types of simulators. But when you’re actually sitting up there on the rocket, you realize that “Hey, this is not the simulator!” The whole vehicle is shaking a little bit on the pad. Then, you hear this roar down beneath you. The whole shuttle tilts forward a little bit. Then, as it comes back to the vertical position, all of a sudden, Wham! The solid boosters ignite. There’s an incredible vibration and noise. For the next two minutes, there is just so much power that you’re sitting on top of. I was just holding on, thinking to myself “Whoa! I hope this whole thing holds together.” Sure enough, it did. By that time, we’re looking out the window. The blue sky has already turned to the blackness of space. And I can see in the distance the coast of Africa coming up into view.
I always remember that feeling on my first flight when I realized: Wow, you’re in space! You see from orbit the sunrises and sunsets 16 times every 24 hours. Flying over the Earth at night, in particular gives you a real sense of human civilization. During the day, you look down and you see the colors of the Earth. You see the forms of the landmass, of the continents. There’s a lot of beautiful things to see during the day. There’s also the view of the impact that humans have had on our planet, and that can be pretty scary. Over the course of 11 years of flying I watched as the Amazon jungle was continually being deforested. [Rondônia, Brazil 2010 24 years of deforestation] At night, you’d constantly see agricultural burning all over the world. You could see harbors being silted up. You could see, in Africa, how the tree line would go up every year. We know about global warming and what we’re doing to the atmosphere.
That’s the other thing you really get a sense of from space is how thin our atmosphere is. Basically, the idea that we’re seeing this environmental damage on the Earth, created by humans, but we see it from a cosmic perspective, means that it’s just not something that we can ignore. The planet is responding to the presence of humanity. [Carl Sagan, “Pale Blue Dot”, 1994] The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they can become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. [Earth from 3.7 billion miles] Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner.
How eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Venus Project presents THE CHOICE IS OURS Documentary film by Roxanne Meadows, Joel Holt Original score by Kat Epple PART I (Narrator) For the first time, we have the capability, the technology, and the knowledge to achieve a global society of abundance for all. We cannot continue as we are or the consequences will surely be dire. A 2012 UN report states that a global population growth from 7 billion to almost 9 billion is expected by 2040. Demands for resources will rise exponentially.
By 2030, requirements for food are projected to rise by 50%, energy by 45%, and water by 30%. We are presently depleting natural resources 50% faster than the planet can renew. At this rate, it is estimated that we’ll need 3 more planet Earths to keep up with resource needs as they are today. What is the sixth extinction? Is it happening right now? What’s the cause of it? What we, as human beings, are doing to the planet is changing the basic conditions of life very dramatically and very rapidly. (Narrator) And yet, from environmental disaster to war, our obsolete value systems perpetuate insanity, threatening us on many fronts. Is it the best we can do to just clean up after the fact? Are politicians capable or even competent to manage the world around us? (Gordon Brown) Let me explain. Order! The prime minister. (Narrator) Are we simply incapable of anticipating and planning for our future? Are we innately flawed in ways we can’t change? (Journalist) Why not just use firing squads? – Aim! (Narrator) We often hear that human nature is fixed.
.. It’s only human nature! …and our worst qualities are inborn. – How are they gonna stop being criminals? – Oh, nonsense! They were born that way and there is no use trying to change them. THE DETERMINANTS OF BEHAVIOR [Henry Schlinger Jr., PhD] I think it’s difficult to talk about a specific human nature like we talk about fixed or modal action patterns in nonhuman species. But clearly in humans, learning plays the major role. In fact, I refer to humans as ‘the learning animal’, because humans learn more than any other animal. (Narrator) And yet, considering our history of aggression, warlike tendencies, jealousies and hatred… (US soldier) Keep shootin’ (Narrator) …we still have much to learn. One would think it impossible to simply overlook the conditions we’re immersed in. (Jacque) The culture doesn’t know any better.
They don’t know what forces are involved in shaping human behavior. Therefore, they invent their own concept and project their own values into human behavior and say that’s human nature. That’s where they’re wrong. (Henry) Right now we have an explosion of technologies in our culture. I think many people think that technology is going to save us. Certainly technology has made our lives easier in many respects. – Find parking space. – Parking space found. Sometimes it’s good; sometimes it’s not so good. (Journalist) Drones armed with Hellfire missiles… How would you like to get paid to spy on your neighbors? There’s one technology that we don’t have, that we sorely need if we’re going to really change, and that’s the technology of behavior.
The science of behavior needs to be applied like the sciences of physics, chemistry, and biology have been. That’s that one missing ingredient in our culture. And that’s the toughest one because it opposes the way that most people think about themselves. (Narrator) Examining human behavior in the same manner as any other physical phenomenon will enable us to understand the factors responsible for shaping our attitudes and our conduct. (Henry) All natural scientists assume that their subject matters are lawful and orderly. If they’re not, then you can’t do science. Behavioral scientists assume that human behavior and the behavior of other organisms is also lawful and orderly. To not assume that means that you accept that human behavior is somehow separate from the rest of nature. We don’t make that assumption.
We make the assumption that human behavior is part of nature. (Narrator) Human behavior is just as lawful as everything else. (Jacque) The sunflower does not turn to the sun. The sun makes it turn by pulling in membranes. A sailboat cannot sail. The wind moves it. Plants can’t grow. They are shoved by sunshine, soil, temperature, all kinds of things. All things are shoved by something else. All people are acted upon by other things. Remember, your mother said “cup, table, light papa, mama” over and over again until you did the same thing. Even race hatred is learned. (Announcer) … as the ideals of intolerance and racial superiority are taught to succeeding generations. You could be brought up to hate Afro-Americans. You could be brought up to hate Jews, Swedes, all kinds of people. – I hate Philippinos, I hate Mexicans, I hate them all! We could raise a Jewish boy in a Nazi culture. He becomes a good Nazi. A PRIME EFFECTOR ? (Narrator) Mechanical processes are based upon many interacting systems.
– What you got there, son? – A plane. What makes it fly? Is it the propeller? – The propeller is not going to turn unless you have the motor, right? – So, it’s the motor? – But the motor needs fuel. – So I’m guessing it’s the fuel that makes it fly. – Almost, but if you don’t have the spark plugs, and the oxygen, the fuel’s not going to burn. – So it’s spark plugs and oxygen? – You would think so, but actually, even with all that working, if you don’t have the wings and control surfaces to give it lift it will never get off the ground. – So it’s the wings and control surfaces that make it fly? – Actually, it’s all the above, son. It’s a complicated machine. It needs all these things working together to make the plane fly. That’s a lot like other technologies and even human behavior. – So it’s all those things that make it fly.
– Exactly, kiddo! (Narrator) Just like mechanical systems, our behavior has no single cause. – God gives people good blood and bad blood, and there’s an end to it. (Narrator) Our behavior is generated by the many interacting variables that we encounter. (Henry) The environment can never be the same for any two individuals. That really counters claims that people make when they say “I have three children. They were all raised in the same environment, but they all turned out so different.” Well, by that definition, the same environment refers to the house they lived in or the parents they had. (Jacque) There’s no such thing as ‘the same environment’. If you have two kids, one is 4 years old and you play with him, and the 7 year old is standing there with that lower lip sticking out. You say “What’s the matter?” and the kid goes like that. You’re making jealousy and envy.
That’s where it comes from. (Henry) But from a scientific perspective, the environment really consists of the moment to moment interactions between your behavior and those events both inside and outside you. So, the environment is in constant flux. (Jacque) You put the young kid on your lap and the older kid. You say “I love you both.” You never play with any one kid or have a favorite. If you say “You can go to the movie but you can’t because you didn’t do your homework”, when she falls down the stairs, you have a grin on your face. It’s not that you’re bad, but you feel you’ve been mistreated. (Narrator) Even our concepts of aesthetics and beauty are often attributed to an intrinsic quality, but closer investigation reveals that these perceptions vary greatly from place to place and throughout history. (Henry) I think notions of aesthetics and beauty are for the most part learned.
All you have to do are cross-cultural examinations of what people consider to be attractive and beautiful. You’ll find that they differ widely from culture to culture. Sometimes they differ widely within the same culture. (Jacque) There are people who wear brass rings around their neck. They stretch their neck. If you take those rings away, the head would fall over and they call that beauty. On some of the islands I went to visit, if the girl had a buttocks that stuck way out, that was beautiful. The other girls were nothing. (Announcer) Even a girl might find herself shut up in a cage until she’s put on almost 265 pounds that make her almost, but not quite eligible for marriage in her country. (Henry) I know there are suggestions that there are genetic contributions to what we think is beautiful, but I think the most parsimonious explanation we can have for what constitutes beauty to a given individual has to come from that individual’s environment; the culture they’re raised in.
(Jacque) If everybody had a nose a foot long, you’d have surgery done. There is no such thing as beauty. It’s all projection. If you marry the most beautiful girl in the world and she turns out to be a pain in the butt, that face becomes ugly to you. (Narrator) Some researchers are posing that genes rather than upbringing, determine if someone might become a criminal and even a murderer. (Henry) If you ask people to tell you what determines whether they become a doctor, or a lawyer, or whatever profession, most people will agree that it has to do with your upbringing: the influences from your parents, from teachers, from others. Not genes. Genes don’t determine that you become a lawyer or a doctor. (Narrator) Genes don’t give us a value system or a process level by which we operate. (Henry) Genes don’t shape our behavior. The genes themselves were shaped by our evolutionary history. But our behavior alone is squarely shaped by the environment that we’re exposed to.
(Narrator) Behavior does not occur in a vacuum. It is always dependent on considerable environmental input. (Jacque) I wanted to know whether men have a natural attitude toward women, or do they learn it? So I went to some island years ago. The interesting thing about the islanders is that they wore no clothing. I never saw a male stare at the female body. Children swim nude when they’re babies. Boys and girls together. There were no Peeping Toms on the island. There were no pictures of nude women up on the wall in their huts because it was a normal thing to be nude. They said to the girl “Me like you.” They stroked them from the top of the head, all the way down. They didn’t go for the breasts. Men go for women’s breasts in this country because they’re taught “Hey, get a load of that chick!” THE BLAME GAME – And whose fault is it? – It’s not the Democrats’ fault. – And it’s all Obama’s fault! (Henry) The traditional notion, which is one that gives the individual personal responsibility and autonomy is one that gives the individual credit for his or her behavior and also, on the other hand, blames the individual for his or her behavior.
(Jacque) Blaming people for their behavior is one of the most detrimental things of our so-called advanced culture. Their behavior is shaped by the culture they are brought up in. (Henry) That’s built upon, or based upon, an assumption that we are free; we freely choose our behavior. But a scientific perspective actually takes the opposite viewpoint. The scientific perspective is a determinist one, which suggests that our behavior is lawful and orderly, our behavior is caused. (Jacque) There’s no serial killer that doesn’t have a background that made him that way. Every New York gangster is made that way, by associating with people like that. (Narrator) Our social and legal systems blame and punish the individual. Yet these attempts to modify conduct by punitive means ignores the person’s background and surroundings which shape that behavior to begin with. (TV announcer) From old school prison gangs to disruptive street gangs: it’s a dangerous mix for staff and inmates alike. (Narrator) Research shows that learning also changes the physical and chemical structure of the brain. Obviously, there are many contributing factors, but genes play a small role in comparison to the effects of the overall environment on how we learn. (Jacque) No Chinese baby was ever born speaking Chinese.
Did you know that? They had to go to school to learn the language. No French baby was ever born speaking French. No matter how many years the parents spoke French they have to learn it. (Henry) Our cerebral cortex is really built on plasticity. Our behavior is very malleable and very adaptive. We’re the most adaptive creature on the planet. If you look at the history of humankind on the planet you can see that we’ve learned to adapt to every single environment on the planet. (Jacque) The only difference between a preacher and a thief is the environment they’re reared in. (Narrator) We don’t come to our own conclusions without any outside influences. We don’t change our minds. Our minds are changed by events. – Heard about them Wright brothers? – No. – They say they wanna build themselves a flying machine. – They ain’t never gonna be no flying machine. If God wanted them to fly, he would give them wings.
(Roaring laughter) (Narrator) Our minds are changed by events. – I changed my mind! – Yeah, me too. (Jacque) If you’re born with a brain that’s more effective, faster than the average brain, you become a fascist faster if you’re brought up in a fascist environment. A good brain cannot describe that which is significant. The brain has no mechanism of discrimination; only experimental evidence determines that. (Narrator) If the surroundings that establish our values remain unaltered, in spite of the urgings of poets, priests, and politicians the same behavior and values will persist. (Jacque) If you tell people that you’re not to fish in a certain area, if you don’t provide food for those people and the means of living, they will violate those laws. All laws have to coincide with the nature of the physical world. But it isn’t the law that prevents crime, it’s if you meet the conditions. (Journalist) These days, rhino poachers come by helicopter armed with powerful tranquilizers, and a chainsaw.
Rhino horn is now worth more than gold. (Jacque) If people are unemployed, they will do whatever they have to do to feed their family. If you make a law and say that you’re not to steal food, they will steal food, if that serves their family needs. Any law that’s made by man that doesn’t fit the circumstances of reality will be violated. (Narrator) Higher ideals and aspirations that people hope for can’t be realized when there is deprivation and war. [Andrew Bacevich – Boston University] If you want to go bomb somebody there’s remarkably little discussion about how much it might cost. But when you have a discussion about whether or not we can assist people who are suffering, then suddenly we become very cost-conscious.
(Narrator) No culture evaluates human behavior in this way. If they did, they would question what is it that generates greed, bigotry, inequities, and war. (Jacque) They bring you up with the values that put them in power. (Narrator) Unfortunately, all societies to date have indoctrinated people toward values that perpetuate those in power. PART II (Narrator) So, let’s investigate the key factors governing the lives of people and nations: Money, and the values, behaviors, and consequences it produces. – Time and sales data – Split-second staff “It was difficult for early forms of life to crawl out of the primordial slime without dragging some of it with them.” ~Jacque Fresco (Narrator) As a remnant of Antiquity, money now largely serves as a mechanism of corruption, deprivation, and control in the hands of a few.
[Abby Martin, Journalist & Host] It has corrupted everything. Every institution that we live in is corrupted by money. What’s fascinating to me is that we can become enslaved by something that we’ve created, not physically, but just mentally enslaved by a notion that was invented by humanity. It is archaic, because I think we’ve grown past what money can do. “It is well enough that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and money system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” ~Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company (Narrator) In a desperate attempt to survive, many work multiple jobs. They may steal, lie, or embezzle. (Jacque) So stress producing to the average person. …worries about rent, losing their job, can’t pay off a house.
(Narrator) On a bigger scale, the profit motive creates a ruthless cycle of devastation. Illness, pollution, and war are accepted as normal. [H. R. McMaster – USA Commanding General] You have sort of a wartime economy that begins to be self-perpetuating. You have powerful people inside of a power vacuum really who see it as in their interest to perpetuate the conflict. (Narrator) But it does benefit the few at the top who live parasitically by the manipulation and control of money. [Dylan Ratigan, Author & Host] The banking system right now is effectively enslaving individuals enslaving students, enslaving institutions and sucking resources from them. [Karen Hudes, Economist & Lawyer] They set it up so that there would be private central banks that could charge everybody interest on the currency and allow themselves to get rich without having to do anything. Who’s been doing all of this? It’s a group of bankers, the Federal Reserve System; that’s a private system.
– The Fed is a private bank owned by private stockholders. Do not let the name ‘federal’ fool you. (Karen) In 1913, which is when Woodrow Wilson allowed the Federal Reserve System legislation to be passed most of the Congress people had gone home. (Narrator) This legislation turned the central bank system of the United States over to the Federal Reserve Board making them the only group that could issue Federal Reserve notes or US dollars. (Karen) President Wilson regretted that. He said that he had just sold this country downstream. “A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world; a government by the opinion and the duress of small groups of dominant men.
” ~President Woodrow Wilson, 1916 [Erin Ade, Reporter & Host] It’s a fiat system that we operate under. It’s actually someone punching numbers on a computer somewhere; that is how we manufacture money today. (Karen) There’s nothing backing it; there’s nothing behind it. (Narrator) When government spends more than it collects in taxes and needs money, it does not print its own money, but borrows from the federal reserve in exchange for US bonds which the fed provides at interest. When people in corporations want money, they go to banks as well. The system is rigged. If a bank buys a $100 bond, the bank gets to lend out 10 times that amount, or $1000. They created the extra funds from nothing: no money, gold, or anything to back it up. The bank also gets back the loans with interest for all the money lent. Money is created in this way from the simple signature of a borrower with a promise to pay it back.
To make matters worse, very often, people are paying the amount back many times over due to the interest. This is the process by which individuals, companies and governments acquire money. It is respectably referred to as ‘fractional reserve lending’ and is used globally by most other banking systems keeping people and entire nations in perpetual debt. (Karen) If you just keep printing dollars with no backing, at a certain point people lose confidence in the currency, and that’s what has happened. (Dylan) The banking system right now is in the business of manufacturing risk by creating debt for individuals and people. There is the risk that those people will not pay that debt back, but the liabilities for the risk have been and continue to be assigned to the US taxpayer and the US currency. (Karen) We’re now sitting in a situation where the world’s currencies are about to crash. Nobody knows how long it’s going to take, but the Federal Reserve System has been printing dollars like there’s no tomorrow.
(Dylan) You have what is effectively a criminal enterprise based on the manipulation of people’s attention, resources and time, in order to extract value from them. (Karen) They’re stealing money from us that way. They’re stealing the results of our efforts and our labor. (Dylan) That is something that has grown as a cancer on our society. (Karen) These bankers are all part of a system called the Bank for International Settlements. – Most people, even in business and banking, don’t understand this bank and its role; the BIS. (Karen) They own 40% of the assets of the 43,000 companies that are traded on the capital markets. – The bank runs itself. It has a board of directors which is composed of 15 governors of central banks from around the world. (Karen) …
and they pull down 60% of the annual earnings. They bought off all our media, and that media is hoodwinking citizens. (Abby) The media’s morphed into just peddling the corporate interests of the money masters that control the political establishment. There’s about 118 boards of directors that sit on these five giant media corporations. They all serve different boards, from Monsanto to weapons, to food… When you have all these interests bleeding together, it’s that much harder to differentiate what interests you’re seeing laid out in the mainstream media. (TV Announcer) Fair, balanced. (Dylan) If you want to understand power, you have to understand who nominates candidates, not understand who votes for candidates.
Our system is not a democracy. The percentage of our population that participates in the nomination process is literally less than 5% of the population and really less than 1% of the population. If I was in control of the nominating process of everything that everybody ate and I always nominated cheeseburgers or fried chicken, and I told you that it was a democracy and you could eat anything you want as long as it was a cheeseburger or fried chicken. Would that be a democracy? I could sell it to you as a democracy because I don’t decide whether you eat cheeseburgers or fried chicken. You get to vote in a very large and well-publicized election as to whether we’re going with fried chicken or cheeseburgers as people organize into very tribal groups very anti-fried chicken and very pro-cheeseburger or, they’ll explain to you exactly why cheeseburgers are going to be the end of the world, and why fried chicken is going to save you.
WHO MAKES THE RULES? (Narrator) Those who can afford it hire lobbyists who essentially buy politicians. Most of the time, either party will suit their needs. [Professor James Thurber, Host] The definition of a lobbyist in the United States is someone who advocates for someone else and is getting paid for it. (Narrator) The laws then enacted are quite often written by the corporations to benefit themselves. Professor Thurber sees an underground explosion in lobbying and estimates the industry actually brings in more than $9 billion a year exceeded only by tourism and government. – The reason that we aren’t changing things right now is the banks have lobbyists in Washington in numbers I’ve never seen. (Narrator) Lobbyists are strictly there to buy access. They are not there to enhance the democratic process. Families and working people just don’t have that kind of representation, power or influence to look after their needs. – They have designed the system to reinforce and, in a sense, finance themselves based off of special interests. (Erin) Everything that was around in 2007-2008 that we got so scared about, the mortgage-backed securities, the credit default swaps, the other derivatives: They still exist.
They absolutely do. Yes, there are higher capital requirements for the banks so they can’t be as leveraged, but those are not that high. (Abby) If we don’t have a media that’s providing who’s really writing these bills and passing this legislation and what it’s all for and who it serves, then we’re living in an illusion. [Paul Wright, Author] Generally, the laws in this country are written by the wealthy and the powerful because I think, by definition, that’s who controls the legislatures and the commanding heights of the power system in this country. (Erin) That’s a scary reality because you can pay your way into having laws implemented that serve you and your corporation as you’d like them to serve. (Abby) The complete impunity that corporations have to operate unabated and pollute the entire planet.
.. – A major spill of toxic coal ash is raising questions again about the safety of water and the government regulators overseeing industry. (Abby) There’s zero accountability, other than the slap on the wrist of a couple fines here and then, I mean slave labor to the exploitation of resources on the planet. (Narrator) The slap on the wrist of industries that pollute, cut corners and violate policies will continue, as long as it’s profitable to do so. (Erin) JP Morgan paid $13 billion (US) in fines last year! If you have that much money in order to just pay fines… and they put away $19 billion (US), for paying fines! (Reporter) JP Morgan is paying $410 million (US) to settle charges with the government, but JP Morgan is not admitting any wrongdoing. (Reporter) Goldman Sachs settled early on in this case for $550 million without admitting wrongdoing. (Reporter) UBS has agreed to pay about $50 million.
Under the terms of the settlement, UBS did not admit any wrongdoing. (Paul) I think that people commit the crimes that they’re in a social position to commit. I think it’s Bertold Brecht that asked “Which is a greater crime: to rob a bank or to own one?” I think as we’ve seen from everything from the savings and loan scandals to the Wall Street meltdown, that all too often the owners of the banks are frequently looting the institutions that employ them. They commit all manner of illegal acts and yet they’re very rarely prosecuted for them. Throughout history, there’s been very little pretense that the government has also acted as an agent for the wealthy class. (Erin) Yes, there might be idealistic politicians that got into the game to change the world, but if they’re good -any good at their job- they’re no longer changing the world. They’re serving the interests of their donors if they want to rise in the world of politics.
(Jacque) They say, “Write to your Congressman.” Who the hell is this jackass that you have to write? He should be at the forefront of technology and knowledge. You don’t have to write to him. I’m sure most of you have flown in airliners. You don’t have to write to the pilot saying “You’re flying at an angle! Straighten out, god dammit!” He knows his business; that’s how he got the job! The people in Washington now are lawyers and businessmen and can solve no problems. (Erin) If the bottom line is a profit-driven world, then those interests are going to be served first, and everything is going to be secondary. That’s the sad reality of it. (Abby) There is no value system that is put out there that is actually beneficial to humanity because it’s based on consumerism and profit making. (Jacque) We use artificial pumping in animals to make them grow faster. If you can multiply the cells in a chicken faster, you can sell it sooner. Does that have an effect on the human body? They don’t worry about that.
They worry about the sale of chickens. (Narrator) Wealth is going to the rich faster than at any other time in history. (Abby) The success of the industrialized world has been dependent on the failure and the lack of development of the developing world. The reason that they are stifled is because they are indebted to the first world; we wouldn’t be prospering if it weren’t for the labor that’s going on and the indentured servitude that’s going on in the entire developing country. So the power dynamic can never change in that respect because it’s literally dependent on it being that way. (Reporter) The dirty and dangerous work done by children. The jobs down in the pits are typically reserved for teenagers with only tree limbs to brace the mine walls. The risk to them is real. – Rich governments like to say that they’re helping poor countries develop, but who is developing who here? Each year poor countries are paying about 600 billion (US) in debt service to rich countries on loans that have already been paid off many times over.
Then there’s the money that poor countries lose from trade rules imposed by rich countries. Altogether, that’s more than $2 trillion (US) every year. (Narrator) Money systems have existed for centuries, and whether we realize it or not, have always been used to control behavior by limiting the purchasing power of the majority of people. One example of this is the criminal justice system. Many proclaim that prisons don’t work. But ultimately, prisons are a resounding success as a tool for social control to safeguard the political and economic established system. (Paul) If you hire people whose only expertise is caging people to try to fix social problems, you’re not going to get a very good solution. But I think they’re very good at caging people and I think that’s why mass incarceration has been a huge success for the ruling class in this country.
The United States is really number one in a lot of things and I think the biggest thing where we can say we’re number one in is how many people we lock up. The United States has roughly 5% of the world’s population but we’ve got 25% of the world’s prisoners. China has 4 times as many people as the United States does and half as many prisoners. The United States has more prisoners than the Soviet Union did at the height of the purges and the collectivization in the 1930s and the infamous Soviet gulag. CONSEQUENCES OF POVERTY (Narrator) Poverty is a vicious cycle rarely escaped by the poor. Studies found that scarcity can reduce mental capacity and cognitive performance. In children, it affects their brain development and memory. Additionally, the poor are often forced to live in areas of low air quality. Far from being a problem for only the poor, all areas of the socioeconomic spectrum suffer when our air, food and water are polluted by fossil fuel emissions and radiation from nuclear accidents. PLANETARY IMPACT [Mark Jacobson, Engineering, Stanford] The current energy infrastructure results in about 2.
5 to 4 million deaths per year, worldwide, from respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease and complications from asthma. (Reporter) We’re in downtown Beijing and the pollution ratings have once again gone off the charts. Readings are around 25 times World Health Organization’s standards. (Mark) …including 50 to 100,000 deaths per year in the United States and 16,000 alone in California. (Abby) The economic system that we’re living in today is destroying the planet because it is based on an unsustainable model. We’re seeing proof of that right now. (Mark) The current energy infrastructure, which has been going on for a long time has resulted in the accumulation of green house gases and particles that cause warming of the Earth’s climate. The Earth’s climate is warming at a rate faster than any time since deglaciation from the last ice age.
WHAT ARE THE REAL COSTS? In addition, the higher CO2 levels: CO2 is [a molecule] that dissolves in water and becomes carbonic acid and has resulted in the acidification of the oceans. This is destroying coral reefs. (Jeff) We have to realize our planet does have a certain amount of regenerative power and there is no question that we’ve been through numerous worldwide extinctions. We have fossil records of that and the Earth has recovered. There is a limiting carrying capacity though. (Mark) There are many additional impacts of global warming. Sea level rise is a very big concern, for example: right now there are about 65 to 70 meters of sea level stored in ice mostly in the Antarctic, but also in glaciers in Greenland and also sea ice in the Arctic and other places. The temperature is warm enough that… If we melt all this ice, that means the sea levels will rise 65 to 70 meters and that will cover 7% of all the world’s land and.
.. All this is along the coast where most people in the world live, this will cause a significant disaster. We’re also seeing enhanced storminess, increased intensity of hurricanes, and greater extremes of weather associated with global warming. There are significant problems associated with this and these are all tied back to the emissions from coal, oil and gas combustion that have been occurring since the industrial revolution that started in the mid to late 1700s. “Is Earth the insane asylum of the universe?” (Narrator) It is probable that war itself could be our undoing let alone the environment. Our brutal competitive behaviors are not human nature but simply a result of scarcity, making us all competitors in the fight to attain what we need to survive. While scarcity is naturally occurring, it’s also intentional in industries and governments for profit and national interest. As long as nations are immersed in scarcity we will continue to have conflicts between people. Crimes, murder and other violence to all out war; the ultimate expression of human stupidity.
– Bomb the heck out of them! These behaviors must be surpassed if we wish to survive. – Drop the bombs on them! – It’s the best recruiting tool for al-Qaeda This guarantees the cycle of violence will go on. (Narrator) With our technological ability to provide for all we must take steps toward a different approach. Or the endless cycle of booms, busts and war will continue. – (sarcastic) Oh, no! Peace in our time. Aye yai yai! “If we don’t end war, war will end us.” ~ H G Wells, 1936 (Dylan) Nobody including -most of all- the United States goes to war to liberate or spread democracy. The only incentive on a practical level to go to war is to acquire resources. In the United States’ case, it frequently is either energy resources [or] shall I say supporting political alliances to preserve access to energy resources. (Narrator) Smedley Butler, a US Marine Corps General Major, who was the most decorated marine at the time of his death stated it well when he wrote: “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers.
In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico safe for American oil interests. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies. In China, I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best that he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents. War is a racket. It always has been. A few profit and the many pay. But there is a way to stop it. You can’t end it by disarmament conferences. It can be smashed effectively only by taking the profit out of war.
” (Jacque) Our universities today are better equipped than ever: …best scientific equipment, the bombs are getting worse. The wars are getting worse. The killing is getting worse. You don’t need to kill people, bomb cities. There’s something wrong with our culture; very wrong! (Narrator) To blame any individual or corporation does not get at the root causes of the problems. The structure of our socioeconomic system, itself, has everyone out to meet their own needs, creating a predatory, competitive environment. Attempting to find solutions to the monumental problems within our present society will only serve as temporary patchwork prolonging what is quickly becoming an obsolete system. PART III (Narrator) Now, more than ever a sustainable civilization is possible and furthermore, essential. Our social designs, language, and values have evolved from ages ago. The reality of scarcity in earlier times shaped our behaviors and remains deeply entrenched in all cultures today. The history of civilization is a story of change and this includes our social systems, as well.
Our earliest enlightenments were but stepping stones in the sequential development to our present science and technology, which could now produce and distribute abundance to everyone. THE MARCH OF EVENTS [Erik Brynjolfsson Ph.D, MIT] There’s no question that many jobs simply aren’t coming back. But probably the single biggest driver of that is the way that technology is racing ahead. If we continue on current paths, the next 10 years will be even more disruptive than the last 10 years because the technology is accelerating faster. (Jacque) If you keep laying off people and putting in machines, which is happening in the auto industry… they pick up the whole car and turn it around, shove the engine in… They’re moving people out. There comes a time when millions won’t have the purchasing power to buy cars. That’s when the system collapses.
– All of our growth is associated with increased consumption, increased use of energy, and other resources And when you ask economists “Well, what’s the alternative that enables us to continue to be prosperous without destroying the natural environment on which we depend?”, they don’t seem to have an answer for that. (Jacque) There’s no solution within the present-day type society. (Narrator) The Venus Project proposes a workable alternative. The aim of The Venus Project is to secure, protect, and assure a more humane world for all, through the application of technology and cybernetics with human and environmental concern. (Jacque) People need information to be able to move into the future intelligently. Without information, there’s no way you can develop a sustainable culture.
It can’t be done politically, because the problems are technical. If you succeeded in arranging for the most ethical people in the world of the highest morality and put them in government, when the lights fail in your house, you still need an electrician. When the dams don’t generate enough electricity, you don’t need a highly moral politician. You need an electrical engineer. So our problems in the world can be solved by technical people. The Venus Project applies the methods of science to the social system. [Lawrence Krauss, Theoretical Physics, ASU] What science does provide for us, is a great deal of information about the implications of the different options we have. So, science helps us make better decisions by informing those decisions. That’s why it’s a shame to turn away from science in the public arena. [Paul Hewitt, “Conceptual Physics”] Science is not an emotional way, not a wishful thinking way but a rational way of seeing what the connections are. That’s what science is about.
How could that not apply to everything? (Lawrence) The scientific method, quite simply, is a process by which you can try to distinguish what accurately describes the universe from what doesn’t. It involves several steps. Often, of course, you make some supposition or prediction about what phenomena might result, based on some theory. But then, most importantly, use empirical data – testing. You test your idea in a way that’s falsifiable. (Jacque) When they said to scientists “Can you put a man on the moon?” They answered, “I don’t know.” They asked, “How do you find out?” “Well, we have to put a guy in a centrifuge and spin him to see when he conks out. Then we’ll know how fast the rocket can go. We can’t start out at 7 miles per second. The guy will flatten out.” After they try all these things, then they say “Here’s what we have to do to get a man on the moon.
” (Lawrence) You have to perform additional tests that are more selective to determine, in fact, how accurate your idea is. And science continues by the process of continually testing your ideas. (Paul) If you’re going to get into nature, you’re going to get into the rules by which nature operates. And it does operate by very specific rules. Which means it’s predictable. And so, what is science, for me? It’s more than a body of knowledge. It’s a way of thinking. LANGUAGE OF SCIENCE (Jacque) Now language, itself, is subject to interpretation. When you say something, it goes through my filters and comes out a little different than what you mean. Now, if you had that in the scientific world – engineering world… When engineers talk to each other, they use physical referent for their language. If they all interpreted what they think the other guy meant, you couldn’t build bridges; they’d collapse.
In medicine, when a doctor says, “Hemostat”, the nurse doesn’t hand him a towel. She hands him a hemostat. So that language is very precise. (Lawrence) The thing about science is that it’s independent of culture, religion, language, everything. That’s why scientists around the world can work together. We all speak the same language. (Jacque) They’re talking specifically. The wonderful thing about a blueprint… If you give a blueprint of an automobile to Italy, China, France… They all turn out the same automobile. Because it has uniform interpretation. (Lawrence) I was just giving a lecture about two very important results which vastly disagreed. What did the two groups do who vastly disagreed? They decided to work together. Their interest was in determining what nature tells us, not what they wanted to be true. (Jacque) There’s no Chinese way of building airplanes. There’s a mathematical way. (Narrator) Oddly enough, we’ve never applied the methods of science and engineering on a global scale to achieve a more just and equitable social arrangement.
Our failure to do so, leaves us continuously on the brink of oblivion. (Jacque) Scientists were never asked to design a society without automobile accidents. They were never asked to design a city that’s self-sufficient. Take the Manhattan Project. They were supported. So they built the atom bomb. We’re working on the wrong things! UNIFICATION ON A GLOBAL SCALE The society that I’m talking about is global cooperation, where all of the nations work toward improving the lot of human kind. Now why do that? Because the smarter people are, the richer and more secure everybody is. But in the future, when you join all the nations together, and they can see the advantage of sharing all of the Earth’s resources and all of the knowledge by all nations; Once they realize that advantage, they will join together.
If they do not, they’ll kill each other. – That’s what endless warfare’s led to; brigandage. What else could happen? But we, who are all that are left of the old engineers and mechanics, have pledged ourselves to salvage the World. We’re the last trustees of civilization when everything else has failed. WHEN MONEY BECOMES OBSOLETE (Narrator) If our planet had a common catastrophic threat, such as a large meteor heading toward the Earth, nations would unite and call upon science and technology to solve the pending catastrophe. Border disputes would cease. Bankers, lawyers and businessmen would be unable to solve the problem. Resources would be harnessed without cost or profit. Today, we face many common threats far beyond national boundaries .
RESOURCE-BASED ECONOMY (Jacque) In the world today, we have enough resources to solve most human problems. We can build cities, hospitals all over the world if we use resources. But if you conscripted all the money in the world there’s not enough money to build hospitals and housing all over the world and finance the education of students. But we do have enough teachers and enough buildings we can use for universities. We have the resources. Money is an interference; because it limits our ability and it limits our dreams. (Narrator) Imagine the possibilities of an unprecedented mobilization of scientific and technical alliances toward problem solving without the interference of money or politics to initiate global unification and restoration. This could easily enable a high standard of living for all. This is what Jacque Fresco had in mind when he proposed a Resource-Based Economy. (Jacque) If our planet ran out of resources no matter how much gold, or money, or possessions you had you could not survive. Our entire survival is based upon resources.
(Narrator) Growing up in the Great Depression in the early nineteen thirties in New York City was a catalyst for his life’s work. Jacque explored many different social alternatives during that time but all seemed insufficient. He rejected the obsolete teaching methods of the time and was granted special privileges by his principal. He read books that furthered his interest in human behavior and social change. His early research with training and observing animals led him to similar findings with people as well. He concluded that environment shapes our values, our identity, and generates our behavior. Fresco witnessed great suffering and scarcity, even though Earth was abundant with resources. He saw it was the rules of the game we play by that were at fault. Jacque started with a lot of technical things when he was very young. And what gave him incentive for that, some of the first designs, was that his younger cousin cut his fingers in a metal fan. So Jacque came up with a fabric fan. He was just a little kid, and he took it to the fan company and they said, “Oh, nice idea kid, but it’s not practical.
” Then a couple of months later, they came out with it. This was his first introduction to the Free Enterprise system. It’s not free, and it’s not enterprising. Fresco grasped the necessity to develop an entirely new social design which integrates the best of science and technology dedicated toward human and environmental concern. To accomplish this holistic approach Fresco studied and worked in a wide range of fields such as architecture, transportation, medicine, behavioral sciences, industrial design, and more. For most of his life, he has lectured, written books, designed and produced models and media to introduce methods that could work for all, instead of only a few individuals. (Jacque) Sometimes, when you talk about a new kind of world, it frightens people. They figure “Well gee, everything is technical. What about the human aspect?” And I had to devise models and make buildings and homes to show people what kind of home they might live in, in the future. I really don’t know what the future will be like, but there are possible alternatives.
Thousands of different alternatives. (Narrator) Fresco and co-founder, Roxanne Meadows, built the experimental structures to test and illustrate his designs and provide a research center from which to continue furthering the aims and proposals. We moved here in about 1980 and this was all flat tomato patch, most of it. We got 10 acres and then another 10 acres. Jacque wanted an island in the Caribbean which was $800,000 (US). We couldn’t afford it so we settled on $1,000 an acre, here in Venus. So, we made it look like a tropical island. We planted hundreds of palm trees and fruit trees and dug the waterways. And then the animals came. We have deer, lots of alligators, bear, fox, raccoons… So it’s really living in harmony with nature here. This is kind of an example of what the outskirts of Jacque’s cities would be like. There would be one building very close to another building, but there’s so many trees in between that it looks like you’re living in a forest. (Jacque) So what the Venus Project really wants is to unify all the nations of the world towards common goals, such as; clean air, clean water, non-contaminated food and make that available to everyone.
INTELLIGENT MANAGEMENT OF RESOURCES What is really needed is the intelligent management of the Earth’s resources. A Resource-Based Economy is based on the carrying capacity of the Earth and its resources. If you don’t work in terms of existing resources you’re working in some metaphysical plan. In a Resource-Based Economy, all resources would become the common heritage of all the world’s people. And access to the necessities of life would be for all the world’s people. There would be no more monetary systems or trade, barter, or any other system of human servitude. (Narrator) A Resource-Based Economy allows social advancement and worldwide reconstruction in the shortest time possible. (Jacque) Under scientific scales of performance we could provide everybody with more than they need. I’m saying that the average person in this Venus Project will live better than the wealthiest people today. (Roxanne) But first, you take a survey of the Earth’s resources.
You don’t leave it up to the opinion of somebody or a group of people. You find out what you have and that gives you the parameters of what you can work with. So you find out where your technical personnel are, where your water is, where your arable land is, the health of the people and the needs of the people and you build according to that. That will determine where your hospitals go, and everything else. (Narrator) A Resource-Based Economy operates as a balanced-load economy. This means avoiding shortages and over-runs thus optimizing efficiency and conserving energy. There would be no excesses and little waste. It would be balanced to the environmental conditions and human needs. For instance, there would be no houses without people in them or cargo trains travelling empty or stored in freight yards dependent on the business cycle for their use. This also ensures natural resources are not depleted, as in our present system. (Jacque) Here’s where I got the ideas from: the human body. The brain says “If I do all the thinking, I want most of the nutrients.
” And the lungs would say “Just a minute! If I don’t oxygenate the blood, you couldn’t work as a brain.” So the brain says “Alright. I’ll give you whatever you need.” Then the liver says “If I don’t filter, the brain and the lungs will die.” So, every organ gets whatever the hell it needs. And so, you have a system that works. When you get an infection in your toe, there’s no commitee meeting. No democracy, where they send a committee to the brain that say “There’s an infection in the toe.” And the brain says “We’re going to do a three-month study.” By that time, the infection is up to your knee. (Narrator) To achieve the intelligent management of resources, technologies are used to monitor and track goods and services. This is similar to industrial processes of today, but updated, to equitably distribute goods and services to all. This is the basis for a Total Global Systems Approach. (Erik) I can imagine an abundance economy where robots do most of the work, where our food, our clothing, our shelter are created by machines. And I think it’s very realistic for us to eliminate, completely eliminate absolute poverty worldwide, not just in the United States, by the year 2035.
Nobody needs to starve ever again. That could be an enormous milestone that is achievable because of technology. (Jacque) When we computerize everything, and start producing things and make things available, it’ll be too cheap to monitor. (Narrator) With the most capable computers we can arrive at more appropriate decisions on a global scale. (Jacque) I have no doubt that machines will eventually be assigned more and more decision making. For example, years ago, a pilot would look out of a plane and say “I think I’m about a mile high.” But today, they have doppler radar and they know exactly how high they are. So, we don’t want human guesswork anymore, when a machine can do it. So I see the future as using very sophisticated computers that make decisions.
Now how do computers make decisions? They have their tentacles out into Transportation, Agriculture…, so they can tell you when the soil is depleted, when it has less water, because it has sensors built into the soil. The computer will be connected to weather departments, earthquake zones, everything. So I feel that eventually, government will become computerized. (Narrator) Today, the world’s fastest computer is in China. The Tianhe-2 supercomputer is capable of 33.86 quadrillion floating point operations per second. [Fareed Zakaria, CNN Host] Eighty percent of what doctors do is going to be done by computers. Is that really true? [Vinod Khosla, Sun Microsystems] Absolutely. I have zero doubt. You won’t want a doctor to do your diagnosis or monitoring, or pick your therapy. That’s why IBM’s Watson is trying to pick cancer therapies, because it’s too complex for humans to do. There’s 15,000 diseases, 15,000 devices, drugs, therapies, prescriptions.
.. You think if you’re a cardiac patient, your cardiologist has read even a hundred of the last 5,000 articles published last year on cardiac disease? Not a chance! – But the computer can go through it all? – Absolutely! (Erik) You may have seen IBM’s Watson defeat the world champion in the game of Jeopardy. Well, that same technology can also be used to solve legal problems, to answer questions in call centers, to make medical diagnoses… These are just wondrous technologies that are having enormous implications going forward. Recently, I got a chance to ride in a self-driving car. Ten years ago, I would have said that’s impossible. But, of course, it did happen, and riding down route 101 in California was a breathtaking experience for me. At first, it was a little frightening. Then it was a little exhilarating. And, ultimately, I felt quite comfortable in that car. (Vinod) Humans have accidents.
Google’s driverless car has driven 700,000 miles without an accident. Even the best humans have accidents before they get to 700,000 miles. (Erik) All of us are beginning to be able to speak to our machines, whether they’re cell phones, or computers and have them understand what we’re saying. That would have been science fiction a few years ago, but now the machines are able to carry out our instructions and even respond back to us with computer synthesized voices. (Vinod) I think 10 – 20 years from now, there will be very few areas, maybe none, where human judgement is better than machine judgement. (Jacque) So the computers will eventually be put in charge of everything, except human behavior. (Reporter) Technology can eliminate critical life-or-death errors. A machine, instead of humans, fills the prescriptions. The robot gives a huge amount of confidence because we know that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are incredibly skilled people, but they’re humans, and they will occasionally make mistakes.
We give something like 3 million doses of drug, in 3 months here, so even a 1% error rate is far too high. (Jacque) So, eventually you’re going to get to computerized government. And that’s the end of corruption, because they don’t have ambition. Computers don’t say “I’d like to be President of the World.” “I want to control people.” They don’t have a gut reaction. (Narrator) If utilized in this global systems approach, we could surpass the practice of political decisions based on power and advantage. (Jacque) Even computer experts are writing books now on the ‘machine takeover – watch out!’ They’re not going to take over. They’re going to be assigned to decision making. (Erik) I’m not worried about the machines getting angry and taking over, I’m worrying about people maybe getting angry if we don’t figure out an equitable way to use these technologies to create shared prosperity. (Narrator) The Venus Project proposes ways to achieve this.
Inter-connected sustainable cities utilize cyber-centers which coordinate industries, transportation systems, public health care, and the flow of goods and services. These cybernated centers would connect all cities and help with environmental reclamation. In the beginning, interdisciplinary technical teams would manage productivity until even these tasks are automated. Mega-machines, directed by AI, could excavate canals, construct bridges, viaducts, and dams. Self-erecting structures would be expedient in the construction of industrial plants, apartments and eventually, most of the global infrastructure. (Jacque) We study all of the negative effects before we build anything. So there’s a whole group of engineers and computers doing long-term studies of all of the negative retroactions.
(Narrator) With the threat of climate change, we may be forced to take large engineering feats. The Venus Project proposes automated canal diggers to bring rising seawaters into below sea level deserts, enabling them to bloom. The cities would only use clean sources of energy. Some say this is not possible, but even today, Professor Mark Jacobson is demonstrating otherwise. (Mark) So, our goal is to replace all fossil fuels. There’s 30 times more solar available, worldwide, over land and high solar locations than we’d need to power the entire world for all purposes in 2030. And there’s seven times more wind than you’d need to do the same thing. So we’re looking to combine all clean renewable energy sources that are available: Wind Solar Power Geothermal Power Hydro-electric, Tidal Power, and Wave Power…
We would need about 4 million large wind turbines to power about 50% of the entire world for all purposes. You might say, “Well, that sounds like a lot!” But keep in mind, during World War II, the world produced about 800,000 aircraft in the space of 5 – 6 years. And the US produced about 330,000 aircraft in 4-5 years. That was decades ago. Now, we have better technologies and abilities to ramp up production. So, it really comes down to will-power. It’s not a technological or economic blockade to solving this problem. It’s really a social and political blockade. CITIES IN A RESOURCE-BASED ECONOMY (Narrator) The first city would be a testing ground for the implementation and further development of these social aims. The first city would be a huge research center making automated systems for the next city.
Making the first city better, as well. It would be a place where we would disseminate information, we would have movie studios, we’d be making gaming, computer animation, a lot of different media to get out to the public. It would be like a university city. We would have instructions as to what sustainability really means for the future. (Jacque) The cities of the future are circular, not because I like circles; it’s because you only have to design one segment of the system and then reproduce it in pie-shaped sectors and that would be the most economical way. When you build ‘Suburbia’, it’s spread out. Then you have to travel one way to the dentist, the other way for shopping, another way to the doctor… This system is self-contained. There’s wind generators. All of the rooftops are solar generating. All of the garbage and waste is recycled under the ground underneath these roadways. All of the roadways contain piping running up and back, and we use all of that hot water to operate the air conditioning, and the needs of the city.
Now, where the residential district is, if you work in the medical center, you can live here, if you choose to. So this is, essentially, a collection of variations in houses. Your house will vary to suit your needs. (Narrator) Fresco’s designs are a showcase for the harmonious coexistence of nature and technology. (Jacque) Now, some people don’t like living in individual houses. They prefer living in apartments cause there’s a gymnasium, drama group, discussion groups, recreation of all kinds… So, the skyscraper in the future will offer more of the amenities. (Roxanne) This is your Recreational Belt. There’d be art centers, music centers, recreational areas… (Jacque) These are bicycle paths. There are tennis courts, and these are golf courses. But the golf courses contain a clubhouse with all of the golf clubs, so you don’t have to bring anything out to the golf course.
You’d stay there, play golf and when you’re through, you leave the clubs there. These are access buildings where anyone can access books, a violin, musical instruments… Anything that they want is free and available. (Roxanne) These are your Research Centers. Everything studied in these areas is to improve your standard of living, and everybody else there. There would be no lawyers, no bankers, no ad agencies, no insurance people, no sales people… Without money, you don’t need any of those things. So you could go right into solving the problems that all of us have. That’s what we’d be working on. Today, we’re fighting over people who have different values, and we’re fighting over scarce resources. In the future, you won’t have to do that. You’d be working cooperatively to improve the standard of living for everyone.
(Jacque) A lot of people think that I want to give people things for nothing, and that’s going to spoil people. The fact that you’re born in America, you had nothing to do with the airplane, the telephone, the railways… It’s all here, and you’re lucky, cause you inherited that. Just being born here. That doesn’t spoil you. So there’s really no basis for crime, since anyone can access anything they need. No one’s going to hit you on your head and take your wallet. Because there’s no money in it anymore. The Monetary System has been surpassed. (Erik) And when we have that kind of abundance economy, most of us will be able to spend most of our time doing the things we enjoy doing. The kinds of things you might have seen the Athenians do during their golden age. They had human slaves to take care of their basic needs. We can do it with robots. – Amazing! And what would you suggest the cooks and housewives of the world do with all that extra time? (Jacque) There’s an island called Isle of Man. On that island, there’s a stream down below and the women wear a harness and they go down and get two buckets of water and climb up to their home up there where they boil and cook food.
The women have to skin animals and get the animal fat out to operate their lamps. And if someone said to the women “Some day, you’ll turn a gadget and water will flow at whatever speed you want, without you having to go down to the river. And some day, you’ll press a button and the lights will go on and you won’t have to skin animal fat.” And the woman says “Yes, but what will women do?” People will get engaged in how to live, how to relate, to travel, scuba diving, restoring the reefs and the oceans that we damaged, cleaning the ocean and the atmosphere. So much we don’t know. And you can go back to school, free of charge. And every city will be a university city where you’re updated on what’s new. PART IV (Narrator) We would re-examine everything.
From our social arrangements and building processes to our value system. Let’s explore how this new social concept would work within a Resource-Based Economy. It’s not just architecture; It’s a way of thinking. UPDATED VALUES IN A GLOBAL RESOURCE-BASED ECONOMY (Jacque) We still have neural lag. It’s hard for us to step into the future without dragging some of the past. We won’t make the history books of the future. We are that ignorant. Not in technology; we’re doing fine in computers and electronics. But the human value system is not moving fast enough. I would say that people would be much more productive, much more humane…; much happier people. That is the question. Will people be happier with new technology? No, not new technology alone, but with a value system and new technology. OPINION In many instances, we ask people for their opinion. Do you think man will ever get to the moon? They may say “Maybe 10,000 years from now”, instead of saying “I don’t know enough about that to give you a sensible answer.” That’s the way you talk. But they have opinions about everything. “There’ll always be war, there always has been war because man is greedy!” That’s what they ‘repeat’; a loop of what they’ve heard in the past.
GREED – The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed is good. Greed is right. Greed works. (Roxanne) People are reinforced in this culture to be greedy. The more you have, the more you abuse other people in order to get what you have. You’re looked upon as being successful. You admire the people with money that have those things. And they usually get it off other people’s backs, that they abuse terribly. So, you’re not born being greedy. (Jacque) People think that you can’t change human nature. If you couldn’t change it, we’d still be living in caves. So obviously, we’re undergoing change. So human nature is not fixed and greed is brought about by scarcity or lack of resources. SCARCITY (Roxanne) There are some animals that are very docile.
The cows on the next field; they wouldn’t hurt each other at all. But when we approach them with oranges because there’s a scarcity of oranges they start bucking each other. So it’s really a matter of scarcity. What The Venus Project is trying to do is eliminate scarcity and produce abundance. And for the first time in history, we can do that because we have the technology to be able to supply people with whatever they need. INTELLIGENCE (Jacque) Some people believe that there’s such a thing as human intelligence. Remember that an intelligent electrical engineer of 75 years ago could not get a job today. So what you once called intelligent, was intelligent at that time within that frame of reference. It’s an ongoing process. Now, what is the real meaning of intelligence? The ability to extract significant information from any situation. I would say that it depends on the next 20 years. We’ll know whether there’s intelligent life on Earth.
It depends on what we do about the environment and what we do about the human problem; Poverty, hunger in the world, sickness and waste of resources. If we learn how to manage the Earth’s resources intelligently, we can overcome most of the problems in a relatively short time. CREATIVITY Creativity is taking known systems and putting them together in unique ways, and adding a few things to improve the process. That goes for music, art, drawings, invention…. But if you study the history of invention, you will see a relationship and the tie of all these variables. OUTDATED CONCEPTS OF MOTIVATION I think that’s part of the propaganda of each system, that tells people that the financial gain is the main motivation for people. It is that people are interested in money but there are other people that are motivated by other interests. Medical research; people devote their lives to it. There are people that work real hard and save up money and go to Africa and spend all their time trying to help people. They’re not motivated by money. And I am suspicious of people that are only motivated by money.
– And a $40,000 (US) gold fuckin’ watch! It’s not a healthy motivation. If you want to know what kills incentive… If you give people the minimum amount of money; minimum vacation, hard dirty work with no future… A man that washes dishes in a restaurant… They keep bringing a new pile in every 20 minutes. And he sees no out. He can never buy a home or own a car. He doesn’t own enough. So what incentive is that? But he has to wash the dishes, because he’s got two kids. He’s got to feed them. And that’s not good for mental health at all. MOTIVATION IN A RESOURCE-BASED ECONOMY What will motivate people? A world without war, poverty, hunger, loss of employment, loss of income… Your incentives and options are tremendous. Thousands of different things to do, now that you’ve got your food, and housing, and education. Now, you go to work on solving, not all problems, but all of the problems of that time. FUNCTIONAL SELFISHNESS IN A COOPERATIVE SOCIETY So we do it because we are functionally selfish; meaning, being selfish for yourself, alone, is detrimental.
But functionally selfish means: take care of the environment, share ideas with people, and in that way, we all gain. They can see, on the news every day, that everything they do goes out to all humanity. So everybody in the world represents an extension to their life, rather than everybody selling themselves and making a profit on one another. They now have the time to appreciate what the new world does. And all of the films of the future will show them what’s happening all over the world. And what’s new, and that they have free access to what’s new. Because everybody cares about everybody else. UTOPIA I’d like to strike out the word “Utopia”. There’s no such thing. It’s like designing the best city possible. That’s not possible! We can design a far better city, but as time goes on, with new inventions, it’s always in the process of change. Are we civilized? Of course not! It’s an ongoing process. People think “Well, your ideas are utopian.
” That’s not utopian. That’s applied technology and efficiency. EMERGENT SOCIETY What we want is an emergent society, that’s never established. Always learning new things; always moving onward toward change. And to help people adjust, emotionally and intellectually, to expect change. Change for the better. MORALITY If the environment is structured, it produces what you would call ethical and moral behavior. But if you don’t alter the environment, it’ll keep producing what you’ve got now. So, the environment has to be changed. That means the schools, the things we learn, our language… All of these things have to be updated. I think that people will be ethical to the nature of the world. Ethical, not because it says so in a book; they’re ethical because it’s better for them and better for society. So the new ethics is based upon the carrying capacity of the Earth, rather than my opinion. HUMAN RIGHTS Will it be a democracy? It never was a democracy.
It’s been corrupt all the way back, only it’s never been disclosed. Did you vote for the space program? Did you vote for the building of warships? Did you vote for any wars? What the hell do you mean by participatory democracy? It never existed. These are words. Whenever you hear democracy and freedom, watch out! That means it doesn’t exist. In a world where it does exist, there are no proclamations as to Human Rights. It’s built into the system. Black studies, womens studies… are all part of a system that hasn’t achieved that. EMOTIONS In the future, for example, if you said “There ought to be more kindness in the world, and more cooperation.”, they would say “How do you do that?” If you have nothing to offer, they’ll say, “Why do you make noises?” They would not accept that as anything sensible. Emotions are superfluous to the task. Your feelings in the future, all emotions, will be translated to an action pattern.
You’ll do medical research on how to develop… for bones that are getting weaker, how to strengthen them, how to improve the health of people…; when emotions are translated to deeds, rather than this [praying]. LOVE Now, another thing that really confuses people; The word “Love”. What would happen if you lived with a replica of yourself? How long do you think you’d be together? How soon would you crash? Do you love yourself all the time? Of course not! How can you love another person? You only love certain things about people and certain things about yourself. The word “love” will disappear in the future, and be replaced by a newer definition called “extensionality”, meaning to enhance one another’s lives. “I love you” are just empty words that manifest nothing.
It’s how people behave toward one another that indicates love. CONSCIOUSNESS There’s another thing that’s very dangerous; Claiming to be ‘aware’, or ‘conscious’. You hear that all the time: “At least I’m conscious.” I usually meet with those people and I say “Where is your liver?” – “Hmm, well, I’m not sure.” How fast is the blood moving through your veins and arteries? What area of the brain controls creativity? What area is responsible for emotions? What do you mean by consciousness? A human being, on top of the Empire State building, can see a 3 ft. ball. But a chicken hawk can see a dime, and see whether it’s heads or tails. The term used – consciousness, or awareness – is limited to your senses. So we can never be ‘conscious’. We can grow, in degrees, and understand, perhaps, a little more about many more things. But we never can achieve ‘consciousness’, because we don’t see gamma rays, cosmic rays.
.. We don’t see all of those things without instrumentation. RELIGION Religion has an old book, with a lot of myths. Packed with myths. And it doesn’t change every year. Consider this. A scientist has a book on astronomy. Every year, that book undergoes change. If you have a book on electronics that’s two years old, it’s obsolete. So, they undergo change. Here’s a minister, with that one book under his arm; a real simplistic interpretation of the Earth. And it caters to what people fear: what happens after death. (Lawrence) What happens now is that myths and superstitions are pervasive, not because we don’t have better ways of understanding things, but because people want to believe things that make them feel better. PURPOSE (Jacque) Then they tell you in school that everything in nature has a purpose; like “What’s the purpose of life?”, and all that. They say “The purpose of the eyebrows is to deflect sweat off to the side.
” That means, there’s a designer. And what’s the purpose of coughing and sneezing? To infect other people? They say the purpose of horns on an animal is to protect itself. I said “What’s the purpose of those horns?” They said that’s for ramming other animals. I said “What if the horns go off to the side?” Well, that’s for keeping them off of the side? “What if they go back? Does that keep them off their back?” No! Animals are born with ‘every which way’ horns, and they learn how to use them. (Lawrence) People hope that there’s some cosmic purpose to their life. But, in fact, science, as far as we can tell, tells us there’s no evidence that there’s purpose to the universe. Does that mean there’s no purpose to the universe? No. We can’t prove it. It’s just that there’s no evidence of a universe with purpose, and the universe effectively acts like it has no purpose. Now, should this depress us? In my opinion, no, because, what it means is that the purpose in our lives is the purpose we make.
LOYALTY TO METHODOLOGY (Jacque) We don’t want people to have loyalty to corporations, or a country. We want them to have loyalty to methodology, and loyalty to invention, meaning to improve everything that exists. Make them better, smarter, faster… And make them available to all people. That’s the kind of loyalty that’s needed. If China comes up with a new way of producing automations; Congratulations! If Africans come up with a great idea; Congratulations! No more loyalty to corporations; to country. Loyalty to the Earth, and to all of the people on it. And to make the Earth a far better place than it is. This is the kind of loyalty I’m talking about. This is the kind of pledge of allegiance that I’m talking about. To pledge allegiance to methodology. (Narrator) If we manage to arrive at a saner future, the tasks will be about solving problems common to all people. (Jacque) We have to anticipate that the Earth is our salvation.
If we don’t take care of it, no matter how many churches you build, we will starve to death and kill each other. (Narrator) The real challenges are producing abundance, reclaiming damaged environments, sharing and creating innovative technologies, and improving communications between people. (Jacque) I know that we can build a far better world, without war, without most crimes, without the need for prisons, and without the need for money. We can surpass that. We have the technical ability to make things available to everyone. All the wonders of technology have no meaning at all unless it enhances the lives of everyone. (Narrator) The vision of applied science can serve the common good. And though this goal has eluded human civilization for centuries, the possibility of a better life for all will depend, ultimately, on the choices we make today. “If you think we can’t change the world, it just means you’re not one of those that will.” ~Jacque Fresco Join those who are working toward making The Venus Project a reality.
www.TheVenusProject.com Translations by Linguistic Team International http://forum.linguisticteam.org.