Very briefly, The Venus Project is an organization that proposes a feasible plan of action for social change; one that works toward a peaceful and sustainable global civilization. It outlines an alternative to strive toward where human rights are not only paper proclamations but also a way of life.
The Venus Project presents a vision not of what the future will be, but what it can be if we apply what we already know in order to achieve a sustainable new world civilization. It calls for a straightforward redesign of our culture in which the age-old problems of war, poverty, hunger, debt, and unnecessary human suffering are viewed not only as avoidable, but as totally unacceptable. Anything less will result in a continuation of the same catalog of problems found in today’s world.
The Venus Project presents an alternative vision for a sustainable world civilization unlike any political, economic or social system that has gone before. It envisions a time in the near future when money, politics, self and national-interest have been phased out. Although this vision may seem idealistic, it is based upon years of study and experimental research. It spans the gambit from education, transportation, clean sources of energy to total city systems.
Many people believe what is needed is a higher sense of ethical standards and the enactment of international laws and treaties to assure a sustainable global society. Even if the most ethical people in the world were elected to political office, without sufficient resources we would still have many of the same problems we have today. As long as a few nations control most of the world’s resources and profit is the bottom line, the same cycle of events will prevail.
As global challenges and scientific information proliferate, nations and people face common threats that transcend national boundaries. Overpopulation, energy shortages, global warming, environmental pollution, water scarcity, economic catastrophe, the spread of uncontrollable disease, and the technological displacement of people by machines threaten each of us. Although many people are dedicated to alleviating those conditions, our social and environmental problems will remain insurmountable as long as a few powerful nations and financial interests maintain control of and consume most of the world’s resources and the monetary system prevails.
If we really wish to put an end to our ongoing international and social problems, we must declare Earth and all of its resources the common heritage of all of the world’s people.
Earth is abundant and has plentiful resources. Our practice of rationing resources through monetary control is no longer relevant and is counter-productive to our survival. Today we have highly advanced technologies, but our social and economic system has not kept up with our technological capabilities. We could easily create a world of abundance for all, free of servitude and debt based on the carrying capacity of the earth´s resources. With the intelligent and humane application of science and technology, the people of the earth can guide and shape the future together while protecting the environment. We don’t have enough money to accomplish these ends but we do have more than enough resources. This is why we advocate a Resource-Based Economy.
What is the Venus Project?
To transcend these limitations, The Venus Project proposes we work toward a worldwide, resource-based economy, in which the planetary resources are held as the common heritage of all the earth's inhabitants. The current practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant, counter-productive, and falls far short of meeting humanity’s needs.
Simply stated, a resource-based economy utilizes existing resources - rather than money - to provide an equitable method of distribution in the most humane and efficient manner. It is a system in which all goods and services are available to everyone without the use of money, credits, barter, or any other form of debt or servitude.
To better understand a resource-based economy, consider this. If all the money in the world disappeared overnight, as long as topsoil, factories, personnel and other resources were left intact, we could build anything we needed to fulfill most human needs. It is not money that people require, but rather free access to most of their needs without worrying about financial security or having to appeal to a government bureaucracy. In a resource-based economy of abundance, money will become irrelevant.
We have arrived at a time when new innovations in science and technology can easily provide abundance to all of the world’s people. It is no longer necessary to perpetuate the conscious withdrawal of efficiency by planned obsolescence, perpetuated by our old and outworn profit system. If we are genuinely concerned about the environment and our fellow human beings, if we really want to end territorial disputes, war, crime, poverty and hunger, we must consciously reconsider the social processes that led us to a world where these factors are common. Like it or not, it is our social processes – political practices, belief systems, profit-based economy, our culture-driven behavioral norms – that lead to and support hunger, war, disease and environmental damage.
The aim of this new social design is to encourage an incentive system no longer directed toward the shallow and self-centered goals of wealth, property, and power. These new incentives would encourage people toward self-fulfillment and creativity, both materially and spiritually.
The Monetary System that we live in today
Our current 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. Businesses aren't entirely to blame; they are forced to operate this way in order to retain the competitive edge. Additionally, with the advent of automation, cybernation, and artificial intelligence, there will be an ever-increasing replacement of people by automated systems. 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. This is well-documented in Jeremy Rifkin's book The End of Work: The Decline of the Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the Post-market Era (Putnam, 1995). The Venus Project offers a fresh approach that reverses the negative aspects experienced in our current applications of automation and artificial intelligence. This project eliminates the disastrous consequences that such approaches can have on our society, i.e. the displacement of millions of workers, skilled and unskilled alike.
It is not enough to criticize, point out the shortcomings of society, or advocate that people of high moral character be elected into office; this would do little to advance civilization. What is needed is the intelligent management of the earth´s resources, and a comprehensive and workable arrangement of environmental and social affairs that are in strict accord with existing resources and the carrying capacity of our planet. Even with the election of men and women of impeccable character into government, without available resources and advanced technology, war, poverty, and corruption will prevail no matter how many new laws are passed or treaties signed. It is not democracy that elevated our standard of living, it is our resources, water, arable land, and new technology. Rhetoric and paper proclamations are irrelevant in the management of human and social affairs.
If all the money in the world were destroyed, as long as we have sufficient arable land, the factories, the necessary resources, and technical personnel, we could build anything and even supply an abundance. During the Depression, there were vacuum cleaners in store windows and automobiles in car lots. The Earth was still the same place. There was just no money in people's wallets and very little purchasing power. At the beginning of World War II, the U.S. had about 600 first-class fighting aircraft. We rapidly overcame this short-supply by turning out over 90,000 planes per year. The question at the start of World War II was: Do we have enough funds to produce the required implements of war? The answer was No, we did not have enough money or gold, but we did have more than enough resources. It was the available resources and technical personnel that enabled the U.S. to achieve the production and efficiency required to win the war.
It appears that the real wealth of any nation is in its natural resources and its people who are working toward a more humane life-style through the elimination of scarcity. All social systems, regardless of their political philosophy, religious beliefs, or social mores, ultimately depend upon natural resources -- i.e. clean air and water and arable land area -- and the industrial equipment and technical personnel for a high standard of living. The money- based system was designed hundreds of years ago and was hardly appropriate for that time. We still utilize this same outmoded system, which is probably responsible for most of today's problems. I have no doubt that even the wealthiest person today would be far better off in the high-energy society that The Venus Project proposes.
The single most important aspect of the project is the social direction of all nations working together on the restoration of the environment in a resource-based economy. The aim is the common heritage of all Earth's resources by all of the world's people. This we see as the only process to end the present cycle of events of war, poverty, hunger, political corruption, and environmental degradation. The technology that we present can make it possible for the global population to obtain a very high standard of living; one higher than ever imagined possible.
We could eventually surpass the artificial boundaries that divide people. If you fail to grasp the significance consider this: in the United States when the states joined together the militias disappeared at the borders and Americans were free of territorial disputes. This same process can be applied globally where all science and technology are utilized for the benefit of all of Earth's inhabitants.