The Grand Signal

A digital magazine covering the intersection of technology, human rights and social change.

The Venus Project: Beyond Politics, Poverty, and War

Photo courtesy of The Venus Project |

The Venus Project (TVP) wants to create a world devoid for war, poverty, and debt.  They believe we need to shift away from the current ‘outdated’ monetary system to a resource-based economy – one where resources are distributed based on availability, as opposed to amount of money one possesses.

The monetary system originally came into fruition to replace barter system. According to founder Jacque Fresco, self-taught structural and industrial designer, the system worked well until the world population began to grow past 6 billion people. Overconsumption led to global warming, pollution, and increases in the price of goods and services, beyond the levels that people could afford.

Fresco’s main argument is that the profit incentive of most companies ends up taking precedence over customer needs, leading to exploitation. A company is at the whim of their shareholders so to speak. In addition, the current political and legal system have yet to adapt to the newer technological landscape. An obvious example of this are patents, which have restricted the flow of information and new ideas that could potentially help improve people’s lives.

“Our practice of rationing resources through monetary control is no longer relevant and counter productive to our survival. Today we have access to highly advanced technologies. But our social and economic system has not kept up with our technological capabilities that could easily create a world of abundance free of servitude and debt for all. This could be accomplished with the infusion of a global, resource-based civilization.” writes Fresco in his essay, The Obsolete Monetary System.

A society based on a resource-based economy would use technology as a means to extract more renewable energy sources and optimize efficiency, inventory, and distribution of resources. Technology would replace many of the typical jobs today in favor of much higher-skilled labor and creative careers. We’re already witnessing the creation of jobs that didn’t exist a decade ago, and this trend will continue. Fresco argues that without a changing away from the monetary system the automation of jobs will have profound consequences as more people are left unemployed and unable to afford basic subsistence.

“Simply stated, within a resource-based Economy we will utilize existing resources rather than money, and provide an equitable method of distribution in the most humane and efficient manner for the entire population. It is a system in which all natural, man-made, machine-made, and synthetic resources would be available without the use of money, credits, barter, or any other form of symbolic exchange. A resource-based economy would utilize existing resources from the land and sea, and the means of production, such as physical equipment and industrial plants, to enhance the lives of the total population. In an economy based on resources rather than money, we could easily produce all of the necessities of life and provide a high standard of living for all.” writes Fresco in another essay, Resource Based Economy.

At the core of a resource-based economy is an incentive system based on concern for other humans and the environment. That isn’t to say people today don’t care about these things. The problem is that profit incentives combined with endless distractions in our world put us out off touch with what matters. Completely changing an economic and political system is to say the least an easy challenge. People have a tendency to be averse to change, favoring stability and familiarity. It’s important however, for the advancement of the human race, to consider alternative economic and political systems that could prove to be favorable.

Visit The Venus Project’s website for more information.

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