Revisiting Jacque Fresco’s “Venus Project” – The question I want answered: is the Venus Project an alternative communitarian project?

In 1975, jewish social engineer Jacque Fresco introduced his Venus Project. An idea about creating Utopia on Earth, by re-engineering all of society – including the world economy, all infrastructure and perhaps ‘the climate‘.

From the very beginning, the Venus Project left people with more questions than answers.

For instance. Fresco’s Venus Project was centered on a principle known as “resource-based economy“:

“In a Resource Based Economy all goods and services are available to all people without the need for means of exchange such as money, credits, barter or any other means. For this to be achieved, all resources must be declared as the common heritage of all Earth’s inhabitants. ” – Venus Project

The first problem I see is in the term itself. While Fresco wanted to see all forms of exchange removed from society, he used the word “economy” in his resourced-based principle. “Economy” refers to trade and exchange. There can not be an economy when there’s no trade and exchange. It’s the very basics of “economy”.

Second. In order for a resource-based economy to work, everyone within that economy would have to put “the community” above everything else. Which is precisely what the mainstream and alternative communitarian doctrines are all about. ‘The community’ becomes the god that everyone should be living and even kneeling for.

As a consequence, individualism would have to be frowned upon, because individualism demands that one should first help himself before extending help to the community. And rightfully so. Because one can’t help the community if one is not first helping himself or herself. One’s survival, one’s determination to survive and thrive, is what makes a community possible. If no one is first securing his or her life first, there cannot be a community at all.

Third: incentives. According to Fresco, the idea of incentives in return for labor or creativity is outdated and even counterproductive. Though he never explained how evil people, who would still want to enslave and oppress others, could have the right to as much abundance as good people, who want their family and friends to be as free and as happy as possible.

Instead, Fresco said, monetary and material incentives should be replaced with universal incentives, such as marveling at the wonders of the stars (he actually said that).

So. Who’s going to build all the infrastructure to realize this Utopia? Who would want to work a full-time job in return for endless time to observe the stars?

Fourth. Assuming that we could actually find sufficient working hands to build this Utopia (perhaps through the use of more gene therapies). Who would be the one to organize this? The United Nations? The World Economic Forum? The Israeli government, in alliance with the Russian, Chinese and US governments?

Or the European Union? Of which not even the president is elected at all, but appointed by oligarchs and multinational corporations.

Clearly, this whole idea of a resource-based economy, as currently presented, has not been thought through very much, at all. Or has it? This would depend on who you ask, of course.

The Venus Project is also promoted by the “Zeitgeist Movement”. Both suggest that we should get rid of all cash money. Right here, right now.

Obviously, this would put all of us in great danger. Because without any cash money, right here, right now, how would we be able to trade? Even within our own neighborhoods, with our local grocers, local medical professionals etc…

Sure, corrupt bankers could be put out of business. But so would most, if not all, of our local businesses.

Would you agree to offer a 3-course menu to your whole street in return for fresh produce to prepare all those meals? How will you get the energy needed to prepare those meals? Surely, your gas stove will not be fed natural gas for free. How will you pay for that gas? You’re going to cook meals for the workforce of your local utility company?

What happens when you want a month of vacation? How will you travel? What will you trade your transportation for? More meals? Sounds very inefficient to me.

But let’s assume that we can get passed all those obstacles, somehow, mysteriously.

You no longer have to cook those meals, because people have an abundance of food anyway. Guess what, people will still want to enjoy restaurant experiences. Who’s going to offer that? And why would they?

Because everything would be available in abundance, the only restaurant experience you would have available is the one offered by AI-steered, fully automated, venues. No people involved at all. Only robots to take your order, prepare your order and to entertain you while you consume your meal. That’s not a restaurant experience, at least not for me.

But let’s assume that even that is an obstacle we can eliminate, somehow, magically… Somehow, we would all accept that human hotel staff is something of the past, forever. All hotels are fully automated. The only humans are the guests…

What will people be doing when they have nothing to do the whole day, at all? Not everyone wants to read books, study history, invent stuff, paint, smoke weed or watch porn.

There would be no point in people trying to do something that they really want to do, because the only incentive would be to make others their lives more enjoyable. While many could find that sufficient, at least as many others will have very different ideas about that, for good or bad.

Also, there would have to be some kind of structure. Such a Utopia would have to be highly organized, micropolitics and micromanagement would be centerpieces. Who will set the terms and the rules for that? Everyone?

OK. How will we achieve that? Through elections and referendums? Who will be in charge of the infrastructure to organize that? The United Nations? Elon Musk? Bill Gates? The church?

Obviously, these kinds of collectivist ideas are not realistic. They would be, if everyone was a good person. If no one would want to be the boss or leader of others. But what is a good person? How do we define that? There are very different perspectives about that.

But let’s also assume that we can keep everyone busy and happy. Which is impossible.

We would have a very weak society. For instance. People would not want to learn how to physically defend themselves, or protect their rights. Rights would be a thing of the past anyway, because, as Fresco said, all laws would be erased. A lawless Utopia. No more guaranteed protected rights and liberties. Poof! Just like that.

But what if a man rapes a woman, because he has been drinking too much? Has been watching porn too much and has a desire to express and experience his secret urges. How will we deal with that? We can’t even properly deal with that today… And then I’m not even getting into the pedophilia that we still haven’t properly addressed, today.

While it all sounds fine and dandy, a Utopia is not realistic. Even when we would medicate the whole planet. There would still be individuals who would cheat the system, for understandable reasons. Especially the ones who invented the medication and gene therapies…

In the end, we can conclude that the Venus Project, and the Zeitgeist Movement, are alternative communitarian creations. They are not realistic, and, above all, they would mean the end of individualism. And without individualism, which is not a synonym for selfishness, there cannot be a ‘community’.

Every ‘community’ exists because individuals do things to secure their own existence, which results in legacies. Legacies that others draw inspiration and strength from. Inspiration and strength in order to secure their own existence and their own legacy.