The Venus Project: Everything Wrong With Utopian Fantasy In 108 Simple Questions.
Climate change denial.
We spend an inordinate amount of time as liberals making fun of the teabagging wingnut nutjobs and their seriously delusional conspiracies. It makes us feel superior. It makes us feel smart. It makes us feel gratified, justified, and warm inside.
But it also helps us ignore the fact that there are some liberals with some very ignorant and intellectually lazy ideas.
We don’t have a monopoly on rational thought. In fact, if “Rational Thought” was a game of Monopoly, some of us would still be trying to unfold the board with the thimble up our nose. People believe lots of silly stuff because it is epistemologically expedient. Liberals trend toward anti-corporatism, so Big Agra and Big Pharma must be nefarious. Natural is always better.
So it doesn’t surprise me that so many of my liberal friends fall head over heels in love with The Venus Project. It is as though someone sat down to write liberal porn inspired by a crack bender they once had with Karl Marx while watching a Star Trek marathon. It’s an intoxicating, confusing, and entertaining pile of escapism.
If you don’t want to read through my enlightening FAQ and just want the tl;dr- there are three main facts that I think cannot be disputed when discussing the Venus Project:
- The Venus Project is a cult. Every person who knows anything about the Venus Project knows that the ideas,
mission, and credit belong to one person. You can’t navigate a page on their website or magazine without seeing the name Jacque Fresco. Even when he is spectacularly wrong, his acolytes can’t muster more than tepid deference. The only argument you can make against this is that a cult traditionally has a charismatic leader, and Jacques Fresco has all the personality of Joe Leiberman on Unisom.
- The Venus Project is naive scientism. Science is not going to solve all the worlds problems, it’s just not. It’s not going to make human dynamics less complicated and it’s not a panacea to every imaginable problem. Sometimes problems require more than just an invention or technology. Even if Jacque Fresco could invent a machine to bring Nikola Tesla back to life- it still wouldn’t solve all our problems. Well, most of them. But not all.
- Jacque Fresco knows how to design a building. Jacque Fresco does not know how to design a society or an economy. He certainly doesn’t know anything about sociology, psychology or economics. He is a futurist- but unless technology can make humans behave like algorithms- he is just blowing smoke.
The rest of this post will be my attempt to answer the FAQ on The Venus Project website. Are my answers flippant? Sure. I would argue they are no more flippant (and far more honest) than what you will find on their site. Each question is linked to the FAQ page of The Venus Project website, and I invite readers to click through and see the answers provided there- which in many cases are more evasive and more comical than my own.
Frequently Asked Questions (With Answers)
The Venus Project is the reason Jacque Fresco is awesome. In fact, Jacque Fresco is so awesome, he is the Jacque Fresco of Jacque Frescos. The Venus Project is an organization created by Jacque Fresco to reshape our human existence by plagiarizing 1950’s Sci-Fi drawings and selling them back to you as an ideal future. The Venus project is the Jacque Fresco of Utopian Sci-Fi organizations.
From the 19th century until the 1950’s, science fiction authors and artists imagined the planet Venus as a warm, habitable world filled with lush vegetation, new discoveries and boundless wonder- until science came along and spoiled all their fun by proving Venus to be a brutally unlivable hell-hole where it rains sulfuric acid. From a distance, the planet appears to be great but on closer inspection it is unfit for human habitation. In this way, the Venus Project is apparently quite aptly named.
A resource-based economy is one where we continue to use resources but stop using money to represent the ownership of those resources. It’s so awesome, some people say it’s the Jacque Fresco of economic systems.
I know what you’re thinking- it’s going to be hard to fit three T-bone steaks and a pound of lentils in the pocket of your jeans when you want to buy the new Zeitgeist documentary on Blu-Ray. That’s okay, because you won’t have to! You just go and pick it up at the store- because resources are all shared. And by shared I mean rationed, because you can’t just get whatever you want. We call it “sharing” because we won’t have to ration because you are only ever going to ask for what you need because we are all totally unselfish. Get it? It’s kind of like communism but this is not communism because it’s called a resource-based economy. It’s totally different because it has a different name.
If you want to learn more about a resource-based economy, just send a cheque or money order (sorry, we do not accept resources) to The Venus Project for their fantastic book on the subject- The Best That Money Can’t Buy.
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. Therefor, we have to tear the whole thing down and start all over from scratch- because Jacque Fresco is the world’s most awesomist inventor but he can’t figure out how to work within a monetary paradigm. He’s the Jacque Fresco of visionaries.
We don’t need government. We need benevolent plutocrats making all the important decisions. Nothing could possibly go wrong with expecting a privileged few people to always choose the best possible policy for the use and distribution of resources. It will be like a fiefdom, except that all the things you hate about fiefdoms will be different.
Are you going to buy one of my books or DVDs? Are you going to tour our headquarters?
I guess what I’m asking is “Is this a trick question?”
It forces me to ask you for money, so there’s that.
7.You mentioned economic collapse in your book. Do you believe this is the only way our society can escape a monetary economy?
Yes. Incidentally, waiting for an economic collapse allows me to continue to collect donations without having to, you know, do anything.
It’s a win-win.
No. People in the future will love giving up all their wealth. Because in the future, science is magic!
9.In the idea of future, do you think that the regional differences will still have the greatest influence as they do today? Or will these differences disappear?
In the idea of the future, I think that regional differences no will longer have the as great influences. Like spambots will talk similar to others. This question makes super quality, and to help others to understand the qualities better.
Why? Do you feel pressured? Come and lie down in this building shapes like some boobs.
Collecting donations for The Venus Project.
The plan has four phases:
- Build a place in Florida for Jacque Fresco to live. Ask people to pay lots of money to see it. This step is done.
- Make a movie. Ask people to pay lots of money to buy it on DVD.
- Build an experimental city. Ask people to pay lots of money to have it built.
- Build a theme park. Ask people to pay lots of money for admission. Interactive displays will explain why if you give us more money, some day you won’t have to use money to get into theme parks.
With your eyes.
See what I did there?
By adding a “t”.
See what I did there?
Step 1: Wait for the economy to collapse.
In the meantime, you are welcome to make all donations payable to The Venus Project.
I have lots of ideas.
I would describe it as a crisis. A crisis of the economic sort.
The lesson is “I told you so.”
Is that like the “New World Order”? Because I understand people don’t like that.
So it’s nothing like that.
19.You couldn’t just plop the first city down and expect people to respect it…. you would need to slowly develop the cities as it becomes harmonized with the evolving social consciousness. What are some of the steps to accomplish this?
- Send us money.
- We will use the money to inform people why it is a good idea.
- Send us more money.
- We will use the money to make a DVD that costs $30
- Send us more money
- We will build a city once the economy collapses.
20.What is, and what do you think about it, the relationship between habitat and place of living? Which variables do you consider in conceiving architecture, or even a city?
Are you the same guy who wrote question #9? Also, that’s a great porn site linked to your comment, too bad it’s in Cyrillic.
21.I noticed a certain nearness between your thinking and the French architect Le Doux about the concept of ideal city: do you believe that the eighteenth century idea of ideal city could apply also to a future city?
Le Doux is the Jacque Fresco of Eighteenth Century architecture.
In other words, he’s awesome.
22.What would you consider to be the most difficult technological hurdle to overcome before building the Circular City?
I don’t understand. Building a Circular City is as easy as Pi.
23.Many of your designs seem to reflect retro-mod trends. What was your thinking behind the shapes and the black/white façades of the structures?
My conception of the future was cemented in 1952.
Rebel bases for people who think having no choices is dystopian.
WWJVD? What Would Jules Verne Do?
26.Can you briefly describe the process you used in designing the Circular City? What factors were most important?
I started by making a circle. Then I placed buildings in the circle. It was important to make it circular since I wanted to call it the Circular City.
In the first draft it was shaped like a rhombus. This made it hard to call it the Circular City.
In the future, architecture changes you.
In the future, home chooses you.
29.Is everything going to be easier than today regarding the materials we use at home, for example, white goods, furniture, etc.? Then, how is it going to be changed?
Science will make everything easy. They will be changed to be more science-y.
Also, you need to, you know, possibly try to, just, maybe, lay off the use of so many commas.
30.In your project new social mentality is introduced. What novelties in architectural forms and constructions does the Venus project offer?
Civilization is going to collapse. We are going to enter a period of unprecedented social disorder. Our economy is going to tank and billions of humans are going to be systematically displaced by the unrest.
So by all means, let’s talk about how cool it will be to live in a geodesic dome.
Health equipment will be better because science.
Communication will be better because, well, science.
Transportation will be worse.
Will giving you a flying car distract you from the fact that none of this is plausible?
See questions 31 through 33.
37.Are there necessary materials, technologies of constructing and maintenance of eco-cities nowadays?
Nowadays we are pretty close. Tomorrowadays, anything is possible.
We need to create a machine that takes hopeless pipe dreams and converts them into reality. I expect such an invention in the next few years.
40.How do you imagine the building processes of the projects – standard, using prefabricated units or some other technologies?
I imagine. That’s a good way of putting it.
It should be cheaper because nobody gets paid to build things in the future.
There are already towns like this. Since they weren’t built by Jacque Fresco we don’t talk about them.
43.Is there any one field of discipline you find most promising right now, as far as technological advancement? Architecture? Material science, perhaps?
Whichever discipline Jacque Fresco is using at the given moment.
They won’t want to because the cities were created by Jacque Fresco.
Why would you want to be far away from the genius of Jacque Fresco? This question makes no sense.
46.I was trying to think of an intermediate/bridging solution to the problem of automobile collisions. I’m curious as to his thoughts about such a common problem. 6,289,000 occur every year.
We need to wait for the economy to collapse so I can give you flying cars. Problem solved.
Rationing. Except I will call it something else because that sounds bad.
To distract you from the fact that you have limited choices, exactly like today.
We will be getting rid of many professions. Like lawyers because there will be no crime or disagreements. And bankers because there will be no money.
Eventually computers will replace governments because they make better decisions than you can. You can’t be involved in decisions.
Your robot overlords will always look out for your best interests. You have nothing to worry about.
53.How do you evaluate the robot conception in the future? As in the science fiction movies, everything is going to be done by robots. Is everything going to be different or will humans be the most effective factor?
Are you that guy from question #9 and #20 again?
I evaluate that conceived robots in future will be awesome. Human effective factors will be different so everything conceived robots factor to be more of an affect. Science fiction makes robot affects to human factors conceived for evaluation.
I hope this answers your query.
No. Karl Marx didn’t have robots or science.
It has a cooler name and it is more like Star Trek.
Because this system was created by Jacque Fresco, and Marxism was created by not Jacque Fresco.
It has robots, flying cars, and retro-mod architecture. Will nothing make you happy?
58.Could you respond to the 1949 essay I sent you from Albert Einstein regarding his views on socialism?
He’s a fucking idiot.
In the future people won’t do anything wrong. This makes total sense if you stop thinking about it.
60.In all your books, but most of all in The Best That Money Can’t Buy, you deal among other subjects (as the need to rethink the set of priorities of society, to suppress crime and war, to take care of our planet’s health…) also with the need to understand the close bond that man entertains with nature: which are the properties of the world (planet-society) that have to change to re-establish this bond?
Has this question rally been asked “frequently”? Really? Worded like this? Why do people keep sending me such poorly worded questions? This question is barely in English.
No, change is inherently unreasonable and illogical. In fact, the change will likely come before the process taken to effect it. Because logic.
As long as by “participation” you don’t mean “political participation” or “democratic participation”, then no worries.
63.What do you consider a “high standard of living”, which everyone in the world is entitled to? And who is the one to decide this?
A resource based economy means that the economy has a finite value based on available resources. Every single person will have the same standard of living regardless of where they live. This means that the total available resources divided by the number of people on earth will equal the value of your fixed standard of living.
You will have an equal share, but it might be wise to keep any large boxes handy- just in case we have a resource shortfall and you need, you know, a place to sleep or something.
Your robot overlords. We already discussed this.
No. Some people will be happy being housepets to their robot overlords, others might think that there must be a better way. The latter people will, of course, be wrong- because the robots say so.
66.Will people who do more work, such as doctors, demand more resources than someone like an artist?
Who says doctors do more work? Who says artists do little work?
Just fucking with you. They might demand more resources, but the robot overlords will fix them.
67.Inventors and designers are constantly improving methods and technology, yet can like-minded people work towards goals similar to the ones you presented in your book, while still operating within a monetary system? How do you suggest we keep ideas and technology from contributing to the cycle (away from military hands, etc.)?
My goals cannot be reached in a monetary system. You got that? Sheesh. Things will never change in a monetary system. We have had a monetary system for thousands of years and not a single new political idea, scientific advancement, or cultural shift was ever achieved in this period.
Look it up. (but seriously, don’t look that up)
Robots don’t crave power. Have you not read Issac Asimov? (again- seriously, don’t)
As soon as someone figures out how to convert pure energy into arable farmland and water, yes.
No. It will put the company that makes price tags out of business though.
If they don’t need to work, why would they need an incentive?
Because if people operated the economy then they would have power over those that didn’t make the decisions. And since I’m guessing you are a communist and don’t like class-based economic systems, I thought I could solve it with robots.
73.The world you describe requires the planetary resources of legions of engineers, artists and craftspeople to design, fabricate, assemble and calibrate. What happens three or ten generations later when the back-up systems are breaking down and the population has only poets and theoretical physicists?
We will write epic poems about our love of string theory. Duh.
74.History shows that advanced technologies and skills have been lost within generations and a fully automated cybernetically managed economy/ecology/society would be vulnerable to system decay, malfunction and collapse in a way that would render humanity helpless and then destitute with neither the technical skills nor the emotional maturity to resolve the resulting crises.
Hey smartypants, that’s not a question- is it?
75.So why not plan on simple modular self-sufficient economies, or inter-dependant low tech economies that advance sustainable technologies and skills within each community?
Because if I did that I would have to do something useful with your donations instead of hoarding donations till the economy collapses. Why would anyone do such a thing?
76.Could you describe the distribution of food and/or other objects of desire, like telephones, computers, or books?
If you are hungry, you will go to a distribution center to get food. If they are out of food, you could try eating other objects of desire, like telephones, computers, or books.
Human behaviour is defined as how humans behave. Human nature is defined as how humans nate.
No. Deflecting serious questions and being evasive is totally natural for humans.
Perhaps they could watch “The Young and The Restless”?
There will be no deviants, because science!
82.What would be done with that percentage of society that would be agitators or malcontent such as Timothy McVeigh who were brought up with a normal upbringing?
There will be no agitators or malcontents, because science!
People won’t be jealous. Just because.
84.For reasons best known to geneticists, some people inherit different colored eyes from those of other people around them. In a grand overall vision of social and economic reform such as The Venus Project, what about those few who will always exhibit aberrant behavior under any system?
Programming. But we won’t call it that- we will call it “better education”.
No, but I said I don’t think people in the future will exhibit aberrant behaviour- because “better education”. Checkmate, rationalists.
Tell that to your new robot overlords…….
87.In this new culture, do you propose to utilize a technical elite that would decide the direction for society?
No. the technical elite will program the robots that will decide the direction for society. Huge difference.
88.How does one solve the problem of excess (say a person or people wanting more than is available)?
“Better Education”. Which is totally not like “programming”.
Ignore them, leave them tot heir own devices, let God sort them out.
Unless they want to stop- then your question is irrelevant.
Many people in the future will worship Jacque Fresco. If some people want to continue to give all the credit to Jesus or Allah- then I can’t really stop them.
91.Many people claim that when spirituality fails in bringing up social changes, the use of violence is rationalized. Do you agree with this opinion?
Do I agree that there is a dichotomy between spiritualism and violence? I don’t think they are mutually exclusive.
We plan on educating people.
It would be like education now, but better.
Again- I have to ask- exactly how does a question like this get asked “frequently”?
Bacon for everybody! (Unless your not into that kind of thing…)
No more drugs. Because science!
97.Is The Venus Project interested/capable of co-ordinating with other groups, intentional communities, individuals, to organize a resource based society distributed throughout the current society? Put another way, is TVP organizing the transition itself? Or just providing an example of what is possible with the intention of society as a whole enacting the switch over?
The Venus Project is just waiting for the economy to collapse, then for the military dictatorships to take over. This is when we think it will be easiest to broker change. This totally makes sense if you don’t think about it.
98.How do you think people react to your proposals, that I would label “virtual proposals”, about the future of the world, and what is your relationship with them? How important is fulfilment in terms of credibility and concrete experience?
People react poorly to many of my ideas. This is because I’m right and they are wrong.
Look it up. (Seriously though, don’t look it up.)
Yes, but I’ll never cop to it.
Next I’ll need you to buy my complete lectures on DVD. Then I’ll need you to donate money. After that, we just need to wait for the economy to collapse.
101.More than a few people would say they are fed up with living in a money-driven society, and wish to live a more self-fulfilling life. What advice would you give these people?
Turn your dreams into a reality by giving me your money.
No. But I’m not going to tell you that.
103.If you had to choose one idea that would describe the essence of this new society, what would it be? Unity? Discovery?
Once people have taken enough drugs to think my ideas make sense, there will be no need for drugs.
I’m all for it.
106.What is your take regarding the separation from the Zeitgeist Movement as the activist arm of The Venus Project?
There are two main problems that led to the decision to dissociate The Venus Project from the Zeitgeist Movement:
- Those guys are friggin’ nuts
- Too much 9/11 denial, not enough Jacque Fresco worship.
There are finite resources and an infinite potential for population growth. Given these two facts, I have decided that overpopulation is a myth.
You currently possess money. We would like to free you of that burden as soon as possible.