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The Zeitgeist Movement: Orientation Presentation

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The following presentation is designed to give a basic overview of the tenets philosophy and goals of The Zeitgeist Movement. This orientation has been extracted from the more expansive "Activist Orientation Guide" which is available for free PDF download at thezeitgeistmovement.com All source references for material in this video presentation can be found in that document. The Zeitgeist Movement - Activist Orientation www.thezeitgeistmovement.com www.thevenusproject.com The Zeitgeist movement is not a political movement. It does not recognize divisionary notions such as nations governments, races, religions, creeds or class. Rather, we see the world as one organism with the human species as a singular family. Simultaneously, we acknowledge that we depend entirely on our environment, not only in regard to the necessities of life such as food, air and water, but also for influence and guidance in regard to life's processes. We recognize and understand that aligning ourselves with natural processes is the most progressive and productive disposition we can have. The Zeitgeist movement in fact, is the activist arm of The Venus Project an organization which constitutes the lifelong work of industrial designer and social engineer Jacque Fresco. Simply put, what The Venus Project represents and what the Zeitgeist movement hence condones, could be summarized as the application of the scientific method for social concern. One of the greatest discoveries of humankind which has allowed for tremendous advancement in our abilities on this planet, has been the understanding and application of science. Through the humane application of science and technology to social design and decision making we have the means to transform our environment into something exceedingly more balanced organized, humane, productive and most importantly, sustainable. As many are aware at this time, both our societal integrity and ecological integrity are in serious question. The current economic system is falling apart at an accelerating rate with the prospect of worldwide unemployment and destabilization occuring possibly on the largest scale ever seen. Simultaneously, we are courting the point of no return in regard to the destruction of the environment. Given the current state of affairs, many of which will be addressed in the first part of this presentation the viewer should find that we not only need to move in another direction we have to. In order to understand where we are and how we have gotten to this point in history, we need to address those societal attributes which have greatly affected our social conduct. The most important observation in this regard is our use of a monetary system. In this section, we are going to address the mechanisms of our world monetary system, pointing out the consequences this type of organizational structure has produced. These consequences include: 1. The Need for Cyclical Consumption denoting the economic requirement that products and services are perpetually bought and sold regardless of quality and waste. 2. The Abundance of Scarcity denoting how resources, goods and services are deliberately made scarce to ensure profitability within the supply and demand equation. 3. The Priority of Profit denoting the vast corruption commonplace in the world due to the need to generate income. 4. Fiscal Manipulation denoting how the central banking systems of the world work to control the economy for the benefit of their corporate constituents and establishment power. 1. The Need for Cyclical Consumption The roles of people on a monetary system are basically broken into three distinctions: the employee, the employer and the consumer. The employee performs tasks for the employer in exchange for a wage, or monetary payment while the employer sells a good or service to the consumer for a profit, another classification of monetary payment. In turn, both the employer and the employee function as consumers, for the monetary payments they obtain are used to purchase goods and services relevant to their survival. This act of purchasing goods and services is what allows the entire system to perpetuate thus allowing for the employer and employee to make money and thus continue consuming. In other words, it is the requirement of perpetual or cyclical consumption that keeps the entire economy going. If consumption was ever to stop, the whole system would collapse. This produces two severe consequences for society: 1. Nothing physically produced can ever maintain a lifespan longer than what can be endured in order to maintain the needed 'cyclical consumption'. In other words, everything must break down in a respective amount of time in order to continue the financial circulation needed to power the economy. This characteristic could be defined as 'planned obsolescence'. Planned obsolescence is essentially the deliberate withholding of efficiency so the product in question breaks down respectively fast. This happens both intentionally, with manufacturers timing their products for breakdown, often as soon as the warranty runs out; and indirectly, where profit-based shortcuts taken in production usually in the form of cheap materials and poor design translates into an inferior product immediately with the failure of the product simply a matter of time. The second consequence is that new products and services must be constantly introduced regardless of functional utility generating endless waste. The result of these two issues are nothing but unacceptable for not only are resources being neglectfully used in products that are designed not to last, wasting human energy and materials the amount of frivilous waste and pollution that results is staggering. In other words, waste is a deliberate byproduct of industry's need to keep 'cyclical consumption' going. The obsolete or expired product is trashed, often to landfills, polluting the environment while the constant multiplicity accelerates this pollution. To express this from a different angle imagine the economic ramifications of production methods that strategically maximize the efficiency and sustainability of every product, using the best known materials and techniques available at the time. Imagine products so well designed that they didn't need maintenance for say, 100 years. Imagine a house that was built from fireproof materials where all appliances, electrical operations, plumbing and the like, were made from the most impermeable highest integrity resources available on Earth. In such a saner world, where we actually created things to last minimizing pollution and waste, a monetary system would be impossible for cyclical consumption would slow tremendously forever weakening the so called economic growth. Mechanism two: The Abundance of Scarcity In monetary economics, supply and demand is partly how goods and services obtain value. The more there is of something, the less it is worth in respect to itself. If we woke up one day and for some reason, hypothetically speaking, there were only 100 oranges left in existence with no possibility to grow more, the value of those oranges would skyrocket, for they are now extremely scarce. In other words, it is profitable for resources to be scarce. If a company can convince the public that their product is rare the more they can charge for that product. This provides a strong motivation to keep items and resources scarce. The ramifications of this are psychologically profound; for if companies know that they can make more money by having their items scarce, the propensity to deliberately limit production or be dishonest about available resources is high. This means that the monetary system rewards mechanisms that inherently discourage abundance and equality. Even more offensively, profit can actually be made as a result of scarcity generated by environmental pollution, such as what is now happening with our water supplies. This creates a perverse reinforcement of indifference to environmental concern by industry, for the more damage there is the more profit that can be obtained by offering solutions. And this leads us to: 3. The Priority of Profit. A monetary system's foremost motivating principle is profit, or more generally, income. All people must seek out a strategy to acquire money. A wage earner seeks out the best possible pay he can get for his services, while the employer seeks to constantly reduce costs in order to maximize their profit. This competitive mentality extends into all facets of society, and it should be no surprise that those who are in positions of great wealth are often the most ruthless and indifferent. Now, before we move any further into the negative consequences of the profit priority, let's first consider what many think to be the good side of this system: incentive. As the theory goes, the need for profit provides a person or organization with motivation to work on new ideas and products that might sell in the market place. In other words, the assumption is that if people were not motivated by their need to obtain money, nothing would be invented and little social progress would be achieved. First of all, the most powerful contributions to society did not come from people seeking profit. Louis Pasteur, Charles Darwin, the Wright brothers, Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton did not make their massive contributions to society because of material self interest. While it is true that useful inventions and methods do come from the motivation for personal gain, the intent behind those creations typically have nothing to do with human or social concerns and everything to do with detached self interest and blind personal gain. The pursuit of profit almost always comes before human concern and a simple glance at the cancer causing preservatives in our foods, the planned obsolescence of nearly everything manufactured along with the health care industry that charges 300 dollars for a single antibiotic pill, will indicate that the profit incentive is actually a detriment. Problems in our monetary-based society will only have resolution if money can be made from solving those problems. Now, more specifically, to put the spectrum of monetary derived corruption into a workable perspective, we will divide these behaviors into three classifications: general crime, corporate crime and government crime. General crime in a monetary system ranges from petty theft to illegal sales, to fraud, to violent robbery. This by-product of the system is often not given the thought needed to understand its source for many tend to dismiss these so called criminals as some kind of social anomaly. The reality is that the stress, conflict, poverty and thus deprivation generated by the monetary system itself is the foundational cause. In the 1990's, a research project called the Merva-Fowles study was conducted which found powerful connections between unemployment and crime. They based their research on 30 major metropolitan areas with a total population of over 80 million. Their findings found that a 1% rise in unemployment resulted in: a 6.7% increase in homicides a 3.4% increase in violent crimes, a 2.4% increase in property crime. During the period from 1990 to 1992, this translated into: 1459 additional homicides, 62,607 additional violent crimes and 223,500 additional property crimes. This is very revealing. A person living in a deprived environment, with little resources, poor education and few opportunities for work will simply do what they need to in order to survive. While the neuroses generated from the stress of the situation often leads to violent and socially offensive acts. In other words, the environment is creating the behavior. Corporate Crime Corporate crime, which is almost exclusively profit related takes many forms: planned obsolescence, monopolistic collusion, market manipulation outsourcing, price fixing, labor exploitation and governmental collusion are just a few to note. From Enron's deliberate shutting down of California's power plants to boost its energy stocks to the Bayer Corporation's knowing distribution of HIV-tainted drugs, it should be clear to most people that corporate crime is constant and oftentimes much more insidious than general crime for the repercussions tend to affect very large groups of people. The corporate criminal's need to secure profitability is no different in basis than the general criminal's need to survive. While the latter typically commits crimes to live the former commits crimes to further secure their positions of power, lifestyle and wealth. It is based on fear. The notion of greed, which manifests from a perpetual insecurity derived from the fear of losing what one has serves as the motivating factor for most corporate crimes. This neuroses is perpetuated and reinforced by what we could call 'the luxury stratification' that the monetary system creates; for in this system, there is a neverending progression of products available, as one's purchasing power increases. And then, there's government crime. Government crime is one of the more complex and difficult forms of conduct to consider for perception of goverment is highly modified by the prevailing values this ruling class perpetuates through society. For example, patriotism is often used to encourage support for war. Making people feel like they have an obligation to agree with the government's decision. That being said, let's take an objective look at what government within a monetary system actually is and represents. The central role of government is basically the invention of regulatory legislation and policies to handle the functioning of society. Idealistically, the broad interests of the public would be the first priority of government. Unfortunately, as history has shown this is not, and has rarely been the case. Rather, government as we know it is actually a parent corporation to all the other corporations working within the country's economy. This, of course, makes sense; for the value of any nation is really determined by the state of its economy. This means that the government has a vested interest in the economic position of its nation, most specifically with those interests that benefit them directly. Lobbying and contributions in America alone constitute billions of dollars a year and this money is given entirely under the pretense of putting the donating party's agenda in action. Now, while the examples of government and corporate collusion are vast the greatest monetarily derived crime of government is its use of war for the benefit of its corporate and financial constituents. In the words of two-time Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Major General Smedley D. Butler, "War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives." Accelerated industrial creation, military contracts, reconstruction contracts, energy and resource acquisition or theft high interest austerity-driven world bank and private bank loans for post-war economies are just a few of the highly profitable mediums utilized. The true motivation for war today is actually threefold: industrial commercial profit maximized for the elite, resource acquisition or theft as was the case with Iraq and Afghanistan, and strategic geopolitical alignment to increase the ease of further industrial profit and resource theft. War is probably the greatest sickness caused by the desire for wealth and power. Government, with its team of brainwashed assassins on hand is involved in the ultimate form of self preservation and as long as the resources of the world remain horded and restricted for the material benefit of the few, this pattern of war will never end. Now, these classifications of corruption are only a generalized grouping. . Vast nuances of human behavior in everyday life are also very much poisoned by this mechanism for profit. For if you look closely enough, you will see that nearly every act of strategic monetary gain is corrupt by its very construct. It is just accepted as normal by the conditioned culture. And 4. Fiscal Manipulation The currency used today is fiat which means its value comes essentially from government decree. Monetary value in the fiat system is actually derived from how much money is in circulation within an economy, generally speaking. Just as with any natural resource, the more money that is in circulation the less each unit of fiat currency is worth. When less money is in circulation, it makes each unit worth more respectively. This phenomenon could be called inflation and deflation, generally speaking. Now, the increase in the supply of money available in an economy is called monetary expansion. While a decrease in the supply of money is called monetary contraction. . Generally speaking, the expansion period is usually associated with so called "economic growth," for more money is available and able to be put to use and often more jobs are thus created. Conversely, monetary contraction is often called a recession or depression for money is drying up and hence there is less money to put to use; so jobs are lost and companies fail. Economic growth is typically defined as: the increase in the amount of the goods and services produced by an economy over time. However, let it be understood that economic growth is really a zero sum game. There is no such thing as true economic growth in and of itself, for the underlying mechanism is based almost entirely on the amount of liquidity, or money in the system. In other words, if I counterfeit 100 million US dollars and give it to you to start a business, and you buy and fix up an old building, hire a team of employees and start to produce a product that the public buys this would be considered an expansion of the economy. You have invested in real estate, increased the employment rate and created new products that others buy therefore exciting the circulation of currency hence the consumption cycle. Now, what if the authorities found out that all the money you had used was actually counterfeit and thus they shut down the whole operation? This would be a contraction of the economy, for the money thus vanishes. Your employees would be laid off, the building foreclosed upon and the production halted. One should ask, "What was the real growth?" If the increase or expansion in the supply of money can result in the creation of jobs and production, while the decrease or contraction results in the loss of jobs and production, what exactly was gained and lost? What was the point? Let's now consider how money is created and regulated by the government and its central bank. For this example, we will use the United States and its central bank, The Federal Reserve. The expansion and contraction of the money supply is what really creates the so called 'business cycle' you hear about in classic economics. This cycle is largely controlled and manipulated by the central bank, by way of interest rates. An interest rate is a fee charged to a borrower for the use of credit, or an amount of money. All money in the U.S economy, and virtually every other economy in the world is created out of debt, through loans. Every dollar in someone's wallet is borrowed from the banking system. This is important to understand: All money is created out of debt. Thus the rate by which the money comes into existence depends on how much a person is willing to pay in interest to acquire that loan. The commercial banks base their interest rates on values set by the central bank. When the Federal Reserve lowers its interest rates so do the commercial banks, and credit or borrowing becomes less expensive. When the Fed raises its rates credit becomes more expensive, and hence borrowing slows. The point here is that The Federal Reserve has the power to influence the interest rates of all banks. This translates into the power to control the amount of money being borrowed, and hence the amount in circulation and, to a certain degree, control over the growth periods and recession periods known as the business cycle. Why does the Fed need to control this? It basically comes down to controlling debt and inflation. If the money supply was allowed to constantly increase or expand it is simply a matter of time before the market becomes saturated with excess liquidity, stifling the resulting economic growth. This will lead to inflation depreciating the value of the currency, raising prices. Likewise, since outstanding debt is directly proportional to the money supply because money is created out of debt, the more an economy expands, often the greater the debt that is created. This sets up an inevitable systemic crisis for the money needed to pay the interest charged on the loans does not exist in the economy outright. Therefore, there will always be more outstanding debt than money in existence; and once the debt grows larger than a person or a company can afford defaults begin, loans slow and the money supply begins to contract. This particular scenario of debt overpowering and nullifying expansion could be termed financial failure, very simply. And this leads us to the next section: In this section we will discuss the nature and ramifications of the current worldwide economic collapse and how it has been compounded by the gross selfishness and social irresponsibility of the government and corporate powers. Then more profoundly we will discuss the role technology is having in displacing workers and the powerful changes this phenomenon is going to force in the world economy at large. 1. Beyond Irresponsibility The collective external debt of all the governments in the world is now about 52 trillion dollars according to the CIA's "World Fact Book." Of the roughly 203 countries in the world today, only four do not owe others money. The United States alone has over 12 trillion of this debt as of 2009, and a study authorized by the U.S treasury in 2001 found that in order to keep servicing the debt at its current rate of growth, by 2013, income taxes would need to be raised to 65% of one's income. The whole world is basically bankrupt - but how? How can the world as whole, owe money to itself? Obviously it's all nonsense. The monetary system is nothing more than a game. Those in positions of social power alter the rules of the game at will. The nature of those rules are guided by the same competitive, distorted mentalities that are used to compete in everyday monetary life only this time the game is rigged at its root to favor those who actually run the show. For example, if you have one million dollars and put it into a C.D at 5% interest, you are going to generate 50,000 dollars a year simply for that deposit. You are making money off of money itself: no invention, no contribution to society, no nothing. That being denoted, if you are a lower or middle class person who is limited in funds and must use credit cards and get interest-based loans to buy your home, then you are paying interest to the bank which the bank is then turning around and using, in theory to pay the persons return with the 5% C.D. What the bank is basically doing is stealing from the working poor to pay the leisurely rich. Simply put, the social stratification we see in the world today is maintained and guaranteed by the monetary system's underlying mechanisms. That reality aside let's return to the subject of the so-called business cycle. When money is added to the money supply that money is then typically put to use for some reason. Very often these reasons include: starting a business, buying a home, . investing in the stock market, etc. This increase in the money supply often translates into the so called economic growth and hence the boom period of the business cycle. Unfortunately, money can not be added to the economy indefinitely, for the debt and inflation caused by the expansion will eventually overcome the growth benefits. When problems begin to arise after periods of monetary expansion, such as rising debt levels, slowing people's desire to take on new loans the Central Bank and government regulators have basically two choices: They can either 1. Attempt to continue the expansion by infusing even more money often by lowering the interest rates, making credit cheaper, or 2. Let the contraction, hence the recession run its course, raise the interest rates and bring the economy back to some kind of equilibrium. As far as history is concerned, the pattern has been for them to do both basically with the idea being to ease the recession by increasing liquidity. The reasoning is simple: It is politically unpopular for the ruling class to have unemployed, poor citizens. This can lead to contempt for leadership and instability. Therefore, there is always the game of placating the public with false security in order to avoid the truth coming out about the inherent dysfunctionality of the monetary system itself. The result of this easing of the contraction simply delays the inevitable, and since the US government has eased virtually every contraction period since the Great Depression by infusing more money into the system a doomsday scenario likely awaits-- the big contraction, and it might be happening right now. As noted earlier, money can not be added into the economy indefinitely for the debt and inflation caused by the expansion will eventually overcome the growth benefits. This is what is now happening on a massive scale and no intervention to ease this crisis is likely to work. . Why? Mainly because the debt levels are way too high. The total debt of the US government plus its citizens private debt was about 53 trillion dollars in 2007. This is simply an absurd amount of debt. The total US money supply M3, was only about 12 trillion in 2007, while the annual GDP of the US was only about 14 trillion. Unfortunately there is very little the US government can do to stop this large contraction if they adhere to the tenets of the monetary system. Even with the insertion of tens of trillions of dollars, it can not compensate for the imbalance. Plus, if they did this type of liquidity injection the result would simply exaggerate the stagflation we are now seeing where inflation and economic stagnation occur simultaneously. 2. The Ultimate Outsource Now, in response to these issues, very often people suggest monetary reform as the solution. These suggestions often include: going back to the gold standard, outlawing interest, shutting down the Federal Reserve, giving the power of printing money back to the government, etc. While these reforms and others all pose logical merits to a certain degree, they do not recognize an overshadowing little discussed phenomenon that has accelerated since the 20th century, nullifying the monetary system in and of itself : the replacement of human labor with machines. At the core of the economic system itself is the mechanism of labor for income. Our entire economic system is based on human beings selling their labor as a commodity in the open market. If humans do not have the option to work for a living, then the monetary system as we know it, is over. No one can buy goods if they don't earn money. Companies can not afford to produce if the consumer has no purchasing power to buy anything. As John Maynard Keynes disdainfully pointed out: "We are being afflicted by a new disease of which some readers may not yet have heard the name but of which they will hear a great deal in the years to come: namely 'technological unemployment'. This means "unemployment due to our discovery of means of economizing the use of labor, outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses for labor." While politicians, business leaders and labor leaders bicker over issues they claim are responsible for the growing unemployment in the world such as foreign company outsourcing or immigrant labor, the real cause is going unaddressed in the public debate and that is 'technological unemployment'. Since market capitalism is built upon the logic of reducing input costs to increase profits the inclination to replace human labor whenever possible by machine automation, is a natural progression of industry. After all, a machine doesn't need to take breaks. It doesn't require health insurance or benefits and it isn't a part of a demanding labor union. A simple glance at US historical labor statistics by sector shows the pattern of machine automation replacing human labor definitively. In the agricultural sector, almost all traditional work-flow is now done by machine. For example in 1949, machines did 6% of the cotton picking in the South. By 1972, 100% of the cotton picking was done by machines. In 1860, 60% of America worked in agriculture while today it is less than 3%. When automation hit the US manufacturing sector in the 1950's 1.6 million blue-collar jobs were lost in 9 years. In 1950, 33% of all US workers worked in manufacturing while by 2002, it was only 10%. The US steel industry from 1982 to 2002 increased production from 77 million tons to 120 million tons while the steel workers employed went from 289,000 to only 74,000. In 2003, a study was done of the world's largest 20 economies ranging from the period of 1995 to 2002 finding that 31 million manufacturing jobs were lost while production actually rose by 30%. This pattern of increasing productivity and profit, coupled with decreasing employment, is a new and powerful phenomenon with no changes in sight. So this might beg the question: "Where have all those jobs gone?" The Service Sector From 1950 to 2002, the percentage of Americans employed in the service industries went from 59% to 82%. For the last 50 years, the service sector has been absorbing the job losses from agriculture and manufacturing. Unfortunately this pattern is slowing fast as computerized automation takes hold there as well. From 1983 to 1993, banks cut 37% of their human tellers and by the year 2000, 90% of all bank customers used teller machines or ATM's. Business phone operators have almost all been replaced by computerized voice answering systems. Post office tellers are being replaced by self service machines, while cashiers are being replaced by computerized kiosks. There isn't one area of the service industry that isn't being affected by computerized automation. Economist Stephen Roach has warned: "The service sector has lost its role as America's unbridled engine of job creation." Given this reality, where is the emerging new sector to employ all of the newly displaced workers? There isn't one. And while economists struggle to create models to deal with the issue of nearly unstoppable unemployment, most refuse to consider what is really needed in order to prevent a total breakdown of society. The solution lies not in attempting to fix the issues that have emerged, but rather it is time we transcend the system in its entirety. For the system of monetary exchange, along with capitalism itself, is now completely obsolete, in the wake of technological creativity. If people do not have jobs they can not support the economy by purchasing anything. This reality is the final proof that our current system is now completely out of date, and if we want to deter riots in the streets and poverty on a scale never before seen, we are going to have to revise our traditionalized notions about how society functions at a fundamental level. We require a new social system that is updated to present-day knowledge and modern methods. Part 2 : What Is Relevant? . In this section we will discuss the idea of natural law specifically pointing out the symbiotic and emergent nature of the physical world; the scientific method, which is the most affective technique of decision-making we have to date; and the important concept of dynamic equilibrium which expresses the most foundational ecological factor to our survival. We will also show how, through the intelligent use of technology and proactive resource management, we have more than enough to go around on this planet, enabling an accessible abundance for all the world's people. Natural Law There's a tremendous amount of noise in our system. In other words, the fundamentals of life have been lost . in a sea of social, occupational and financial obligations many of which are largely artificial. For example, the need for money and income puts the human into a position where choice is often very limited. Usually the jobs found do not reflect the genuine interests of that particular person, nor the true interests of society as a whole. If we were to examine the occupations that exist today we would tend to find that a great majority of them serve no larger function than the perpetuation of cyclical consumption to keep the economy going. This arbitrariness constitutes a tremendous waste of life and resources. Consequently, the entire educational system in the modern day is nothing more than a cookie cutter processing plant that prepares humans for predefined occupational roles. This element of human life has become so traditionally ingrained, that many falsely consider the nature of having a job some form of human instinct. Even parents will blindly ask their kids: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" as though there was only one thing to prefer. Putting the traditional norms and modes of conduct in society aside for a moment let's stop and consider what is actually relevant. Let's pose the question: "What are the near-empirical aspects of nature and what do these understandings teach us about how we should govern our conduct on this planet?" Natural Law One Every human needs adequate nutrition, clean air and clean water and therefore must respect the symbiotic environmental processes relevant to those needs. Most people today do not understand or consider the inter-connectivity of nature and the chain of processes by which our food, air and water currently come about. However if we recognize, examine and learn from these processes a logical train of reasoning, coupled with suggestive inference, will guide us to more appropriate human behaviors that will help fulfill our needs. For example, water and air are naturally abundant planetary resources that only require that we, the human population maintain them and preserve their sources. Sadly, our impulsive and narrow-sighted profit system have seen to it that usable water is now approaching crisis scarcity for industry continues to pollute the system at every turn. In the United States alone, about 3 million tons of toxic chemicals are released into the environment every year contributing to birth defects, immune system disorders cancer, and many other serious health problems. The symbiotic relationship of natural processes has a built-in frame of reference, which is accessible by understanding how the world actually works, via scientific investigation. Very simply, our behavior should be guided by the priority of seeking the highest optimization of circumstances that preserve and maximize the abundance and quality of our necessities of life. Sadly, this is not happening. The fact is: Our sustainability is under severe threat by the current methods we are using. The monetary system continues to operate with the interest of short-term gain at the expense of long-term destruction. As natural law denotes, we need high quality air, food and water to live. . Therefore, we must overcome any practices which disturb or create the propensity to disturb the symbiotic environmental processes which keep our basic needs in order. If we don't, the consequences of our violation of this law could put us past the point of no return environmentally; and thus the survival of the human race would be in question. Natural Law Two: The only constant is change and human understandings are always in transition. There is no evidence to support the idea that anything we think is true today will maintain its integrity tomorrow. While certain observed natural phenomenon may seem near empirical based on current scientific evidence, the specifics of each notion will always be altered for our tools and methods of analysis are always changing and hopefully, improving. In the words of C.J Keyser: "Absolute certainty is a privilege of uneducated minds and fanatics." A cursory glance at widely defended historical notions from the earth being flat, to the sun revolving around the earth teaches us that intellectual change is constant; and in turn, humans must keep as open a mind as possible to new information even if it challenges that person's sense of identity. Everything we think and know are only probabilities and with modern methods of analysis which have proven to have proactive benefits to society over long periods of time we can now weigh our understandings and beliefs on a revolving sliding scale, ranging from the least probable, to most probable. This is based not on human opinion or subjectivity but on concrete feedback responses from the natural world. And this point brings us to the scientific method. Nature itself, has its own set of rules and it doesn't have the capacity to recognize or care about what you or anyone else wants to believe is true. Given this reality, it is in our best interest to learn, and align with nature as best as we can. The best known method for the discovery and application of the laws of nature is termed: The Scientific Method. The scientific method basically has three steps: recognizing a new idea or problem that needs to be solved, the use of logical reasoning to create a hypothesis considering all information available, and the testing of that hypothesis in the physical world through observation. The scientific method of inquiry is what has allowed the human species to gain comprehension of themselves and the physical world. For better or for worse, it is what's behind virtually every advancement that has improved the lives of the human species. However, most in our romanticized world still tend to view science as a cold, heartless medium while citing distorted human value abominations such as the atomic bomb in refutation of the scientific perspective. In reality, science and technology are only tools and like anything else they can be used for productive or destructive purposes. That is our choice. Dynamic Equilibrium A dynamic equilibrium occurs when two or more opposing processes proceed at the same rate. There is an equilibrium that exists in the physical world which dictates on some level what the possibilities are for those organisms that utilize the available resources for survival. With respect to our planet, we would call this the "carrying capacity" of the Earth. The human management of dynamic equilibrium on this planet which is the most important initial variable regarding the management of society itself can only come from first understanding what the carrying capacity of the Earth actually is. The needs of the human population must be in balance with resources of the planet. That being said, let's now examine what we know or can infer about the planetary resources available. The fundamental building blocks of society consist of the following: Energy; Industrial and technological raw materials Food, Air and Water. Energy is the cornerstone of society today. It is one of the most critical factors to all social functionality. The age of oil and fossil fuels along with all the resulting pollution, is coming to a close. There is no reason to burn fossil fuels at all anymore other than the profit-orientated, vested interest that keeps new clean energy prospects at bay. Remember, the last thing the energy industry wants is abundance for that translates into a loss of profit in the monetary system. One of the important sources of energy to recognize today is geothermal power. According to a 2006 MIT report, about 2000 zettajoules of power is currently tappable worldwide. The total energy consumption of all the countries on the planet is only half of a zettajoule a year. This means about 4000 years of planetary power could be harnessed immediately, in this medium alone. As far as wind energy, a 2005 Stanford University study published in the journal of geophysical research found that if only 20% of the wind potential on the planet was harnessed it would cover all of the world's energy needs. As far as solar energy the sun's radiation striking the Earth's surface each year is more than 10,000 times the world's annual energy usage. From simple photovoltaic panels that can capture energy into storage batteries for private use to full scale solar power plants new technology is constantly emerging which is vastly improving this potential. Lesser known is tidal power which is derived from tidal shifts in the ocean. Installing turbines which capture this movement generates energy. In the United Kingdom, 42 sites are currently noted as available forecasting that 34% of all the UK's energy could come from tidal power alone. However, more effectively, wave power which extracts energy from the surface motions of the ocean is estimated to have a global potential of up to 80,000 terawatt hours a year. This means that 50% of the entire planet's energy usage could be produced from this single medium. In view of all of these options energy is nothing but abundant on this planet. The only reason people today think it might be scarce is because of the monetary system's strategic propensity to create the scarcity. The next question is: What about industrial raw materials? Can the Earth's supply of raw physical materials such as wood, iron, or aluminum and such support the needs of the world's population? Global mineral reserves are currently measured by commercial output production. Sadly, this does not give a clear picture of what is actually available. While some elements and minerals are vast and abundant such as silicon, aluminum and iron others are seemingly growing scarce such as copper, lead, zinc, gold and silver. As far as we know, there has never been a complete geological survey of the Earth's minerals and elements, only regional ones. This must be done in the future for us to have an understanding of the dynamic equilibrium inherent. Regardless, there are basically three components to understanding of the carrying capacity of the Earth: knowing exactly what the Earth has as far as component elements and materials where technology is in regard to creating synthetic substitutions for certain elements and materials and how society organizes and manages its use of these resources. The first thing we need to do is have a full survey of all of the planetary resources. This will give us key information on how to proceed with our operations. For example, if we have an acre of land that we want to grow food with the first thing would be to test the soil to understand what type of propensities it has. This information would have a direct relationship to what can be grown. This would illuminate the carrying capacity of the land, so to speak. In regard to scarce materials finding substitutions is always an important pursuit. Many scarce industrial materials today now have synthetic counterparts and the focus of scientific problem solving in this regard is very important. With this understood we should realize that the scarcity of most raw materials are only as relevant as the amount of work being invested into finding a substitute or workaround. More important than substitutes and workarounds is the varied nature of the usage of our planetary resources. Production output today is staggering compared to the past. With the use of technology we are able to produce more with far less people, faster than any other time in history. However, due to the profit system there are tons of manufacturers producing the same things as they compete for market share. As noted before, the world's people function within a monetary system that rewards scarcity, planned obsolescence waste, pollution and multiplicity. The true cause of scarcity on the planet has less to do with the available resources and more to do with our wasteful and exploitive modes of conduct. Virtually no regard is given to conservation or strategic use until it is too late. In a saner society, the raw materials of the planet would be assessed industry would be organized as a whole to produce in relationship to what was available and each item produced would be designed to last as long as possible causing reduced industrial output and hence resource preservation. Now, when it comes to food production and water preservation the same monetary system problems of pollution cost-cutting processes and scarcity come into play. Water covers 70% of the Earth's surface. Technological advancements such as desalinization processes can make fresh drinking water both from sea water and even brackish sources using reverse osmosis. This is yet another example of how technology is just as much a part of resource management as resources themselves. The idea that usable water is scarce is true only in relationship with the limited methods we are currently using, coupled of course with the gross industrial pollution that goes on daily. Food production is also expanding within the technological spectrum creating vast new methods of cultivation. For instance, the Earth's surface is indeed being abused with its precious topsoil being corrupted by indifferent agricultural methods. According to some reports, we are losing topsoil at a rate of 1% a year. While the national academy of sciences has determined that the cropland in the US is being eroded at least 10 times faster than the time it takes for the lost soil to be replaced. Fortunately, scientists have devised a new form of soil-less agriculture called hydroponics. This powerful new medium leaves a sea of options for the human population; for not only in compensating for the damage we have caused but also by expanding the possibility of when and where food can be grown. With hydroponic agriculture we could theoretically grow food in the middle of the desert with proper irrigation or by tapping down to the water table. The bottom line is that food, air and water are only as scarce as we decide they are. If we choose to become intelligent and strategic with our production and preservation methods while taking full advantage of scientific inventions that maximize our production capabilities, reducing waste and inefficiency we can provide for the planet's people many times over. The starving children of the world are not so because of a lack of available food. It is their lack of purchasing power, not scarcity, which causes the needless deaths of millions a year. The Means for Social Evolution In this section, we are going to consider more specifically what it is we actually want and need in this world. What do we value in life? While there are many broad opinions in this regard most people would prefer that they have: clean air and water nutritious food, material abundance, fast clean and efficient transportation a relevant education, public health care, the end of war an environment that enables us to constantly improve our abilities human extensionality, reduced stress and reduced crime. We would consider these necessities and aspirations our goals. With our basic goals denoted, we must then think about the methods to be used in order to accomplish those goals. Unequivocally, the scientific method is the most powerful tool we know. Observation, logic and testing have long since trumped superstition, intuition and metaphysics. In the words of Karl Pearson: "There is no shortcut to truth, no way to gain knowledge of the universe except through the gateway of the scientific method." The intelligent use of the methods of science is what has brought us nearly everything that helps us in our daily lives. The application of science to social organization as a whole is the next step in our evolution. Furthermore, to fully utilize the scientific method we will need physical tools that can make our material needs possible. These material tools come in the form of technology from a simple hammer, to a high-tech, fully-automated production plant. Technological invention continues to ease production methods while also consistently making what was once deemed impossible, possible. The history of technology has shown tremendous accelerating development. Coupled with the scientific methodof thought the technological tools currently at our disposal have the ability to dramatically change humanity in ways most would find too fantastic to be true. For instance, if you showed a cellphone to a man from the 12th century, he would probably be shocked beyond comprehension at the magical instrument. Science and technology has continued to defy prior assumptions of possibility and will continue to do so. It can safely be assumed that whatever the future holds from a technological standpoint, it will likely seem impossible and ridiculous from the standpoint of today's understandings and methods. Now, coming back to our larger point : The three attributes of personal and social evolution are thus: our goals, the method of thought, and the tools to get it done. We define our goals based on what we value. We utilize the scientific method to solve problems and create hypotheses and we harness technology to make the goal a reality. Part 3: A Resource-Based Economy In this section we are going to address The Venus Project and its advocation of a new social system called 'A Resource-Based Economy'. We will describe its basis in regard to industry and labor specifically discussing the role of technology and automation while isolating the five most important steps to achieving the most efficient and effective production methods possible. Then we will address the role of so- called government in this new system explaining the arcane nature of the institution as it exists today and how through the use of advanced decision-making methods we will be able to remove the dangerous subjectivity and self-interest currently at work; and rather, we will arrive at decisions based on the scientific method with the use of computer technology. A Resource-Based Economy utilizes existing resources rather than commerce. All goods and services are available without the use of currency, credit, barter or any other form of debt or servitude. The aim of this new social design is to free humanity from the repetitive, mundane and arbitrary occupational roles which hold no true relevance to social development while encouraging a new incentive system that is focused on self-fulfillment, education, social awareness and creativity as opposed to the shallow and self-centered goals of wealth property and power which are dominant today. The Venus Project recognizes that the Earth is abundant with resources and that our outdated methods of rationing resources through monetary control are no longer relevant. In fact, they are very counter productive to our survival. The monetary system was created thousands of years ago during periods of great scarcity. Its initial purpose was as a method of distributing goods and services based on labor contributions. It is not at all related to our true capacity to produce goods and services on this planet. The bottom line is that physical survival and quality of life is based solely on our use, management and preservation of the Earth's resources. Now, with our ever-growing scientific ingenuity to utilize those resources in the most humane technologically constructive and strategic ways the tradition of labor for money, and money for resources now has no legitimate basis. Industry and Labor As expressed previously, statistics have shown that humans beings are increasingly being replaced by automated machines in the workforce, causing unemployment and hence a reduction in the purchasing power of the citizenry slowing so-called economic growth. Consequently, we are now seeing a deliberate stifling and withholding of technological development for the sake of keeping people employed. It is like having an electric drill available during a job, but instead you use a manual drill because you want to get paid for more hours. It is nothing but absurd and irresponsible to slow and ignore technological development, in order to preserve an outdated social system. We need a social design that focuses on maximizing our technological abilities, for the sake of freeing humanity from drudgery and increasing productivity to its highest potential. Anything less is really unacceptable. Now, for the sake of argument let’s completely forget about our current monetary-based social system and take a fresh look at modern industrial production methods as would be implemented in a Resource-Based Economy. The question to consider is: How do we design a production system that maximizes high quality output, reduces waste considers the dynamic equilibrium of the earth and reduces repetitive and mechanical human labor? Based on the Scientific Method, here is how the logical reasoning for industrial production methods would unfold: Step 1: Survey the planetary resources. Step 2: Decide on what needs to be produced, oriented by priority ranging from bare necessities such as food, water, shelter to utility-based production items such as raw materials automation machines and technological development to production items used for non-utility based purposes such as entertainment media, radios, musical instruments, etc. Step 3: Optimization of production methods while maximizing the product's lifespan. Step 4: Distribution methods for human access. Step 5: Optimized recycling of the products that become outdated or inoperable. Step 1: Survey the planetary resources. As denoted before it is critical that we know what we have on this planet for that translates into what the possibilities are. With this information, industrial production is always adjusted to compensate for any emerging scarcity along with the most mathematically appropriate raw material distribution based on availability and most relevant application. Any scarce resource is thus immediately addressed by seeking alternatives and substitutions. This awareness can be obtained by real-time electronic feedback coming from all resource sectors of the planet fed into a central computer database that monitors any growing scarcity or problem. This idea of resource monitoring is not at all far fetched, even if it might sound complex. This point will be addressed more so a little later in this presentation. Step 2: Decide on what production is required. What do we need? This is a very powerful question for besides the obvious food, water and shelter most people today have no idea what they really want or need; for they have never been informed as to the true state of technology. What we think we need is directly a result of the state of technological development. Someone who has dust in his or her home might think "I need a vacuum cleaner." Are they sure? Perhaps what they actually need is a household pressure system that does not enable dust to enter or is equipped with electrostatic air filters that eliminate what dust there is. If we think very critically about what we think we need in a material sense we can begin to see that needs are always in transition. Science and technology are barometers of utilitarian human need; and therefore, all products made should be as advanced as that period of time makes possible. Our current monetary system which generates wasteful, outdated products constantly just to keep the companies and the economy going does not have the ability or the desire to produce the most advanced tools for our use. This is because the majority of the products produced today would not exist if society focused on what would best serve the needs of society itself. Step 3: Optimization of production methods; maximizing product lifespan If I was going to build myself a desk, I would try to make sure that desk would last as long as possible. That makes sense, right? If the desk breaks, that means I would have to build another one at the cost of more labor. It would seem logical that everything produced in society would have the longest possible life span that is technically possible. Sadly, the exact opposite occurs in our current system for as previously discussed, the monetary system thrives on multiplicity and planned obsolescence. Without it, the whole economy would collapse. In a saner world, we would make things that last. The optimization of production methods is about using the most powerful materials and methods while outputting the most long-lasting and effective products. Furthermore, human labor is not only currently being replaced by machines because it is more cost effective in the profit system, machine labor is actually much better than human labor, and output statistics have shown this continually. This, of course, should be of no surprise for a machine does not get tired and it is always more accurate and consistent than a human, mechanically. High-efficiency labor automation, coupled with the scientifically managed resource abundance will allow for a fluid, near scarcity-less environment which could be operated by only a small fraction of the population. Step 4: Distribution methods for human access. Distribution methods would also depend on the state of technology. For instance, production could theoretically become so streamlined that a product is only created when the request is actually made. Regardless, warehouse-like distribution centers along with automated delivery, would be the most simplistic way for now. Also, since there is no money used in this system there is little need for a person to hoard their items and there is also no reason for a person to steal something that is available to everyone, and they certainly couldn’t sell it. Also, in light of the fact that all goods in a Resource-Based Economy are designed to last as long as possible, the consumer culture values that exist today would also be outgrown not to mention all the other value distortions imposed by advertising today which make people feel greedy, inferior or inept. Advertising would not exist in this new system outside of general product information available to a person who thinks they might need it. To obtain a product, a person would likely just go online search for the item’s functionality, select the item and request it. It would be available for pickup or delivery soon after. Step 5: Optimized recycling of the products that become outdated or inoperable. This step actually begins at the production stage for each product designed has had incorporated into it the consideration of recycling. Nothing ever used in production would be unsustainable, or unrecyclable in some way. This is strategically considered to make sure that all older products are reused to the maximum amount enabled by known methods reducing waste. Now, one of the more confusing and difficult components for many to consider has to do with the deliberate focus of using machines to replace human labor whenever possible. The question is always, “Who will maintain the machines?” Machinery today is now being combined with computerization. Essentially, the computer is the brain of the machine and it instructs the machine what to do. This combination of machine and computer intelligence could be termed "cybernation". Cybernated machines today are probably the most powerful and influential invention humanity has ever created. The possibilities of these tools are on pace to changing the entire fabric of society, beginning first with the freeing of the human labor force. In the words of Albert Einstein, "Ultimate automation will make our modern industry as primitive and outdated as the stone age man looks to us today". This reality is not something we should fight. We should embrace it emphatically. Cybernation is the emancipation proclamation for humankind, freeing us from the drudgery of common labor opening new horizons for human creativity and exploration. These cybernated machines far exceed the physical accuracy and endurance of the human body, while also being able to compute at incredible rates, also far exceeding the computational speed and capacity of the human brain. As far as application, the first step is to ensure that the cybernated machines we devise are the highest quality components and programming. In order to do this we would have to outgrow the monetary system for it perpetuates inferior products for the sake of cyclical consumption. There is no reason why everything in your home from your refrigerator to your stove to your television to your computer could not last your lifetime without physical repair. How can that be said with confidence? Because the best materials available on this planet such as titanium, have sustainable properties that far exceed the life of a person by thousands of years. The cybernated machines would not be bought and sold. They would be built and designed to last. Not only would they have extreme durability and long lifespans these advanced machines will eventually be able to repair themselves. In cars today, there are often warning lights on the dashboard that will alert you to a problem with a particular part of the car. This idea can be expanded in all machinery, to the degree where not only is the machine's onboard computer aware of a problem supplemental machines can be thereby directed to replace the broken part in real time. As fanciful as it may seem, self-repairing machines structures and even circuits are growing realities. The problem is that the production of such efficiency is not rewarded in the monetary system so most people in society have no idea of what is actually possible. Furthermore, the role humans will play within this automated system will be that of supervisors and nothing more. Once a fully-integrated, autonomous, cybernated industrial system is set up, it is simply a matter of updating the system and making sure the system is in order. As time moves forward, we can only expect that the rate of our technological capabilities will continue to increase perfecting this system. Now, while most people today recognize society's use of machine automation in manufacturing and the like many have a very difficult time seeing how automation can be applied to complex jobs such as doctors, architects and the like. In order to consider this, we first have to ask ourselves what the true nature of our occupational roles really are. What exactly is a doctor, a carpenter, a plumber or an architect? What are they actually doing? They recognize and react to observed patterns. When a doctor examines you, all he or she is doing is mentally referencing what has been learned. If you go to a dermatologist because you think you might have cancer on your arm, the doctor is going to examine the skin and mentally reference the patterns he or she has been taught. Then they might take a sample of the skin to be tested by machine analysis. It is a technical process. There is no reason why, say, an optical scanner connected to a computer database could not be invented which could scan your arm and immediately understand what problem exists. Even surgery, as sensitive as it may seem is a purely technical process. It is simply a matter of time before extremely advanced machines replace surgeons. The same goes for every other utilitarian occupation in existence. And this brings us to a very critical realization, one that will have a very profound affect on our progress on this planet. The conscious delegation of decision-making to computers is the next phase of social evolution. The utilitarian roles that humans assume in society today are fundamentally technical by nature; while this seems obvious in regard to physical labor our mental labor can now be delegated to computers as well. If this sounds foreign to you, please note that if you have ever used a calculator you have delegated your decision making to a machine. We must remember that logical reasoning which is our cognitive ability to think out solutions to problems from a cause and effect standpoint, is entirely a technical process based on the amount of information we have at any one time. For example, if we have a problem with our car we would go to a mechanic and he would use his pattern recognition abilities and associative memory to consider the possibilities that might have caused the problem along with the possibilities for solving the problem based on reasoning. It is an objective, technical process. However, a mechanic's human brain is only capable of a certain amount of memory and intellectual processing power. A modern programmed computer, on the other hand can store tremendously more data than a human and can consistently and rapidly process information without getting lazy or tired. For instance, let's assume we have programmed a computer with the data set consisting of the car in question. The computer has been programmed to know every component every weld, and every electronic pathway etc., of that vehicle. It has also been programmed with the application of physics so that it can relate to the actual cause and effect functionality and operation of the car, not just its parts. When the car is taken in for repair, the mechanic will simply go over to his computer and input a description of the problem. He might input: "Left headlight not working." The computer would then immediately present a list of all relevant issues related to the headlight and then present a series of framed questions to the mechanic which logically attempt to locate the cause of the problem. The computer might say, "Check the connection of cable 15B," and then show a diagram of where the component is located in the car. If the mechanic finds that isn't the problem, he inputs that new information back into the computer and the computer which goes to the next logical possibility. The computer is really making the decisions. The mechanic is just orienting its focus, just like a calculator. The bottom line is that there is really no area of human operation that can not be extremely perfected by delegating decision-making processes to computer intelligence. The fact is the only thing that now separates us from machines on a cognitive, utilitarian level is our ability to create complex associations in our mind. No computer today has yet to respond effectively to being asked a complex question in the English language or any language. It requires that the language be transformed into one that it is programmed to understand such as mathematics. However, new technological fields such as artificial intelligence are beginning to grow with incredible possibilities for this kind of awareness. In time, complex thought processes once thought could only be accomplished by the human mind will eventually be achieved by computers. With this understood, we will now describe how this new possibility of delegating labor and decision making to a multi-faceted highly efficient, computerized system, is what will constitute the replacement of the institution we know of as traditional government. In the words of Dr. Ralph Linton: "The tremendous and still accelerating development of science and technology has not been accompanied by an equal development in social, economic, and political patterns. It is safe to predict that such social inventions as modern-type Capitalism, Fascism, and Communism will be regarded as primitive experiments directed toward the adjustment of modern society to modern methods." First of all, government as we know it is a by-product of environmental scarcity. They're really monetary system creations. Sadly due to the very nature of their power, history is one constant chain of governmental corruption, from the genocidal slaughter of people in opposing nations to the deliberate oppression of a country's own people in order to maintain the established order. Now, government decisions today are based on self-interest just like the corporations. There will never be such a thing as an ethical government as long as money can be used to influence the decisions of political participants. When we understand that everything in regard to social organization is a technical process, we then see that there is little reason for traditional opinions in the solving of any problem. If a person reads one page of a book and closes it he or she can easily have an opinion on that book as a whole. If another reads the whole book, they might also have an opinion. Whose opinion would you value more? The person who read the full book or the person who only read one page? In other words, the more information taken into account in the process of decision making, the more accurate that decision will be. As discussed earlier, computers can now access trillions of bits of information a second across vast informational databases and compute output results near the speed of light. The transfer of decision making to computers is the next phase of social evolution. It greatly reduces human error and removes dangerous biases, subjectivity and erroneous opinion. Because of the limitations of the sensory and cortical equipment in our body and mind, no one can know everything there is to know in the world. Our senses are limited in range. Our eyes can only see a fraction of the electromagnetic field; therefore, it is a logical progression that we delegate decision making to machines, for they do not have these restrictions. Computers used as tools can and will be able to solve problems which humans simply can not due to our physical and mental limitations. It is no different than a person who uses a pair glasses to see or a calculator to do math. Glasses are a technological tool an extension of a human being that helps a person see better than they would normally. Cybernated machines are nothing different; they are nothing more than extensional tools that expand our abilities. The human species has the powerful ability to improve itself through technological invention and we must realize this and maximize its potential. In a Resource-Based Economy, people do not make decisions. They arrive at them through the use of advanced technological tools that incorporate the scientific method. There is no Republican or liberal way to design an airplane. So why do we use these outdated world views to operate society today? When we recognize society as a technological invention with its component variables really no different than the component variables of an airplane we then see that our orientation towards so-called government should purely scientific. Politics is outdated for its processes are largely subjective, highly influenced by money and virtually without scientific reference. Government and the concept of the State will eventually be outgrown entirely and replaced by an objective system of global resource management and technological organization. Government thus becomes a cybernated system which is intimately combined with industry and is only responsible for the production and distribution of goods along with resource and environmental management. Generally speaking, the components of this new system would be as follows: 1. A central computerized database containing catalogs of every known material and every known technical understanding. As noted previously, computers have the ability to catalog information and logically compute it on a scale much larger than any human can. As stated before, the most efficient decisions we can make are decisions that take into account all known relevant variables. Only computers will be able to handle the integration of all known earthly knowledge and come up with decisions that would be logically based on the full known range of data. Just as with our previous example of our car mechanic who had his tailored database program for solving mechanical problems this central computerized database contains all known knowledge ranging from the properties, combinations and applications of every element on the periodic table to the complete known history of technological invention. Once the associative system emerges which will allow computers to contextually cross-relate all the known disciplines, we will have at our grasp a tool of immeasurable possibilities for the new method of problem-solving and invention will be an interaction with this database program. In fact, it will likely come in the form of a simple website on the internet. You would pose a problem or a question to the database and it will give the best feedback that is possible based on the current state of knowledge at that period in time. It is no different than interfacing with a calculator but this new calculator has a powerful associative system and an extensive database of knowledge that can not just understand and compute math. It can integrate physics, biology, astronomy and every field of science into a concentrated tool. If this sounds like science fiction you can rest assured that the US military's Pentagon likely already has similar database and decision-making programs which it uses for war strategies. However, in order for this system to be effective it must also have real-time feedback input from the planet in order to understand what resources we have so we can account for dynamic equilibrium. Therefore, the central computerized database would lock into an earth-wide autonomic sensor system with environmental sensors in all relevant areas of the planet generating industrial electronic feedback regarding resources operations, and other environmental issues. This holistic system keeps track of all the resources on the planet while also monitoring the Earth for environmental disturbances which humanity should be alerted to. This will not happen overnight, but if we begin with constructing regional systems and over time interlink all the regional structures it could be created sooner than we think. The interaction of this sensor system will inform the central database program of what is available and what is scarce while the database will in turn, constantly adjust industrial methods based around the dynamic equilibrium on the planet along with improved technology. Now, even with our understanding of the profound labor-relieving affect computerized automation will have on society when we finally decide to outgrow our scarcity-based monetary system and focus on the maximization of technological invention and abundance for all the world's people there will still, of course, be the necessity for human technicians to work within the system, updating it and overseeing its operations. We can consider them interdisciplinary teams. Interdisciplinary teams of technicians oversee the system and help orient research projects to continue growth, efficiency, and social evolution. In an optimized version of the system, no more than 5% of the world's population would likely be needed to run the show. The more optimized and powerful our technology and methods become the more that number decreases. They would simply work in scientific fields relevant to the functionality of society. Of course, many who hear this often ask: "What about democracy?" "How do I participate in the system?" "Do we elect the interdisciplinary teams?" In a resource-based global economy, the traditional concept of politics elections and the like, has no relevance or basis. While this notion scares a lot of traditionally-minded people it must be reiterated that our problems in life are technical and are relative only to humanity as a whole. We must also face the fact that so called "democracy" in today's world is a complete illusion. It always was. People think they have choice in our current system because they can press a button on a voting machine and put some pre-selected person into power. Once that person is in power, the public then has no say. Did you vote for the space program? Did you vote for the cabinet of the new President? Did you vote for the tax cut? Did you vote for where highways or power grids go? Did you vote for the war in Iraq? No, you didn’t. The traditional concept of a “participatory democracy” is a cruel joke. The game has been used to give the public the illusion of control for countless generations, while the distorted monetary powers at the top continue to do whatever they please. There never was a true democracy in any country in history and there never will be as long as the monetary system is in operation and scarcity is perpetuated. So then, how would a person participate within a Resource-Based Economy? Well, how would you define participation? True participation in society would entail understanding how society technically worked and then constructively proposing ideas or innovations to be implemented, created or altered. The first thing a person would do is interact with the Central Database. Which, as denoted before, would come in the form of an Internet web page that every person on the planet has access to. They would then input their proposal. The Central Database, with its historical knowledge and full integration of all scientific fields would then analyze the concept for its scientific and technical integrity . along with optimizing the materials required if necessary based on current understandings and availabilities. If the proposal is initially accepted by the Central Database after it examines it for its basic integrity it would either immediately be put into production such as would be the case for a desired invention or it would be turned over to the interdisciplinary teams that oversee the implementation of a new proposal and orient it into the system. The person who submitted the proposal would then become a part of the interdisciplinary team relevant to the idea. . These teams would not be fixed but constantly revolving based on who wants to participate in a given field and what they have to contribute. This is a true election based on what a person has done, not what they say they will do. Furthermore, the public's fear of traditional corruption will have little basis for there is no reward for it. The interdisciplinary teams do not get paid in any way for their worldviews have been expanded to realize that their reward is, in fact the fruits of the society as a whole and they contribute because it benefits them directly. While this might sound difficult for those who have been fully indoctrinated into the monetary-based reward system and feel that money is the only incentive there is let it be known that every day, all over the world millions of humans volunteer for the greater good. In a 1992-released Gallop poll, more than 50% of American adults volunteered with no pay for social causes at an average of 4.2 hours a week, for a total of 20.5 billion hours. This is an incredible triumph for the collective human spirit. For even with the sickness of narrow self-interest generated by the monetary system humans still strive to help each other and give to society without reward. . In the future, those who choose to work in the cybernated industrial system, will do so because it is an honor to serve humanity. They will understand that it is in their self-interest in the broadest way, to see to it that humanity lives and works together for the greater good. The reward in a resource-based economy would be the continual improvement of society for all. So, participation is open to everyone because all issues are fundamentally recognized as technical. The degree to which a person contributes is based simply on that person's education and the ability to create and problem solve. This is why expanded relevant education is critical. In society today, the public is always kept uninformed and as dumbed down as possible. This way the government can maintain control. In a resource-based economy, the goal of the educational system is to produce the most intelligent and aware human beings as possible. Why? Because everyone then has a greater possibility of contributing greatly affecting our collective social evolution for the better and improving the lives of all. Now, due to the importance of this section let's recap what we have discussed: Who makes the decisions in a resource-based economy? No-one does. Decisions are arrived at by the use of the scientific method, utilizing computers that gain realtime feedback from the environment along with a central, historical database of all known technical information and maintained by revolving interdisciplinary teams. The goal is to increase objective decision-making as much as possible and when we fully accept that our problems in life are actually technical the merit of this approach is without parallel. In the end, the only real issues for society and natural world are: 1. The production of goods and services that are equally available to all. 2. Research projects and educational systems to expand our knowledge, understandings and applications; and 3. The constant monitoring of the Earth's resources and atmosphere for feedback and possible environmental problems. We could address true threats to humanity such as unforeseen variables like tsunamis, earthquakes and disease. The only real problems in life are the problems that are common to all humans. Cities and Lifestyle In this section we are going to extend the tenets of the Resource-Based Economy (RBE) into one of our most fundamental social inventions: the city, specifically, The Venus Project's circular city. We will also discuss how people's lifestyle will change in a Resource-Based Economy (RBE), likely with values and goals that are profoundly different from what we see today. In a RBE, the cities are designed to be extremely flexible allowing for constant upgrades and changes. They are emergent, fully-integrated systems designed to evolve like a living organism. Jacque Fresco's innovative, multidimensional and circular city designs would use the most sophisticated resources and construction techniques available. However, it requires a fresh start. Trying to fix our current cities are not worth the time, material or effort. It is much less problematic and effective to build newer cities from the ground up, than to restore the old ones. The circular city permits the most efficient use of resources travel techniques, and general functionality with a minimum expenditure of energy. The geometrically elegant, circular arrangement is designed to allow for the highest standard of living and the most productive, and efficient ways possible. For instance, the outermost perimeter of the city is for nature-oriented recreation, including lush gardens and parks for hiking and any other outdoor activity. The next inner section is the agricultural belt using outdoor and indoor agricultural methods so food can be grown all year round. Continuing in, eight green areas provide clean renewable energy sources for the entire city. While these energy sources would be region-specific often these methods would include: geothermal, wind and solar while those cities close to water will extend to wave and tidal power. The largest of these green areas is also the residential belt. The residence are constructed by extrusion technology and other methods of high tech prefabrication. The days of bricks and wood being stuck together are no more. Structures of the future will be near-solid units extruded as a whole. All homes and apartment complexes are also virtually self-contained systems. For instance, the outer surfaces of these new structures serve as photovoltaic generators converting solar radiation directly into electricity. The homes are fire resistant, require little maintenance and are impervious to water and other environmental influences. Moving in past the residential district, are education, science and research centers, along with production and distribution centers. Automated inventory systems would integrate the distribution centers and manufacturing facilities in a highly coordinated and efficient way. In the center of the city there is a large dome that contains the central cybernated system which is the brain and nervous system of the entire city. The core dome electrically controls and monitors the production and distribution of products while also controlling environmental factors within the system. For example, in regard to the agricultural belt electronic probes monitor and maintain the soil conditions including the water table, nutrient allocation, and other attributes. This method of environmental feedback is applied to the entire city complex. This way, a balanced-load economy can be maintained with overruns and waste eliminated. Waste recycling and other needs are located beneath the surface of the city always utilizing the most advanced, and clean technology. Other city designs would include various land-city configurations: total enclosure cities, along with cities in the sea. Regardless, the cities on Earth in whatever form they take are all tightly interconnected within a worldwide system. Just as each city has a central organizational dome which functions as the brain, along with its nervous system, consisting of computerized, environmental monitoring via satellite and electronic probes, the larger world complex absorbs each city and monitors the broad spectrum of the environment, making sure that there isn't a problem or material resource needed in any of the individual cities while also regulating larger order processes for all cities and the environment as a whole. Lifestyle It's important to point out that in our current system the traditional family is broken with both parents having to work in order to survive. Monetary economics undermines family cohesion and childcare. Stress is always high due to medical bills, insurance, education costs, employment insecurity and living costs. In a Resource-Based Economy (RBE), the integrity of the family will be returned. Beyond that, the cultural values of society as a whole would undergo profound change, with the monetary system outgrown and the world working together to produce abundance for all the citizens of the planet. Activities we appreciate will expand greatly for the amount of human freedom will be unlike anything we know today. Consequently, one of the more in depth changes in lifestyle and values will be the way people think about property. In most of the world today, property is a powerful concept with people often associating their social status to what they own. As stated before, the monetary system requires cyclical consumption to function. This naturally leads to people being manipulated into thinking they want or need a particular good or service. With the powerful tactics of modern advertising, most in the world support an artificial, materialistic value system that entails wanting more and more goods and services often regardless of the necessity or utility. In a Resource-Based Economy (RBE), the monetary system will no longer pollute the human mind via its manipulative arm: advertising. The endless sea of billboards, media commercials, magazines and the like, will no longer poison the landscape, or our perceptions. This will cause a dramatic shift in what we find important and hence change our lifestyles. More to the point, in a Resource-Based Economy (RBE) there is no reason for property. Property is an outgrowth of scarcity. People who had to work very hard to create or obtain a product or resource in turn, protected it because it had immense value relative to the labor entailed, along with the scarcity associated. Property is not an American or a capitalist idea. It is a primitive mental perspective generated from generations of scarcity. People only claim ownership because it is a legal form of protection. In a system of abundance without the need for money, the idea of ownership becomes irrelevant. In this new system no-one owns anything; instead, everyone has unrestricted access to everything. Ownership is a massive burden; no longer will a person need to live in one place; one could travel the world constantly. Anything needed is obtained without restriction. There is no reason for abuse for there is nothing to gain. You can't steal things that no-one owns and you certainly couldn't sell them. Household items would be obtained through central distribution in the cities while recreational items are available on call or near the location of interest. For example, if you go to a golf course you would select, on site, your clubs from the most effectively designed models available. You use them and then you return them. If you decide to keep the clubs, go ahead; that's your burden for why would a person want to transport, maintain and store golf clubs, when they can always have access to them and return them on site? Our homes today are full of stuff that we hold on to because of the supposed value they maintain. This waste will no longer be needed. In this economic model, the city, or in fact the entire world is really your home. If you require an automobile for whatever reason the car is made available for you. When you get to your destination the satellite-based driving system will automatically make the car available for others to use as opposed to sitting in some parking lot, wasting space and time. In society today, the need for property results in extreme product overlap and redundant waste. It is much more intelligent to create a universal shared system, for it dramatically reduces waste, redundancy and increases space and efficiency. Human Behavior In this section, we are going to discuss the issue of human behavior and its relationship to the environment while also addressing the legal system and its extremely despotic backwards basis for influencing human conduct. Some people who consider the tenets of a Resource-Based Economy (RBE) tend to think that the system would be difficult due to something called 'human nature'. The argument is that humans are inherently competitive greedy, and blindly self-serving implying that no matter how technically good things are in society there will always be corrupt people who want to abuse others and seek dominance. Human nature is defined as: the shared psychological attributes of humankind that are assumed to be shared by all human beings. Therefore, the implication of the term is that certain psychological hence, mental behaviors are in some way, hard-wired into a person. We are thus supposedly born with some preset psychological inclinations. It is easy to see how this kind of assumption has manifest for if you look at the historical record for the human species thus far we see an endless series of wars genocides, conquests and power abuses. Given that this is the pattern we recognize it is easy to assume that it must be some set human nature to behave in ways that are historically recurring. Furthermore, so-called criminal behavior has been a focus of psychologists for some time. Is it the responsibility of an individual's genetic make up that makes them a so-called criminal, or is it the environment in which they are raised that determines this? This is the age-old question of nature versus nurture. First, what exactly is criminal behavior? How do we qualify behavioral distinctions that have been invented by man and changed with time? The entire concept of criminality is temporal and relative to a culture's values and concepts of morality. Only 600 years ago, certain indigenous cultures around Mexico engaged in mass human sacrifice, often killing thousands at a time. Was this criminal activity? To us, perhaps but to them it was accepted social custom. What about the generations and generations of accepted slavery? Is a criminal someone who steals food in order to feed his or her starving family? The bottom line is that there is no concrete scientific evidence that really supports the notion that any of our behaviors are strictly the result of our genetics. The notion of human nature is largely mythological. It stems from primitive, religious dualities that the human is good or evil inherently. The pursuit of people who seek the gene or the like, which is supposedly the cause of a particular behavior is essentially a form of superstition. It is like a person being possessed by demons which control their actions. The fact is, while neurochemicals and physiological traits set propensities for a person's reactions and social gravitation it is the environment that really creates our values and behavior. There is no fixed, predetermined 'human nature'. Our values, methods and actions are developed and derived from experiences. A Chinese baby, taken at birth and raised by a British family in England will develop the language, dialect, mannerisms traditions and accent of the British culture. The bottom line is that our behavior is based upon what we learn, coupled with the bio-social pressures that we must deal with in order to survive. As far as society today, the most fundamental condition for offensive behavior is derived from the monetary system. As expressed before, the monetary system perpetuates corruption, stratification, scarcity, and insufficiency. So-called "decency" can not exist in a world of competition, wealth imbalance, poverty and deprivation. The despotic behavior we see in the world today is not the result of ingrained, genetic forces. It is essentially a result of years of scarcity and competition. The Legal System In response to this, society today attempts to control people by way of threat, using laws. Laws are nothing more than "patches" which do not address the root causes of behavior. If a person is arrested for stealing very little thought is given as to why that person chose to steal to begin with. Rather than consider the root causes society today takes the easy way out and often removes the so-called “criminal” via prisons. The source of any so-called crime is really society itself. There is no such thing as a “criminal”. As repeatedly expressed, the monetary system generates corruption by its very construct. As the Merva-Fowles study presented previously clearly shows socially offensive behavior is directly related to the socioeconomic circumstances. The great majority of people in prisons come from deprived socioeconomic positions. Therefore, if we want to alter the behavior of people we have to alter the social conditions. We want to "design out" the flaws. We don't put up a sign that says "Speed Limit 55 mph" for safety. You design the system technically so safety is built in and human error is either greatly reduced or not an option. If you don’t want a person to steal you make what they need readily available to them without the need for debt subservience or competition. With the progress of technology today, we have the ability to create a new social system that can allow all people access to the necessities of life without a price tag, debt or servitude. This will have a profound effect on the way people treat each other and interact in society. A staggering drop in crime would be the result, for most crimes are monetary related. Furthermore, for those crimes that might occur such as a person who kills another out of jealousy they would not be treated as a criminal, but rather as a sick patient. Society will understand that people are products of their environment and rather than condemn the person to a cold concrete cell social scientists, psychologists and sociologists will heavily research the cultural causes that generated the killer’s behavior and consider those conditions that need to be altered often through education. In Conclusion since antiquity, great religious and secular philosophers alike have constantly advocated peaceful, unified ideals for humanity. From Christianity to Hinduism, the idea of seeing others as yourself is a long-standing disposition. Sadly, one glance at society today makes one wonder why the idea of universally valuing and respecting your fellow human being, and working together, has never taken root. Today’s self-interested, money-oriented society creates an environment that refuses to allow for the universal caring and account of another. This system is based on the perpetuation of oneself at the expense of others; and therefore, it will never allow for a world of balance and harmony. The fact is, it is time to stop praying stop wishing and stop blindly talking about our supposed humanistic and religious ideals and actually work to make them happen! A Resource-Based Economy (RBE) puts into practice everything the great religious and philosophic teachers have always talked about in regard to humans embracing each other as their own and working together in mutual respect as a single human family. The use of science and The Scientific Method while often deemed cold and heartless, actually presents one of the most profound spiritual unfoldings we have ever seen. While many people look with great awe and respect upon figures like Mother Teresa and her selfless nature, few tend to see Alexander Fleming, the man who discovered penicillin in the same romanticized way. Penicillin has saved countless more lives today than any charitable idea or organization. The point is that science and technology are divinity in action. We cannot wait for some divine revelation or some “great man” to guide us. We must realize that we are on our own on this planet and it is up to us to change the world for the better. It is time we stopped pontificating and providing lip service to those spiritual values which religious and secular philosophers have been discussing for millennia, and finally put them into practice. Science is the tool for this functional spirituality, and if we work to apply its methods for the betterment of civilization itself, we can reach the spiritual goals we have sought since antiquity. The Zeitgeist Movement Join us www.zeitgeistmovement.com www.thevenusproject.com Subtitles have been made possible thanks to dotsub.com

Video Details

Duration: 1 hour, 37 minutes and 5 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Peter Joseph - Zeitgeist Movement
Director: Peter Joseph - Zeitgeist Movement
Views: 215,455
Posted by: zachg on Mar 9, 2009

The Zeitgeist Movement: Orientation Presentation

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