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Interview: Creig Dikerson - A Conversation with Jacque Fresco

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A conversation with social innovator and futurist Jacque Fresco - Let's start with the context of current world events. We live in a world of perpetual warfare and crime and corruption. A war ends in one location, and it begins in another location. The theater of war rotates, but it never goes away. Protest after protest, we never stop the wars that continue to go perpetually. It seems that we need a different approach in dealing with the problem of perpetual warfare. How does The Venus Project approach this? - If you really wish to bring an end to war, poverty, hunger, and most crimes, what we have to do, eventually through education, is declare all of the earth's resources as the common heritage of all the world's people. That would be number one. If that is attained, then we can do away with all of the artificial boundaries that separate people. Before the states had joined together into one nation, there were territorial disputes at all the borders. There were militias, but once the states had joined together, the militias disappeared. There was no need for it. The same process can be applied to all the sovereign nations of the world. To be invited in to a participatory democracy, whereby all the resources are shared by all the world's people; I see that as the only means. Transitionally, if you substitute any other system, we will have built-in antagonisms. So, this is what we have to strive toward. I don't say this can be accomplished in one swoop. It's a slow process of education. We hope to make a motion picture depicting these changes and showing people what the advantages would be to each individual throughout the world of a resource-based economy. - Why do you propose such a radical change? - Well, I would like to see an end to war, poverty, unnecessary human suffering, and I can't see it within a monetary-based system where the richest nations control most of the world's resources. I can not see that happening. I see a constant repeat of the same series of events: war, poverty, recession, again, boom, bust, and war again. I see no end to that cycle of events unless we declare the earth as common heritage. - I hear discussions of a new paradigm and economic systems, and you're proposing such a change in a resource-based economy. What is a resource-based economy, and how does that compare with a monetary-based economy? - In a monetary-based economy, we use money as a medium of exchange. Now, money doesn't represent our capacity to produce. It just represents a method designed hundreds of years ago and established within the system. In the monetary-based system, it's wealth, property and power, and that is the main directive. Now, today we say "How much will it cost?" That is not really the question. The real question is "Do we have the resources to build that kind of project?" Yes, we do. "Do we have the money?" No, we don't. We don't have enough money to wipe out the slums and build housing all over America, and schools, even if we taxed everybody, doubled it. We don't have enough money, but we have more than enough resources available to build anything we want to build. If you have difficulty with that, consider this: Suppose all the money in the world disappeared tomorrow morning. As long as there are farms, water, building materials, we can build anything we want to build. It isn't money that people need; it's access to resources. In other words, it was necessary, a hundred years ago, to use a monetary system for the distribution of products. Today, we have the technology to make those things available. What are we chiseling off each other for? - Exactly what is a resource-based economy? - A resource-based economic system does not use money, barter, trade, or any of the older systems that were prevalent. It's based on designing a culture that fits in with the carrying capacity of the world's resources. Anything else other than that will not work. It's like sending people to the moon without water, without food, operating on the assumption that the moon will provide. It has to be based... All science and technology must be based upon resources. Without resources, whatever planning you do, if you don't have the resources, is invalidated. So, the resources must coincide with the industrial potential. - How does the resource-oriented economic system, which The Venus Project promotes, how does that offer a different approach to our society? - It would change the basic outlook of people. There will be no such thing as unemployment, no such thing as war, no police, no prisons, no banks, no money; but people would have access to new housing, education, health care, and all of the things we don't have access to today without putting out a great deal of money. - When you say "no money, no banks," you mean that there will be no debt, no credit, no barter, no form of monetary exchange? - ... by any individual or group, and no inventions would be owned by corporations. They would be in the public domain. So, you can't make money on new cancer treatments. You can't make money on anything that should be in the public domain, and we think everything should be in the public domain. - I see how that relates to the effectiveness in reducing the emissions that are destroying the ozone layer. There is no profit motive, so there is no reason to continue that behavior. I can see how it would reduce the destruction of our rain forest. Because there is no profit motive, there is no reason to destroy the rain forest. We have no restraints for finding alternatives that don't damage the ecosystem. Recycling, huge problem with waste, non-recyclable waste... Without the profit motive, we have no reason not to develop eco-friendly products. - Yes, this is so. - The decadence, the moral decay of the pool of people that we choose our political leaders from. - We don't choose them, mostly the establishment does the choosing. - So, we would eliminate, we would step away from the constraints of capitalism in a resource-based economy. - Yes, nothing less will do. There is no compromise, middle way. Until you have common heritage, you are going to have all the same kind of problems, more or less. Modified or enlightened capitalism would reduce the problems only minimally. - So, in a resource-based economic system, you are saying that territorial strife would be diminished? - Gone. There is no basis for it. To protect your property, you have military and police. Since you don't own anything in the future, you live in your ideal house. You drive very well-designed cars, and when you get out of that car, it goes to service automatically; it's maintained. You don't want to own anything. What you really want is access to things when you want it without waiting in line, and that's what I'm talking about. I'm talking about making things available to people. You don't want to own your golf clubs. You want them there when you want them. When you go to the golf course, you want to be able to select whatever clubs you like, whatever you like to work with. That's what you really want. When you go down to the yacht basin, you want to get in a cabin cruiser and go out with your family. You don't want to fill out any forms, and someone will tell you "Hey! There's fifty people before you!" We would turn out more than enough so that you can always go down, and there is always a car out there for your use. - Is monetary economics at the root of the problem and can it be fixed? If it can be fixed, why not? - Frankly, within this system, in order to survive, you have to submit to the methods of this system. A lawyer is not out there to help you always. There is money in it for the law firm. In other words, the motivation is not what you would call based on human concern. It's based on the bottom line. The motivation in most industries, the bottom line is profit, not the betterment of humanity; and they would feel that that is a by-product of this system. I don't believe that. It's that the rules of the game were invented so many years ago, they no longer fit the economic circumstances of the times. What we would like to do is update our system, so that it fits the new technology. Invite them in, shorten the work day, increase the availability of goods and services to all people throughout the world without any nations taking advantage of any other nation's resources. - What does The Venus Project represent? - One world working in one direction, the intelligent management of resources, and upgrading the standard of living for all the world's people with profits to none and service to everyone. - What about scarcity? Can that be eliminated? - Do we have enough resources to satisfy the growing population in the world? Yes, today we have more than enough, and it is incontestably proven that we have more than enough. It's just that the ways we manage our resources are wasteful. We change the design of automobiles every year, so people will buy new cars. We raise the hemline on clothing. We change the spring fashion, the fall fashion, the winter fashion, so you will buy things and constantly be involved in purchasing things. In the future we will design cars to last ten years or more, so you don't have to service them. We will engineer, innovate, and make newer things designed not to wear out and break down. - What about 'human nature'? - I think that environment shapes values and behavior. Genetics, to a certain extent, set the propensity, but they do not give us a value system. Genetics is not responsible for greed, bigotry, racism, prejudice. All that is learned. If you don't alter the condition that generates that, I don't see a solution. What The Venus Project advocates is the redesign of our culture, so that those conditions no longer exist. - Who makes the decisions? - Instead of formulating a decision as we do today, we will arrive at them, and that is a method similar to that used in engineering where you put something to test in order to find out or evaluate a particular situation. Decision making then in the future will be based upon actual studies on human need, protecting the environment, and manufacturing goods and services with clean technology. - Who decides who gets what? - You do. You go to the access center, look around, and if there are things that you would like to have, you put in a request for them. That simple. - You are talking about, if I read you correctly, no money, no credit, no borrowing, no debt, no bartering? Where is the incentive? - No war, no territorial disputes, crime reduction by about 90%, the end of fear of economic deprivation or losing your home or illnesses which you can not afford economically to take care of. All that comes to an end. If that isn't a good enough incentive, I don't know what is. A lot of people are brought up to believe that money is the driving force that generates incentive. It also generates incentive for corruption, embezzlement, taking care of your brother-in-law, unfair practices, racial discrimination. I'm saying that, yes, money does produce incentive, but it also produces all the other factors, which are generally left out. I would say the people we remember in history are not the people who made a buck or made lots of money. They are people that have given their lives to benefit the lives of other people without financial gain: Mother Teresa, Christ, Gandhi. Martin Luther King didn't march in the South because there was 2000 bucks deposited in his account. He did it because this was what he believed. I would say that all the great achievements throughout history did not come from monetary systems. It came because people believed in what they were doing. Advocating a public library doesn't bring money to anybody, but it brings education to everybody that couldn't afford books. I'm saying, the real people that we admire are the people that we build statues to, who did public works, not because of the monetary incentive. I'm afraid of people that do things for money. I don't feel secure about it. - Would the election of people with higher moral content solve the problem? - No, because even if we succeeded in electing people of unquestionable moral character, if we ran out of resources, there would be lying, cheating, stealing, and artificialities. It isn't moral character that we need. It is the intelligent management of the earth's resources. The real future depends on our ability to solve scarcity problems, overcome those problems through our own creative ingenuity. - So how do you envision a transition into this type of system? - If you keep bringing in machines and replacing human beings, (we call it 'downsizing' today) the majority of people in America and throughout the world will not have the purchasing power to buy goods or services. This will bring an end to the old monetary system. I would see economic collapse as the only system that would bring people around to say: "Gee, I see that the people I've elected into political office are not competent enough to get us out of this problem," and they will be looking for other possible alternatives. This is when The Venus Project comes in. The more people know about it, the more likely that it may be installed. The Venus Project does not say "This is what the future will be." All it says is "This is what the future can be if we accept the postulates and proposals of The Venus Project." What we need are seminars on problem-solving: how to accomplish each successive phase of human development; that is what The Venus Project has to offer: the methodology of how to achieve a higher standard of living for all the world's people without the creation of the uniformity or standardization, or subservience to an elite form that manages government. We have no elitism. We have no government. We have no police, no prisons, no armies. There is no need for it in a resource-based economy. - What problems stand in the way of us implementing of this type of transition? - Traditions, habits, indoctrination, propaganda. We are all propagandized to accept our system as the best system. We are all given stories about the culture, our cultural history, and which has left out the detrimental aspects. All societies tend to support the dominant values of that society. There is no such thing as an 'objective society'. If there were, you couldn't have German scientists making weapons of destruction. American scientists, British scientists, Dutch scientists, French scientists working in serving their government. Real science has no allegiance to government. It only has allegiance to methodology. We are using our finest minds on weapons of destruction and methods of maintaining control and dominance. This is not a loyalty to the Fresco system, or loyalty to The Venus Project. I'd be against that. You have loyalty to the Earth and all the people that live on it. - How will we overcome the fear of losing our jobs to machines? - In the money system, it means you can't pay your rent, and you can't eat, and you can't buy a car, and you can't buy anything you need. In a non-monetary system, in a resource based economy, when the new machines come in, we lengthen your vacation time. We...shorten the workday, make more goods and services available to you. Many more options to choose from. So, there is no threat. It's only in the monetary system that machines can threaten your survival or purchasing power. - Who will do the manual labor? - During the transition, it will be done in a manner similar to the way it is done today, humans working with machines. After the transition, most machines will be designed to intelligently carry out a given project. - But I have trouble imagining a system without some form of government. - At a time in a future when computers will replace government, they will arrive at decisions by being interconnected with production, agriculture, transportation, and human needs. Therefore their decisions, instead of being arbitrary, are based upon real physical needs. - In such an advanced technological world where automobiles operate themselves and buildings are self-erected and the computer controls just about everything else, what will people do? - The options that would be put forth on your video sets and computers are so many. You can go back to school, study anything you want to study, get into marine science, and practice any hobby you want to. You are the one that will select how you want to use your time. - Based on the projections of The Venus Project, how do you envision the world tomorrow? - The appearance of the world of the future will be based upon the newer technologies that evolve. The shape of the cities will be based upon the kind of environment people would like to live in, and the machines of the future will be based upon energy determinants. That is, the energy available and the kind of energy we can tap into to make more things available to people, not only materially, but spiritually, and also with concern for one another and the environment. To an individual not familiar with The Venus Project, it seems like high-tech, all kinds of new technologies installed, and they want to know where the people fit into this. "What does that got to do with people, all the bridges and designs of buildings are very interesting, but what about people?" All these bridges and all these buildings are designed so that they are self-maintaining. They do not need constant repair, and all of the machines are designed to free people to go back to school, study what you want to study and do what you want to do, and fulfill the needs that you have that need to be fulfilled, so that you can become what is called an individual; a creative individual that doesn't need to fall in line with any particular point-of-view. We welcome your criticism of The Venus Project. We welcome the participation of everybody and the contributions. We have no idea of what the ideal society would be, nor do we entertain such views as Utopia. We feel that all systems will constantly change to whatever conditions are necessary to fit the needs of the times. We have no fixed blueprints, so we invite participation, and we invite recommended changes because the history of civilization is the story of change. That's why The Venus Project has no fixed blueprint. - Who decides what the future will be? - I don't think anyone ought to decide what the future will be, but we ought to decide where we wish to go and what kind of world we wish to live in, and do we have the facilities and resources to build such a world? The answer to that is "Yes, we do have the ability and resources to build such a world." There is no way for you to make it on your own. Either we think globally or we perish individually. When I speak about globalization, I'm not talking about the global concept of corporations running everything on earth where all human beings would be subject to their wishes. I'm talking about common heritage of all the Earth's resources by all the world's people; and therefore, all decisions being made would be based upon that which benefits every living being. For more information: Designs: Jacque Fresco; Models: Jacque Fresco, Roxanne Meadows Model Photographer: Jacque Fresco Computer Animation: Doug Drexler; Music: Kat Epple Presented by: Future by Design

Video Details

Duration: 24 minutes and 40 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Producer: Future by Design
Director: Future by Design
Views: 503
Posted by: ltiofficial on Jul 13, 2012

Creig Dikerson interviews Jacque Fresco on perpetual wars and what solutions, the Venus Project and differences between a Monetary Based Economy and a Resource Based Economy.

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