Now this is the stuff of my childhood dreams. When my imagination was still unbounded and unfettered by the burdens of reality and the skepticism of age I dreamed of molding and forming society like play-dough. The Venus Project, the brain child of Jacque Fresco, is doing just that. This is the luxury of genius at its best. Even at first glance I can recognize the science fiction novels I have read that have been influenced by this stuff.
But is all of this just modernist, Jean-Luc Picard type thinking that is already being supplanted by the post modern sense of relativist spirituality?
One of the cornerstones of The Venus Project, or its activist arm, Zeitgeist, is to kill the modern monetary system replacing it with a resource based economy. On the surface I would agree that this sounds like a great thing. Who wouldn’t want to live in a world where stuff is worth what it is actually worth? Oh, I forgot, alot of people wouldn’t. This is where I start to get a bit discombobulated with the whole plan.
Call me a pessimist if you must, but I harken from protestant roots and still very much believe in total depravity (otherwise known as the theology of how all people suck). I would love to get behind the Venus Project and help build a society that is completely sustainable — one without war, poverty, and injustice. But I just don’t see how getting rid of money is going to achieve this. I can’t quite accept that people won’t still fight over fame, pride, lust, etc. even once the lure of greed and monetary need are gone. (Just because all my physical needs are met doesn’t mean I won’t want to boink your wife, does it?) In a resource based economy won’t someone still decide to jockey for power by controlling a crucial resource?
Even if you just see it as an old story, Cain killed Able before money existed and before resource scarcity could even be conceived. He did it for power, control and to manipulate. Now, it might still be nice to eradicate our outdated monetary system, but I still think the best route toward sustainability and stability is gonna’ have to include humility and selfless sacrifice in the face of human hubris, and that includes well intentioned hubris like that of the Venus Project.