American futurist and self-described social engineer
Jacque Fresco (March 13, 1916 – May 18, 2017) is an American self-taught structural designer, architectural designer, concept artist, educator, and futurist. He is the founder of the Venus Project.
- Competition is dangerous, socially offensive, considered right and normal, because you are brought up to that value system. What kind of competition did Jesus have? What kind of competition is there in your body? Suppose your brain said, "I'm the most important organ!" And the liver said, "I am. And I want a Free Enterprise system!" You'd rot away in a month if every organ of your body went out for itself.
- When I was a young man, growing up in New York City, I refused to pledge allegiance to the flag. Of course I was sent to the principal's office and he asked me: "Why don't you want to pledge allegiance? Everybody does." I said: "Everybody once believed the Earth was flat but, that doesn't make it so." I explained that America owed everything it has to other cultures and other nations, and that I would rather pledge allegiance to the Earth and everyone on it. Needless to say, it wasn't long before I left school entirely. I set up a lab in my bedroom. There, I began to learn about science and nature. I realized then that the universe is governed by laws, and that the human being, along with society itself, was not exempt from these laws. Then came the crash of 1929, which began with what we now call "The Great Depression." I found it difficult to understand why millions were out of work, homeless, starving, while all the factories were sitting there, the resources were unchanged.
- Appearance in Zeitgeist: Moving Forward (2011).
- It was then that I realized that the rules of the economic game were inherently invalid. Shorty after came World War II, where various nations took turns, systematically destroying each other. I later calculated that all the destruction and wasted resources spent on that war could've easily provided for every human need on the planet. Since that time, I've watched humanity set the stage for its own extinction. I have watched as the precious, finite resources are perpetually wasted and destroyed in the name of profit and free markets. I have watched the social values of society be reduced into a base artificiality of materialism and mindless consumption. And I have watched as the monetary powers control the political structure of supposedly "free societies." I'm 94 years old now and I'm afraid my disposition is the same as it was 75 years ago: this shit's got to go.
- Appearance in Zeitgeist: Moving Forward (2011).
Designing the Future (2007)Edit
- For the hundreds of thousands of years of human existence when technologies were simple or non-existent, this may have had little impact on human life and the earth that sustains it. Each generation of hunters and gatherers, then plowmen and pioneers, passed on tools to the next generation to help them survive. Change from one generation to the next was slow and hardly noticeable. In those days there was little understanding of science and how things worked, and explanations were not scientific.
- You can play a role in the shaping of tomorrow’s world by asking yourself questions like, “What kind of world do I want to live in?” and “What does democracy mean to me?” There are many other options of organization for the future than those typically discussed today... In order to accomplish this task one must be free of bias and nationalism, and reflect those qualities in the design of policies. How would you approach that? This is a difficult project requiring input from many disciplines.
- p. 6-7
- The lives of most men and women are blighted by problems they cannot solve. Many events in our lives are the result of things beyond our control. While it is comforting to think, “I’m in charge,” in truth most changes effected by individuals are very limited in scope.
- People usually blame themselves or “fate.” However, when two cars collide at an intersection, should we blame the individual drivers, “fate,” or the way transportation is engineered so that it permits collisions in the first place?
- In 2005 there were 43,200 thousand deaths in the US from car accidents, plus hundreds of thousands of injuries. But consider another way we get people from one place to another – the elevator. How many people have been killed in collisions between elevators? These devices carry millions of people every day without a single mishap because of their intelligent design. How might highway transportation be similarly arranged?
- p. 8
- One would think that with our technology we could eliminate most social ills. Couldn’t modern technology supply enough food, clothing, shelter, and material goods for all if used intelligently? What is stopping us from achieving this? Technology is racing forward but our societies are still based on concepts and methods devised centuries ago. We still have a society based on scarcity and the use of money. We still have thinking patterns based on old structures used several thousand years ago. We are trying to adjust to the rapid advances in technology with obsolete values that no longer work in today’s world.
- p. 9
- What has been handed down to us does not seem to be working for the majority of people. With the advances in science and technology over the last two hundred years, you may be asking: “does it have to be this way?” With the observable fact that scientific knowledge makes our lives better when applied with concern for human welfare and environmental protection, there is no question that science and technology can produce abundance so that no one has to go without... Hopes for divine intervention by mythical characters are delusions that cannot solve the problems of our modern world. The future of the world is our responsibility and it depends upon decisions we make today. We are our own salvation or damnation.
- p. 10
- Although we accept the inevitability of change, humans meet it with a lot of resistance. In most cases, change threatens those in positions of advantage and for the most part they are there in the first place to keep things the way they are.
- Yet at every turn, vested interests (those who have the most to gain in keeping things the way they are) oppose even technological changes... And so it goes.
- Until scientific inquiry came of age, human beings could not comprehend their relationship to the physical world, so they invented their own explanations. These explanations tended to be simplistic and in many cases, harmful. For example, if one knows a tidal wave is approaching and chooses to stay and pray for deliverance rather than leaving, this could be detrimental to his/her survival... Scientists ask the question “what do we have here?” and then they proceed to do experiments to determine the nature of the physical world.
- p. 14
- People raised in a monetary system where the bottom line is profit are likely to outsource portions of their business rather than be concerned with the well-being of their country and employees. The nature of our social institutions perpetuates this behavior. For example, if a moderate sized company were concerned with the well-being of employees and provided medical care, playgrounds for children, and a higher wage scale, it would not attract as many investors... This is not human nature but a byproduct of the culture.
- p. 18
- Many people today see genes as a reason for aberrant behavior, but the major influences have been shown to be environmental... What is considered appropriate behavior today may be considered un-sane in the future...Better values, ideals, and behavior cannot be fully realized while there is still hunger, unemployment, deprivation, war, and poverty.
- p. 19
- The existence of money is hardly ever questioned or examined, but let’s consider our use of money.... There are many disadvantages to using this old method of exchange for goods and services. We will consider just a few here and let you add to this list on your own.
- Money is just an interference between what one needs and what one is able to get. It is not money that people need, it is access to resources.
- The use of money results in social stratification and elitism based primarily on economic disparity.
- People are not equal without equal purchasing power.
- Most people are slaves to jobs they do not like because they need the money.
- There is tremendous corruption, greed, crime, embezzlement, and more caused by the need for money.
- Most laws are enacted for the benefit of corporations, which have enough money to lobby, bribe, or persuade government officials to make laws that serve their interests....
- When travel outside the city is desired, computer-guided vehicles for land, sea, air, space and beyond can transport passengers and freight. For rapid movement of passengers on land across via ducts, bridges, and tunnels, high-speed mag-lev trains span great distances and will efficiently replace most aircraft transportation.
- Without large corporations controlling automobile manufacture for profit, all transportation systems can be designed as modular, continuously updated, and provided with the latest developments in technology.
- p. 35
- The conflicts today with our fellow human beings are over opposing values and limited access to the necessities of life. If we manage to arrive at a saner future civilization, the conflicts will be against problems common to all humans.
- In a vibrant and emergent culture, rather than having conflicts between nations, the challenges we will face will be overcoming scarcity, restructuring damaged environments, creating innovative technologies, increasing agricultural yield, improving communications, building communications between nations, sharing technologies, and living a meaningful life.
- As we enhance the lives of others, protect our environment, and work toward abundance, all our lives can become richer and more secure. If these values were put into practice, it would enable all of us to achieve a much higher standard of living within a relatively short period of time; a standard of living that would be continuously improved.
- When education and resources are available to all without a price tag, there will be no limit to human potential.
The Best That Money Can't Buy: Beyond Politics, Poverty, & War (2002)Edit
- Although many of us consider ourselves forward-thinkers, we still cling tenaciously to the old values of the monetary system.
- 1. A design for the future.
- Our times demand the declaration of the world's resources as the common heritage of all people.
- 1. A design for the future.
- People will continue to search for answers to universal and perplexing problems. But to find meaningful answers, one must first know what questions to ask.
- p. 18.
- War represents the supreme failure of nations to resolve their differences. From a strictly pragmatic standpoint, it is the most inefficient waste of lives and resources ever conceived.
- p. 31.
- We must stop constantly fighting for human rights and equal justice in an unjust system, and start building a society where equal rights are an integral part of the design.
- p. 33.
- Whenever money is involved, there is elitism.
- 6. The inhumanity of a monetary-based system.
- As we begin to plan for a new human society, we need to foster common values about clean air, water, and other elements of self-sustenance. These, along with a complete inventory of Earth's resources, will form the basis for a holistic approach to cybernated decision-making.
- p. 54.
- Laws, at best, are attempts to control a population, and work only sporadically with great expense and hardship. Other common behaviorcontrol methods are patriotism, religion, propaganda, and nationalism. All manmade laws are developed to preserve the established order.
- p. 72
- Human beings free of debt, insecurity, and fear become much more amiable. With no one out to sell anyone anything or to deprive another of possessions or money, the basis for unhealthy human aggression is outgrown. People no longer are burdened by the nagging concerns that consume so much attention such as mortgages, health care costs, education fees, fire insurance, economic recession or depression, the loss of jobs, and taxes. With the elimination of these burdens and the removal of the conditions that create feelings of envy, greed, and competition, people’s lives would be far more meaningful.
- p. 76
- Science and education, when devoid of a social conscience or environmental and human concern, are meaningless.
- p. 110.
- Earth is abundant with plentiful resources. Our practice of rationing resources through monetary control is irrelevant and counter-productive to our survival.
- p. 158.
- Almighty dollar
- Criticism of capitalism
- Post-scarcity economy
- Socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor
- Technological utopianism
- The Zeitgeist Movement
- The Choice is Ours, featuring Jacque Fresco, The Venus Project 1hr 37 mins, (2016)