An Economy Based on Resources
Our current economic system can use some improvement. The government’s manipulation of currency, deficit spending, and bank bailouts are among many of the controversies that we have to deal with in modern times.
But I recently found out about an organization called the Venus Project that aims to replace the society we currently have with one that’s based on computer driven central planning. In this new hypothetical economy money doesn’t exist. The system will revolve around resources instead. The idea is that all the resources in the world belongs to everyone. And the way resources are used up and distributed is by a computer program. Right now we have enough food in the world to technically feed everyone, but poverty and hunger still exist. This new system would solve those kinds of social economic problems. A central artificial intelligence would keep track of all the oil, timber, fish, and other goods available, and it would manage the production and distribution of stuff in the most efficient and environmentally sustainable way so that everyone would have enough. In such an economy that is based on resources, there would be no use for money. 😕 The Venus Project also claims it will shorten the work day and raise the standard of living higher than what most people realize is possible.
Although I agree that the status quo needs to be challenged I don’t think the Venus Project is the right solution. In fact, I don’t think its proposition is even possible at this time. There are a lot of concerns about the project that have yet to be addressed. Personally I don’t understand how an economy can even function without a price mechanism.
Money doesn’t just simplify life. It also bolsters stability in a market so we can budget in a predictable fashion. 🙂 Money can be anything as long as most people accepts it as a medium of exchange. It can also be used as a store of value.
The co-founder of the Venus Project, Jacque Fresco, argues that “greed and envy are a creation—a side effect—of the current monetary system and the profit motive.” But I disagree. I think greed and envy will still remain in society even if we live in a world without money. There also haven’t been any test runs or experimental systems of this kind of economy working yet. I also don’t know how a computer software could remain objective about making economic decisions for everyone when it’s programed by people who have different biases and lifestyle preferences. On the surface this ambitious project sounds like an egalitarian paradise. But so does communism, until we dig a little deeper and realize it’s impractical to assume that everyone is sufficiently altruistic in nature. Nevertheless, the group has been around for decades, has a large Facebook following, and millions of YouTube views with 98% approval ratings on its more popular videos. So apparently lots of people think the Venus Project is a good idea.
Random Useless Fact:
Nintendo shares shot up 25% on Monday this week thanks to the unexpected popularity of its new game, Pokemon Go.
I’ve always wondered about a world without money. Unfortunately, I think humans use it as a way to separate who is ‘better’ than other people, and I just don’t see human nature able to give that up.
There’s a lot of tainted money in the world. It taint mine and it taint yours. 🙂
As I was reading your post, I thought “this sounds just like communism” – and then you made the comment. That’s exactly what it sounds like.
Jacque Fresco’s comments seem very naive to me. Has he never watched toddlers fly into fits of jealousy and greed because another child touched their toy? Greed, envy, etc are the human condition. We can all learn to better control them and channel them to society-bettering purposes, but they will always be there in one form or another.
The idea sounds very influenced by Marxist ideology to me. What Jacque Fresco and his supporters don’t make clear who’s going to be producing all the goods and how will labour be assigned.
Money is just a tool. If we think that if we replace it, everything will be utopia, we will only go back to replacing money with other forms of bartering that are money-like, using coconut shells, stones, gold, diamonds.
People won’t be better just because there’s no money. We’re focusing on the wrong thing. We should be fixing equality in incomes, raising minimum wage and fixing the equality gap between men, women, workers & CEOs.
Money has nothing to do with any of this. It is a TOOL.
“We should be fixing equality in incomes, raising minimum wage and fixing the equality gap between men, women, workers & CEOs.”
Doing all that will “fix” relatively little. Still focused on the wrong thing(s).
Yeah, getting rid of money won’t fix inequality.
Hey Liquid, nice post. Always exciting when I see new posts from you in my email stream!
Although it’s hard to imagine a world without currency, it can certainly be done. I recently read a story of a man who bartered his way from a red paper clip to a house!
That story is a more than a few years old, accomplished with world wide attention.
Then again, there’s a reason why society no longer uses the barter system.
It’s impressive what good bartering skills can accomplish lol. I once saw a video clip of someone performing a song for some donuts.
Very interesting. I had never even heard of the Venus project before. It’s hard to imagine a world without money, but the way technology is being created, I doubt anything is impossible.
It was pretty popular a few years ago, but the movement has died down a bit. I can’t imagine a world without money but it’s an interesting concept for sure.
“So apparently lots of people think the Venus Project is a good idea.”
Anything to represent people’s ideal, no matter how misplaced.
I wonder how many supporters of the movement actually actively live according to the Venus creed of ‘wealth redistribution’? I’d bet it’s very close to 100%.
..Just read through the Venus website. Had a good laugh.
I tend to be a bit sceptical when people spend a lot of time and energy telling others how great their idea is. If it’s such a great idea like having an economic system where people don’t have to work hard or worry about financial stress, then show me. Most of the world’s land surface is still uninhabited and can be used for experiments like this.
Doesnt really work out in prison either… or Russia… The gangsters/hustlers will always want more. What would be more interesting to me is world wide currency. Hurts every time I have to convert to USD and TSX hasn’t moved.
The special drawing rights (SDR) is probably the closest thing we have to a world wide currency right now. It’s only used by sovereign entities at the moment, but for regular consumers like us there is unfortunately no alternatives than our domestic currencies, USD being the most popular reserve currency in the world.
You apparently don’t understand what’s the Venus Project iss all about. Just watch the latest movie “The Choice Is Ours” and you maybe will understand better, why there are people, like me supporting the project.
The next step for the project would be to build a Research city, but in the current monetary system they obviously need money to do so.
Your questions you have about the project are all answered in the movies and on the website.
@TVPsupporter You are completely right. Because of people like him we can’t achieve a far better – not a perfect – future for everyone. Please do proper research before writing a blog post!
Hi TVPsupporter. I finished watching “The Choice is Ours” on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yb5ivvcTvRQ It’s a great video and I understand the Venus Project better now. At around 1 hour 10 minutes into the video the narrator says that machines directed by artificial intelligence would construct bridges, viaducts, and dams. And that industrial plants and apartment buildings would be self erected using robots and machines. The Venus Project also says that a central computer system would have sensors in the ground to detect moisture levels in the soil and combine this information with weather systems and other natural data from different parts of the world, and then decide how to best use resources for maximum efficiency and conservation. But it doesn’t go into the mechanisms of how that system would work. One problem is that this theory assumes that natural resources exist in the world as a determinable amount. But this isn’t necessarily true. A computer can’t tell us how much oil there is under the arctic because people haven’t explored all of it yet. Resources don’t automatically have any value to society. It’s people that make resources valuable. I don’t know if there is any oil under my farmland but even… Read more »
Hey, I’m happy you sat down and watched the movie. I can’t answers all of your questions now, but the Venus Project wants to use the best technology available at that time, to ensure a well being of all earth’s people. And Individuality will still be a big thing.
I’m far more optimistic in AI than you, but that’s only my opinion.
And keep in mind that there are also other projects reaching in this direction.
In advance, the Venus Project is now planning to build a research city.
I’m sorry I didn’t answers your questions, maybe I will sit down and try to answers them more in depth another time.
By no means will a Venus Project society be a perfect society, but I hope we can or will agree that it would be much better than the current system.
Being critical is a good thing. But PLEASE, all your concerns are disproved, and your questions answered, if you would have look for the answeres. (Tip: Website, Youtube Channel + Youtube Comments)
I looked for the answers online. But I was unable to find any of them. Could you help me find more information about this resource based economy? One of my questions that I brought up in my original blog post is that I don’t know how an economy could function properly without some kind of price mechanism. How would people in society behave without money? I don’t necessarily mean money like cash or credit, but like the general definition of some kind of divisible commodity that is used as a medium of exchange. I can’t fully wrap my head around a moneyless society yet. I tried looking at the website, and watched some movies about the Venus Project, and read the Youtube comments like you suggested. But so far I haven’t seen any explanation of how it works. For example, Jacque Fresco says that people in this new society will live in those eco friendly houses. But what about ownership? Do the people who live in those houses own the property or does everything belong to everyone? If private property or ownership doesn’t exist in this community then can anyone play in someone else’s backyard? If nobody has private ownership… Read more »
I’m playing a Music Instrument myself, and yes, I don’t want to share my Instrument, like you said. In a Venus Project society I’m able to have a house by myself. You could live inside a city or outside. And I’m sure I could also have a music instrument for myself. You wouldn’t really lose something. And you would have a higher living standard as everyone today has. I’m also having a decent living right now, I’m not poor, have a not so small house in a suburban area of a big city, but I want everyone to have a good life, and mine wouldn’t be worse. Maybe a computer wouldn’t or shouldn’t decide everything. I agree. There could be real democratic voting wether the inhabitants of the city want to have trees or flowers. You can read about specific topics on tvpmagazine.com (there is an article called “competition and cooperation, curiosity and motivation). I’m very happy that you are open for this idea. (You could also check out other similar ideas such as “Steve Sailor for president” on YouTube or others . Maybe you like this or other similar ideas more or they will make things clearer for you.)… Read more »
In a TVP society you would be really free because you could get what you want and do what you want, but with new values.
You could have your snowboard, but others maybe only need a snowboard once a year and they are OK to only have one for this time. You could also have your vodka but future generations maybe don’t want to drink because it’s unhealthy, but they could. Nobody would play in your backyard because they have their own property, house and garden. Your house would be yours, and nobody wants to be in your house, because they also have a house.
Have you read the FAQ of the Venus Project?
On tvpmagazine.com are also articles which could answer your questions (i.e. motivation).
well thats a computer based form of communism. at first glance the idea of calculated based economic governing sounds great. we would all have just what we need, there would be no greed, no want, no squabble (i’m glad thats actually a word). for the first few months anyway. the problem is we wouldn’t have any motivation besides personal amusement which wont take us but so far. infact the only real progress would be in the sector of cheating. cheating would be the only way to get ahead. people work because of incentive. people work as a means to pursue happiness. people need purpose, competition, and most of all the hope of obtaining something better than their current reality.
Well… thats what I think anyway.
I agree. The incentive structure is very important to any economic system. I’m not sure what would motivate people to work if they don’t have to. Even if I believed the premise that 90% of all the work required by society is done by robots there are still 10% of the economy that needs workers, especially skilled workers in intellectually demanding fields in order to understand how the computers, robots, and high tech world operates so that they can maintain and fix any issues that come up in the system. There also needs to be technicians to constantly fix, upgrade, repair, and replace the machines and robots that are doing most of the heavy lifting of society. In a resource based economy where there’s no money why would I want to repair robots or troubleshoot computer programs if I could spend my time instead on playing golf, reading novels, watching TV, learning a second language, playing music with my friends, or doing a number of things that bring enjoyment to my life but doesn’t actually help society in anyway. It’s not like I’ll get money for doing work. This is just speculation on my part that’s not based on evidence… Read more »