Paradise or Oblivion: The Venus Project

via The Venus Project

The Future and Beyond

By Jacque Fresco

Beyond Utopia

With the advent of future developments in science and technology, we will assign more and more decision making to machines. At present this is evident in military systems in which electronic sensors maintain the ideal flight characteristics in advanced aircraft. The capacities of computers today exceed five hundred trillion bits of information per second. The complexity of today’s civilization is far too complex for human systems to manage without the assistance of electronic computers. Computers of today are relatively primitive compared to those that will evolve in the future. Eventually the management of social systems will call for require electronic sensors interconnected with all phases of the social sequences thus eliminating the need for politics.

Today modern industrial plants have built in automatic inventory systems, which order materials such as bearings and other mechanical replacements well in advance.

We believe it is now possible to achieve a society where people would be able to live longer, healthier, and more meaningful productive lives. In such a society, the measure of success would be based upon the fulfillment of one’s individual pursuits rather than the acquisition of wealth, property, and power. Although many of the concepts presented here may appear as unattainable goals, all of the ideas are based upon known scientific principles. It is not my purpose to write an article that would be acceptable to people this is not the concern of science.

The social direction being proposed here has no parallel in history with any other previous political ideology or economic strategy. Establishing the parameters of this new civilization will require transcending many of the traditions, values, and methods of the past. The future will evolve its own new paradigms, appropriate to each successive phase of human and technological development.

Throughout the history of civilization few national leaders or politicians have ever proposed a comprehensive plan to improve the lives of all people under their jurisdiction. Although such individuals as Plato, Edward Bellamy, H.G. Wells, Karl Marx, and Howard Scott all made some attempts to present a new civilization, the established social order considered them impractical dreamers with Utopian designs that ran contrary to the innate elements of human nature. Arrayed against these social pioneers was a formidable status quo composed of vested interests that were comfortable with the way things were, and a populace at large that, out of years of indoctrination and conditioning, wanted no radical changes. These were the millions of unappointed guardians of the status quo. The outlook and philosophy of the leaders were consistent with their positions of differential advantage.


Venus Project
  • Charlie Primero

    Übermensch who transcend humanity. We could give it a spiffy new name like, oh I don’t know, “Scientific Socialism”. I wonder why nobody ever tried this before.

    • echar

      Translation: You didn’t watch the video or read the essay. You don’t know what you are talking about.

    • The Well Dressed Man

      Such a belief system was extremely popular in the US less than 100 years ago.:

      • misinformation

        It may not be ‘popular’, whatever that means but technocracy is a alive and well as I type this. Most of the ‘developed world’ is a technocracy.

        • The Well Dressed Man

          On the contrary. Scientists and engineers are beholden to the interests of the plutocracy. Technocrats would replace fiat currency and even precious metals with energy as the unit of exchange.

          • misinformation

            I believe you’re attempting to make too clear of a distinction. Either scientist/engineer OR plutocrat, is a false paradigm.

          • The Well Dressed Man

            Ok so there’s some crossover between STEM professionals and extreme wealth. If I qualify “technocrat” with “utopian,” does that help? The early 20th century political technocrats in the US were very much inspired by Veblen’s writings on an economy of value as opposed to rule by an idle leisure class.

          • misinformation

            Yes. The clarification helps. Thank you.

  • The Well Dressed Man

    It’s unusual to find so many reasonable, sensible ideas in one place. The only concept missing IMO is offworld colonization.

    • Simon Valentine

      perhaps the jewel of quantum days near shall lend us a star trek transport

      the bigger they are, the harder they fall apart
      and so the small must get smaller
      the simple must get smaller
      and the space-time must get greater

      not so efficient to perform twelve years worth of calculations only to teleport across a room, per se
      teleporting thousands of lightyears after two hundred years worth of calculations, on the other side of things, may indeed “be worth it”

      • The Well Dressed Man

        can you recommend study resources for more mundane calculations? currently, multivariable calculus course is manageable, but applying integration to physics of classical electromagnetism is not going well. also, i’m terrified of the next time i have to consider taylor polynomials.

        • Simon Valentine

          hmm since i doubt we’ll be theorizing about anomalous propulsion methods of escaping black holes, i don’t forsee we’ll be doing much factoring (currently my only application for taylor ploynomials is integer factorization) … so opening that theoretical book i leave to you …

          i have a hard time not edging towards the witch-crafty or wizard-ish mumbo that is a blurred nonfiction or imaginaryreal or theoreticalpractical ‘line’ (lol)

          but i’ll try to forego that penchant

          while having taken 4 semesters of calculus, it is not what my mind coupled with. what did couple was graph theory. the relation (of our here consideration) would indeed seem again to be n-body physics, and that Indra’s Net (a recent (0.0) for me). to me, math is a refinement tool, or a finalization of an expression of an idea that ionewe may begin within graph theory (for translation purposes). sort of like interfacing with a GUI instead of ‘speaking in equations directly to a processor’? at the same time, i like the latter at heart, and creativity itself feels as to become obsolete in a good yet ’empty way.

          to get more to the point you, and myself, are searching about … i honestly don’t have what i’d consider befitting the profile of Study Resources. i have not seen any documents .. worthy enough. math and science are per se a respective stoneironwheelsword age – we await something industrial to catch up to our worldly pace. an odd thing to say, considering there’s always been ‘math and physics are perfect and god like!’ sort of thing.

          computer programming, alan turing, graph theory. if every discipline had an alan turing … i have no idea what your experience with that area of the sciences is, so it’s a blind recommendation :)

          were we to have the industrialized Quantum Jewel, the experiments performing quantum teleportation are even more scarce on must-needs type study resources.

        • Simon Valentine
          • The Well Dressed Man

            I’m gonna need at least another year of math and physics to even find the P. Sometimes I wonder if the critical theory crowd has ever succeeded in retaliation for the Sokal affair, and what form such retaliation would take.


          • Simon Valentine

            all a bit overboard for me. i couldn’t help but wonder though, if “Journal and Co.” had perpetrated their own ruse, which was in turn not uncovered, as of course categorical fallacy is as easy as breaking windows & puncturing tires, egging paint & sugaring tanks. orthodox analysis is as painful to me as sitting in church and having my brain writhe in response to “logic”.

        • Simon Valentine
        • Simon Valentine
        • Simon Valentine
        • Simon Valentine

          i apologize for the link bombing

          a little quip here though:

          any of the sciences can improve their praxis and comprehension by studying NP and attempting to prove that P = NP … not solely for “well it’s one more thing so since more knowledge is improvement, obviously” reasons, but due to the inherent ordering, structure, system, etc.

          to me, it’s really .. weird .. how inceptional this is right now. but really, attempting to prove that P = NP … running various algorithms, trying for efficiency or specificity .. is far too haunting when i get into other peoples’ sciences. i get this feeling like they’re me when i was “running the P = NP game”. i truly and wholeheartedly wish i could … offload .. this .. sentiment .. in detail, in a book. but i think that is mortality calling and death knocking.

          beyond the P = NP illusion is another blank slate. having past the fascination and coincidence/linking/epiphany phase, i find this new realm disturbing. but i have always preferred a fresh start, even if it means i have to defend against oblivion’s attackers…

          • The Well Dressed Man

            :) I did ask for it.

            My hope is that P approaches NP in some quantifiable manner, as understanding the question seems to be much of the problem of complexity.

          • Simon Valentine

            ah, i shall interpret this as a simple simon
            “work is work, power through”
            for a person like me, a refreshing memory.

            in the days of P and NP being a false dichotomy, i suspect pastimes to be made of today’s sciences – even the most remote of them being “merely a hobby” of future beings.

          • The Well Dressed Man

            my appreciation for simplicity is ever growing. work is only work if the energy yields some displacement, however slight. overcoming the static frictional coefficient of the normal force can represent tremendous work.

          • Simon Valentine


          • The Well Dressed Man

            cool! the vacuum space dij is nifty. i used to run an 8 foot dijiridoo through multi-effects processors back in the industrial days, and cherished every time that a hippie would yell at me for “summoning the dead.”

          • Simon Valentine

            glad to hear it :)
            respect for [that] the dead [want to have fun too]
            it gets dull to only be ‘scary’ or ‘met with a dull moodlessness’ all the time

          • Simon Valentine

            check out
            “5 everyday things that go totally nuts in zero gravity”
            on cracked dot com

        • Calypso_1

          You are choking at going from 2nd order derivatives to Taylor series?

          • The Well Dressed Man

            i memorized enough examples of power series to pass calc 2, but can’t say the comprehension was ever solid. i just know they’re going to come back with a vengeance. current calc 3 prof has been giving geometric proofs of algebra in 3 space for a month, and is now defining derivatives of position (insert picard facepalm.) effectively applying calc to gaussian surfaces to calculate electric field is the current quandry in physics class.

          • Calypso_1

            oooK. The transition from wrote functionality to comprehension is tough. I never know how much plodding through the functional apparatus is going to take before a light bulb goes off (usually I need to do 3-4x the number of problems assigned). In addition to getting more mental muscle memory under your belt with the prerequisites to eliminate the anxiety of performing them (even if an emergent flow of perception has yet to occur) you have to break down the areas where different operations are going to connect to other methodologies. The methods are all machines. Sometimes you may be replacing a part of a machine you understand to yield different capabilities other times you are plugging one black box into another to do the same (maybe think of guitar effects processing).
            You may not have the mathematical comprehension but their other parts of your mind that understand how to integrate complex topics. You are going to need to find analogies to make bridges.

            This layout of transition of hyperbolic functions to Taylor series is good:


            Take a look at the info on smooth functions:

            You might find the relationship between parabolic & geometric continuity is useful.

            This course has good info linking geometric continuity & Taylor series. (if this looks at all promising check out the entire outline)



            Look at as many other instructors courses as you can. Everyone explains these topics differently. You will find someone that clicks.

          • The Well Dressed Man

            Thanks! Very thoughtful links! The first 8 Lawrence lectures seem to cover most of the material on Monday’s exam. Great to have another source. The Taylor series model for the x-axis field of a dipole looks very promising. Math really only makes sense to me using a physical model.

  • echar

    If a person can get past themselves, their fears, and their intellectual hang ups… Then this is the most beautiful vision that could be hoped for.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Someone’s been reading Iain M. Bank’s The Culture series.

    Huh, apparently he just died.

  • Adamas Macalz

    I’ve been interested in this for years… i’m glad to see people are still shooting for the dream… I need to get involved with their community outreach program when I get the chance

  • Len

    Jacque Fresco is an amazing human being, and has wonderful ideas. In my opinion, though, we haven’t nearly evolved to the point of putting any of his ideas to action. It seems what’s happening now is diametrically opposed to the Venus Project.

  • Juan

    I just love this vision, especially the idea of being free from the drudgery of a fucking job and the slavery of money.
    But you know, having seen my entire life how a few people dominate and exploit everyone else, I have this fear that Fresco’s vision could be turned onto some kinda hellish dystopia run by psychopathic technocrats, instead of psychopathic oligarchs, like we have now. Not really sure which would be worse.
    I think if anyone were to start to even come close to somehow doing away with or fundamentally restructuring the monetary system, that person would end up like Micheal Hastings pretty damn quick. I guess Fresco is allowed to keep doing what he doing as long as he remains in the “harmless crank” category.

  • guest

    Juts get everyone on board at the same time and eliminate the psychopaths, then we might have a chance.
    pretty sure the Archons won’t approve.

    • Calypso_1

      A quick way to get on board would be to start pleasuring yourself in public places.

  • DrDavidKelly

    How do we decide who gets the apartments with a nice view? Or have we all evolved past jealousy …

  • MysticInvestigations

    The plutocratic elites, their mega multinational corporations, and banks, and the governments they in turn control are what holds humanity back, and is in fact purposely destroying us all. We need an entirely new election system free of political parties that merely draws from a pool of volunteers to be our reps in government. We also need to eliminate insider trading, and anything that allows people to make money when in office. Also limit terms to one year. These politicians never do nothing good anyway.

  • thepete

    I don’t really have the patience to watch a 48 minute video or read that article. I did read the entire first page and kept wondering what the point was. The best I can understand from the first page is that we’ll “evolve” into a technological utopia that will be better than the society we have now. First, evolution doesn’t really work as efficiently as I think Mr. Fresco believes it does.

    Second, as a big technophile, myself, I think it’s a HUGE mistake to trust technology to function properly and long enough to build an entire society around it–I mean, how many people would die during the first BSOD? How much suffering would be caused because a virus corrupted some data? Technology can only be as flawed as the humans that designed it–which is pretty flawed, if you ask me.

    Third, what do you do with people who don’t want to play along? What do you do with people who are openly antagonistic to this new society, either before it, during it’s “evolution,” or after it’s establishment? This last issue I have with the Venus Project is my biggest problem with it. It is this problem that makes me think of this as so much pie-in-the-sky garbage that embraces the classic “messiah” scam–that someone or something will come along and save humanity in one fell swoop. Whether it’s a single person or a single “ideal” society, it’s just not going to happen. Honestly, I feel that, societally, we may have already reached the most ideal we can get.

    OK, I’m shutting up now before my comment turns into something as long as Mr. Fresco’s.

  • Simon Valentine

    as one, it is difficult to keep up with so orthodox a quantity
    an assertion seemingly absurd, given “it is such a simple task”
    “it is such a simple task” said the task master
    who had never done the work
    “it is merely this this this”, paying no heed to omega classification
    paying no heed to the non-polynomial
    paying no heed to my grand design
    “it is such a simple task” we lamented, as the master bled out
    “why did this take so long?” we already knew the answer
    we’re the answer
    “i am the machine” “i am the computer, the calculator, the tool”
    “what an action is worth; what work; what energy; what measure, if not mere comparison, juxtaposition, and the lies this master had told – these are questions, answers, and us as we were before, during blood, and after – sith spectres”
    “who then was that master, if not merely our minds?”
    who then is incapable of seeing the signs, and knowing
    there never was a master.

    et tu?