The quintessential "Survival Guide" for critical thinkers living on planet Earth in the 21st Century!
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Zeitgeist The Addendum part 3 - "Greed and competition are not the result of immutable human temperment…greed and fear of scarcity are in fact being created and amplified…the direct consequence is that we have to fight with each other in order to survive"

"Greed and competition are not the result of immutable human temperament…greed and fear of scarcity are in fact being created and amplified…the direct consequence is that we have to fight with each other in order to survive" Bernard Lietaer, Founder of the EU Currency System.

[FRESCO]
"My name is Jacque fresco. I'm an industrial designer and a social engineer. I am very much interested in society, and developing a system that might be sustainable…for all people.
First of all, the word corruption is a monetary invention…that aberrant behavior...behavior that's disruptive to the well being of people. Well, you're dealing with human behavior, and human behavior appears to be environmentally determined, meaning, if you were raised by the seminal Indians as a baby, never saw anything else, you would hold that value system.
And this goes for nations; it goes for individuals; for families… they try to indoctrinate their children to their particular faith and their country, and make them feel like they're part of that. And they build a society, which they call 'established'. They establish a workable point of view, and tend to perpetuate that. Whereas, all societies are really emergent, not established. And so, they fight new ideas that would interfere with the establishment.
Governments try to perpetuate that which keeps them in power. People are not elected to political office to change things… they are put there to keep things the way they are. So you see, the basis of corruption is in our society. Let me make it clear. All nations then, are basically corrupt, because they tend to uphold existing institutions. I don't mean to uphold or downgrade all nations, but communism, socialism, fascism, the free enterprise system and all other sub-cultures are the same… they are all basically corrupt.

[NARRATION:]
The most fundamental characteristic of our social institutions is the necessity for 'self-preservation'. Whether dealing with a corporation, a religion. or a government, the foremost interest is to preserve the institution itself.
For instance, the last thing an oil company would ever want is the utilization of energy that was outside of its control, for it makes that company less relevant to society. Likewise, the cold war and the collapse of the Soviet Union was, in reality, a way to preserve & perpetuate the established economic and global hegemony of the United States…similarly religions condition people to feel guilty for natural inclinations, each claiming to offer the only path to forgiveness and salvation.

At the heart of this institutional self-preservation lies the monetary system, for it is money that provides the means for power and survival.

Therefore, just as a poor person might be forced to steal in order to survive, it is a natural inclination to do whatever is needed to continue an institution's profitability. This makes it inherently difficult for profit-based institutions to change, for it puts in jeopardy not only the survival of large groups of people, but also the coveted, materialistic lifestyles associated with affluence, and power.

Therefore, the paralyzing necessity to preserve an institution, regardless of its social relevance, is largely rooted in the need for money, or profit.

[TITLE : "INDUSTRY"]

[FRESCO:]
'What's in it for me', is the way people think. And so if a man makes money selling a certain product, naturally he is going to fight the existence of another product that may threaten his institution. Therefore people cannot be fair and people do not trust each other. A guy will come over to you and say, "I've got just the house you're looking for".
He's a salesman. When a doctor says 'I think your kidney has to come out', I don't know if he's trying to pay off a yacht, or that my kidney has to come out- it's hard in monetary system to trust people.
If you came into my store and I said this lamp that I've got is pretty good, but the lamp in the next store is much better, I wouldn't be in business very long. It wouldn't work… If I were ethical, it wouldn't work. So, when you say industry cares for people… that are not true. They can't afford to be ethical. So your system is not designed to serve the well being of people… if you still don't understand that, there would be no outsourcing of jobs… if they cared about people. Industry does not care. They only hire people because it hasn't been automated yet. So, don't talk about decency and ethics… we cannot afford it and remain in business.

[NARRATION:]
It is important to point out, that regardless of the social system, whether fascist, socialist, capitalist or communist, the underlying machanism is still money, labor and competition.
Communist China is no less capitalistic than the United States. The only difference is the degree by which the state intervenes in enterprise.
The reality is that "monetary-ism", so to speak, is the true mechanism that guides the interests of all the countries on the planet.

The most aggressive and hence dominant variation of this monetary-ism is the free enterprise system. The fundamental perspective, as put forth by early free market economists, like Adam smith, is that self-interest and competition leads to social prosperity, as the act of competition creates incentive, which motivates people to persevere.

However, what isn't talked about is how a competition-based economy invariably leads to strategic corruption, power and wealth consolidation, social stratification, technological paralyses, labor abuse, and ultimately a covert form of government dictatorship by the rich elite.
The word corruption is often defined as moral perversion.
If a company dumps toxic waste into the ocean to save money, most people recognize this as corrupt behavior. On a more subtle level, when WalMart moves into a small town and forces small businesses to shut down, for they are unable to complete, a gray area emerges…. For what exactly is Walmart doing wrong? Why should they care about mom and pop organizations they destroy. Yet, even more subtly, when a person gets fired from their job, because a new machine has been created which can do the work for less money, people tend to just accept that as " the way it is" not seeing the inherent, corrupt inhumanity of such an action.

Because the fact is, whether it is dumping toxic waste, having a monopoly enterprise, or downsizing the workforce, the motive is the same.- profit. They are all different degrees of the same self-preserving mechanism, which always puts the well being of people second to monetary gain. Therefore corruption is not some byproduct of monetary-ism… it is the very foundation. And while most people acknowledge this tendency on one level or another, the majority remains naïve as to the broad ramifications of having such a selfish mechanism as the guiding mentality in society.
******

[MSNBC NEWS VIDEO CLIP]
"Internal documents show that after this company positively, absolutely knew that they had a medication that was infected with the Aids virus, they took the product off the market in the U.S. and then they dumped it in France, Europe, Asia and Latin America. The US government allowed it to happen…. The FDA allowed this to happen and now the government is completely looking the other way. Thousands of innocent, hemophiliacs have died from the aids virus. This company knew absolutely that it was infected with Aids. They dumped it because they wanted to turn this disaster into a profit."

[FRESCO]
" So you see, you have built in corruption. We are all chiseling off each other, and you can't expect decency in that sort of thing.

[TITLE: "POLITICS"]

[FRESCO]
And feeling that, they don't know who to elect. They think in terms of a democracy, which is not possible in a monetary based economy.
If you have more money to advertise your position… the position you desire in government, that isn't a democracy. It serves those in positions of differential advantage… so it is always a dictatorship of the elitists- the financially wealthy.

[TEXT ON SCREEN:] "WE CAN EITHER HAVE DEMOCRACY IN THIS COUNTRY OR WE CAN HAVE GREAT WEALTH CONCENTRATED IN THE HANDS OF A FEW, BUT WE CAN'T HAVE BOTH" - Louis Brandeis, supreme court justice

[NARRATION]
It is an interesting observation to note how seemingly unknown personalities, magically appear on the scene as presidential candidates. Then, before you know it, somehow you are left to choose from a small group of extremely wealthy people, who suspiciously have the same broad social view.
Obviously, it's a joke.
The people placed on the ballot are done so because they have been pre-decided to be acceptable by the established financial powers who actually run the show.

Yet, many who understand this illusion of democracy, often think: if only we could just get our honest, ethical politicians in power, then we would be okay. Well, while this idea of course seems reasonable in our established oriented worldview, it is, unfortunately, another fallacy. For, when it really comes down to what is actually important, the institution of politics, and thus politicians themselves have absolutely no true relevance as to what makes our world and society function.

[FRESCO:]
"It's not politicians that can solve problems. They have no technical capabilities. They don't know how to solve problems. Even if they were sincere, they don't know how to solve problems. It's the technicians that produce the desalinization plants. It's the technicians that give you electricity…that give you motor vehicles, that heat your house… and cool it in the summertime. It's technology that solves problems, not politics. Politics cannot solve problems, because they are not trained to do so.

Very few people today stop and consider what it is that actually improves their lives. Is it money? Obviously not… One cannot eat money or stuff money into their car to get it to run… is it politics? - All politicians can do is create laws, establish budgets and declare war. Is it religion? Of course not…. Religion creates nothing except intangible emotional solace for those who require it.

The true gift that we have as human beings have, which has been solely responsible for everything that has improved our lives... is technology.

[TITLE: "TECHNOLGY"]

What is technology? Technology is a pencil, which allows one to solidify ideas on paper for communication. Technology is an automobile, which allows one to travel faster than feet would allow. Technology is a pair of eyeglasses, which enables sight for those who need it.

Applied technology itself is merely an extension of human attributes, which reduces human effort freeing humans from a particular chore or problem. Imagine what your life would be like today without a telephone… or an oven… or a computer… or an airplane. Everything in your home, which you take for granted, from a doorbell to a table to a dishwasher, is technology, generated from the creative, scientific ingenuity of human technicians… not money, politics or religion…These are false institutions.

[FRESCO:]
And writing your congressman is fantastic. They tell you to write your congressman if you want something done. The men in Washington should be at the forefront of technology. The forefront of human study... the forefront of crime… all the factors that shape human behavior. You don't have to write your congressman…. What kind of people are they that are appointed to do that job?
The future will have great difficulty…
And the question that is raised by politicians is " how much will a project cost?" The question is not "how much will it cost?" - "Do we have the resources?" and we have the resources today, to house everyone, build hospitals all over the world, build schools all over the world, the finest equipment in labs for teaching and doing medical research. So you see, we have all that, but we are in a monetary system, and in a monetary system- there's profit.

[NARRATION:]
And what is the fundamental mechanism that drives the profit system, besides self-interest? What is it exactly that maintains that competitive edge at its core. Is it high efficiency and sustainability? No. That isn't part of their design. Nothing produced in our profit-based society is even remotely sustainable or efficient. If it was there wouldn't be a multi-million dollar a year service industry for automobiles, nor would the average life span for most electronics be less than three months before they are obsolete.
Is it abundance? Absolutely not... Abundance, as based on the laws of supply and demand, is actually a negative thing. If a diamond company finds 10 times the usual amount of diamonds during their mining, it means the supply of diamonds has increased, which means the cost and profit per diamond, drops.

The fact is, efficiency, sustainability and abundance are enemies of profit.
To put it into a word., it is the mechanism of SCARCITY that increases profits.

[TITLE" SCARITY]

[FRESCO]
"What is scarcity? Based on keeping products valuable. Slowing up production on oil raises the price. Maintaining scarcity of diamonds, keeps the price high. They burn diamonds at the Kimberly diamond mines- they are made of carbon-it keeps the price up."

[NARRATION:]
So then, what does it means for society when scarcity, either produced naturally or through manipulation, is a beneficial condition for industry?

It means that sustainability and abundance will never ever occur in a profit system, for it simply goes against the very nature of the structure. Therefore, it is impossible to have a world without war or poverty, it is impossible to continually advance technology to its most efficient and productive states … and most dramatically, it is impossible to expect human beings to be behave in truly ethical or decent ways.

[TITLE: "HUMAN NATURE OR HUMAN BEHAVIOR?"]

[FRESCO:]
People use the word instinct. Because they can't account for the behavior. They sit back and they evaluate, with their lack of knowledge, and they say things like: " Humans are built a certain way, greed is natural thing"…as though they worked for years on it… and it's no more natural than wearing clothing.

[MEADOWS:]
What we want to do is to eliminate the causes of the problems. Eliminate the processes that produce greed and bigotry and prejudice and people taking advantage of one another, and elitism. Eliminating the need for prisons and welfare. We have always had these problems because we have always lived within scarcity and barter and monetary systems that produce scarcity.

[FRESCO:]
If you eradicate the conditions that generate what you call socially offensive behavior, it does not exist. A guy says: "well isn't that inborn"? No it's not.

[MEADOWS:]
There is no human nature, there's human behavior, and that's always been changed throughout history. You're not born with bigotry and greed and corruption and hatred. You pick that up within the society.

[FRESCO:]
War, poverty, corruption, hunger, misery, human suffering will not change in a monetary system. That is- there will be very little significant change. It's going to take the redesign of our culture, our values, and it has to be related to the carrying capacity of the earth. Not some human opinion or some politician's notions of the way the world ought to be… or some religious notions of the conduct of human affairs.

And that is what the Venus Project is about.

[TITLE: "THE VENUS PROJECT"]

[FRESCO:]
The society that we're about to talk about is a society that is free of all the old superstitions, incarceration, prisons, police, cruelty and law. All laws will disappear. And the professions will disappear that are no longer valid, such as stockbrokers, bankers, advertising, gone forever. Because it's no longer relevant.

[NARRATION:]
When we understand that is it technology, devised by human ingenuity, which frees humanity and increases our quality of life, we then realize that the most important focus we can have, is on the intelligent management of the earth's resources, for it is from these natural resources we gain the materials to continue our path of prosperity.
Understanding this, we then see that money fundamentally exists as a barrier to these resources for virtually everything has a financial cost. And why do we need money to obtain these resources? Because of real or assumed scarcity. We don't usually pay for air and tap water, because it is in such high abundance, selling it would be pointless.

So then, logically speaking, if resources and technologies applicable to creating everything in our societies, such as houses, cities and transportation, were in high enough abundance, there would be no reason to sell anything. Likewise, if automation and machinery was so technologically advanced, as to relieve human beings of labor, there would be no reason to have a job… and with these social aspects taken care of, there would be no reason to have money at all.

So the ultimate question remains? Do we on earth have enough resources and technological understanding, to create a society of such abundance, that everything we have now could be available without a price tag and without the need for submission through employment?

Yes we do. We have the resources and technology to enable this at a minimum, along with the ability to raise the standard of living so high, that people in the future will look back at our civilization now, and gawk at how primitive and immature our society was.

[FRESCO:]
What the Venus Project proposes is an entirely different system that's updated to present day knowledge.

[MEADOWS:]
We have never given scientists the problem of how do you design a society which would eliminate boring and monotonous jobs, that would eliminate accidents in transportation, that would enable people to have a high standard of living. That would eliminate poisons in our food… give us other sources of energy that are clean and efficient. We can do that out there.

[TITLE: A RESOURCE BASED ECONOMY]

[MEADOWS:]
The major difference, between a resource based economy and a monetary system, is that a resource based economy is really concerned with people and their well-being. Where a monetary system has become so distorted that the concerns of the people are really secondary, if they are there at all. The products that are turned out are for how much money you can get. If there is a problem in society and you can't earn money from solving that problem, than it won't be done. A resource-based economy is really not close to anything that's been tried. And with all our technology today we can create abundance. It can be used to improve everyone's lifestyle…abundance all over the world, if we use our technology wisely and maintain the environment.

[FRESCO:]
It's a very different system and its very hard to talk about because the public is not that well enough informed as to the state of technology.

[TITLE: The Venus Project: ENERGY]

[FRESCO:]
At present, we don't have to burn fossil fuels. We don't have to use anything that would contaminate the environment. There are many sources of energy available.

Narr:
Alternative energy solutions pushed by the establishment, such a hydrogen, biomass and even nuclear, are highly insufficient, dangerous, and exist only to perpetuate the profit structure that industry has created. When we look beyond the propaganda and self-serving solutions put forth by the energy companies, we find a seemingly endless stream of clean, abundant and renewable energy for generating power.

Solar and wind energy are well known the public, but the true potential of these mediums remains unexpressed. Solar energy, derived from the sun, has such abundance, that one hour of light at high noon, contains more energy than what the entire world consumes in a year. If we could capture .01 of a percent of this energy, the world would never have to use oil, gas or anything else. The question then is not availability, but the technology to harness it, and there are many advanced mediums today, which could accomplish just that, if they were not hindered by the need to compete for market share with the established energy power structures.

Then there is wind energy. Wind energy has long been denounced as weak and, due to it being location driven, impractical. This is simply not true. The US department of energy admitted in 2007, that if wind was fully harvested in just 3 of America's 50 states, it could power the entire nation.
And then there are the rather unknown mediums of Tidal and Wave Power. Tidal power is derived from Tidal shifts in the ocean. Installing turbines, which capture this movement, generates energy. In the United Kingdom, 42 sites are currently noted as available, forecasting that 34% of all the UK's energy could come form tidal power alone. Wave Power, which extracts energy from the surface motions of the ocean, is estimated to have a global potential of up to 80,000 TWh a year, This means 50% of the entire planet's energy usage could be produced from this medium alone.
Now It is important to point out that tidal, wave, solar and wind power requires virtually no preliminary energy to harness, unlike coal, oil, gas, biomass, hydrogen and all the others.

In combination, these four mediums alone, if efficiently harnessed through technology, could power the world forever.

That being said, there happens to be another form of clean, renewable energy, which trumps them all- Geothermal Power.

Geothermal energy utilizes what is called heat mining, which, though a simple process using water, is able to generate massive amounts of clean energy. In 2006, an MIT report on geothermal energy found that 13,000 zettajoules of power are currently available in the earth, with the possibility of 2000 zj being easily tap-able with improved technology. The total energy consumption of all the countries on the planet is about half of a zettajoule a year. This means about 4000 years of planetary power could be harnessed in this medium alone. And when we understand that the earth's heat generation is constantly renewed, this energy is really limitless and could be used forever.
These energy sources are only a few of the clean, renewable mediums available, and as time goes on, we will find more.
The grand realization is that we have total energy abundance, without the need for pollution, traditional conservation, or, in fact, a price tag.

[TITLE: THE VENUS PROJECT - TRANSPORATION]

And what about transportation? The prevailing means of transportation in our societies is by automobile and aircraft, both of which predominantly need fossils fuels to run.
In the case of the automobile, the battery technology needed to power an electric car that can go over 100 miles an hour for over 200 miles on one charge exists, and has existed for many years. However, due to battery patents controlled by the oil industry, which limits their availability, to maintain market share, coupled with the political pressure from the energy industry, the accessibility and affordability of this technology is limited.
There is absolutely no reason, other than pure, corrupt profit interest, that every single vehicle in the world could not be electric and utterly clean, with zero need for gasoline.

As far as airplanes, it is time we realize that this means of travel is inefficient, cumbersome, slow, and causes far too much pollution.

This is a Mag Lev train. It uses magnets for propulsion. It is fully suspended by a magnetic field, and requires less than 2% of the energy used for plane travel. The train has no wheels, so nothing can wear out. The current maximum speed of versions of this technology, as used in Japan, is 361 miles per hour. However, this version of the technology is very dated.

An organization called ET3, which has connections with the Venus Project, has established a tube based maglev that can travel up to 4000 miles per hour, in a motionless, frictionless tube, which can go over land, or underwater. Imagine going from LA to NY for an extended lunch break…. Or from Washington DC to Beijing China in 2 hours. This is the future of continental and intercontinental travel. Fast, clean, with only a fraction of the energy usage we use today for the same means.

In fact, between maglev technology, advanced battery storage, and geothermal energy, there would be no reason to ever burn fossil fuels again. And we can do this now, if we were not held back by the paralyzing profit structure.

[TITLE: "WORK"]

[FRESCO:]
Now America is inclined towards fascism. It has a propensity by its dominant philosophy and religion, to uphold the fascist point of view. American industry is essentially a fascist institution. If you don't understand that, the minute you punch that time clock, you walk into a dictatorship.

[MEADOWS:]
Were given notions about the respectability of work. And I really look at as being paid slavery.

[FRESCO]:
You're brought up to believe that you shall earn you living by the sweat of your brow… that holds people back. Freeing people, from drudgery, repetitive jobs, which make them ignorant. You rob them. In our society, that is a resource-based economy, machines free people. You see, we can't image that, because we've never known that kind of world.

[TITLE: AUTOMATION]

[NARRRATION:]
If we look back history, we see a very clear pattern of machine automation, slowly replacing human labor. From the disappearance of the elevator man, to the near full automation of an automobile production plant, the fact is as technology grows, the need for humans in the work force will continually be diminished. This creates a serious clash, which proves the falseness of the monetary based labor system… for human employment is in direct competition with technological development. Therefore, given the fundamental priority of profit by Industry, people, through time will be continually laid off and replaced by machine.

[FRESCO:]
When industry takes on a machine, instead of shortening the workday, they downsize, you lose you job, so you have a right to fear machines.

[NARRATION:]
In a high technology, resourced based economy, it is conservative to say that about 90% of all current occupations could be phased out by machines… Freeing humans to live their life without servitude… for this is the point of technology itself. And through time, with nanotechnology and other highly advances forms of science, it isn't far fetched to see how even complex medical procedures could be performed by machines as well. And, based on the pattern, with much higher success rates than humans get today.

The path is clear… but our monetary based structure, which requires labor for income, blocks this progress, for humans need jobs in order to survive. The bottom line is that this system must go, or we will never be free and technology will be constantly paralyzed.

[FRESCO:]
When you have machines that clean out sewers, it frees a human being from doing that. So look at machines as extensions of human performance.

NARRATION:
Furthermore, many occupations today will have simply no basis to exist in a resourced based economy…such as anything associated the management of money, advertising, along with the legal system itself. For, without money, a great majority of the crimes that are committed today would never occur. Virtually all forms are of Crime are a consequence of the monetary system either directly, or by neurosis inflicted though financial deprivation. Therefore laws themselves could eventually become extinct.

[FRESCO:]
Instead of putting up a sign: 'drive carefully, slippery when wet, put abrasive in the highway, so it's not slippery when wet. If a person gets in a car and they're drunk and the car oscillates a great deal, there's a little pendulum that swings up and back, and that will pull the car over to the side… not a law, a solution. Put sonar and radar in automobiles, so they cant hit one another. Man-made laws are attempts to deal with occurring problems, and not knowing how to solve them, they make a law.

[NARRATION:]
In the United States, the most privitazed, capitalist country on the planet, it should come as no surprise that it also has the largest prison population in the world…growing every year. Statistically, most of these people are uneducated and come from poor, deprived societies. And contrary to propaganda, it's this environmental conditioning which lures them into criminal and violent behavior. However, society looks the other way in regard to this point.

The legal and prison systems are just more examples of how our society avoids examining the root causes of behavior. Billions are spent each year on prisons and police, while only a fraction is spent on programs for poverty, which is one of the most fundamental variables responsible for crime to begin with.

And, as long as we have an economic system, which prefers and in fact creates scarcity deprivation, crime will never go away.

[FRESCO:]
If people have access to the necessities of life, without servitude, debt, barter, trade… they behave very differently. You want all these things available without a price tag. Now then, 'you gotta have a price tag, what will motivate people… if man gets everything he wants he will just lay around in the sun'. This is the myth they perpetuate. People in our culture are trained to believe that the monetary system produces incentive, if they have access to things, why should they want to do anything. They will lose their incentive. That's what you're taught to support the monetary system,

[MEADOWS:]
When you take money out of the scenario, there would be different incentives, very different incentives.

[FRESCO:] When people have access to the necessities of life, their incentives change…what about the moon and the stars. New incentives arise... if you make a painting that you enjoy. You will enjoy giving it to other people, not selling it.

[TITLE EDUCATION.:]

[MEADOWS:'
I think most of the education that I've seen today is essentially producing a person for a job… it is very specialized. They are not generalists… people don't know a lot about a lot different subjects. I don't think you could get people to go to war if they knew a lot about a lot of things. I think education is mostly rote and they're not taught how to solve problems… they are not given the tools, emotionally or within their own field, of how to do critical thinking. In a resource based economy the education would be very different.

[FRESCO:]
Our societies major concern is mental development… and to motivate each person to their highest potential. Because our philosophy is, the smarter people are the richer the world, because everybody becomes a contributor.

[MEADOWS:]
The smarter your kids are, the better my life will be, because they will be contributing more constructively to the environment and to my life, because everything that we devise within a resource based economy, would be applied to society. There would be nothing to hold it back.

TITLE: Civilization

[FRESCO:]
Patriotism, weapons, armies, navy…. All that is a sign, that we are not civilized yet. Kids will ask their parents ' didn't you see the necessity of the machines? Dad, couldn't you see that war was inevitable when you produce scarcity? Isn't it obvious? Of course, the kid will understand, that you were pinheads… raised merely to serve the established institutions. We're such an abominable, sick society, that we wont make the history books, they will just say that large nations took land from smaller nations, used force and violence. You will get history talked about as corrupt behavior all the way along, until the beginning of the civilized world… that's when all the nations worked together. World unification… working toward for common good for all human beings, and without anyone being subservient to anyone else. Without social stratification… whether it is technical elitism, or any other kind of elitism, eradicated from the face of the earth.
The state does nothing, because there is no state.

The system I advocate, a resource based global economy, is not perfect, it just a lot better than what we have. We can never achieve perfection.
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