The Choice Is Ours (2015) Movie Script

[Larry King, host] Alright, let's explore
the thinking of Jacque Fresco
and the society that he'd like to see.
(Jacque Fresco) The reason
we emphasize machines and technology
is to free man
to pursue the higher things.
Machines ought to do the filthy,
repetitious, or the boring jobs.
It would take ten years
to change the surface of the Earth.
To save our environment,
[considering] our stupidity, our conflict,
we've got to reorganize our way of thinking
and reconsider our social aims.
We must put our mind to this
as we do to put a man on the moon.
[Jeff Hoffman, retired NASA astronaut]
Like many kids, when I was 6 years old
I dreamed of flying in space.
I'm old enough that,
back then, the only astronauts were
Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers.
I went on and became a professional astronomer.
I was lucky enough to get selected
in the first group of shuttle astronauts.
We trained for a long time.
Of course, you go through
many different types of simulators.
But when you're actually
sitting up there on the rocket,
you realize that "Hey, this is not the simulator!"
The whole vehicle is
shaking a little bit on the pad.
Then, you hear this roar down beneath you.
The whole shuttle tilts forward a little bit.
Then, as it comes back to the vertical position,
all of a sudden,
Wham! The solid boosters ignite.
There's an incredible vibration and noise.
For the next two minutes,
there is just so much power
that you're sitting on top of.
I was just holding on, thinking to myself
"Whoa! I hope this whole thing holds together."
Sure enough, it did.
By that time, we're looking out the window.
The blue sky has already
turned to the blackness of space.
And I can see in the distance
the coast of Africa coming up into view.
I always remember that feeling
on my first flight when I realized:
Wow, you're in space!
You see from orbit the sunrises and sunsets
16 times every 24 hours.
Flying over the Earth at night, in particular
gives you a real sense of human civilization.
During the day, you look down
and you see the colors of the Earth.
You see the forms of the landmass,
of the continents.
There's a lot of beautiful things
to see during the day.
There's also the view of the impact
that humans have had on our planet,
and that can be pretty scary.
Over the course of 11 years of flying
I watched as the Amazon jungle
was continually being deforested.
[Rondnia, Brazil 2010
24 years of deforestation]
At night, you'd constantly see agricultural burning
all over the world.
You could see harbors being silted up.
You could see, in Africa,
how the tree line would go up every year.
We know about global warming
and what we're doing to the atmosphere.
That's the other thing
you really get a sense of from space
is how thin our atmosphere is.
Basically, the idea that
we're seeing this environmental damage
on the Earth, created by humans,
but we see it from a cosmic perspective,
means that it's just
not something that we can ignore.
The planet is responding
to the presence of humanity.
[Carl Sagan, "Pale Blue Dot", 1994]
The Earth is a very small stage
in a vast cosmic arena.
Think of the rivers of blood
spilled by all those generals and emperors
so that in glory and triumph
they can become the momentary masters
of a fraction of a dot.
[Earth from 3.7 billion miles]
Think of the endless cruelties visited
by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel
on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants
of some other corner.
How eager they are to kill one another,
how fervent their hatreds.
Our posturings,
our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have
some privileged position in the universe
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck
in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In all this vastness, there is no hint
that help will come from elsewhere
to save us
from ourselves.
The Venus Project presents
Documentary film by Roxanne Meadows, Joel Holt
Original score by Kat Epple
(Narrator) For the first time,
we have the capability, the technology,
and the knowledge to achieve
a global society of abundance for all.
We cannot continue as we are
or the consequences will surely be dire.
A 2012 UN report states that
a global population growth
from 7 billion to almost 9 billion
is expected by 2040.
Demands for resources will rise exponentially.
By 2030, requirements for food
are projected to rise by 50%,
energy by 45%,
and water by 30%.
We are presently depleting natural resources
50% faster than the planet can renew.
At this rate, it is estimated that
we'll need 3 more planet Earths
to keep up with resource needs as they are today.
What is the sixth extinction?
Is it happening right now? What's the cause of it?
What we, as human beings, are doing to the planet
is changing the basic conditions of life
very dramatically and very rapidly.
(Narrator) And yet,
from environmental disaster to war,
our obsolete value systems perpetuate insanity,
threatening us on many fronts.
Is it the best we can do
to just clean up after the fact?
Are politicians capable or even competent
to manage the world around us?
(Gordon Brown) Let me explain.
Order! The prime minister.
(Narrator) Are we simply incapable of anticipating
and planning for our future?
Are we innately flawed in ways we can't change?
(Journalist) Why not just use firing squads?
- Aim!
(Narrator) We often hear
that human nature is fixed...
It's only human nature!
...and our worst qualities are inborn.
- How are they gonna stop being criminals?
- Oh, nonsense!
They were born that way and
there is no use trying to change them.
[Henry Schlinger Jr., PhD] I think it's
difficult to talk about a specific human nature
like we talk about fixed or modal
action patterns in nonhuman species.
But clearly in humans,
learning plays the major role.
In fact, I refer to humans
as 'the learning animal',
because humans learn more than any other animal.
(Narrator) And yet,
considering our history of aggression,
warlike tendencies,
jealousies and hatred...
(US soldier) Keep shootin'
(Narrator) ...we still have much to learn.
One would think it impossible to simply overlook
the conditions we're immersed in.
(Jacque) The culture doesn't know any better.
They don't know what forces
are involved in shaping human behavior.
Therefore, they invent their own concept
and project their own values into human behavior
and say that's human nature.
That's where they're wrong.
(Henry) Right now we have an explosion
of technologies in our culture.
I think many people think that
technology is going to save us.
Certainly technology has made our lives
easier in many respects.
- Find parking space.
- Parking space found.
Sometimes it's good; sometimes it's not so good.
(Journalist) Drones armed with Hellfire missiles...
How would you like to get paid
to spy on your neighbors?
There's one technology that we don't have,
that we sorely need
if we're going to really change,
and that's the technology of behavior.
The science of behavior needs to be
applied like the sciences of physics,
chemistry, and biology have been.
That's that one missing ingredient in our culture.
And that's the toughest one because
it opposes the way that
most people think about themselves.
(Narrator) Examining human behavior
in the same manner
as any other physical phenomenon
will enable us to understand
the factors responsible for shaping
our attitudes and our conduct.
(Henry) All natural scientists
assume that their subject matters
are lawful and orderly.
If they're not, then you can't do science.
Behavioral scientists assume
that human behavior and
the behavior of other organisms
is also lawful and orderly.
To not assume that means that you accept that
human behavior is somehow separate
from the rest of nature.
We don't make that assumption.
We make the assumption
that human behavior is part of nature.
(Narrator) Human behavior
is just as lawful as everything else.
(Jacque) The sunflower
does not turn to the sun.
The sun makes it turn
by pulling in membranes.
A sailboat cannot sail.
The wind moves it.
Plants can't grow.
They are shoved
by sunshine, soil, temperature,
all kinds of things.
All things are shoved by something else.
All people are acted upon by other things.
Remember, your mother said "cup, table, light
papa, mama" over and over again
until you did the same thing.
Even race hatred is learned.
(Announcer) ... as the ideals
of intolerance and racial superiority
are taught to succeeding generations.
You could be brought up to hate Afro-Americans.
You could be brought up to hate
Jews, Swedes, all kinds of people.
- I hate Philippinos,
I hate Mexicans,
I hate them all!
We could raise a Jewish boy
in a Nazi culture.
He becomes a good Nazi.
(Narrator) Mechanical processes are
based upon many interacting systems.
- What you got there, son?
- A plane.
What makes it fly? Is it the propeller?
- The propeller is not going to turn
unless you have the motor, right?
- So, it's the motor?
- But the motor needs fuel.
- So I'm guessing it's the fuel that makes it fly.
- Almost, but if you don't have the spark plugs,
and the oxygen, the fuel's not going to burn.
- So it's spark plugs and oxygen?
- You would think so,
but actually, even with all that working,
if you don't have the wings
and control surfaces to give it lift
it will never get off the ground.
- So it's the wings
and control surfaces that make it fly?
- Actually, it's all the above, son.
It's a complicated machine.
It needs all these things working together
to make the plane fly.
That's a lot like other technologies
and even human behavior.
- So it's all those things that make it fly.
- Exactly, kiddo!
(Narrator) Just like mechanical systems,
our behavior
has no single cause.
- God gives people good blood and bad blood,
and there's an end to it.
(Narrator) Our behavior is generated
by the many interacting variables
that we encounter.
(Henry) The environment can
never be the same for any two individuals.
That really counters claims
that people make when they say
"I have three children. They were all raised
in the same environment, but they all turned out so different."
Well, by that definition, the same environment
refers to the house they lived in
or the parents they had.
(Jacque) There's no such thing as
'the same environment'.
If you have two kids, one is 4 years old
and you play with him,
and the 7 year old is standing there
with that lower lip sticking out.
You say "What's the matter?"
and the kid goes like that.
You're making jealousy and envy.
That's where it comes from.
(Henry) But from a scientific perspective,
the environment really consists
of the moment to moment interactions
between your behavior
and those events both inside and outside you.
So, the environment is in constant flux.
(Jacque) You put the young kid
on your lap and the older kid.
You say "I love you both."
You never play with any one kid
or have a favorite.
If you say "You can go to the movie
but you can't because
you didn't do your homework",
when she falls down the stairs,
you have a grin on your face.
It's not that you're bad,
but you feel you've been mistreated.
(Narrator) Even our concepts of
aesthetics and beauty
are often attributed to an intrinsic quality,
but closer investigation
reveals that these perceptions
vary greatly from place to place
and throughout history.
(Henry) I think notions of aesthetics
and beauty are for the most part learned.
All you have to do are cross-cultural examinations
of what people consider
to be attractive and beautiful.
You'll find that they differ widely
from culture to culture.
Sometimes they differ widely
within the same culture.
(Jacque) There are people who wear
brass rings around their neck.
They stretch their neck.
If you take those rings away,
the head would fall over
and they call that beauty.
On some of the islands I went to visit,
if the girl had a buttocks
that stuck way out, that was beautiful.
The other girls were nothing.
(Announcer) Even a girl
might find herself shut up in a cage
until she's put on almost 265 pounds
that make her almost,
but not quite eligible for marriage in her country.
(Henry) I know there are suggestions
that there are genetic contributions
to what we think is beautiful,
but I think the most parsimonious
explanation we can have for
what constitutes beauty
to a given individual has to come
from that individual's environment;
the culture they're raised in.
(Jacque) If everybody had a nose a foot long,
you'd have surgery done.
There is no such thing as beauty.
It's all projection.
If you marry the most beautiful girl in the world
and she turns out to be a pain in the butt,
that face becomes ugly to you.
(Narrator) Some researchers are posing that genes
rather than upbringing,
determine if someone might become a criminal
and even a murderer.
(Henry) If you ask people to tell you
what determines whether they become
a doctor, or a lawyer, or whatever profession,
most people will agree that
it has to do with your upbringing:
the influences from your parents,
from teachers, from others.
Not genes. Genes don't determine
that you become a lawyer or a doctor.
(Narrator) Genes don't give us a value system
or a process level by which we operate.
(Henry) Genes don't shape
our behavior. The genes themselves
were shaped by our evolutionary history.
But our behavior alone is squarely shaped
by the environment that we're exposed to.
(Narrator) Behavior does not occur in a vacuum.
It is always dependent on
considerable environmental input.
(Jacque) I wanted to know whether men have
a natural attitude toward women,
or do they learn it?
So I went to some island years ago.
The interesting thing about the islanders
is that they wore no clothing.
I never saw a male stare at the female body.
Children swim nude when they're babies.
Boys and girls together.
There were no Peeping Toms on the island.
There were no pictures of nude women
up on the wall in their huts
because it was a normal thing to be nude.
They said to the girl "Me like you."
They stroked them from the top of the head,
all the way down.
They didn't go for the breasts.
Men go for women's breasts in this country
because they're taught
"Hey, get a load of that chick!"
- And whose fault is it?
- It's not the Democrats' fault.
- And it's all Obama's fault!
(Henry) The traditional notion,
which is one that gives the
individual personal responsibility and autonomy
is one that gives the individual
credit for his or her behavior
and also, on the other hand,
blames the individual for his or her behavior.
(Jacque) Blaming people for their behavior
is one of the most detrimental things
of our so-called advanced culture.
Their behavior is shaped
by the culture they are brought up in.
(Henry) That's built upon,
or based upon, an assumption
that we are free; we freely choose our behavior.
But a scientific perspective
actually takes the opposite viewpoint.
The scientific perspective is a determinist one,
which suggests
that our behavior is lawful and orderly,
our behavior is caused.
(Jacque) There's no serial killer
that doesn't have a background
that made him that way.
Every New York gangster
is made that way, by associating with people like that.
(Narrator) Our social and legal systems
blame and punish the individual.
Yet these attempts to
modify conduct by punitive means
ignores the person's background and surroundings
which shape that behavior to begin with.
(TV announcer) From old school prison gangs
to disruptive street gangs:
it's a dangerous mix for staff and inmates alike.
(Narrator) Research shows that learning
also changes the physical
and chemical structure of the brain.
Obviously, there are many contributing factors,
but genes play a small role
in comparison to the effects
of the overall environment on how we learn.
(Jacque) No Chinese baby was ever born speaking Chinese.
Did you know that?
They had to go to school to learn the language.
No French baby was ever born speaking French.
No matter how many years the parents spoke French
they have to learn it.
(Henry) Our cerebral cortex
is really built on plasticity.
Our behavior is very malleable and very adaptive.
We're the most adaptive creature on the planet.
If you look at the history of
humankind on the planet
you can see that we've learned to adapt to
every single environment on the planet.
(Jacque) The only difference
between a preacher and a thief
is the environment they're reared in.
(Narrator) We don't come to our own conclusions
without any outside influences.
We don't change our minds.
Our minds are changed by events.
- Heard about them Wright brothers?
- No.
- They say they wanna build themselves a flying machine.
- They ain't never gonna be no flying machine.
If God wanted them to fly,
he would give them wings.
(Roaring laughter)
(Narrator) Our minds are changed by events.
- I changed my mind!
- Yeah, me too.
(Jacque) If you're born with a brain that's more effective,
faster than the average brain,
you become a fascist faster
if you're brought up in a fascist environment.
A good brain cannot describe
that which is significant.
The brain has no mechanism of discrimination;
only experimental evidence determines that.
(Narrator) If the surroundings that
establish our values remain unaltered,
in spite of the urgings of poets,
priests, and politicians
the same behavior and values will persist.
(Jacque) If you tell people that
you're not to fish in a certain area,
if you don't provide food for those people
and the means of living,
they will violate those laws.
All laws have to coincide
with the nature of the physical world.
But it isn't the law that prevents crime,
it's if you meet the conditions.
(Journalist) These days,
rhino poachers come by helicopter
armed with powerful tranquilizers,
and a chainsaw.
Rhino horn is now worth more than gold.
(Jacque) If people are unemployed,
they will do whatever they have to do
to feed their family.
If you make a law and say that
you're not to steal food,
they will steal food,
if that serves their family needs.
Any law that's made by man that doesn't fit
the circumstances of reality will be violated.
(Narrator) Higher ideals and aspirations
that people hope for
can't be realized
when there is deprivation and war.
[Andrew Bacevich - Boston University]
If you want to go bomb somebody
there's remarkably little discussion
about how much it might cost.
But when you have a discussion about whether or not
we can assist people who are suffering,
then suddenly we become very cost-conscious.
(Narrator) No culture
evaluates human behavior in this way.
If they did, they would question
what is it that generates greed,
bigotry, inequities, and war.
(Jacque) They bring you up with
the values that put them in power.
(Narrator) Unfortunately, all societies to date
have indoctrinated people toward values
that perpetuate those in power.
(Narrator) So, let's investigate the key factors
governing the lives of people and nations:
Money, and the values,
behaviors, and consequences it produces.
- Time and sales data
- Split-second staff
"It was difficult for early forms of life
to crawl out of the primordial slime
without dragging some of it with them."
~Jacque Fresco
(Narrator) As a remnant of Antiquity,
money now largely serves
as a mechanism of corruption,
deprivation, and control in the hands of a few.
[Abby Martin, Journalist & Host]
It has corrupted everything.
Every institution that we live in
is corrupted by money.
What's fascinating to me is that
we can become enslaved by
something that we've created,
not physically, but just mentally enslaved
by a notion that was invented by humanity.
It is archaic, because I think
we've grown past what money can do.
"It is well enough that the people of the nation
do not understand our banking
and money system, for if they did,
I believe there would be
a revolution before tomorrow morning."
~Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company
(Narrator) In a desperate attempt to survive,
many work multiple jobs.
They may steal, lie, or embezzle.
(Jacque) So stress producing to the average person.
...worries about rent, losing their job,
can't pay off a house.
(Narrator) On a bigger scale, the profit motive
creates a ruthless cycle of devastation.
Illness, pollution, and war
are accepted as normal.
[H. R. McMaster - USA Commanding General]
You have sort of a wartime economy
that begins to be self-perpetuating.
You have powerful people
inside of a power vacuum really
who see it as in their interest
to perpetuate the conflict.
(Narrator) But it does benefit
the few at the top who live parasitically
by the manipulation and control of money.
[Dylan Ratigan, Author & Host] The banking system
right now is effectively enslaving individuals
enslaving students, enslaving institutions
and sucking resources from them.
[Karen Hudes, Economist & Lawyer] They set it up
so that there would be private central banks
that could charge everybody
interest on the currency
and allow themselves to get rich
without having to do anything.
Who's been doing all of this?
It's a group of bankers,
the Federal Reserve System;
that's a private system.
- The Fed is a private bank
owned by private stockholders.
Do not let the name 'federal' fool you.
(Karen) In 1913, which is when Woodrow Wilson
allowed the Federal Reserve System
legislation to be passed
most of the Congress people had gone home.
(Narrator) This legislation
turned the central bank system
of the United States
over to the Federal Reserve Board
making them the only group
that could issue Federal Reserve notes
or US dollars.
(Karen) President Wilson regretted that.
He said that he had just
sold this country downstream.
"A great industrial nation is controlled
by its system of credit.
Our system of credit is concentrated.
The growth of the nation,
therefore, and all our activities
are in the hands of a few men.
We have come to be one of the worst ruled
one of the most completely controlled
and dominated governments
in the civilized world;
a government by the opinion and the duress
of small groups of dominant men."
~President Woodrow Wilson, 1916
[Erin Ade, Reporter & Host]
It's a fiat system that we operate under.
It's actually someone punching numbers
on a computer somewhere;
that is how we manufacture money today.
(Karen) There's nothing backing it;
there's nothing behind it.
(Narrator) When government spends
more than it collects in taxes
and needs money, it does not print its own money,
but borrows from the federal reserve
in exchange for US bonds
which the fed provides at interest.
When people in corporations want money,
they go to banks as well.
The system is rigged. If a bank buys a $100 bond,
the bank gets to lend out
10 times that amount, or $1000.
They created the extra funds from nothing:
no money, gold, or anything to back it up.
The bank also gets back the loans
with interest for all the money lent.
Money is created in this way
from the simple signature
of a borrower with a promise to pay it back.
To make matters worse, very often,
people are paying the amount back
many times over due to the interest.
This is the process by which individuals,
companies and governments acquire money.
It is respectably referred to as
'fractional reserve lending'
and is used globally by most other banking systems
keeping people and entire nations in perpetual debt.
(Karen) If you just keep printing dollars
with no backing, at a certain point
people lose confidence in the currency,
and that's what has happened.
(Dylan) The banking system right now
is in the business of manufacturing risk
by creating debt for individuals and people.
There is the risk that those people
will not pay that debt back,
but the liabilities for the risk have been
and continue to be assigned
to the US taxpayer and the US currency.
(Karen) We're now sitting in a situation
where the world's currencies are about to crash.
Nobody knows how long it's going to take,
but the Federal Reserve System
has been printing dollars like there's no tomorrow.
(Dylan) You have what is effectively
a criminal enterprise
based on the manipulation
of people's attention, resources
and time, in order to extract value from them.
(Karen) They're stealing money from us that way.
They're stealing the results
of our efforts and our labor.
(Dylan) That is something that has grown
as a cancer on our society.
(Karen) These bankers are all part of a system
called the Bank for International Settlements.
- Most people, even in business
and banking, don't understand
this bank and its role; the BIS.
(Karen) They own 40% of the assets
of the 43,000 companies that are
traded on the capital markets.
- The bank runs itself.
It has a board of directors which is composed
of 15 governors of central banks
from around the world.
(Karen) ...and they pull down 60% of the annual earnings.
They bought off all our media,
and that media is hoodwinking citizens.
(Abby) The media's morphed into just
peddling the corporate interests of
the money masters
that control the political establishment.
There's about 118 boards of directors that sit
on these five giant media corporations.
They all serve different boards, from Monsanto
to weapons, to food...
When you have all these interests bleeding together,
it's that much harder to differentiate
what interests you're seeing
laid out in the mainstream media.
(TV Announcer) Fair, balanced.
(Dylan) If you want to understand power,
you have to understand
who nominates candidates,
not understand who votes for candidates.
Our system is not a democracy.
The percentage of our population that
participates in the nomination process
is literally less than 5% of the population
and really less than 1% of the population.
If I was in control of the nominating process
of everything that everybody ate
and I always nominated
cheeseburgers or fried chicken,
and I told you that it was a democracy
and you could eat anything you want
as long as it was a cheeseburger or fried chicken.
Would that be a democracy?
I could sell it to you as a democracy
because I don't decide whether you eat
cheeseburgers or fried chicken.
You get to vote in a very large
and well-publicized election
as to whether we're going with
fried chicken or cheeseburgers
as people organize into very tribal groups
very anti-fried chicken and very pro-cheeseburger
or, they'll explain to you exactly why
cheeseburgers are going to be
the end of the world,
and why fried chicken is going to save you.
(Narrator) Those who can afford it
hire lobbyists who essentially buy politicians.
Most of the time,
either party will suit their needs.
[Professor James Thurber, Host] The definition
of a lobbyist in the United States is someone
who advocates for someone else
and is getting paid for it.
(Narrator) The laws then enacted
are quite often written
by the corporations to benefit themselves.
Professor Thurber sees
an underground explosion in lobbying
and estimates the industry actually brings in
more than $9 billion a year
exceeded only by tourism and government.
- The reason that we aren't
changing things right now is
the banks have lobbyists in Washington
in numbers I've never seen.
(Narrator) Lobbyists are
strictly there to buy access.
They are not there to
enhance the democratic process.
Families and working people just don't have
that kind of representation,
power or influence to look after their needs.
- They have designed the system
to reinforce and, in a sense,
finance themselves based off of special interests.
(Erin) Everything that was around in 2007-2008
that we got so scared about,
the mortgage-backed securities,
the credit default swaps, the other derivatives:
They still exist. They absolutely do.
Yes, there are higher
capital requirements for the banks
so they can't be as leveraged,
but those are not that high.
(Abby) If we don't have a media that's providing
who's really writing these bills
and passing this legislation
and what it's all for and who it serves,
then we're living in an illusion.
[Paul Wright, Author] Generally, the laws
in this country are written by the wealthy
and the powerful because
I think, by definition, that's
who controls the legislatures and
the commanding heights of
the power system in this country.
(Erin) That's a scary reality because
you can pay your way into having laws implemented
that serve you and your corporation
as you'd like them to serve.
(Abby) The complete impunity
that corporations have
to operate unabated and
pollute the entire planet...
- A major spill of toxic coal ash
is raising questions again
about the safety of water
and the government regulators overseeing industry.
(Abby) There's zero accountability,
other than the slap on the wrist
of a couple fines here and then,
I mean slave labor
to the exploitation of resources on the planet.
(Narrator) The slap on the wrist of
industries that pollute, cut corners
and violate policies will continue,
as long as it's profitable to do so.
(Erin) JP Morgan paid $13 billion (US) in fines last year!
If you have that much money
in order to just pay fines...
and they put away $19 billion (US),
for paying fines!
(Reporter) JP Morgan is paying
$410 million (US) to settle charges
with the government,
but JP Morgan is not admitting any wrongdoing.
(Reporter) Goldman Sachs settled
early on in this case for $550 million
without admitting wrongdoing.
(Reporter) UBS has agreed
to pay about $50 million.
Under the terms of the settlement,
UBS did not admit any wrongdoing.
(Paul) I think that people commit
the crimes that they're
in a social position to commit.
I think it's Bertold Brecht that asked
"Which is a greater crime:
to rob a bank or to own one?"
I think as we've seen from everything
from the savings and loan scandals
to the Wall Street meltdown,
that all too often the owners of the banks
are frequently looting
the institutions that employ them.
They commit all manner of illegal acts
and yet they're very rarely prosecuted for them.
Throughout history,
there's been very little pretense
that the government has also
acted as an agent for the wealthy class.
(Erin) Yes, there might be idealistic
politicians that got into the game to
change the world,
but if they're good -any good at their job-
they're no longer changing the world.
They're serving the interests
of their donors if they want
to rise in the world of politics.
(Jacque) They say, "Write to your Congressman."
Who the hell is this jackass
that you have to write?
He should be at the forefront
of technology and knowledge.
You don't have to write to him.
I'm sure most of you have flown in airliners.
You don't have to write to the pilot saying
"You're flying at an angle!
Straighten out, god dammit!"
He knows his business;
that's how he got the job!
The people in Washington now
are lawyers and businessmen
and can solve no problems.
(Erin) If the bottom line is a profit-driven world,
then those interests
are going to be served first,
and everything is going to be secondary.
That's the sad reality of it.
(Abby) There is no value system that is put out there
that is actually beneficial to humanity
because it's based on
consumerism and profit making.
(Jacque) We use artificial pumping
in animals to make them grow faster.
If you can multiply the cells in a chicken faster,
you can sell it sooner.
Does that have an effect on the human body?
They don't worry about that.
They worry about the sale of chickens.
(Narrator) Wealth is going to the rich
faster than at any other time in history.
(Abby) The success of the industrialized world
has been dependent on the failure
and the lack of development
of the developing world.
The reason that they are stifled
is because they are
indebted to the first world;
we wouldn't be prospering
if it weren't for the labor that's going on
and the indentured servitude
that's going on in the entire developing country.
So the power dynamic
can never change in that respect
because it's literally dependent
on it being that way.
(Reporter) The dirty and
dangerous work done by children.
The jobs down in the pits
are typically reserved for teenagers
with only tree limbs to brace the mine walls.
The risk to them is real.
- Rich governments like to say that
they're helping poor countries develop,
but who is developing who here?
Each year poor countries are
paying about 600 billion (US)
in debt service to rich countries
on loans that have already
been paid off many times over.
Then there's the money that
poor countries lose from trade rules
imposed by rich countries.
Altogether, that's more than $2 trillion (US) every year.
(Narrator) Money systems
have existed for centuries,
and whether we realize it or not,
have always been used to control behavior
by limiting the purchasing power
of the majority of people.
One example of this
is the criminal justice system.
Many proclaim that prisons don't work.
But ultimately, prisons are a resounding success
as a tool for social control to safeguard
the political and economic established system.
(Paul) If you hire people
whose only expertise is caging
people to try to fix social problems,
youre not going to get a very good solution.
But I think theyre very good at caging people
and I think thats why mass incarceration has been
a huge success for the ruling class in this country.
The United States is really
number one in a lot of things
and I think the biggest thing where
we can say were number one in
is how many people we lock up.
The United States has roughly
5% of the worlds population
but weve got 25% of the worlds prisoners.
China has 4 times as many people
as the United States does
and half as many prisoners.
The United States has more prisoners
than the Soviet Union did
at the height of the purges
and the collectivization
in the 1930s and the infamous Soviet gulag.
(Narrator) Poverty is a vicious cycle
rarely escaped by the poor.
Studies found that scarcity
can reduce mental capacity
and cognitive performance.
In children, it affects their
brain development and memory.
Additionally, the poor are often forced
to live in areas of low air quality.
Far from being a problem for only the poor,
all areas of the socioeconomic spectrum suffer
when our air, food and water
are polluted by fossil fuel emissions
and radiation from nuclear accidents.
PLANETARY IMPAC [Mark Jacobson, Engineering, Stanford] The current
energy infrastructure results in about 2.5 to 4 million
deaths per year, worldwide,
from respiratory disease,
cardiovascular disease
and complications from asthma.
(Reporter) Were in downtown Beijing
and the pollution ratings
have once again gone off the charts.
Readings are around 25 times
World Health Organizations standards.
(Mark) ...including 50 to 100,000 deaths
per year in the United States
and 16,000 alone in California.
(Abby) The economic system that were living in today
is destroying the planet
because it is based on an unsustainable model.
Were seeing proof of that right now.
(Mark) The current energy infrastructure,
which has been going on for a long time
has resulted in the accumulation
of green house gases and
particles that cause
warming of the Earths climate.
The Earths climate is warming
at a rate faster than any time
since deglaciation from the last ice age.
In addition, the higher CO2 levels:
CO2 is [a molecule] that dissolves in water
and becomes carbonic acid
and has resulted in the
acidification of the oceans.
This is destroying coral reefs.
(Jeff) We have to realize our planet
does have a certain amount of
regenerative power and there is no question that
weve been through numerous worldwide extinctions.
We have fossil records of that
and the Earth has recovered.
There is a limiting carrying capacity though.
(Mark) There are many
additional impacts of global warming.
Sea level rise is a very big concern, for example:
right now there are about
65 to 70 meters of sea level stored in ice
mostly in the Antarctic,
but also in glaciers in Greenland
and also sea ice in the Arctic and other places.
The temperature is warm enough that...
If we melt all this ice,
that means the sea levels will rise 65 to 70 meters
and that will cover 7% of all the worlds land and...
All this is along the coast
where most people in the world live,
this will cause a significant disaster.
Were also seeing enhanced storminess,
increased intensity of hurricanes,
and greater extremes of weather
associated with global warming.
There are significant problems associated with this
and these are all tied back
to the emissions from coal, oil and gas combustion
that have been occurring
since the industrial revolution
that started in the mid to late 1700s.
"Is Earth the insane asylum of the universe?"
(Narrator) It is probable that
war itself could be our undoing
let alone the environment.
Our brutal competitive behaviors
are not human nature
but simply a result of scarcity,
making us all competitors
in the fight to attain what we need to survive.
While scarcity is naturally occurring,
it's also intentional in industries
and governments for profit
and national interest.
As long as nations are immersed in scarcity
we will continue to have conflicts between people.
Crimes, murder
and other violence
to all out war;
the ultimate expression of human stupidity.
- Bomb the heck out of them!
These behaviors must be surpassed
if we wish to survive.
- Drop the bombs on them!
- It's the best recruiting tool for al-Qaeda
This guarantees the cycle of violence will go on.
(Narrator) With our technological ability
to provide for all
we must take steps toward a different approach.
Or the endless cycle of booms, busts
and war will continue.
- (sarcastic) Oh, no! Peace in our time.
Aye yai yai!
"If we don't end war, war will end us."
~ H G Wells, 1936
(Dylan) Nobody including
-most of all- the United States
goes to war to liberate or spread democracy.
The only incentive on a
practical level to go to war
is to acquire resources.
In the United States' case,
it frequently is either energy resources
[or] shall I say supporting political alliances
to preserve access to energy resources.
(Narrator) Smedley Butler,
a US Marine Corps General Major,
who was the most decorated marine
at the time of his death
stated it well when he wrote:
"I spent 33 years and four months
in active military service
and during that period I spent most of my time
as a high class muscle man for Big Business,
for Wall Street and the bankers.
In short, I was a racketeer,
a gangster for capitalism.
I helped make Mexico safe
for American oil interests.
I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place
for the National City Bank boys
to collect revenues in.
I helped in the raping of
half a dozen Central American republics
for the benefit of Wall Street.
I helped purify Nicaragua
for the International
Banking House of Brown Brothers.
I brought light to the Dominican Republic
for the American sugar interests.
I helped make Honduras right
for the American fruit companies.
In China, I helped see to it that
Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.
Looking back on it, I might have
given Al Capone a few hints.
The best that he could do was to
operate his racket in three districts.
I operated on three continents.
War is a racket. It always has been.
A few profit and the many pay.
But there is a way to stop it.
You can't end it by disarmament conferences.
It can be smashed effectively
only by taking the profit out of war."
(Jacque) Our universities today
are better equipped than ever: scientific equipment,
the bombs are getting worse.
The wars are getting worse.
The killing is getting worse.
You don't need to kill people, bomb cities.
There's something wrong with our culture; very wrong!
(Narrator) To blame any individual or corporation
does not get at the root causes of the problems.
The structure of our socioeconomic system,
itself, has everyone out
to meet their own needs,
creating a predatory, competitive environment.
Attempting to find solutions
to the monumental problems
within our present society
will only serve as temporary patchwork
prolonging what is quickly becoming
an obsolete system.
(Narrator) Now, more than ever
a sustainable civilization is possible
and furthermore, essential.
Our social designs, language, and values
have evolved from ages ago.
The reality of scarcity in earlier times
shaped our behaviors
and remains deeply entrenched
in all cultures today.
The history of civilization is a story of change
and this includes our social systems, as well.
Our earliest enlightenments
were but stepping stones
in the sequential development
to our present science and technology,
which could now produce
and distribute abundance to everyone.
[Erik Brynjolfsson Ph.D, MIT] There's no question
that many jobs simply aren't coming back.
But probably the single biggest driver of that
is the way that technology is racing ahead.
If we continue on current paths,
the next 10 years will be
even more disruptive than the last 10 years
because the technology is accelerating faster.
(Jacque) If you keep laying off people
and putting in machines,
which is happening in the auto industry...
they pick up the whole car and
turn it around, shove the engine in...
They're moving people out.
There comes a time when
millions won't have the
purchasing power to buy cars.
That's when the system collapses.
- All of our growth is associated
with increased consumption,
increased use of energy, and other resources
And when you ask economists
"Well, what's the alternative
that enables us to continue to be prosperous
without destroying the natural environment
on which we depend?",
they don't seem to have an answer for that.
(Jacque) There's no solution within
the present-day type society.
(Narrator) The Venus Project
proposes a workable alternative.
The aim of The Venus Project is to secure,
and assure a more humane world for all,
through the application
of technology and cybernetics
with human and environmental concern.
(Jacque) People need information to be able
to move into the future intelligently.
Without information, there's no way you can
develop a sustainable culture.
It can't be done politically,
because the problems are technical.
If you succeeded in arranging for the most
ethical people in the world
of the highest morality
and put them in government,
when the lights fail in your house,
you still need an electrician.
When the dams don't generate enough electricity,
you don't need a highly moral politician.
You need an electrical engineer.
So our problems in the world
can be solved by technical people.
The Venus Project applies
the methods of science to the social system.
[Lawrence Krauss, Theoretical Physics, ASU]
What science does provide for us,
is a great deal of information
about the implications
of the different options we have.
So, science helps us make better decisions
by informing those decisions.
That's why it's a shame to
turn away from science in the public arena.
[Paul Hewitt, "Conceptual Physics"] Science is
not an emotional way, not a wishful thinking way
but a rational way of
seeing what the connections are.
That's what science is about.
How could that not apply to everything?
(Lawrence) The scientific method, quite simply,
is a process by which you can try to distinguish
what accurately describes the universe
from what doesn't.
It involves several steps.
Often, of course,
you make some supposition or prediction
about what phenomena might result,
based on some theory.
But then, most importantly,
use empirical data - testing.
You test your idea in a way that's falsifiable.
(Jacque) When they said to scientists
"Can you put a man on the moon?"
They answered, "I don't know."
They asked, "How do you find out?"
"Well, we have to put a guy in a centrifuge
and spin him to see when he conks out.
Then we'll know how fast the rocket can go.
We can't start out at 7 miles per second.
The guy will flatten out."
After they try all these things, then they say
"Here's what we have to do
to get a man on the moon."
(Lawrence) You have to perform additional tests
that are more selective
to determine, in fact, how accurate your idea is.
And science continues by the process of
continually testing your ideas.
(Paul) If you're going to get
into nature, you're going to
get into the rules by which nature operates.
And it does operate by very specific rules.
Which means it's predictable.
And so, what is science, for me?
It's more than a body of knowledge.
It's a way of thinking.
(Jacque) Now language, itself,
is subject to interpretation.
When you say something,
it goes through my filters
and comes out a little different
than what you mean.
Now, if you had that in the
scientific world - engineering world...
When engineers talk to each other,
they use physical referent for their language.
If they all interpreted what
they think the other guy meant,
you couldn't build bridges; they'd collapse.
In medicine, when a doctor says, "Hemostat",
the nurse doesn't hand him a towel.
She hands him a hemostat.
So that language is very precise.
(Lawrence) The thing about science is that
it's independent of culture, religion,
language, everything.
That's why scientists around the world
can work together.
We all speak the same language.
(Jacque) They're talking specifically.
The wonderful thing about a blueprint...
If you give a blueprint of an automobile to Italy,
China, France...
They all turn out the same automobile.
Because it has uniform interpretation.
(Lawrence) I was just giving a lecture about
two very important results
which vastly disagreed.
What did the two groups do who vastly disagreed?
They decided to work together.
Their interest was in
determining what nature tells us,
not what they wanted to be true.
(Jacque) There's no Chinese way
of building airplanes.
There's a mathematical way.
(Narrator) Oddly enough, we've never applied
the methods of science and engineering
on a global scale to achieve a more just
and equitable social arrangement.
Our failure to do so, leaves us continuously
on the brink of oblivion.
(Jacque) Scientists were never asked to
design a society without automobile accidents.
They were never asked to
design a city that's self-sufficient.
Take the Manhattan Project.
They were supported.
So they built the atom bomb.
We're working on the wrong things!
The society that I'm talking about
is global cooperation,
where all of the nations work
toward improving the lot of human kind.
Now why do that?
Because the smarter people are,
the richer and more secure everybody is.
But in the future,
when you join all the nations together,
and they can see the advantage of
sharing all of the Earth's resources
and all of the knowledge by all nations;
Once they realize that advantage,
they will join together.
If they do not, they'll kill each other.
- That's what endless warfare's led to; brigandage.
What else could happen?
But we, who are all that are left
of the old engineers and mechanics,
have pledged ourselves to salvage the World.
We're the last trustees of civilization
when everything else has failed.
(Narrator) If our planet
had a common catastrophic threat,
such as a large meteor heading toward the Earth,
nations would unite
and call upon science and technology
to solve the pending catastrophe.
Border disputes would cease.
Bankers, lawyers and businessmen
would be unable to solve the problem.
Resources would be harnessed
without cost or profit.
Today, we face many common threats
far beyond national boundaries.
(Jacque) In the world today,
we have enough resources
to solve most human problems.
We can build cities, hospitals all over the world
if we use resources.
But if you conscripted all the money in the world
there's not enough money
to build hospitals and housing all over the world
and finance the education of students.
But we do have enough teachers and enough
buildings we can use for universities.
We have the resources.
Money is an interference;
because it limits our ability
and it limits our dreams.
(Narrator) Imagine the possibilities
of an unprecedented mobilization
of scientific and technical alliances
toward problem solving
without the interference of money or politics
to initiate global unification and restoration.
This could easily enable
a high standard of living for all.
This is what Jacque Fresco had in mind
when he proposed a Resource-Based Economy.
(Jacque) If our planet ran out of resources
no matter how much gold,
or money, or possessions you had
you could not survive.
Our entire survival is based upon resources.
(Narrator) Growing up in the Great Depression
in the early nineteen thirties in New York City
was a catalyst for his life's work.
Jacque explored many different
social alternatives during that time
but all seemed insufficient.
He rejected the obsolete
teaching methods of the time
and was granted
special privileges by his principal.
He read books that furthered
his interest in human behavior and social change.
His early research with
training and observing animals
led him to similar findings with people as well.
He concluded that environment shapes our values,
our identity,
and generates our behavior.
Fresco witnessed great suffering and scarcity,
even though Earth was abundant with resources.
He saw it was the rules of the game we play by
that were at fault.
Jacque started with a lot of
technical things when he was very young.
And what gave him incentive for that,
some of the first designs,
was that his younger cousin
cut his fingers in a metal fan.
So Jacque came up with a fabric fan.
He was just a little kid,
and he took it to the fan company
and they said,
"Oh, nice idea kid, but it's not practical."
Then a couple of months later,
they came out with it.
This was his first introduction
to the Free Enterprise system.
It's not free, and it's not enterprising.
Fresco grasped the necessity
to develop an entirely new social design
which integrates
the best of science and technology
dedicated toward human
and environmental concern.
To accomplish this holistic approach
Fresco studied and worked
in a wide range of fields
such as architecture,
behavioral sciences,
industrial design,
and more.
For most of his life, he has lectured,
written books,
designed and produced models and media
to introduce methods that could work for all,
instead of only a few individuals.
(Jacque) Sometimes, when you
talk about a new kind of world,
it frightens people.
They figure "Well gee, everything is technical.
What about the human aspect?"
And I had to devise models
and make buildings and homes
to show people what kind of home
they might live in, in the future.
I really don't know what the future will be like,
but there are possible alternatives.
Thousands of different alternatives.
(Narrator) Fresco and
co-founder, Roxanne Meadows,
built the experimental structures
to test and illustrate his designs
and provide a research center
from which to continue
furthering the aims and proposals.
We moved here in about 1980
and this was all flat tomato patch, most of it.
We got 10 acres and then another 10 acres.
Jacque wanted an island in the Caribbean
which was $800,000 (US). We couldn't afford it
so we settled on $1,000 an acre, here in Venus.
So, we made it look like a tropical island.
We planted hundreds of palm trees and fruit trees
and dug the waterways.
And then the animals came.
We have deer,
lots of alligators, bear, fox, raccoons...
So it's really living in harmony with nature here.
This is kind of an example of what
the outskirts of Jacque's cities would be like.
There would be one building
very close to another building,
but there's so many trees in between
that it looks like you're living in a forest.
(Jacque) So what the Venus Project really wants
is to unify all the nations of the world
towards common goals, such as;
clean air, clean water, non-contaminated food
and make that available to everyone.
What is really needed
is the intelligent management
of the Earth's resources.
A Resource-Based Economy is
based on the carrying capacity of the Earth
and its resources.
If you don't work in terms of existing resources
you're working in some metaphysical plan.
In a Resource-Based Economy,
all resources would become
the common heritage of all the world's people.
And access to the necessities of life
would be for all the world's people.
There would be no more monetary systems
or trade, barter,
or any other system of human servitude.
(Narrator) A Resource-Based Economy
allows social advancement
and worldwide reconstruction
in the shortest time possible.
(Jacque) Under scientific scales of performance
we could provide everybody
with more than they need.
I'm saying that the
average person in this Venus Project
will live better than
the wealthiest people today.
(Roxanne) But first, you take
a survey of the Earth's resources.
You don't leave it up to the opinion of somebody
or a group of people.
You find out what you have
and that gives you the parameters
of what you can work with.
So you find out where
your technical personnel are,
where your water is, where your arable land is,
the health of the people
and the needs of the people
and you build according to that.
That will determine where your hospitals go,
and everything else.
(Narrator) A Resource-Based Economy
operates as a balanced-load economy.
This means avoiding shortages and over-runs
thus optimizing efficiency and conserving energy.
There would be no excesses and little waste.
It would be balanced
to the environmental conditions
and human needs.
For instance, there would be
no houses without people in them
or cargo trains travelling empty
or stored in freight yards
dependent on the business cycle for their use.
This also ensures natural resources are
not depleted, as in our present system.
(Jacque) Here's where I got the ideas from:
the human body.
The brain says "If I do all the thinking,
I want most of the nutrients."
And the lungs would say "Just a minute!
If I don't oxygenate the blood,
you couldn't work as a brain."
So the brain says
"Alright. I'll give you whatever you need."
Then the liver says "If I don't filter,
the brain and the lungs will die."
So, every organ gets whatever the hell it needs.
And so, you have a system that works.
When you get an infection in your toe,
there's no commitee meeting.
No democracy, where
they send a committee to the brain
that say "There's an infection in the toe."
And the brain says
"We're going to do a three-month study."
By that time, the infection is up to your knee.
(Narrator) To achieve the
intelligent management of resources,
technologies are used to
monitor and track goods and services.
This is similar to industrial processes of today,
but updated, to equitably distribute
goods and services to all.
This is the basis for a
Total Global Systems Approach.
(Erik) I can imagine an abundance economy
where robots do most of the work,
where our food, our clothing, our shelter
are created by machines.
And I think it's very realistic
for us to eliminate,
completely eliminate absolute poverty worldwide,
not just in the United States, by the year 2035.
Nobody needs to starve ever again.
That could be an enormous milestone
that is achievable because of technology.
(Jacque) When we computerize everything,
and start producing things
and make things available,
it'll be too cheap to monitor.
(Narrator) With the most capable computers
we can arrive at more appropriate decisions
on a global scale.
(Jacque) I have no doubt that
machines will eventually
be assigned more and more decision making.
For example, years ago,
a pilot would look out of a plane and say
"I think I'm about a mile high."
But today, they have doppler radar
and they know exactly how high they are.
So, we don't want human guesswork anymore,
when a machine can do it.
So I see the future as
using very sophisticated computers
that make decisions.
Now how do computers make decisions?
They have their tentacles out
into Transportation,
Agriculture..., so they can tell you
when the soil is depleted,
when it has less water,
because it has sensors built into the soil.
The computer will be connected
to weather departments,
earthquake zones, everything.
So I feel that eventually,
government will become computerized.
(Narrator) Today, the world's
fastest computer is in China.
The Tianhe-2 supercomputer is capable of
33.86 quadrillion floating point
operations per second.
[Fareed Zakaria, CNN Host]
Eighty percent of what doctors do
is going to be done by computers.
Is that really true?
[Vinod Khosla, Sun Microsystems]
Absolutely. I have zero doubt.
You won't want a doctor to do your diagnosis
or monitoring, or pick your therapy.
That's why IBM's Watson
is trying to pick cancer therapies,
because it's too complex for humans to do.
There's 15,000 diseases, 15,000 devices,
drugs, therapies, prescriptions...
You think if you're a cardiac patient,
your cardiologist has read even a hundred
of the last 5,000 articles
published last year on cardiac disease?
Not a chance!
- But the computer can go through it all?
- Absolutely!
(Erik) You may have seen IBM's Watson
defeat the world champion in the game of Jeopardy.
Well, that same technology can also be used
to solve legal problems,
to answer questions in call centers,
to make medical diagnoses...
These are just wondrous technologies
that are having enormous implications
going forward.
Recently, I got a chance
to ride in a self-driving car.
Ten years ago,
I would have said that's impossible.
But, of course, it did happen,
and riding down route 101 in California
was a breathtaking experience for me.
At first, it was a little frightening.
Then it was a little exhilarating.
And, ultimately,
I felt quite comfortable in that car.
(Vinod) Humans have accidents.
Google's driverless car has driven
700,000 miles without an accident.
Even the best humans have accidents
before they get to 700,000 miles.
(Erik) All of us are beginning
to be able to speak to our machines,
whether they're cell phones, or computers
and have them understand what we're saying.
That would have been science fiction
a few years ago,
but now the machines
are able to carry out our instructions
and even respond back to us
with computer synthesized voices.
(Vinod) I think 10 - 20 years from now,
there will be very few areas,
maybe none, where human judgement
is better than machine judgement.
(Jacque) So the computers will
eventually be put in charge of everything,
except human behavior.
(Reporter) Technology can eliminate
critical life-or-death errors.
A machine, instead of humans,
fills the prescriptions.
The robot gives a huge amount of confidence
because we know that
pharmacists and pharmacy technicians
are incredibly skilled people,
but they're humans,
and they will occasionally make mistakes.
We give something like
3 million doses of drug, in 3 months here,
so even a 1% error rate is far too high.
(Jacque) So, eventually you're going to
get to computerized government.
And that's the end of corruption,
because they don't have ambition.
Computers don't say
"I'd like to be President of the World."
"I want to control people."
They don't have a gut reaction.
(Narrator) If utilized in this
global systems approach,
we could surpass
the practice of political decisions
based on power and advantage.
(Jacque) Even computer experts
are writing books now
on the 'machine takeover - watch out!'
They're not going to take over.
They're going to be assigned to decision making.
(Erik) I'm not worried about the
machines getting angry and taking over,
I'm worrying about people maybe getting angry
if we don't figure out an equitable way
to use these technologies
to create shared prosperity.
(Narrator) The Venus Project
proposes ways to achieve this.
Inter-connected sustainable cities
utilize cyber-centers
which coordinate industries,
transportation systems,
public health care,
and the flow of goods and services.
These cybernated centers would connect all cities
and help with environmental reclamation.
In the beginning,
interdisciplinary technical teams
would manage productivity
until even these tasks are automated.
Mega-machines, directed by AI,
could excavate canals,
construct bridges,
and dams.
Self-erecting structures would be expedient
in the construction of industrial plants,
and eventually,
most of the global infrastructure.
(Jacque) We study all of the
negative effects before we build anything.
So there's a whole group of
engineers and computers
doing long-term studies of
all of the negative retroactions.
(Narrator) With the threat of climate change,
we may be forced to take large engineering feats.
The Venus Project proposes
automated canal diggers
to bring rising seawaters
into below sea level deserts,
enabling them to bloom.
The cities would only use clean sources of energy.
Some say this is not possible,
but even today,
Professor Mark Jacobson
is demonstrating otherwise.
(Mark) So, our goal is to replace all fossil fuels.
There's 30 times more solar available, worldwide,
over land and high solar locations
than we'd need to power the entire world
for all purposes in 2030.
And there's seven times more wind
than you'd need to do the same thing.
So we're looking to combine
all clean renewable energy sources
that are available:
Solar Power
Geothermal Power
Hydro-electric, Tidal Power, and Wave Power...
We would need about 4 million large wind turbines
to power about 50% of the entire world
for all purposes.
You might say, "Well, that sounds like a lot!"
But keep in mind, during World War II,
the world produced about 800,000 aircraft
in the space of 5 - 6 years.
And the US produced about 330,000 aircraft
in 4-5 years.
That was decades ago.
Now, we have better technologies
and abilities to ramp up production.
So, it really comes down to will-power.
It's not a technological or economic blockade
to solving this problem.
It's really a social and political blockade.
(Narrator) The first city
would be a testing ground
for the implementation
and further development
of these social aims.
The first city would be a huge research center
making automated systems for the next city.
Making the first city better, as well.
It would be a place where
we would disseminate information,
we would have movie studios,
we'd be making gaming, computer animation,
a lot of different media
to get out to the public.
It would be like a university city.
We would have instructions as to
what sustainability really means for the future.
(Jacque) The cities of the future are circular,
not because I like circles;
it's because you only have to design
one segment of the system
and then reproduce it in pie-shaped sectors
and that would be the most economical way.
When you build 'Suburbia',
it's spread out.
Then you have to travel one way to the dentist,
the other way for shopping,
another way to the doctor...
This system is self-contained.
There's wind generators.
All of the rooftops are solar generating.
All of the garbage and waste is
recycled under the ground
underneath these roadways.
All of the roadways contain piping
running up and back,
and we use all of that hot water
to operate the air conditioning,
and the needs of the city.
Now, where the residential district is,
if you work in the medical center,
you can live here, if you choose to.
So this is, essentially,
a collection of variations in houses.
Your house will vary to suit your needs.
(Narrator) Fresco's designs are a showcase
for the harmonious coexistence
of nature and technology.
(Jacque) Now, some people don't like
living in individual houses.
They prefer living in apartments
cause there's a gymnasium,
drama group,
discussion groups,
recreation of all kinds...
So, the skyscraper in the future
will offer more of the amenities.
(Roxanne) This is your Recreational Belt.
There'd be art centers, music centers,
recreational areas...
(Jacque) These are bicycle paths.
There are tennis courts,
and these are golf courses.
But the golf courses contain a clubhouse
with all of the golf clubs,
so you don't have to bring
anything out to the golf course.
You'd stay there, play golf
and when you're through,
you leave the clubs there.
These are access buildings
where anyone can access books,
a violin, musical instruments...
Anything that they want
is free and available.
(Roxanne) These are your Research Centers.
Everything studied in these areas
is to improve your standard of living,
and everybody else there.
There would be no lawyers,
no bankers,
no ad agencies, no insurance people,
no sales people...
Without money,
you don't need any of those things.
So you could go right into
solving the problems that all of us have.
That's what we'd be working on.
Today, we're fighting over
people who have different values,
and we're fighting over scarce resources.
In the future, you won't have to do that.
You'd be working cooperatively
to improve the standard of living for everyone.
(Jacque) A lot of people think that
I want to give people things for nothing,
and that's going to spoil people.
The fact that you're born in America,
you had nothing to do with the airplane,
the telephone, the railways...
It's all here, and you're lucky,
cause you inherited that.
Just being born here.
That doesn't spoil you.
So there's really no basis for crime,
since anyone can access anything they need.
No one's going to hit you on your head
and take your wallet.
Because there's no money in it anymore.
The Monetary System has been surpassed.
(Erik) And when we have
that kind of abundance economy,
most of us will be able to spend most of our time
doing the things we enjoy doing.
The kinds of things you might have seen
the Athenians do during their golden age.
They had human slaves
to take care of their basic needs.
We can do it with robots.
- Amazing!
And what would you suggest the cooks
and housewives of the world do
with all that extra time?
(Jacque) There's an island called Isle of Man.
On that island, there's a stream down below
and the women wear a harness
and they go down and get two buckets of water
and climb up to their home up there
where they boil and cook food.
The women have to skin animals
and get the animal fat out
to operate their lamps.
And if someone said to the women
"Some day, you'll turn a gadget and water will flow
at whatever speed you want,
without you having to go down to the river.
And some day,
you'll press a button and the lights will go on
and you won't have to skin animal fat."
And the woman says "Yes, but what will women do?"
People will get engaged in how to live,
how to relate, to travel, scuba diving,
restoring the reefs and the oceans
that we damaged,
cleaning the ocean and the atmosphere.
So much we don't know.
And you can go back to school, free of charge.
And every city will be a university city
where you're updated on what's new.
(Narrator) We would re-examine everything.
From our social arrangements
and building processes
to our value system.
Let's explore how this
new social concept would work
within a Resource-Based Economy.
It's not just architecture;
It's a way of thinking.
(Jacque) We still have neural lag.
It's hard for us to step into the future
without dragging some of the past.
We won't make the history books of the future.
We are that ignorant.
Not in technology;
we're doing fine in computers and electronics.
But the human value system
is not moving fast enough.
I would say that people
would be much more productive,
much more humane...; much happier people.
That is the question.
Will people be happier with new technology?
No, not new technology alone,
but with a value system and new technology.
In many instances,
we ask people for their opinion.
Do you think man will ever get to the moon?
They may say "Maybe 10,000 years from now",
instead of saying "I don't know enough
about that to give you a sensible answer."
That's the way you talk.
But they have opinions about everything.
"There'll always be war,
there always has been war
because man is greedy!"
That's what they 'repeat';
a loop of what they've heard in the past.
- The point is, ladies and gentlemen,
that greed is good.
Greed is right.
Greed works.
(Roxanne) People are reinforced
in this culture to be greedy.
The more you have,
the more you abuse other people
in order to get what you have.
You're looked upon as being successful.
You admire the people with money
that have those things.
And they usually get it off other people's backs,
that they abuse terribly.
So, you're not born being greedy.
(Jacque) People think that
you can't change human nature.
If you couldn't change it,
we'd still be living in caves.
So obviously, we're undergoing change.
So human nature is not fixed
and greed is brought about by scarcity
or lack of resources.
(Roxanne) There are some
animals that are very docile.
The cows on the next field;
they wouldn't hurt each other at all.
But when we approach them with oranges
because there's a scarcity of oranges
they start bucking each other.
So it's really a matter of scarcity.
What The Venus Project is trying to do
is eliminate scarcity and produce abundance.
And for the first time in history,
we can do that
because we have the technology
to be able to supply people
with whatever they need.
(Jacque) Some people believe that there's
such a thing as human intelligence.
Remember that an intelligent
electrical engineer of 75 years ago
could not get a job today.
So what you once called intelligent,
was intelligent at that time
within that frame of reference.
It's an ongoing process.
Now, what is the real meaning of intelligence?
The ability to extract significant
information from any situation.
I would say that it depends
on the next 20 years.
We'll know whether there's intelligent life on Earth.
It depends on what we do about the environment
and what we do about the human problem;
Poverty, hunger in the world,
sickness and waste of resources.
If we learn how to manage
the Earth's resources intelligently,
we can overcome most of the problems
in a relatively short time.
Creativity is taking known systems
and putting them together in unique ways,
and adding a few things
to improve the product.
That goes for music,
art, drawings, invention....
But if you study the history of invention,
you will see a relationship
and the tie of all these variables.
I think that's part of the
propaganda of each system,
that tells people that the financial gain
is the main motivation for people.
It is that people are interested in money
but there are other people
that are motivated by other interests.
Medical research;
people devote their lives to it.
There are people that work real hard
and save up money
and go to Africa and spend
all their time trying to help people.
They're not motivated by money.
And I am suspicious of people
that are only motivated by money.
- And a $40,000 (US) gold fuckin' watch!
It's not a healthy motivation.
If you want to know what kills incentive...
If you give people
the minimum amount of money;
minimum vacation,
hard dirty work with no future...
A man that washes dishes in a restaurant...
They keep bringing a new pile
in every 20 minutes.
And he sees no out.
He can never buy a home or own a car.
He doesn't own enough.
So what incentive is that?
But he has to wash the dishes,
because he's got two kids.
He's got to feed them.
And that's not good for mental health at all.
What will motivate people?
A world without war, poverty, hunger,
loss of employment, loss of income...
Your incentives and options are tremendous.
Thousands of different things are due,
now that you've got your food,
and housing, and education.
Now, you go to work
on solving, not all problems,
but all of the problems of that time.
So we do it because
we are functionally selfish;
meaning, being selfish for yourself,
alone, is detrimental.
But functionally selfish means:
take care of the environment,
share ideas with people,
and in that way, we all gain.
They can see, on the news every day,
that everything they do
goes out to all humanity.
So everybody in the world represents
an extension to their life,
rather than everybody selling themselves
and making a profit on one another.
They now have the time
to appreciate what the new world does.
And all of the films of the future
will show them what's happening
all over the world.
And what's new, and that
they have free access to what's new.
Because everybody cares about everybody else.
I'd like to strike out the word "Utopia".
There's no such thing.
It's like designing the best city possible.
That's not possible!
We can design a far better city,
but as time goes on, with new inventions,
it's always in the process of change.
Are we civilized?
Of course not!
It's an ongoing process.
People think "Well, your ideas are utopian."
That's not utopian.
That's applied technology and efficiency.
What we want is an emergent society,
that's never established.
Always learning new things;
always moving onward toward change.
And to help people adjust, emotionally
and intellectually, to expect change.
Change for the better.
If the environment is structured,
it produces what you would call
ethical and moral behavior.
But if you don't alter the environment,
it'll keep producing what you've got now.
So, the environment has to be changed.
That means the schools,
the things we learn, our language...
All of these things have to be updated.
I think that people will be
ethical to the nature of the world.
Ethical, not because it says so in a book;
they're ethical because it's better for them
and better for society.
So the new ethics is based upon
the carrying capacity of the Earth,
rather than my opinion.
Will it be a democracy?
It never was a democracy.
It's been corrupt all the way back,
only it's never been disclosed.
Did you vote for the space program?
Did you vote for the building of warships?
Did you vote for any wars?
What the hell do you mean
by participatory democracy?
It never existed. These are words.
Whenever you hear
democracy and freedom, watch out!
That means it doesn't exist.
In a world where it does exist,
there are no proclamations as to Human Rights.
It's built into the system.
Black studies, womens studies...
are all part of a system
that hasn't achieved that.
In the future, for example,
if you said "There ought to be
more kindness in the world,
and more cooperation.",
they would say "How do you do that?"
If you have nothing to offer,
they'll say, "Why do you make noises?"
They would not accept that
as anything sensible.
Emotions are superfluous to the task.
Your feelings in the future, all emotions,
will be translated to an action pattern.
You'll do medical research on how to develop...
for bones that are getting weaker,
how to strengthen them,
how to improve the health of people...;
when emotions are translated to deeds,
rather than this [praying].
Now, another thing that really confuses people;
The word "Love".
What would happen if you lived
with a replica of yourself?
How long do you think you'd be together?
How soon would you crash?
Do you love yourself all the time?
Of course not!
How can you love another person?
You only love certain things about people
and certain things about yourself.
The word "love" will disappear in the future,
and be replaced by a newer definition
called "extensionality",
meaning to enhance one another's lives.
"I love you" are just
empty words that manifest nothing.
It's how people behave
toward one another that indicates love.
There's another thing that's very dangerous;
Claiming to be 'aware', or 'conscious'.
You hear that all the time:
"At least I'm conscious."
I usually meet with those people
and I say "Where is your liver?"
- "Hmm, well, I'm not sure."
How fast is the blood moving
through your veins and arteries?
What area of the brain controls creativity?
What area is responsible for emotions?
What do you mean by consciousness?
A human being, on top of the Empire State
building, can see a 3 ft. ball.
But a chicken hawk can see a dime,
and see whether it's heads or tails.
The term used - consciousness, or awareness -
is limited to your senses.
So we can never be 'conscious'.
We can grow, in degrees,
and understand, perhaps,
a little more about many more things.
But we never can achieve 'consciousness',
because we don't see gamma rays, cosmic rays...
We don't see all of those things
without instrumentation.
Religion has an old book,
with a lot of myths.
Packed with myths. And it doesn't
change every year. Consider this.
A scientist has a book on astronomy.
Every year, that book undergoes change.
If you have a book on electronics
that's two years old, it's obsolete.
So, they undergo change.
Here's a minister,
with that one book under his arm;
a real simplistic interpretation of the Earth.
And it caters to what people fear:
what happens after death.
(Lawrence) What happens now is that
myths and superstitions are pervasive,
not because we don't have
better ways of understanding things,
but because people want to believe things
that make them feel better.
(Jacque) Then they tell you in school that
everything in nature has a purpose;
like "What's the purpose of life?", and all that.
They say "The purpose of the eyebrows
is to deflect sweat off to the side."
That means, there's a designer.
And what's the purpose
of coughing and sneezing?
To infect other people?
They say the purpose of horns
on an animal is to protect itself.
I said "What's the purpose of those horns?"
They said that's for ramming other animals.
I said "What if the horns go off to the side?"
Well, that's for keeping them off of the side?
What if they go back? Does that
keep them off their back? No!
Animals are born with 'every which way' horns,
and they learn how to use them.
(Lawrence) People hope that there's
some cosmic purpose to their life.
But, in fact, science,
as far as we can tell,
tells us there's no evidence
that there's purpose to the universe.
Does that mean
there's no purpose to the universe?
No. We can't prove it.
It's just that there's no evidence
of a universe with purpose,
and the universe effectively acts
like it has no purpose.
Now, should this depress us?
In my opinion, no, because,
what it means is that the purpose
in our lives is the purpose we make.
(Jacque) We don't want people to have
loyalty to corporations, or a country.
We want them to have
loyalty to methodology,
and loyalty to invention, meaning
to improve everything that exists.
Make them better, smarter, faster...
And make them available to all people.
That's the kind of loyalty that's needed.
If China comes up with
a new way of producing automations;
If Africans come up with
a great idea; Congratulations!
No more loyalty to corporations; to country.
Loyalty to the Earth,
and to all of the people on it.
And to make the Earth
a far better place than it is.
This is the kind of loyalty
I'm talking about.
This is the kind of pledge of allegiance
that I'm talking about.
To pledge allegiance to methodology.
(Narrator) If we manage
to arrive at a saner future,
the tasks will be about
solving problems common to all people.
(Jacque) We have to anticipate
that the Earth is our salvation.
If we don't take care of it,
no matter how many churches you build,
we will starve to death and kill each other.
(Narrator) The real challenges
are producing abundance,
reclaiming damaged environments,
sharing and creating
innovative technologies,
and improving communications between people.
(Jacque) I know that we can build
a far better world, without war,
without most crimes,
without the need for prisons,
and without the need for money.
We can surpass that.
We have the technical ability
to make things available to everyone.
All the wonders of technology
have no meaning at all
unless it enhances the lives of everyone.
(Narrator) The vision of applied science
can serve the common good.
And though this goal has eluded
human civilization for centuries,
the possibility of a better life for all
will depend, ultimately,
on the choices we make today.
"If you think we can't change the world,
it just means you're not one of those that will."
~Jacque Fresco
Join those who are working toward
making The Venus Project a reality.
Translations by Linguistic Team International