You can find out more about the Venus Project here. Basically, what the Venus project is a goal to build an automatic society, where there is no war, there is no excessive work, people are freed to their own hobbies, products and services are available to everyone, no crime, and no poor people. The Venus project has been having a lot of support from the world, but I am going to condemn the Venus project. All what the Venus project is, is a dream, a fantasy world. That is part of the reason why lots of people like it so much. It is nothing but a Utopian fantasy. I am going to show the problems with this project.
On the Wikipedia page, Fresco, the founder of this project, says that:
According to Fresco, poverty, crime, corruption and war are the result of scarcity created by the present world's profit-based economic system. He theorizes that the profit motive also stifles the progress of socially beneficial technology. Fresco claims that the progression of technology, if it were carried on independently of its profitability, would make more resources available to more people by producing an abundance of products and materials. This new-found abundance of resources would reduce the human tendency toward individualism, corruption, and greed, and instead rely on people helping each other. Fresco believes it is now possible to achieve a society in which people would live "longer, healthier, and more meaningful lives." Fresco believes the monetary system and the processes associated with it, such as labour and competition, damages society and holds people back from their true potentials. He states his ideas would maximally benefit the greatest number of people. He claims some of his ideas stem from his formative years during the Great Depression. Fresco believes the current global economic situation, being similar to —though not as severe as— the Great Depression, will lead people away from free-market economics and capitalism and make them lose confidence in the monetary establishment. Fundamental to the project is the elimination of the current money-based economy in favor of a resource-based economy.
Let us examine the stupid ideas from this one paragraph one by one.
1)According to Fresco, poverty, crime, corruption and war are the result of scarcity created by the present world's profit-based economic system. The first thing I want to concentrate on is being poor. Poorness is not created by anything. Poorness is the natural condition of man. The natural condition of man is misery and suffering. This is the way people lived for 99% of our human existence. The only reason why we have been able to escape this terrible state is by trade and the division of labor. How can one say that poor people are created? Poor people is the way things are. We should rather ask why are there rich people, or people with some reasonable standard of living? That is the proper way to phrase the question. Now let me talk about corruption, crime and war. Crime is often caused by people's self-interest, not all the time but often enough. Some criminal wants more money so he figures that he can rob another person for his money. The criminal's self-interest is more money and he robs that money from other people. The reason why people for the most part act good is partially due to our system of values or the fear of dealing with the consequences. Even though we may have a self-interest to rob we hold ourselves back, sometimes our self-interest for theft can really be strong and we ignore fear or values and act on our self-interest motives. The same with war. Crime is self-interest for individuals, war is self-interest for states. Wars happens become one state wants more power or more wealth, some wars are acts of self-defense, but most are not. So I agree that self-interest is responsible for crime and war, but it is ridiculous to say that a profit-based economy is responsible for crime and war. Let me ask this question. There is not self-interest in a Marxist economy? You really think people never want to earn money in a Marxist country? Of course they do. It is human nature to act in self-interest. It does not matter what kind of economy it is, self-interest will always be present. So this criticism of profit-based economics (I guess he wants to say "capitalism") by Fresco is a pathetic criticism.
2)He theorizes that the profit motive also stifles the progress of socially beneficial technology. How? This is just stupid. It is the profit motive (oh no, "profit", such a dirty word!) that has created computers, TV's, and basically all of the technology that we have. This does not stifle anything, this is progress. If you ask me to name a piece of technology developed for making a profit I can think of ten in five seconds. But if I was to ask you to think of a piece of technology developed for non-profit reasons, I doubt you would be able to think of even one. This point by Fresco is rationally and empirically stupid.
3)This new-found abundance of resources would reduce the human tendency toward individualism, corruption, and greed, and instead rely on people helping each other. I believe that the human species will one day live through a new economic revolution. Machines will replace most of the main labor that people have to do. This way people would have time to enjoy life and pursue their hobbies. This would be the period of our time when our standard of living is astronomically high, perhaps there will be no poor people anymore because products and services are no longer based on earning profits for they are performed by machines. I have no objection to this kind of society, obviously, I hope we can reach it one day. The way we reach this stage is not by some dumb Utopian fantasies which do not even make economic sense, but by a profit-driven competitive markets which will produce these machines that will work for us.
4)Fresco believes the monetary system and the processes associated with it, such as labour and competition, damages society and holds people back from their true potentials. Wow, this is complete stupidity. I wrote about why a monetary system is good and necessary back here. Being against money is to fundamentally be opposed to trade, Fresco obviously does not realize this. Besides, why are labor and competition associated with a monetary system? Regardless if it is a monetary system or not labor will always be associated with it, work needs to be done. But the part that really surprises me is when he says "damages society". How does Fresco conclude that competition damages society? Competition is the reason why technology is improving. Why everything gets cheaper and why quality is going up. How can he possible be against competition for this reason then? I do agree with him that labor holds people back from their true potentials. A person who has to work has little time to philosophize or to pursue his hobbies. It is sad that this sacrifice must take place. It certainly would be better if we did not have to sacrifice our hobbies for our labor, but the world is not this way yet, and we have to. Work needs to be done.
5)He states his ideas would maximally benefit the greatest number of people. I do not care what he states, I care for his justification. Anyone can state anything they want. Every person will state that his ideas are superior, obviously, otherwise they would not form their ideas in the first place. Stating your own position is useless unless it is defended. And thus far, Fresco makes no economic sense at all.
6)Will lead people away from free-market economics and capitalism and make them lose confidence in the monetary establishment. I am surprised at how many people think that the world operates under free-market economics. Hardly anywhere in the world is free market capitalism practiced as an economic system (I believe this has to do with people's ignorance of the subject matter). But what I can say is that capitalism cannot be replaced. Capitalism is derived from the concept of trade between two people. Money is derived from trade itself. To abolish capitalism or money will mean that we need to move towards a system in where no trade ever takes place. That sounds like a terrible system ... but hey, at least no worker gets exploited!
So this is what I think of this dumb Utopian fantasy filled with economic fallacies after another. Fresco might be an engineer but he is an economic retard. To plan for such a society, that he wants to achieve, probably requires some understanding of economics. And once someone knows a little bit about economics, one learns that, surprisingly, such societies cannot be planned, and they cannot have a central planner, they will have to arise naturally and spontaneously. So the goal of removing labor from people will not be achieved by central planners but by the natural evolution of humans themselves.