Why The Venus Project Will Never Be Realized

The Resource Based Economy Icon

September 1, 2020

Another flawed economic paradigm, aside from the Steady State Economy is the Resource Based Economy (RBE) by Jacque Fresco . It is implemented as The Venus Project which is a tech-urban master plan. This is a necessary consequence of Mr. Fresco being a designer by trade, as opposed to being a practicing scientist or civil engineer.

Its most striking feature is that it aims to distribute goods and services without using:

  • debt
  • money
  • credits
  • barter

It hopes to do this by using technology to reduce scarcity. This makes it seem consistent with David Hume’s assertion that the two factors that cause human problems are selfishness and scarcity:

Increase the benevolence of men or the bounty of nature, and you render justice unnecessary

Simple Treatise of Human Nature, Book 3, Part 2, Section 3

How do you get food and cellphones in an RBE?

Resource allocation in an RBE is done through rationing done by artificial intelligence (AI). We can say that it’s a tech version of Marxism, Both are similar in essence except that RBE uses technology:

  • Both want common holding of land by the people
  • Both want common holding of the means of production
  • Both want common holding of the resources
  • Both want common distribution of consumables / goods / commodities
  • RBE wants the automation of the manufacturing process

Venus Project

The fundemanetal flaw of RBE: No Metaphysics

Both RBE and Marxism lacks metaphysics which is the secret to the success of an economy. Communism failed while Capitalism flourished simply because the latter was more in line with the dharma of individual humans–the love for freedom and the need for industry.

However, Capitalism goes against the dharma of collective humans and the environment, which manifest as inequality, environmental destruction and global warming. This explains why Capitalism survived while Communism did not. The killers of Capitalism are usually revolutions or natural disasters which wipe out capital assets despite best effort.

RBE relies on technology to fix the faults of Marxism. This creates a chicken-or-egg problem. The tech needs adoption first before it can be developed. But the adoption needs tech first to get started. This is why the Venus project, which is supposed to implement RBE, is always just a plan.

Learning from the Mistakes of RBE

Unlike RBE, Pantrynomics is based on metaphysics. It has its own theory of value called the Effort Theory of Value which is implemented through Basic Universal Revenue .

Like RBE, it relies much on technology to scale itself. However, unlike RBE, it can work with old tech such as pen and paper as the tool to build economic agreements between humans.

Unlike the AI of RBE, the AI of Pantrynomics , does not impose on the people. Rather, it learns what people need and then suggests the appropriate transactions.

RBE suffers from the same flaws as Marxism which is a sign of the confused feelings of its founder. In the next post, we shall compare the feelings of Adam Smith with Karl Marx to see what constitutes ‘solid’ or dharmic feelings.