Jacque Fresco (born March 13, 1916), is a self-educated social engineer, industrial designer, author, lecturer, futurist, inventor, and the creator of The Venus Project. Fresco has worked as both designer and inventor in a wide range of fields spanning biomedical innovations and integrated social systems. He believes his ideas would maximally benefit the greatest number of people and he states some of his influence stems from his formative years during the Great Depression.
The Venus Project was started in the mid-1970s by Fresco and his partner, Roxanne Meadows. The film Future by Design was produced in 2006 describing his life and work. Fresco writes and lectures extensively on subjects ranging from the holistic design of sustainable cities, energy efficiency, natural resource management and advanced automation, focusing on the benefits it will bring to society.
Born on March 13, 1916, Jacque Fresco started his professional career as design consultant for Rotor Craft Helicopter Company. He served in the Army Design and Development Unit at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, U.S. and worked for the Raymond De-Icer Corporation based in Los Angeles, California, U.S., as a research engineer.
He worked for many companies and in many fields such as technical consultant and technical advisor to the motion picture industry, industrial design instructor at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. In Los Angeles, he was a colleague and work associate of psychologist Donald Powell Wilson.
In 1942, Fresco started, with Lou Glaser, the Revell Plastics Company (now Revell-Monogram), manufacturing a broad range of plastic and die-cast models of cars, aircraft, military vehicles and ships.
The Venus Project
Main article: The Venus Project
The Venus Project was started around 1975 by Fresco and by former portrait artist, Roxanne Meadows in Venus, Florida, USA. Its research center is a 21-acre (85,000 m2) property with various domed buildings of his design, where they work on books and films to demonstrate their concepts and ideas. Fresco has produced an extensive range of scale models based on his designs. The Venus Project was incorporated in 1995. The Venus Project originated as a plot of land in Florida which was purchased after liquidating a previous company by the name of Sociocyberneering inc, which also was a piece of land purchased by payments from the sociocyberneering group members.The Venus Project is a two part business, a non profit company called ‘Future by Design’ and a for profit company called ‘Venus Project Inc./Global Cybervisions Inc.
Venus project was founded on the idea that poverty is caused by the stifling of progress in technology, which itself is caused by the present world’s profit-driven economic system. The progression of technology, if it were carried on independent of its profitability, Fresco theorizes, would make more resources available to more people thereby reducing corruption and greed, and instead make people more likely to help each other.Fresco advocates against a money-based economy in favor of what he refers to as a resource-based economy.
In a 2008 interview with Fresco and Meadows, Fresco stated that a ‘lack of credentials’ has made it difficult for him to gain influence in academic circles. He adds that when universities do invite him to speak, they often don’t give him enough time to explain his views.
The Zeitgeist Movement
Main article: Zeitgeist movement
The Venus Project is featured prominently in the 2008 documentary film Zeitgeist: Addendum, as a possible solution to the global problems explained in the first film and first half of the second film. The film premiered at the 5th Annual Artivist Film Festival in Los Angeles, California on October 2, 2008, winning their highest award, and it was released online for free on Google video on October 4, 2008. Following the movie The Zeitgeist Movement was established to aid the transition from a monetary or quid pro quo (e.g., barter) based economy to a resource-based economy.
Resource Based Economy
A major theme of Fresco’s is the concept of a resource-based economy that replaces the need for the current monetary economy, which is “scarcity-oriented” or “scarcity-based”. Fresco argues that the world is rich in natural resources and energy and that — with modern technology and judicious efficiency — the needs of the global population can be met with abundance, while at the same time removing the current limitations of what is deemed possible due to notions of economic viability.
He gives this example to help explain the idea:
“At the beginning of World War II the U.S. had a mere 600 or so first-class fighting aircraft. We rapidly overcame this short supply by turning out more than 90,000 planes a year. The question at the start of World War II was: Do we have enough funds to produce the required implements of war? The answer was No, we did not have enough money, nor did we have enough gold; but we did have more than enough resources. It was the available resources that enabled the US to achieve the high production and efficiency required to win the war. Unfortunately this is only considered in times of war.”
Fresco states that for this to work, all of the Earth’s resources must be held as the common heritage of all people and not just a select few; and the practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter-productive to the survival of human civilization.
One of the key points in Fresco’s solution is that without the conditions created in a monetary system, vast amounts of resources would not be wasted unproductively. Instead Fresco’s contention is that without the waste of resources on ends that would become irrelevant there would be no scarcity of necessary products such as food and education.