The Venus Project?

I’ve been watching the Venus Project with interest, but I don’t really believe in city cultures. It doesn’t get to the root of the problem; which is that we shouldn’t be flocking to the cities in the first place; it’s a recipe for starvation. Humans are naturally forest animals and the resources in cities are very limited as it is, without millions of people all competing for very finite food, space and air.

It also relies on a form of government (cybernated), and I feel that the entire concept of government needs to be abandoned if we’re to move forward as a species. We operated without government or currency for thousands of years. Humans don’t need to design vast expensive eco-cities to survive, all we need to do is stop working ceaselessly to empower and enrich the elite .1% and take our lives back into our own hands again.

We should believe in ourselves, and no longer accept being governed by politicians, corporations or machines. We have the inherent ability to voluntarily co-operate to create a better society. We can’t continue to accept the lies fed to us by our ‘leaders‘ to convince us that without more and more government, technology, surveillance, military and policing, humans will turn into violent marauding cannibals with no sense of morality or community.

Before most of the world was colonized and corrupted by European bureaucracy and greed, most humans lived in gift-economies where everyone gave to everyone else without expectations. We must all be aware by now that capitalism requires us to exploit each other and our environment to survive. All we have to do is break the cycle and go back to being free humans.

A world of small, independent but loosely interconnected communities that trade with each other is my solution. Instead of fiat currency, people would deposit the goods and tools their community creates at an inter-communal market, and then take whatever their village needs that’s been deposited by other communities. Like a give-away shop that every interested community in the area contributes to. It doesn’t take legions of engineers and future technologies to create a functional sustainable society, just the will of a few people that are ready to reclaim their lives and live without violence (government) and greed (money).

Instead of a permanent police force, the community would form a group to apprehend a bad seed for trial when necessary, and then the group would immediately disband. Trusted impartial elders living alone and apart from any community, would solve disputes between members of different villages.

Everyone in a community would forage for or grow food three days a week (pursuing their individual trade the rest of the week) and at the end of the day, they’d pile up their harvest in the village square for everyone to eat. That way everyone would get a healthy, varied diet of food grown in different micro-climates.

We wouldn’t continue to clear millions of acres of forest every year to grow grain to feed to livestock that eat significantly more food than they give back in meat. It takes 10 kg of grain to produce just 1 kg of red meat. It’s hard to imagine just how much land goes to waste to feed these oversized franken-animals. Even on fish farms, 2.2 kg of wild-caught fish are used as feed to make 0.4 kg of farmed fish.

Modern sustainable tribal societies are no pipe dream. It can and is being done right now by regular people all over the world. It really doesn’t need to be as complicated as the Venus project. Aquaponics, permaculture, social anarchy, earthbag domes, free stores, barter economies, free & open source software; we already have all the tools we need to create the future right now, they just need to be combined.

The Venus Project also seems to ignore indigenous cultures by providing one all-encompassing technological-minded solution for all humans. I think there’s a simpler solution and it doesn’t take intricate architecture and complex electronics to envision, it’s already happening today in various self-sufficient eco-villages around the world, and in the last remaining subsistence farming cultures like Papua New Guinea and the Quechua people. If more people would willingly abandon the broken system and embrace the new, old way of life, the elites would eventually have no one left to exploit.

The biggest trepidation I have for the Venus project is the use of language such as: ‘what is needed is the enactment of international laws’, ‘new world civilization’, ‘global, resource-based civilization’. The last thing the world needs is yet more laws and enforcers, an absolute monoculture and an all-powerful international government. All government is violent by definition, so the violent force that would be needed to uphold a global government would be staggering. Whether the enforcers be human or machine, people that refused to conform to the Venus new world order for whatever reason would be in for a rough time.

I don’t believe that the answer to the world’s problems can be found in further globalisation and whitewashing of culture, but rather in networks of deglobalised, small communities. It’s worrying enough that the Internet is increasingly being swallowed up by Facebook, I don’t want to see the whole planet turn into what is essentially a corporeal Facebook.

Technology has its place, but I don’t think it should control society. Computers need to be used as tools, not be made into our overlords. Venus Project society would give the computer programmers all the control, just like the politicians or corporations have all the control now. The approved programmers would decide how the computers would divide the resources. Power always corrupts.

Stop waiting around for the enlightened future you crave to be created by non-existent generous billionaires, and spread the seeds to make it happen yourself, right here, right now.

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3 thoughts on “The Venus Project?

  1. Wow, really nice article:)

    I am among other things interested in permaculture (it is just a label but the essence of it makes sense to me) , building communities…
    I dream of having a wide selection of plants and food growing all year round, an abundance of water… natural buildings (cob, earth sheltered house maybe) where there is warmth always available.. Animals are coming back to populate the restored landscapes and ecosystems.

    I have been thinking about bartering, currency systems for some time too.
    I think our world is so messed up right now, the ideas you presented in the article seem like nice alternatives.

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