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Flawed Logic of The Venus Project

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posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 07:25 PM
This was originally written as a response for another thread but I spent a fair while writing it so think it deserves its own thread. Someone posted an article from The Venus Project asking would people lose their incentive if they had no reason to work and all their needs were met by a centralized production system controlled by a one world government which decides how to distribute all the worlds resources. I remember many years ago watching Zeitgeist for the first time and thinking how great The Venus Project sounded, but reading that article now all the flaws in the logic are much more apparent to me. This goes to the very core of why these types of collectivist ideologies are flawed.

Today, financial barriers place enormous limitations on innovation, individual creativity, and personal incentive. In The Venus Project, money would not be required to help one achieve or create, as facilities would be made available to serve everyone’s needs.

Financial incentives are the single greatest driver of innovation, and one doesn't necessarily need to be rich in order to invent and innovate. This is especially true for programmers like myself, all it really takes is some smart thinking to come up with a good idea, and it doesn't cost money to write your own code. Also, if a person is not smart enough or motivated enough to pull themselves out of poverty then it's unlikely they'll be the next Michelangelo. It's fine to say we should just hand over control of all resources to some central authority which decides how to distribute it all but it's simply impossible to meet the needs and wants of an advanced civilization when everyone does what they want. We've seen countless times throughout history that when a government tries to take control of production it leads to wide spread famine and poverty, a decentralized approach to production will always work better.

Capitalism inherently gives incentive for people to work on stuff which will meet the needs and wants of other people, so they can sell that service or product to other people. Imagine a system where instead of everyone working to provide services and products for each other, everyone just works on what they want instead of what there is a market demand for, it simply wouldn't be sustainable without some seriously crazy level of robotic automation to meet the needs of everyone, and even then a lot of human workers would still be required to maintain such a large undertaking. And even if all that could be achieved it still wouldn't be as effective at meeting our needs and wants because resources would be carefully rationed and the production process would be highly centralized and bureaucratic, making updates and innovation to product lines difficult and limit us to government approved products.

I worry about people whose main motivation is money. For instance, if this is the motivation of a doctor instead of the desire to solve problems in the field of medicine and health and enhance people’s lives, to many others, and me the services are not very trustworthy. It is a tremendous myth perpetrated on people in a monetary system that people are mostly motivated by money to achieve and produce.

Correct, people aren't motivated by money, they are motivated by the things money gets them, such as food and shelter and the requirements for an enjoyable life. It is that same thing which motivates people to work in jobs they may not enjoy, because in order to meet the needs and wants of society, some times we have to work on things that may not be of the most interest to ourselves. Capitalism still allows us the opportunity to educate ourselves and put in the effort required to become good at what we enjoy, but I doubt we'd have so many people willing to work on sick people unless they were being rewarded in some way which made it fair to them, why would they go through such horrors when they could do literally anything else and be rewarded the same.

Also many of the people who change the world significantly are those who are able to make use of their accumulated wealth. For example Musk with SpaceX, if Musk wasn't able to attain a large amount of resources from our capitalist system (from memory he co-founded PayPal) he could have never started SpaceX and we'd be a step less close to colonizing other planets. If all resources are rationed fairly could a person ask for enough resources to build some space rockets and attempt to fulfill their wildest aspirations? Only capitalism can offer you that.

In essence, all of the people we have admired in the past, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Bell, the Wright Brothers, Darwin, and many others worked because they were interested in problem solving, not financial gain. This in some cases was a by-product. Usually money-oriented people become business men, or stock brokers; they are rarely creative. I have always felt threatened by people whose sole motivation is financial gain.

This is I think the most presumptuous and semi-insulting paragraph out of the whole thing. First let me just say I admire people like Nikola Tesla who gave so much to humanity and asked for so little in return. The majority of code I write is open source because I like sharing ideas and seeing others get use out of it, so much so it often overrides my desire to make money from my ideas. However I still need to make an income and so some things I do monetize and there's no reason to feel guilty about that, I did work to create something others find useful so they give me resources (money) in exchange for it. Also not everyone is a genius artist or inventor, it takes a certain type of person to care about their work more than other material desires. I don't see any reason to assume if people could do anything they wanted that society would suddenly see unbounded levels of innovation, it's just as likely a large fraction of people would spend all their time playing video games and not get a proper education because they don't need to.

On islands in the South Pacific, people had more than enough resources. Although banana, coconuts, fish and breadfruit were abundant, the natives worked continuously building navigation equipment, canoes, huts, and weaved cloth. Although no money was used, their incentive improved their standard of living.

They simply weren't at a point where money was really necessary, the moment they started farming and trading resources among tribes they increased their standard of living once again and shifted away from being hunter gatherers living in huts. And if this resource based society is so effective and meets all our needs so well then why would we need to take matters into our own hands to increase our standard of living through our own ingenuity? The private sector is simply more effective at meeting market demand, we cannot rely on some highly centralized authority to control all production for us because there is a very high risk of corruption and moreover we know it doesn't provide the standards of living that are achieved by free market economics where people work to produce what others want in return for some compensation proportional to the work they put in. That is the ideology which has produced the most prosperous and innovative nations on Earth.
edit on 11/9/2018 by ChaoticOrder because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 09:22 PM
Innovation is overrated and soon it will be completely irrelevant... whether we like it or not...

posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 09:57 PM
a reply to: ChaoticOrder

Who sets value? We had barter and trade systems before, people had high opinions of the worth of their work or product. Without large reductions of populations this would be extremely detrimental to resources. Who controls food? Are partitioning land off in equal segments?

Its all irrelevant anyway, our purpose stopped the day AI was hooked into the net, I doubt the creators realized it meant them too. Whatever purpose we assume to have had will soon be replaced with more consistent and efficient beings.


posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 10:00 PM

originally posted by: Bone75
Innovation is overrated and soon it will be completely irrelevant... whether we like it or not...

Innovation isn't overrated but there are probably too many people trying to reinvent the wheel instead of looking for better ways to use the wheel. Mindless competition seems to also be frankly just making noise for the sake of making noise.
edit on 11-9-2018 by BrianFlanders because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 11 2018 @ 10:19 PM
Great Post!

the health service in the UK has gone bad.
my Doctor is just a factory worker.
he can not give quality treatment.
I have health problems and they have never really try'ed to help me.
they just give me tablets and that's it!
I have had bad knees for 40 years
That is just one thing/job.

This is very bad for the quality for society as a whole.
Money/corruption was the down fall of Rome.
and it will be the down fall of the world.

posted on Sep, 12 2018 @ 01:50 AM
a reply to: ChaoticOrder

Necessity is the mother of invention, which is why i don't understand how these big oil companies don't make a slow transition to solar power.

Look at these guys-they make billions upon billions of moolah per year, they have the boffins in R&D, why not produce solar panels and sell them to the public and the corporations? profit, continuing revenue...

It think I know why they do what they do, and I think you might know too.

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