To be honest, I’m rather annoyed with Venus Project claiming that “Hey, we’re nothing like anything else you’ve seen before. This is going to work!”
Venus Project, in short, is an utopia of Technocracy (The rule of scientists), abundant resources and fully-automated labour. It is claimed there’s no law enforcement but I’m not sure whether it means there’s no need for such or just that it’s beyond the scope of the specifications.
It’s not different then what we’ve seen before
Venus project is the bad combination of elitism type of communism. It’s elitism to think that scientists or any kind of privileged folks knows what’s best for everyone. They don’t. Time and time again, history has proved that. Let’s take the simple story US’s prohibition era when self-righteous politicians and scientist decided it’s bad to drink alcohol. The average joe decided that he’ll do whatever he wants and thus came the upsurge of illegal booze and the rise of organized crime. That’s exactly what you get when you think that smart people should run the show.
It’s communism to think that the community (or society) will take care of your needs. Sure, in Karl Marx’ time our resources were limited and most labour was done manually. so we distributed the products as equal as we can (ignore the elite that are entitled for more) and we’d expect each person to provide his/her share of the burden. It’s incredibly naive to think we’ll ever reach an abundance of resources with no labour, and if you these two – you’re back with communism.
It’s not going to work
Resources are inertly limited. There’s no other way around it. The simple example would be Human Resource. Let’s say I want a sculptor to create a statute for me, but she’s too busy. HER TIME is a limited resource, no escape from that.
Who is going to choose how the sculptor spends her time? She, or the scientist who decides whether she’s a valuable asset to society? who get to elect the scientist whose responsible for allocating people’s time?
The Venus project claims that laws should be eliminated, but let’s say our scientist rapes someone. Where’s the law enforcement to stop him? And rape is still a crime address limited resource issue (“he wanted her body”, which is a limited resource), but some crimes are derived from other reasons – anger, neglect or even pure malice. We must have laws will help us handle these atrocities else we want individual to take justice into their own hands.
And let’s imagine we got it to work and we live in our happy utopia, but then our neighboring country invents this cool thing we want, but they want money for it, or for us to give them something (and we already agreed that some resource are limited, as human beings and time), should we simply disregard copyright issues and steal it from them? or should we conquer them? or should convince our people (in any means possible) they don’t need that thing that we cannot provide ourselves?
Of course the venus project doesn’t call for an uprising, rather than agreement. As we can see from the never-ending war in Syria, mankind will never get into a full agreement on anything, or just as long as the currently- privileged people has a say in it. But if you’d go without their consent, it’s no longer a wide-spectrum agreement, isn’t it?
Venus project falls to the same shortcomings that every utopia ever faced. It’s sounds nice, sure, and it even elaborated into meaningless designs of happy circular cities (apparently without asking city architects why this is an incredibly bad idea as it limits the cities ability for natural growth).
Yes, we should thrive to minimize our human suffering and labour. Yes, we should aspire to reduce Man’s impact on the environment (and reverse the horrible things we’ve already done).
It should be done as a grass-root movement, little by little, community by community and by showing people that happiness can be attained and not by forcing them into a way of life they don’t approve. To be honest, I don’t think the environment has time for Man to sober but any kind of quick-solution is either delusional or extremely painful.