Why the world has money

December 19, 2008

Category: The Venus Project Email Email    Print Print    

Why the Venus Project must destroy humanity to create a perfect world for humans

Dollars are money, but money is not dollars. Gold is money, but money is not gold. How do I explain these apparent contradictions? Simple, there is a one-to-many relationship between money and things we use for money. Referring to dollars as a form of money is technically accurate, but referring to money as dollars is not sufficient to describe all the properties of money — it limits the definition to dollars. Money is anything we use to trade for what we want. It’s a store of purchasing power. It’s something people either want, or will accept, in exchange for their property or labor. Sometimes money is a physical object, sometimes not. Not all forms of money are equal.

People will always assign different values to different things. People will always be willing trade things they want less for things they want more. Unless people have nothing, they will always be willing to trade something they possess for something they don’t. The price is not a numeric figure glued to a box, it’s the difference in the perception of utility between that item and what you are prepared to sacrifice. The price is not measured in dollars, it’s measured in desires, and it’s different for everyone. Therefore, as long as people desire things they don’t have, they will be willing to trade to acquire them. It doesn’t matter what they are trading, all that matters is they are willing to sacrifice some object, or offer some service, to gain something they perceived was lacking. It doesn’t even matter if their assessment is accurate or logical. It doesn’t matter whether the item will yield any benefit or advantage whatsoever.

Human desire is limitless. Econometrics is a failing science because human desire can not be modeled, it is not rational. Producing an abundance of anything will create demand for anything else. Our desires are governed by our biology and our perceptions of utility, both of which are variable, non-quantifiable and often wildly out of touch with reality. If you deny this fact, then you deny humanity because you reject what differentiates us from our creations. We are flawed creatures, not machines. You can not quantify how much you like things in any consistent way. If you asked me to choose between an apple and an orange, I may choose the apple. If you then asked me to choose between an orange and a banana, I may choose the orange. If you then asked me to choose between an apple and a banana, would you call me a liar if I chose the banana? No, you would call me human. Repeat the same experiment tomorrow and it may turn out completely different.

If somebody were to ask whether you are completely satisfied with life, either you are, or you are not. If you are, you’re not human. If you’re not and somebody then asks you to list everything you want in life in order to be completely satisfied, either you will prepare a list or you won’t. If you have no list there is no way any person or system can satisfy your desires because they would have no idea what to do. If you have a list, find out how many of those items are material and how many are not. If they are all material, you’re either an idiot (because you didn’t understand the question) or a liar. There is no person with a perfectly balanced existence (health, love, family, emotions, interests, friends, challenges, victories, safety, comfort, hope, skepticism, curiosity, memories, optimism, excitement, etc) because there is no definition of a perfect balance. Your own perceptions of balance are variable and non-quantifiable. What is perfect in the current moment will be imperfect in the next, what is perfect today will be imperfect tomorrow. The interminable and unpredictable fluctuations of our imbalances and imperfections continually create and destroy desires until the day we die.

Experience with these imbalances and fluctuations throughout life and events are what define personality, goals, dreams and desires. There is no way any person or system can satisfy you completely without taking away these flaws that make you human. Thus, you will always be lacking something. It is immaterial whether it’s real or just perceived, whether it’s persistent or transient, whether it’s acknowledged or subconscious. You will be willing to trade, you will offer money, for a price.

We are not machines.

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11 Comments »

Comment by alice
2008-12-19 17:01:54

Excellent. The first paragraphs remind me of what the first three chapters of “The Wealth of Nations” put forth.

It seems so obvious to me, but Smith goes into excrutiating detail. I am wondering if it’s because the ideas were new at the time. Could that be?

 
Comment by Gustavo
2008-12-19 21:47:04

Hi,
You may be right, but don’t you think that a resource based society without money , would be at least a little bit better than this one we are living in, with all this problems. The venus project is not perfect but I think is an alternative, radical, but an alternative to all this mess.
Thank you very much.

 
Comment by alice
2008-12-20 12:53:23

oh yes the “resource based economy”!

It sounds so good, Never mind that no one has any idea what it is or how it would work.

 
Comment by grendelan
2008-12-25 19:23:34

I’m glad I found your web site; I was looking for more opinions in the burgeoning “resource based economy” discussion. And you do make some “points”. But I’m not yet willing to concede that your opinions are any less flawed than the ones you deride. You haven’t described anything with scientific rigour, and, in your responses, edge towards treating your own opinion as self-evident fact.

Nevertheless, I thank you for posting. By internet standards, your site has a very good signal:noise ratio. I need more time to sift & digest.

 
Comment by Daniel
2009-02-03 01:22:05

I think that you state your viewpoints in a clear, concise manner. Almost everyone on this site seems to think that in order to get their point across, they have to word it in the most offensive, hateful terms. I’ve read many of your posts and seen that you’ve been called a “nazi” and a “facist” among many other things. I’m not an idiot, and thus, I would never call someone these things unless I was damn sure that they were true. Otherwise, everything I said after it would be null and void. Too bad some people don’t understand that concept…

In any case, I think that there are many points made in Addendum that are valid. What people aren’t realizing is that YOU yourself also realize the good points, you’re just asking the questions that others won’t answer. People aren’t answering these questions because they are obsessed with ideals that are so far-fetched and utopian that they are blinded by their hope. That makes them no better than the sheep that are blinded by what we call in modern terms, “faith.”

I think that Addendum’s point about the fallacy of the Federal Reserve and putting our economy in the hands of the greedy is extremely poignant and one of the most, if not THE most, important point one should take from the film.

We are not ready, and we may NEVER be ready, for the utopian ideals that are expressed by the Venus Project. To pretend like we are is an ethnocentric delusion. We forget that not everybody holds the same ideals as truth that we Americans do, and more specifically, that we EDUCATED Americans do. We forget that we’re one of the most religious nations in the world, and by default, have some of the most ignorant homo sapiens on the planet. This means that we’d have a hard time even convincing our OWN PEOPLE that this project would work, let alone the other 80% of people on the planet. Try convincing the millions of Chinese people that this project would work in their favor. They’ve never even been CLOSE to having an economic system like this.

What we need is not more utopian ideals, but rather a clear, concise, REALISTIC plan to end the corporate greed that has been pockmarking our reputation for years now. I can tell that you realize these problems and I respect you for it. However, I do not respect people who throw around words like “nazi” or “facist” without any evidence to back it up. That’s not only childish, but a step backwards. Talk about ignorance… the worst kind is that which is born from arrogance.

I would love to here more from you on this subject as far as possible solutions. No one seems to have a viable one…

 
Comment by n00bie_5nax
2009-02-23 04:30:32

OMG Daniel,

Your comment has been the best comment on the Venus Project I have read so far.

All people believe that their way is the only way and every one else is wrong. In the US, and in Canada, people suffer from “the white man’s burden.” I hate to admit it but we Californians suffer from it the worst. We actually believe that we are the most enlightened and it is our responsibility to educate the savages (except Mexicans there is no hope for those un-evolved animals) and other unfortunate people. We are so ethnocentric we are borderline fascist :(

I guess the only thing we can do is co-exist and understand that others a fundamentally different from us.

 
Comment by Jan paulson
2009-02-26 12:14:28

Our WANTS may change from minute to minute but our NEEDS do not! Each of us NEEDS (1) Food/water. (2) Shelter. (3) Clothing. Everything else is a WANT and the VP doesn’t promise to fulfill every WANT, it only explains to those of us who will listen that, by cooperating with each other, we can create a system to supply our own needs without governmental interference or involvement.
I’m not going to rehash all the technology that is available right now, that exists right now, that would make this all possible but think about this; I have a home that all my electrical needs are met by solar panels on the roof and a wind generator in my back yard. My water is heated for free by the sun. I have a hydroponic greenhouse that supplies all my needed vegetables. When I need to go to the store, I unplug my electric car and drive there and back… for free (my solar panels and wind generator recharge my car batteries too.)
These things by themselves save me multiple thousands of work hours per year. Is it really such a stretch of the imagination to believe that, if we were to utilize more of the technology that is available today, we could free ourselves from the clutches of unscrupulous bankers, corporations, government officials that never seem to do anything but work to enslave us? To keep us under their collective thumbs merely for the sake of more power for themselves?
I’m not knocking the guy that WANTS more bananas than me. I just don’t want him stealing mine so he can have more.
We hold from God the gift which includes all others. This gift is life — physical, intellectual, and moral life.
But life cannot maintain itself alone. The Creator of life has entrusted us with the responsibility of preserving, developing, and perfecting it. In order that we may accomplish this, He has provided us with a collection of marvelous faculties. And He has put us in the midst of a variety of natural resources. By the application of our faculties to these natural resources we convert them into products, and use them. This process is necessary in order that life may run its appointed course.
Life, faculties, production–in other words, individuality, liberty, property — this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it.
Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.
What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.
Each of us has a natural right–from God–to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties?
If every person has the right to defend — even by force — his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right — its reason for existing, its lawfulness — is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force — for the same reason — cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.
Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases, contrary to our premise. Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers? Since no individual acting separately can lawfully use force to destroy the rights of others, does it not logically follow that the same principle also applies to the common force that is nothing more than the organized combination of the individual forces?
If this is true, then nothing can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all.
Why is this so hard to understand?

 
Comment by ZaidaZadkiel
2009-03-23 01:54:25

http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily/2007/02/is_17_the_most_random_number.php

There has been some research regarding just how random people truly are.

Apparently, we’re not so random, and in many cases, we’re not random at all.

Humans are just biological machines. Much much complex than what we understand for “machine” but still we’re machines anyway.

 
Comment by Ming
2009-04-16 22:48:33

Small personal comment of mine. Your post includes too many basic assumptions. Many of which are just plain wrong. Example: “Human desire is limitless”

Human desire is not limitless. Your statement is misleading. A redwood can only soak up so much water from the earth. A green algae can only take in so much photosynthesis. A human can only eat so many hamburgers, drive so many cars, have sex with so many women. Its natural limitation. If you were talking about the symbolic hungers of humans, such as the limitless desire to prove your value and superiority in life, then you would be correct. Humans tend to be insatiable when it comes to sense of self-worth. They want society to entitle them doctor, teacher, mister, the stud, the mechanic, the president, the king. We create our own hero system and that is the limitless human desire you are quoting. To generalize this and say that “Human desire is limitless” is simply misleading and wrong.

The Universe follows a law which Peter Baofu poignantly calls, “the theory of the cyclical progression of system integration and fragmentation.” Essentially, it is the progression of cyclical systems from the microscopic electron level to the Multiversal reality level. Systems are simple within themselves and share symmetries but they diverge because they are ultimately described and outlined by the asymmetries of cyclical mini-systems within themselves. This means that complexity pervades all visible systems.

All explanation requires a holistic perspective in order to fully understand it.

In any case, I’ve digressed from my real purpose. Check out these three links here if you intend on really learning about a realistically applicable form of society in North American and eventually the world. Technocracy is a humanistic approach to organization that will far surpass the complex and frankly shitty system which we proclaim is so awesome now. The ultimate goal of Technocracy is to apply the scientific method to society. It is the most reasonable and the next most probable advancement for the world when we finally surpass “Civilization” in post-civilization. I invite all who are reading this to educate themselves, critically think about Technocracy, and then if convinced, help in the effort to spread its message.

Thank you.

 
Comment by sojourn
2009-11-14 16:07:53

These postings are great. I feel very informed after reading these articles. Its a great way to pass the work day. I have read through quite a few different articles on this web page but I must read more before I can present my opinion with the intellect of some these postings I will do it justice by being more informed before I put forth my platform thanks for the good reading everyone.

 
Comment by heady honcho
2010-02-28 05:26:26

I definitely side with the original author on this one. The core upon which the whole Venus Project house of cards is built can be found in questions 78 and 79 of their FAQ. They believe humans to be tabula rasa upon which their behavior is written by the society they grow up in. The correct “education” can elicit the correct behavior, and solve many of the problems of the world that are simply side effects of the dominant paradigm.

Unfortunately, this is patently false. Humans evolved from animals, and I doubt anyone would conjecture that animals are capable of anything analogous to what the Venus Project suggests. We just have bigger brains, but carry all the same evolutionary baggage that any other animal has. Society was built on top of human nature, not as a replacement for it.

There are other, more pragmatic arguments against the centralized decision-making and control of the Venus Project, and they are basically the same as the arguments against socialism. See the writings of F. A. Hayek for more information.

On one final note, I’m in the middle of a seminal work by Thomas Sowell, A Conflict of Visions, and the premise of the book is essentially the ideological dichotomy between the vision of man as portrayed by people such as The Venus Project and the vision portrayed by those such as Hayek. It’s a fascinating read, and helps to understand the nature of ideological debates.

 
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