A Crisis That Needs to be Addressed

One would think that with our technology we could eliminate most social ills. Couldn’t modern technology supply enough food, clothing, shelter, and material goods for all if used intelligently? What is stopping us from achieving this? Technology is racing forward but our societies are still based on concepts and methods devised centuries ago. We still have a society based on scarcity and the use of money. We still have thinking patterns based on old structures used in western Asia several thousand years ago. We are trying to adjust to the rapid advances in technology with obsolete values that no longer work in today’s world.

Because of tremendous advantages given corporations by lawmakers who owe them their positions, monopolies are gaining more control. The comforting assumption that “I can make a difference” is farther and farther from reality. Fewer corporations own more and more companies. Many of the same people sit on the boards of various major corporations besides their own. The corporations that own car and aircraft companies may also own food, radio, TV stations, magazines, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and armament companies. Ten major lending institutions control virtually all the credit cards in the U.S. The wealth and influence of these corporate elite can not be equaled or countered by the workers who enabled them to acquire such wealth. With media companies today owned and sponsored by large corporations, it is difficult to know whether the news can be trusted.

We face common threats that transcend national boundaries: overpopulation, energy shortages, water scarcity, economic catastrophe, the spread of uncontrollable diseases, and the technological displacement of people by machines, to name a few. Eight hundred and fifty two million people across the world are hungry. Every day, more than 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes- one child every five seconds. World wide more than 1 billion people currently live below the international poverty line, earning less than $1 per day. A very small percent of the people own most of the world’s wealth and resources. The gap between the rich and poor is widening. In the US as of 2002, the average CEO made 282 times as much as the average worker. In 2005 the compensation of CEOs of major U.S. corporations rose 12% to an average of $9.8 million per year. Oil company CEOs did even better with raises that averaged a whopping 109% to $16.6 million per year. Meanwhile, workers’ salaries barely kept up with inflation in most industries and occupations across the U.S. In Oregon, minimum wage workers saw their pay rise by a modest 2.8% to $15,080 per year.

What has been handed down to us does not seem to be working for the majority of people. With the advances in science and technology over the last two hundred years, you may be asking: “does it have to be this way?” With the observable fact that scientific knowledge makes our lives better when applied with concern for human welfare and environmental protection, there is no question that science and technology can produce abundance so that no one has to go without. But the misuse and abuse of technology seems to make things worse.

The problems we face in the world today are mostly of our own making. We must accept that our future depends on us. While the values represented by religious leaders over the centuries have inspired many to act in a socially responsible manner, others have gone to war over their differences in religious beliefs. Hopes for divine intervention by mythical characters are delusions that cannot solve the problems of our modern world. The future of the world is our responsibility and it depends upon decisions we make today. We are our own salvation or damnation.

The shape and solutions of the future rely totally on the collective effort of people working together. We are all an integral part of the web of life. What affects other people and the environment has consequences in our own lives as well. What is needed is a change in our sense of direction and purpose — an alternative vision for a sustainable new world civilization unlike any in the past. Although this vision is highly compressed here, it is based on years of study and experimental research.

TVP offers possible alternatives for striving toward a better world. It arrives at decisions using the scientific method. Like any new approach, it requires some imagination and a willingness to consider the unconventional in order to be appreciated. Remember that almost every new concept was ridiculed, rejected, and laughed at when first presented, especially by the experts of the time.

(Source: Designing The Future by Jaqcue Fresco)

For more info and education about The Venus Project I urge you to visit www.thevenusproject.com


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