November 4, 2010

Book Review - The Best That Money Can't Buy

To transition from our present politically incompetent, scarcity-oriented, and near-obsolete culture to a more humane society will require a quantum leap in both thought and action. Until recently change came slowly. One group of incompetent leaders simply replaces another. The problems we face today cannot be solved politically or financially. Our problems are highly technical in nature and require fundamental changes in our thinking and values. There is not enough money available to pay for the required changes, but there are more than enough resources. This is why The Venus Project advocates the transition from a monetary society to the eventual realization of a resource-based world economy.

Today I finished reading Jacque Fresco's book 'The Best That Money Can't Buy.' It's 168 pages long, A4 size mind you with 20 chapters and lots of illustrations. It's an easy read and it has the 'feel' like Fresco is talking to you especially if you've seen one of his lectures or interviews on television or YouTube. Not so strange considering that Fresco dictated the text and with the help of other people it was streamlined into a book. The book is of course about the Venus Project which Fresco and his partner Roxanne Meadows started, and are promoting through many venues.

The thing that struck me halfway into the book is that many elements that are used in the film Zeitgeist Addendum (by director Peter Joseph), are also plainly visible in 'The Best That Money Can't Buy.' Elements such as the mechanics of the Federal Reserve, fractional reserve banking and the concept of 'money is debt,' are in fact mentioned in the first half of the book. I'm beginning to believe that Peter Joseph based the movie Zeitgeist Addendum on this book, or at the very least got a great deal of inspiration from it. The continuity is there. Fresco also 'wrote' the book in 2002 while Addendum came out in 2008.

Fresco makes a case for a Resource Based Economy, sharing all the world resources for the benefit of all mankind, doing away with the monetary system and implementing the latest technology to achieve a high standard of living for everyone. His approach is somewhat holistic but seeing how many people join the Zeitgeist Movement (the activist arm of the Venus Project) every day, many are starting it to see as a viable alternative. Those people that are more oriented towards capitalism, nationalism or patriotism will probably have more problems with it.

The main focus in the book is about ideology and the realization that our world leaves much to be desired. Fresco offers no highly detailed actual blueprint or roadmap to the future but does hand out many ideas on how our problems could be handled. The scientific method is what Fresco proposes to use in many situations. Many of our world problems can be solved by using the latest technology according to Fresco. His question is not 'do we have the money?' It's 'do we have the resources?'
Anyone interested in technology and politics should consider buying this book. It just might the real alternative our planet so direly needs.

Don't buy the book on Amazon, the prices there are ridiculous. You can order them here from the Venus Project website new, and at a much better price.


bkyle said...

Jacque Fresco is a visionary. We can only hope that others see the wisdom and embrace real change.

Ed V. said...

I hear ya.