Living through the 1929 Great Depression helped shape my social conscience. During this time, I realized the earth was still the same place, manufacturing plants were still intact, and resources were still there, but people didn’t have money to buy the products. I felt the rules of the game we play by were outmoded and damaging. This began a life-long quest resulting in the conclusions and designs presented in The Venus Project.
Conditions of misery, suffering, war, and war profiteering were the incentive and inspiration for my work. I was also motivated by the seeming incompetence of governments, the academic world, and a lack of solutions from scientists. Many fail as generalists because of their over-specialization on limited aspects of social problems. Scientists, politicians, and academicians see problems from inside the system they’re in, which is what’s responsible for the problems in the first place. I am disappointed with those who worry about terra-forming other planets while our own is still full of war, poverty, hunger, and environmental neglect.
Working with drug addicts, alcoholics, and so-called juvenile delinquents in New York City convinced me that instead of working with individuals, more effective methods would deal with the societal conditions that create dysfunctional behaviors in the first place.