Started in late 2008, The Zeitgeist Movement exists fundamentally as the communication and activist arm of an organization called The Venus Project. In some ways it could be categorized as a "Sustainability Movement", in part. The basic pursuit of The Movement is to begin a transition into a new, sustainable social design called a “Resource-Based Economy”. This term was first coined by Jacque Fresco of the Venus Project and refers to an economic structure based exclusively on strategic resource management, as the starting point for all decisions.
The current operations of The Movement include Regional Chapters, Teams and Team Specific Projects.
In the view of The Movement, the world today has become very detached from the physical world, with techniques of production and distribution that have no relationship to the environment. Our use of a profit based, “growth” driven monetary system has become one of the greatest destroyers of the natural world and sustainable human values. It is important to understand that the entire global economy requires “cyclical consumption” to operate, which means that money must constantly be circulating. Thus, new goods and services must be constantly introduced regardless of the state of the environment and actual human necessity. This "perpetual" approach has a fatal flaw, for resources as we know it are simply not infinite. Resources are finite and the Earth is essentially a closed system.
Sadly, the intents inherent within a monetary system are counter progressive and derive a strategic edge from scarcity. This means that depleted resources are actually a positive thing for industry in the short term, for more money can be made off each respective unit. This is known as the basic law of supply & demand and hence “value” in economics. This creates a perverse reinforcement to ignore environmental problems and the negative consequences of scarcity, for it literally translates into profit.
To make matters worse, the system requires problems/constant consumer interest in order to work. The more people who have cancer in America, the better the economy due to expensive medical treatments. Needless to say, this generates an inherent disregard for human well being. The monetary arrangement, whether in the form of capitalism, communism, socialism, fascism, free-market or the like, is utterly detached from natural resources and thus human well-being. It is erroneously assumed that the incentive to seek money is also the incentive to help society. Nothing could be further from the truth. For example, every single product created by a corporation today is immediately inferior by design, for the market requirement to cut creation costs in favor of lowering the output "purchase price" to maintain a competitive edge, automatically reduces the quality of any given item by default. In other words it is impossible to create the “strategically best”, long lasting anything in our society and this translates into, again, outrageous amounts of resource waste. This is entirely and provably unsustainable as a social system and the world you are beginning to see emerge around you, with growing starvation, poverty, unemployment; along with the growing scarcity of water, food and arable land, is the result.
Likewise, most occupations are not directly related to the actual necessities of life. Rather, they are artificial concoctions in order to keep people employed so they can maintain purchasing power. The very reality that each human being is required to be put in a position of servitude to a corporation or client in order to gain income to purchase the necessities of life also perpetuates extreme waste... however, this time, it is the waste of the human mind and human life. In the modern world, advancements in science and technology have shown that we can automate a great deal. In fact, statistically speaking, the more we have applied mechanization to labor, the more productive things have become. Therefore, it is not only negligent for us to waste our lives waiting tables, working at a bus station, fixing cars, or other repetitive, monotonous jobs, it is also entirely irresponsible for us not to apply modern mechanization techniques to all industries possible for, apart from strategic resource management, this is a powerful way to achieve balance and abundance for all the world's people, reducing crime generating imbalances. In other words, it is time to update society to present day knowledge, taking the carrying capacity of the earth into account and realigning our methods based not on the reward of monetary gain..but the goal of social sustainability as a whole.
Even with our current, destructive methods, the Earth is still abundant with resources. Today our practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter-productive to the well-being of people. Today’s society has access to highly advanced technologies and can easily provide more than enough for a very high standard of living for all the earth’s people. This is possible through the implementation of a Resource-Based Economy.
A Resource-Based Economy utilizes existing resources rather than money, and provides an equitable method of distribution in the most humane and efficient manner for the entire population. It is a system in which all natural, man-made, machine-made, and synthetic resources would be available without the use of money, credits, barter, or any other form of symbolic exchange. A Resource-Based Economy would utilize existing resources from the land and sea, and the means of production, such as physical equipment and industrial plants, to enhance the lives of the total population. In an economy based on resources, conservation and the most advanced methods of science and technology, we could easily produce all of the necessities of life and provide a high standard of living for all. To do this, we have to overcome our current, outdated, established practices. This is the purpose of The Zeitgeist Movement- to create a global awareness to thus transition into a new, sustainable direction for humanity as a whole.
More can be found in our ABOUT section, as well.
For those unfamiliar with The Zeitgeist Movement we recommend reviewing the following free videos, PDFs, and articles, along with this Knowledge Base.
SOURCE: #1 What is The Zeitgeist Movement?
What are some of the central characteristics of a “Resource-Based Economy” ?
1) No money or market system.
2) Automation to replace labor in every occupation possible.
3) Technological Unification of the planet in a “systems” approach.
4) No property - Universal Access.
5) Self-contained/Sustainable/Streamlined City Systems.
6) Science as the methodology for all social decisions, including the approach to problems regarding aberrant human behavior (or what we refer to today as"crime").
(1)We advocate no money or market system.
Market theory assumes a number of things which have proven to either be false or only marginally beneficial, while often ignoring many of the socially detrimental consequences inherent.
The central problems to consider are the following:
1)The need for infinite growth, which is mathematically unsustainable and ecologically detrimental. The entire basis of the Market System is not the intelligent management of our mostly finite resources on this planet, but rather the perpetual extraction and consumption of them for the sake of profit and "economic growth". In order to keep people employed, people must constantly consume, regardless of the state of affairs within the environment and often regardless of product utility. This is the absolute reverse of what a sustainable practice would require, which is the strategic preservation and efficient use of resources.
2)A "Corruption Generating" Incentive System. It is often said that the competitive marketplace creates the incentive to act for the sake of social progress. While this is partially true, it also generates an equal if not more pronounced amount of corruption in the form of planned obsolescence, common crime, wars, large scale financial fraud, slave labor and many other issues. Well over 90% of the people in prisons are there because of monetary related crime or non-violent drug offenses. The majority of legislation exists in the context of monetary based crimes. Also, if one is to critically examine history and peer into the documented biographies/mentalities of the greatest scientists and inventors of our time, such a N. Tesla, A. Einstein, A. Bell, the Wright Brothers, and many others - it is found that they did not find their motivation in the prospect of monetary gain.
The interest to make money must not be confused with the interest to create socially beneficial products.
3)A disjunct, inefficient industrial complex which wastes tremendous amount of resources and energy. In the world today, with the advent of Globalization, it has become more profitable to import and export both labor and goods across the globe, than to produce locally. We import bananas from Ecuador to the US, bottled water from Fuji Japan, while western companies will go to the 3rd world to exploit cheap labor, etc. Likewise, the process of extraction, to component generation, to assembly, to distribution of a given good might cross through multiple countries for a single final product, simply due to labor and production costs / property costs. This is extreme inefficiency and only justifiable within the market system for the sake of “saving money”.
In a RBE, the focus is maximum efficiency. The production process is not dispersed, but made as centralized and fluid as possible, with elements moving the very least amount, saving what would be tremendous amounts of energy and labor, as compared to methods today. Food is grown locally whenever possible (which is most of the time given the flexibility of indoor agriculture technology today) while all extraction, production and distribution is logically organized to use as little labor/transport/space as possible, while producing the *best possible goods. (*see more below) In other words, the system is planned, to maximize efficiently and minimize waste.
4)A propensity for "Establishments". Very simply, established corporate/financial orders have a built in tendency to stop new, socially positive advents from coming to fruition, if there is a foreshadowed loss of market share, profit and hence power. It is important to consider the basic nature of a corporation and its inherent need for self perpetuation. If a person starts a company, hires employees, creates a market and becomes profitable, what has thus been created, in part, is the means for survival for a group of people. Since each person in that group typically becomes dependent on their organization for income, a natural, protectionist propensity is created whereas anything that threatens the institution thus threatens the well being of the group/individual. This is the fabric of a “competition” mindset. While people think of free market competition as a battle between two or more companies in a given industry, they often miss the other level- which is the competition against new advents which would make them obsolete, outright.
The best way to expand on this point is to simply give an example, such as the US Government and 'Big Oil' collusion to limit the expansion of the fully Electric Car (EV) in the US. This issue was well presented and sourced in the documentary called “Who Killed the Electric Car?”. The bottom line here is that the need to preserve an established order for the sake of the well being of those on the pay role, leads to an inherent tendency to stifle progress. A new technology which can make a prior technology obsolete will be met with resistance unless there is a way for the market system to adsorb it in a slow fashion, allowing for a transition for the corporations ( IE- the perpetuation of “Hybrid” cars in the US, as opposed to the fully electric ones which could exist now, in abundance.) There are also large amounts of evidence that the FDA has engaged in favoritism/collusion with pharmaceutical companies, to limit/stop the availability of advanced progressive drugs which would void existing/profitable ones. In a RBE, there is nothing to hold back developmental/implementation of anything, once it has been tested thoroughly. It would immediately be implemented into society, with no monetary institution to thwart the change due to their self-preserving, monetary nature.
5) An inherent obsolescence which creates inferior products immediately due to the need to stay "competitive" This little recognized attribute of production is another example of the waste which is created in the market system. It is bad enough that multiple companies constantly duplicate each others items in an attempt to make their variations more interesting for the sake of public consumption, but a more wasteful reality is that due to the competitive basis of the system, it is a mathematic certainty that every good produced is immediately inferior the moment it is created, due the need to cut the initial cost basis of production and hence stay “competitive” against another company... which is doing the same thing for the same reason. The old free market adage where producers " create the best possible goods at the lower possible prices" is a needlessly wasteful reality and detrimentally misleading, for it is impossible for a company to use the most efficient material or processes in the productions of anything, for it would be too expensive to maintain a competitive cost basis. They very simply cannot make the “strategically best” physically - it is mathematically impossible. If they did, no one would buy it for it would be unaffordable due the values inherent in the higher quality materials and methods. Remember - people buy what they can afford to. Every person on this planet has a built in limit of affordability in the monetary system, so it generates a feedback loop of constant waste via inferior production, to meet inferior demand. In a RBE, goods are created to last, with the expansion and updating of certain goods built directly into the design, with recycling strategically accessed as well, limiting waste.
You will notice the term “strategic best” was used in a statement above. This qualification means that goods are created with respect to state of affairs of the planetary resources, with the quality of materials used based on an equation taking into acct all relevant attributes, rates of depletion, negative retroactions and the like. ( see  below) In other words, we would not use TITANIUM for every single computer enclosure made, just because it might be the empirically “strongest” materials for the job. That practice could lead to depletion. Rather, there would be a gradient of material quality which would be accessed through analysis of, again, relevant attributes , such as comparable resources, rates of natural obsolescence for a given item, statical usage in the community, etc. These properties and relationships could be access through programming, with the most strategically viable solution computed and output in real time.
6)A propensity for monopoly and cartel due to the basic motivation of growth and increased market share. This is a point that economic theorists will often deny, under the assumption that open competition is self regulating that that monopolies and cartels are extremely rare anomalies in a free-market system. This "invisible hand" assumption holds little validity historically, not to mention the outstanding legislation around the issue, which proves its infeasibility. In America, there have been numerous monopolies, such as Standard Oil and Microsoft. Cartels, which are essentially Monopolies by way of collusion between the largest competitors in an industry, are also persistent to this day, while less obvious to the casual observer. In any case, the "free market" itself does not resolve these issues - it always take the government to step in and break up the monopolies. This aside, the more important point is that in an economy based on "growth", it is only natural for a corporation to want to expand. After all, that is the basis of economic stability in the modern world - expansion. Expansion of any corporation, always gravitates toward monopoly or cartel, for, again, the basic drive of competition is to out do your competitor. In other words, monopoly and cartel are absolutely natural in the competitive system. In fact, it is inevitable, for again, the very basis is to seek dominance over market share. The true detriment of this reality goes back to point 4 above- the inherent propensity of an "Establishment" to preserve its institution. If a medical cartel is influencing the FDA, then new ideas which void that cartel's income will often be fought, regardless of the social benefits being thwarted.
7)The market system is driven, in part, by scarcity. The less there is of something, the more money that can be generated in the short term. This sets up a propensity for corporations to limit availability and hence deny production abundance. It is simply against the very nature of what drives demand to create abundance. The Kimberly Diamond Mines in Africa have been documented in the past to burn diamonds in order to keep prices high. Diamonds are rare resources which take billions of years to be created. This is nothing but problematic. The world we live in should be based on the interest to generate an abundance for the world's people, along with strategic preservation and streamlined methods to enable that abundance. This is a central reason why, as of 2010, there are over a billion people starving on the planet. It has nothing to do with an inability to produce food, and everything having to do with an inherent need to create/preserve scarcity for the sake of short term profits. Abundance, Efficiency and Sustainability are, very simply, the enemies of profit. This also applies to the quality of goods. The idea of creating something that could last, say, a lifetime with little repair, is anathema to the market system, for it reduces consumption rates, which slows growth and creates systemic repercussions (like a loss of jobs, etc.). The scarcity attribute of the market system is nothing but detrimental for these reasons, not to mention that it doesn't even serve the role of efficient resource preservation, which is often claimed. While supply and demand dictates that the less there is of something, the more it will be valued and hence the increased value will limit consumption, reducing the possibility of “running out”--- the incentive to create scarcity, coupled with the inherent short term reward which results from scarcity driven based prices, nullifies the idea that this enables strategic preservation. We will likely never “run out” of oil, in the current market system. Rather, the prices will become so high that no one can afford it, while those corporation who own the remaining oil, will make a great deal of money off of the scarcity, regardless of the long term social ramifications. In other words, remaining scare resources, existing in such high economic value that it limits their consumption, is not to be confused with preservation that is functional and strategic. True preservation, which must be strategic, can only come from the direct management of the resource in question in regard to the most efficient applications of the resource in industry itself, not arbitrary, surface price relationships, absent of rational allocation.
(2)We advocate automation to replace human labor in every social function possible.
As the trends of what appear to be an exponential increase in the evolution of information technology, robotics and computerization, it has become apparent that human labor is becoming more and more inefficient in regard to meeting the demands necessary for the global population. From the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, we have seen an increasing trend of “technological unemployment”, which is the phenomenon where humans are replaced by machines in the work force. This trend, while debatable in regard to its ultimate long term effect on employment, creates a propensity to displace the worker and hence the consumer, slowing consumption.
That stated, this issue is actually overshadowed by a large social imperative: That the use of machine labor (mechanization) is provably more efficient than human performance in virtually all sectors. If one was to track, for example, the performance output of factory production such as within the steel industry in the US for the past 200 years, we find that not only do less than 5% of the workforce now work in such factories, the efficiency and output capacities have increased substantially. The trend, in fact, now shows that “Employment is Inverse to Productivity.” The more mechanization that occurs, the more productive an industry becomes.
Today, there are repetitive occupations which simply do not need to exist given the state of automation and computerization (cybernation). Not only would mechanization in these areas reduce the mundane burden and allow more free time for people, it also would, more importantly, increase productivity. Machines do not need breaks, vacations, sleep, etc. In the future we see the use of mechanization as a means to create many forms of abundance on this planet, from food to physical goods. However to do this, the traditional labor system we have simply cannot exist. The reality is that our labor for income system is stifling progress in its requirement to “keep people working” for the sake of “economic stability”. We are reaching a stage where the efficiency of automation is overriding and making obsolete the system of labor for income. This trend shows no sign of slowing, especially in regard to the now dominant Service Industry, which is increasingly being automated in the form of kiosks, robotics and other forms. Likewise, due to phenomena related to Moore's law and the growing in-expense of computers and machines, it is likely that it is simply a matter of time before corporations simply can not rationalize keeping human labor anymore, as the automation systems will become too cheap. Of course, this is a paradoxical market phenomenon, called by some theorists as “the contradiction of capitalism”, for it is, in effect, removing the consumer (laborer) itself and hence reducing consumption.
Apart from those issues, it is important to also consider human labor contributions based on social relevance, not monetary gain. In a RBE, there would be no such occupations as Banking, Trading, Insurance, Cashiers, Brokers, Advertising... or anything related to the governance of money. All human actions in the form of institutional labor should have a social return. There is no logic in wasting resources and time on operations that do not have a direct and tangible function. This adjustment would remove millions of jobs, for the idea of “working for money” would no longer exist and hence all the poor demographic, shoddy goods, vanity items and culturally contrived creations designed to influence people for reasons of status, for the sole sake of profit, would also no longer exist, saving countless amounts of time and resources. We also will work to strategically create the “best”, making servicing of goods, much less prevalent. [see 1,  above]
One final note on this issue: Some hear this and they assume that this voids the Communicative Arts and personal and social expression as far as painting, sculpture, music and the like. No. These mediums of expression will likely thrive like never before in a RBE, for the amount of free time made available to people will permit a renaissance of creativity, invention, along with community and social capital. There is a difference between creating for the sake of keeping society sustainable and efficient, focusing on resource preservation, product efficiency and strategic allocation of labor for those things which generate a tangible social return...and creating for personal expression, exploration, experimentation and hence art, which has been a staple of human evolution since the dawn of time. More on this issue of Art can be found within this Knowledge Base.
(3)We advocate a technological unification of the planet in a systems approach.
We live in a symbiotic/synergistic planetary ecosystem, with a cause-effect balance reflecting a single system of earthy operation. It is time we reflect this natural state of affairs in our social affairs on this planet, gesturally speaking. The fact of the matter is that the human societies, which are dispersed across the globe, require resources which are also un-uniformly dispersed across the globe. Our current procedure for enabling resource distribution comes in the form of corporations which seek and claim “ownership” of our earthly resources, which they in turn “sell” to others, in the name of profit. The problems inherent in this practice are numerous due to, again, the self-interest based disposition inherent in selling anything for personal gain [see (1) above]. But, this is only partially the issue in the larger scheme of things when it come to the reality that we live on a finite planet and resource management and preservation should be the number one concern in regard to human survival- especially with the population explosion of the last 200 years. Two people are born every second on this planet and each one of those humans needs a lifetime of food, energy, water and the like. Given this fundamental need to understand what we have, the rates of depletion and, invariably, the need to streamline industry in the most efficient way, a Global System of Resource Management must be put in place. This is an extensive subject when one considers the technical, quantitative variables needed for implementation. However, for the sake of overview, it can be stated that the first step is a Full Global Survey of all earthly resources. Then, based on a quantitative analysis of the properties of each material, a strategically defined process of production is construction from the bottom up, using such variables as negative retroactions, renew-ability, etc. (More on this can be found in the section called Project Earth in the ZM lecture called “Where Are We Going?”) Then consumption statistics are accessed, rates of depletion monitoring, distribution logically formulated, etc. In other words, it is a full Systems Approach to earthly resource management, production and distribution, with the goal of absolute efficiency, conservation and sustainability. Given the mathematically defined attributes, as based on all available information at the time, along with the state of technology at the time, the parameters for social operation in the industrial complex become self evident, with decisions arrived at by way of computation, not human opinion. This is where computer intelligence becomes an important tool for social governance, for only the computation ability/programming of computers can access and strategically regulate such processes efficiently, and in real time. This technological application is not novel, it is simply 'scaled out' from current methods already known.
(4)We advocate no property. Rather: Universal Access
The concept of property, unannounced to most people today, is a fairly new social concept. Before the neolithic revolution, as extrapolated from current hunter and gatherer societies existing today, property relationships did not exist as we know them. Neither did money or even trade in some cases. Communities existed in an egalitarian fashion, living off of the carrying capacity of the regions and the natural production built into those regions. It was only after agriculture was discovered, eventually proceeding with resource acquisition by ship traders and the like up to the modern day of power establishments and corporations, that property became the highly defined staple of society as we know it today.
Now, with that understood, which dismisses the notion that property is a result of some kind of empirical “human nature”, the notion of “no property” is also often blindly associated with “Communism” and the works of Karl Marx. It is important to point out the TZM/TVP's advocation of no property is derived from logical inference, based almost explicitly upon resource management, and not any influence by these Communistic ideals. There is no relation between the two, for communism was not derived from the needs to preserve and manage resources efficiently. Communism, in theory and practice, was based on social relations which were culturally/socially specific, not environmentally specific, which is the case with a RBE.
That understood, the rationale for a property-less society is very simple - it is unsustainable, limiting and impractical. The real issue is not ownership - it is access. People use things, they do not “own” them. Ownership is a non-operational, protectionist advent, derived from generations of scarcity over resources, currently compounded by market based adverting which supports status/class division for the sake of monetary gain . To put it another way, ownership is a form of controlled restriction, both physically and ideologically.
In a RBE, the focus moves from static ownership to strategic access, with a system designed for society to obtain access, on a per case basis, as needed. For example, rather than owning various forms of recreational sporting equipment, Access Centers are set up, typically in regions where such actions occur, where a person simply “checks out” the equipment- uses it and returns it. This “library” type arrangement can be applied to virtually any type of human need. Of course, those reading this who have been conditioned into a more individualistic, materialistic mindset often objects with claims such as “ what if I want green, custom golf clubs and only white are available?”. This is a socially contrived, biased reservation, detached from reality. The issue in question is utility, not vanity. Human expression has been molded by the needs of the current market based system (consumption) into values which are simply nonfunctional and irrelevant. Yes, this would require a value adjustment to quality, rather than identity. The fact is, even for those who object from the standpoint their interest in personal identity, the overarching social ramifications of such an social approach will create benefits that will greatly overshadow any such arbitrary personal preference, creating new values which replace the outdated ones.
These include : (a) No Property Crime: In a world of access rather than ownership, without money, there is no incentive to steal, for there is no resale value. You can not steal something no one owns and you certainly couldn't sell it. (b) Access Abundance: It has been denoted that the average automobile sits in parking spaces for the majority of its life span, wasting space and time. Rather than having this wasteful consequence of the ownership system, one car could facilitate a large number of users in a given region, with only a fraction of the production/resource needs. [c) Peak Efficiency of Production: Unlike today, where the market system must perpetuate inherently inferior products for the sake of economic turnover, we could actually design goods to last, using the best materials and processes strategically available. We no longer make “cheap” products to serve a poor demographic ( which is the majority). This attribute alone will save cataclysmic amounts of resources, while also enabling a society to have access to goods and services they would never have had in a world based on money, inherent obsolescence and property.
(5)We advocate self-contained/streamlined/sustainable city systems.
Jacque Fresco, and his life's work, upon which many of these ideas are extrapolated, has also taken a direct focus on the physical infrastructure possibilities in a RBE. Most noted is his “circular city” which is based, in part, on a series of belts, each serving a social function, such a energy production, research, recreation, living, etc. Each city is a system, where all needs are produced in the city complex, in a localized fashion, whenever possible. For example, renewable energy generation occurs near the outer perimeter. Food production is produced closer to the middle in industrial sized greenhouses. This is very different from the “globalization” based economy we live in today, which wastes outrageous amounts of energy and resources due to unneeded transport and labor processing. Likewise, transportation within the city is strategically created to eliminate the use of detached automobiles, except for rare cases, such as emergency vehicles. Homes are created to be micro-systems as well, with as much power generation occurring internally, such as from sunlight absorbed by the building structure using photovoltaic technology. More information on these city system can be found at The Venus Project. In the end, the fundamental interest is, again, sustainability and efficiency. The market system simply doesn't allow for this to occur, for it does not facilitate a central, total design. It is almost impossible, in fact, due to the broken, competitive nature inherent in a market system. These city systems are literally designed from the bottom up to work in the most efficient way possible, using the best known methods and understandings, while also allowing for updating and improvements. As far as other regions, each city is connected, both technologically and through transport systems, to move materials and, of course, people, facilitating the foundation of a global earth system as well, which the cities essentially serve as “holographic satellites”, if you will.
(6)We advocate Science as the methodology for all social decisions, including the approach to problems regarding aberrant human behavior. (IE "Crime")
The application of “the scientific method for social concern” is oft-repeated mantra for the basis of social operation in a RBE. While the obviousness of this in regard to industry is simple enough to understand, it is important to also realize its value in regard to human behavior. Science, historically speaking, has often been derailed as a cold, restrictive discipline, reserved for the sake of mere technology and invention. Little regard seems to be currently given to its use in the understanding of human behavior. Religious thought, which has been powerfully dominant in human evolution, has worked on the basis that the human being was somehow detached from the physical world. We have “souls”... “spirits”... we are “divine”...also, we are related/guided by an all seeing, all knowing, controlling god, etc. Conversely, yet oddly similarly, there is an argument that humans have “free will” in their decisions and that we have the open ability to choose our actions, absent of the influence of our environment. Now, before we go any further, let me say that I realize the vastness of the prior two statements and many reading those could find numerous cultural arguments to claim the contrary. However, this doesn't change the basic reality that we humans have historically liked to think that we are special and unique from the rest of the organisms and natural phenomena around this.
However, as time has gone on, it has been increasingly obvious that we are not special and that there is no such thing as special in the natural world... for- everything is special based on the uniqueness of all organisms. There is no ground to assume the human being is any more important or intrinsically different or special than a mole, a tree, an ant, a leaf or a cancer cell. This isn't “new age” rhetoric - it is fundamental logic. We are physical phenomena - nothing more or less .
That scientific reality understood, it is hence axiomatic to see that just as the wind can move a leaf from one location to another, the human being is also “moved” by the external world. We are greatly influenced by our culture and our values and behaviors can only mostly be a result of our conditioning, as external phenomena interacts with our genetic predispositions. For example, we have a notion called “talent”, which is another word for a genetic predisposition to a given behavior, or set of behaviors.. A piano prodigy might have an inherent ability that enables them to learn more quickly and perform in a more acute way than another, who has spent the same time in practice, but doesn't have the genetic predisposition. Be that as it may, that “talented” person still had to learn 'what a piano was'. In other words, genes are not autonomous initiators of commands. It takes an environmental trigger to allow for the propensity to materialize. Anyway, it is not the point of this article to expand on the argument of “nature and nurture”. The point is that we have proven to be scientifically defined and this understanding can allow us to slow and even stop the aberrant, or “criminal” behavior we see in society today such a abuse, murder, theft and the like. The logic, once the effects of human conditioning are understood, is to remove the environmental attributes which is enabling the reactions. Just as an abused dog who has been starved for a week might have a knee jerk reaction to react very violently to an otherwise innocuous passerby, we humans have the same behavior dynamic. If you don't want people to steal food, give it to them. It has been found that prisons are now generating more violence than they are curbing. If you teach a child to be a hateful racist, then he will carry those values into the rest his life, very often. Human values and hence human behavior are shaped by the environment in a cause and effect based way, no different than a leaf being blown by the wind. In a RBE, the central focus in regard to removing aberrant human actions is not to “punish them”, but to find the reasons for their offensive actions and work to eliminate them. Humans are products of their environment and personal/social reform is a scientific process.
SOURCE: #3 What are the some of the central characteristics of a “Resource-Based Economy” ?