The Venus Project: education


The future education system proposed by the Venus Project will use a holistic approach to learning. What does it mean? In the modern education system, as Jacque Fresco says,

«Science is taught as a series of discrete specialists, as if biology, chemistry, and physics were not really a single science… Students learn narrow principles, laws, and processes, rather than the scientific way of thinking».

Huh.. We do not know how in the West countries, our “scientific way of thinking” has become a separate specialization also. A high degree of specialization «tends to give a person tunnel vision and a narrow perspective about the actual interrelationships of all physical phenomena», Jacque says, and we will add – narrows down the system of human views on absolutely everything. About specialization in modern society it is impossible to tell better than Teilhard de Chardin told about it in due time: «specialization cripples, narrow specialization kills». Already that fundamental division into humanists and technicians which became classical on our planet long ago is deformation of the person. And further specialization can produce nothing else but garbage that is able to digest - and with pleasure absorbs in every sense - only society, twitching in a market fit.

In the future a

«..new curriculum will emphasize the generalist point of view and the introduction to general science. Students will be made aware of the symbiotic relationships between people, technology, and the environment».

All this is fine, however, after more or less detailed acquaintance with the texts and videos devoted to this topic, there is a feeling of a certain, so to speak, reduced integrity. The training program is more similar to the production of positivist-oriented scientists, - yes, with a solid scientific worldview, yes, are quite humanistic – for which even "relationships between people" is not beyond social behaviorism.

Having a scientific worldview doesn’t mean having a worldview. An example is the scientists talking nonsense outside their field of activity in which they are forced to hold the scientific worldview. Only the philosophy can give to the person a genuine, really integral outlook. The best proof and confirmation of this is the rage with the ideologists of the “monetary system” have been crushing classical philosophy for decades.

From our point of view, the foundation of general higher education should be, should become the philosophy. In classical times philosophy was considered the queen of sciences precisely because it was, and is, the beginning of all sciences, the first step of man towards the world comprehension. But there is more to come. Philosophy is the beginning of man as such. Who is philosophically uneducated, who is not well versed in philosophy, who does not see its meaning is not only not educated - this miracle is not a man at all. This miracle can be thrice a physicist, thrice a mathematician or thrice a philologist, thrice to understand “symbiotic relations between people, technology and the environment”, but so far it is philosophically uneducated you can safely say that before us certain the reasonable being and taking into account a humanitarian component of philosophy is a very relative person.

Jacque's attitude to philosophy is rather vague and is not clear. On the one hand, his ideological assumptions are purely materialistic, he understands what material conditions of existence mean for a person, he says that it is epoch, its culture that determines people's views on life (being determines consciousness - a purely philosophical thesis), that these views change from epoch to epoch, etc.; he is extremely rational and tries to be logical. But pf-f... "it's not a philosophy", so on the other hand, he doesn’t need philosophy in principle and Jacque gives out things like:

«“What is the meaning of life?” “What is consciousness and the mind?” “Why am I here?” “What is my relationship to God and the universe?” These questions have been asked for centuries. But they are irrelevant to achieving social progress. These are unanswerable questions because they don’t express concern for fellow human beings, or a desire to elevate their condition. Such musings are gibberish in terms of practicality, and as impotent as wailing over an injured person instead of seeking medical attention for them.

Take, for example, the question “what is life, its meaning, and our relationship to the universe?” which is ultimately a hollow and meaningless question. Philosophers, poets, and metaphysicians cannot genuinely pursue the questions in terms of any actual processes. They usually understand little about the physical processes of nature. Those asking such questions don’t go into the laboratory in pursuit of physical processes, nor do they typically understand the structure of even a single cell, let alone the universe. They are merely repeating quotations of other “verbalists” from the past, without making any effort to verify the validity of their own assumption. Although they feed these questions are profound, in the context of science and reality, they are actually naive».

Along with the poets Fresco expels philosophers and “metaphysicians” from the future state. Plato would be furious. For our part, we say - it is naive to think that a person can not think and that thinking about the above questions has no meaning and relation to reality. It is not enough for a person to understand the structure of a cell, it is not enough to see symbiotic relationships around him, and it seems to us that this makes some sense. If we do not see it now then it is quite possible that we will see it tomorrow. We will never believe that our mind, the direct product of which is philosophy, is unnecessary and superfluous in this world.

Besides. Words that thinking about the meaning of life have no meaning imply some kind of philosophical work of the skull, words saying that the above questions have no answers imply some kind of philosophical work, otherwise they are just empty words, i.e. exactly what philosophers, poets, and "metaphysics" are actually accused of. To call the person "metaphysicist" it is necessary to understand what is metaphysics. The metaphysics is a doctrine about systems, it is what Jacque constantly uses and does not understand it. If a person sees only philosophical garbage, which is really a lot, then these are person problems, not philosophies.

Yes, Jacque, culture determines a person’s views. Your culture was impregnated with pragmatism, positivism, behaviorism, linguistic philosophy and the like. But on the other ocean side there was another culture, about which it cannot be said that it did not contain any concern for human, which although it did not feed the person with soup, but inspired something more. Including the fight for this "soup".

So the "project" has a somewhat strange look. A kind of one-day humanity lives and suddenly decides that it live in the wrong way and proposes to itself some solutions. The solutions are quite rational, but it has neither the past nor, by and large, the future. For thousands of years the mythical mankind of the past was tormented, thought, solved, but... there are no "referents", and if there are, they were tormented by nonsense, they solved empty problems and how could it be otherwise, because they did not know about the cell structure and the symbiotic connection.

Whole, integral education is cool and all that Jacque Fresco is talking about is cool. We tell what we tell always and everywhere: the project Venus is the best we have on the planet today. But let the person will be truly complete, using old stamps for fun it is possible to tell about the Project that it is "positivism on service of mankind". So be it. The fact that the Project exists is a small miracle and this is more than enough for now.