“If you think we can’t change the world, it just means you’re not one of those who will.” ~ Jacque Fresco
On May 18, 2017, the world lost one of its greatest visionaries and futurists: Jacque Fresco.
However, his legacy will continue to live on, as he was a huge inspiration to millions of people during his lifetime.
This unforgettable man, who was an incredible 101 years old when he died, was a self-educated structural designer, architectural designer, philosopher of science, concept artist, and educator who dropped out of school at age 13 to hitchhike across America.
Fresco created The Venus Project, a non-profit that envisioned the possibility of an alternative society based not on monetary gains, but on working together in a sustainable manner for the benefit of both humanity and the planet.
One of his favorite sayings was, “If you want a better world you have to work toward it. If you do nothing, nothing will happen.”
I discovered Fresco while watching the mind-opening and thought-provoking Zeitgeist film series. The movies explore what makes us who we are and how we relate to the world. They look at what we need to do if we want to live in a sustainable, healthy, humane, peaceful society and explore how it might be possible to distribute natural resources in a fair way so that no one has to go without.
As well as appearing in Zeitgeist, Fresco also created many of his own documentaries. Two of his most popular ones were “Future by Design” and “Paradise or Oblivion.”
Fresco envisioned a future free from poverty in which the monetary system would not be so defining and controlling, religion wouldn’t divide, and wars wouldn’t be fought. Overall, he believed in the possibility of a better world that together we could create, bringing positivity and meaning to society instead of being so focused on money and materialism.
Despite having Parkinson’s disease, Fresco continued to work and passionately share his vision throughout his life, right up to his final days, in the hope that someday his dreams would materialize.
Here are a few Jacque Fresco quotes to remember him by and to inspire us all to work toward a better world:
“I don’t get upset if people think I’m crazy. If you go to a mental hospital and someone calls you a name, would you get upset? Of course not. Well, that’s the way I think about the world. They don’t know any better.”
“It’s your own expectations that hurt you. Not the world you live in. Whatever happens in the world is real. What you think should happen is unreal. So people are hurt by their expectations. You know, you’re not disappointed by the world, you are disappointed by your own projections.”
“Our main problem is a lack of understanding of what it means to be human and that we are not separate from nature.”
“Democracy is a con game. It’s a word invented to placate people to make them accept a given institution. All institutions sing, ‘We are free.’ The minute you hear ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’, watch out…because in a truly free nation, no one has to tell you you’re free.”
“’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 have referents in the real world. The posing of such ambiguous questions doesn’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.”
“If you love someone and they want to leave, you help them pack. That’s love.”
“I didn’t want to teach my kid how to read, so I used to read to him at night and close the book at the most interesting part. He said, ‘What happened then, Daddy?’ I said, ‘If you learn to read, you can find out. I’m too tired to read. I’ll read to you tomorrow.’ So, he had a need to want to learn how to read. Don’t teach children how to read. Don’t teach them mathematics. Give them a reason to want it. In school, they’re working ass-backward.”
“If you’re shipwrecked on an island with 10 million dollars and your wife has gold and diamonds, but there’s no water, no arable land, no fish, you have nothing. Money is a ‘nothing’ thing.”
“We have the technology to build a global paradise on earth, and at the same time, we have the power to end life as we know it. I am a futurist. I cannot predict the actual future—only what it can be if we manage the earth and its resources intelligently.”
“Either we learn to live together in full cooperation or we will cause our own extinction.”
Rest in peace Jacque Fresco—gone but never forgotten.
Author: Alex Myles
Editor: Callie Rushton