The view from Venus
Jacque Fresco designed a society without politics, poverty and war. Will it ever leave the drawing board?
Published: October 13, 2011
Letters exchanged between then-U.S. Senator Hubert Humphrey (who would later be elected vice president of the United States along with President Lyndon B. Johnson) and Gerald Barron, a California attorney and one-time U.S. House candidate who thought highly of Fresco. This correspondence occurred around the time the city of Washington, D.C., was planning its mass transit system. When Fresco finally met Humphrey, he recommended that the train be built above ground to save both financial and material resources; the top of the above-ground tunnel, Fresco argued, could be used as a raised pedestrian walkway. (This did not happen.) In addition, Fresco says that the Johnson Administration's "Great Society"—a series of domestic policy initiatives which aimed to eliminate poverty and promote social welfare—was in fact a stripped-down version of "Project Americana," Fresco's ten-year plan for social change. (Note: Barron also attempted to set up a meeting between Fresco and evening television personality Steve Allen; that letter is included as well.)
Though Jacque Fresco was much more than an inventor by the 1960s, he was still actively marketing new designs. The above document contains sketches and renderings of the Ultra, an automobile comprised of only 32 parts. In 1969 Fresco built a prototype of the car, powered by a Villiers motorcycle engine placed behind the front wheel.
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