A Brave New World

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Imagine awakening at 9am in a small hut that has sheltered you through the night. You reach for your phone and flick through your daily bulletin – are there any decisions you wish to weigh in on?

Perhaps your neighbour Greg wants some rock for the latest contraption they’re designing… Greg’s contraptions are always very interesting, and even though we’re sending much of the nearby stone production to a recent faraway earthquake site, you’re sure we can allocate a small amount for Greg too. After all, the stone supply is collective property, and the solar-automated quarrybots still have plenty of places to mine. You vote in favour of Greg’s request. Perhaps someday you could ask for some wood for the violin you always wanted to make, maybe once the next few trees are planted. So long as it’s not being used elsewhere, and we’re still saving the amount we agreed upon, anyone can request a respectable amount.

There’s also a proposed law that has been requested today, something about music festival regulations or something? You don’t know much about music festivals, that seems more like Jim’s thing – so you nominate Jim to take your vote instead. After all, nobody is an expert on everything, and a liquid democracy where representation can be easily granted or retracted per issue doesn’t warp power dynamics quite like “representative democracy” used to. In this society, everyone’s voice and level of opportunity is equal.

On the public forum for this community, there’s also an ongoing amicable debate as to how to teach Ann their lesson after they experimentally set fire to a rug. You add a few comments here and there, and scroll through some other notices.

The stone supply is collective property. Anyone can request a respectable amount

A child whom you know (perhaps your own?) runs in through the open doorway, grabbing your hand and leading you outside to play. Before you leave, you quickly switch the sign on the hut from reserved to vacant, stuff your bag full of the essentials you carry with you, and shut the door behind you. As you and the child chase each other about, you can feel the freedom emanating from their presence: this child is free from any set roles imposed upon them by their physical characteristics, free from the hardships of precarity, raised on the premise that survival is a collective matter.

Now reinvigorated with energy, you and the child walk to the kitchens for some food. You pass many people as you walk over, and smile and greet each as they walk by, for you can be sure in the knowledge that you will not be mugged, harassed or assaulted, no matter who you are – for we are no longer competitors upon a hierarchy any more, no longer divided by power. You no longer have to see the world through an individualistic or tribalistic lens, for any notions of Social Darwinism are long forgotten.

Once breakfast is over, you take some food over for your friend Maryam. Maryam has been isolating themselves for the last week, so as to think and write continuously without any distraction. Who knows what wonders of philosophy or culture their brain will create next?

You wonder what you might do yourself on this fine day. Perhaps you’ll round up your friends and play some sport together. Perhaps you’ll go to visit your parents and reconnect with your extended family. Perhaps you’ll spend some time volunteering at the local school or the doctor’s surgery. The doctor is very well-known and highly respected by their community, after all, for the work that they do.

Or perhaps you’ll jump aboard the high-speed rail network and take a trip to, say, Iraq? Mesopotamian culture has always fascinated you – perhaps you can meet a resident to introduce you to their own community, and expand the pluricultural nexus of your identity? Now that postcolonial reparations have finally been achieved, perhaps you could study those Sumerian tablets returned from the British Museum whilst you are there… The possibilities are endless.

***

The general principles of egalitarian collectivism have been the goal of communists in every corner of the world. Perhaps we may disagree on how one can go about creating the conditions to achieve this society, but the dream itself will never be your enemy.

Politics dictated by ideals keep us perpetually moving forward.

Design what you want human nature to be, then find a way to make it true.

Image: lunasdudes via Creative Commons

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