a plan for society

People would form their own little (well, whatever size they want, really) societies and then form alliances for trade or for athletics or whatever. For instance, a bunch of racists could form an enclave somewhere and do their racist thing and the rest of us could just refuse to trade with them, and band together if the jerkfaces decided to try to invade somewhere. That way the bible thumpers could have their way as well and I just wouldn't have to deal with them.

Specifically, the sub-society that I'd be part of would have some things like this: controlled birthrate, simple lifestyle, nomadic nature, lots of goats, and other neat stuff.

For the birthrate: we'd start out like this: everyone who had NOT either fathered or mothered a child would get ONE child-credit. If a man has fathered one child, his credit is considered to be used up. If a woman has had one child, she still has hers, but if she's had two, her credit is gone. from then, this is how it works: everyone has the right to have ONE child. A man's credit is typically used up on the first child he ever fathers. A woman's is used only if the man who fathered her child has already used up his credit. Child-credits may be given away, but not sold. They may be donated to the community to be given out, say as an award for athletic/intellectual/service excellence. A community can vote to have say, 4 extra credits per year added to the community account, and they may be given out in whatever manner they decide -- contests, as rewards for extraordinary service to the community, a random lottery, by vote, just to name a few ideas. If someone had a child knowingly without a credit for it, they might be punished or something. What i'd suggest is that for a given period of time (a decade maybe?) they would have to do far more than their normal fair share of the more onerous tasks that keep the community going, like garbage removal, latrine cleaning, or some such. When a child is born, it receives the child-credit of one of its parents... Then it's theirs to do with as they please. There would be a big list of who had which child-credits to prevent fraud. There might also be actual objects used as child-credits, like maybe a silver disc engraved with the names and birthdates of those from whom it has been passed down. Perhaps it could be solemnly presented at the naming ceremony of the child or something.

School would be a lifelong thing, with classes in everything from art to math to diplomacy, whatever anyone wants to teach or to learn. It would be considered an obligation of anyone with knowledge worth transmitting to teach it, at least to a few people (who could then teach others).

Children/adolescents would come of age in a clear way. It would be a variable-age thing, for each person to decide just when they are ready. There would be a change in way of dressing, and way of speaking maybe, and maybe even a change in name. There would be a formal ceremony where the new adult takes vows to participate in the community as a responsible adult, to follow the rules, and to contribute his or her fair share. The person would then move out of his or her parents house and be independent from them. A big deal would be taking responsibility for his or her sexual actions -- they would have to state that they knew how to keep from having a child unless it is intended.

There would not be a formal "work day" except for those who wanted it. As long as the needs of the community were being met, a person would be free to follow art or gardening or scientific or intellectual pursuits, or teaching or caring for children, training animals, helping the sick, whatever. Every person would have to do their fair share of the most disliked tasks, probably dirty manual labor, and no one would get out of doing it (perhaps the sick/elderly/disabled).

Every person would have equal say in matters affecting them, and would be free to leave the colony at any time if they strongly disagreed with it.

Simple times with family and friends would be emphasized over such things as money. The group would travel on foot from place to place, but might have an emergency 4wd vehicle in case of medical problems or something. Trade with other societies would occur, but it would not be a huge part of life -- people would live by the 1/3 rule, that only 1/3 of their personal belongings may come from somewhere else or be of a kind that they do not know how to make themselves.

There would be hunting, even though some of the people might be vegetarians. Domesticated animals could be used for food. No more than 1/3 of the food produced could be traded away though. The idea would be to exist on what the earth could provide without taking more than is needed. That way, in times of difficulty, these untapped reserves could be used. Cultural exchanges with other societies would be encouraged, so that people could get an idea of how others lived and learn new things that might be helpful for them to bring back home. Other societies would benefit from such exchanges, even if only for the art and personal experience. Books and computers would be regarded as a valuable commodity, and the people would be hooked to the net via cellular modems and battery chargers powered by solar panels would power the computers.

In the evenings, the smaller children would go to their family compounds for dinner before bed, as the men would gather around a fire and talk of the day's events while enjoying their meals. The women would have their own fire, and talk amongst themselves as the day slowly slipped into night. Eventually the voices would quiet as the stars came out and the fires became nothing more than hot embers. Soon the last conversation of the night would end and the stillness of the dark would take over. The people would sleep peacefully, knowing that they lived the way that they wanted to -- they had a choice. They would know that their children were well fed, that they were a valuable member of the community, that the friends that they've had for years would not suddenly move away, they would see their older relatives still contributing, still having their valuable knowledge treasured by those around them, still smiling in the warmth of a family that they would be among until they died.


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