Let's set the scene:
A virus or other global disaster sweeps across the globe wiping all but a group of 1,000,000 or so survivors. Our current technological level is still maintained. For the sake of this let's say they're all in the UK. All survivors agree that they have a chance to rebuild society with the knowledge of what has happened before. They set out the following laws:
- In order to remain a citizen of this city, you must hold a full time work placement.
- Every citizen can have one child in their entire lifetime.
- Citizens must practice self-control, in that they will not frequently over indulge, they will remain at reasonable weight
- Any citizen who holds a full time job will receive all items necessary for their and their families survival, as well as to live an enjoyable life (food, shelter, water, transport, entertainment, medical care)
- Respect your government and other citizens
- Every action you take must have a neutral or positive effect on the environment
There are only two results from consistent breaking of these laws:
- Government Assistance: If it is a small and resolvable infringement, such as excessive weight gain, drug addiction, hoarding of resources, then a government employee would communicate with the infringer and instead of punishing them, simply see where the root of the problem lies, and attempt to resolve it.
- Exile: If it is a large infringement, or the infringer has repeatedly broken small laws and never seeked or has seeked but hasn't followed government advice, they will simply be exiled from the city permanently. Any family they have may be allowed to stay, unless their family members were enabling or actively engaging in infringements too. Examples of infringements which would result in exile: Blatant lack of self-control(ie having multiple children with multiple partners, hoarding food or over purchasing food), repeated attacks on citizens, murder, rape.
The new city would be based around an old city, for this example I would suggest Manchester as it has a high number of skyscrapers. The majority of buildings which were permanently businesses would be converted to residences or buildings with other purposes.
Once the city has been established and cleared of any danger (e.g. dead bodies (remember the global virus?)) and the majority of citizens are happy with their situation, "The Clearing" would begin
- The country would be separated into a grid of squares.
- Square by square, teams with different specialities (clearers to clear each building, scavengers to collect valuable items from each building such as tools, metals, furniture, and demolition teams to destroy the buildings) would go through every building in that square and do their task. This would result in any valuables being extracted from the (now abandoned, remember, virus!) buildings, and then the buildings being destroyed either by fire, explosives, or otherwise. Valuables would be transported back to the main city via truck. Depending on the item itself it would either go to the government (weapons, explosives, raw materials) or be left for the citizens to take their pick at (furniture, food, metals, some raw materials, tools)
- Once a square has been cleared, any roads would be partially destroyed
- Nature would be left to take over and restore the land to it's original or near original state
- This would continue until every square had been cleared bar a few buildings which would be left as safe houses/hunters lodges.
The government would be primarily a dictatorship, although because there is no money in this society, the dictatorship would likely be non-oppressive. Citizen's would be protected using an (as of yet unnamed) force consisting of elite citizens. These citizens would have had to prove themselves to be physically and mentally elite and outstanding in order to be eligible for a position on this force. The force would be extremely disciplined and highly trained. Citizens on this force would only be routinely armed with their elite physical strength and protective measures (e.g. stab proof vests). Members on the force would not be exempt from the law or above it and would be under watchful eyes from the government. Their presence should be a positive thing in the city. No additional benefits would come with a position on the force (additional resources, better accommodation) apart from the honour of being a member.
Once a citizen reaches an age where they believe they are mature enough, they will be allowed to leave their home and take up their own residence. They will be watched by a government employee for a week or more to see if they are able to sustain themselves. During this time it is not necessary for them to hold a job. If the government employee believes they are able to live by themselves, they will be given their own residence. They will have a 1 month grace period in which they can look for a job. If after this one month period they have still not found a job, one will be assigned to them. They can continue to look for jobs after they have had one assigned and if they find one they prefer, they may change jobs.
A citizen's only requirement would be to hold a full time job. If they meet this requirement, they are able to spend any free time pursuing whatever they wish, and the government will make sure citizens can do so. This would likely lead to many citizens taking up a hobby or art, such as painting, music, wood or metal working, or anything else they wish. If they have any request or problem, they would be able to contact a government department who would then help them with the issue.
In regards to "purchase"(although it's not purchase as there is no exchange of currency or barter system, more taking) of goods, every citizen will have some form of unique identifier, most likely an NFC tag in their forearm or hand which they must scan in order to receive goods. There is no limit on the amount of goods one citizen can purchase however the government will be alerted if a citizen is constantly purchasing high amounts of goods as they may be under the influence of greed.
Schools would be stationed outside of the city walls. Education dates would be similar to that of today's universities, where children would go to the university for a considerable amount of time, then return home periodically. This would allow for a more concentrated education and less transport needs. During the initial 3-4 decades of the city, education subjects would be primarily based around manual labour, as the majority of jobs would be just that. After the city has been adjusted(more on this in the City section below) the education subjects would be shifted to a primarily scientific list, such as physics and mathematics, because the city would now have a focus on these jobs. Children going through education would be given solid guidance as to what their situation would be after school so they could make the best choices in which subjects they wish to pursue. Children up to 16 will be required to attend all lessons. Children over 16 will not be made to go to lessons, but children consistently not making progress in their subjects will be contacted by one of the school employees and helped along, as well as made aware what their situation will be like if they cannot perform a job effectively.
As above, many of the cities buildings will be converted into residences. The city will have a set number of citizens to avoid overpopulation and the need for growth. The city will have a large circular wall going around it, outside of which very few buildings will be made.
Citizens can leave the city at any time they wish, and return at any time, although any items they return with must be checked by government staff.
Transport within the city will originally consist of public transport, primarily busses with a few trains to go from one side of the city to the other. Citizens will not need to own their own cars as their will be plentiful public transport. Once technological advances are made, a system of driverless electric cars will be set up which can be called to any position in the city and told where to go. Public transport be retired and the driverless cars will be the only mode of transportation.
Resources Because all the citizens in the country are within the city, and all buildings outside of the city have been destroyed, there is plentiful space for agriculture. Staple crops such as corn, wheat, barley, oats etc would be grown. Large amounts of fish and vegetables would be grown in compact spaces using the most land efficient methods, most likely vertical aquaponics systems.
Instead of disposable containers and items such as plastic bags, plastic bottles, reusable and biodegradable methods would be used, primarily wood, paper, natural materials like straw.
Any excess resources produced would go into storage and be used when appropriate.
Because all buildings have been removed, wildlife such as deer would breed to much higher levels. These would be hunted both so they don't overpopulate and as a source of food.
All energy would come from renewable sources. In the beginning ages of the city, it would be likely that any fossil fuels would be used first and energy would be scarce, eventually solar power would be implemented to the city as solar panels were scavenged, then wind. Finally artificial dams would be created for hydroelectric power sites.
Right, with all that in mind here are my questions:
- What potential for abuse/corruption would there be within the government system?
- What issues could citizens be unhappy with?
- If every citizen could have maximum one child, would the population stagnate?
- What loopholes are there in the description of this society?
I'm sure I've missed some things out, it's not easy describing a utopian society y'know