reply to post by AQuestion
The optimum will be set at 200 million. That should be sufficient to assure genetic variation and create enough cultural pressure to keep things
There shall be only one large urban centre per continent, each with a population of 2-5 million. Exceptions shall be Antarctica (no settlement
permitted) and Australia, a waterless ecological disaster area. Australia shall not be called upon to support more than a few tens of thousands of
people, most likely in the form of nomadic bands.
The remainder of humanity shall live mostly in towns of population 20-100,000. A few exceptions will be allowed: those who prefer smaller communities
will be accommodated, along with rugged outdoor types, born solitaries (who would be encouraged towards the small number of occupations, mostly
safety-related, that demand a lonely exile in faraway places) and, of course, the misfits and outcasts which no society, however Utopian, can help
produce. Substantial entry barriers will be set for all the above categories, even the last.
Farming will be automated, restricted in both geographical extent and ecological impact. Farms would more closely resemble labs or factories than the
vast wastelands of monoculture we see today. Some traditional farming, using largely pre-Agricultural Revolution methods, would be encouraged, mainly
because it creates pleasant landscapes: olive groves, vineyards, terraced paddy fields, that kind of thing.
Most of the planetary landmass would revert to wilderness. Outside our scattered communities, most roads and railways will be closed. Air travel shall
be restricted to essential services; commercial air traffic would be abolished except for pleasure. Most craft would be lighter-than-air vehicles,
though gliders, human-powered ultralights and so on would be allowed.
Long-distance travel, when necessary, would be by sea, or along the handful of great trunk roads and maglev railways linking our far-flung centres of
population. No internal-combustion engines of any kind will be permitted – except, perhaps, for such vehicles as ambulances and rescue vehicles.
A few precious architectural and cultural landmarks will be saved from the encroaching wilderness. Places like Angkor, Florence and Istanbul will
become enormous museums.
Human movement through the wilderness will be allowed, even encouraged, but it will also be closely regulated. There will be strict limits on numbers
in a given area, and equally strict restrictions on what people are allowed to carry with them. Essentially, all post industrial-revolution technology
would be prohibited. No rifles or pistols, far less any automatic weapons; no telephones or other instruments of long-distance communication; no
modern medicines or medical technology; no contraceptives, no safety matches, no compasses apart from simple (and inaccurate) magnetic ones. When you
enter the wilderness, you must confront it fairly.
Exceptions would be made, but with great reluctance and the interposition of suitable bureaucratic obstacles, to allow wilderness expeditions for
scientific, humanitarian and law-enforcement purposes. Wilderness areas would be subject to close but non-invasive monitoring by the authorities at
Now to the most important, and possibly controversial, aspect of my Utopia:
Everybody, without exception
, would be obliged to spend a year in the wilderness immediately after graduating from high school. Since abortion
would be legal worldwide and genetics would have advanced to the point where most hereditary diseases and abnormalities could be literally nipped in
the bud, we should not be consigning squadrons of the halt and lame to certain death by this custom. Besides, this adolescent 'year in the wilderness'
would be an essential element in the ongoing global programme of population control.
An individual's performance during their 'wilderness year' would greatly affect their social status in after life. By merely surviving it, one would
have earned one's ticket into the global community of humanity. Exceptional performance – helping others survive, resourcefulness and courage in
emergencies, exhibiting qualities of cooperation, sympathy, organizing skill, leadership or dominance – would be noticed by the monitors as well as
by one's fellow-sojourners in the wild, and confer additional cachet on one's return to society.
Finally, a few miscellaneous features:
- Religions would be treated as businesses, and taxed. Tithes, zakat, etc would cease to be tax-deductible.
- Media advertising would be prohibited. Media would have to survive on consumer sales and subscriptions only.
- Corporations would cease to be treated as legal individuals.
- A new category of crime, aesthetic offences, will enter the Penal Code. Severe penalties would be applied to such offences.
Care to join me in Utopia?
edit on 1/10/12 by Astyanax because: of the character limit.