Building for the future

Whenever we get used to our lives now, there is a new threat to us. The government want to make student campuses into a base for the army. They offer us money, food and electricity in return for this, but we provide these things ourselves now. Our first crops are ready to eat, and science students breed their laboratory animals for some meat – rabbits and others that eat grass are easy for us to keep. The cat is very pleased about this because I can feed him some small piece of rabbit or guinea pig, but I hope he will stay away from the rodent runs. Somebody on the forum says they have seen cats on the campus – I did not say I have been feeding him, as many would see this as a waste, and maybe think the cat is dangerous or can spread disease. I say cats should be allowed to live on campus because they kill the rats and mice, and these spread disease and will eat our food stores.

We wait for as long as we can, but today, we send our answer to the army – we say no, we will keep control on the campus. Soldiers may join us, but they must give up their weapons when they come in, and we will search them for anti-virals and put them each in a quarantine room for 28 days. We wait for their answer, and prepare for what they may do next, but their numbers are small now – many have died in the uprisings in Southern and Eastern provinces. Zhen spoke in favour of refusing the army at a general meeting, and we voted with him. The party members resent that he wins the election and refuses to join the party. They start to say it is weakness that Zhen cannot make a big decision without a vote, that he is not confident in his opinion without the students behind him and will not act like a leader when it is what we need. They begin now to campaign for allowing the army to take over the campus, and say we will have a better organisation this way. Most do not listen to them – we never have any problems with organisation so far – everybody does their jobs well, or tells us if they cannot so we can find somebody else. I say “we”, like I am one of the leaders, and I think many see me this way. I am not in an elected position like Zhen and Li, but I am always with them and do so many organising tasks, and they talk to me about their decisions and respect what I say. They say I must stand in the next election, and I feel more confident now, but still I don’t think I want to do this. I almost want to be back in the quarantine, when all the decisions happen on the forum and everybody is just trying to make the campus work, not to win against another person.

I do not worry about the Party. They fall in many provinces, and they do little now for the people in Beijing. Food growing and delivery is run by local people as much as the army, and is more efficient and a better quality. There is a will to resist, and in the past weeks many speak of 1989. Normally, we cannot commemorate our past resistance, but there is nobody to suppress student protest this year, and so we honour our parents’ resistance and celebrate our own, with hope for the future.

Thinking about hope for the future, there is another quiz from the person who did the disaster meme. Which Utopia are you Building? My answer:

Anarchist Communism in a scarcity environment, e.g. Annares in The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin

Anarchist Communism in a scarcity environment, e.g. Annares in The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin

You know that society will never be perfect, but you also know that it can be a lot better than it is now. You can’t eliminate human fallibility, but you can put processes and fail-safes in place so that a society can weather a reasonable amount of petty-mindedness, self-indulgence and indolence, without resorting to the hierarchies that make vices or privileges of them. Most importantly, you recognise that the revolution is never over, and a utopia is not a stagnant society but one that’s free to change and develop its ideals, its processes and its technology towards ever greater freedom for all.

See the story behind this quiz at

Take the quiz: Which Utopia are you building?


8 thoughts on “Building for the future

    • We cannot tell. Maybe they will have orders to take the campus anyway, maybe they will obey those orders or maybe they will see that it is better for them to turn against those orders and join us. We watch the gates and walls at all times.

      • My perimeter’s pretty secure now. Thanks for the specs you Blinked, Elaine – I’ve got it set-up much like your place, but with a few explosive surprises as well as the silent alarms, and without that “open invitation” thing going on – I’d rather scare them off from the start than invite them inside and then turn on them.

        • The open invitation’s saved me from having to defend myself at all up until the Triggers came along, but if you’re OK to risk a child meeting with an “explosive surprise” you know your business.

          • I only hope the rest of you are as safe. You can’t be so sentimental about these things, it’ll be the end of you, all of you. Mei and her friends will invite the army in, feed them for 28 days and then they’ll take over and probably kill the leaders and anybody who’s been supporting them. Elaine’ll get run out of her shop because she won’t do what obviously needs to be done and kill the looters who were going to kill her. Ash has the right idea in getting away from other people, but you’ve got to get yourself a base soon – that trailer’s going to get noticed wherever you go. You guys all need to wise up and start putting yourselves first, there’s nobody else out there to look out for you anymore.

            • Except you, eh, Jack? I’m sure we all appreciate the concern, but there’s no need to be so heavy-handed with the judgements. We’ve each made informed decisions. We’ll each live with the consequences, or not, as it may be.

            • Oh, and forgot to say thanks for the info on the guns, Jack – I’ve been practicing. It’s a good thing you’re out of range, eh? ;-) One thing confuses me – you’ve planted, what, some kind of homemade claymores round your farm? Where did you get the stuff for that, or learn how to do it? I mean, I had a pretty well-equipped store, and I looked into explosives and decided it was impractical. And flu’s only hit your state recently, there’s still panic in the streets from what I read, and any stores you could have got that stuff were emptied pretty quick, either by the army or the owners. When have you had the time to do all this?

              • You reckon you’re the only one with practical skills, Elaine? I don’t want to show all my cards on the internet, but let’s just say I was prepared.

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