The "glimpses" are a way to make the world commune of grass-root communities of the libertarian communist society less abstract... It is based on the big experiment of kibbutzes - the communes movements of Palestine-Israel of about 94 years, my following it since age 7, and living within it age 16 to 32. Nearly non of the members of the kibbutzes were libertarian communists.. Most of them were first of all naZionists of various trends, But, till it started to deteriorate, the internal relations among the members were libertarian communists and the decision making was mainly direct democracy. (At the present, most of the kibbutzes are in the process of privatization. At 2010 only about third of the 270 Kibbutzes are still adhering to the communal way of life.)
The following glimpses are just an illustration of the multi tier direct democracy of the libertarian communist world commune of grass root communities.
It is not a blueprint for the revolution - I do not claim that such ecological disaster is the only or the most probable spark that will ignite the mass uprising that will lead to the revolution. Nor do I claim that this is the only or the most probable way to over come such a disaster, and/or to manage the new libertarian communist system.
Ri got his morning beeper signal in his ear. As a fast riser, he just enjoyed the melody for a short while before turning it off. Quietly, so as not to wake up his mate Ti, he paid a short visit to the service room, put on his clothes and walked towards the community centre.
It was still the grey light of dawn on the third DD (Direct democracy) day of Spring. Partly because it was a bit cold, partly by way of morning gymnastics, Ri walked fast - nearly running the few minutes till he arrived at the entrance to the dining facility.
He was delegated to a season of auxiliary work at that facility, and this DD morning, it was his turn to ensure the system was ready for the new day. He checked the temperature of the various drinks and porridges, and took from the cold room the vegetables, fruit and various salads for the breakfast diners.
Then he poured himself his morning mug of tea, took a nice slice of the cake he so liked and sat down at the early risers table.
He had just sipped the first few drops of his tea when Dana sat down at the other side of the table - giving him the warm, intimate smile that was so common between the near-sisters and brothers of the same age group that had grown up together. Dana was mandated this year to the work organizer team, and it was her turn today to ensure all the essential tasks were taken care of - either to call replacements for people who were sick and could not tend to their tasks, or for emergency tasks in the community or the district that could not be put off.
Just before Ri finished his last sip of tea, a noisy group entered. They were people destined for a community in the countryside that needed help picking vegetables, as the warm weather had caused a lot of tomatoes to ripen too early.
Ri's usual work at the facility was to prepare the products for the "chef" responsible for the special foods for people with specific needs - part of it for people who used the dining facility, part of it for people who were taken care of elsewhere: the seniors' facility, the local clinic, or just people who were too sick to come to the dining facility.
While he was busy working away, Gal, who helped the "chef" who did the regular dishes, came in to start his shift, and asked him how the educational committee had been yesterday. They were both on it but he had missed it because of some family happening.
Breakfast time passed, as did the preparations for the midday meal and Ri finished his work tasks for the day and went home to sit near the communication facility. There, he was joined by his mate and together they browsed the texts that were relevant to the evening meeting of grassroots community members.
Together they went to the midday dining facility to eat and chat with friends and together they returned home. As Ri had missed out on his sweet morning sleep and, consequently, on some of the intimacy they should have shared during the week, they decided to dedicate the afternoon to mutual indulgence...
DD-day tea time was the usual kind of family meeting. Accompanied by their two siblings, today was their turn to visit Ti's parents. Also present were some of Ti's other family members, including her brother and his family, who were from a far-off community - on the other side of the city.
All together, they went to the dining facility to enjoy the family "reunion" some more. After the meal, they went each their own way - the kids to their age-mates, the grown-ups to their various recreations, and Ri returned to the communication corner in his home, browsing the texts of the district assembly delegates. This year he was the delegate to the district assembly which grouped members of each of the 200 grassroots communities in the district. In the chat room of the district educational committee, he chatted with some of the other members about the decisions the committee had proposed for the DD-day assemblies of grassroots communities in the district.
The proposals were about some changes to the district educational system. After long discussions in the educational committee and approval by the district assembly, it was decided to bring to the grassroots communities themselves the suggestion to try to get more involvement from the older kids in the education of the younger ones. In fact, it was some of these older kids, who were involved in an informal aid project with the younger ones, who had originally made the proposal. It was proposed that the changes be systematically assessed and, if successful and satisfying, the changes would be put to the assembly of delegates of the whole city.
After the evening meal in the community dining hall, the members of the community started to converge on the DD-day general meeting.
At the beginning of the meeting, chaired by one of members of the interpersonal relations committee, various committee members and individual members proposed subjects for discussion and decision. The first round was on the subjects to be included and the ones to be put to further discussion by the specific committees or at the end of the list, to be deferred to the next meeting if the time allocated to the assembly was insufficient. As usual, the final agenda was agreed without anyone calling to vote on specific items, and deliberations on the various items began. First, the proposals from the various committees that no-one in the committees had objected to were put to a formal vote. Then, proposals involving some minor disagreements or requests for change were put up for discussion and vote - some involved changes in the efforts to reach a consensus, others were decided on by an overwhelming majority, and one was decided by a marginal majority, at which stage the assembly decided to send it back to the specific committee in order to seek consensus in some way.
As the more pressing subjects were cleared quickly, there was plenty of time for the last matter. Ri was invited to report on the discussions and proposals for a decision of the district assembly. Most of the items were rapidly approved, but a proposal from the educational committee of the district committee brought about heated polemics. As time passed and it started to get late, one of the more involved proposed to defer decision and if there were no clear majority of support for the decision among other grassroots communities in the district, to continue the discussion at the next DD meeting.
Ri got up slowly. No need to hurry today - the first of the five end-of-year days. After getting up and visiting the dining hall with his mate, Ti, and their youngest girl (aged 5) Di, they sat in the communication corner and opened the family statistics.
First, they looked at their energy consumption records. Last year, they had reached their limit a few decimers before the end of the year (the decimer, or 10-day period, replaced the old 7-day week) as a result of Ti's hobby of scooter driving. But as the rest of the grassroots community was far from reaching its limit, the requests of Ti and a few others for an increase in their energy consumption quota had been approved. This year, they were just a bit below the family quota limit.
After that, together with Di, they looked through her statistics for the year.
They were glad to see that she hadn't gone over the limit for any of the
sections - clothes, foods, sweets, toys, etc. Indeed, they noticed that her
use of luxuries fell far short of her quota, so they discussed the various
options and, in the end, Di decided that she would spend what remained of
her quota on a trip to the far-off mountains with her five fellow affinity
group members. (The basic educational unit and the new living-space units
were arranged in such a way as to accommodate six new births per year.
Babies were usually born at the end of spring, so expectant parents moved to new living-space units after the autumn, after pregnancies had passed their initial medical checks. The new design of these living-space units better suited both the privacy of each child and couple, and also enabled 24-hour care for the children, who had their own affinity group space until they grew up and joined the company of the older children.)
Then, they went to the sports centre where they played a few games of table tennis with various partners. In their teens, Ti and Ri had been enthusiastic table tennis players and had participated in many district and all-city tournaments. They had got to know each other better and after a while moved in together into Ti's community. Now it seemed that Di was intending to follow in their footsteps, though it was still a bit too early to conclude that it was the sport she loved best.
Like on the other special days, Di did not return to her living space to eat with her own group and instead accompanied her parents to have dinner at the dining hall. After the meal, they returned to the group living space for their midday nap.
When they got up, the screen on their com unit was flashing. On approaching it, they saw the latest news: the need for the commune factory's products (special medical supplies) had dropped due to some innovation in hospital procedures. This meant the grassroots community assembly would have to find an alternative for a significant part of the work they contributed to the society that lay outside their community.
The members of the workplace production committee were urged to start studying some alternatives before the next meeting of the committee, so they would be able to prepare it in time for preliminary discussion at the coming DD assembly.
The main alternatives given were: first, to increase production of other items or new items by the commune's old factory. Second, just increase the number of work shifts of community members in other community, district or city workplaces. And third, build a new production facility to replace the old one, which would need a commitment by members to take on a long-term mandate to work there, as it would require a significant period of training.
Ri and Ti, who were among the commune members who contributed a significant amount of their work shifts quota to the old factory, discussed the subject at length.
Ti tended towards the third option. Ri, who had been involved over the last few years with the community's educational committee and recently with the district committee, raised the possibility of his wanting to train to become an educator in the district educational system. Over the years he had been ambivalent about the subject. His mother was a well-known educator and still worked in this capacity. As a child and teenager it had seemed to him that an educational mandate made people too serious and was not compatible with his involvement in light music. However, he was very relaxed with youngsters, and the education committee suggested time and again that he become an educator. Once, in spite of his reluctance, the subject was even brought up at a DD community assembly discussion, but the community accepted his refusal of the mandate.
After a while Di joined them for late-afternoon tea and cookies and both had a nice surprise when Di's big brother Ted joined them. Excitedly, he told them about the small theatre show his affinity group had prepared for the community festival and the possibility that it would be chosen for the district festival the next day.
The community's announcement system started to play the evening festival theme music that had been adopted just after the revolution in 2050. The music was a kind of a magical march for them and it accompanied them and all the members of the community to the dining hall. Among the walkers were some wheelchairs with the old folks who were too frail to walk. Most of them, as well as some of the "younger" veterans who were proudly walking, wore the honorary hat of that was given to participants in the uprising that had sparked off the revolution.
The tables were arranged around a small stage and waiting for them was the traditional meal of the poor wage-slaves in the harsh years that had preceded the revolution.
After the meal, one by one, small theatrical groups presented short sketches on life before the revolution and during the next 50 years. Then the tables and chairs were cleared away and the hall turned into a dance hall with local musicians taking turns on stage, playing old and new tunes while people danced the night away.
When Di was too sleepy to stay any longer, Ti and Ri left Ted with friends and returned to the dwelling area to put Di to bed. Having said goodnight, they ensured that one of the other parents in the dwelling area would stay there, awake, to look after the children and returned to the dance.
Ri got up a bit earlier than usual on the second day of the 5-day end-of-year festival. He had an important schedule because of his mandate as member of the district assembly of delegates. The first thing was a meeting of the educational committee. The meeting was hosted by a neighbouring community.
During the morning, they edited the final draft of their yearly report to the assembly of delegates. Immediately after the midday meal they shared at the host community's dining room, they joined the other members of the district assembly for the accountability meeting. Though the draft reports of all the committees were already available on the communication system, there was a non-redundant discussion at the assembly as nearly all committees were proposing some points to deliberate and to put on the agendas of the district grassroots communities for decision.
The main point raised by the educational committee was to intensify the relations and visits of the older teens with the various city polytechnics so the passage to higher education would be smoother. The idea had been discussed the previous year by the city educational committee and a few district educational committees had accepted the challenge to be the testing ground, if approved by their district and grassroots communities. The decision finally arrived at was that the new approach would be approved by the district grassroots communities, and a special programme would be developed for the two higher age-groups of the district's high school.
When the district assembly finally ended, they had a surprise waiting for them: they were invited to the 80th birthday party of Gil, a veteran of the city spokespersons at the time of the uprising that eventually became the 2050 revolution. He was a member of one of the grassroots communities of the district and had even participated a few times as guest at the district committee. However, throughout the years he participated as a welcomed non-delegate at meetings of the city and district assemblies committees, though he refused to be formally delegated to any of them.
It was a mystery all those years why he refused to be delegated to the district or city or any higher-level assembly of delegates. Though he was not a delegate to any inter-city assembly of delegates he was twice proposed as a special delegate to the world assembly of delegates, but even then he declined the offer.
Rumour was he might use this birthday party to reveal the reasons for his strange reluctance to be delegated. And indeed, when the party was drawing to an end Gil called for a moment of quiet, and started to speak:
"You all know that before the revolution I was a member of this country's specific anarchist federation for years. In the spokespersons' assembly of the mass uprising of 2049, I was often delegated by my district collective to the spokespersons' meetings of the coordination committees of various social struggle movements. The day when events in our city proved to be the turning point in the revolution has been written about in the history of the revolution. There was even a movie about the critical hours preceding the explosion of the bridge that prevented the last efforts of the State forces who were trying to disperse the spokespersons and suppress the uprising. The movie, and all the other texts about these crucial moments, vividly describe the moment when I put forward a motion calling for a vote whether to continue the discussions and polemics or to block the State forces from entering the city. Some 'consensus people' objected to any vote as long as there was strong objection from the Leninist left and other reformists and the chairperson, who was also the head of his party's central committee, just refused to put the motion to order to the vote.
And, of course, you all know that I and a few other comrades forced him out of the chair. I replaced him and put the call for a motion to order to the vote. The overwhelming majority supported it and discussions at that point ended. Immediately afterwards the usual two speakers in support and two against made their cases briefly, followed by the vote on the decision to block the State forces from entering the city. There was overwhelming support for blowing up all the bridges leading to the city, and this was immediately implemented. It was the point when the 2049 uprising turned into the full-blown 2050 revolution...
But what you do not know, and what was never revealed, is that I did it on my own initiative - without any collective decision or deliberations... Because of this - and not as a form of self-punishment or guilt-cleansing, but as a precaution against any repetition of power-taking by me, on my own initiative - I refused, from that moment on, any mandate for any post involving decisions about other people - not even a specific mandate, if included the tiniest amount of power or authority."
Making his way home after the party, Ri could see how fast these sensational revelations were spreading over the information system - first the district one, then the city system, quickly reaching the news headlines of the world main language feeds.
As he entered their dwelling unit Ti, who was still up despite the late hour, excitedly shared the sensational news with him...
Ron had been Ted's [Ti and Ri son] best friend for many years. They grew up together in the same dwelling space for newborn babies. They later spent many years together in the same recreation troupe which integrated drama with experimental music. They put on shows in various districts of the city and even travelled together with their troupe to neighbouring cities.
Ron had completed his basic education a few months before the others of his age group and had decided to travel to the other side of the continent. He had no problem with resources as the previous year he had contributed many hours of work above his quota, tutoring children interested in experimental music. So he gave a nice party for his closest friends and announced his intention to travel for the six whole months he had "gained" by finishing his basic education earlier than schedule.
It was a cheerful, noisy party with nearly all the participants celebrating their first age-group member completing his basic education. Only one of the guests was quiet and a bit sad - Nora, his girlfriend, who had been sharing a dwelling space with him for the past year.
It seems they had had quite an argument when Nora had asked Ron to wait until she too had finished her formal education, which wouldn't be long anyway, so that she could join him on his travels. But Ron insisted on going straight away.
During his travels, he stayed in close contact with his friends and family and even more so with Nora. However, something snapped in the relationship between Nora and Ron and one day, in the middle of his trip, she told him she was moving from their joint dwelling to a new one in her grassroots community. A month later, she told him she was planning on moving to a common dwelling with an ex-boyfriend who she had known since the days when they shared a newborn dwelling space many years ago.
That same evening Ron made somewhat exaggerated us of mood-changers in a pub in the city where he was at that time, which naturally influenced his guest performance on the pub stage, so much so that people asked him to step down. Ron, who had a history of late emotional development, responded in a way which was far from acceptable, and even punched the pub's entertainment organizer.
As Ron did not seem sober, the two pub organizers on duty called the city detox team and while they were waiting needed to use some mild physical force in order to restrain him. The team took him to the hospital and a detox nurse joined him in the emergency detox room.
The next morning, Ron seemed sober, full of regrets and apologies. After breakfast he passed a thorough medical check and by noon was cleared and considered sober enough to be assessed by the team of the district interpersonal committee which had been called immediately after the midday meal.
(Usually, in similar cases of breaches of interpersonal protocol, the interpersonal committee of the person's home grassroots community was called in. However, as Ron was from a far-away district and the possibility of evicting him being an option, the district committee was called instead.)
In Ron case, assessment was short. Communication with the on-duty interpersonal committee member from Ron's community revealed this was his first offence since childhood. So, after the team heard the description of the aggressive actions and Ron's explanation and apologies, it was decided - with Ron's consent - that he would return home immediately for further treatment in his community. It was also agreed with him that until such times as his own grassroots community had given him the all-clear, Ron would have no access to any mood-changing material. The shortest and fastest route home was charted and Ron got a priority pass.
It took Ron five unhappy days to get home, but when he finally did, he immediately met with the interpersonal committee of the grassroots community to decide on what was to be done. The first joint decision was to extend the ban on mood changers for forty decimers. It was also decided that Ron would join an intensive emotional growth group and, at the end of that period, return to the committee for further discussion.
It was also agreed with Ron that Nora's grassroots community would be out of bounds for him until decided otherwise, and that any communication between him and Nora would be possible only if she initiated it. They agreed, too, that an announcement about the incident and the decisions reached would be put into the relevant sections of the district communication system.
Later, in discussion with his art troupe and other close friends, Ron said he would dedicate the time remaining until the end of the season to intensive emotional growth and would afterwards enrol in the city's higher educational programme for experimental music.
The third day of the end-of-year festival was dedicated as usual to the general rotation of mandating grassroots communities committees. As most members were mandated to committees, it was found long long ago that it was better to do the main rotation of all committees in one short period.Ri and Ti got up together and went to the dining hall partition of the community's main hall. After breakfast, Ti went to the very old members' dwelling space for her shift carrying out essential duties that needed doing even on minimal work days (when main production was halted and only essential services covered). Ri went to the hall where all the members not on essential work shifts were assembling.
The main task of the Mandating Committee during the decimers preceding the festival was the reallocation of members to committees. The general guideline was that two thirds of the members of each committee (in other words, half the members of the community) would be reallocated during the general rotation from one committee to another. (The other third will continue to serve in it one additional year.) The Mandating Committee dedicated a significant part of the preceding meetings to discussing with people their assignments for the coming year.
The suggestions of the Mandating Committee were already available on the communication system for the whole decimer preceding the festival, together with the reservations of members wishing not to be mandated to a specific committee or the rare cases of people objecting to the mandating of a specific person to a specific committee.
The first subject was the membership of the Mandating Committee. One of the candidates asked the assembly not to mandate her to it as she had completed a two-year stint on this demanding committee just 4 years ago. She promised though to make herself available to the committee on demand. However, as she was such a talented organizer, the assembly convinced her to change her mind and arrived at a compromise - she would only be given a one-year mandate.
The vote at the end of the discussion completed the first point.
The second subject was the membership of the Interpersonal Committee. Its task was to deal with conflicts between members who were unable to resolve them in a non-formal way, and also to deal with infringements of members of the community on modes of interpersonal relations accepted by the grassroots community, even in cases where there was no complaint by the "injured" party in question. This committee was one of two committees whose members were rotated every year with one third continuing into a second year as non-mandated (and therefore non-voting) members.
The third committee was the Workplace Committee. This was one of the busiest and thus the biggest. Its main task was to regulate the daily work within the grassroots community, the work of community members in district and city workplaces and the training of members for future work in tasks that needed special training. Some tasks, in fact, involved a great deal of investment in training, like special engineering, flying passenger planes, medical tasks, etc. and often they had too many candidates... or too few. Some tasks needed special personal characteristics while others required a large amount of preparatory work before candidates were brought to the community assembly for mandating.
That committee's least pleasant task was the daily emergency assignment of replacements for people who could not start their shift or had to finish it abruptly. No-one liked to change from a day of leisure to a day of work. No-one liked to disrupt someone's dreams or schedule - even if it just meant changing from one workplace to another. This task was usually rotated between the committee members who were on their second year of duty, or who had done it during their previous years of duty.
There was also a sub-committee, which was responsible for the periodic changes of workplace mandates for tasks that no-one volunteered for. The simplest placement was for essential tasks at the end of the decimer or for the dining hall. One task that was a bit more complicated was allocating members to district or city tasks that no-one had volunteered for. This could be taking care of the sewage system, specific work tasks in the production system or even work in the health systems.
The Workplace Committee's most serious task was to facilitate the first work mandates of the younger generation and changes to long-term work mandates.
There was also a special sub-committee involved with mandates for tasks that needed long training.
Usually, the Workplace Committee member on day duty had the mandate to assign people to work only for emergency assignments, and the decision could be subject to contest within an hour before the relevant sub-committee members, or at the DD-day meeting of the community at the end of the decimer.
All long-term mandates, whether for a few decimers or for life, had to be approved by the grassroots community assembly.
The fourth committee on the agenda was the Production Committee. Its task was to manage the technical aspects of the various community services, and production units. It was also the go-between for the various workplaces and the community assembly. This committee was mainly responsible for deliberations about the upgrading of equipment or changes to the allocation of labour to the various workplaces, and preparing suggestions regarding them for the general assembly.
Next was the turn of the Accounting Committee. In a way, this committee was responsible for enacting the anarchist communist principle "from each according to ability, to each according to need". It monitored the allocation of work and products for communal consumption: education, food, healthcare, infrastructure and all other allocations according to need. It also monitored both what the grassroots community gave to and what it received from the world society. It monitored the contribution of work by members according to ability. It monitored also the allocation of resources to members both according to need and according to other criteria. Some products and services were allocated according to a rationing system (like energy and water), while others labeled "luxuries" were allocated according to personal general quota of values to choose within it the wished for items (For instance, a person could chose within that quota furnitures, clothes, chocolate, electronic gadgets, etc.)
The sixth committee on the agenda was the Education Committee, that Ri was mandated to for a second term. The committee was mainly responsible for the education of the new generation, from birth to mature adulthood - even when they were educated by district or city facilities.
Following this, the assembly had a midday break for lunch and a nap, and afterwards continued at an afternoon session.
Ti and few others were absent from that session due to a work shift on minimal tasks that could not be delayed. It was for precisely this reason that the proposals for delegates to the committees were previously published on the communication system. The whole system of committees would be brought up again for vote at the end of the day. Ri therefore took a turn in caring for the kids in their dwelling space that afternoon - Di and the other five members of her affiliation age-group.
At the afternoon session, first on the agenda was the Recreation and Art Committee where it was proposed that Ti be mandated for the coming year. Its main tasks were to organize the local artwork supplied by community members to the community for celebrations and during daily recreation, and also to stimulate and promote the artistic talents of young and old members of the community.
And so the session went on discussing and voting on the rest of the committees.
The Hobbies Committee, that organized groups and public equipment for leisure activities.
The Healthcare Committee, that took care of monitoring members' health, facilitating the health services they needed, as a kind of go-between for them and the suppliers of health services within the community and in the district or city health systems.
The Healthcare Committee had special responsibility for taking care of the health of the new generation and adults who were unable to take proper care of themselves. When persuasion was not enough, minimal power could be applied in procedures previously approved by the grassroots community, though the person in question, or others, could contest it before the general assembly at the end of the decimer, or within an hour before the specific sub-committee of the district. In any new case where there was the prospect of restricting someone's freedom, it would be brought within an hour before the relevant district health sub-committee, and before the next community general assembly. For instance, if a person's mental system were malfunctioning to a degree that it represented a danger to the health or even life of this person or others, the Healthcare Committee member(s) available would summon the relevant people to restrict the person involved. In the case of a child or adult who usually have a carer, or another person looking after them, then the carer/s would be summoned, while in the case of those who needed emergency hospitalization, then the hospital team would be summoned.
The Housing Committee was responsible for allocating the available housing spaces according to preference and need and planning the improvement and building of housing spaces.
The Security Committee, which had been particularly important during the first years after the revolution, had by then lost most of its tasks. However, it still had some functions. Its main responsibility was taking care of any case where malicious damage to the community system or members was suspected. Its mandate to restrict the freedom of a person was restricted to cases where imminent damage was suspected and only for a few minutes, until such times as the members of the district Security Committee were summoned.
Within 24 hours of any such restriction of freedom, there was to be an emergency meeting of the grassroots community. The assembly obviously had the power to put end to the restriction and the district Security Committee could contest this decision before the assembly of district delegates. If the assembly of district delegates decided to overrule the grassroots community decision, it was to be put to a vote in all the grassroots assemblies of the district. Anyone could contest the restriction of one's own or any other individual's freedom before both the district and the city assemblies of delegates.
The Environmental Committee was involved with both nature and dwelling environment. It also took care of monitoring, and if necessary, could bring before the community assembly any damage inflicted on the environment by the community system or its members.
Finally, there was the Communications Committee, which was responsible for the physical side of the communications system and for its content, which was to be available to all.
And so finished the second session.
After the evening meal, all the community members, except a few people who could not leave their duties, assembled for the final session.
The session began with a general discussion about the committees, the mandating circulation and the work of that year's Mandating Committee. At the end, there was a call for any members who objected to any of the mandates to come forward and put a motion. After a short while there was the final vote on the structure of the whole committee system for the coming year, and the members dispersed to engage in the recreation of their choice.
The members of the 25 district committees of the city were delegated
during the general delegating round of the end-of-year
festival. Though each community mandated its own delegate, preceding
the mandating day there was a general voting in each district about
the popularity of first term delegates - two thirds in each district
assembly, and the higher half was usually delegated by their
communities for a second year mandate.
Ri was among the third of members who were delegated to continue in their district committee for another term. After a short breakfast he cycled to the district centre's big auditorium. The day's schedule included the end-of-year accountability of the district committee sub-committees to the delegates, visitors and people of the district.
The reports had already been on the communication system for the last three decimers, so some points had already been discussed through the communication system. A few points had been discussed in the grassroots community DD assemblies, and several points had even been decided on in Ri's community and in others and had been submitted to the other communities of the district. Every grassroots community assembly could put a point on the agenda of the district committee and even call for discussion and vote on it in all the other of grassroot community assemblies in the district - both for the accountability session and for the regular DD sessions at the middle of each decimer. This was also true for any petition signed by 500 people in the district.
The district accountability meeting was attended by the new delegates to the committee, those who were continuing for a second term, the ex-delegates whose term had just ended, and other interested members of the district community.
Each sub-committee presented a brief summary of its reports, and the participants (delegates and others) had an opportunity to criticize or ask the sub-committee members for details that were not already available on the communication system.
The first accounting was of the Delegation Committee and immediately after that a provisional Delegation Committee was voted on, which would prepare the list of proposed delegating to sub-committees for the new year, to be decided on at the last session of the day.
Two "popular" matters of accountability always required more detail: conflicts dealt with by the interpersonal relations sub-committee between the district's grassroots communities, and conflicts between individual persons and grassroots communities which were not resolved by those directly involved.
As part of the tradition, all cases involving the expulsion of members from communities were put to a vote at the meeting, whether to call for a vote within all communities or not. (Every member of a grassroots community whose community had decided to expel hir could call for a district-level discussion and overrule by a general vote.)
All cases of limiting the freedom of people that had occurred in the district over the last year were also reviewed - whether very short ones of a few minutes or hours-long limitations of freedom due to acute mental disability or rare cases of acute anti-social behaviour that grassroots communities had failed to resolve without applying such power.
During that year, in fact, among the 100,000 people in the district there had been 17 cases of acute psychotic eruptions that needed the application of power by local and district medical teams. There had also been the cases of about 280 retarded or demented people whose free movements had to be restricted. There were 20 people whose anti-social behaviour was too damaging to be contained by their communities (some because of severe damage to the physical system, and a few who had attacked others - mostly when intoxicated, and were transfered to the city rehabilitation facility).
The emergency application of power to restrict the freedom of children above the age of 3 or of teenagers was usually made by the responsible adults around. In each case, the Educational Committee of the grassroots community was informed and, if necessary, an emergency meeting of the EC would be called. Every such case was brought to that decimer's community DD assembly.
New cases of restricting an adult's freedom for mental reasons were dealt with by the available members and immediately brought before an emergency meeting of the Interpersonal Committee and that decimer's community DD assembly.
In cases where adults' freedom was restricted as a result of acute anti-social behaviour, a prior decision by the grassroots community assembly and the approval of by the district interpersonal sub-committee was needed, unless it was an emergency. If it was an emergency, then the immediate approval by the community's Interpersonal Committee and that of the team in charge of the district interpersonal sub-committee was needed.
At the last session of the meeting day, the delegation of members of the district committee to the sub-committees (as suggested by the provisional delegation committee or by the rare suggestions of people present) were voted on.
At the end of the day, there was a vote on the list of the district committee's ten candidates for the city committee. The people on this list, and possibly some additional names suggested by other people from the district, would be voted on in the grassroots community assemblies. The 10 people with the highest votes (among those who also had the approval of the majority of the district community members) would be the district delegates to the city committee.
In the district, city, and higher-level assemblies of delegates, people who were in the minority in their communities or districts could join together and delegate their own delegates to the higher-level committees. Thus, every 400 people could have a delegate to the district committee, and in this city every 10,000 people could have their own delegate to the city assembly of delegates.
During the short period when the capitalist system was collapsing, people had to face very short supplies of both energy (electricity, fuel, etc.) and food. As a result, the small amount of food that was obtained was distributed and cooked/prepared in small neighborhood units.
When the food supply increased a bit, the creativity of the local cooks enabled people with special needs to be provided for and, using their special talents, make miracles with only basic materials.
Even after the supply of energy and food was largely restored, most people still preferred the communal system of food preparation, as they found it both more convenient and tastier. And it meant that they were thus able to use their energy quota for other things. So the dining halls were organized on a regular basis with some people delegated for expert tasks with other members of the grassroots communities that were formed, taking turns serving on other tasks.
The dining halls and society at large gradually turned vegan. The first step was even before the revolution, the result of the big chicken flu catastrophe that was also the immediate cause of the uprising that then turned into the revolution.
It had started in the winter of 2049. It seemed at first to be just another eruption of chicken flu that threatened to jump to humans. This strain of bird flu, however, turned out to be a ferocious killer when passed on to humans, even though the effect it had on its avian victims was often not fatal. The only effective measure to put an end to the catastrophe was the extermination of all poultry in the rural regions of the world as well as all other birds in zoos and anywhere else in proximity to humans (pigeons and parrots included). The 100 million people who had died by the time the harsh measures where finally enforced, and the scandalous way the plague was treated by the capitalist system were the immediate cause of the uprising.
The absence of chicken meat and eggs was one of the reasons the cooking of the communal dining halls became so popular. And the fast decline in the supply of other kinds of meat and milk were another reason the cooking of the experts was much more tasty and healthier than ordinary people could make in their private kitchens.
The diminishing supply of meat and milk were the result of the diminishing supply of oil. The increasing use of grains and other crops to produce a replacement for oil competed with food for farm animals and rising prices lowered the demand for it...
From the first days of its existence, the world commune of grassroots communities took emergency measures to coordinate the reduction of global warming (greenhouse gases) and the catastrophic storms and melting of the glaciers of the North and South Poles. It put an end to the wasteful use of energy in the meat industry and diminished the production of fertilizers to a minimum. The need to obtain compost from all organic food remains in order to replace fertilizers put an end to any community or private raising of vegetarian animals. Thus, though eating animals was never officially considered as an offence by any community, by 2100 it was just history.
The morning meeting in the community multi-use main hall was devoted to the city level - a region that also included nearby small towns and villages intimately connected with it as their regional center. The main hall of the community was used for DD meetings, for cultural needs and for dining, and movable walls were used to partition the hall when it was needed for more than one purpose at the same time.
On the agenda for discussion were various issues about the major projects of the city, which still had not completed the transformation of the city's physical structure from the capitalist era to the libertarian communist one. There were still many of the housing estates that were common with the old way of the capitalist nuclear families. There were still lots of ugly, wide asphalt roads which needed some of their lanes transforming into gardens, instead of having to maintain them. And there were still remnants of industrial buildings to be transformed for new uses or be dismantled.
Some subjects that had previously been discussed by the community and other communities were brought as proposals of the city general assembly of delegates to decide on.
The afternoon session was dedicated to the problems and decisions of the higher levels - the region, the continent and the world commune. Some points were decided on to be presented to the district, for ratification. (And if ratified to be brought to the relevant assembly of delegates for further deliberations.)
(Every grassroot community assembly could put a subject on the agenda of its district assembly of delegates. Every district assembly of delegates could put a subject on the agenda of any higher level assembly of delegates.) The evening session was dedicated to the discussion of city-level matters and for the delegating of 10 people to the city assembly from a list of 10 candidates proposed by the district assembly and 11 "independent" ones, who got enough endorsers (1,000) to be eligible to be voted on by all the district's grassroot communities. The ten who got the highest vote in the district's grassroot communities would be the district delegates at the city assembly of delegates.
In addition, every 10 thousand people from all the city's districts could endorse their own delegate to the city committee. Every delegate to the city and district could be recalled immediately if half of those who delegated him so decided. And in this way too could every other delegate in the multi-tier Direct Democracy system be recalled.
So ended the 50th year of the revolution... and started the year of its celebration. For Ri and Ti, the year was a turning point as the medical equipment production unit they had worked in on most of their work shifts for the last 20 years was not going to be the same.
However, it was far from being an emergency. For the coming decimers, no significant changes were expected. Ri was still contributing most of his work shifts as helper to the dining hall chef, and Ti was continuing to work in the factory and starting to learn about the new medical equipment the new factory would produce. Formal discussion and decisions about the new factory and the delegation of workers to it would start at the DD assembly at the end of the decimer. However, it was clear from the texts on the communication system and from non-formal communications and discussions, that the community would decide on the building of the new factory and to delegate to it all those who had worked in the old factory, if they so wished.
At noon, Ti and Ri got a surprise. Though demands on the medical products factory were fast decreasing, there was an emergency request for a big supply. It was not so clear if it was because of faulty coordination on some level of the distribution system or because of a surge in demand due to some epidemic. Ti was asked to contribute another 4-hour shift in the afternoon and Ri was asked to contribute a shift at the factory after his shift in the dining hall ended. His period of work at the dining hall would not continue for a while.
Though not really exhausted after the double shift, Ri and Ti decided to defer their visit to Ri parents, whose grassroot community was practically on the other side of the city.
The next day, immediately after the noonday meal, Ti, Ri, Di and Ron walked to the trans-city transportation line that brought them near enough to Ri's parents commune to go by foot in good weather.
There, they had a nice get-together with the extended family, while Di and Ron could play with their cousins. In a rare mood of nostalgia, Ri's mother Ann and father Tom - who were students at that time - told the story of the uprising.
People were just getting over the horrors of the chicken flu epidemic which had killed about 400 people from amongst the students, faculty teaching staff and service workers. Without any warning, the stormy weather started. The electricity supply was not stable and the heating system was close to collapse. Though it was already early Spring, it was often too cold to concentrate and the Internet and computers were unreliable.
Ann and Tom, who had grown up in different neighbourhoods in the city, were not activists. Though they sometimes joined the other students in demonstrations against the bad handling of the epidemic by the authorities, they were certainly not dreaming of becoming "torch or flag bearers". However, when they could no longer bury themselves in their studies, they were forced to join the others in the protests. Ann and Tom were in their first year at university. They were both enrolled in the faculty of Social Sciences, in the educational section. Ann was studying school psychology and Tom was studying the treatment of special needs pupils. They barely knew each other. The first time they talked was when they were involved in the same activity within the campus. Later, they were among the first to join the groups of students who were getting involved in the struggles in the city, and that was when they got to know each other.
When the authorities failed even to be seen to be doing their best to face the troubles, local neighbourhood meetings and initiatives to minimize the damages started to emerge. Ann and Tom were among those who brought that mode to the university. While telling the story, Ann and Tom seemed to become more and more wrapped up with the nostalgia. Their faces and voices expressed the various emotions as if they were still there - the anger, the excitement, the empathy, and the joy of taking their future into their own hands... They were both delegated by their classmates to the university activists assembly of delegates, and they were both delegated by that assembly to the city assembly of delegates. Soon they developed a permanent relationship that still held on Ann's 69th birthday.
Time passed quickly and the whole group went to the dining hall before the evening meal was over. The hall was nearly empty and Ri missed the people he had grown up with, and who he did not meet as often as he would have wished. After the evening meal they returned to Ann and Tom's place, but the magic of nostalgia had evaporated.
After a short chat Ri and his family returned to their community, taking turns in carrying Di, who was already half asleep.
The overwhelming majority of the regular contributors of workshifts to the factory were for the option of building a new factory in place of the old one. They expressed their long-term commitment so the special training needed would not be a waste. The district production sub-committee members who collected the relevant information suggested that the new factory use some parts and machinery from the old factory. They also suggested that some members of neighbouring communities could enroll as regular workers in it. Some members of neighbouring communities who had in the past contributed workshifts to the old factory, sporadically, agreed too to become regulars, with a commitment for a long period.
Though it seemed a major subject, it was so easily resolved in the preliminary non-formal communication that had just been announced in the community assembly by the production committee, and got an unanimous vote for it from the assembly.
The remaining steps were supposed to be just a formality - ratifying the decision by the district assembly and the assemblies of all the district grassroots communities. Following this, there would be the mandating of the people who would be regularly contributing workshifts to the new factory, both in Ri's community and the neighbouring ones.
This project was a kind of hybrid as factories were usually either a part of the district system or part of a grassroots community. This time it was supposed to be mainly of one community (with the most flexible workshift allocation enabled by that), but also with regular workers from neighbouring communities. (As the factory needed more regular workers than any grassroots community can supply.)
The importance of such a workplace within a community was that it enabled in a very flexible way the inclusion of people with limited abilities among its workers.
At the same assembly, there was a decision on the mandating of members who preferred not to be included among the regulars for the new factory to alternatives, including the shifting of Ri's mandate to the district educational system. He was supposed to start as tutor at the gymnasium - the "high school" that the older kids in the community enrolled in together with the kids of neighbouring communities. It was decided that after he finished his term helping the chef of the dining hall, he would complete his training for that task.
As a related subject, the second item on the assembly agenda was the accountability of members of the community mandated to tasks within the district system. One especially sad item on this subject was the case of the recall of a community member who had for many years been delegated as a surgeon at the district hospital. There had lately been various complaints about his work, both professionally and in the interpersonal relations with both staff and patients. The community interpersonal and workplace committees had already discussed the complaints and possible ways to resolve the situation. Together with him, they arrived at the conclusion that the best step would be to reallocate his work shifts from the district hospital to the community health team. So after a short discussion at the assembly, his mandate at the district hospital was recalled and he was mandated to work as part of the community health team.
At the time of the revolution - years before she was born, the militia was the most important body for meeting of social challenges. First it was the armed tool to defeat the last efforts of the capitalist elite state to keep its rule. Next was the task to keep the pressure on the remnant states where the capitalism not yet defeated from attacking the areas already freed.When Ti arrived at the old people dwelling place she discovered that one of the elders was screaming in unintelligible words on another elder, while the people around barely succeeding to restrain him from physical attack. Soon behind her came the person on duty of the medical team ready to use some sedative medicine if everything failed. However, it turned out that the screaming person was a close friend of her late grandfather. When she started to talk to him he recognized her and after he started to talk his delusional problem was easy to resolve.
The main body of the militia was then under direct management by the higher level committee, and only for parts of it was the management delegated to lower level ones. From the beginning, the districts and city levels were the ones delegated the task to confiscate the means of production and accumulated wealth of the capitalist class. The districts level militias were the main responsible organ for the supervision of the older capitalist class and their supporters and their integration into the grassroots committees.
However, once capitalism collapsed on the whole world and people could get their needs only through the grassroots community system, the main mandates of the militia were within the sub-committees of grassroots communities. The more severe problems were still taken care of by the district sub-committee - mainly when the identity of the perpetrators of anti social behavior was not known.
To be on the safe side, his grandchild was summoned and the three of them accompanied him to his room. There he passes a thorough medical examination and put to sleep with the help of a mug of beer....
Trouble seems to come in series. Just before going to sleep early in preparation for early arousing - for the trip to the mountains with Di's age group and few of their parents, Ted called Ti - in her capacity as a militia sub-committee on duty. He told her that while he and his troupe had a break while they were performing in a pub in a nearby suburb, a young person approached him and Ron, offering them grass and interested with swapping a significant amount of it in return for one of their musical instruments. He told her he had the feeling it was not just a "black market" transaction but may be a way to seduce Ron into breaking his prohibition of using mood changers and black mailing him later.
Cannabis (Marijuana) was not a prohibited plant. Nor was the use of it. People could get specific qualities of marijuana's at the community or suburb distribution centers on account of their luxury allotments. They were just discouraged from over using it or sharing it with young kids. People who abused it in ways endangering others - like in driving or harassing others - were subject to bans from use of mood changing products for various lengths of time, or even delegated to enrol in detox programs.Though it did not ring as an emergency, Ti contacted the militia sub-committee member on duty for the community that the pub was located in. After a short explanation and sending him Ted and Ron's pictures - he send her extracts of the spools of the cameras of the pub Ted and Ron were seen at. She easily recognized the scene Ted told her about, and communicated the relevant clip and summary to the district militia sub-committee.
The next day, the person on duty, will find which grassroots community that young person is a member of and will initiate the investigation of that community militia sub-committee.
Later it was revealed that the young person - whose name was Tor Gan, was a gardener at a nearby grassroots community. He got somehow seeds of a new and very high quality marijuana plant, and grew plants of it hidden among dense shrubs. As he refused to reveal how he got the seeds and come clean about his suggested transaction to Ted and Ron, the assembly of his community recalled him from his mandate as gardener. The decision also notified the work committee to restrict the work tasks he was allocated as a temp. He was also warned that any additional anti social act of his may warrant his marking as an antisocial of the initial level. Many of the plants he grew were found and the new strain was entered gradually to the general production of marijuana under the brand name of his.....
Two years later, after Tor Gan found in the district-distribution-point packages of marijuana the brand name Tor-Gan, something was softened in him. The next day he approached the militia person on duty in his community and told her he used to crossbreed strains of flowers and cannabis he obtained by mail from other people who had this hobby. When he got the special quality marijuana he became greedy. He thought that if he will seduce Ted and Ron, he will have both a lever on them and a way to distribute his production in the black market of pubs.
On the end of the decimer DD assembly of Tor's grass root community, his mandate as gardener was renewed. He was also allocated a small plot for continuing his hobby of crossbreeding flowers and cannabis.
None of the kids made a scene or cried, but the unpleasant surprise and the feelings of disappointment were prominent with them for all to see, till they boarded the tram that will take them to the museum.
A decimer later, as early as the rising of the Sun of the Second-Day, after a hot morning tea and a cake, Di and her 5 mates started the tour. They were accompanied by most of their parents and the kindergarten teacher. They were equipped with food, drinks and warm clothes in their bags for the long day. After a short walk they mounted the tram in its nearby stop and took the short travel to the central transportation center. There they mounted the regional train line that crosses the high mountain region in its way to the Western plains.
Though the far away mountains seemed to be nearby - especially in clear weather - it took the train about an hour to reach the foot of the mountains range and another half an hour to climb it and arrive in the first touring center.
They were not the only touring group on the train. The touring center was lively in spite of the cold of the early Spring morning. Before going outside of the central transportation center, they put on the warm clothes and a bi-directional communication necklace - just in case anyone got lost.
Out of the building, they first climbed on a small hill nearby to see the view of the environment of the near by small town. Members of the grass roots communities' of the town supply the services to the touring center, and tended the nearby forests. The main attraction of this touring center was the nearby peak of the highest mountain of the whole mountain ridge, which has a snow cover that never melts (not even when the greenhouse effect reaches its pick before the revolution). People who had a big enough energy quota leftover (like Di and her affinity group), and high tolerance for heights could climb to the top of the highest mountain using a cable trolley. They stayed on the hill long enough to have their late breakfast and get used to the thin air, before climbing to the peak of the highest mountain.
Though the travel to the mountains was initiated by Di who contributed her unspent energy quota for it, the other participants contributed too part of their quotas and they had enough for covering the needs of both the train and the cable trolley climbing.
It was their first time being there not only for the young kids but also for all the grownups accompanying them, except one mother who was there a few years before. She volunteered there for the Summers of two consecutive years. She was one of the members of grass roots communities of the region who were mandated to contribute work-shifts needed for the touring center and for the Summer tending of the near by forest. It was for preforming needed work which the local grass roots communities' members could not supply enough work-shifts for. This mother volunteered to be their guide, so they did not have to enlist a local guide and were entirely free to decide on their time table.
Besides long term or even life mandates to specific work tasks, and shorter terms mandates for tasks no one volunteered to choose as a long term mandate, there were many seasonal and other short term mandates for tasks in the grassroots community and in the wider system. Volunteering for terms of service in faraway places was a popular kind of touring for young people who had just finished their professional training.After the nice meal in the shade of the trees, the touring group went to the station of the cable trolley and after waiting for a short time in the queue, they climbed to the peak of the snowy mountain.
On the top of the mountain they went around from one viewing point to another. The air was already clear from the morning mists and they could see, with the help of the viewpoints telescopes, scenes hundreds of kilometers away. By the late afternoon they got satiated from viewing the various landscapes and hungry. They got down from the mountain and after a midday meal they had enough time for a short tour in the nearby forest, and meeting there many of its animals before traveling home.
On the way out of the town their "guide" pointed to them the fence and electronic system that prevents the forest animals and its insects from invading the areas inhabited by the humans.
The uprising that turned a successful revolution was in response to the failure of the capitalist system to deal with the catastrophic results of the weather system going out of control.
The first and immediate step after the revolution was a huge cut in all burning of oil, coal, and other materials for supplying energy. The whole transportation and other consumption of energy were cut to a minimal too.
The whole system of growing food and its consumption shifted to the emergency mode.
Longer range efforts were taken to counter the population explosion and a worldwide shift to one child to every couple was adopted. Couple could still had two children if they so choose, but they had to contribute a double quota of work-shifts all their life since the second one was conceived, in order to cover for the direct needs of the added offspring and for the infrastructure needed.
As the pregnancy was not any more a result of chance or accidents since the 2030s - 20 years before the revolution - the new "policy" only needed significant majority support of the assemblies of grassroots communities' members. This decision, together with the ban on private motor vehicles and on the feeding of animals as part of the food supply, were the first decisions of the direct democracy of the world commune of grassroots communities. It took some time till the farm animals who survived the breakdown of the old system were released into nature, and 9 months till the last children of second or more pregnancies were born.
There were so minimal cases of couples who choose to work so long for the additional child that some measures had to be taken to keep the decrease of the population within reasonable range - too fast reduction could result in too small percent of functioning adults taking care of the older people.
After about 10 years from the revolution, it was found that on the average there were less than one child for a couple. Thus, grass roots communities were given the task to authorize couples to have a second child according to quota. This was the reason Ri and Ti had two children... As result of the policy of one child for a couple, the world population that reached the peak of 8 milliard [billion] just before the revolution, dropped in 2100 to about 4 milliard [billion] only, and nearly no one really complained.
It took about 10 years till the crazy weather calmed a bit, but it was not sure at all the catastrophes will not return.
Scientists predicted it will take generations of efforts and restraint to prevent the destruction of the human society. The optimists among them claimed that capturing the burnt carbons and the derivatives from the atmosphere by forests, and filtering of part of the Sun energy so it will not reach the earth will do the main remedy in shorter time. They predicted that the decay of greenhouse gases accumulated from polluted industry and cows raised for milk and meat will recuperate the ecosystem in about 50 years.
The beginning of year was changed from the old calendar to the new one after the revolution. It was moved to the equinox day of the Spring - March 21 in the old calendar, which was near the date the revolution toppled the capitalist system in the developed countries. On the new calendar there were 12 months - 30 days each, each composed of 3 decimers [of 10 days]. The rest of the days of the year - 5 or 6, composed the end of the year festival dedicated to the celebrating of the revolution and to the general rotation of delegates in the multi tier direct democracy system.It was announced that due to the good news, the world level of assembly of delegates will start to discuss the shift in the coming decimer. Grassroots communities' assemblies were encouraged to start the discussions too. It was expected that the first draft of decisions will be submitted to the discussions and decisions of the assemblies of the grass root communities during the first decimer of the second month.
During the last two years, some really promising findings have circulated the world communication system, but only the integration of the statistics gathered from the last winter in the northern hemisphere confirmed it beyond any doubt: The greenhouse effect was significantly reversed.
During the period of rehabilitation of the world system following the revolution, steps were taken to stop the increase of the greenhouse effects in spite of fast development of the less developed regions. Eventually, the world system reached a steady state, but it was not enough. Thus, efforts were taken to both continue development and decrease the greenhouse effect accumulated during the capitalist era.
Fifty years of investment of world resources in sea, sun, and wind energy did the trick - in addition to special treatment of the air in the highest altitude. The burning of oil, coal and wood was ended long ago, but only in the last few years the burning of derivatives of agriculture products ended. But the most significant boost was the latest discoveries by scientists: Now the world was "wearing" big regional dynamic "Sun glasses" made of complex molecules. The dynamic "sunglasses" also enabled the restraining of the huge hurricanes and typhoons, and even the less dramatic storms and extreme weather changes.
Carbon-capturing through the growth of forests has contributed its share too, as the need for agricultural areas diminished immensely. The first wave of forestation started when the human diet turned vegan. Later came the diminishing use of agricultural products for fuel which has released huge areas. Then there was also the latest improvements in food growing techniques. The good news had also a concrete aspect. It was already discussed during past years that when this day will come the work shifts quota will get down from 7 shifts of 4 hour each in a decimer, to six work shifts only. It was also discussed that the consumption of energy will change from allocating a specific personal quota mode (according to basic needs only) to a more generous one.
Changes were expected also in the transportation system - an increase in both the city and regional bus and train service frequency.
It was contemplated that in addition to the basic quota, everyone will be able to consume as much energy as one wishes on account of one's general quota of luxuries.
(In addition to the free consumption according to needs, everyone got a quota of values to choose what to get on its account. From the simple choice of clothes and furniture to hobbies and mood changers.... Everyone got the same luxuries quota, but people had the option to contribute more work shifts - mainly in unpopular tasks, in return for extra quota. )
Regional, cities, and districts delegation assemblies were encouraged too to start to discus and plan for changes in their area following the lifting of limited quotas of energy consumption.
At home, at the end of the day, Ri, and Ti talked about the personal aspect of the exiting news. They contemplated the increased use of heating in the cold winter and air conditioning in the few hot nights of Summer. Ti contemplated the allocation of part of her luxury quota for the obtaining of a private two wheel motor vehicle which she so much likes to drive. Ri said he will surely use part of his luxury quota for high energy consumption of travel across the ocean.
Ri said, expecting the decisions to be made soon, he will already start to accumulate work shifts above the seven a decimer quota, so he will have an extra large vacation for the intended travel. The account of work shifts each person contributed was not rigid. People accumulated extra work shifts mainly when there was a seasonal load or when they prepared for an extra long vacation, and contributed less work shifts when load was down or when taking back the accumulated work shifts. Very often, when partners of regular work places were not able to contribute work, co-workers covered for them and just reported it to the accounting system, without the need to bother the grass root community or regional Working Committee for replacement.
As soon as stability was restored after the revolution won the world, there was a general agreement that there was the need for differential allocation of energy according to geographic conditions. Even though there was much debate and discussion over the years regarding this issue, no satisfactory working procedure was put in place and the need for specific decisions was repeated. More and more people proposed to continue with the efforts to capture higher proportions of energy from the sun and sea. These efforts, they claimed, should continue until the consumption of energy will become free like that of air. This will put end to the need for decisions about differential quotas according to regional and personal needs. This will repeat the diminishing in decision load and conflicts as happened regarding the consumption of water which become free all over the world ten years after the revolution.
Ri and Ti were not on the same side of the polemics. Ti, who was the more technologically oriented, was not so sure the greenhouse effect has been reversed for good. She pointed out that since a stop was put to the burning of carbon (oil, coal, and wood), the capturing of energy by itself can not reverse the greenhouse effect. Only blocking sun rays from reaching the earth and re-forestation can really do that. Other means for long time storing of captured energy were not found feasible. Ri, the more easy going of the two, was for accepting the good news and enjoying an additional free day a decimer.
Thus, towards the DD at the end of the decimer, the world assembly put for general vote only the suggestion of abolishing the personal quota of energy consumption and shifting the consumption of it into the general quota of luxury consumption* .
* The quota of "luxuries" consumption was measured in the units of work-shifts (WS). Every item within this quota was tagged with the amount of work-shifts and/or fractures of this unit needed to their production. For instance, simple bicycles had the tag of half work-shift (WS0.5). Some of the special quality bicycles were in the range of WS0.6 to WS0.8 each. Within the general quota of luxuries one could choose which items to consume within hir account of WS, which was in the year of 2100 about WS36.- a year (for healthy grownups).At that meeting of the world assembly it was decided to call for vote about the energy consumption quotas but to delay the decision about possible change in work-shifts and resources allocation for the near future - when the time for vote will be found "ripe". The suggestion to shift from seven work shifts a decimer to six or the reallocation of resources to other missions was deferred for further discussions and polemics - until it will reach a point of resolution with clear cut alternatives to decide between them.
Part of the items within the luxuries category were limited till that time, according to specific personal quotas. Limiting quotas on items with high energy consumption in the production of them and limiting quotas of energy consumption were supposed to be abolished, while limits because of other environmental hazards were to be kept.
The main change of energy consumption was in the domain of personal consumption. The energy consumption of the social facilities like dining halls of grass roots communities and their production facilities, as well as public facilities of districts and other levels, was always regulated according to needs. There were special regulations and norms in that consumption according to needs - mainly according to geographic conditions. These facilities had to follow such directives like for instance: what is the temperature target in heating and cooling, lighting, speed of transportation systems, etc.
At every level, the decision to put an opinion (or competing opinions) for general vote in the assemblies of the relevant grassroots communities, was usually done only when the Agenda Committee of grassroots assemblies or higher levels assemblies of delegates assessed that the time of final decision arrived. When members of assemblies wanted to contest the delay, they could (when their term to speak arrived) put a "call to order" the assembly had to vote on at the end of their speech. The only delay on the vote on such a "call to order" could be if the Agenda Committee demanded that two persons will talk 5 minutes each against the end of the discussion on the subject on the agenda and two persons will talk in support of the "call to order" before the vote.The vote in the grassroots assemblies was, as expected, in favor of the suggestion and got nearly unanimous support.
When the discussion of a subject could not be summed in one opinion to approve or disapprove in a vote, or two opinions to see which will gain the majority, a few competing opinions were submitted, and the two which gaining the higher vote were submitted for final vote.
During the decimers following this decision, hot polemics were everywhere regarding the change in the work-shift norm. Wherever people met and in the communication system the opinions in favor of reducing the work load and those against it were some time near the "boiling point". The first opinion was of people supporting the simple and easy going solution. It proposed to accept the achieved level of energy available as a norm. Their opinion was that the reduction in investment previously needed to increase the capturing of energy and in countering the greenhouse effect will enable a shift from seven work-shifts a decimer to six working-shifts a decimer.
The holders of the second opinion were more ambitious. Most of them proposed to keep the same norm of seven work-shifts a decimer; to regard the transfer of the private consumption of energy from personal quotas to the general luxury quota, as a temporary adjustment only; to continue the high level of investment in energy capturing till the consumption of energy will be free - like air and water.
Many of them also suggested to use the resources freed from investment in countering the greenhouse effects and the work shifts not needed any more for that mission for other projects. When the DD day of the second decimer of the next month approached, the polemics crystallized, and one proposal was more popular than the others. The meeting of the world assembly preceding it found that the time for another vote was "ripe" and the appropriate suggestions were put for general vote.
It was a kind of compromise between the above two main opinions. The world assembly of delegates proposed the assemblies of grass root communities decide between two options: Either to stick to the simple option and to reduce work shifts to six a decimer, or to only reduce them to six and a half (13 shifts for every two decimers), and dedicate this extra half shift a decimer to continue with the efforts to increase the energy available - till it will be free.
When the votes of the grass root communities assemblies were summed, it was found that a clear majority supported the more challenging one. An analysis of the votes revealed that in contradiction with the findings of previous votes regarding level of efforts needed, this time an overwhelming majority of the younger generations were among those in support of the resolution calling for greater efforts.
The polemics about further diminishing the level of efforts dedicated to counter the greenhouse effect and the reallocation of resources to other challenges than increasing available energy was not found ripe yet to pass a worldwide vote on the subject.
Usually, children who began sexual maturation joined the gymnasium system. Each gymnasium unit was both a school and community for the youngsters of every 10 neighboring grassroots communities. Children of the ages of 10 to 12 - each according to their "biological clock" - joined their neighborhood gymnasium. They became members of the community of the gymnasium, with equal status at its decimer assembly. They were mandated to committees in the yearly mandating day. They were mandated to work shifts within the gymnasium (mainly for the various maintenance tasks) and in the grassroots community they were from (mainly tasks with the young children not yet enrolled in the gymnasium).What was strange was not so much that the thirteen-agers Ann and Jon moved to the same room on a permanent base at the gymnasium, but their request to have their own dwelling in the grass root community (instead of keeping their rooms at their parents dwelling).
The children of the gymnasium had their own rooms both in the gymnasium and in the dwelling space their parents were living at. Children often spend nights with other children both before joining the gymnasium - from a very young age. At the gymnasium, children were often moving to live with a sexual partner/friend for long periods (more often for the older ones).
But, Ann and John were not regular kids. They grew in the same dwelling space of families of newborns till the age of five, when John's parent moved to a new dwelling space for newborns, expecting the birth of his sister. During these five years, Ann and John, who were exceptionally bright and lively, were always together like Siamese twins since they started to crawl at the age of a few months. Though they each had their own room there, they seldom slept in different rooms.
In spite of their special intimacy, they were not distanced from the other children. Until the age of five they were considered as charismatic amongst their age group and later on even among the older ones. Though their parents were not living any more at the same dwelling space, Ann and John continued their habit of sleeping together. When they moved to the gymnasium, they have not kept two separate rooms. Both contributed most of their work shifts to the younger ones in their grassroots community.
At the age of 13, both Ann and Jon were nearing the completion of the educational level entitling them to membership in the grassroots community. Their artistic work - drawings by Ann and music by Jon - were distributed on the communication system as well as consumed locally by the community.
The discussion at the assembly was short. The decision was to allocate Ann and Jon a dwelling space adjusted to their artistic needs - not delaying it till their gymnasium graduation.
In the post capitalist system, the majority of work-shifts are dedicated to the various services for people and their basic needs. Food, education, and health care were the main ones. Other services, such as maintenance of dwelling spaces and the various electronic gadgets, were significant consumers of work. Significant work shifts were for levels above the usual grassroots communities like hospitals and other facilities. However, instead of delegating too many people to work on tasks out of their own grass roots communities, which would have then required somewhat complicated ways for mandating and accountability, it was found feasible to organize specific neighborhood and district grassroots communities that will take responsibility for such tasks and facilities.In the clothes section of the neighboring distribution center, Di found what she wanted and after entering its "price" into her account of luxuries-consumption, they took the new clothes with them. In the shoes section, she only chose the kind she wanted and her feet were measured to produce for here within the week an orthopedic pair which will exactly fit her.
The most common neighborhood grassroots communities were the ones responsible for the neighborhood gymnasiums as well as other neighborhood facilities. Though most of the tasks of the gymnasiums were carried out by the pupils, and most of the educators were from the various communities of each neighborhood, there was still a lot of work for the members of the neighborhood community at the gymnasium.
In these neighborhood grass root communities were located also the neighborhood clinics treating health problem needing specialists or special equipment.
Recreation centers including the local pub, special sports, hobbies and arts centers were located there too.
The most visited facility in these neighborhood communities was the distributing centers which people used to get the more luxurious objects on account of their regular allotment.
Most of the problems related to services provided by one neighborhood community to the other communities in its vicinity were resolved by the relevant communes' committees. Whenever a problem was too big or too complicated, the relevant district committee got involved. In rare cases, the assemblies of members of relevant communes were involved too.
In addition to the neighborhood grassroots communities, there were also some other district communities with special tasks at their core which were responsible for various services for the district, together with additional members of communities of the district who were mandated to contribute work-shifts to these tasks.
There was the water and energy supply system, the electronic and roads communication systems, the emergency hospital services, and the higher education facilities, etc.
Whenever possible, the production facilities and services of cities, regions, and above were all the responsibility of local, grassroots communities dedicated to these tasks together with members of other grassroots communities mandated to these whenever it was needed. The special grassroots communities mandated to the various tasks are supervised by the appropriate committees of the said regional level.
In all the work places, whether within grassroots communities or in higher level facilities, direct democracy assemblies of the workers were mandated for taking care of the daily activities and for some longer period aspects, including mandating specific teams to specific tasks - without the need of the grassroots community assemblies or assemblies of delegate to decide on each item.
They took the opportunity to visit the gymnasium where big brother Tod was still enrolled for the few following months till his graduation and where Ri will start working after completing his special training.
It was still early for the midday meal so they mounted the long city line train for Di to see with her own eyes the large environment.
Returning from the trip a bit late, they were among the last eaters of the midday meal in the dining hall. Afterwards they returned Di to the dwelling space while Ri and Ti went for an afternoon work shift at the community factory.
The education in the grassroots communities involved a lot of subjects. However, there were six main fields of knowledge every one need to accumulate in order to be accepted as adult. The first and most important was all the aspects of the interpersonal. The second was the knowledge of nature (inanimate and animate). Not less important was the languages (both the regional language, and one of the five international ones: the "Mongolit", the "Hinduit" the "European", the "Semit", and the "Africanit"). Children were brought up since a very young age as bilinguals. Every one needed also to learn the basics of the international technical language that was developed gradually into a full international language. The fourth field was the basic knowledge of health, work with tools, driving, surviving in nature. The fifth was the arts and the sixth was the history of mankind. Most of the education was in small groups, with educators available as needed to be consulted or challenged by.Ted who assumed he will graduate somewhere in the Autumn was surprised, but not unprepared. He has already talked on it with his best friend Ron, with the other members of their troupe, with people of troupes in the region when they were invited to play or met in festivals. He even communicated and composed some lyrics with a few like minded musicians all over the world.
There were no formal tests to assess if a pupil already acquired the basic knowledge. Neither was there a specific body of knowledge pupils have to finish learning. The assessment if a pupil already graduated or needed special efforts in a subject was done by the relevant educators working with that pupil.
In the conversation with his parents he told them he will apply for membership in the commune this coming DD assembly, but will also announce his intention to "drift" around for a year - to join for a while a few troupes in a kind of pilgrimage around the world. He said that he will contribute a lot of work-shifts during the following few decimers, so he will have enough credits in the international accounting system for the trip and will not have to contribute work-shifts every place he visits.
Most of the transportation was free according to needs - both within each district, city, or region. However, when there was a lot of travelers that surpassed the basic capacity of the long distance traveling system, people needed to wait their turn or contribute from their luxury account to cover the extra resources needed for enlarging the capacity.The use of flight to far away continents needed lots of resources, and Ted intended to board at least one in the travel to the American continent. Now that the use of energy was changed recently from personal quota to the quota of luxury allotment, the whole pilgrimage of Ted became much simpler than his original plan.
Ted told his parents that he had already received an invitation from a "professional" troupe which was playing in pubs and concerts around the south part of the region, to join them for a season. He had already been in progressive communication with a professional troupe in New York that invited him to join them for a season or two if he managed to travel there. It was few months ago, before the use of energy was changed from personal quota into use within the personal general quota of luxury, and it had not been probable that Ted would have been able to accumulate saved energy so soon.
Ted's parents were very happy for him but Di was very sad. She was on the verge of crying. Ted hugged her and told her he will have more time than usual for her in the decimers before he starts the pilgrimage. He also promised to videophone them a few times each decimer when he will be on his "pilgrimage".
After Di went to sleep they continued their discussion and raised ideas about the recruiting of Ted's troupe for the celebration of Ted leaving the gymnasium and joining the community, and the farewell party of Ted from his friends and acquaintances in the musician circles of the city.
People with problems in walking had them. Many services personnel - mainly in the district or city systems used them. Some two wheels vehicle were available to hobbyists - though mainly in clubs as no one could allocate to them significant part of their energy quota.
Following the inclusion of energy in the allotted luxuries quota of people, the central system registered a huge increase in demand for two, three, and four wheels motorized vehicles, and points for supply of fuel and electricity.
As the training in driving of both two three and four wheel vehicles were part of the basic education, there was no problem of training new drivers. Even the design of vehicles was not a problem as there were all kinds of vehicles in the transportation system all the years.
Expecting the nearing of the end of strict restriction in the use of energy, both the world production committee and the various regional committees were preparing for it.
A proper decision was already discussed and voted on in all the grass roots communities to gradually shift some of the production facilities from energy capturing equipment to vehicle production, and for the increasing of production of liquid fuel.
As the increased demand for such vehicles depleted the reserves of available vehicles and parts, two measures were proposed and decided on: First, all people involved in the production of such vehicles and parts of them will be encouraged to contribute an additional work-shift a decimer. Second, all communities will be asked to exempt people working in that production from serving turns in other workplaces for ten decimers. Second, it was decided that requests for vehicles for private use of people with no health problems will wait in a queue, till production will overtake demand.
The district educational committees were encouraged to initiate refreshing courses of driving for people who have not driven motor vehicles for more than two years.
Ti who was among the lucky ones who put the request for the motorized two wheel vehicle before the reserves were depleted, already got it, and Ri was among the first batch in the district refreshing course.
As Ted was just fresh from the gymnasium he did not need any refreshment training. He was the main user of the scooter, traveling around the city to spend "quality time" with his friends in the musical troupes scene before departing to his long pilgrimage.
People of the older generations were comparing their memory of the noisy and stinking traffic of the pre-revolution times and the mainly quiet and lack of smell of the modern vehicles which used electricity and non-oil fuel.
Some even said they feel in a strange way the materials of their long recycled cars incarnated in the new vehicles.....
(The recycling of the old cars, obsolete structures, military equipment, and garbage depots supplied a big reserve of metals and very few mining sites were still extracting metals from mines.)
At the middle of the Spring, the old factory was dismantled. Its buildings and parts of the equipment was used in the construction of the new factory. When the additional space and equipment needed was ready, a team of the same factory already in full production in the main city of the region came for training on site of the local workers. Few advanced experts from Ti's team were sharing part of their work-shifts in advanced training in the "parent" factory and in the relevant laboratories of the nearby central university of the region.
On the last day of the formal training at the regional city, while eating the midday meal in the dining hall of the grass roots community the factory is in it, Set, the head of the training team involved Ti in a strange kind of conversation.
She and Ti were of the same age, and met few times during the years in professional meetings. They talked a lot during the training period about technical subjects relevant for Ti's training. Ti sensed a lot of nonverbal attention paid to her from Set during the training and breaks, but refrained from coming directly to her to ask the meaning of it. As Ti was good looking, lively, and easy with people, she was used to being paid attention to from both males and females. She seldom invited an opening to the subject though never behaved ugly towards such people. But this attention given to her was with a flavor she did not recognize at first. Just as the conversation was shifting to personal content (the first time between them) she recalled such attention from the trainer of table tennis that encouraged her to join the tournaments circle.
And she was right. Set told Ti she was a member of the Regional Mandating committee, and as the world economy is passing through a significant shift after the energy supply became abundant, there is need for more coordinators in the general supply system. The shift in the world economy will need lot of intervention to adjust supply to demand, including the production of materials and parts of wide spectrum of products. Set told her that the members of the regional mandating committee are busy with a search for appropriate candidates for training to become regional coordinators. They're searching for people who have already the basic knowledge needed, are willing to commit themselves for a long training, and willing to accept a long mandate in various levels of the supply system.
The Mandating committees were not only responsible for suggesting the mandating of delegates to the direct democracy. There were lots of mandated tasks in the various jobs of production, services, supervision and coordination from the neighborhood level up to the level of the world commune. Many of the tasks needed long training and long years of service. The mandating committees were responsible for recruiting the appropriate people. After the approval of the grassroots assembly they were part of and that of the relevant higher level assembly of delegates, they were enrolled in the training program needed.At the end of the conversation it was agreed between Set and Ti that if the regional assembly and Ti's grassroots community assembly will approve of the new mandate, Ti will continue in her crucial task in the new factory, and gradually will shift into a schedule of two-shifts a decimer in the factory and five in the long training as coordinator.
Most of the work-shifts of most of these recruiters were done via the communication system with special equipment, in "offices" located in the neighborhood communication facilities. Usually each of them contributed two work-shifts a decimer to tasks within their own grass roots communities. The relevant level mandating committee was also responsible for the supervision of the mandated professionals and their advanced training - including regular accountability, and for the initiating of a seldom recall.
Towards the end of the day, Ti returned home from the training and shared the news first with Ri and later with her parents and the affiliation age group members she grew with.
The relation between the members of the age group who usually grew the first 5 years in the same communal dwelling space, and continued later together in school and the gymnasium, were often more like between twins than between sisters and brothers. With very few exceptions like the case of Ann and Jon, members of the same age group who grew together seldom became a family.As Set of the regional mandating committee predicted, the regional assembly approved the list of new coordinators composed by the mandating committee. Ti's grassroots community assembly approved it too, and Ti started the long training as coordinator.
The first step was a meeting of the new recruits in the regional distribution center in the main city of the region. Ti boarded the early morning train and spent the two hours travel to acquaint with the other 19 recruits using the communication system. Two of them she already met in the past during training and conferences related to the medical equipment factory on her community. When she arrived at the distribution center, Ti, the new recruits, and the trainers allocated to them had first a short non formal socializing and then the training program was suggested to the new recruits.
Ti found that she was the only one in the group who had no previous experience working in district and city levels of the distribution system. As a matter of fact, most of the other new recruits were experienced in the systems of the big cities level. Set, who was one of the workers of the regional distribution system and assigned the task of training a few of the new recruits, assured Ti the task of regional coordinator is not above her abilities, and a few months of training is all that she needed.
The task of the coordinator of each level was nearly the same - depending on which products one was responsible to coordinate. Most of the products were of mass production with many who needed them. Their supply was relatively simple. Each level of distribution center had its long time suppliers and reserves. The fluctuation in supply and demand did not need more than requested for a bit of an increase or decrease in production from producers or transfer of products from the reserve of a neighboring region/city/district.As Set told Ti, the wide spread change in demand due to the lifting of restriction in energy consumption, was expected to bring about lot of changes in demand. This will put pressure on the production factories and even on raw materials. At time like that there is a special need for coordinators with involvement in advanced technology like Ti.
Some products like fruits and vegetables had natural fluctuations in them and long periods of production. They were coordinated by both cold storage and flexibility in the allocation of products to industrial processing. It was also an accepted norm that sometimes, when demand exceed supply, the distribution will be according to quotas.
The more complicated tasks were to adjust supply to demand wherever there was a change in technology - like with the medical equipment produced by Ti's grassroots community. In such cases, the relevant level production committee was invited to involve itself.
After a general session when the 20 recruits were introduced to the expected changes in the near future, they were divided into small groups - each with a specific trainer. Ti's group was assigned to Set, which built with each recruit a special program of training.
After that, the whole group went together to the midday meal in the dining hall of the grassroots community hosting the regional distribution center.
Just to give them the flavor, as an end to the new recruits meeting, they paid a short virtual visit to the regional coordinators on duty, before going home.
On the long voyage home, Ti contacted the Supply team of the distribution center of her district to schedule her first step of training.
The base of the professional troupe he joined was in the agricultural grassroots community of two of the older members of the troupe. The other members were temporary residents of that community except one of them who became a permanent member of the troupe a few years before and decided to join the grassroots community as permanent members.
The troupe members were following the usual schedule of devoting five work-shifts a decimer to their mandated task - the troupe, and two work-shifts within the grassroots community special tasks managing, in services and seasonal tasks.
After a short greeting of each of the extended family members, Ted showed them a short clip he prepared that morning about that township.
Like many other townships of the rural - mainly agricultural - region, it consisted of ten grassroots communities, their inhabitants were mainly of small villages of the pre-revolution times who regrouped to the new townships that can have all the modern facilities needed for both the people and the environment, and for the highly modern agriculture.The clip showed first the central grass root community, and then moved around the agricultural areas - plantations of fruits trees, and hothouses of the various vegetables. In the clip he showed the semi mechanized picking of the fruits and vegetables.
Each such township was organized like the neighborhood units of the bigger cities - about 9 grassroots communities around the grassroots community which host the gymnasium, the health specialist clinics, the neighborhood distribution center, the recreation "pub" and special hobbies, and other facilities - including some production ones as needed in the agriculture of that region.
After the "touring clip" he showed them the clip of the new part of their musical performance first shown to the public the previous evening in another township (the first one the troupe developed around the lyrics of Ted).
At the end, before he asked for a feedback from the family members on the music, he showed them a short clip of him picking fruits and vegetables in the first two work-shifts of the decimer in their base grassroots community....
The huge increase in the demand for ovens, refrigerators, air conditioners, and two or three wheel motor vehicles was a real concern.
It was found that most people refrained from reducing their work-shifts from 7 a decimer to 6 and a half. Many even increased it a bit in order to be eligible to get sooner the new energy consuming instruments.
Ti joined the regional coordinators team responsible for the supply of parts for the two and three wheels vehicles industry. The first step was the coordination of assembly of the various parts to the end products according to demand. Communication with the assembly factories revealed that the present factories can easily adjusted to the increased demand with only increase of work-shifts around the clock needed.
The distribution of fuel was not a real problem as most of the vehicles were supposed to be run on electricity.
The production of parts was the real problem. There was needed a shift of production of nearly 1/3 of the industry (2/3 of it was dedicated before for energy capturing machines and half of it was supposed to be converted to the production of new energy consuming instruments).
In spite of the expected turmoil, it was found that the increase in the need for raw materials was minimal - nothing the measures for the adjustment of previous fluctuations could not take care of. Production points only needed to be asked more often to expect a few percentage increases during the near future, and more requests for redirecting part of the products to a different location.
The main problem was the need for converting half of the production of energy capturing machines to energy consumption instruments. As the shift was already expected, and more so during the last two years, the blueprints for the needed tools and machinery were ready. Even the teams that will be involved with the shift were involved in the decisions about the details. The coordinators had only to inform the relevant production units about the rate of the shift. It was found that the production committees of the various levels had very little to decide on - mostly about redirection of work power within districts.
The main task of the coordinators was as usual - to try to solve in the best way bottle necks by special contacts with the relevant parties involved, and shifting reserves to the ones most in need.
After the completion of the basic training as regional coordinator, Ti found that she can do most of her work from her grass roots communication center and need to travel to the region center only once in a season.
It was expected that during the first year of change every dwelling unit will have the air conditioner, the refrigerator, and the electrical oven. According to data collected most adults under 70 will want a two or three wheels vehicles usually one vehicle for each couple or a single person.
As there was expected to be lot of bottlenecks in the production, people were asked about their preference of the order the new energy consuming instrument will be supplied to them.
From the list of instruments people intend to take on their accounts of "luxuries" in the next 18 months it was clear it is not a short term phenomena. Thus, the world assembly of delegates suggested a general discussion will start about a new world budget. The suggestion submitted to general decision by the assemblies of the whole world grassroots communities included a clause that after about two months - when the discussions in the world communication system will show a convergence of opinion - there will be taken a vote on the various options for a new budget. The discussions involve changes in the allocation of resources to the various branches of research - "pure science", applied science related to production and health, and the environment related studies.
The decisions will not involve changes in the production and services, as these were dictated by the total demand for them. The various adjustments were taken care of by the various levels of distribution system, and the production committees of the relevant assemblies of delegates. After the adjustment of the basic inequalities inherited from the capitalist era, the general world budget was similar for many years. It was the equivalent of about one and a half work-shifts of every able body adult. About two thirds of it was used for the various activities for the reversal of the greenhouse effect. The rest was dedicated mainly to the various kinds of research and worldwide communication system.
The assemblies of delegates of regions, cities, and districts had small budgets of their own for administrative facilities mainly. Most of the various services supplied to the people of the geographical units are on demand and entered into the grassroots community accounts. After about a month of discussions it was clear that most of the people supported the elaboration of the previous decision following the reversal of the greenhouse effects. The equivalent of one half of work-shift will be deleted from the world budget. The equivalent of one half of work-shift that was previously dedicated to reversal of the greenhouse effect will be mainly shifted to investment in capturing "green energy" so the users will have their luxury accounts responsible only for the maintenance of these facilities. The seven work-shifts a decimer recommendation will be restored, keeping the obvious option for people to contribute more in order to get extra increase in their accounts for "luxuries" - or contribute less so they will consume less and have more free time.
The label "luxuries" was left over from the time of the revolution in which the overcoming of the collapse of the system enabled for a while only the essentials to keep people alive. When the situation improved a bit, new clothes, furniture, electronic instruments, touring, sweets, etc. were distributed on account of an equal budget allocated to everyone. Gradually this account was increased till it reached the level of equivalent to one work-shift a decimer (36 work-shifts - 144 work hours a year). In according to the Freedom principle, (restricted only by the Equality principle,) everyone could concentrate the contribution of workshifts to specific periods so they will have longer vacations. People were also free to contribute lots more extra work-shifts than the norm in order to increase with that their "luxury" account.After three decimers the assemblies of the grassroots communities voted nearly with no opposition that the time is ripe for decision and the details of the new world budget - including the new costing of energy allocation. With nearly no objection was adopted the decision that the norm of seven work-shifts a decimer recommendation will be restored. And thus, the yearly allocation of the account of "luxuries" will increase with 50% into 54 work-shifts - 216 work hours a year. So was adopted the specific decision about the investing in capturing of "green" energy and in charging the energy consumption only according to maintenance costs.
The allocation of the specific quota for the personal account was at the end of each decimer. People could not enter into overdraft, or get profit for unused resources.
The following decimer had lots of information and discussion in the world communication system. The input of the coordination system of production and supplies - based on the various statistics - raised questions regarding the surge in demand caused by the energy consuming of vehicles and house instruments. There were two main options - either to invest lot of effort in building or enlarging factories, or to use the present ones more intensively.
Many of the participants pointed to the fact that the products demanded are with long years of use, and the surge in demand will end in about two years. Thus the most logical step is to use the production units in near 100% capacity in 8 shifts a day - 10 days a decimer. Thus, what will be needed to reallocate is just the work shifts contributed by members of the nearby grassroots communities.
There were very few who suggested that there should be built a lot of production facilities. Even among the regular workers of these facilities who may have to work more often in less preferred shifts there were not many supporters of the expansionist option. Thus, the decision was submitted and approved by the world grassroots communities at the next DD assemblies.
In the same DD assembly, in Ri and Ti's grassroots community, a decision was passed for the gradual increase of the vehicles pool of the community so members will be able to borrow on their "luxury" account expense motorized vehicles of 4, 3 or 2 wheels.
The same trend was expressed in the world communication system and nearly all grassroots communities with appropriate terrain adopted it in the following decimers.
Every grassroots community had a budget equivalent to seven work-shifts a decimer for each member. Part of it (one and a half till the last decision and one only since) for the world budget. Since the last decision the equivalent of one and a half decimer was allocated to each member's account. The equivalent of four and a half work-shifts a decimer of each member were used for the social consumption of the community. It was mainly "used" in direct work within the community and products in its facilities for food, housing, public facilities, social services, children rising, etc. The rest was used mainly in the covering of exchange with the rest of the word: products for the community system, social services for the members out of the community, the neighborhood gymnasium, and small part in the budgets of the district, city, and region for maintaining of infrastructure and facilities.The contribution of a grassroots community to the system external to it is done by products and services it provides to it and by work-shifts of its members in the various facilities. The work-shifts of Ri in the neighborhood gymnasium and the work-shifts of Ti as coordinator in the supply system are such contributions. Work-shifts of other members of the community, out of it, is part of the contributions. The products of the community's new factory of medical equipment is such a contribution. The work shifts of members of other communities in the factory is part of what the community have to cover.