What’s your utopia? A thought experiment

Lit windows at nightI’ve been spending a lot of time writing fantasy over the last few months but I have always had a soft spot for science-fiction. The types of stories I really prefer are those that explore utopia and dystopia. What kind of world can we imagine that would be better than this one, or would be better than this one but we as a species manage to royally muck up? With this in mind, I decided to create my own utopia for fun.

In a world where no one suffers hunger and everyone has a place to sleep, how could this be possible? Everyone needs motivation and if you don’t have to worry about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs what will make you get up in the morning and contribute to society?

In my dream world, everyone would have a basic flat, access to internet and entertainment and some food so they wouldn’t starve. To get more, people would have to work. The most disgusting jobs like working in sewers etc, jobs where you need training and art which finds popularity would be rewarded the most.

Every time someone achieved something, then they would receive a reward. There would be no money, just credits which would be infinite. You can give infinite credits, one per item used or purchased for electronic media or access to venues but received credits would have to be earned.

In this way, entertainment (e-books, music, movies) would be free but every time someone would consume an entertainment product the artist and anyone working on it would receive credits. You would need to spend credits earned for manufactured items like better computers, bigger TVs etc.

business woman uid 1097420There would be communal Google type self-drive cars where you could call for one and it would take you where you need to go. No need to buy transport, unless you want a bicycle.

If you have a job you would get a bigger house, if you created a piece of art that would be popular with everyone then, the skies would be the limit and you could end up with a hilltop mansion. The theory is if you contribute to society then you get rewarded.

Here’s how it might work:

Sales person 10,000 credits
Office worker Admin 10,000 credits
Waitress 12,000 credits (lots of standing around)
Barista 12,000 (Skill required)
Gardener 15,000 credits (Skill and creativity required)
Cleaner 20,000 credits (Not a pleasant job)
Cook in cafe/restaurant 22,000 credits (Skill and creativity required)
Job where a university degree or higher training is required: 25,000 credits
Health care workers 30,000 credits (Compassion, patience, skill, training required)
Doctor/Dentist etc 55,000 credits (combined Health care workers and further training credits)
Artist/Writer/Musician/Actor/Inventor 1 credit for every person that views/obtains work (could be millions or nothing!)

Compassionate and creative jobs would be rewarded the most, then all the jobs that no one wants to do. The easier the job is after that, the fewer credits are applied.

What you gain from your hard work would be yours and your partners for your lifetime. After all in this utopia everyone has the basics so you do not need to inherit anything. The next generation has the ability to compete by working for the prizes of better lives.

There could be a lot of problems with this scenario and it is definitely a work in progress (what writers call a vomit draft) but it does solve the problems of motivation and hoarding. I think this might be a fun theory to explore in a sci-fi story! What do you think?

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