Tuesday, 12 January 2016
Life Inside A Generation Ship
2126 departure, crew 200.
2205 en route, crew 7,000.
2249 arrival, crew 10,000.
The early crew spent the first ten or twenty years completing construction of the ship's interior. Later generations:
repair or replace machines;
build new ones;
work as technicians.
Human labor makes robots unnecessary;
a thirty hour week provides a living wage;
some crew work part time, then earn more as, e.g., prostitutes or goons;
self-employed tradesmen, artists, artisans and writers work their own hours, some on officer decks;
parks have simulated skies.
One crewman's explanation of the social degeneration within the ship:
a ship is a natural communist state;
but private groups were allowed to run farms, factories and recreation;
companies were founded, fought each other and oppressed workers;
workers had to form unions;
food processors won against producers and formed a trust;
the Engineering Department took over industries;
food and factories competed for control of the ship;
farm collectivization came too late to stop the power struggles;
solution - socialize everything under the Council, giving workers the main voice.
Wilson, demagogic crew representative on the Council, leads a communist movement.
The Guilds agitate against monopolies and for a petite-bourgeois economy.
Officers are aristocrats but interpret this as personal aggrandizement, not as traditional responsibility.
Who dealt this mess?