Anarres is based on a nation in the book "The Dispossessed" by Ursula Le Guin. It is ruled by Brother Ishmael who is sometimes also known as Ishmael7 or MrGed. The Politics & War nation page of Anarres can be found here.
|Associate of The Syndicate|
|Area||16,750 sq. miles mi²|
|Avg. Pop. Density||111.32 people/sq. mi people per mi²|
|Military name||The Citizenry|
|Nation Rank||#286 of 4,183 Nations (6.84%)|
Urras and Anarres are the twin inhabited planets of the Tau Ceti system. Urras, the larger body, has two main continents and several large oceans. The larger of the continents is home to the two nation-states of A-Io and Thu. Both nations are developed industrial societies but A-Io is a capitalist parliamentary republic while Thu is a totalitarian socialist state. On the second continent is the unstable and economically underdeveloped state of Benbili.
Anarres is the smaller of the habitable planets in the Tau Ceti system. It is essentially a large moon of Urras. Anarres is mainly covered by land, but has two large separated seas, each with their own distinct fish species. Aside from the Southwest, which is dotted with lines of hills running north to south across the landscape, Anarres has very flat terrain. Its unstable tectonic plates cause frequent earthquakes.
Anarres has two relatively fertile areas - near its capital Abbenay and near the coasts. Apart from these areas, the planet is mostly dust covered. The southwest in particular is very dry, as lacks any large body of water. The far south is near the polar ice cap and has large marshes in the summer. Nearer the equator, shallow alkaline lakes in vast salt pans dominate the landscape. The major cities are situated in the north and along the coasts. Only one major species of plant exists that is native to the planet. Other than fish, the planet has no native higher life forms.
Historical Background Edit
Originally, Anarres had no permanent settlements, but was exploited by Urrasian miners for mineral resources. However, approximately 200 years ago, there was a major anarcho-syndicalist rebellion on Urras led by a visionary named Odo. In order to forestall an anarcho-syndicalist rebellion, the major Urrasti states gave the revolutionaries the right to live on Anarres, along with a guarantee of non-interference.
The Anarrian settlers have fitted themselves with care into its narrow ecology. They cultivate enough crops to feed themselves using mainly organic wastes for fertilizer. But there is no room for free-riders. There are no surplus plants to feed herbivores and no herbivores to feed carnivores. The only non-marine animals on the planet are the settlers themselves. There are no insects to fecundate flowering plants; the imported fruit trees are all hand-fertilized.
Anarres is crisscrossed by a patchwork quilt of small urban centers with peripheral settlements. Each settlement follows the principle of an “organic economy,” aiming to survive as much as possible upon its local resources — the water, wind, and soil in its vicinity. When this is not enough, resources move between locales upon need. There are no borders on Anarres, nor local identities; individuals can — and constantly do — move between settlements.
The settlers brought with them values that helped them survive in Anarres's limited biosphere. Mutual aid through sharing and giving are the organizing social principles. There is no private property on Anarres. People “have,” they do not “own” and resources are given freely to those in need. There are no private houses, but instead, people live in dormitories with common rooms that house four or five each. There are also single rooms for couples or families that prefer privacy. Large dining commons are organized by each dormitory or run by worker cooperatives, and professional associations for their workers. The settlements are build with plenty of open public spaces and playgrounds. The little water available on this dry world is shared in public baths, where people meet and socialize daily. People move using electric trains and small buses. There are plenty of bicycles and a few cars that are shared by all citizens. Traveling takes days, and so does communication by post. Manufacturing workshops are located in the towns, their doors open to the main squares of the cities.
Production is organized in voluntary cooperatives and associations. Each individual has the freedom to associate with or start her own productive enterprise. There is no profit to be made or property to be capitalized and, hence, no incentive to expand beyond what gives everyday satisfaction and fulfillment. Every ten days, each Anarresi must devote one day to communal work. People work six to eight days of every ten, for four to seven hours a day. Working is voluntary, but almost everyone works, as there is little else to do and strong contempt for those who don’t. A central computer matches workers’ preferences for job placement with the needs of different cooperatives. People specialize, developing their own skills, but also contribute regularly to common tasks of cleaning, building, and maintaining public infrastructure. Every four years, each Anarresi has to spend six months reforesting the desert or accomplishing some other major public work. The basic needs of food, housing, heating, and transport are collectively provided and people use their creativity to provide for any other needs. Resource allocation is coordinated by a central committee with subdivisions in the various settlements. The members of the committee are drawn by lottery, while more permanent members are democratically elected; none stays in power for an extended period of time.
The economic and political situation of Anarres and its relation to Urras is ambiguous. The people of Anarres consider themselves as being free and independent, having broken off from the political and social influence of the old world, but the powers of Urras consider Anarres as being essentially their mining colony. The annual consignment of precious metals mined on Anarres and its division among the major powers of Urras is a major economic event in the old world.
Arts & Sciences Edit
Arts, pure sciences, and the humanities thrive on Anarres. Anarresi brought with them the technology, equipment, and advanced knowledge of Urras. They have preserved and renewed these resources but have not expanded them. In recent years Anarresian physicists have made important advances in the study of the nature of time and simultaneity. These have been eagerly received by and commented on by Urrasian physicists.
Military & Police Edit
Anarres has no military or police. What, then, holds it all together? No one threatens to invade Anarres, as there is nothing to gain and no one wants to live there. There is no property and so, there is no theft. While there are no direct punishments for anti-social behavior, there are plenty of indirect punishments and sanctions. A strong communal ethic and set of norms keeps everyone in line. Those who free-ride and “egoize” or who wish to own things are ostracized from the community.
Life on Anarres Edit
Life is hard, dirty, and frugal by Urras’s standards. But the Anarresi have one another and are connected by their common past and fate. In good years, there are plenty of festivities to enjoy the surplus (there is no accumulation for investment on Anarres). In bad years, when the droughts hit, rationing applies and people may be posted to jobs they hate. The Anarresi very seldom go hungry, but when they do, they go hungry all together.
Anarres is not an Eden. Everything is transparent on Anarres, and there is no hiding from the gaze of others. Anarres is not a place for the secluded, the lonely, or the individualistic. For those ostracized, Anarres is hell. And for those wishing to differ and push the frontiers of knowledge or of their individual creativity, Anarres can be stifling. In general, power is horizontalized on Anarres, but despite the best efforts of the founders of the community, some individuals do have privileged access to the core institutions of distribution. With every drought, bureaucracy expands and eats more and more of the scope for voluntary association. There is no police force or physical violence, but rather a brutal, invisible mental police, a common rationality, and a network of norms that makes everyone stick to their duty even when they think they are free. Recently however, collectives have begun to emerge that openly criticize centralization, the Central Committee, and the emerging elites. They seek to create their own alternative structures under the banner of their motto: "permanent revolution".