The inhabitants of Chojecki subscribe to the philosophy of Individual Mutualism, a philosophy given to them by a robot named Mark Forer. The moment of this discovery is described in their book:
"A lifetime of research, generations of labor, had reached a final and dramatic culmination. The last circuit board was slipped into its slot and I threw the switch. What a prosaic thing to say about what was perhaps the most important moment in the entire history of mankind. I threw the switch, the operation light came on. We no longer were alone. There was another intelligence in the universe to stand beside that of ours.
‘We waited as the operating system carried out all of its checks. Then the screen lit up and we read these historical words: 'I AM, THEREFORE I THINK.’ ”
Jim asks an obvious question:
“You have no military—and no police. That sounds like a good idea to me, since I have had more than a little trouble with both. But what do you do then with law-breakers?"
“We have no laws to break,” Stimer said, and there was a brisk round of head-nodding at this. “I am sure that you will have been taught that laws are the product of the wisdom of your ancestors. We believe differently. Laws are not a product of their wisdom but are the product of their passions, their timidity, their jealousies and their ambition. It is all recorded here in a volume that you must read, the history of an idea."
He pointed to another book that was instantly plucked from the shelf by our host, who pressed it upon us. “Take my copy, please, a great pleasure.”
“Thank you, thank you,” I said with what I hoped was sincerity as I hefted its weight. I peeked at a page and tried to keep the smile on my face. As I had feared, it was set in very small type.
“You will read for yourself,” Stimer said, “but our history can be summed up simply. Mark Forer was questioned on many subjects and its vast and different intelligence was utilized in many commercial and scientific ways. It was not until if was queried about political systems that its advice was doubted. Before it could comment it absorbed all of the political writings of the centuries, and the histories, and the commentaries on this material. This took months, years they say. After that Mark Forer weighed and considered the material for an even longer period. During this period it composed the book that you see there and loaded it into RAM. By this time Mark Forer had learned a good deal about the human race through their politics, so therefore took a wise precaution. It accessed all of the data banks and downloaded this book from memory into each of them, and into every electronic mail service as well. Mark Forer later apologized to all of the recipients of this rather thick volume and offered to pay printing costs.
“But he had been correct in his fears. Not one politician in any country, on any planet, agreed with his theories. In fact efforts were made to denounce Individual Mutualism and all who believed in it—as many did. Because, in his wisdom, Mark Forer knew that while established governments would reject his philosophy, intelligent individuals would read and understand and believe. How wise this wise machine was! Those individuals who were intelligent enough to understand the philosophy were also intelligent enough to see its inherent truth. They also understood that they would have to find a place of their own to practice what they now believed in. Mark Forer wrote that the wise do not give up their liberty to the state. The converse is also true; the state does not voluntarily relinquish its hold on its citizens.
“There were years of struggle and flight, persecution and betrayal. Much of the record was destroyed by those who were jealous of our freedoms. In the end those who believed came here, beyond the contact of other worlds, to build a society where Individual Mutualism, IM, was the norm, where peace and happiness could prevail forever.”
As explained to Jim by Stirner, the basic tenet of IM is "Every individual is a separate and discrete entity, responsible for his or her own existence." When threatened with the violence of the occupation and subjuctation of their planet, followed a non-violent approach derived from theis quote from their book - "‘at all times passive resistance will be your only weapon, never violence. But until the perfect stateless state is established there will be those of violence who will force their violence upon you. Individual Mutualism cannot be established by the dead. Until the day of true liberation comes you will have to coexist with others. You may leave their presence but they may follow and force themselves upon you. In which case you and all of the others must look upon those of violence as they might look upon any natural catastrophe such as a volcano or a hurricane. The intelligent person does not discuss ethics with hot lava but instead flees its presence, does not preach morals to the wind but seeks shelter from it.’
The currency of Chojecki is the wirr, a "work unit" earned through labor. These wirrs are exchanged with others for goods and services. As Chojeckian Dr. Lum explains:
“...Individual Mutualism is neither capitalism, communism, socialism, vegetarianism, or even the dreaded monetarism that destroyed many a technological society. I am familiar with these terms from Mark Forer’s writings. A wirr has no physical existence, such as a rare metal or a seashell. Nor can it be invested and gain interest. That is fundamental and differentiates the wirr from currency. Banks cannot exist because there can be no interest on deposits or loans.”
Instead of being clarified I found my head wirring in confusion from the wirrs. “Wait, please, explanation. I have seen people driving groundcars. How can they save money enough to buy one? Who will loan them the money without interest?”
“No money,” he said firmly. “If you wish a groundcar you go to the groundcar group and drive one away. You will pay when you use it, stop paying when you return it. A basic tenet of IM is from each according to his needs, to each according to the wealth of society.”
“You wouldn’t like to clarify that?” I poured myself a glass of wine and gulped it down hoping the alcohol would clean out my synapses.
“Of course. I have read, and trembled with disgust, of a philosophy called the work ethic. This states that an individual must work hard for the basics of life. When technological society mechanizes and replaces workers with machines, the work ethic states that the displaced workers must be looked on with contempt, allowed to starve, be treated like outcasts. And the hypocrisy of the work ethic system ‘is that those with capital do not work—yet still increase their capital without working by the use of interest on their money—and look down upon those who have been cast out of work! Tragic. But not here. As more is produced the aggregate wealth gets larger. When this happens the amount that the wirr can be exchanged for also gets larger.” Some of it was getting through—but needed elucidation.
“Another question. If the wirr is worth more—that must mean that an individual can work less for the same return."
“Then there is no forty-hour week or such. How many hours would an individual have to work a week to keep alive?" “For simply shelter, food, clothes—1 would say about two hours of work every seven days."
More on Mutualism can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutualism_(economic_theory)