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A meeting at Benesuelo or the real

dictatorship of the proletariat

(A story of resource-based economy)
AttributionNonCommercial- ShareAlike 4.0
Date: 22-ago-2016 22.24 UTC
Code: 1608228991408

Author: Cesar Emilio Valdivieso Pars


If you feel you don't fit in this

world, it's because you were born to
help create a new one (anonymous)
I. This life I lead.
October 15, 2016

In a place where any resemblance to actual geographical

names, persons or present or future events is not purely
Santiago Garcia, English teacher at the Indio Yara High
School located in the Alba Rica village in the state from
which the educational institute took its name, did not have
his best day today. More was the time he spent driving
away from the windows of his classroom the members of
the gang of seven young men of unspeakable business who
enter every day jumping the outer walls, than the time he
could devote to work on what he is paid for. He knows why
they go there. To sell drugs to students, and to seduce girls.
He is tired of denouncing the situation before official bodies
and the press, but incredibly little has been done to remedy
the situation, except for a special operation worthy of an
action film made a week ago in which about 40 policemen,
some in plainclothes and others in uniform, surrounded the
educational institution and entered guns drawn, jumping
over the same walls violated by the transgressors,
arresting some of them and losing others who were alerted
by a girl, a student in suspicious attitude whose cell phone
was seized in the vicinity, wherein it could be read the
message: "cops are coming.
Today, all of them, the arrested ones and the escapees that
day, were walking again with impunity in the high school
areas. You know, they are under age...
The one hour and a half trip back to Magua, picturesque
town where he lives, was made in a five-seat taxi, which is a
bit more expensive but safer than buses, and there he only
heard stories about the last bus attacked by the pirates of
the road.
Upon reaching to his house, allocated by the government
12 years ago without property deed, his wife, curiously
named Mery Luna, also a teacher in the area of special
education in a school nearby, was waiting with dinner. They,

both already in their fifties, have been married for nine

years, and live with her mom, whom everyone
affectionately called "Doa Pepa". Santiago has a divorce in
his history and a son who is already a professional and who
emigrated abroad.
At night the news exceeded itself: terrorist attack in Erope
with balance of a dozen deaths, coinciding with a massive
wave of refugees from Aia; famine in Arica; increase in the
number of cases of alcoholism and suicide among young
people worldwide, and warnings from the global NGO Cub of
Gome which puts a deadline to the destruction of the planet
in a period not exceeding one hundred years, because of
the greenhouse effect, deforestation , pollution and
overpopulation, not to mention that such catastrophic event
could be brought forward due to a nuclear war.
Santiago has always been deeply affected by the ills of the
world, and has devoted over 30 years to research on
environmental and social issues. Before falling asleep, he
dedicated his last thoughts of the day to the complex
situation that along with him, live the other billions of
inhabitants of the sphere.

II. The encounter.

Santiago was standing on a service road next to a railway
located in the middle of nowhere. On one side and the other
from the rails he could only see trees.
It was a hot day but with a breeze that made bearable the
inclement sun.
Soon he saw a beautiful navy blue car approaching, lifting
some dust. It was totally silent except for the noise made by
the wheels on the clods and stones. When the car was in
front of him, he could see that it was small in size but with

capacity to accommodate 4 people comfortably. It had very

thin wheels. definitely an electric car , Santiago thought.
From the car got off a man, swarthy, tall, slender (as
himself), dressed casually in a beige fedora,
guayabera shirt , white pants and beige canvas shoes.
Hi! shouted the driver who approached him with an
outstretched hand and a smile from ear to ear. I'm
Santiago, pleased to meet you Our Santiago laughed as
he shook hands, and the newcomer looked surprised.
Santiago (the one from Magua), explained:
Blimey! what happens is that existing so many names in
the world, we had to be named with the same one. And do
not tell me you're also an English teacher! In reply, he just
received an enigmatic glance from the other Santiago
(whom we will surname X) who pointed to the car with his
left hand and placing the other hand affectionately on his
shoulder told him:
Well, Welcome! get in the car please. Upon reaching the
vehicle, and before boarding it, Santiago G slid his hand on
its roof, because its texture and color called his attention.
Nice, isn't it? Said Santiago X. It is made of anodized
aluminum. Aluminum is one of our favorite metals. Vehicles
bodywork, the cases of our electronic devices and
appliances, as well as some public buildings that we will see
later, are built with it.

III. The journey.

I know where you come from said Santiago X once he
began to drive.Feel completely free to ask and discuss
what you want.
Santiago G. answered: thanks, be sure that I'll do it. What
year are we in?

What do you know about the world of the XXI century?
It disappeared. Santiago G looked at him for a moment,
and returned to fixate his eyes on the road.
Can you give me details?
Of course. Let us place ourselves in the year 2072. By that
time, the predictions of environmentalists, previously
considered foolish by the world's most brilliant leaders of
politics and market economy had already fully complied:
600 million people living in cities near the sea had to
emigrate because the melting of the poles and the
consequent floods
were unstoppable. This caused
enormous expenses that the so-called
countries had to assume, not without great effort because
this forced migration originated in environmental facts
from the so-called developing nations was huge compared
to the migration that had taken place in the second decade
of the century caused by religious terrorism. The Arican
continent had been abandoned to its fate, and there,
famine, disease, and hostilities decimated the population.
Massive deforestation caused by mining and livestock had
given rise to severe droughts, and this led to several wars
between nations to obtain water. Pollution of the seas had
the fish production at its lowest level ever.
Santiago X, paused briefly, and continued:
The situation, as you can see, only tended to worsen, and
then came the turning point that precipitated the
catastrophe: in November of that year, 2072, the religious
fanatics who had infiltrated among refugees detonated
almost simultaneously several dirty nuclear devices in
different cities of the Western world, whose immediate
effects were mainly psychological because of the panic that
they caused, but they also provoked an immediate reaction
on a large scale in which western and eastern countries

engaged in an annihilating war in which conventional

weapons were used first but culminated with the use of
atomic bombs.
Santiago X made another brief pause. You could see his
breathing was agitated and his voice more hoarse due to
emotion. Then, continued:
Fortunately, if I may say so, the nuclear devices had a
relatively moderate power and only hit large cities of both
sides. The result, about 2000 million people dead, a global
cooling near to 10 degrees because of the clouds of ash and
smoke that blocked sunlight for nearly a year, the death of
much of the plant and animal life, first by the absence of
sunlight that killed plants and by domino effect herbivores
and carnivores and then, once dissipated the cloud, by the
ultraviolet rays that penetrated more intensely because of
the damage to the ozone layer. In addition, large areas of
the planet contaminated for the next 300,000 years.
That is the tragic part of the story, but surely you also want
to know how we got to this electric car and all that I will
show you when we arrive to Benesuelo, our destiny said
Santiago X more relaxed.
Before what I've told you took place, exactly in 2030, the
stubbornness of some crazy people that had been for
several decades talking about what they called the
environmental, social and economic aspects , finally paid
off. They proposed a radically different model of society
from the consumer society, according to which life would be
much more pleasant for people and sustainable over time
for all future generations. So much talking about the theme,
supported by theoretical and computerized models, films,
animated series, video games and theme parks, showing
the feasibility of the proposal, finally convinced a good

number of persons, enough to make pressure and make the

idea to be taken seriously, given the fact that it could no
longer be hidden the obvious environmental damage that
was causing the much-lauded economic growth nor the
dissatisfaction of the majorities who were used as mere
consumerist objects to make rich the members of a small
elite of owners of the means of production of goods and
services .
The point is that one day, Astralia, a nation that had large
uninhabited territories, pledged to donate 500 square
kilometers in a desert area, for the foundation of a new fully
independent nation, in which the fundamentals of a
resource-based economy would be implemented.
From that commitment of Astralia, began the recruitment
phase for the first citizens of the new nation. Most of them
professionals in various specialties, and others
labour, who once selected, received an intensive course,
including sporadic visits to the foundation site. The project
construction lasted 5 years and was financed with funds
from the contributions of millions of people around the
world, and also with the official contribution of some
progressive nations.
The new country, formally launched in January 2030, was
named RBE Nation because its operation was based on the
resource-based economy. Initially, and for many years,
material resources for its operation could be acquired in
other countries by promoting activities in its territory of
educational and tourist type.
After the great war of the year 2072, RBE Nation, which by
then had already 42 years in full operation complying fully
its role as an example for humanity, remained practically
intact. Its inhabitants understood that, although it
happened the hard way, and despite the enormous grief
that filled the environment, it had arrived the time to route

the surviving members of humanity on the path of a more

dignified and sustainable life, task that was not easy at all.
Once past the initial shock of the terrible conflagration,
whoever could do it, took the basic measures to guarantee
a minimum of food, water, sanitation and electricity. Many
more died of hunger, thirst and disease. The inhabitants of
the cities that had hitherto been governed by the market
system felt above them an overwhelming sense of failure,
which ironically favored the changes to come.
Now it could be seen more clearly than ever how wrong it
had been to close the eyes to the evidence that the world
was going a very bad way: an acclaimed sustained
economic growth and a weighted thesis that population
control was a sin, in a planet with inevitably limited
resources and spaces; full of garbage brains because of an
advertising blitz 24 hours a day that considered buying
things as the ultimate meaning of existence; minds twisted
by fantastic and irrational religious theories of which there
was little or no evidence, and the coaxing chatter of the
opportunist kings of politics and money.
Definitely, nobody would be able to convince the survivors
from such a horrific war provoked by these facts, that they
would rebuild the destroyed civilization on the same bases.
As worldwide communications were being restored, RBE
Nation began broadcasting messages of encouragement
and guidance. New leaders with very clear objectives
emerged from the ashes, and they were very blunt, direct
and effective persuading the crowds and neutralizing with
arguments those persons proposing to restore the old
Thus, gradually, a global inventory of natural resources and
technological knowledge available for equitable distribution
was made, and RBE Nation provided its expertise of four

decades in the development

sustainable societies.




In total, and surely the figures will seem incredible to you, in

ten years were founded worldwide 1,234,567 RBE cities.
The most of them constituted by modified preexisting cities,
and others entirely new as is the case of Benesuelo. The
term nation came into disuse, and RBE Nation
renamed then Little Astralia, becoming into one more city
among the others, being thus extinguished in this way the
notion of country and being accepted as the only universal
demonym the one citizen of the world.
To give you a general overview of the whole panorama, I tell
you that all the world's mines and timber forests have been
inventoried, and its resources are shared fairly among all
cities through a system of ships and railways of planetary
scale. Each city makes the best use of those resources,
recycling them and protecting them to the fullest. There are
ports, airports and train stations strategically distributed,
although the planes are mostly used to carry scientists and
skilled labor from one place to another, and for security
work, according to needs. There is only one international
space base located near Little Astralia. All these
transportation agencies have a centralized community
management whose offices are located on the outskirts of
that city, with sub-offices distributed throughout the globe.
Each city generates its own technology which in turn is used
to produce all the goods and services necessary for the
comfortable life of its inhabitants. It also produces most of
its food through the system of vertical farms. The remaining
available land consists of protected natural areas, as this
forest we have on either side of the road, and others are
open pit farms, whose fruits are shared equally among all
cities. Those farms are used for planting trees for wood,
resins and rubber; to produce some cereals and oilseeds;
for breeding, with humanitarian techniques, cows, goats,

sheep, pigs and poultry; to the construction of ponds for

fish farming, and for growing plants like bamboo which is
our main generator of fibers for the production of textiles,
like all the clothing I'm wearing. Santiago G could not help
to extend his left hand and pinch the sleeve of his
namesake, which made him smile.
Bamboo! He exclaimed.
That's right said Santiago X. Formerly, we used cotton a
lot, but it has now fallen into disuse because it is slower
growing, produces less fiber per hectare, consumes much
more water, and also requires the use of pesticides. Well,
finishing with the idea of the protected areas, let me tell
you that around the globe, apart from forests, there are lots
of jungles, savannas, steppes, meadows, taiga, tundra and
deserts, which along with the oceans and what remains of
the poles are preserved to ensure biodiversity. All these
spaces are of common use and according to the special
characteristics of each can become sanctuaries for
endangered species, or be used for obtaining food and for
recreation, with proper precautions.
All sources of energy and materials for the industry and the
functioning of cities are fully sustainable and the use of oil
and its derivatives, as well as atomic energy have been
definitively eradicated. Trash, as it was known before, no
longer exists, and waste from factories and cities is recycled
or reduced to a minimum.
The hardest part of the whole process had to do with the
educational model that would be taught worldwide to avoid
going to the extremes that had almost wiped humans on
the planet.
There was a huge debate about it, moderated by Little
Astralia, in which all possible topics were included: family,
religion, economy, technology, liberties, and many others,
and at the end, several very interesting conclusions were

reached which marked and still mark our behavior up to

these days. Among them are the following:
Number one: Humans are essentially free and imperfect
beings and will remain so forever. On this basis, and in spite
of some trends in puritan thought, it was finally accepted
that although a well-structured educational system is
indispensable and helps the formation of a vast majority of
good citizens, it will never produce perfect people.
In RBE cities it is willingly tolerated the consumption of
alcohol, tobacco, and other natural substances modifiers of
behavior. Most of the cities produce, although in small
quantities, because consumption is quite moderate, some
types of cigarettes and alcoholic beverages. The few people
used to these substances are free even to distill at home
their own alcohol and sow plants of their preference to
make their smokable cigarettes.
Among us, there are also sex workers, and non-automatic
firearms are manufactured for public use, but only to
practice sport target firing in shooting ranges and for sport
Each one expresses himself or herself according to his or
her own criteria, using the vocabulary of his or her choice,
and dresses, undresses or preens, and love, and, I apologize
for the vulgarity, but I want to give emphasis to the matter,
do the hell he or she wants. Regarding freedom of
expression, I tell you that in all the RBE cities deprives the
irreverence, and everyone is called by his first name. The
words Mr., Mrs. or Miss are a thing of the past, and do
not tell me about the words excellence, highness,
eminence and others that now cause laughter and are
used only on plays to ridicule them.
Every adult is completely free to decide whether he or she
conceives a child or suspends pregnancy, and even if he or
she lives or dies.

Of course, our educational system is very efficient, and in

the cities there are found veeery few cases of sexual
promiscuity, addictions, violence, abortions or suicides.
Another conclusion that was reached after the most intense
debates recorded among all that took place was that
scientifically provable, is a manifestation of cultural and
intellectual backwardness inherited from prehistoric times
when people didn't understand how the world works. Today
Esus, Uddha and Ohammed, for saying some examples, are
very important historical characters whose teachings are
taught worldwide in educational institutions, but stripped of
all divine inherence. Yes there are still those who practice
some form of religious worship, for which they are
completely free, but they are no longer the norm as was the
case formerly, but the exception. Here comes on stage
again our praised education system, which, by the way, is
compulsory until 16 years of age (the only mandatory thing
we have, worth to say), and it does its job very well forming
as rational citizens as possible.
It is not that we do not believe in anything. The need for a
spiritual north seems to come built into human nature. By
consensus, the RBE societies around the world have
adopted the welfarism as the doctrine that guides our
actions. We believe in good, in terms of carrying out actions
that result in the own physical and spiritual well-being and
of other people and other living beings too, to the extent
that is reasonable, considering we use many plants and
animals for our benefit; we also try to do things well, in the
sense that each of our actions at home, at school, at job,
and in the social and interpersonal environments in general,
seeks to obtain the most satisfactory results for everyone.
Notwithstanding our rationality here he made the quotes
gesture with both hands releasing the steering wheel for a
moment with a quizzical expression on his face, part of the

flavor of life is still found in the stories of gods, angels,

demons, zombies, vampires, ghosts, witches, goblins and
others that we know are fantastic, but really very
entertaining, and even in events not yet well explained by
science, as premonitions, some so-called miracles, and
sightings of alleged alien craft, on whose existence there
are still reasonable doubts and are interesting topics of
conversation. We even continue celebrating the holidays of
religious origin, as Ristmas combined with the New Year,
and we have a graveyard for those who wish to pay tribute
to their dead.
From the XXI century, we also learned an important lesson:
Everyone should have a lot of kindness, but not one bit of
cowardice. Our children today are educated in the highest
values to achieve a harmonious and peaceful coexistence
with their fellow men, but they are also taught to defend
themselves. Within human nature is the gene of domination
and in some cases it manifests much more strongly in
certain individuals seeking to establish themselves as
tyrants and submit by force their peers.
Our students are educated in order to assert their rights
facing their equals, their teachers, and even their parents.
For an eventual physical aggression, they are taught both,
individual self-defense and group reduction tactics against
ruffians who have great physical strength. Usually, the
strategy obtains good results and there are few cases of
In this same line of thought, it was taken by consensus the
decision, on a global level, to create an international armed
force, equipped with so-called conventional weaponry,
whose headquarters are strategically distributed in various
parts of the world. Its function is to intervene anywhere in
the world against the intention of individuals or groups
seeking to violate by force the individual and collective

This force is composed of a not very large number of troops,

compared to the past, obviously all volunteers. Although its
current role is eminently deterrent, they did see some
action between 2075 and 2085, especially curbing certain
armed religious zealots who pretended to continue
subjecting their fellow men with practices in sharp decline,
such as terrorizing people with alleged divine punishment;
forcing them to pay homage to certain priests; and
imposing them oppressive restrictions on their way of
dressing and acting in society; and discriminating them
because of their gender and sexual identity.
The aggressors of this type were, and currently are, taken
into custody in rehabilitation centers of which there is one
in each city, very different from the dehumanized prisons of
the XXI century. They are released insofar they demonstrate
to be sufficiently adapted to the new order.
Within cities, public order is maintained by an extensive
system of monitoring cameras, voluntary action of citizens
themselves, and the participation of a small force specially
trained for this purpose, which intervenes without lethal
weapons, when the situation warrants. You know, we never
run out of a drunkard causing trouble, or someone with a
pathological condition that makes him or her to be
aggressive with the others.
Look! He said suddenly pulling out his left hand out the
window and pointing towards a bright white object sticking
out just above the trees in the distance. We are
approaching; that is the central tower of our electricity
generator with mirrors. It looks deceptively close, but in
reality, we need still to travel 30 kilometers to reach
Benesuelo. By the way, when we get there maybe catches
your eye, among other things, not seeing ads anywhere,
but it cannot be otherwise in a system where there is no
competition among companies, simply because companies
belong to everybody and are managed by everybody.

Exactly at that moment a very long train with its

characteristic clanking passed roaring.
You could see
people through the windows of passenger coaches, and
stuck to them came roofless platforms on which cars
motorcycles and bicycles were perfectly accommodated.
The Electric railway is our system par excellence for land
cargo and communication between cities, unless you want
to move swallowing dust as we are doing right now, ha ha!
Laughed both of them I'm kidding. You can also move
through the earliest roads of asphalt and concrete to which
we give maintenance using sustainable materials, task that
is now easier because they are only used by light vehicles
like this and by public buses, so deteriorate little.
Let me ask you a few things about which I still have doubts
my dear namesake Santiago G said such as, what are
people's jobs? Do they earn a salary? How is the system of
property? Who governs the city?
Well answered Santiago X most of us citizens are
workers of the Community system: teachers, engineers,
technicians, laborers, doctors, administrators, clerks and all
professions and trades that normally are part of the
functions corresponding to a public administration. What
you will not find in our cities are salespeople or publicists, of
which we had many in the past, simply because they are
not needed. We all have a monthly allowance for the
purchase of goods and services, which merely is called
points. There is no a full-blown banking, in the sense that it
derives profits or handle complicated financial instruments
as it was in the last century. It is merely a system of points
management. Of course, the administration of points in
each RBE city works in conjunction with all the other
administrations in the world, which in turn are connected
with the headquarters located near Little Astralia, which
carries an inventory of all the planet's resources, and
proposes guidelines for equitable distribution of them. By

the way, during the stage of the initial discussions of which I

told you before, there was a tendency that advocated the
free availability of all goods and services, but finally it was
discarded because the majorities had already accepted our
condition of imperfect beings that will always need some
type of control to prevent abuses. These points of which I
speak are exclusively of electronic nature, and you can use
them anywhere on the planet with only placing one of your
fingerprints on the device which is incorporated in all
private or public computers, phones and tablets in the
world. Put any of your fingers on the screen he said to
Santiago G, handling his phone. He took it, and placing the
right thumb on the glass, immediately appeared a message
saying: Footprint unauthorized in this equipment.
All of us, system workers, receive exactly the same
allocation of points, and the encouragement to the efforts
done studying and working is given by the satisfaction of
doing what we like in optimal work environments and
special working schedules to say nothing of other
inducements according to our profession or trade, such as
assistance with all expenses paid at conferences,
workshops, and others. Nevertheless, the amount of points
we receive is calculated for each adult to meet his or her
needs and those of their minor children, including food,
clothing, house, vehicle, recreation, etc., and it is even
enough to save. When we acquire the most expensive
goods, such as a house or a car, the system automatically
deducts us a reasonable percentage of our allocation.
With the purpose that all of us citizens of the world have the
same opportunities to enjoy the resources at our disposal,
in the entire system of RBE cities there is an only important
limitation to private property. It consists in that the only real
estate that any adult can have or purchase in a personal
capacity, although he or she is authorized to do so
anywhere on the planet is a house and the land on which it
is built and nothing else. In the cities that have been built

from scratch it has been established as a rule that this

particular property can be a land with a maximum of 200
m2 and the home to be built on it, in addition to that, for
reasons of privacy among neighbors, and to avoid urban
disorder, such residence must be a one storey building.
In my case, to give you an example, I'm finishing paying the
house we live in here in Benesuelo, and my wife is doing
the same with a house in the city of Isla Larga Vista, where
we spend the holidays occasionally if we don't have the
whim to go to a hotel elsewhere.
In the preexisting cities, their inhabitants retained the right
of ownership over one primary residence, regardless of the
size of its building area, as long as it remains standing.
The rest of the lands and constructions, including all farms,
buildings and other formerly private estate, passed to
belong to the community of each city or the world
community, according to its location and usage. This step,
undoubtedly very radical but necessary as a matter of
elementary justice, provoked much resistance from the
owners at that time, but their descendants, happily adapted
to the new order, generally consider all of that as part of
the anecdotes of what should have never been.
It is worth saying that all movable property: car, clothes,
cell phone, etc. etc. are your exclusive property.
As I stated a moment ago, not all of us citizens work full
time for the Community system. Many people exercise on
their own, in their spare time or full time, any number of
professions and trades you can imagine: shoemakers,
hairdressers, masons, drivers, art o house painters, stage
performers, writers (paperless, by the way, because only
digital texts are produced), journalists, filmmakers (now
they do wonders with computer animation), therapists,
masseurs and even sex workers, as I mentioned before.
There are even those who get some extra points selling

products from their garden; with the result of their fishing

activity, or even commercializing their ideas, as in the case
of the inventors. Anything goes, including volunteer work
stoppage. Thus, if an adult decides on his or her own not
work on absolutely nothing, he or she gets a special pass to
the dining & shelter house that we have for such cases. This
special allocation also can be enjoyed by freelancers who
work outside the system, if they wish. By the way, these
workers also enjoy a kind of credit for the purchase of
expensive goods such as houses or cars, and they are
charged a fixed monthly fee, like the workers in the system,
until complete the payment .If one of them stops working
and still has outstanding debts, at no time will suffer any
action of eviction concerning his or her house but you can
imagine the condition of it if they have no points to pay
even its maintenance. Fortunately, there are few cases like
these around the world. As an anecdote, I comment you
that successful musicians and writers, who generally are
also totally independent workers regarding the system,
neither need to apply any credit, nor go to the dining &
shelter house because their incomes are usually exorbitant,
exactly as it was in the past He said with a wide smile.
It is worth to say that all citizens, regardless of our age and
employment status, enjoy health services, education and
justice totally free.
People at retirement age receive their full allocation, and
those who can no longer fend for themselves are treated in
special units.
Those of us who work for the system are subject to strict
monitoring of compliance with our obligations, as happened
in the last century, so absences and unjustified delays are
sanctioned with discounts on our allocation, and severe
irresponsibility can generate a layoff. The system is like us
humans: imperfect, but quite fair and satisfactory as far as

You also were asking me about our way of government, and

the answer is extremely simple: all of us rule here. Every
adult in our cities is an ex officio elector. Nevertheless we
appoint some representatives to exercise duties of
executive, legislative and judicial order, it is enough the
vote of half plus one of the voters of the city, which can be
electronically exercised at any time, to render ineffective,
and immediately, any step or policy implemented by one of
them, and even to dismiss them.
The same applies for managers and employees of our
companies, offices and institutions, whose decisions and
positions may be revoked by a majority vote of the citizens.
It is the true dictatorship of the proletariat, as we call our
form of democracy in which no political parties or anything
that resembles them exists.
At that moment after passing a curve, they saw a hundred
meters ahead, a cobblestone road, cream colored, rising
like a ramp and ending in a railway station with parking lot,
passengers platform, waiting area and discharge area. Once
there, Santiago X stopped the car and said:
In this place the freight train leaves the materials needed
in the city and the passenger train embarks and disembarks
travelers and their vehicles; as for this pavement on which
we will begin to circulate, it is built with brick pavers made
cold with a mixture of sand, calcium chloride, urea and
bacteria Sporosarcina pasteurii Santiago G looked at his
namesakes face like a little boy in front of a candy and
Let me touch it, please!
Sure! go ahead! said Santiago X while his partner opened
the door and satisfied his curiosity for a few seconds
without leaving the vehicle, and closed the door again.
This building technology Santiago X said saves us the
huge amount of energy that represents the production of

concrete or fired clay bricks, and I'm sure it's just one of the
things in our city that will surprise you. This material is used
to pave all new roads for motor vehicles, for residential and
public constructions and to make all the roof tiles for those
Good! Exclaimed Santiago G. Santiago X put the vehicle
in motion again, and slowly descended the ramp to the left.
After crossing a small stretch of a natural grove, it turned
into a forest of towering pines, whose shade and fluffy pine
needle mattress on the floor invited to walk and rest.
From here comes the timber for our needs continued
Santiago X Nice, isn't it? He said while Santiago G pulled
his head out the window inhaling the fresh air. This is part
of the open pit agricultural area I was talking about,
commonly used by all cities located nearby. A little later,
when entering a turn in the road, Santiago X said: When
leaving this curve, in the moment trees no longer obstruct
our vision, you will look straight ahead and give me your
impression of what you're going to see.
IV. Benesuelo.
As far as they were leaving the bend, it began to appear in
sight, about three hundred meters away, majestic over its
entire height, the solar tower. It was surrounded by a lot of
mirrors and they reflected sunlight toward the top, which
glittered so that dazzled, and whose rays of light, perfectly
visible due to water vapor and dust in the air, seemed to
emanate from it, and not vice versa as it really happened.
Santiago G did not take his eyes off it and seemed to have
been struck dumb because of the impression.
Well said Santiago X stopping the vehicle at the foot of
the installation while providing his passenger with safety
sunglasses. At this point, we have officially entered the
boundaries of Benesuelo and I want to introduce to you our
pampered, the main responsible for all the energy we

consume in the city. Santiago G, who had his mouth open,

literally, and was astonished, only could pronounce a long
Wooooooow! Finally, he recovered enough to speak:
Can you give some technical details, please?
Of course! Santiago X replied The concrete tower is 115
meters high and is illuminated by 624 mirrors 120 m2 each,
whose concentrated light at the top transforms water into
steam, which in turn drives the turbines that generate
power. Part of the collected heat is transferred to a tank
with molten salt, which stores it during the day and releases
it to produce electricity at night, when there is much less
demand as virtually all activity ceases in the city. The
facility, as a whole, occupies 60 hectares and provides
energy for our industrial complex, vertical farms, the center
of the city, and the 4,000 homes we have in Benesuelo.
Surely youve also noticed the four wind generators located
in the corners of the solar plant, which provide about the
same amount of energy that it does, and are used when
cloudy days go by and the stored heat is exhausted in the
container of molten salt. They are made of steel towers and
blades of solid wood with steel reinforcement, all finished
with liquid wood, which is a compound made from lignin
and bamboo fiber mixed with natural resins (hence its
wooden color) which proved to be an excellent substitute
for fiberglass which is hardened with toxic resins and even
for bioplastics, produced from starch from plants like corn
and sugar cane, which we prefer to use as food. These wind
turbines reach a height of 80 meters and each of their three
blades are 40 meters long.
Good, good! said Santiago G.
They started moving again and after riding for three
minutes throughout the solar installation, in the direction
from left to right, came to an area where could be seen , now
with the sunglasses removed, about thirty big sheds made
of galvanized steel with domed shape, which were located

on both sides of a large patio. In front of them, in parking

spaces covered with slices of smoked glass, were parked a
few vehicles, since it was a Saturday and therefore a free
day for most of workers, explained Santiago X.
Here are produced so as automated as possible to avoid
tedious and repetitive human labor, and during daytime
hours only, absolutely all goods that we use in the city. From
machinery for the factories themselves, to goods already
processed for consumption. Each
shed works with a
specific area: food, beverages, textiles,
machinery and equipment, wood, paper (which we use very
little as I told you before), chemical, foundry, metalworking,
electricity, building materials, recycling plant for industrial
and urban waste which also produces combustible gas and
fertilizer; and even a tobacco processor. The concept that
each country could be technologically self-sufficient, not to
mention every city, was totally unthinkable in the past
century when prevailed competitiveness and the profit
motive. In a cooperative world like ours, that's perfectly
possible. For this system to work efficiently, we prepare our
professionals the best that we can at the university or
universities that each city has, and there is also a
continuous exchange of experts who move worldwide to
places where they are needed. As I told you before, they are
the privileged ones who generally use air transport service
and go from one side to another of the world within hours.
We, the rest of mortals, travel on cruise ships, very
comfortable by the way, which have a variety of continental
and transatlantic routes. To go to Erope, for example, a trip I
have planned to do with my wife when we retire, we must
have in hand about 15 days just for the trip back and forth,
and maybe a week or another 15 days to stay.
After leaving the yard where the sheds were located, they
turned to the left, passed a forest of trees with multicolored
flowers and then, in front of them, emerged 6 square

buildings, placed in a row one next to each other, that

impressed by their size and appearance, whose most
striking feature was that between its frame beams, metal
apparently, highlighted the green that clearly had to belong
to different plants species. That is our vertical hydroponic
farm, from which we get most of the food we need said
Santiago X each building is constructed of steel and
aluminum, has a base of one hectare, which is 100 meters
per side, and ten floors or 30 meters high. Santiago G
watched silently as they approached the structures, and
while passing in front of them, circulating from right to left,
he didn't stop looking at them with great interest.
Occasionally, among the plants, the movement of one or
another person could be seen, toiling dressed in apron,
gloves and protective cap. There were also parking lots for
workers, almost empty.
Hydroponics continued Santiago X has proven to be a
nearly ideal form of agriculture, since it has a lot of
advantages over traditional farming: it does not depend on
the weather; produces crops out of season; produces more
in less space; saves up to 90% water; saves fertilizers and
pesticides; does not require agricultural machinery; is more
hygienic; produces more premature crops; enables almost
complete automation; prevents soil erosion; and accepts
the use of water with high salt content.
Very interesting replied his namesake.
Well my dear friend, since you have so much food before
your eyes, I suppose you are already very hungry said
Santiago X cheerfully.
I'll hold you to it his companion retorted in the same tone.
Today, you are invited to have lunch at my house.
Thanks pal, I feel honored.

After passing the last one of the buildings they turned to the
right, and entered into another wooded space, beyond
which they found themselves flanked on either side by a
narrow strip of well-maintained lawn; Then, they began
crossing a wooden bridge under which passed a course of
still and crystalline waters, on which they saw a couple of
boys in their kayaks engaged in a competition, encouraged
by a crowd of lads and girls on the shore where the bridge
ended. Right in the middle of it, the Santiagos stopped.
River or lake? Asked Santiago G.
What do you think it is? Santiago X replied as challenging
Well seemed to guess Santiago G if it is a river, it has
very calm waters. I dare to say it is a lake.
Exactly! Exclaimed Santiago X. This is our artificial lake,
which runs along the entire recreation area, and as you can
see, on its shores there are walkways for pedestrians and
cyclists as well as kiosks to sit to eat and share, a lot of
lawn, trees, shrubs and ornamental plants of various
species. Really, it is very nice to be here. Over there he
said, pointing to the right of the vehicle is the area of
sports courts, where our people practice football, baseball,
basketball, volleyball, tennis, athletics and shooting, among
others . If you look closely you will see that the walkways
have a somewhat rustic appearance and a very pleasant
ocher color. They are made of shell powder from the
Psyllium seed, cold-mixed with water, gravel aggregate,
sand and clay, which when dried makes a good surface to
walk or ride bicycles.
They got going again, crossed another area with trees, and
finally, before their eyes appeared the family houses in
front of which they began to pass. They were all on one
level and varied greatly in design and materials (Santiago X
was explaining, while Santiago G nodded and watched very

carefully one by one). They were made from straw bales

with clay finish; pinewood; bamboo; stone; cold blocks
made either from clay, sand and bacteria,or sand and
carbon dioxide, or mushrooms and straw; They had front
gardens with lawn, ornamental plants and trees and a
driveway for vehicles, some of which were parked outdoors,
while in other homes could be seen roofed garages, with or
without doors. The sidewalks and curbs had the same
cobbled appearance than the road with an outer fringe of
grass and shade trees.
Here we are! Said Santiago X after about five minutes,
while the vehicle climbed up a parking ramp. This beauty
is my house said with a gesture of pride sticking his arm
out the window and extending it towards the building while
turning to look at James G. The house had walls with an
ocher frieze, and was crowned at the top by a sloping
gabled roof. The porch, whose roof was supported by two
wooden round pillars, was adorned with beautiful wicker
furniture placed on a shiny wooden floor. A large window of
smoked glass with wooden frame and a door of the same
material faced the porch.
At the time the two Santiagos were removing their seat
belts and about to exit the vehicle, the front door opened
and a slender brunette woman in her fifties wearing an
apron and a pleasant smile stepped out
and waited for
them with her arms akimbo. Santiago X came forward and
gave her a big hug and a kiss. Approaching Santiago G, his
namesake introduced her:
She's my wife, Elena.
Pleased to meet you, Santiago replied the guest. She
laughed while shaking his hand and said:
Well, finally we will have two Santiagos under this roof. It
happens that we found tangling to give our names to the
kids so we solved the matter by naming the boy Jose and

the girl Mara. They are right now at the university, and
unfortunately will not be able join us for lunch. Come into
the house then, and welcome, Santiago.
Thank you, thank you replied the alluded.
While Elena was giving the finishing touches to the meal
and serving the table, the Santiagos sat in a cozy living
room with walls decorated in stone, fluffy cream color
furnishings and, in the middle, a small wooden table with
glass surface on a floor also made of wood. There, while
waiting, Santiago X satisfied the curiosity of his namesake
with a short story about the techniques and materials used
generally in the construction of housing, and in more detail
about those used in his own house. Santiago Xs house was
made with the Greb technique which consisted in the use of
wooden frames stuffed with straw bales, friezed with clay
,sand,and straw, and covered with a painting also made of
clay mixed with water, salt and alum. The ceiling was
tongue and groove, stained with vinegar and iron oxide,
finished with linseed oil, with an outer protective mantle of
linoleum and tile roof. Utensils and housing facilities did not
differ much from those that Santiago G was acquainted
with, except that there were no plastic items, which had
been replaced by metal, glass, ceramics, cloth, and liquid
wood. There were also no disposable items, to the point
that the bags for purchases were made of cloth, and the
containers for the different products were all returnable.
Once the delicious and pleasant lunch concluded, Santiago
G was invited to relax in a hammock located in the corridor
leading to the back garden of the house. It was a very
lovely space enclosed by a
nicely trimmed Swinglea
Glutinosa (tabog) hedgerow, in which could be seen a small
self-cleaning swimming pond bordered with a flagstone
path, a couple of fruit trees on a low lawn and a kind of
miniature scale multi-level hydroponics installation, similar

to the vertical farms they had visited. The spouses left to

rest in their room.
An hour later, after the corresponding goodbyes, the two
Santiagos continued their Benesuelo tour, and this time
headed for the city center. To get there, they transited
several blocks of houses. Santiago X explained that the city,
including the areas they had visited, had a linear form,
foreseeing future expansions. It had 5 well-defined sectors,
separated by green spaces, 4 of which they had already
seen: energy and industry; vertical farms; recreation, and
residential. It was only left the center sector.
Passing the last block of houses, they came out in what
looked like one end of the city and were met with an
apparently endless strip of park that was lost sight of to
their left, with ornamental plants, benches, fountains, and
walkways of psyllium, parallel to which ran a broad two
ways avenue, with moderate vehicular traffic, without
dividing island or semaphores, and with a row of buildings
in the opposite sidewalk in different shapes and sizes
apparently built with the same materials as the houses. The
avenue was limited, on the side of the park, by a lane for
parking, a strip of lawn and shade trees, a wide two-way
bicycle lane, made, explained Santiago X, with pine resin
and fine aggregate, on which could be seen circulating
bicycles, skateboards, roller blades, and scooters, either
mechanical, electrical or gyroscopic, and a narrow sidewalk
bordering the park itself. Crosswalks on the avenue were
demarcated with cobblestones clearer in color than the
pavement. By the side of the buildings, there was also a
parking lane, and a wide sidewalk divided in an outdoor
area with shade trees, and an inner area fully roofed with
sheets of smoked glass beside the constructions. They
drove around the roundabout that marked the end of the
Avenue at that point, and began their tour by this unique
driveway, during which they could observe the various
facilities, each of them separated from its neighbor by a

street leading to a roofed rear parking, whose size

depended on the number of users visiting each building, as
Santiago X explained. Thus, they passed the university, high
school, elementary school, museum, theater, hotel,
shopping center with its many shops to obtain goods and
services along with restaurants, movie theater, bowling,
skating rink and disco; the convention center and
multipurpose rooms; workshops for the repair of vehicles,
electrical appliances and mechanical and electronic
devices; the administrative building with its offices for
external agriculture, raw material supply and industry,
energy, vertical farms, recreation and green areas,
residential zone, center, management of points, and
external relations; the governor's office, the legislature, the
courts, the re-education and public order center , hospital,
nursing home, home for special care, dining-shelter house,
the funeral home with his crematorium and cemetery, and
the bus station (domestic and foreign routes, and sale of
tickets for the train). At this point was the other end of the
avenue, with its corresponding roundabout.
Well my dear friend, what do you think about everything
you've seen so far? Asked Santiago X stopping the car.
Well namesake, the truth is that what you've shown me
seems contradictorily interesting, and I'll explain you why:
on one hand, it gives the impression that we are in a
science fiction movie because I do not know in my world
characteristics of Benesuelo; but on the other hand,
everything seems so possible and so feasible that can no
longer be considered science fiction, am I making myself
Perfectly, my dear friend. And we have not yet completed
the tour. I have a little one more surprise for you said
getting the vehicle moving again. Driving around this
second roundabout they entered back in the residential

area and crossed it completely up to the recreational area

where they took to the right a secondary pine resin road
that ran among the trees, parallel to the park and the
lagoon. After about five minutes, they reached a lawned
open area, and the first thing they saw was a huge
multicolored hot air balloon floating above the ground, tied
with four strings. Three men and a woman were waiting
there, facing the oncoming vehicle. The newcomers parked
the car, got out quietly and Santiago X gestured his
passenger to follow him towards the aircraft. When they got
there, one of the men stepped forward and shook hands
very warmly with Santiago X.
Santiago my friend! How are you?
Very well Juan, is everything ready?
Just right!
Santiago X turned to introduce his guest:
This is my namesake Santiago.
The aforementioned came over and shook hands with all of
them with a nice to meet you.
Ready to fly? Asked Santiago X to Santiago G.
Whos scared He answered blushing with emotion and
causing the laughter from the others.
Thus, the two Santiagos boarded the balloon that was going
to be driven by the host and it started to rise slowly. There
was a very little breeze, so the lateral movement was very
slight and allowed to observe everything calmly. As they
rose, the city in its entirety was appearing before their eyes,
with its different sectors. There was a very exciting moment
that took place when they were at the height of the top of
the solar tower, which looked very close, but little by little
began to be below them. From the heights, besides the
complete picture of Benesuelo, now do were visible natural

and farming forests, grasslands with their livestock, and

various agricultural facilities, including paddocks for cattle
and cages for breeding birds roofed with solar panels, and
fish farms with ponds, and astralian tanks, all of them
equipped with small-scale wind generators and windmills to
extract water. Suddenly, they entered a cloud that hid
them everything.
Santiago Garcia shook his head and sat on the bed with a
start leaning both hands on the mattress. His wife mumbled
something unintelligible, and he stroked her back to make
her go back to sleep. It was early yet. He still had some
time to think before getting up to go to work.
Benesuelo had been a dream. Apart from all the nice things
that had been present there ,Santiago was concerned about
the circumstances that led to the establishment of the city,
because they seemed to be entirely reasonable, given the
indifference that most people show towards issues as
consumerism that turns young and adult people into mere
knuckleheads buyers of objects, many of them completely
unnecessary; and religious fanaticism that in the name of
love causes more deaths than diseases themselves in some
Those were subjects that gave much to think about, but
they would remain pending to wrap his head around them
in the available spaces of time. Now, he had to leave to face
his students and their friends, the window-peerers.