Planet Iarga

After the Iargans had explained their concept of efficiency, they turned without pause to their ideas of justice. In the same relentless and efficient manner, I was pumped full of the laws upon which they based their social and economic system in a very short time.


The main theme was the same: the efficiency of the justice. It's interesting to fully understand what a cosmic universal economic system is. They explain it as follows: an economic plan, aimed at efficiently satisfying man's needs so that he is released from the tyranny of material things over his daily life. In other words, if everyone has everything at his disposal, then the acquisition of material goods is no longer of paramount importance.


This can only be achieved by providing "equal shares for everyone"; otherwise envy will always exist. The culture then becomes more or less stable. I nodded in agreement; mankind released from material problems, no envy or greed, that was an answer.

Only one small problem: how is it done? A little magic perhaps?


There are only two solutions: everyone must own the same; or no one must own anything. The last is the most efficient. I sat bolt upright in my chair. Were they telling me, a well-to-do company director, that I must dispense with personal property?


These beings were pure communists! It was useless to carry on this conversation; it was getting me nowhere. I sat wondering if I should voice my displeasure, but the explanation continued with the following hypothesis: consequently, because money is an unmistakable form of property, it should be abolished. They went even further.


Personal property is an indication of a very primitive level of culture. We had enough intelligence to build rockets, but not enough to see that the laws of the survival of the fittest and might is right must be abolished. Perhaps I could explain to them how I thought we could survive with such a system. Because though ours was a highly interesting system, what they had found here in discrimination beat anything that they had ever encountered before.

Earth people seem to be continually occupied with thinking of new discriminations, and using them as solutions to the ones that already exist. Someone could not formulate any social or political plan without someone else immediately attacking it. I really must not blame the spacemen when they said that all this useless talking, the continual working against one another, made them laugh.


On the other hand, it was more terrifying than amusing that power had now been added to this difference in insight in the form of an atomic-weapon arsenal which had an unimaginable destructive and poisonous effect. And all this under the control of a few buttons! How was it possible that we could still sleep peacefully? One learns to live with things that are impossible to change. What a foolish idea; of course it was possible to change things. All we had to do was to stop discriminating, simply change our laws.


The concept of private property, of course, stood in our way. But surely we could sort that out...  I didn't think so. Abolish personal possessions? Never would that work. While we are all quite willing to improve the world, it had to begin with our neighbor.

Surely even a selfish man can understand that a world without discrimination would be a better place in which to live. Perhaps we could even create a prosperity that, universally speaking, could be ten times better than that of the present? That they could understand.


It was a pity that the communistic ideals were lost in inefficiency, otherwise they could have done a lot of good. It was a case of state-controlled economic leaders making the decisions. My humor improved considerably; they were not communists after all. But what were they, then? I will try, briefly, to explain their system, as far as I was able to understand it.

The total production of goods and services is, on Iarga, in the hands of a very small number of huge companies, the "trusts." These are huge organizations with millions of employees, active over their whole planet. There are primary trusts, which distribute directly to the consumer, and secondary trusts, which supply the primary.


Nothing is paid for on Iarga, only registered.


What a consumer uses is registered in the computer center in each of the house cylinders, and this may not exceed that to which he has a right. These computers are coupled to the huge shopping centers in each of the cylinders. You cannot buy anything. Large and expensive things, such as houses, cars, boats, valuable artifacts, and so on, can only be hired. They call this the right of acquisition. Less expensive things are not hired because that is not efficient. They are registered for their total value and the right of use remains for life.


This is almost the same as personal ownership, except that in the event of death, the goods are returned to the trusts. The last category is articles for consumption and public services. Their total value is registered, at which point right of usage becomes yours.

As far as goods are concerned, you may not have more "in stock" than is reasonable for your own use, otherwise the surplus can be confiscated. It is practically the same sort of thing as a bank account, except that they place the control on the expenditure, whereas we place it on the income. This difference is worth a lot of thought.


Legally, all the goods remain the property of the trusts that supplied them. This means not only that the trust is responsible for the upkeep, repair and the guarantee of a certain minimum life, but they also take the total risk of loss or destruction. Thus, all the articles are made to such a high standard that repair is never necessary; repairs are not only expensive but terribly inefficient. Insurance companies and repair firms would make a poor living on Iarga!


The trusts work on a cost-price basis whereby our term "profit" is replaced by "the cost of continuation."


Each trust was constantly occupied with improving and expanding its production. Their economy was as stable as a rock. They showed me two of their fully automatic factory complexes, one that produced cars and another that produced the trans-oceanic rail bridges.

The star-shaped building had a diameter of about one kilometer and the area around the factory was a maze of rails supporting hundreds of their freight-torpedoes which entered the building at the points of the star.


The film then moved to the factory's interior. The points of the star contained the automatic unbading system that emptied the trains of their raw materials, and this was the first time that I was able to hear original sounds.


Strange hollow knocking, interposed with screeches and clicks, it was an inferno of noise that echoed strangely in the small metal chamber in which I was sitting. The same realistic effect as the film itself; left, right, above, below; I heard the sounds exactly as if I had been present when they were made, and I began to hear exactly which machine was making a particular noise.


The size of the machine park was indescribable. Boilers, collectors, hinging lids, ovens with white-hot metal, presses that belched steam each time they opened; huge horseshoe shaped sections with high-voltage insulators and spark-spitting machines. Small, delicate machines turned, twisted or juggled with their products.

I saw a few Iargans at work, dressed in orange colored overalls with space-suit like helmets on their is which left only the mouth and nose uncovered; there were never more than about 40 workers outside the control room. The production lines converged towards the middle of the factory and it became dear that this factory produced automobiles.


The most sinister, I found, were the metal claws that functioned exactly the same way as a human hand and arm. They were mounted on a system of arms and made movements exactly as a living being would; large ones moved slowly, and small ones moved at lightening speed, exactly synchronized with the placing of a part.


The machine completed its task piece for piece until a complete product emerged at the end of the line, faultless, fast, and untouched by "human" hand. It was mostly the claws that gave the impression that this monster with all its noise, had an intellect of its own. The two production lines joined exactly in the middle of the star, the complete under section of the car, complete with wheels, seats, steering and controls was joined in one operation to the upper section with glass, doors and the rail skis.


Here I saw the most impressive battery of arms and claws, the finished automobiles were picked up by the skis, swung round, and placed onto the rail system exactly next to the previous one, with only a few millimeters between them.

The camera rested for a while on this end phase, and it began to dawn on me just exactly what this machine was capable of doing. This kilometer long monster that knew no failure, turned raw material into a finished automobile at the rate of one every twenty seconds! or four thousand five hundred per day. When my noise-numbed brain registered this, I got a rather strange feeling in my stomach; this was inhuman!


They were also "kind" enough to show me another factory that produced the trans-oceanic rail bridges, but I will spare you the details. The need to continually write in superlatives tends to bring aversion, my comments can be condensed into one word, terrible! How the Iargans can develop and build such mechanical monsters is a mystery to me.


They also thought it desirable to show me the robot production of the houses; even a non-efficient Earth man could surely under-stand something of the advantages of standardization. I thanked them kindly for the offer, but I had seen enough of all that automation, where Iargans only checked to see that everything was working properly. I was quite prepared to accept the fact that they could build houses fully automatically.


They were disappointed, but perhaps I would like to see how they assembled the units into the huge cylinders?


Okay, the, just to please them.

How do Iargans build their houses?


This efficiency began to tickle my sense of humor. They began by building a factory, on site, and placed in it one of the mechanical monsters that produced the complete, ready-for-use, plastic housing units. Each unit was roughly sixty by sixty feet and eighteen feet high, completely finished with glass, furniture, household machines, communication system, and so on, divided into two layers or floors.


On the site itself lay, in the ground, a huge, star-shaped rib construction with a diameter of more than nine hundred feet. Just as the roofs of the cylinders were domed, so was the foundation, but with the convex side under, like a half discus. The ribs were joined in the middle to a huge ring, the depth of the ribs at this point being approximately sixty feet.


The plating on the under-side of the ribs was dark grey and looked rather like the skin of their spaceships.


On this "saucer" foundation a massive cylinder with a steel frame was built, filled in with something that looked like black concrete, the whole construction having a diameter of approximately eight hundred feet and a wall thickness of approximately nine feet. The whole construction was covered by the domed roof which seemed to be almost as strong as the foundations, only this roof was covered by glass.

On the out side of this cylindrical wall were rows of heavy support beams, onto which the house units were placed, each unit fitting perfectly against the insulated surfaces of its neighbor. If one of the units should be damaged at any time, for example by fire, then it was simply removed and a new one put in its place. A wonderful piece of engineering.


The "working life" of these constructions was calculated to be at least one thousand years.

"When I hear you continually talking about quality and a useful life of thousands of years, and a rail system that can stand for hundreds of years, I get the feeling that your plans for the future make ours, which only take into account the next twenty or thirty years, look like child's play," I told them during a break in the film.

"The explanation is not difficult," a spokesman answered calmly. "A race that lives under the constant threat of war and destruction does not logically make any plans for the distant future. For an absolute race, that is different. The continual improvement of our mental capacity directs our thoughts more and more into the future.


We have created a planet on which our race can survive for an eternity. We live in a stable world on a clean planet, where the balance of nature can be maintained for unlimited time. We live for the future, because we expect great things from it. We are constantly occupied with making our world a better place to live in. The Earth, on the other hand, lives for the present and the past, and does not worry about the future generations."

"Remarkable, this farsighted concern for future generations."

"When you understand what a super culture represents, you will share our concern."

I was delighted when they agreed to my request to see one of their flying saucers.


I cherished the hope that we might also become capable of constructing such a machine, but, alas, the technique was so advanced that I was unable to understand the first thing about it. It was a beautiful, polished, silver, streamlined discus, about ninety feet in diameter, with a domed glass pane) above the below in the middle.


There were slots around the rim on the underside, and when the machine flew low over the ground, I could see dust being blown up. I thought at first that this was caused by air pressure, but they explained that it was due to the "ground echo" from the antigravity machine. It was astounding to see just what these machines could do. They showed me the transportation of a rail section to an inaccessible mountain area.


The saucer lifted the heavy section on two steel cables and transported it effortlessly over the mountains. It was maneuverable in all directions, and could, even in a storm, hover motionlessly in the air. It was equally capable of operating either in the atmosphere or outside it. In answer to my remark that it was surely, then, a spaceship, I was told that they were confined to the gravitational field of the planet.

Gravity was their only means of returning to the surface. One therefore had to be careful not to fly fast enough to exceed the escape velocity, which would then necessitate rescue by a real spaceship. My request to be allowed to see one of their spaceships was politely refused; perhaps at the end of our conversation.


They felt that we had much more important things to discuss than technique. They thought that they had sufficiently described the production facilities and the investment capacity of their trusts, and that I would now be interested in their structure. To be quite honest, I had at the moment very little interest in structures.


A society without personal ownership was all very well and good as a curiosity, but I did not see any practical use for it.

I was later to regret my attitude, for the efficiency of radiation information is dependent on the interest of the "student," and because of my lack of interest, I missed an important part of the organizational structure. I remember only a small part of it.


The system worked with divisions and branches that were as far removed from one another, geographically, as possible, and allowed for automatic production. At the head of each trust was a president who was a member of the production group of the world government. The trusts competed with each other, and the prices were determined by the law of supply and demand, the principle of the free market.


Their cost price was computed on the standard work hour, the ura.

Text for UFO-drawing

Small disc-shaped anti-gravity air vehicles observed were not capable of flight outside of a gravity field. They were a beautifully polished silver in color, were highly streamlined, and were about 90 feet in diameter with a transparent dome above and below in the center. There were slots around the rim on the under side. The performance of these vehicles was astounding. They were observed 'lifting whole sections of the rail system structure into place in mountainous areas with ease. Their operation is confined to the gravitational field of a planet.


My question as to how they calculated the cost of natural resources was answered by saying that in a society where personal ownership did not exist, natural resources were, in principle, free.


This meant that the price was calculated from the cost of winning, processing and distribution.

"How can a trust that works on a cost-price basis sell gold, for example, which, due to the law of supply and demand, represents a much higher income than its cost price?" I asked.

"You use gold as an example, but there are many scarce articles that represent a profit far above the cost price. This is not a problem. The trusts simply absorb this extra profit and use it to subsidize other articles in the production scheme. Careful central planning can also influence the law of supply and demand."

"Surely that can be done by advertising?"

Then they really went to town!


What we did under the guise of "advertising" and "public relations" was something that bordered on indecency.


The money and manpower-in other words, potential prosperity-that we limit for a non-efficient brain. Can you imagine what these Earth people thought of now? Artificial aging! A continual stream of seemingly new models compelled our status-symbol oriented society to discard things before they had reached the end of their useful life.


A terrible waste of raw material and production capacity, and, even worse, it was a stimulant for jealousy and greed, and this was criminal. This promotion of materialism, a deadly danger for an intelligent race, was directly opposed to any idea of justice. I thought they were finished, but their most remarkable argument was yet to come. Our advertising was a despicable form of propaganda which was ethically unacceptable. In a socially stable society, you had not only freedom of speech, but, even more important, freedom of thought.


Propaganda, repeated one-sided information, damaged the freedom of thought, and that was unacceptable discrimination. My tentative question as to how they could practice competition without advertising initiated another detailed explanation. Competition exists only through the free choice of the consumers, and has nothing to do with trying to influence that choice, as we try to do with advertising.


They influenced this choice (naturally!) much more efficiently.

On Iarga, there are two worldwide consumer organizations, which are responsible for all market research. They examine the usage value of all the goods and services and inform the public in the most objective manner about the available assortment. They stimulate the trusts to produce the goods that are needed. The trusts are not permitted to advertise or exert any influence on the consumer, as this could never be objective.


Thus the choice is not made by inexpert or unprice-conscious persons but by experts with test facilities at their disposal. When, for example, they see that it is necessary that the public have a choice of five different types of television sets, then they insure that these are produced.

I didn't believe a word of it! From what I had seen on Iarga, there was no choice at all. Everything seemed the same, cars, houses, trains, and so on.


They were afraid that I had failed to understand anything of what they had told me.

"The presidents of the two trusts are a part of the central planning group of the world government. This group attempts to lead the race to the goal of a culture. To begin with, they must, by means of production adjustment, dispense with the law of supply and demand, and thereafter create a situation of unbridled prosperity, so that no one is troubled any more by material things.


As a result this group also stimulates the mental development of the race. Take, for example, the cars and houses. There comes a time when the cultural level has reached a point where these no longer function as status symbols. What then influences the choice of the public? Two things, mainly: comfort and price. Maximum comfort and low production cost can only be achieved with robot automation. And what happens then? Everyone chooses the most efficient car and the most efficient house and so the development proceeds.


"Another thing that has a great influence on consumption is the general interest in the conservation of natural resources. A race that lives for the future is concerned with the utmost efficient use of natural resources, because the longer the planet is inhabited, the scarcer these become. The presidents of the consumer trusts have a great influence in these things, because they have public opinion behind them."

"All right, I understand the relationship between the trusts and the public, but, now, how much does such a president earn as compared to the lowest paid worker?"

"The question is not easily answered. The goal of the universal economic system is naturally the leveling of income, but that is not possible in the early stages of social stability. A material reward must be offered to stimulate a greater personal effort. A similar reward must also be offered to stimulate young people to complete the long studies necessary to reach high technological development, or to induce people to work harder or to accept more responsibility.


"You must begin by determining a social minimum that everyone always receives and you must attempt to establish security for everyone, young and old. Women also have a right to their own income; the social minimum must be free of any discrimination. You must also determine that the maximum and the combined income for a man and wife can never exceed four times the determined minimum."

"Do you think that you could find presidents here who would be willing to accept such a modest income?"

"Of course, as long as the minimum is high enough. A president and wife earn, for example, eight uras and the minimum is then two uras."

"How do you cope with general costs, the kind that we pay for with taxes?"

"They are calculated in the price of consumer goods and services."

"Doesn't this make the price rather high?"

"Now you are thinking in terms of money and payment, while on Iarga, money does not exist and nothing is paid for. What we conveniently call 'price' is in fact purely a method of expressing the production time demanded by a certain article, and is only used to determine the distribution of prosperity. When you ask if the prices are high, you really mean to ask if there is a lot available to us, if we are rich or poor. In fact you are asking about the production level per head of the population, and compared to Earth's standards, this is very high.


The answer is, we are all rich. The universal economic system that exists by a great many intelligent races, does not concern itself with money, possession, or payment. The aim of this system is to free the people from material influences and motivation; and in contrast to the Earth's economy, this system is very simple, it can be explained in a couple of minutes.


"The explanation is indeed simple, but it must be accompanied by one or two marginal notes. It appears to be a socialist heaven, and as such is rather misleading. Earthly Marxism makes the fault of thinking that all people are good, and that only their social and economic situation makes them 'bad'; change their situation and the problem is solved. If only this were true. Every intelligent race is dualistic, and as absolute necessity, contains an extremely evil consciousness component that now and again comes to the surface in the form of lies, deceit, sadism, homicide, etc. etc. One of the reasons for the terrible murder of millions of women and children in gas chambers.

"A detailed explanation will come later, so let it suffice here to say that beings on Iarga that possess this mentality are denied reincarnation. This selection is the cause of the continuing improvement in mentality, generation after generation, which enables a race to become unselfish.


"On Earth, this selection was blocked some twenty centuries ago by extraterrestrial intervention whereby we cannot improve our average mentality. This system is therefore unsuitable and undesirable for us because it would stimulate the egoism. The lazy and the profiteers would disrupt the system. The universal economic system is just an utopian dream for us.


"The beginning of this system is their world-order. The unity of such a race comes from the fact that they obey a set of Godly laws and therefore have a uniform legal system. Add this to their love of travel, which results in the mixing of the races, and the result is the disappearance of nationalism, which happened long ago.


The total production of all goods and services is controlled by globally operating trusts or cooperatives, the presidents of which form the world-government. These are not so much economic as political formations that perform most of the tasks that fall here under governments and ministries.

"The consumers cooperation's comment on the performance of the trusts and so stimulate the assortment and availability. Once this situation has been reached, there is not much left to be written in a book on economics. The only thing that could be entered is any idea to improve the systems product efficiency which will reduce the amount of servile labor. They regard this kind of work as a waste of time.


"Appropriately, they use the term: welfare efficiency of the working population. The theoretical maximum of 100% could be reached when the total working population should take part in the direct production process of goods and services, with the highest attainable level of automation and the highest possible quality and durability. This maximum is obviously never reached, and the welfare efficiency is always below 100%.


The higher the figure the larger the availability of goods and services, and the greater the prosperity.

Text for picture of housing complexes

The ring-shaped housing complexes, looking much like huge glass silos, are about 900 feet in diameter by 300 feet high, and they accommodate about 10,000 Iargans each. The central core structure is built up complete as a single unit and the apartments are installed on the outside which results in the glass-like finish. These circular housing units are arranged in rectangular cities about 10 kilometers by 6 kilometers wide encompassing up to 36 such units. The resulting population density is as high as 6000 persons per square kilometer.

View of an automatic farming machine which is controlled from a central post. The unit works a piece of land 250 wide and 10 Km long. Fertilizers and sprays are introduced via the central rail and administered by means of a rolling tank. At the end of the rails, the whole unit turns through 18o degrees and returns over the parallel strip of ground. No poisonous sprays or artificial fertilizers are used on Iarga, the ground is sterilized with a deadly ray before the seeds are planted, (keep out of the way when it is working).


The contrast with our primitive farming methods and these "super efficient" methods on Iarga is bizarre.


The three determining factors are:

  1. The occupation factor shows the percentage of the working population that takes part in the direct production process of goods and services in the public sector.


    Here it may be useful to list the professions that do not exist on Iarga or that fall outside the direct production process: banks, insurance companies, stock exchange, lawyers, sales organizations, public relations and advertising agencies, tax offices, accountants, consultants, ministries, the whole weapons industry, the army, air force, navy, administration and bookkeeping for as far as it is not connected with the registration of the direct production process, etc, etc...


    The universal system reaches the unlikely figure of 90%, but this has an additional reason. All creative work is not taken into account because they do not regard this as servile work. It is performed after working hours as a sort of hobby, and includes things such as planning, strategy, innovation, research, development, scientific research, all art forms and the organization of events.


    This occupation percentage for the industrialized western countries lies somewhere in the region of 30 to 40%.


  2. The production effectivity is expressed in terms of the relationship to the maximum possible at that moment. What it boils down to is that everything that can be automated is classed as 100%, and the rest is related to that.


    So exists a model for each system by which other systems can be judged. Think for a moment of the gigantic investment capacity of these trusts in relation to ours, for the most part, small concerns. The Iargan figure is relative, so it does not have much meaning for us; but I think it would be safe to say that our figure would be somewhere in the region of 5o% lower.


  3. The quality factor determines the effect of certain goods or investments on the prosperity. An object that lasts twice as long as another has twice the effect on the prosperity. All repair time, direct or indirect, lessens the effect; and beside this is the ethical reason for the quality control, the scarcity of raw materials.


    An object that lasts twice as long as another uses half the amount of raw materials; that is why they are so critical when it comes to the question of quality, and the trusts allow no concessions in this respect.


"Consumer goods that pass the quality test, such as food, score 100%, but all the rest are meticulously checked for durability and repair demands. Durability is expressed in a percentage of the maximum attainable or desirable, and the servicing hours are deducted in percent.


When it is said that their rail-system has a useful life of more than one hundred Earth years, and that the frames of their house-cylinders last for many hundreds of Earth years, perhaps you will get an idea of their standards of quality. To set our quality standard again at fifty percent is perhaps ridiculous, but that is not really the point.


"The welfare efficiency is calculated by multiplying the three factors by each other, and they state that the universal economic system easily gets 70% average among numerous intelligent races. The average of our industrialized countries can perhaps reach the 7 to 9% figure. This shocking conclusion means that with our present technical development, the welfare profit could be eight to ten times as high as it now is.


With a just and efficient system, our present number of workers could have conquered all the poverty in the world. We have a ridiculously inefficient production system caused by too many professions that consume prosperity instead of creating it. Our stupid way of sharing prosperity causes so-called over-production and we resist automation for the sake of employment, while the majority of our world-population lives in poverty.

The low quality of our goods, helped by artificial aging, means that we simply throw away a large part of our welfare profit. Perhaps we can't help it because our mentality is wrong, but no matter how you try to excuse it, it remains stupid."

They were dearly pleased that I was at last awake and was able to understand that efficiency and justice were not just loose, idealistic words.


But, good heavens, first a hundred times the population density and then times the production. How is that possible? Unbridled overpopulation and unbridled overproduction? Rubbish! We do not know what the words "overpopulation and "overproduction" mean.


When we complain about overpopulation, we mean inefficient economic structure and planning. With overproduction, we mean roughly the same: the low purchasing power of the average income through the inefficiency of our antisocial economy.


As soon as we begin to distribute our products in a just manner, we will see that the problem lies in a too low productive capacity.

"Because, friend Stef, make no mistake as to what men will use if given the opportunity. Take, for example, the consumption capacity for a family who, because of their financial state, can have everything they want. Their level lies at least twenty times higher than the world average. Your economy will have to work very hard before you can create genuine overproduction. This shows itself in a failing interest in a larger income when it means a higher working intensity or more responsibility.


The remedy is simple: everyone works shorter hours. It works both ways; shorter hours lower the income and stimulate consumption. The wish to work increases in order to increase the income and at the same time the first steps can be taken in narrowing the wage gap by raising the minimum wage. As soon as market saturation manifests itself, the leveling of wages increases. The 'rich' remain as rich as they were before and the 'poor' are raised to the same level and so, with efficiency and justice, you create a stable world!"

"So everyone will then have the same income?"

"Yes, exactly. The prosperity is then fairly shared by everyone. Unlimited prosperity creates complete security."

"You work shorter hours than we do?"

"Yes, much shorter."

"Everyone has the same rights? They all earn the same and there is no difference between a white collar and a pair of overalls?"

"No. Everyone wears overalls from time to time. That is why we hate maintenance and repair work. Are you beginning to understand something about our quality?"

"Yes, and that is another argument for efficiency: you get a different set of tasks for the people. Does your world president also wear overalls sometimes?"

"Of course, since there is no upper or lower class anymore, only a difference between directive and executive work. When we talk about a short work period, we are talking about noncreative production and maintenance work, and everyone does this, even the president. Direction is purely creative work and we do this in our free time."

"Am I to understand that all the top positions are a sort of hobby?"

"We do not differentiate between high and low positions. We choose people to direct us who, outside of their slave labor, also have an interest in this activity as an expression of their creativity, like a hobby. In this stage of development, creativity is no longer considered labor, because it is the target of men."

"That's all well and good, and I can see that if we were to use the same system, things could be much better for us, but to induce people to change their entire way of life is not easy, not to say impossible. It requires higher education and more knowledge. It's easy for you to teach people by the use of your information radiation. Why don't you give us the knowledge to make such machines? We could then easily guide our people along the right path and it would greatly increase the tempo of Earth's development."

"We tremble at the thought of giving you the secrets of immaterial radiation. It would not be long before man discovered that it could be used as a weapon, with the almost certain result of self-destruction. "

And even if it were not so used, who would profit from its advantages?


Surely only the developed nations, because the equipment is expensive. This would mean that the white race would be in an even stronger discriminating position against the other races. A race that does not know its responsibilities cannot be helped."

Moving on to the next subject, freedom, they began by showing me one of their living, or house, cylinders. The film opened on the ring road outside the building. An automatic sliding door opened and gave access to the parking space for the cars, in the basement.


The cars stood in neat rows, four deep, with the front wheels in shallow grooves in the floor. The camera moved through this area and out through a door which led to the central "garden" of the hollow cylinder. A beautifully laid out recreation area of at least three hundred yards in diameter. A quarter segment of the cylinder was glass which, combined with a gigantic glass roof about three hundred feet above the ground, gave the effect of being inside a huge glass house. Galleries ran around the inside at each floor.


And on the lowest gallery, which was wider than the rest, small rail transport units moved. The central space was a huge garden of tropical-looking plants and flowers. A huge central pillar was at its base, surrounded by a rock garden with plants and flowers in the most exotic colors. Streams and waterfalls came out into ponds and tanks that contained strange and brightly colored fish.


Green, moss-like areas were broken up by patches off lowers and shrubs. I saw sport fields and playgrounds with rather technical-looking apparatus, ponds in which children were paddling and a large swimming pool into which people dived from a large, slowly turning wheel construction.

Most amazing was the behavior of these Iargans in the water. Even small children could swim with a power and speed that was nothing short of surprising. They floated effortlessly, many swam in pairs with their arms entwined by taking turns in making a sort of scissor movement with their legs.


They had immense pleasure, and demonstrated something that could be called a feeling of freedom, freedom from gravity. They sprung and dived under water for so long that it was difficult to see if they ever came up again. The real meaning of this water affinity became clear to me. These beings did not emerge from the land as we did, but from the water; they developed from amphibians. The broad webs between the widespread fingers and toes was originally a fin which enabled them to spring out of the water like dolphins.


They could move in water faster and more easily than on land. Everywhere were seats, arranged in half or full circles. An magnificent meeting point for young and old, for the Iargan children did not play in the streets. Everything necessary for living was here, a complete city housed in one huge cylinder, highly efficient and superbly comfortable.

Before I go on to describe their houses, I would like to say something about the general layout of these buildings. In the basement, a huge set of machinery was installed.


They used the planet's internal heat as the only power supply and this was distributed as water, under extremely high pressure and temperature. Except for this, these buildings were completely self-supporting. Even an external sewage and garbage collection did not exist. They had a fantastic recycling system. Most of the garbage was separated into its raw materials, while human excrements were used as dung for the surrounding agricultural lands, resulting in a nearly one hundred percent circular course.


The final debris was burnt and ground to a fine powder.


Together with waste water, this was pumped away, deep into the planet's crust. This had something to do with the prevention of heavy earthquakes by means of initiating light ones.

The next floors, underground, they used for offices, workshops and production work at a full day's cycle. They worked at home. This was to prevent unnecessary transport of people to and from their work. Speaking of overpopulation and pollution, there was really something to learn for us! Something else that we could learn from was their method of food production.


They only used the word "overpopulation" in relation to the quantity of food that is available; as long as everyone has enough to eat, the planet is not overpopulated. They are very careful to prevent food shortages as this would disrupt their whole society. Investments in the farming areas are much greater than those even in the housing sector.


Cultivation, and the associated ground-water control, the spraying, fertilizing and the agricultural machines demand gigantic earth transports and millions of kilometers of pipelines and drainage systems, and again the construction of a canal system and gigantic pump stations. with a diameter of more than one hundred meters.


The catch consists purely of fish that have been sieved out of the system.


The strange thing was that these fish looked just the same as fish here on earth. I saw some fish with a length of four to five meters which, for as far as my knowledge of biology can be trusted, were perfectly normal sharks. I also saw swordfish; and predatory fish were hunted with the aid of sound waves and flavored bait, the carcasses were thrown back into the sea. Beside this, they also eat meat, but it would be going too much into details to describe their breeding methods here.


To tell the truth, I was somewhat disappointed to see that a super race still killed animals.

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Huge automated cultivating machines consisted of great bridge structures with a free span of more than a hundred meters. These bridges moved transversely along rails which ran the full length of the fields. They work a piece of land up to 250 meters wide by 10 kilometers long and operate in rows of up to 20 machines side by side. The bridge structures carried a variety of equipment which was controlled from a central control room.


Fertilizers and sprays are introduced via the central rail and administered by means of a rolling tank. At the end of the rail the whole unit turns and returns over a parallel strip of ground.


The bridge structures performed many operations simultaneously in one run. First, a strip of ground is cut out in two layers by two "U" shaped blades. Then the strip is sterilized with a ray, is sprayed with a muddy-looking fertilizer, turned, and returned to the furrow. Then a row of fast moving gooseneck-type tubes plant seeds for the next harvest. Finally the surface is rolled flat and covered with a transparent layer, leaving the field looking flat and finished as a dance-floor.


All this is a part of their attempt to accommodate the largest possible number of beings on their planet; the first requisite for this is a maximum food production.


They then introduced me to one of their numerous cultivating machines which are mounted in the vast fields situated between the house cylinders. These consisted mainly out of an imposing bridge construction with a free span of more than a hundred meters. These bridges moved transversely along rails which ran the full length of the fields (some ten kilometers) in rows of twenty, placed side by side.


The bridges were supported about three meters above the ground and could carry a variety of equipment which was controlled from a central control room. One of the bridges that was working was fitted with a machine that performed many operations in one go. First a strip of ground was cut out in two layers by two U shaped blades; then the strip was sterilized with a deadly (!) ray, sprayed with a muddy looking fertilizer, turned, and returned to the furrow.


Then a row of fast moving gooseneck-type pipes planted the seeds for the next harvest, and finally, the surface was rolled flat and covered with a transparent layer.

When the machine was finished the result resembled a dance-floor. They certainly were masters in automation. Beside the farming, their food production was supported to a great extent by the fisheries. Their preference for fish probably has something to do with their amphibian origin, and the fact that they have so many oceans. Their method of catching fish is, in one word, absurd.


So absurd in fact, that I thought in the beginning that they were trying to make a fool out of me. Later, I discovered that this was just a by-product of their system of climate control. It was a gigantic water-moving project whereby the warmest water in the oceans is pumped to the islands and seems to have something to do with controlling the rainfall.


The system utilizes thousands of kilometers of flexible pipes running under water, each with a diameter of more than one hundred meters. The catch consists purely of fish that have been sieved out of the system. The strange thing was that these fish looked just the same as fish here on earth. I saw some fish with a length of four to five meters which, for as far as my knowledge of biology can be trusted, were perfectly normal sharks. I also saw swordfish; and predatory fish were hunted with the aid of sound waves and flavored bait, the carcasses were thrown back into the sea.


Beside this, they also eat meat, but it would be going too much into details to describe their breeding methods here. To tell the truth, I was somewhat disappointed to see that a super race still killed animals.

I only relate this information on their food production in order to comply with their request to do so; they see this information as an important part of the process of identification. This process will be dealt with later. For the same reasons, I will also describe some details of their schools and the hospitals in the house cylinders.


These were, together with other social services, situated on the top floor, with the glass roof serving as the ceiling. The school classrooms were square, with four walls from corner to corner, forming four triangles. Where the triangles joined in the middle were four large screens, on which the lesson was shown. The means of teaching was exactly the same as was used for me in the spaceship: a film with a simple explanation; the real information was transmitted by the radiation.

In the space behind the four screens sat the "teacher," who really had nothing to do with the lessons but acted more as an observer, noting the behavior of the children and advising parents on their upbringing. The lessons were the same over the whole planet, this having the advantage that should a child move to another area, which happened frequently, he could simply pick up the lessons where he left off without having to repeat or miss anything.


This basic schooling continued until the child had reached the age of fifteen or sixteen years.

When I think of the information that I gamed in two days from the radiation, I can imagine the level these children must reach when subjected to the radiation for ten years or more. Their basic schooling must be above the level of our universities. Having completed this basic instruction, the children moved on to the advanced schools, a normal cylinder where all the students lived together and where they could specialize in their chosen subjects.


The hospital that they showed me was not the type that was situated in each of the cylinders, but a real hospital where special medical treatment was given. Seen from the outside, it looked like a normal house cylinder, but half was the accommodation for the personnel and the other half for the patients. I do not think it is necessary for me to describe the working of such a hospital in detail. The reader can imagine that everything was regulated with the usual Iargan efficiency, and to describe things that can only be clarified by superlatives becomes rather boring. One thing, however, does strike me as interesting.


Each patient was "connected" to a computer that catered to the individual needs and wishes of its "charge"; pain alleviation, medicine, contact with friends or relatives, entertainment or information-the computer took care of it!

"Do people still die on your planet?"

"Control of death demands a different medical ethic. We feel justified in prolonging the possibility of happiness, but not in extending a life that nature regards as being at an end."

Going back to the houses, I noted that silent, air-operated elevators with electromagnetic stops functioned as vertical transport, while, broad galleries formed the horizontal connections.


From these there was a fantastic view of the central gardens. Each house had a large entrance hall which was open to the gallery, so that anyone who happened to be passing by could look into it. This would not have seemed too strange to me had it not been for the fact that on one side was a row of showers!


Here my shocked confrontation with the living habits of these beings and the breathtaking freedom that typified their relations with one another began.

Young and old had the strange social duty, on returning from school, work or any other activity outside the house, of washing themselves from head to toe before re-entering the living quarters.


What happened then?


Everyone undressed in the hall with the greatest of ease and stepped into the shower. These were tubes, about three feet in diameter, with a glass screen in front, and on the floor were two raised steps on which to stand. At the back of the tube was a vertical bar, to which, at ground level, a flat elliptical tube was connected. Having closed the glass screen, the occupant pressed a button and the elliptical tube immediately began spraying jets of white foam while moving upwards along the vertical bar; the occupant was transformed within a few seconds into a snowman.


On reaching the top of the bar, the spray changed to clean water and came slowly back to its original position at the base of the tube. Warm air was then circulated in the tube to dry the bather, washed and dried within three minutes with a minimum use of water. Having dressed, one was then permitted to enter the living quarters.


Dressed is perhaps the wrong word, for their house attire was nothing more than a kind of sarong that left the woman, as well as the men, naked above the waist.

You must not think that this bears any comparison with humans dressed in the same manner, the only really noticeable difference between male and female Iargans being that the men are more powerfully built and more muscular than the women. Their behavior toward one another was really remarkable. I never once saw a man in the vicinity of a woman who did not put at least one arm around her. A big hug was their normal manner of greeting one another, and this also applied to the children.


When the warm greetings were completed, the camera followed the party into the house. The hall came out in the corner of a large room of about sixty by sixty feet, the central living area of the house. The first thing that I noticed was a huge glass wall over the whole length of the room, which gave a magnificent view of the surroundings. I could see the imposing rail system that passed through a woodland area, and on the other side, two more of the cylinders.


The floor of the room sloped down toward the windows in a series of shallow steps and stopped about nine feet from it, where the edge was finished in a king of balustrade. The window continued down to the lower floor, where it ended in a wall about two feet high. The interior was luxurious, but the color combinations were rather too bright for my taste. Loose furniture was nowhere to be seen. The seating was built into the floor in the form of couches, spread with thick, comfortable cushions.

The lower floor was connected to the upper by two steeples "escalators," moving or stationary at the will of the user.


The "bedrooms" were not large, but intimate and colorful. In one wall there was a large screen and another contained a shower identical to the ones in the entrance hall. The ceiling glowed with a diffused orange lighting, and strange objects decorated the walls. The next scene was fascinating: the family at table. The group of some twenty-five people, about half of which were children, gathered in a rather bare-looking corner of the large upper floor.


One of the company operated a kind of lever and out of the floor rose a vertical "wall" that opened out into a table about eighteen feet long and five feet wide. At the same time, two sliding panels in the wall opened to reveal a cupboard containing partitions and a lot of complicated equipment. In the manner of a self-service restaurant or cafeteria, each person took a tray and helped himself to various dishes, which were then warmed up for a few seconds in an oven-like apparatus. Within a few minutes everyone was seated, cross-legged on the floor, around the table.


At the head and tail ends of the table sat a man and a woman who did not eat with the rest. As soon as everyone was seated, the man at the head of the table raised his hand and said something, upon which the rest became silent. They held in one hand a gold-colored, spoon-like implement and the other hand was placed on the knee of the person next to them.


The people eating remained silent and listened to what the man and woman who were not eating had to say. It was a fascinating scene of the customs of these beings from a strange, distant world.

The way they made a ceremony of eating made them seem rather like mythological gods. When everyone had finished eating, they all stood up and each threw an arm around the shoulders of his neighbor, thus forming a chain around the table. They stood that way for a couple of seconds and then commenced to dear their implements from the table, and when this was finished, the table was again retracted into the floor.


The spoons were placed on a machine for cleaning, the plates and trays went into a disposal unit for plastics and everyone finished by washing his hands and cleaning his teeth. Hand towels and dish towels were nonexistent here. Everything was dried by warm air, and I began to wonder what the Iargan housewives had to do, especially as there seemed to be five or six women in each house.


Shopping was done automatically by a computer; the order was placed in the computer and the goods were delivered sometime later in a container.

"Don't your women have to do housework anymore?"

The Iargans laughed.

"We have told you that we no longer have any class distinctions, and this also applies to women. Chores are shared equally by everyone."

"But when men are at work outside the home, the women must surely work too."

"That is true. If men work for three hours a day, women do the same, no more and no less, otherwise there is discrimination."


"Strange. So the women may only do housework for three hours per day?"

"Your ideas are slow to change. Housework, in other words, the necessary upkeep, is done by everyone together. If the task of some women is the upbringing and teaching of the children and other social work, then they too have the same right to work outside the home as men do."

"What about the women who don't have any children?"

"All Iargans have the same duty to the children in the group in which they live. The upbringing of the child to the mentally stable and developed adult that a high culture needs is a difficult and complicated task. The schools plant the knowledge by means of the radiation but the adults must help the child to transform this knowledge into experience. The home sphere plays an important part in the development of these things. A race that seeks income leveling must give the utmost attention to raising the mental level of the people, because the raising of the general minimum wage must be in balance with this level. Value and income differences between people can be overcome only by a high minimum mental level."

"So those women feel happy with the task of teaching children because they are able to fulfill themselves on different levels. They choose what they do."

"Everyone who fulfills his or her task with interest and inventiveness feels happy. What more could one possibly expect from life than being successful in love and able to teach this to children."

"This 'love,' has it got anything to do with sex?"

"The sexual relationship between man and woman plays an indispensable but nevertheless unimportant part in our understanding of the word love. It is directed to be creative individual expression and that is a thing that must begin to be taught to children as young as possible.

"I don't understand that."

"That is logical, for we have only just begun with our explanation of the concept of freedom. Let us start at the beginning. Freedom is the absence of compulsion and because compulsion is a form of discrimination, it follows that freedom is the absence of discrimination. A step further: freedom exists, logically, on the basis of justice and efficiency. The development of an intelligent race is governed by two dangerous natural laws, which in fact are the laws of cosmic selection. They formulate the demands for entrance to the higher regions of evolution, the cosmic integration."

"And is that worth the trouble?"

"Certainly, for it is the choice between everlasting life and everlasting death."

"Oh, I see, a religious aspect. That ceremony at the table had something do to with your religion too?"

"Our understanding of religion is so far evolved that it is incomparable with yours. Have you a religion?"

"I am a Catholic."

"How strange, a Christian!  We are familiar with the work of Christ and the Bible. After you've eaten, you must explain to us how someone with so much property can seriously call himself christian. We are intrigued.

On the other hand, it simplifies the explanation of the two cosmic selection laws. The first confirms Christ's condemnation of social discrimination. A high level of technical development liquidates every discrimination and compulsion under pain of chaos and eventual self-destruction. The Earth demonstrates the justice of this law in a convincing manner. The social chaos exists already and the threat begins to manifest itself. At the moment, only the great powers have nuclear weapons at their disposal, but the smaller nationalist groups will soon be in the same position.


"The situation becomes more dangerous every year. Within a short time you will discover the possibility of immaterial radiation and then a handful of people will be capable of producing a weapon that is capable of destroying all mankind. Where does all this lead? How long can a civilization continue to exist where science does not know its responsibilities?

"The second selection law compels the correct understanding of human relationships. It poses 'christian love' as a condition for cosmic integration. Only unselfish behavior that restores the original efficiency of natural order can give an intelligent race the certainty of survival until cosmic integration is achieved."

"That word 'unselfish' sounds so strange."

"The selfish behavior of the masses, where everyone takes everything they can, prevents the ability to work for the common good-to create, for example, a clean planet where the balance of nature can be maintained for an unlimited time. It is also impossible to limit the use of natural resources for the sake of future generations, because a selfish person cannot give up anything for someone else. The greatest problem lies in the law of degeneration: a race that does not succeed in restoring the efficiency of natural selection as it existed in the prehistoric times shall become extinct."

"How do you justify unlimited freedom with reproduction selection that drastically limits the choice of partners?"

"The answer is that it can only be justified with unselfishness. The partner choice is determined by one's feeling of responsibility."

"I see, through artificial insemination."

"Where did you get that idea? That doesn't prevent degeneration, it accelerates it!


"We are not concerned with producing that biological phenomenon, 'man.' The body with all its selfish demands is just a shell. We are only concerned with the creative intellect, the soul that is capable of unselfish thought. How do we educate children for the freedom and happiness? Freedom is the absence of the effect of compulsion on the individual's behavior. Freedom cannot be obtained with a weapon in the hand. It can only be obtained by the parents' careful mental forming of their child then, by the correct conception of good and evil. It is a difficult and complicated task that only becomes possible with natural parental love and the variety of other groups.

"There may never by any doubt as to who is the father or mother of a child. The important thing is not having children, but bringing them up. For this reason, artificial insemination is unacceptable.


"The unselfishness is the selection requirement for the immortality of the race, but it is also a requirement for a being with a high mental development before he can achieve happiness. Happiness is being at peace with oneself and one's surroundings. This is determined to a large extent by one's success in achieving self-set goals, in other words, by a ruthless appraisal of oneself. This individual striving to reach a self-chosen goal is the creativity in man.

"Creativity is thought that is continually occupied with changing the circumstances in one's life or in that of another. It is creativity that drives men to do 'even more' or 'even better.' There are two kinds of creativity, the material and the immaterial. The first is the individual striving to improve his own living standards. This is done mostly in the field of sex, property and power and is the cause of all the misery on this planet.


The individuality expresses itself in egocentricity, greed and avarice. In the continual reaching for a material goal, a measure of satisfaction is experienced, but when the goal is reached, the satisfaction shows itself to be relative and of short duration, merely an object for comparison with what others have. So it continues toward the next goal, usually a higher income or a higher position, and the search continues, because the satisfaction lies only in the searching.

But then a time comes when the search cannot be continued because of sickness, or old age, and life continues in dissatisfaction with itself. The individual has not understood that material gains can never bring lasting satisfaction and happiness.

"On the other hand, there is the immaterial creativity-your christian love - and this is lasting happiness. It is the continual striving to improve the living standards of others. It expresses itself in helpfulness, understanding, pity, tolerance, friendliness, esteem - in short, the total concept of unselfish love."

"It sounds to me like a sort of sterile idealism."

"Try to understand that it is not. Do you believe that social stability creates unlimited prosperity and complete security?"

"Yes, I can accept that."

"Can you also accept that a man without creativity can never be happy?"

"Yes, I understand that."

"What goal can human creativity have when material motives vanish? What can a materialist do in our world, other than be bored to tears? What does a man really possess who possesses everything except love? The answer is: nothing!

"Everything that previous generations have done to create a stable world with a high level of scientific and technical development and unlimited prosperity is worthless when man lacks the love that can give him happiness.

"Every unselfish deed, every self-sacrifice, heightens the feeling of personal value, of satisfaction. A man who has reached a high degree of unselfishness manifests a lasting personal value as a noticeable side of his personality - wisdom - which appears to be unaffected by setbacks or aging. He becomes invulnerable in his feeling of personal value, his peace with himself, his happiness. There is no alternative, Stef. Natural selection laws are inexorable. Only a race with a high level of unselfishness, or, as we call it, an immaterial structure, can survive."

"Does all this also apply to us? I canít imagine this world being inhabited by people who love each other."

"The more we talk, the more we become convinced that you are not a christian. The whole point of Christ's teaching - love - is completely strange to you. You have apparently never heard of the striving for unselfishness in the buddhist religion. There is no choice. Only when man is free of material influences can he succeed in bringing up children who, through their unselfish mental attitude, can be really free and happy. You must teach them to love and concern themselves with others. They must learn to be very expressive with their feelings.


This makes great demands on their eloquence, to be able to put their feelings into words. This is characterized by their honesty, spontaneity and enthusiasm, their helpfulness and, above all, their ability to raise their love contacts above the physical to great spiritual heights.


We seek adventure in the quantity and depth of our human contacts. You have seen this all on the screen in front of you. Iarga is a planet where the people love each other, where people are happy to meet each other and where they find it a pity that they can only take one person at a time in their arms.

"As soon as our children have reached the age of sexual maturity, the parents arrange for the child to undergo a psychological and medical test. If they pass this, they are then declared legally free and obtain the rights of voting and sexual freedom. We celebrate this with a great feast. The parents rejoice with the children in the fact that they have been judged as being worthy of true freedom."

"Good lord. Then the parents permit them to go to bed with anyone and everyone?"

"Your surprise is understandable, because you do not know the character structure of our race. Our urge to reproduce is much less than yours, partly because we do not experience the same pleasure in sex. We do not use it as a way of passing the time, but as an expression of intimacy and love. The evolution cycle of Iarga is different and we have a precisely controlled population growth. Earth should strive for a population explosion so that the race is complete before it has a chance to destroy itself. Sex plays a completely different role by us, there is no comparison.

"We should add that the position of our women is also vastly different to yours. They have a different creation mandate which causes a fundamental difference. Earth women have a heavy task in the future, which is why they now have the command of obedience to the man. This will give her the right in the future to take over the task of leadership without damaging the principle of equality.

"Iargan men and women are equals, but have different mandates. Women have the dominant position because they must lead the mental development, they are not sex objects. The subject of sex, which here on Earth is regarded as forbidden fruit and therefore takes on an unhealthy appeal, has no adverse effect on us at all. A man-woman relationship that is based solely on sex we consider degrading.


Our women would rather die on the spot than be used for a kind of physical training; they make high demands of their partners. They demand their interest, their tenderness and mostly their respect for her as a person, for her intellectual level. Everything is directed at creative expression and the sex act plays a very minor part in it.

"In many relationships, sex is totally absent, without that absence having any effect on the satisfaction experienced. Once you have really learned to live, it is difficult to understand what Earth being can have as their reason for living."

"We often wonder about this ourselves, but I think I am beginning to understand what that reason should be."

The lesson continued, but I am afraid that it did not penetrate to any great extent. I was too busy with my own thoughts.


They were explaining their marriage concepts and personal relationships, based on the separation of sex and propagation, but my mind was filled with questions and doubts. All this was very interesting, but what had it to do with me?


It was dear that they had a better life than we have, but, then, they were not human, they did not live in our world, and if they did, they would surely be the same as we are. If, but, why, how; my mind was running around in circles.


At the moment that they tried to make clear to me that sexual freedom was not permitted to the Earth because we failed in love, I gave up.

"What is the point of this confrontation with your way of life? Your way of life is not possible for us, even if we wanted to live as you do. The Earth can never become like Iarga. Your society strikes me as being a curiosity that has no practical use for us whatsoever."

"You are right. The Earth will never become like Iarga. The Earth is, in contrast to Iarga, a thin-atmosphere planet of a different character, and this applies also to her inhabitants. We have a different evolution cycle than you, but the goal in the evolution of all the intelligent races in this universe is one and the same. The ways are different; the goal is the same.


The practical purpose of this confrontation is the planting of insight, not insight into our technique or our social structure, although this could be of use to you, but into our mentality."

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