The Wlavos Communal Cooperative is a walled city located in the ruins of what was Vladivostok, one of Russia’s coastal cities. The city is home to about 22 million people, many of whom dream about living elsewhere. The Cooperative is a dull, grey, industrial city where propaganda and blind patriotism to the community permeate all aspects of daily life.
In the Wlavos Communal Cooperative, employment is assigned to its residents. Most have very little influence over the vocation forced upon them. Everyone contributes to the community and in return receives a sparse home, simple clothes, and enough food to keep them hungry. Workers’ homes are assigned to them and are always conveniently located near their place of work. People work 50 hours per week and their free time is their own. However, they must attend weekly social events, where families are encouraged to enjoy the company of their friends, co-workers, and neighbours, all of whom are the same people.
Wlavos is known to the rest of the world as an extremely inexpensive manufacturer of goods, and is a rising star on the global stage. Many of the largest corporations outsource their heavy industrial manufacturing to the famed factories of Wlavos.
Some people enjoy the societal engineering of Wlavos. They do not have to struggle for success, or try to gain wealth through hard work, or impress anyone with the new car they bought or the new leather sofa for their living room. Others consider life in Wlavos Communal Cooperative to be one step above imprisonment and feel that with every passing day, they die a little more.
Children are schooled until their 13th birthday. They are taught about such important things as why capitalism destroyed the world, how dangerous life is outside their city, and the importance of doing one thing and doing it well. On the morning of their 13th birthday they write the Aptitude Evaluation and Employment Encouragement Exam, after which their results are scored and they are given a job that best fits their particular aptitudes. For their birthday, they are provided with everything required to get to work, which they start promptly at 8 am the next morning.
Children are closely monitored during school and those who show true academic or leadership potential are removed from the communal education system and placed in private educational facilities where the Elite of society are trained. Politicians, physicians, scientists, engineers, and military leaders are given the required education for the more intellectually demanding and important jobs.
Government and Travel Controls
The Wlavos Communal Cooperative has a Board of Representatives that is elected by the Elite of society - the only voices worth hearing from, according to themselves. The Board reports to The Chairman, who makes the final decisions on all matters pertaining to the running of Wlavos. The Board of Directors has three representatives from The Interior, who represent the interests and needs of the citizens, and three more from The Exterior, who represent the interests of those city-states that wish to initiate trade with Wlavos.
Only the most trusted members of the Elite can travel beyond the city walls. Even then, permission to travel is restricted exclusively to trade and political missions. When representatives go abroad, members of their family are rewarded with a stay at the Ministry of the Interior’s lavish resort complex. Although a pleasant experience for the family, it is clear that they are being held for ransom to ensure the prompt return of the Cooperative’s representative. These measures were put in place after several representatives defected during their travels. The propaganda of the Ministry of the Interior never lets the workers forget the important truth that The Chairman provides happiness and security, the world provides only danger.
All citizens of Wlavos Communal Cooperative must serve three years in the People’s Representative Army, where they are trained in a variety of soldiering skills. This training begins on their 16th birthday and ends the day before they turn 19. After their three years of service they return to their jobs, but can be recalled to the Army at any time (4.4.4).